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The Obama Program:

There has been a good deal of to-and-froing between the presidential candidates on a variety of issues. But I think that Pete duPont's column in the WSJ (may be subscriber only) is an accurate summary of what President Obama's program would would be, isn't it (leaving aside the tendentious asides and commentary like "emboldening terrorists"):

So where is the new Obama administration likely to take us? Seven things seem certain:

The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq quickly and substantially, regardless of conditions on the ground or the obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists there and around the globe.

Protectionism will become our national trade policy; free trade agreements with other nations will be reduced and limited.

Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."

Federal government spending will substantially increase. The new Obama proposals come to more than $300 billion annually, for education, health care, energy, environmental and many other programs, in addition to whatever is needed to meet our economic challenges. Mr. Obama proposes more than a 10% annual spending growth increase, considerably higher than under the first President Bush (6.7%), Bill Clinton (3.3%) or George W. Bush (6.4%).

Federal regulation of the economy will expand, on everything from financial management companies to electricity generation and personal energy use.

The power of labor unions will substantially increase, beginning with repeal of secret ballot voting to decide on union representation.

Free speech will be curtailed through the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine to limit the conservative talk radio that so irritates the liberal establishment.

These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America. There will be many more public policy changes with similar goals—nationalized health care, Kyoto-like global-warming policies, and increased education regulation and spending.

Additional tax advantages for lower and middle income people will be enacted: a 10% mortgage tax credit that would average about $500 per household per year, a $4,000 tax credit for college tuition, a tax credit covering half of child-care expenses up to $6,000 per year, and even a $7,000 credit for purchase of a clean car.

This seems accurate in substance to me from what I know. Is it?

Those of us in the academy should be licking our chops at the $4000 tax credit for college tuition. It is amazing to me that no one has caught onto our scam that whenever they try to make college more "affordable" by raising government support for education we suppliers of higher education capture almost all of it in higher tuition and fees. So it seems like usually turns out to be less a reduction in the cost than a redistribution to the higher education industry.

Oren:
Conservative talk radio irritates people? Since when?
10.27.2008 11:09pm
jccamp (mail):
"So it seems like [this] usually turns out to be less a reduction in the cost than a redistribution to the higher education industry."

Classic. Thanks.

You Commie, you...
10.27.2008 11:14pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
I heard Obama is also going to impose Sharia law.
10.27.2008 11:16pm
DangerMouse:
The list seems about right. But don't forget investigating and/or blackmailing people who ask unpleasant questions to THE ONE. That includes citizens, media people, bloggers, etc. Joe the Plumber ain't seen nothing yet.

The only way you'll be able to ask questions of THE ONE is if you've never done anything wrong, EVER, or if you're a liberal.
10.27.2008 11:19pm
First Born:
@Mahan

Awesome! I was the first born so I'll take the forced inheritance!
10.27.2008 11:21pm
JB:
Wouldn't it be great if there had been a party fighting for freedom the last 8 years?

If there was some party with a record of defending free speech, economic freedom, advocating a foreign policy in line with our capabilities, addressing climate change in more useful ways...they would have gotten a lot of votes this year.

I wonder why we don't have such a party.
10.27.2008 11:26pm
AF:
Damn! I wasted a bunch of time watching the debates, reading Obama's proposals, and studying his record! I could have just read duPont's column!
10.27.2008 11:27pm
Mike Personal (mail):
More scare mongering
10.27.2008 11:27pm
YabbaDabba:
What a crock of sh*t.

Pete DuPont completely disregards the nuances and careful analysis that come into play in undertaking any major policy proposal, whether by Obama or McCain.

Typical WSJ b.s.
10.27.2008 11:27pm
ChrisIowa (mail):

Those of us in the academy should be licking our chops at the $4000 tax credit for college tuition. It is amazing to me that no one has caught onto our scam that whenever they try to make college more "affordable" by raising government support for education we suppliers of higher education capture almost all of it in higher tuition and fees.

The next step is to confiscate all those endowments and "invest" the proceeds in the tuition of all your poor oppressed students.
10.27.2008 11:30pm
ASlyJD (mail):
No kidding, First Born! And if women are forced into wearing hijab, it means I don't have to wear panty hose, girdles, high heels, make-up, nail polish, or tanning lotion. If the abaya is imposed, I don't have to fret about not being a size 6, as my waistline is safely hidden. Sharia law, freeing women from uncomfortable male imposed clothing for 14 centuries.

(Not freedom from male imposition of any kind, of course. What would we silly girls do with that?)
10.27.2008 11:32pm
DonBoy (mail) (www):
"Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters," press secretary Michael Ortiz said [in an email to "Broadcasting and Cable" in June of 2008].
10.27.2008 11:32pm
Loophole1998 (mail):
Mr. Obama is usually judged based on people's fears and perceptions, rather than on his stated policy positions.
10.27.2008 11:34pm
flyerhawk:
I'm disappointed. When I saw the diary intro I thought I was going to read a cogent analysis of Obama's proposed policies.

Instead I read a fever swamp apocalyptic prediction.

Obama has shown little real interest in protectionism. He has openly advocated for free trade while his pandering to populism has generally been oblique references to putting vague protections into place.

His use of the "spreading the wealth around" meme, gave the game away.

And the fairness doctrine? Where has ever advocated for the fairness doctrine? Why Conservatives tremble at this bill I have no idea.

This is no different than liberal writers saying that McCain wants to be in Iraq for 100 years and wants the wealthy to pay no taxes.
10.27.2008 11:39pm
Brooks Lyman (mail):
YabbaDabba - "Pete DuPont completely disregards the nuances and careful analysis that come into play in undertaking any major policy proposal, whether by Obama or McCain."

And the "nuances and careful analysis" are going to change the basic thrust of Obama's (or McCain's) already fairly thoroughly thought out policies in what significant way (such as scrapping it)?
10.27.2008 11:40pm
Brian K (mail):
Free speech will be curtailed through the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine to limit the conservative talk radio that so irritates the liberal establishment.

hmm...something makes me thing whoever came up with this list listens to too much of that "conservative talk radio".

a word of advice, saying "leaving aside the tendentious asides and commentary like "emboldening terrorists"" in order to make a hackish article seem less hackish doesn't actually work. it's still hackish.
10.27.2008 11:40pm
Tatil:

It is amazing to me that no one has caught onto our scam that whenever they try to make college more "affordable" by raising government support for education we suppliers of higher education capture almost all of it in higher tuition and fees.

I totally agree. The universities increase their tuition to levels above which they cannot fill their slots with their desired type of students (SAT scores etc.) If you give every student an extra $1000, they will increase their price by $1000. The government can only break the cycle by making sure their financial help is used towards increasing the supply, i.e. more universities or additional capacity in existing ones.

The same is true for donors. What is the point of donating to Harvard or Stanford? They already have more than enough money and they certainly are not reducing their prices or substantially increasing their enrollment numbers. Why should they? Donations go toward the right to get your name posted on a building, but is not making any difference to students. Donate to state schools. At least there is quite a bit of political pressure to keep them from increasing their tuition rates through elected politicians unless they are really running out of money.
10.27.2008 11:42pm
DangerMouse:
"Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters," press secretary Michael Ortiz said [in an email to "Broadcasting and Cable" in June of 2008].

That's what regular Americans call a lie.
10.27.2008 11:42pm
byomtov (mail):
Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."

My heart bleeds for Pierre DuPont IV - excuse me - I meant Pete DuPont. All that money he worked so hard to earn by the sweat of his brow will now be subject to an extra 3% in taxes.

Yeah yeah. I know. There are people who in fact did earn a lot of money themselves and will now have to pay the same tax they paid during the Clinton Administration.

It's just funny, as a symbolic matter, to see a DuPont complaining about the world being unfair to upper-income people.
10.27.2008 11:44pm
Guest[a]:
There may be a couple items on the list (fairness doctrine) that don't represent Obama's position, but the list is pretty descriptive of positions Obama has taken, including lifting the social security tax cap (which only turned into a $250k floor during the general election). When the Obamabots say that this is a "crock," and that you're omitting the "nuance," you wonder if they understand what "nuance" actually means. I fully agree that Obama won't accomplish all the items on the list, and to that extent, the article can fairly be said to be scare-mongering (much the way Dems did with about his proposals, few of which were ever enacted into law).

But there isn't anything particularly "nuanced" about these issues. Obama takes very extreme, highly liberal positions on most of these issues. That he won't accomplish them is another matter, but stating his position doesn't obscure any subtle features in the positions themselves. The positions aren't particularly subtle, they just aren't themselves individually popular which is why many won't be enacted barring 62 to 63 Democratic votes in the Senate.

If you support socialism -- and what Obama pushes is socialism in every material respect -- own it. Tell us why it's good for society, compare it in historical terms to capitalist societies. Fine. But stop trying to deny what it is. If you believe that Europe does it better than we do, tell us all why.
10.27.2008 11:46pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
Obama wants to kill conservative talk radio but he doesn't seem to agree that the fairness doctrine is the most effective mechanism. He has repeatedly said that the FCC community representation rules are the best mechanism for killing off or taking over stations they don't like.
10.27.2008 11:46pm
Derek (mail):
It's typical wall street journal editorial slop.

Iraq? Bush has an agreement to pull out of Iraq by 2011. It's actually exactly like the Obama 16 month withdrawal plan.

Protectionism? What is this based on. Name a protectionist Obama proposal

Taxes? Since when does making 250,000 and above put you in the middle class? Obama is making the tax system more progressive. That's all.

Increased spending? both candidates propose increased spending, but obama makes the biggest cut (war in iraq) and is the only one that actually is raising taxes anywhere.

I'd go on but it's just the same recycled false talking points.
10.27.2008 11:49pm
such sweet thunder1234:
I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but why don't people attack Obama on his policies; instead you throw stones at policies he has never advocated for.

He has never advocated for a quick withdrawal from Iraq; for instituting the fairness doctrine; or tax increases on anyone making under $250,000 a year. Quite the opposite.

Why don't you attack Obama on his politics -- not on politics he doesn't hold. Let's have a real debate.

Or is that your views in regards to building the economy and conducting foreign policy have proven so ill-conceived that you have to build a straw man? Is that what this is about. That without a straw man, asking people to accept more of the disastrous economic and foreign relations policies of the last eight years would just seem asinine?

I do suspect so.
10.27.2008 11:49pm
Gilbert (mail):
This is the fourth time Ive heard it, so please, someone, please, provide ANY evidence that Obama supports reviving the fairness doctrine. ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL.
10.27.2008 11:52pm
NYC:
Todd, are you really taking this seriously? Here is what DuPont would have written if he had any clue and weren't trying to scare voters with unsubstantiated claptrap:

-- Obama will withdraw the troops from Iraq, but only as conditions on the ground allow. This isn't Saigon in 1975. If Obama's proven anything this campaign, isn't that he's not an utter moron. The smart money says that Gates and Petraeus aren't going anywhere, and they'll work with Obama to craft a plan for responsible withdrawal. Having a goal of a 16-month timetable isn't the same as making that an inflexible, inviolate promise. I have a goal of retiring by age 65, but if I don't have the money to, guess what, I'll work longer. And if things go so well that I can leave work earlier, I'll do that. That's Obama's common-sense approach to Iraq.

-- Obama's not a protectionist, some overheated rhetoric during the primaries aside. Look at his advisors -- Buffett, Volcker, Summer, Goolsbee. Does any serious person think Obama would renege on these trade deals? What he'll do instead is insist on some enforceable labor and environmental protections that will prevent our trading partners from gaining advantages by denying protections to their own workers and the environment, much as Clinton did in the successful U.S.-Jordan trade pact in 1999.

-- Income taxes will rise on upper-income people, yours truly included, and go down for everyone else. The highest marginal tax rates will go back to what they were in the 1990s, which, if I remember correctly, saw unprecedented economic growth and entrepreneurship. Also, check out tax rates under Eisenhower, whose eight years weren't too shabby either.

-- Federal government spending will increase, as is appropriate during recessions. But it makes no sense to focus on the amount of spending so much as the type of spending. Bridges to Nowhere? Bad. Investment in new energy technology that will create new jobs here? Good. Weapons systems the Pentagon doesn't want but members of Congress insist on because they're built in their districts? Bad. Early childhood education? Good. Just like there's good debt (student loans) and bad debt (credit cards), there's good spending and bad spending, and Obama's pragmatic enough (and surrounded by enough smart people) to know the difference.

-- Federal regulation will expand. I don't know anyone who minds that the financial services industry will be the first target thereof. Also, if you don't want your children spitting up ball bearings after playing with toys imported from China, you shouldn't mind a little more consumer protection regulation.

-- So what if the power of labor unions increases? The median white male has seen his real income decline over the last 30 years. Union power reached its zenith in the mid-1950s, a time most conservatives recall fondly.

-- Fairness Doctrine? Seriously? Where do you get this stuff?

In eight days, hopefully, we won't be subjected to this kind of mindless drivel any more.
10.27.2008 11:55pm
Anderson (mail):
Joe Klein just a few days ago reported on Obama's discussion with Petraeus, in which Obama said that he would be flexible re: conditions on the ground.

But of course, if you want to know what Obama thinks, and you're a VC blogger, you look to the WSJ op-eds, not to what Obama himself says.
10.28.2008 12:01am
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
While acknowledging that this is phrased as the worst spin of the Obama data, with some slyness implying the maximum of Obama's intent, it remains that all these things have been part of the Senator's campaign. For example, DuPont's "protectionist" suggests an either-or dualism that is likely unwarranted,

Lord, I hope it's unwarranted

but an Obama presidency is likely to be more protectionist than any we have had in decades. True?

Federal regulation will expand, won't it? The power of unions will increase in just this way. I will take Barack at his word that he's not big on pursuing the Fairness Doctrine. Can we count on him to veto it if it's passed? (I don't listen to talk radio, BTW. I am objecting to what was in place in the 1980's, which we would presumably be returning to. It doesn't have to be worse than that for me to object. That's enough.) What is the substantive objection to this summary? I am unimpressed by persuasion which simply says "oh, that's a ridiculous exaggeration." (Mahan, Mike, Yabba, Loophole, flyer, Brian - pretty big list for so early in a thread.)
10.28.2008 12:05am
juris_imprudent (mail):
It's just funny, as a symbolic matter, to see a DuPont complaining about the world being unfair to upper-income people.

If you think a duPont, or a Kennedy is actually going to pay more in taxes, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you. Remember, it's cheaper to invest in a good Senator/Congress-critter then it is to actually pay the extra tax.

Or did Sam Donaldson finally lose his mohair subsidy?
10.28.2008 12:05am
loki13 (mail):
All right! duPont finally convinced me- now I'm looking forward to the restoration of the Caliphate! Gotta get me one of those Makkah (Mecca) locaters now. Maybe I can apply and be Obama's Secretary of Wealth Redistribution, after Bill Ayers is appointed Secretary of Eminent Domain. Dare to dream!

Eight more days until a modicum of sanity. I barely have the energy to be sarcastic... I just realized that what I wrote could pass for a metro1 post. *sigh*
10.28.2008 12:06am
byomtov (mail):
Mr. Obama is usually judged based on people's fears and perceptions, rather than on his stated policy positions.

That plus the usual right-wing nutball arguments. (Limbaugh was claiming that Obama's trip to Hawaii had to do with forging his birth certificate).

Socialist! Communist! Appeaser! Nazi! Terrorist! Whatever sticks to the wall.
10.28.2008 12:06am
Asher (mail):
Did you just post this as if it were true? Higher income taxes on middle-income people? As we all know, his professed cutoff is $250K, and that's not middle-income. It's at least 95th percentile.
10.28.2008 12:07am
MartyH (mail):
The people pooh-poohing this article forget at least one factor-Congress. So when Congress passes an Iraq bill like the one Obama advocated when he was a Senator-a fixed timetable, regardless of conditions on the ground-Obama can veto it, sign it, or vote "present" and let it become law without his signature. Same with the Fairness Doctrine, taxes, etc. My guess is that he will do this on a lot on political hot potatoes. This way, when he runs for re-election in 2012 he can say "I never signed the bill that raised your taxes."
10.28.2008 12:09am
YabbaDabba:
Where's the mea culpa from Todd Zywicki for posting this garbage?
10.28.2008 12:10am
YabbaDabba:
My apologies - I meant to use apology, not mea culpa.
10.28.2008 12:11am
juris_imprudent (mail):
Obama is making the tax system more progressive.

OK, so what is the optimal progressive tax? What is the ideal percentage of the total tax bill to be paid by the top 50%, 20%, 10%, 1% of income earners?

If you really want a progressive tax system, why do you support poor and middle class tax payers subsidizing wealthy old people?
10.28.2008 12:12am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Is the $250k applicable to married couples filing jointly?
10.28.2008 12:19am
Vermando (mail) (www):
When I wanted to know US policy towards Moscow during the Cold War, I read Pravda.
10.28.2008 12:19am
Roy Mustang (mail):

is amazing to me that no one has caught onto our scam that whenever they try to make college more "affordable" by raising government support for education we suppliers of higher education capture almost all of it in higher tuition and fees.


Oh, we've caught on. But like school vouchers, the education lobby is much stronger than the regular Joe's lobby.
10.28.2008 12:19am
Mark Rockwell (mail):
We've decided that is the Antichrist, then?
10.28.2008 12:30am
Mark Rockwell (mail):
*he

damn.
10.28.2008 12:31am
Randy R. (mail):
Dupont forgot to mention that under Obama, all heterosexual men will be required to marry other men.

Sheesh. This just goes to show how forsaken the conservatives are. They have to make characatures of Obama's policies. Of course, if they spent just half as much energy in attempting to show us why we should vote for McCain, they might actually be a bit futher ahead in the polls.
10.28.2008 12:32am
Constantin:
"Mr. Obama is usually judged based on people's fears and perceptions bizarre impulse to read Obama to stand for whatever they think he should, rather than on his stated policy positions and radical and racialist past."
10.28.2008 12:39am
Chris Bell (mail) (www):
My favorite part was the title.

The Europeanization of America
by Mr. du Pont

Sheesh. If you're going to write a column about how bad it is to be more European, at least change your last name from "du Pont" to "Smith" or "Plumber".
10.28.2008 12:42am
Donny:
Part of me is sad that we'll have to put up with 4-8 years of this kind of "analysis" from the Right.

But not that sad.
10.28.2008 12:42am
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
Regarding "protectionism":
1. BHO is CFR-approved and couldn't have gotten where he has if, like RonPaul, he'd opposed them.
2. BHO has come out for a secretive Bush trade scam - and possible precursor to the NAU - known as SPP.gov. When he came out for that, he spoke in code. I think I've only seen one other person discuss that BHO article and what he supports, despite it being printed in a major newspaper.

He's right about free speech, but that might involve something slightly different from the FairnessDoctrine, such as requirements on who can own what. CAP has already published a paper on that, and BHO is linked to CAP such as through the head of his transition team.

Search for BHO's name at my site for many other things.
10.28.2008 12:42am
Chris Bell (mail) (www):
Todd,

Do you still think this is an "accurate summary"?
10.28.2008 12:42am
Cold Warrior:
Pierre S. Du Pont IV, worried about the "Europeanization" of America.


He is married to Elise Ravenel Wood and has four children, Elise, Pierre S., V., Benjamin Franklin, and Eleuthère Irénée.


Eleuthere Irenee. Okayyyyyy ...

Pierre, would you care to share a foie gras with your fellow traveler, recently in the news for outing Obama as an elitist? Why, I'm talking about Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, of course!

I think we have a developing meme. Ridiculously wealthy Francophiles for McCain!
10.28.2008 12:45am
Cold Warrior:
Chris Bell, you beat me to it. (While I was busy looking up Lucky Pierre's true middle name.)
10.28.2008 12:48am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Now, suppose duPont isn't just funning us.
What will we hear from the folks who claim he is?
10.28.2008 12:56am
Russ (mail):
Obama has said repeatedly that he will withdraw troops on the ground, regardless of conditions in Iraq. He has said over and over he wants to redistribute wealth. He has used NAFTA as a way to increase his polling in OH and PA. And he doesn't need to advocate for the Fairness Doctrine when folks like Senator Bingaman are itching for it in Congress.

Can't you folks just be honest and admit this is exactly what he has laid out for the past year. As Kevin Bacon once said, "These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed."
10.28.2008 12:59am
GV:
Todd, it would be interesting if you book marked this post and re-visited it a year from now.
10.28.2008 1:05am
Justin (mail):
I'm so confused. Is this true:

Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses,

or this:

Additional tax advantages for lower and middle income people will be enacted:

Todd and the WSJ are spending so much time fearing the boogeyman, they forgot which groups they're supposed to revile and which are supposed to be "real Americans."
10.28.2008 1:07am
trad and anon (mail):
So where is the new Obama administration likely to take us? Seven things seem certain:

The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq quickly and substantially, regardless of conditions on the ground or the obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists there and around the globe.

Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people and businesses, and individuals will pay much higher Social Security taxes, all to carry out the new president's goals of "spreading the wealth around."

Federal government spending will substantially increase. The new Obama proposals come to more than $300 billion annually, for education, health care, energy, environmental and many other programs, in addition to whatever is needed to meet our economic challenges. Mr. Obama proposes more than a 10% annual spending growth increase, considerably higher than under the first President Bush (6.7%), Bill Clinton (3.3%) or George W. Bush (6.4%).

Federal regulation of the economy will expand, on everything from financial management companies to electricity generation and personal energy use.

The power of labor unions will substantially increase, beginning with repeal of secret ballot voting to decide on union representation.

These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America. There will be many more public policy changes with similar goals—nationalized health care, Kyoto-like global-warming policies, and increased education regulation and spending.

Additional tax advantages for lower and middle income people will be enacted: a 10% mortgage tax credit that would average about $500 per household per year, a $4,000 tax credit for college tuition, a tax credit covering half of child-care expenses up to $6,000 per year, and even a $7,000 credit for purchase of a clean car.
Here I had thought Obama would have to fight GOP filibusters of every one of these proposals, as well as dealing with discontent from more moderate Democrats and self-interested legislators moved by the power of campaign contributions from special interest groups, and would therefore have to water down his proposals to get them passed, if they made it through at all. But apparently all this stuff is going to get through unchanged. Yay! ::does a little happy dance::
10.28.2008 1:16am
DangerMouse:
Why does Obama want to strengthen unions? Unions have helped kill GM and Ford. Union labor is crap, and it's a drain on an efficient economy. Union government work is the worst kind of government work. Union teachers are terrible and can't be fired for bad teaching. Union cops are corrupt cops who can't be fired for police abuse.

Health hazards are regulated by the government. Labor laws regulate overtime pay, etc. Unions are completely useless and are only a way to give lazy, corrupt people jobs and to bleed companies dry. Why would anyone want to expand unions?

That is, why would anyone who isn't bought and paid for by the unions, want to expand unions?
10.28.2008 1:17am
trad and anon (mail):
Did you just post this as if it were true? Higher income taxes on middle-income people? As we all know, his professed cutoff is $250K, and that's not middle-income. It's at least 95th percentile.
No, the 95th percentile is about $160K. And that's the 95th percentile of household income—the 95th percentile of individual income is lower. I'm not sure what percentile $250K is, but it's just a question of whether it's 98th or 99th.
10.28.2008 1:21am
YabbaDabba:
Thanks for clearing up the union issue, DangerMouse. The debate is over. Everyone can go home now.
10.28.2008 1:22am
PC:
This is almost as devastating as the McCain endorsement from Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild.
10.28.2008 1:29am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cold:

He is married to Elise Ravenel Wood and has four children, Elise, Pierre S., V., Benjamin Franklin, and Eleuthère Irénée.


I'm sure it makes me some kind of a fucking bigot, but anyone who names their kid Eleuthère Irénée is someone I'm not inclined to take seriously.

Although I realize it's the name of the original gunpowder genius who was born in Paris in 1771. Hence E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.

And not to be too much of a stickler, but I think it's Éleuthère Irénée, not Eleuthère Irénée.

Then again, Palin thinks a good baby name is Zamboni. Which seems like the other extreme, somehow. It really is nice to see what a big tent the GOP is, with bona fide elitists locking arms with bona fide yokels, as they march together into oblivion.

These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America.


And once that Europeanization thing gets rolling, Obama is going to require all American kids to have names like Éleuthère Irénée.
10.28.2008 1:31am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mahan:

I heard Obama is also going to impose Sharia law.


I think it's about time someone mentioned the gay abortions (H/T to PC).
10.28.2008 1:31am
Cold Warrior:
OK, I mocked him for his name. (And for his wealth.) But let's take this at face value on the whole "Europeanization" thing:


These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America. There will be many more public policy changes with similar goals—nationalized health care, Kyoto-like global-warming policies, and increased education regulation and spending.


Increased education regulation and spending? Where, precisely, is this the case in Europe? My perception is that the USA spends considerably more per capita on schools (and higher ed) than perhaps all of Europe ... and we get dumber kids in the end. Correct me if I'm wrong. Nationalized health care? I'll grant that one. But, of course, we've already nationalized health care for a huge and growing segment of the population; indeed, the fastest growing portion of the population. It's called Medicare. Should we phase-out Medicare? Any principled small-government conservative would say we should. Why is Medicare a good program for the old, but not a good program for everyone else? (I'm not saying it is; in fact, I think overall we'd be better off without it. But you can't cry "socialism" and then claim undying support for a clearly socialist program.) "Kyoto-like global warming policies?" Yes, most European states have signed Kyoto. But what difference has that made? Are you saying we'll be more like France, the nation most highly committed to nuclear power? What "many more" European-style agendas lurk? You mean lowering corporate tax rates, since virtually all (perhaps just "all") EU states now feature corporate tax rates far lower than those in the USA?

Look, Republicans keep going back to that "Europeanization" well ... they did it with the silly "French-looking John Kerry" in 2004, but this time they've gone to the well once too often. This silly stereotype of "European" social democracy is outdated and lacks punch. Pierre S. du Pont IV believes that "European" is still some kind of potent slur, but this time the American people ain't buying.
10.28.2008 1:36am
Cold Warrior:
jukeboxgrad said:


And not to be too much of a stickler, but I think it's Éleuthère Irénée, not Eleuthère Irénée.


And you knowledge of which way the accent tilts hints of elitism, touches on Europeanism, and is most definitely homosexual in orientation.
10.28.2008 1:41am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
your knowledge of which way the accent tilts


Some of my best friends tilt both ways. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
10.28.2008 1:44am
JB:
Once again, the Republicans who warn of Barack Obama's assaults on freedom would do well to reflect on their party's miserable record of upholding freedom of speech, contract, and other supposed conservative principles.

Complaining that the other side will do things you don't like is facile when your side isn't doing them either.
10.28.2008 1:48am
Cold Warrior:
Re: education spending. From an AP story based on an OECD report (dating from the early days of "No Child Left Behind"):


The United States spent $10,240 per student from elementary school through college in 2000, according to the report. Average spending among more than 25 nations was $6,361. The range stretched from less than $3,000 per student in Turkey, Mexico, the Slovak Republic and Poland to more than $8,000 per student in Denmark, Norway, Austria and Switzerland.

Australia, Finland, Ireland, Korea and the United Kingdom are examples of nations that have moderate spending on primary and lower secondary education but high performance by 15-year-olds in key subject areas, the report said.


And commenting on the report, Bush 43's Education Secretary Rod Paige:


Education Secretary Rod Paige, chosen by President Bush to oversee the nation's public school reforms, said the results confirm that schools here have grown complacent, and that a new law tying federal spending to school performance will help. Other countries, he said, are moving ahead while the United States remains "mired in internal education politics and mediocrity."


So whatever we do, don't dare copy the European countries! So much better to pay a lot more and get a lot less!! Why, that's positively ... American!!!
10.28.2008 1:59am
DangerMouse:
Thanks for clearing up the union issue, DangerMouse. The debate is over. Everyone can go home now.

Well, maybe you can explain for me why unions aren't a disease on the economy, protection for the lazy and/or corrupt, and all-in-all a terrible, outdated, thing? Go on, I'm listening.
10.28.2008 1:59am
Grover Gardner (mail):

Now, suppose duPont isn't just funning us.
What will we hear from the folks who claim he is?


Probably something along the lines of, "We're tired of talking to a brick wall."
10.28.2008 2:08am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jb:

Complaining that the other side will do things you don't like is facile


When your name is duPont and you named your kid Éleuthère Irénée, then complaining is facile, period. It's your kid that should be complaining.

If WSJ can get the kid to write a story about what it's like to have that name, I bet it would be a lot more interesting and authentic than what Pete wrote.
10.28.2008 2:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cold:

So whatever we do, don't dare copy the European countries! So much better to pay a lot more and get a lot less!! Why, that's positively ... American!!!


Haven't you heard Palin et al talking about American "exceptionalism?" Don't you understand what it means? It's all about patting ourselves on the back for being exceptionally ignorant.
10.28.2008 2:10am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
danger:

maybe you can explain for me why unions aren't a disease on the economy, protection for the lazy and/or corrupt, and all-in-all a terrible, outdated, thing?


Should I answer that question before or after I tell you whether or not I've stopped beating my wife?
10.28.2008 2:11am
Cold Warrior:
I also took a look at current OECD education statistics, and found that nothing's changed. The USA is still right among the leaders in per capita spending per student, but no better than middle-of-the-pack in performance measures.

Which brings me to my larger point: the surrogates the campaigns send out to do their dirty work are almost always partisan hacks. But have we ever seen a worse group than what the McCain campaign has come up with? Economic advisor Carly Fiorina (of the "Palin would not be qualified to be CEO of HP" line, followed by her sudden disappearance); attack dog Michelle Bachmann (of the "let's investigate the commie members of Congress" line, followed by the GOP cutting off funding for her campaign). They had to drag out Mitt Romney again, and he's been amazingly on message ... so much so that we can only wonder why he isn't the candidate and McCain the surrogate.
10.28.2008 2:18am
RPT (mail):

"As Kevin Bacon once said, "These are the facts of the case, and they are undisputed."

Is Kevin Bacon your idea of a successful trial lawyer? With his key witness perjuring himself? Great choice!
10.28.2008 2:28am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cold:

a worse group than what the McCain campaign has come up with


I'm sure you would agree that Phil "we have sort of become a nation of whiners" Gramm deserves to be mentioned.

They had to drag out Mitt Romney again, and he's been amazingly on message ... so much so that we can only wonder why he isn't the candidate and McCain the surrogate.


Here's my preview of next time: it will be Palin vs. Romney. And Palin will be sending out the message that Romney isn't really a Christian. Like she did with Stein. You heard it here first. It's going to be a great show.
10.28.2008 2:30am
Jay Ballou (mail):
This seems accurate in substance to me from what I know.

That's quite an admission of the sorry state of your knowledge.

Is it?

No. (Duh.)
10.28.2008 2:31am
Jay Ballou (mail):
When I saw the diary intro I thought I was going to read a cogent analysis of Obama's proposed policies.

Really? From a hack ideologue like Zywicki?
10.28.2008 2:38am
Cold Warrior:
Watch out for that wily Mike Huckabee, jukebox. While Palin is getting caught up in minor embarrassments, Huckabee is courting the Fox News crowd with a regular show, keeping above the fray. I don't like what the guy stands for, but he is (unlike Palin) a tremendously skilled politician and a likeable guy on top of it. I see a Palin-Huckabee Bible Bee Death Match for the evangelical vote, and my money's on Big Mike.
10.28.2008 2:39am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Well, maybe you can explain for me why unions aren't a disease on the economy, protection for the lazy and/or corrupt, and all-in-all a terrible, outdated, thing? Go on, I'm listening.

Among people who aren't stupid, ignorant, and intellectually dishonest, the burden of proof is on those who make claims, rather than there being a burden on others to disprove those claims.
10.28.2008 2:42am
llamasex (mail) (www):
Was this a joke post? I can't tell.
10.28.2008 2:43am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Todd, it would be interesting if you book marked this post and re-visited it a year from now.

There's about as much chance of him doing that as of a horoscope writer or any other fundamentally dishonest prognosticator doing the same.
10.28.2008 2:50am
pmorem (mail):
This is all lies.

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Nothing Obama said before June 1 is relevant.

You're making up your memories of his saying those things.
10.28.2008 2:51am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Was this a joke post? I can't tell.

The poster is a joke.
10.28.2008 2:51am
Jay Ballou (mail):
You're making up your memories of his saying those things.

If you have squirrelled away actual evidence of his doing so, it's your obligation to enlighten us and break the hold of the evil state.
10.28.2008 2:53am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Can't you folks just be honest and admit this is exactly what he has laid out for the past year.

Honesty is a matter of offering evidence for your claims. Dishonesty is what you do.
10.28.2008 2:56am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Now, suppose duPont isn't just funning us.
What will we hear from the folks who claim he is?


Suppose you beat your wife ... speak up, man!
10.28.2008 2:58am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Todd,

Do you still think this is an "accurate summary"?


What does he know now that he didn't know (or shouldn't have been expected to know) before?

Once an intellectually dishonest hack always an intellectually dishonest hack.
10.28.2008 3:02am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Part of me is sad that we'll have to put up with 4-8 years of this kind of "analysis" from the Right.

But not that sad.


Unfortunately, the scum will be doing a lot more than "analysis".
10.28.2008 3:05am
Jay Ballou (mail):
"But of course, if you want to know what Obama thinks, and you're a VC blogger intellectually dishonest right wing scum, you look to the WSJ op-eds, not to what Obama himself says."
10.28.2008 3:11am
Vermando (mail) (www):
"The U.S. military will withdraw from Iraq ... regardless of ... emboldening terrorists there and around the globe."

That's like saying that I will have my children vaccinated regardless of the likelihood that doing so will give them autism. Rubbish. I will have my children vaccinated because I do not believe that doing so will lead to their having autism, and Senator Obama will withdraw because he does not believe that doing so will embolden terrorists.

It is a hack piece because it assumes an answer to a key question of this campaign - would withdrawal embolden terrorists, as Senator McCain claims, or does our continuing to occupy a Muslim country plays into Al Qaeda's hands, as Senator Obama claims. Senator McCain may have the better of the argument - Philip Bobbitt would certainly seem to think so - but it is unprofessional to word it in a way that misconstrues Senator Obama's position and imputes to him motives which he does not have.

The American people will ultimately have to decide whose judgment they think is correct. To write, though, as if Senator Obama's position could not be correct is indeed hackery, and it makes the article self-evidently not a statement of what Senator Obama hopes to achieve.
10.28.2008 3:15am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Or is that your views in regards to building the economy and conducting foreign policy have proven so ill-conceived that you have to build a straw man? Is that what this is about. That without a straw man, asking people to accept more of the disastrous economic and foreign relations policies of the last eight years would just seem asinine?

I do suspect so.


It's not just that, but that the entire mental framework of the right is based on, and is only possible with, immense intellectual dishonesty. Lying about ... well, just about everything ... is simply SOP.
10.28.2008 3:16am
pmorem (mail):
Alright, here's on Iraq, without regard for ground conditions.
10.28.2008 3:26am
llamasex (mail) (www):
pmorem

"
Enforces benchmarks for Iraq's government including Security, political reconciliation and economic reform. If the benchmarks are met, the redeployment could be temporarily suspended upon congressional approval.
"
10.28.2008 3:36am
pmorem (mail):
... and if the situation deteriorated because of withdrawl...
then the there would be no suspension. That's "without regard to ground conditions".
10.28.2008 3:43am
Lumpy:
I don't think a new neocon administration would produce a greatly different outcome from Monsieur Du Pont's scenario. You would think he is endorsing Bob Barr rather than McCain, a participant in a rather large expansion of the federal government that occurred under the incumbent "conservative" president.
10.28.2008 3:44am
Jay Ballou (mail):
and if the situation deteriorated because of withdrawl...
then the there would be no suspension. That's "without regard to ground conditions".


I guess the meaning of the word "Security" is beyond you. One can always count on something crucial being beyond the comprehension of the intellectually dishonest right wing crowd.
10.28.2008 6:24am
Jay Ballou (mail):
Scratch the above. If the security benchmarks cannot be achieved, then indeed there would be no suspension. But that's actually with regard to ground conditions. Unlike McCain, Obama is not committed to keeping troops in Iraq for the next trillion years.
10.28.2008 6:29am
Michael Kessler:
I would have expected much more than this from a "scholar." If this is what "seems accurate in substance to me from what I know," then you have not listened to, nor read, anything from Obama, or if you have, you think he's lying. I would expect neither candidate's positions to be treated as caricatures on this site.
10.28.2008 8:36am
cboldt (mail):
From WBEZ archives, Michelle Obama Asks Women to Support Husband's Campaign - July 28, 2008, another proposed policy that ought to attract worker votes. I can see where it would be popular.
The Obama campaign introduced a list of policies geared towards working mothers. One of those includes a new federal mandate for seven paid sick days a year.
10.28.2008 8:39am
bikeguy (mail):
Are there any examples of Obama actually voting contrary to the bullet points in duPont's article? Actions are far more telling than words. That is, when he wasn't voting "present" as a shining example of leadership. Obama words are pretty much meaningless - he will say anything to get elected and has changed his positions multiple times on several issues, although he calls this "clarifying" his position.
10.28.2008 9:17am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

"It really is nice to see what a big tent the GOP is, with bona fide elitists locking arms with bona fide yokels, as they march together into oblivion."

Yokels?

Who is the elitist here? Because you were casting aspersions on the Palins:

"The bottom line here is that Palin and her family tend to show a lack of interest in higher education. I don't know why you're defending that. It's nothing to be proud of."

Sarah Palin graduated from an institution of higher learning. Todd Plain has taken college courses.

You indicated that because Track Plain has chosen to not go to college (he went into the military), that this indicated a lack of interest in education. That is incorrect. Military training is education, not just higher education that you seem to believe is the only meaningful education. People go into the military for different reasons, some go in to accumulate education funds to attend college at a later date.
10.28.2008 9:36am
David Warner:
"Europeanization of America"

It's worse than that. Cincinnati talk radio take on "redistribution":

The Bengalization of America.

That could cost Obama dearly in this key battleground region.
10.28.2008 10:04am
David Warner:
So I take it that in the unlikely event that DuPont turns out to be correct, then we can count on the support of all you nice people in defeating him in four years?

Conversely, if he's not, will Zywicki and DuPont work for his re-election?
10.28.2008 10:06am
Tom S (mail):
Since conservatives spend so much time moaning about bias in the media, maybe they should embrace the idea of the Fairness Doctrine.
10.28.2008 10:30am
JB:
Vermando,
Very good point, and one I wish Obama had made more clearly.

We will be -safer- once we leave Iraq. Our troops will be safer because they won't be being shot at and acting as recruiters for the enemy, our veterans will get some of the money spent on the active troops spent on their care, our citizens will get fewer terrorists flocking to Al-Qaeda's banner, and we'll all get a stronger dollar and a better economy.
10.28.2008 10:31am
Lighten up Kansas:
Fury, she let the kids stop high school. Whooooosh
10.28.2008 10:41am
Floridan:
Here's what those radicals at Reason have to say:

First the good news: The fairness doctrine is still dead, and it probably will stay dead even if Barack Obama becomes president. The doctrine, a rule that gave the government the power to punish broadcasters for being insufficiently balanced, was killed off 21 years ago. It isn't likely to return, despite persistent rumors that the regulation's rotting corpse will crawl from its coffin and disembowel Rush Limbaugh.
10.28.2008 11:19am
nicestrategy (mail):

I would have expected much more than this from a "scholar." If this is what "seems accurate in substance to me from what I know," then you have not listened to, nor read, anything from Obama, or if you have, you think he's lying. I would expect neither candidate's positions to be treated as caricatures on this site.


Yup. Zywicki has built for himself a Maginot Line of a firewall between his scholarship and his politics. The brilliant thinker is completely insulated from the blind political hack. The Emperor has no clothes.

Will VC participate in an honest reflection on the successes and failures of the conservative coalition? Or will it retreat to a position of ideological or partisan purity, drawing on the academic credibility of its authors to spew propaganda? Eugene, only you can clean up this mess.

Fire Todd Zywicki. I can think of a couple other posters who embarrassed themselves this fall, but not to the point of repeating obvious baloney and hiding behind the visage of the WSJ.
10.28.2008 11:25am
jhnjhn (mail):
Every few months I come to this site. Then I read something like "Obama supports the fairness doctrine" and I scurry away.

Y'all are smart guys who apparently think it's okay to lie if it serves the greater good. I say "lie" because I hope you're smart enough to know what Obama's policies actually are.
10.28.2008 11:29am
Chris Howell (mail) (www):
I read the first two paragraphs of this article and I'm certain that it is not worth completing. Why? When I read the words, "seem certain", I knew I was about to get a shovelful of BS dumped in my lap. That's code for "I'm not sure" or "I don't know". Things either are or are not certain. If you are a writer and things "seem certain", you are not ready to put pen to paper. Go get some facts so you can actually do your readers a service by telling them something certain and useful.
10.28.2008 11:31am
Designbot:
This seems accurate in substance to me from what I know. Is it?

In a word, no.

On every point, duPont sets up exaggerated, straw-man versions of Obama's supposed positions.

The plan is to remove troops quickly, yes. Essentially the same plan that is currently being supported by President Bush and the Prime Minister of Iraq. If the situation changed, and it became clear that removing troops would be catastrophic for some reason, obviously plans would change. Claiming that this has the "obvious consequence of emboldening terrorists" is nonsense. If there is any evidence that an open-ended occupation of Iraq would prevent terrorism or weaken Al-Qaeda, I'd love to see it.

The proposed income tax &Social Security tax increases affect only households making over $250,000. This is the top 1.5% in America. (Source: ) Is duPont claiming that anybody in the lower 98.5% of income distribution is lower-class? Almost everyone in the middle-class will receive a larger tax break from Obama than from McCain.

The only position Obama has ever taken on the Fairness Doctrine is to say that he does not support it, so I really have no idea where this comes from. Why are people even talking about it, let alone pretending that it's an essential part of his platform?

No one is mandating "nationalized health care." If people are happy with their current insurance, they will be just as happy with it under an Obama administration.

Considering that most of these points are distorted or made up out of whole cloth, I think it is a flat-out lie to claim that these things are "certain," or that this is an accurate summary of Barack Obama's agenda as president.
10.28.2008 11:36am
DangerMouse:
Among people who aren't stupid, ignorant, and intellectually dishonest, the burden of proof is on those who make claims, rather than there being a burden on others to disprove those claims.

jukeboxgr... er, Jay Ballou, I already cited GM and Ford as examples of the way unions kill productivity and protect the lazy while dragging a company down into ruin. But you overetimate yourself. You're not a judge. This isn't a court. The commentors aren't a jury. And I don't have to prove anything to you. This is what regular, normal people call a discussion. Now, if you can't participate in the discussion, if it's beyond your abilities, or if you're just stupid, ignorant, or intellectually dishonest, just say so.

Now, can someone tell me why expanding unions is a good idea?
10.28.2008 11:40am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
DuPont's list is a fair, if incomplete, summary of what we can expect (ad hominem rebuttals notwithstanding).

On taxes, Obama favors letting the Bush tax cuts expire. That's a tax increase by any reasonable definition.

On Iraq, Obama has made it clear he thinks the mission there is pointless and counterproductive. He'll remove troops as quickly as logistics permit. It's not the same policy as Bush and McCain advocate, despite what some here seem to suggest.

On issues like taxes, spending, protectionism, and the Orwellian "Fairness" Doctrine, Obama's positions may sound moderate, but there is every reason to question his sincerity and resolve in hewing to the moderate position. Obama is essentially a socialist. He believes the country is controlled by rich white guys who systematically oppress minorities and the poor for their own enrichment, and he wants to wrest control away from them and place it in the hands of the federal government. He wants to appoint judges who will support this program and he wants to undermine free speech in order to prevent conservative, free-market, classically liberal opponents from fighting back. Practically everything in Obama's history points to this kind of outlook, from his communist parents to his communist mentor to his ACORN "community organizing" to his black liberation theology church to his membership in the socialist "New Party" to his partnership with Bill Ayers in attempting to radicalize schoolchildren and their parents as a means of "educational reform" to his wife's speeches openly denouncing "middle-classedness" to his paeans to wealth redistribution. The only thing anyone can offer by way of rebuttal are statements he and his campaign staff have made during his presidential run, which of course are sanitized for public consumption.

I would add at least one item to DuPont's list: Obama has promised to sign legislation that would nullify virtually all state regulation of abortion, including parental consent/notification statutes, end the ban on partial birth abortion, and require federal and state funding of abortions.
10.28.2008 12:07pm
Commodore:
Kudos to Designbot for actually responding to the substance of the post.

To those who insist on feigning shock at the apparently appalling political-hack-ness of the post to the point that you choose to fling ad hominems rather than responding substantively: you convince no one who already isn't convinced.
10.28.2008 12:15pm
Sarcastro (www):
Conrad Bibby totally knows Obama's mind and agenda! I see no sample bias in his list of evidence, and am convinced that Obama is a total commie liar!

And thank Jeebus abortion is finally back in this debate! I missed the rational discussions
10.28.2008 12:16pm
Commodore:
Correction: "you convince no one who isn't already convinced."
10.28.2008 12:16pm
Sarcastro (www):
Commodore is right! The fact that no one is disproving this hypothetical set of future events means they are sure to come to pass!
10.28.2008 12:18pm
Fury:
Lighten up Kansas:

"...she let the kids stop high school."

Track graduated from high school.

As far as Bristol, I've seen nothing that indicates she will not graduate from school. Plenty of speculation on this, though
10.28.2008 12:20pm
Designbot:
So, to summarize, if we start with the assumption that all the moderate positions that Obama has publicly supported are lies, and that the unanimous perception Obama's colleagues have of him as a reasonable, moderate person is part of a lifelong conspiracy, and that Obama is really a secret African extremist radical Indonesian Muslim celebrity atheist Christianist baby-killing socialist terrorist, then we can assume that his real agenda is basically any crazy scary thing we come up with off the top of our heads.
10.28.2008 12:24pm
jhnjhn (mail):
@Conrad Bibby

Please provide one shred of evidence anywhere that Obama is anything but totally opposed to the fairness doctrine. One.

His opposition to it is not feigned moderation. It is opposition to it. Period. No wiggle room.
10.28.2008 12:24pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Interesting list. I wonder if all that will encourage people to invest in the US or some other country?

Does it give a company an incentive to build a plant in the US or Ireland, Korea, China, Taiwan, India... Does it give an individual an incentive to invest in the US or some other country. Does it give foreigners an incentive to invest in the US or some other country?
10.28.2008 12:24pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cold:

I see a Palin-Huckabee Bible Bee Death Match for the evangelical vote, and my money's on Big Mike.


Good point, and well said. He's extremely likable. I agree with everything you said about him. But of course he has some vulnerabilities. Palin will try to use Wayne DuMond to pull a Willie Horton on him. But there's no question it will be very entertaining. We'll probably find out that Todd, Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig (and maybe even Zamboni, by then) are stalking Huck, trying to snap a picture of him cheating on a workmen's comp claim, or shooting a moose without the right paperwork.
10.28.2008 12:42pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jay:

You're making up your memories of his saying those things.


If you have squirrelled away actual evidence of his doing so, it's your obligation to enlighten us and break the hold of the evil state.


Jay, you don't understand. Of course Obama hasn't said those things. That's the whole point. We know those are exactly the things he is thinking, because those are exactly the things he hasn't said. Why would he reveal his secret plan? Of course he's hiding it. Wouldn't you?

It's just like WMDs. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. And don't forget to take into account the unknown unknowns. And I can tell you exactly where to find evidence for all the claims that duPont made. I suggest you look carefully "in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
10.28.2008 12:42pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
bikeguy:

Are there any examples of Obama actually voting contrary to the bullet points in duPont's article? Actions are far more telling than words.


Are there any examples of bikeguy actually showing proof that he has stopped beating his wife? Because actions are far more telling than words.
10.28.2008 12:42pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jay:

Unfortunately, the scum will be doing a lot more than "analysis".


Correct. They're very busy right now preparing their narrative for after the election: that Obama is not a legitimate president, because ACORN stole the election for him. Never mind the fact that no one has ever proven that ACORN's work has ever led to a single fraudulent vote.

In other news, lots of people are buying guns.

In other news, two men "have been arrested and charged in Tennessee in what federal officials described as a plan to assassinate Senator Barack Obama and kill black children at a school."

In other news, Palin says that it's "unacceptable" to direct violence against "innocent" people. Thank goodness for that. But non-innocent people, like, say, abortionists and Marxist redistributionists? Not quite sure.

In other news, Malkin is portraying Obama as a black figure holding a gun to someone's head.

In other news, NR is writing about "The Coming Obama Thugocracy."

In other news, Palin is trying very hard to sell the idea that what she's been wearing is someone's fault other than her own. Which brings us to this news item, regarding the mysterious origins of Palin's impressive wardrobe:

… in her latest effort to save the McCain campaign, Ashley Todd now claims that a 6ft 4in black man bought the clothes, and carved a Burberry logo on her cheek.


In other news, let's give a shout-out to "Ohio Christians !against! baby-murdering Muslims for president."
10.28.2008 12:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jay:

the entire mental framework of the right is based on, and is only possible with, immense intellectual dishonesty. Lying about ... well, just about everything ... is simply SOP.


After personally doing an enormous amount of research, I have been forced to conclude that this observation is correct. I could fill a book with scrupulously documented examples, extending all the way from Bush to Smokey, and lots of folks in-between. An example that is typical, recent and simple is here.

I think the normalization of dishonesty is one of the most significant features of this political era, and it's largely overlooked. That's what I mean by normalization.
10.28.2008 12:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jhn:

Y'all are smart guys who apparently think it's okay to lie if it serves the greater good.


Indeed. And one of many great ironies is the way they project this quality onto others, like Muslims. See here:

Many believe Barack Obama is a Muslim but is able to deny it based on the principle of Al Takeyya.


See also here and here.
10.28.2008 12:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
vermando:

would withdrawal embolden terrorists, as Senator McCain claims, or does our continuing to occupy a Muslim country plays into Al Qaeda's hands, as Senator Obama claims


The GOP has often told us that we should listen to what AQ says, and take their statements seriously. So we should pay attention to the fact that AQ has endorsed McCain, because they do indeed believe that "our continuing to occupy a Muslim country plays into Al Qaeda's hands."
10.28.2008 12:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pmorem:

Alright, here's on Iraq, without regard for ground conditions.


You provided a link to wiki. wiki is good, but looking at the bill itself is even better. The bill has a provision called "Suspension of Redeployment," which gives POTUS power to suspend the redeployment if "doing so is in the national security interests of the United States." POTUS also has to certify that the Government of Iraq is meeting certain reasonable conditions. For example, that the Government of Iraq "has lifted all restrictions concerning non-interference in operations of the Armed Forces of the United States in Iraq and does so on a continuing basis."

Since the bill gives POTUS this power, how can you say it calls for withdrawal "without regard for ground conditions?"

The bill also has a provision called "Retention of Certain Forces in Iraq," which says that certain forces can remain for the following purposes:

▪ (A) To protect United States personnel and facilities in Iraq.

▪ (B) To conduct targeted counter-terrorism operations.

▪ (C) To provide training for Iraqi security forces.

▪ (D) To conduct the routine functions of the Office of Defense Attache.


Since the bill provides for "targeted counter-terrorism operations," how can you say it calls for withdrawal "without regard for ground conditions?"

and if the situation deteriorated because of withdrawl... then the there would be no suspension


If POTUS certifies that "the situation" calls for a suspension, "in the national security interests of the United States," then there would indeed be a suspension, as long as certain reasonable conditions are met. So why are you claiming otherwise?
10.28.2008 12:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Yokels?


Yes, yokels. Palin is a yokel. See? I said it. Look up what the word means and tell me she doesn't fit the definition.

By the way, there's nothing inherently dishonorable about being a yokel (although Palin is indeed dishonorable, aside from being a yokel). But letting yokels run the government is not a good idea.

And it's not just that Palin is a yokel. She's a proud yokel. She presents her yokel-ness as a virtue. She was picked for her yokel-ness. The GOP had quite a bit of electoral success running a faux yokel in 2000 and 2004. They had another faux yokel lined up for 2008, until he had his macaca moment. So now they're taking a shot at running a bona fide yokel. And she is serving the intended purpose: she has the yokel vote all sewn up.

you were casting aspersions on the Palins


Indeed, because they appear to place a low value on higher education. There is nothing inherently dishonorable about that, but I think it's a good idea for the government to be in the hands of educated people. It's quite remarkable to notice that this has turned into a radical, subversive notion.

Sarah Palin graduated from an institution of higher learning.


Yes, and likewise for the guy who just painted my house. Not every "institution of higher learning" is created equal.

Military training is education, not just higher education that you seem to believe is the only meaningful education.


I realize you can't get very far without coming up with some kind of a straw man. No, higher education is not the only kind of "meaningful education." But it's called "higher" education for a reason, and pursuing it is generally a good thing, for the individual and for the society. And families which place value on it are a better role model for our society, as compared with families that don't. Unfortunately, Palin's family falls into the latter category.

People go into the military for different reasons, some go in to accumulate education funds to attend college at a later date.


That explanation definitely applies to certain people, but it doesn't apply to Track Palin. "Their total assets are between $880,000 and $2.1 million."

As far as Bristol, I've seen nothing that indicates she will not graduate from school.


The odds are against her. Wasilla High has a high dropout rate:

A recent study by Johns Hopkins University aimed to identify schools across the U.S. with particularly high dropout rates.…Wasilla High was named a "dropout factory" by the Johns Hopkins study.…Schools named as "dropout factories" by the study found that 60 percent or fewer of students who start as freshmen make it through their senior year.


Dropout rates are also very high for teen moms (in general). So predicting that Bristol won't finish is similar to predicting that McCain won't win next week. It's a good bet.
10.28.2008 12:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
nice:

Will VC participate in an honest reflection on the successes and failures of the conservative coalition? Or will it retreat to a position of ideological or partisan purity, drawing on the academic credibility of its authors to spew propaganda?


Watching the GOP methodically rip itself to shreds is one of the greatest shows on earth, and it's only really getting started right about now. One of the best places to watch is standing next to Frum.

By the way, click on his second link. As of this moment, he has not noticed that it's a bad link, and someone has taken advantage of the opportunity to express themselves on a special "403 forbidden" error page.
10.28.2008 12:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dangermouse:

jukeboxgr... er, Jay Ballou


I should really do a better job of keeping track of these, because it happens a lot, and it's always fun.

Dangermouse, are you sure you're not Truth? Because someone with that name recently said this:

Does anyone else notice how similar "Magic Dog's" posts are to "Jukeboxgrad's?"


I like the concise answer that popped up, from someone named justwatching666:

No.


Dangermouse, don't you realize that posts signed jukeboxgrad, Magic Dog, Jay Ballou, Truth, and justwatching666 are really all written by The One? And don't you realize that this applies also to posts signed Dangermouse?

They're everywhere.

I don't have to prove anything to you.


It's possible that you might be proving certain things inadvertently.
10.28.2008 12:44pm
Ben P:

As far as Bristol, I've seen nothing that indicates she will not graduate from school. Plenty of speculation on this, though


I have no idea about Bristol, however, I've seen in several places that the father of her child is dropping out of Highschool to get some sort of oil field related job.

I have a hard time imputing any of his behavior to palin, but I'd like to think that I'd be able to promise to support my own pregnant daughter to the extent that the father of her child isn't going to drop out of highschool to support her.
10.28.2008 1:07pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Obama is simply lying about taxes.

They will go up more than he says. They will affect more people than he says.

How many of you remember how Clinton campaigned on a "Middle Class Tax Cut"? What happened to that promise?

Obama's tax promises will be forgotten too.
10.28.2008 1:18pm
Festooned with Christmas tree ornaments:
"Income taxes will rise on middle- and upper-income people"

What is the evidence for this claim with regard to middle-income people? Is the author asserting that Obama has lied about his $250,000 cut-off or that $250,000 is middle-income?
10.28.2008 1:27pm
JB:
That is the Republican way these days. Poison the well and blame the Democrats for the ensuing drought.
10.28.2008 1:34pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad:

re: "yokelnicity" - well, whatever.

Indeed, because they appear to place a low value on higher education. There is nothing inherently dishonorable about that, but I think it's a good idea for the government to be in the hands of educated people. It's quite remarkable to notice that this has turned into a radical, subversive notion.

Well, at least you're qualifying education with "higher" now. That's progress. ;)

and:

Yes, and likewise for the guy who just painted my house. Not every "institution of higher learning" is created equal.

You're dodging, jukeboxgrad. It was your contention that the Palin's did not place a high priority on education - that was your word choice. I just don't agree with your contention and believe it smacks of elitism. And accusing people of straw men? No - we see education in very different ways. I called you on some statements you made about the Palins and education, including incorrect statements.

Dropout rates are also very high for teen moms (in general). So predicting that Bristol won't finish is similar to predicting that McCain won't win next week. It's a good bet.

I'm willing to contribute $200 payable to VC that she does graduate from high school vs. your prediction. Care to pony up?
10.28.2008 1:44pm
guy in the veal calf office (mail) (www):
NYC: Obama's not a protectionist, some overheated rhetoric during the primaries aside.

Andersen: But of course, if you want to know what Obama thinks, and you're a VC blogger, you look to the WSJ op-eds, not to what Obama himself says.

Classic.

Are we to listen to Hopey or not? During the primaries, his tax raise was a lot bigger, but we can safely ignore that now that he has a miodified "general election" tax policy?
10.28.2008 1:45pm
Sarcastro (www):
guy in the veal calf office no one knows what Obama's saying, so you get to make up your own horrible scenario! It's the only good thing about the guy.

I myself like the idea of Sharia law imposed on Jan. 2, but you can go gas prices, thought police, a forced draft into a gay millitary, whatever! It's a free country (for now)!
10.28.2008 1:55pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Is the author asserting that Obama has lied about his $250,000 cut-off or that $250,000 is middle-income?


Don't forget McCain's 'joke' about the upper threshold of "middle class:"

How about $5 million?
10.28.2008 1:55pm
Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk (www):
The complaint (expressed by some commenters above) to the effect that duPont's characterizations do not reflect Obama's true, stated policy positions is so rich that it should come with a side of gravy. Despite the interminable length of this campaign, I honestly cannot discern Obama's position on such basic issues as free trade and taxes due to the campaign's own apparent inconsistencies. So you'll have to pardon me for declining to accept on faith every syllable of flowery rhetoric expressed on the campaign's official website.
10.28.2008 1:59pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
veal:

but we can safely ignore that now that he has a miodified "general election" tax policy?


Thank goodness we can just vote for the "straight talk" guy. Then again, it's hard to reconcile that slogan with the fact that many Republicans have noticed what a "politically opportunistic liar" McCain is.
10.28.2008 2:03pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
curm:

I honestly cannot discern Obama's position on such basic issues as free trade and taxes


You're citing Byron York. Unfortunately, I've come across too many reasons to not take him seriously. Like what's documented here and here.
10.28.2008 2:06pm
Sarcastro (www):
I agree with Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk that no one can possible know Obama's true black heart, but am disappointed that no apocalyptic vision of an Obama future was offered.

Come on people, paranoia plus creativity equals fun!

Pogroms against Republicans?
Or will Obama go Muslim and maybe target gays first? What a twist that would be!
And how are the Clintons going to be involved? Maybe as elite assassins?
10.28.2008 2:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

I called you on some statements you made about the Palins and education, including incorrect statements.


Why are you using plural? I made one incorrect statement. I said this:

Todd has no college


I should have said this:

Todd has no college degree


As soon as you pointed out the error, I thanked you and acknowledged the error. If that's not good enough for you, here's a suggestion: sue me.

And there were no other "incorrect statements."

I'm willing to contribute $200 payable to VC that she does graduate from high school vs. your prediction. Care to pony up?


I don't bet. But if I did, I would bet that you are going to continue your practice of exaggerating, using straw man arguments, and focusing on picayune details (like whether I ever said "education" instead of always saying "higher education") while completely missing the broader point.
10.28.2008 2:15pm
Suzy (mail):
As others have pointed out, Obama has not supported the Fairness act, has not come out in favor of protectionism as a trade policy, has said he would have to postpone some new spending proposals in the current economic situation, and does not propose higher taxes for middle income folks. I don't know whether he agrees with the bill that would allow union elections to occur without a secret ballot if 50% of the workers sign cards, but even if he does, that bill does not erase any of the current provisions for secret balloting. It just adds new ones, if the 50% card-signing level can be achieved.
10.28.2008 2:28pm
Houston Lawyer:
So if Obama takes a position or places a vote prior to getting the nomination, Republicans are deceitful to bring up that prior position or vote if he has since nuanced himself around it.

Next week, if Obama wins, you'll be saying that the public clearly endorsed his more radical positions and that no one acutally believed, much less understood, his nuanced stance.
10.28.2008 2:39pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

Why are you using plural? I made one incorrect statement.

My apologies for using the plural.

I don't bet. But if I did, I would bet that you are going to continue your practice of exaggerating, using straw man arguments, and focusing on picayune details (like whether I ever said "education" instead of always saying "higher education") while completely missing the broader point.

We see education and very different ways, and I accept that when you use the word "education" you mean "high education". When you're precise, however, you might find that you'll be less apt to call others people's comments straw man arguments.

Asking you to be precise, accurate and factual in your comments, which you do at times with others on VC, is not unreasonable. And when you exaggerate or are incorrect (example here), that may be noted.
10.28.2008 2:46pm
byomtov (mail):
I'd like to think that I'd be able to promise to support my own pregnant daughter to the extent that the father of her child isn't going to drop out of highschool to support her.

You just don't understand "family values."
10.28.2008 2:47pm
Sarcastro (www):
Note: No one play the dire predictions game with McCain.

Mavericks can change positions whenever they want, in fact it's their nature!

Really, politicians all change positions and add nuance after the soundbyte, and that's sad, but not scary at all.

Except when Obama does it it means he's clearly a Marxist and practicing Taqiyya, which I belive is some kind of Arab intoxicant that makes you lie all the time.
10.28.2008 2:50pm
byomtov (mail):
Thank goodness we can just vote for the "straight talk" guy.

Yeah. You know, the guy who was a huge Bush fan during the primary but suddenly thinks Bush has made a huge mess of things.
10.28.2008 2:52pm
eddie (mail):
Not much nuance to ask whether everyone agrees that the new "conservative" definition of middle income is those who make more than $250K.

And all of this screaming about how radical the proposals are: They are only radical in relation to how radical the last four years have been.

Here's a bit of nuance: Torture; warrentless searches; no accountability; a fourth branch of the government (Mr. Cheney); politicization of the justice department; outing CIA operatives . . .

But libertarians and law students can spot radicalism a mile away.
10.28.2008 2:55pm
Conrad Bibby (mail):
jhnjhn: Here's why I fear Obama would support a restoration of the "fairness" doctrine":

1. There's clearly a great deal of support for the FD among Congressional democrats.

2. They're likely to control both houses of Congress with large majorities.

3. Obama has never bucked his party's leadership on major issues.

4. Obama has a long and shameful history of trying to manipulate the political process and/or squelch public debate for his own gain. He got opponents kicked off ballots in Illinois on technical grounds so he could run unopposed. He reneged on a promise to accept public financing for his presidential run. His website accepts donations from fraudulent campaign contributors. On at least one occasion he's had his supporters intimidate a radio station from airing charges about Obama's work with Bill Ayers. He has had his lawyers try to get criminal investigations started against opponents airing negative ads.

In short, the history all points to someone who will use any means available to solidify his political position. As president and with a similarly motivated Congress, Obama would have the means, motive, and opportunity to reimpose the FD. The only thing suggestion he WOULDN'T pursue this course is his current statement asserting he's not in favor. However, what good is that assurance coming from a guy who (a) stated he wouldn't run for president in 2008, (b) stated he would accept public financing restrictions, and (c) has blatantly lied about a host of other things throughout this campaign (e.g., pretending not to realize that his friend and preacher of 20 years was an anti-American extremist).

Believe me, jhnjhn, I HOPE that I'm wrong about Obama and the FD, along with all of the other awful things BO appears to represent. But every aspect of his background points to a truly radical figure who seeks to impose "transformational change" on America's economic and political systems. Just words? I don't think so.
10.28.2008 2:59pm
Guest--:
Do any of you people remember Obama backtracking from the comments his advisor made to Canadian officials about NAFTA (i.e., that he was just playing the issue up for the election). There are two potential conclusions: his advisor was speaking out of turn (the official campaign position) or that Obama was engaging in classic trade protection demagoguery.

I realize that there is an election a week from now, but those of you complaining about some of the hyperbole from the WSJ article (and there is some, to be sure) would be well-advised to engage in a little intellectual honesty and acknowledge that on the issue of protectionism, Obama has not exactly been a staunch opponent of protectionism. Some of the posts -- NYC, Suzy, and of course, the most intellecutally dishonest person on the site, jukebox -- are as guilty of hyperbole as the WSJ article.

The other problem with the arguments is that each candidate has to satisfy a core constituency. Republicans are blasted for helping oil companies and other big businesses. Much of that criticism is fair, though some of it, like the WSJ article, is overheated and distorted. But the Dems have the same issues. Free trade is not a goal promoted by unions, and unions aren't going to put all the effort in for Obama without getting something to show for it. For free traders, there are ample reasons to be concerned about an Obama Administration. Is that reason enough for him not to be elected? Maybe not. And it doesn't mean he's going to cut off trade. But there is every reason to believe that protectionism will increase versus the status quo.
10.28.2008 3:01pm
Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk (www):
Jukeboxgrad:

Those are some nice non-sequiturs you've marshaled (e.g., McCain ain't truthful and neither is Byron York!) but they don't gainsay the Obama campaign's own apparent inconsistencies on free trade or taxes or clarify its position on either issue. (The York non-sequitur is particualrly amusing. What, are you claiming that York manufactured the Obama ad and Biden interview that he linked in his post?)

Sarcastro:

Though I'm loathe to feed trolls, I'd hate to see you starve. I don't know whether one can see Obama's true heart (black or otherwise), but I do know that you cannot discern his exact position on free trade and taxes (due to his campaign's own inconsistencies). Perhaps, I didn't offer an apocalyptic vision of an Obama presidency because, unlike others, my view of the man isn't an exercise in faith.
10.28.2008 3:08pm
Michael B (mail):
Obama's Constitution, excerpt, little more than a gloss, but one that is profoundly indicative:

Tom Palmer usefully explicated the political thought underlying Sunstein's argument in his review of the book. By contrast with the doctrine of rights conferred by God and nature set forth in the Declaration of Independence, Sunstein holds:
You owe your life -- and everything else -- to the sovereign. The rights of subjects are not natural rights, but merely grants from the sovereign. There is no right even to complain about the actions of the sovereign, except insofar as the sovereign allows the subject to complain. These are the principles of unlimited, arbitrary, and absolute power, the principles of such rulers as Louis XIV. Intellectuals have assiduously promoted them; think of Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes.
Thus Palmer deems Sunstein a "new intellectual champion of absolutism" who advances "the radical notion that all rights -- including rights usually held to be 'against' the state, such as the right to freedom of speech and the right not to be arbitrarily imprisoned or tortured -- are grants from the state."
10.28.2008 3:19pm
Conrad Bibby (mail):
Sarcastro: You seem to be trying to set a ridiculous standard for evaluating Obama. If it makes you feel better, no I don't claim to have 100% certain knowledge of what Obama believes or intends to do. I can't know that about anyone besides myself, and neither can you. All anyone can do is evaluate the facts as we understand them and make reasonable judgments.

Believe me, I don't WANT to believe that Obama is a dangerous radical. I would much prefer to believe he is a mainstream liberal in the Hillary or even Biden mode. The facts suggest otherwise. Moreover, when I or other conservatives point this out, the rebuttals are generally less than reassuring. Typically, the response is to suggest that we should ignore Obama's background and only pay attention to what he says (that is, unless he says something disturbing, in which case we should ignore what he says and only pay attention to what his supporters say he meant). Sorry, but that's not a reasonable or intellectually honest way of evaluating a candidate.
10.28.2008 3:23pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk kind of my point.

I try to be more substantive and engaging and imaginative than your average troll. I was attempting to point out that DuPont's characterizations are as much an exercise of faith as anything else on this thread.

Of course, the same holds for McCain. Modern campaigning as an exercise in obfuscation.]
10.28.2008 3:25pm
Sarcastro (www):
Conrad Bibby is right. Obama is clearly a dangerous radical, since over the thousands of contacts he's made in his life, somea are on the fringe!

No one should listen to a word Obama says or writes, one should only look at selected details of his background!

From this one may divine the true horror that will happen if the guy I don't want is elected.

[as an aside, I should point out people on the left say similarly goofy things about the end of the world as we know it if McCain becomes President. The Daily Show had a notably bipartisan indictment of this hypothetical fearmongering yesterday.]
10.28.2008 3:33pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
I just have to jump in and say how stupid some people would have to be to think that those who have French names can't also be Americans and must automatically be Euroweenies. Leave discussing issues with the DuPonts for adults; see for instance this.
10.28.2008 3:36pm
LM (mail):
DangerMouse:

"Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters," press secretary Michael Ortiz said [in an email to "Broadcasting and Cable" in June of 2008].

That's what regular Americans call a lie.

Or it's true, in which case your comment would be...?
10.28.2008 3:41pm
MLS:
I am confused. For several months I have been hearing the numbers $250K and 95% being bandied about re tax cuts.

A couple of days ago I saw an ad by Mr. Obama where the numbers were $200K and 95%.

Am I missing something?
10.28.2008 3:43pm
Gremlin (mail):
Why doesn't anyone listen to what Obama says on the campaign trail!!?? I've lived 210 years, and if it's one thing I've learned, it's to believe everything a politician says on the campaign trail. Now new taxes!! Don't tell other countries what to do!! I believe all of Obama's current positions, not the ones he had yesterday. Obama has specifically stated that he would veto a fairness doctrine if the Congress passed one.
10.28.2008 3:49pm
Sarcastro (www):
Gremlin there's something about you post...can't put my finger on it...it seems maybe you're using some kind of rhetorical device to imply the opposite of what you are saying...
10.28.2008 3:52pm
darrenm:

Military training is education, not just higher education that you seem to believe is the only meaningful education. People go into the military for different reasons, some go in to accumulate education funds to attend college at a later date.


Some think the only valid education is in a cloistered university environment. Work experience does not count. I don't really mind that. I just don't want to pay for their ignorance.
10.28.2008 3:59pm
LM (mail):

I just have to jump in and say how stupid some people would have to be to think that those who have French names can't also be Americans and must automatically be Euroweenies.

The partisanship of this election triggers a lot of perceptual distortion. If we think Europeans are causing our problems, we need to step back and remind ourselves that though it may make us feel good, blaming Europe accomplishes nothing. The sensible, constructive approach is to blame Canada.
10.28.2008 3:59pm
CB55 (mail):
What would Reagan do in a recession? Raise taxes!

"Obama would be the first president since Hoover to raise taxes during a recession!" is to heard endlessly both on Fox News and CNN. Both McCain, Palin and their backers chime in with the same mantra. They all argue that no one raises taxes during a recession.

No one's accused the GOP of intellectual honesty on this issue before the 2008 Economic Smackdown. But this lie is particularly sweet since none other than Ronald Reagan actually raised taxes during a recession. In 1982 in fact. Faced with spiraling deficits, the Reagan administration rolled back many of the cuts it pushed through a year earlier.

Indeed, the increase was greater than that which Clinton pushed through in 1993 -- an increase that McCain et al have hailed as the biggst tax increase in history (another lie).

As Nobel laureate Paul Krugman noted in June 2004:

The first Reagan tax increase came in 1982. By then it was clear that the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were wildly optimistic. In response, Mr. Reagan agreed to a sharp rollback of corporate tax cuts, and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton’s 1993 tax increase.

Reagan, for good measure, stuck it to the middle class the next year with the Social Security Reform Act of 1983.

The GOP has been very good at telling and retelling lies until they become legendary facts of honor. Another major lie: Reagan cut taxes on all Americans, and that led to a great expansion.

Here's the truth: the total federal tax burden increased during the Reagan years, and most Americans paid more in taxes after Reagan than before. The "Reagan Recovery" was unremarkable. It looks great only contrasted against the dismal Reagan Recession -- but it had nothing to do with Supply Side voodoo.

With a red ink explosion -- $300 BILLION deficits looming as far as the eye could see -- GOP Senators, notably including Bob Dole, led the way on tax hikes. The economy enjoyed its recovery only after total tax increases larger than the total tax cuts were implemented. Most importantly, average annual GDP growth during the Reagan 80s was lower than during the Clinton 90s or the JFK-LBJ 60s!
10.28.2008 4:01pm
darrenm:

That is the Republican way these days. Poison the well and blame the Democrats for the ensuing drought.

As do Democrats. So? Are you really that naive? (That's a rhetorical question.)
10.28.2008 4:06pm
Sarcastro (www):
They rig everything and then blame it on Republicans. I am sick of it.

Rig a financial disaster --> blame the Republicans.

Crash the housing/mortgage market --> blame the Republicans.

Get some intern to blow you under the Oval Office desk --> blame the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy."

The ACLU sues to release all schizophrenics hospitalized "against their will" --> blame the Republicans for all the homeless schizophrenics living on the street.

Start a war, then royally botch the war --> blame the Republicans, even though they were the ones to END the war.

Destroy the black family (and soon ALL families) --> blame the Republicans.
10.28.2008 4:12pm
LM (mail):
Sorry this is late for Sunday song lyrics, but I hope it will timely anyway if it's therapeutic:

Times have changed
Our kids are getting worse
They won't obey their parents
They just want to fart and curse!
Should we blame the government?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame the images on TV?

No, blame Canada
Blame Canada
With all their beady little eyes
And flapping heads so full of lies
Blame Canada
Blame Canada
We need to form a full assault
It's Canada's fault!

Don't blame me
For my son Stan
He saw the damn cartoon
And now he's off to join the Klan!
And my boy Eric once
Had my picture on his shelf
But now when I see him he tells me to fuck myself!

Well, blame Canada
Blame Canada
It seems that everything's gone wrong
Since Canada came along
Blame Canada
Blame Canada
They're not even a real country anyway.

My son could've been a doctor or a lawyer rich and true,
Instead he burned up like a piggy on the barbecue
Should we blame the matches?
Should we blame the fire?
Or the doctors who allowed him to expire?

Heck no!
Blame Canada
Blame Canada
With all their hockey hullabaloo
And that bitch Anne Murray too
Blame Canada
Shame on Canada
For...
The smut we must stop
The trash we must bash
The Laughter and fun
Must all be undone
We must blame them and cause a fuss
Before somebody thinks of blaming us!

(by Trey Parker & Marc Shaiman, from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut)
10.28.2008 4:31pm
CB55 (mail):
Sarcastro:


Deregulation began with Reagan here and Thatcher in the UK, and believe it or not lots of Democrats were on board with it here.

Between 1995 and 2000, Phil Gramm was the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. During that time he spearheaded efforts to pass banking deregulation laws, including the landmark Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, which removed Depression-era laws separating banking, insurance and brokerage activities. It was signed into law by Democratic Party leader and President Clinton. Clinton also signed into law another pork barrel bill - The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. One provision of the bill was referred to as the "Enron loophole" because the House Agriculture Committee drafted it and it was later applied to Enron. Some critics blame the provision for permitting the Enron scandal to occur. Phil Gramm's wife, Wendy Lee Gramm, was on the board of directors of Enron when it collapsed, giving the legislation its moniker, and she was named in many of the subsequently settled lawsuits. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 or CFMA (H.R. 5660 and S.3283) is United States federal legislation which repealed the Shad-Johnson jurisdictional accord, which had banned single-stock futures in 1982. The legislation also provided certainty that products offered by banking institutions would not be regulated as futures contracts.

The act has been cited as a public-policy decision significantly contributing to Enron's bankruptcy in 2001 and the much broader liquidity crisis of September 2008 that led to the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers and emergency Federal Reserve Bank loans to American International Group and to the creation of the U.S. Emergency Economic Stabilization fund.

----------------------

W Bush would weaken federal laws with each political appointment with every person with position that impact Main Street and Wall Street. The GOP with found in Bush some one that has a certain disdain for big government because they thought business could do it better. The GOP and a host of Democrats believed that hedge funds performed best with less regulation. Both parties thought that the walls between financial gambling houses, insurance companies and banks should be weak. Voices that cried out against this model were drowned in the showers. The men and women with government over site of the national economy were all men and women from Wall Street and they gave us the best government money could buy.
10.28.2008 4:39pm
Michael B (mail):
"Here's the truth: the total federal tax burden increased during the Reagan years, and most Americans paid more in taxes after Reagan than before."

Outwardly, this seems highly disingenuous, especially so with the emphasis upon "truth."

The tax rate decreased, and that is what is decisive. Tax revenues collected increased. Productivity increased.

In terms of the red ink a great deal could be said but two factors are noteworthy. A Democratic Congress was regnant and the Cold War was still being engaged - in the wake of a disastrous Carter presidency.
10.28.2008 4:41pm
Russ (mail):
Since conservatives spend so much time moaning about bias in the media, maybe they should embrace the idea of the Fairness Doctrine.

I agree completely. And Conservatives should get lawyers to back them up.

Every time David Letterman makes a joke about Republicans, make sure he has something ready to go against the democrats, or at least has another comedian ready to jump on stage and do so.

Anything on the front page of the New York Times that is even remotely opinionated, then the NYT has to give equal front page treatment to something from Mark Steyn.

Katie Couric now gets to share a desk with Joe the Plumber.

Lawyers step in any time a story shows casualties in Iraq and forces a story to show the peace march led by Shi'a and Sunni clerics in Karbala.

When the credit crisis is laid at Bush's feet, the next story then talks about Chris Dodd's deal with Countrywide.

Daily Kos must now link to Little Green Footballs.

In the interest of "fairness," I'm certain that none of our resident liberals would mind these in the least, and certainly wouldn't see any of it as an infringement on free speech.
10.28.2008 4:57pm
Conrad Bibby (mail):
Sarcasto: The associations I referenced aren't just incidental "contacts" Obama has had. They include his parents, his wife, his spiritual advisor, a socialist political party he joined, his mentor, and his partner in distributing tens of milllions of dollars in funds to support radical "education" projects.

I'm sure Obama has had plenty of "contacts" in his life who do not hold extreme political views. So did Hitler, I imagine. However, isn't it significant that the most important and influential people in Obama's life are leftist extremists?

BTW, I accept that Obama is going to win, so this isn't about trying to scare you or anyone else into voting for McCain. My fears about Obama are real. I would welcome an explanation from you or anyone else why those fears are unfounded. But please don't offer as your evidence of Obama's moderation anything he has said in this campaign.
10.28.2008 4:58pm
CB55 (mail):
Michael B:




DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Yes. Well, Ronald Reagan, whether you love Ronald Reagan or you hate Ronald Reagan, was a great leader. He did, in fact, dramatically change the country.

Between 1945 and the election of Ronald Reagan, we had a government that was focused on creating and nurturing the middle class. When I was a young man, I was able to go to college only because it was free. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have any money—my dad was a 100 percent disabled veteran, and I went to work when I was ten years old and full time since I was thirteen—because it was free.

Today, the cost of a college education, a state college education, is about $10,000 a year. The average income of the bottom half of taxpayers—that’s not families, that’s taxpayers—is about $15,000. Think you can go to college if two-thirds of your income would have to go to college? I don’t think so.

Well, Mr.—what Mr. Reagan did in 1980 was he asked a question that had a very powerful effect. He said, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” And Americans said no, they weren’t. And they elected him to office, and they set in motion a major change in government policy, a change that I think has been perverted. I do not believe Reagan intended all of the things that have been done since he started this happening.

But I’m asking the question in Free Lunch: Are you better off than you were in 1980? And on the surface, America is much better off. The country is more than twice as wealthy in real terms as it was in 1980. Per person, adjusted for inflation, the economy now puts out $1.70 for every dollar that it put out in 1980. Those are absolutely tremendous economic numbers.

So how come we’re not all really well-off? Why is it one-in-seven families has filed bankruptcy in the last twenty-five years? Why is it people are so mired in debt that television ads are just full of debt relief and take on more debt ads, sometimes at 99 percent interest? Why is it that so many people don’t have health insurance and so many people no longer have a retirement plan?

And by the way, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans, what I call the vast majority, is smaller today than it was in 1980. And since the year 2000, when we really got serious about this tax cut business, the average income of Americans every year—2001, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05—has been smaller than it was in 2000. There have been some gains in 2004 and ’05, but they haven’t gotten up to equal 2000. And of those gains in the year 2000—it’s either ’05 over ’04 or ’04 over ’03—half went to people who make over a million dollars a year.
10.28.2008 4:59pm
jhnjhn (mail):
@ Conrad B.

"There's clearly a great deal of support for the FD among Congressional democrats."

This is false. One or two people have spoken in favor of it, and they were probably off their meds. It's not a mainstream Democratic position at all.
10.28.2008 5:01pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"The average income of the bottom half of taxpayers—that’s not families, that’s taxpayers—is about $15,000."

Where do you get that figure? That's $7.50/hour for a full time worker.
10.28.2008 5:18pm
Dave C.:
It appears that the "Europeanization" may have been intended as a cardboard cutout of Europe to serve as a stand-in for socialism. However, the reference to Europe rather than socialism suggests we look to what is actually happening in Europe. The true "Europeanization" would more accurately be represented by two things: (1) an Orwellian disregard for civil liberties such as the three-strikes internet disconnection policy and increased use of CCTV cameras in public space and (2) the vastly decreased transparency in the actions of the EU governance such as handling of the Lisbon treaty and the codex alimentarius.

Looking for those traits in recent past and future administrations, it seems to me that the lack of transparency and disregard for civil liberties is peculiarly associated with the Bush administration. Palin's behavior in troopergate and the profile of McCain in the recent Rolling Stone article suggest we are in for more of the same if under that ticket. However, I see no indication of these "European" features in Obama's campaign. Hence, Obama is most likely to reverse the "European" trend.
10.28.2008 5:21pm
JB:


The tax rate decreased, and that is what is decisive. Tax revenues collected increased. Productivity increased.


Tax rates decreased, but many loopholes were closed ensuring that money that had been spent paying accountants to find tax shelters was instead paid to the government.

Read "Showdown at Gucci Gulch."
10.28.2008 5:33pm
CB55 (mail):
Elliot123:

Read the quote, Johnston states "The Average Income of the Bottom half of taxpayers" (These are figures for the working poor for a past tax year). Johnston sifted thru the pages of government reports to make this claim in his book, and few dispute his findings and conclusions.
10.28.2008 5:36pm
Conrad Bibby (mail):
jhnjhn: You're ignoring the fact that one of those who support reintroducing the FD is the Speaker. Also, at least 3 Dem Senators have come out in favor: Bingaman, Durbin &Kerry. I don't know how many votes it would get in the next Congress, but it's apparently a respectable Dem position to support the FD.
10.28.2008 5:51pm
Sarcastro (www):
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

Bertrand Russell

[At this point in the race, certain people fear whoever is on the other side, independent of outcome or any real information. If Biden were the candidate, we'd hear about how he's radical and crazy. If it were Liberman, I have no doubt some Republicans would talk about how he's a crazy socialist-Marxist.

McCain is a pretty tame Republican, but people are saying he's going to bomb Iran and bring on the flat tax.]
10.28.2008 5:55pm
Sarcastro (www):
Conrad Bibby what about impeaching Bush? Some Dems like that too!
10.28.2008 5:58pm
Michael B (mail):
JB,

I don't disagree. Heck, I'd prefer to see something like a national sales tax entirely supplant the IRS, albeit with practical considerations playing a notable part as well. My most basic, conservative ideals are grounded in classical liberal conceptions such as check and balances. Further, what you note does not take away from Reagan's greatness. It rightly takes away from those who idolize Reagan to an exaggerated degree, but those measures enacted by Democrats were themselves a result of Reagan and his likeminded friends in Congress first initiating tax rate cuts of notable proportions. For example, it's no mere co-incidence that that Gucci gulch confrontation did not take place during Carter's reign.

CB55,

There are a host of other fundamental, systemic issues that have been at play since the end of Jimmy Carter's tenure. Your argument is tendentious and reductionist in the extreme.
10.28.2008 6:00pm
CB55 (mail):
Michael B:

A fact finding is never meant the end of anything, it's just the beginning of a journey.
10.28.2008 6:18pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Read the quote, Johnston states "The Average Income of the Bottom half of taxpayers" (These are figures for the working poor for a past tax year). Johnston sifted thru the pages of government reports to make this claim in his book, and few dispute his findings and conclusions."

Well, help me out here.

If full time work is 2,000 hours per year, and the average income is $15,000, then the average hourly wage is $7.50.

If $7.50 is the average wage, then at least half of them are making less than $7.50. (Since nobody earns less than zero, we don't have to worry about huge outliers on the low side.)

That means 25% of taxpayers are making less than $7.50/hr.

Does this pass the common sense test? Where am I going Wrong?

Is he counting only paycheck withholding, and does not net out the refund for someone who only works a week in the year and makes $500?
10.28.2008 6:25pm
Randy R. (mail):
"These policy changes will be the beginning of the Europeanization of America. "

We can only hope. We would be much better off with more sidewalk cafes and a glass of wine with lunch AND dinner routinely. Plus, the food is much better.

As for Sarah Palin's education: Perhaps the best barometer of her thoughts on education are not on the opportunities that she has had, but the beliefs that she instills in her own children.
Despite being a millionnaire, therefore presumably capable of sending her kids to a good college or university, she has five kids, most of whom have not graduated from high school, and none from college. Or even in a full time college curriculum. That pretty much tells me all I know to know about her thoughts on education.
10.28.2008 6:30pm
Golodnyii Khleb (mail):
The number being bandied about on the Hill is 54.9% on incomes over $200K and taxes increases on all incomes over $70K, but no rate was mentioned. The lower brackets will get hit with massive social security increases of 2-4%, but probably no raw income tax rate increases.

Gasoline and diesel will be taxed back to the $4.00 range because they loved the impact it had on driving and car purchasing habits. (I guess they forgot how many union auto workers are losing their jobs this quarter)

The committee staffers are giddy at the prospect of how high taxes are going.
10.28.2008 6:31pm
Conrad Bibby (mail):
To CB55: I'm certain we're better off in most ways today than in 1980. To be fair, RR doesn't deserve all the credit for the ways we're better off nor all the blame for the ways we're not.

On college tuition, there are two big reasons why it is now so expensive. First, much of the cost is being subsidized by the federal govt. Second, somewhere along the way we adopted a national goal of trying to get every graduating HS student into a four-year college degree program. That has not only driven up the cost but also diminished the value of a bachelor's degree to the point where it is nearly worthless as a credential in the job market. Obama's "solution": another taxpayer subsidy for college tuition (the $4000 tax credit), which will only drive up the cost of tuition further while encouraging more kids into college who have no business being there. Great.

As for why there is so much consumer debt and why there have been so many personal bankruptcies, clearly it's because too many people are spending beyond their means. Clearly there needs to be a balance struck so that we make sure there's enough credit available to support consumer spending (a huge factor in the overall economy) without giving it to people who aren't creditworthy.

As for people w/o health insurance, keep in mind that a huge percentage of the uninsured are illegal aliens. In fact, with effective border security one could put a big dent in a number of problems facing the government. Another big group of uninsured are people who choose to forgo health insurance because it's too expensive and they have higher spending priorities. The focus shouldn't be on forcing coverage of the uninsured but on reducing overall costs. A good approach would be to get the govt OUT of the health care business. As with college tuition, massive govt subsidies in this area are only driving up costs while limiting choices.

The problem in many of these areas is government policies that hide the real costs of the things we want, such as college educations, easy credit, and health care. The government ends up taxing or (worse) borrowing billions of dollars to pay for these things in an effort to "spread the wealth," but this only creates false economies in which the laws of supply and demand don't apply. Someone can elect to go without health insurance and yet still get treatment at an emergency room, with the costs being redistributed to the other, more "responsible" consumers and taxpayers. Or someone can illegally enter the country, pay no income taxes, and get free health care and in-state college tuition for their children. The government orders banks to give mortgages to people who can't afford them, and more "responsible" homeowners and taxpayers end up footing the bill.

We're not going to dig out of these problems by turning to ever-more-socialist solutions.
10.28.2008 6:40pm
SFBurke (mail):
Interesting the number of Obama supporters who don't believe this is an accurate summary of what will happen.
For example, Obama has been very skeptical of free trade (he opposes the proposed deal with Columbia) and has stated that he wants to renegotiate NAFTA. Sounds protectionist to me.
For the last couple of years, he has been very clear that he wants to withdraw from Iraq regardless of the consequences. The situation may now have improved sufficiently that we will be able to withdraw in 2011 (which would be 24 months not 16),but that hardly vindicates Obama.
It is true that Obama currently is proposing a tax cut or welfare grant for 95% of the population. But he wants to raise capital gains taxes and allow the Bush tax cuts to expire -- those things will affect many people below $250K. Also, given his spending plans, he will need to raise revenue somehow. Given his record, I think it is reasonable to expect that his impulse will be to raise taxes more than he currently admits.
He has clearly stated that he wants to spend much more on on a wide variety things.
He has criticized deregulation extensively so I assume he intends to re-regulate.
I don't know what he thinks about the reinstituting Fairness Doctrine or ending secret ballots for union elections but does anybody really believe he would veto those if passed by the Congress?(and there are Democrats who have made it clear the intende to propose such legislation).
So I think this is objectively a very accurate list of what will happen in an Obama administration. Why do his supporters so vehemently disagree? Maybe they should vote for a different candidate?
10.28.2008 6:57pm
Bored Lawyer:
The real question in my mind is who will lead the Republican counter-revolution two years from now? That is, who will be the equivalent of Newt Gingrich in 1994? Right now I don't see anyone.
10.28.2008 7:02pm
LM (mail):
Elliot,

First of all, 9-5 jobs are 37.5 hrs/wk, not 40. That alone takes your average hourly to $8. Also, many workers only have temp and/or part time jobs, further raising the hourly average. Of course there are also people who work more than 40 hrs/wk or more than one job, but they're less likely to be in the bottom half.
10.28.2008 7:03pm
Randy R. (mail):
Query: Why don't we see a similar analysis of a McCain presidency? Why is all the emphasis on how horrible an Obama presidency will be?

Let me start: Under McCain, we will continue to be beholden to foriegn oil because he hasn't supported any intiatives for energy independence other than nuclear energy (which you can't put in a car in any case).

Tax rates will be cut for the richest but not for anyone else.

There is no plan to deal with the current financial disorder, so we will likely slide into a deeper recession or even a depression.

We will not have a health care system much different from what we have today, which is inefficient and costly, and leaves most people without insurance.

Wow! I'm sure voting for this guy!
(Oh, sorry, I deviated from the blog. We are only supposed to criticize Obama, not McCain. Mea culpa).
10.28.2008 7:05pm
Michael B (mail):
CB55, to that extent, touche.
10.28.2008 7:06pm
Anderson (mail):
That is, who will be the equivalent of Newt Gingrich in 1994? Right now I don't see anyone.

Newt would be happy to volunteer to play himself, I'm sure.
10.28.2008 7:07pm
MarkField (mail):

The real question in my mind is who will lead the Republican counter-revolution two years from now? That is, who will be the equivalent of Newt Gingrich in 1994? Right now I don't see anyone.


This is not a decision to be made lightly. Take all the time you need.
10.28.2008 7:21pm
Michael B (mail):
Randy R., at play in the fields of his fantasist world, yet again. Shocked, I'm shocked ...

For Randy R., there has not been a sufficient number of McCain/Palin criticisms voiced in VC posts. (And that's not a complaint, it's not my blog, it's their's. But to be aggrieved about a lack of McCain or Palin criticisms here is preposterous.)

Further, when commentary is forwarded that does criticize Obama/Biden (see here for one prominent example), it very often is not taken up in an engaged and probative manner but instead is very often dismissed out-of-hand, as if any and all criticisms reflect some type of conspiratorial, obsessive or merely reactionary thinking. Iow, that fact renders your observation doubly ironic, to put in gentler terms still.
10.28.2008 7:28pm
Michael B (mail):
Another reason still your claims are doubly ironic.

I can think of other reasons still, not least of which being the alternative universe the MSM or Left/Dem-MSM complex continues to promote - in general terms - but suffice to say the mutually reinforcing fantasist world(s) being promoted are not conducive to better grounded perceptions in the first place, much less better grounded discussions.
10.28.2008 7:43pm
CB55 (mail):
Conrad Bibby:

Experts from David Cay Johnston, Kevin Phillips, Jacob Hacker and Elizabeth Warren beg to differ with you. More Americans are able to live better today than they did in 1982 because of DEBT. People know this because of CONSUMER DEBT. They must take on more personal debt to own/buy/lease a car, home, appliances or pay for their education. Employers and the state has shifted the cost of being old, sick or disabled to about 90%-95% of the population. Fewer employers offer Pension plans today as they did in 1982 - pension today plans by and large are for public employees, teachers, union workers and executives. The state has been forced to cut back on the public safety net because of DEBT. If one can not afford or does not invest in his or her own personal safety net it is shame on them - there is limited welfare programs, public aid for health care and Social Security.

When Reagan reinvented the tax system he recreated the transfer of wealth from the Working/Middle Class to the top investor class according to many sources.
10.28.2008 7:44pm
CB55 (mail):
Conrad Bibby:

I think Conservatives and Liberals both agree that real labor wages has been flat or uneven for over 20 years.
10.28.2008 8:09pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):

[In the Reagan tax cut] The tax rate decreased, and that is what is decisive. Tax revenues collected increased.
Wanna make a bet?
10.28.2008 8:15pm
CB55 (mail):
SFBurke:

Obama has many former Clinton advisers on his staff and like everyone that ran this year, he to has taken money from Wall Street and major companies. His voting record on free trade is mixed. Watch how he votes and not only what he says.
10.28.2008 8:20pm
Conrad Bibby (mail):
CB55: I'm unclear on exactly what you disagree with me on. I would agree that consumer debt assists people to have a higher standard of living, and it also helps the overall economy. But there obviously it threatens the economy if too many consumers get in over their heads.

"Employers and the state has shifted the cost of being old, sick or disabled to about 90%-95% of the population."

Not sure where to start with this one. It's not the natural function of employers or govt to foot the cost of being old or infirm. We can all hope for a job that includes health care benefits and a pension, but in a global economy, it's going to be harder and harder for employers to provide these benefits and remain profitable in the face of overseas competition.
10.28.2008 8:25pm
JB:
Michael B,
My point with Gucci Gulch is simply that "Reagan lowered taxes" is an inaccurate talking point for both sides. First of all, taxes were lowered because many loopholes were eliminated; second, the major drivers for the tax reform were in the Senate.
10.28.2008 8:43pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

My apologies for using the plural.


Thanks.

I accept that when you use the word "education" you mean "high education".


I did generally mean that, but I also don't see a huge distinction, in this discussion. It's easier for me to argue that the Palins don't place much value on higher education, but there's also at least some basis to argue that they don't place enough value on education, period.

Wasilla High has an exceptionally bad dropout rate. Is there any sign that Mayor Palin showed any interest in addressing that problem? Not that I've seen. But I do know she worked very hard to make sure they have a very impressive and expensive hockey rink. It is also not encouraging to notice that Bristol is about to marry a high-school dropout. Therefore I defend the validity of omitting the "higher."

when you exaggerate or are incorrect (example here), that may be noted


I sincerely appreciate every bona fide correction. The Todd-college thing is a perfect example. But some other stuff we've argued about doesn't quite fall into that category.
10.28.2008 9:23pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
guest:

the most intellecutally dishonest person on the site, jukebox


Wow, that's quite a distinction, given the nature of this illustrious group. Not just "intellecutally dishonest," but "the most intellecutally dishonest person on the site."

Could I trouble you to offer some proof? A teeny-weensy bit? What if I ask really politely?

By the way, do you think it's intellectually honest to make an accusation like that without lifting a finger to substantiate it? Just curious.
10.28.2008 9:24pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
curm:

are you claiming that York manufactured the Obama ad and Biden interview that he linked in his post?


No. I'm claiming that I've found so many distortions and falsehoods in York's work that I no longer waste my time fact-checking him, or reading him at all. The results are too predictable. Can you cite a reliable source? If not, I have better things to do.
10.28.2008 9:24pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
conrad:

Believe me, I don't WANT to believe that Obama is a dangerous radical. I would much prefer to believe he is a mainstream liberal in the Hillary or even Biden mode. The facts suggest otherwise.


What the facts suggest is contrary to what you claim the facts suggest. Poole-Rosenthal scores show that Obama is roughly at the center of his party.
10.28.2008 9:24pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
24:

I just have to jump in and say how stupid some people would have to be to think that those who have French names can't also be Americans and must automatically be Euroweenies.


I don't particularly have a problem with Euroweenies. Some of my best friends etc. I just think that naming your kid Éleuthère Irénée is an act of cruelty.
10.28.2008 9:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
cb55:

Another major lie: Reagan cut taxes on all Americans


It's also misleading to claim that Bush cut taxes. That's not really what he did. He just shifted them to a group that's not in a position to protest: our kids.
10.28.2008 9:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
conrad:

a socialist political party he joined


Hint: not everything you read at Power Line is true.
10.28.2008 9:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
michael:

There are a host of other fundamental, systemic issues that have been at play since the end of Jimmy Carter's tenure. Your argument is tendentious and reductionist in the extreme.


Thales was right when he said this:

Nietzsche aptly anticipated Michael B when he wrote, "[he] mudd[ies] the waters to make them appear deep."
10.28.2008 9:25pm
Perseus (mail):
Those of us in the academy should be licking our chops at the $4000 tax credit for college tuition.

Except that it reinforces the ridiculous belief that everyone should go to college. And wouldn't it be much cheaper simply to create an equivalent to Mao's "Little Red Book" that included all of the Anointed One's vapid rhetoric?
10.28.2008 9:27pm
Floridan:
CB: "It's not the natural function of employers or govt to foot the cost of being old or infirm. We can all hope for a job that includes health care benefits and a pension, but in a global economy, it's going to be harder and harder for employers to provide these benefits and remain profitable in the face of overseas competition."

So what's the solution? More trickle down economics?
10.28.2008 9:36pm
GreekGeek (mail):
"Eleuthere Irenee. Okayyyyyy ... "

The name actually means Freedom Peace, translated literally from Greek. Although, I don't believe that either one is a particularly good transcription.
10.28.2008 9:42pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Watch how he votes and not only what he says. --
.
"Present"
.
But agree completely. All data is useful to evaluate a person. What they say, how they vote, who they hang with, life experience, etc.
10.28.2008 10:15pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
greek:

The name actually means Freedom Peace


Thanks, that's interesting.

The words themselves are beautiful, in both languages. I just think it's a tough name for a kid to have. It might be less embarrassing to the kid if they were just named Freedom Peace.
10.28.2008 10:41pm
MarkField (mail):

Except that it reinforces the ridiculous belief that everyone should go to college.


Thankfully, the Palin family seems to be doing its best to dispel such nonsense.
10.28.2008 10:41pm
Anderson (mail):
Thankfully, the Palin family seems to be doing its best to dispel such nonsense.

As does the worrisome possibility that one might encounter Perseus there.
10.28.2008 11:18pm
Guest--:
jukebox,

When you eclipse the age of 25 and join the world of grown ups who pay their own bills, please let me know. Until then, I have better things to do than recite the thousands of ridiculous posts you've made -- all of which shockingly support Obama or attack Republicans -- without any effort to occasionally think through issues yourself rather than posting the daily Kos or Huffingtonpost Talking Points.

Many here are willing to call their preferred political parties or candidates down on occasion; I've never witnessed you come close to doing so. I suspect I'm not alone. But I'll give you this, you're predictable. The person at issue dictates whether you accept or reject an argument; you seem utterly incapable of detaching yourself and analyzing any given issue apart from its implications to your "side" of the political contest.

Is there anything on the DuPont list you think is a fair characterization of Obama's position? If so, defend it. But don't pretend he hasn't taken protectionist positions in the past simply because he now says he doesn't support protectionism. That's the type of intellectual dishonesty I'm talking about, and whenever it's pointed out, you seem to move on to another issue. Wonder why that is?
10.28.2008 11:29pm
Guest--:
And jukebox, I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment:

No. I'm claiming that I've found so many distortions and falsehoods in [jukebox's] work that I no longer waste my time fact-checking him . . . .The results are too predictable. Can you cite a reliable source? If not, I have better things to do.

That is EXACTLY how I feel about you.
10.28.2008 11:34pm
David Warner:
Randy R. and MarkField,

"Despite being a millionnaire, therefore presumably capable of sending her kids to a good college or university, she has five kids, most of whom have not graduated from high school, and none from college. Or even in a full time college curriculum. That pretty much tells me all I know to know about her thoughts on education."

So to prove that one values education, one's offspring now must eclipse the Eugene Volokh standard? You are aware of the ages of her children, correct?

BTW, she's the only candidate in living memory to have deigned to send her children to our supposedly sacrosanct public schools, and is pretty vocal in her support thereof, being the child of two public school teachers.

Bigotry is an ugly thing.
10.28.2008 11:37pm
Russ (mail):
The real question in my mind is who will lead the Republican counter-revolution two years from now? That is, who will be the equivalent of Newt Gingrich in 1994? Right now I don't see anyone.

The Republicans have a heck of a minor league system at work, with a bunch of guys ready to make the jump to the big leagues. The current crop - McConnell, Boehner, Stevens, et al - are finished.

My choice? I'd love to see it galvanize around Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
10.28.2008 11:41pm
Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk (www):
jukeboxgrad:

Well, the links in York's post were: an Obama ad and a Biden interview, which hardly depend on York for their content or credibility. That is, the sources on which my criticism were based were statements from the Obama campaign itself, which can be assessed independent of York. So your anti-York sentiments are an obfuscation. At any rate, the other other source I linked was Slate, which you also are content to ignore. I think a fair inference is that you intend to ignore any evidence of inconsistency in Obama's positions without regard to its provenance. That's your right, of course. But don't pretend that it has something to do with the source or quality of the evidence.
10.28.2008 11:45pm
Russ (mail):
[In the Reagan tax cut] The tax rate decreased, and that is what is decisive. Tax revenues collected increased.

Wanna make a bet?


one
two
three

What do I win?
10.28.2008 11:47pm
Guest--:
Curmudgeonly,

Don't bother jukebox with facts that don't fit his narrative. His narrative won't change, he'll just have to dig deeper for more rationalizations. What he'll never do is admit that his candidate might be full of it on a particular issue.
10.28.2008 11:49pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Don't bother jukebox with facts that don't fit his narrative. His narrative won't change, he'll just have to dig deeper for more rationalizations. What he'll never do is admit that his candidate might be full of it on a particular issue. --
.
If there was a way to harness the energy of invested posters, I'd put JBG and Bart de Palma on a direct line with each other, and solve the world's energy problem. Perpetual motion, and probably on a geometrically increasing curve of production.
.
I'm sure I'm not original with this [generic] idea, as similar must have occurred in the vastness of cyberspace.
10.29.2008 12:08am
Perseus (mail):
As does the worrisome possibility that one might encounter Perseus there.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.
10.29.2008 12:08am
YabbaDabba:
Only seven or so more days until Zywicki et al. will stop the disingenuous and intellectually dishonest shenanigans and go back to what they're good at.

Wait, what? This is only the prelude? Intellectual laziness and craven distortion of truth is now the dominant theme of the conservative faux-populism strand of the Republican party? People are going to have to put up with this for the next four years?

Damn...maybe I should go back to sleep.
10.29.2008 12:14am
Jane Q. Public:
Balderdash and blatant propaganda. Certainly there would be changes that some people will not like. (You can be assured that I would not like all of them.) But this is a laundry list of paranoia, couched in trigger words. This post does not belong on this site.
10.29.2008 12:21am
Troll Feeder:
In re jukebox: why "intellectually dishonest?" Dishonest seems to fit just fine on its own.

Floridan

CB: "It's not the natural function of employers or govt to foot the cost of being old or infirm. We can all hope for a job that includes health care benefits and a pension, but in a global economy, it's going to be harder and harder for employers to provide these benefits and remain profitable in the face of overseas competition."

So what's the solution? More trickle down economics?
10.28.2008 8:36pm


The solution is for you to pay for it yourself with the earning from the job you qualified for based on your 13 years of tax-payer funded education and whatever else you or your parents had the gumption to add as a supplemental.

Just what products or services are you not owed simply for gracing the rest of us with your presence?
10.29.2008 12:29am
MarkField (mail):

So to prove that one values education, one's offspring now must eclipse the Eugene Volokh standard? You are aware of the ages of her children, correct?


My snark was really triggered by Perseus's second sentence, which read "And wouldn't it be much cheaper simply to create an equivalent to Mao's "Little Red Book" that included all of the Anointed One's vapid rhetoric?"

In that context, return fire seemed justified.

That said, my parents were the first members of my family on either side to attend college. While I'd like to encourage everyone to do so, I certainly understand why some don't.
10.29.2008 12:38am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
guest:

Many here are willing to call their preferred political parties or candidates down on occasion. I've never witnessed you come close to doing so.


I guess you didn't notice me say this:

some Dems are idiots


Or this:

In my opinion, we don't have a two-party system. We have the illusion of a two-party system. The same corporate elite that owns and operates the GOP also has a large ownership interest in the DNC.


Or this:

Schumer, at least in this instance, is Republican Lite. Like a lot of other Dems. Maybe someday this country will enjoy the benefits of a two-party system.


Or this:

I've voted for persons named Clinton or Gore a grand total of this many times: zero.


There are more, but those should do for now.

I'm claiming that I've found so many distortions and falsehoods in [jukebox's] work that I no longer waste my time fact-checking him


One important difference between me and you is that I prove my claims. Proof of York publishing a blatant falsehood is here and here.

So far, you've proven this many examples of "distortions and falsehoods" in my comments: zero.

That is EXACTLY how I feel about you.


The operative word there is "feel." So far you've said nothing that has anything to do with logic, reason, or fact.
10.29.2008 12:43am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
warner:

being the child of two public school teachers


I think her mom was a secretary at the school, not a teacher.

You're right that most of her kids are too young to be out of high school. But there are still plenty of indications of the low value placed on education.

Bigotry is an ugly thing.


Saying that my respect for a particular family is proportional to the emphasis they place on education has nothing to do with bigotry.

A false accusation of bigotry is an ugly thing.
10.29.2008 12:43am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
curm:

the links in York's post were: an Obama ad and a Biden interview, which hardly depend on York for their content or credibility


I realize you're telling me why you think I should treat this particular York article as credible. What I'm telling you is that I don't bother with York.

OK, fine. I took a look at York's very silly article, which is based on the premise of playing gotcha by taking specific phrases out of context. It's also based on the bogus idea that it's possible to summarize any rational tax policy in a very short sound-bite. It's not. The silliness of York's claim is explained here:

it's not accurate to say that Obama has changed his plan.


See also here and here.

you'll have to pardon me for declining to accept on faith every syllable of flowery rhetoric expressed on the campaign's official website.


There is a very nice tax calculator on Obama's site. If you really want to understand his plan, that's what you should be looking at. It doesn't give you "flowery rhetoric." It shows you the exact numbers.

On the other hand, if you want to play gotcha by taking very brief statements out of context, then just keep reading York.

the other other source I linked was Slate


You're trying to make a fuss about Naftagate, but there's no there there. Read factcheck. But this last-minute dredging up of stuff from six months ago that didn't work for Hillary is very amusing.

I guess I should actually consider the remote possibility that you have a sincere interest in understanding Obama's trade policy. If so, you might want to read this.

I think a fair inference is that you intend to ignore any evidence of inconsistency in Obama's positions


I think a fair inference is that you have no non-bogus proof of any inconsistency in Obama's positions.
10.29.2008 12:44am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mark:

my parents were the first members of my family on either side to attend college


Not that it matters much, but both my parents had zero college. They were much too poor. But they valued education deeply, and I did a lot better.
10.29.2008 12:44am
Smokey:
Odumbo supporters don't like this.

Why?

Because the truth hurts.
10.29.2008 12:46am
MarkField (mail):

But they valued education deeply, and I did a lot better.


That's the real key, isn't it?
10.29.2008 12:54am
David Warner:
MarkField,

"That's the real key, isn't it?"

Explains a lot. I'm the next generation.
10.29.2008 1:24am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
That's the real key, isn't it?


Yes, exactly.
10.29.2008 2:05am
CB55 (mail):
Conrad Bibby:

I'm not sure how to respond to this one but I'll try:

A. While we may be freedom fighters for the world, our quality of life has been in decline for years. America is the only major Western power where people can choose between paying a medical bill or paying for food.

B. Some states spend almost as much money on jails and prisons as they do on higher education.

C. Because wages and salaries have been flat for over 20 years, personal debt is now more than just a stop gap measure for most families. Most students can not attend college with out it. More and more car loans are from 4-5 years. The home is just another source for home equity loans. The 30-50 year home loan (and other equity loans) means that most people will either be dead or very old before the debt is retired.

D. The Federal government has been borrowing from the Social Security system for years, but has never returned the money with interest

E. Nearly all of the increase in public debt over the last four years -- some more than 1 trillion dollars -- has been financed by foreigners, lending us the money. But who wants to lend more and more to a drunken sailor? Foreigners are bailing out of dollars. Foreign debt is used to raise our armies, wage war, buy oil, build our roads and finance our government. We simply do not have the real money to meet our demands.

F. Many of the so called national brand names are in fact either foreign owned or in large part owned by foreign nationals.

G. There is no way in which the U.S. economy can repay a $3 trillion debt. Of this amount, about half is owed to China, and all the while dollars continue to be pumped into the global economy. In effect, the United States is exporting paper dollars, or paper bonds, and other countries are exporting goods and services and selling their corporate stocks and natural resources in exchange. The dollar is getting a free ride from this and is now weaken.

H. Since our governments are weaken and employers have shifted the burden of job security and benefits such as old age care, welfare and disability to the employee - the worker is now the expert in his or her own security. Most employees are utter failures at being experts ---- most do not have a clue about subprime lending or compound interest on credit cards. Few have outside investments beyond what they get from their jobs or their own home.

I. Elizabeth Warren found that a middle-class lifestyle, is increasingly out of reach for middle-class families, many of whom are going broke trying to attain it. She discovered that having a child is the single best predictor that a person will go bankrupt. By the end of this decade, one of every seven families with children will file for bankruptcy.

Compared with a generation ago, she found, today's middle-class families earn about 75 percent more (all figures are adjusted for inflation), thanks in large part to Mom's entrance into the work force. But after shelling out for four fixed expenses - mortgage, health insurance, child care or education, and car payments - today's median-income family has less left over, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than the single-income family of the 1970s.

"Families are not going broke over lattes," Warren quips. "Families are going broke over mortgages."

J. If you are buying even an older home in many places in America you are forking over a bigger portion of that check for housing. The price of housing even in these hard luck times has out performed job income in terms of inflation.
10.29.2008 2:07am
CB55 (mail):
Floridan:

We do now that the Free market is not so free - lots of people bet their 401Ks, fortunes, and homes on it and too many lost. All big corporate debts are public and corporate incomes are corporate incomes.

The American family via their government is making it easier for America Inc to keep more and more of it's money if you ask David Cay Johnston and Kevin Phillips - it's built into our tax code. Many major employers Take the tax cut and build/offshore it over there while firing workers here while compelling those who do work work at a lower wage while they take on more debt. With the right lawyer and lobby group you too can have a tax loop hole made just for you if you can get the ear of that special some one in congress (just be willing to give to his favorite none profit).

--------------------------

As for me I think of the earth as one planet and all people are citizens of Earth. Being a citizen means we have a duty to the natural planet and to each other which goes beyond being a Frenchman, Russian or American. Our planet and all humans are facing global threats of poverty, disease, tyranny, ignorance, war, competing economies, global warming and material scarcity.
10.29.2008 3:00am
Perseus (mail):
That's the real key, isn't it?

I beg to differ. Intellectual ability, learning, a strong work ethic, interest, etc. are, regrettably, much rarer than the advocates of universal college education seem to recognize, and no amount of government handouts or social engineering will change that fact.
10.29.2008 3:00am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
I don't think the summary of Obama's plan is likely. Maybe if we were voting for an autocrat (and then only maybe) but a lot of these things aren't within the President's authority. So maybe one also needs to keep in touch with your congressmen....

However, let's pick just the top one-- the plan to withdraw from Iraq.

I was opposed to the war in the first place. I thought then that we never should have gone in. I stick with that view. However, I think it would be a greater atrocity if, after deposing the Iraqi government and reducing the country to chaos, if we just left. I sometimes feel ashamed that so many of my fellow Americans don't feel that we owe the Iraqi people some level of effort in rebuilding their country after we tore down their government.

Furthermore a chaotic non-state that would be a failed Iraq wouldnt so much embolden terrorists as it would give them a nice safe place to practice (sort of like they have now). Long run, that is a serious threat and it shows why we have to fulfil our obligations there.

However, the reason why I supported the surge in Iraq was because I felt that it was either give Bush a chance to do what he was talking about or simply abandon Iraq because things were getting really bad there. In my mind, the two most important elements of the surge plan were (surprise):
1) The clear communication to the Iraqi government that our patience was not unlimited and
2) The emphasis on reversing de-baathification laws.

The troops were to me a marginal issue. The key concern was to get the Iraqi government to stop using our troops as human shields while government officers directed sectarian killings from behind our protection. If this hadn't stopped I would have favored a withdrawal on principle with a promise to come back and start the process over again after the current government would fall.

The surge did work, and it worked because of the clear impression that we were nearing the end of our patience, that the Iraqi government had better get their act together, and that political reforms were needed so that large portions of the Sunnis were not disenfranchised.

Now, getting back to Obama's plan. I think McCain's plan is fundamentally dangerous though the concerns McCain brings up are valid. An open-ended commitment in Iraq could mean a return to the civil war that threatened to engulf the country. I think that the best approach is to come up with a timetable for American drawdown but approach this with flexibility.

Make no mistake. I believe we would eventually be in Iraq one way or another, but since there was no imminent threat, my reasoning was that it was better to wait for a crisis that *did* demand an international response. I didn't think that the situation in 2003 did, and we have paid for that many times over.
10.29.2008 3:42am
Smokey:
CB55:

Re your 1:07 a.m. post above: your critical thinking widget is broken. Let me help you out:

A. Wrong, and wrong. Since the 1970's, national wealth [GDP] has increased by 300%, from about $5 trillion to about $15 trillion in constant [inflation adjusted] dollars. Corporations don't get that wealth; people [shareholders; folks with 401-K's; workers; even welfare recipients] do. And that ridiculous argument about a stark choice between medical care or food is either ignorant, or dishonest rabble-rousing. Every person in this country is entitled to medical care without regard to their ability to pay. And no one starves in this country unless it's due to their personal bad decisions in life: drug/alcohol use, gambling, serial children when birth control is available - free - everywhere, etc.

B. A complete non-sequitur.

C. Easy credit, forced on lenders by the government, is the reason for the sub prime financial crisis. No economist seriously disagrees that the financial crisis is due in large part to government required home loans to unqualified applicants. Government is the problem, not the solution.

D. Ditto. Government has spent every dime of Social Security income, and then some. Now, Social Security is simply an intergenerational transfer of wealth; your SSAN account is a myth. The government has stolen your savings.

E. "Foreigners are bailing out of dollars." Flat wrong. The dollar is getting stronger. That means people are buying dollars, not selling them.

F. So what? Americans have been buying foreign companies since before the Republic was established. Liberals can never understand that trade is good. When there is an infusion of cash into an American company, new jobs are created, and more taxes are paid to the U.S. government. See?

G. Wrong again. The dollar is strengthening. And most natural resources are now produced by other countries; we can't even drill for oil [oil reserves in the Dakotas were recently discovered that equal all of Saudi Arabia's reserves. But the government says we can't use it]. So we print paper dollars, send them abroad, and receive real commodities in return. Who gets the better deal?

H. Anyone who thinks the government is getting weaker is deluded. Government is growing by leaps and bounds. And the idea that the nanny state must come to the rescue of every fool who made a bad decision in life is the reason we are in the current fix. Government isn't the solution, it is the central problem.

I. In other words, six of every seven people with children will not go bankrupt. One-seventh is the bottom 14% of the population. See the correlation there? Not everyone can be an NBA star, or a Fortune 500 C.E.O. Some people make bad decisions in life. To claim that honest people are going broke over honest mortgages requires us to believe that those who bought houses based on no document loans [in other words, signing fraudulent loan applications, in which the buyer lists no credit card or other debt, and puts a fantasy income figure down in order to get the loan] is the fault of everyone else?? The people who put up a 10 - 20% down payment, and who were truthful on their loan apps [the majority of home buyers] are not the ones in trouble.

J. Again, that is flat wrong. Someone buying a house today requires a substantially smaller portion of their paycheck for housing. Because there is big time deflation in housing.

What's really scary is that so many folks believe what CB55 believes.
10.29.2008 7:21am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
perseus:

Intellectual ability, learning, a strong work ethic, interest, etc. are, regrettably, much rarer than the advocates of universal college education seem to recognize, and no amount of government handouts or social engineering will change that fact.


I think railing about "the advocates of universal college education" is a bit of a straw man argument. I agree with you that not everyone belongs in college. But many people who can benefit from college don't go, either because they can't, or because the idea of college is not an important part of their culture. This is a problem, and we all win when this problem is solved. Elevating the Palin family as a role model doesn't help solve this problem. On the contrary. Likewise with regard to the problem of teen pregnancy.
10.29.2008 9:11am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
smokey:

Since the 1970's, national wealth [GDP] has increased by 300%


Shorter Smokey: "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Since you like statistics, here are some more.

• between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent. [link]


• Most corporate wealth is owned by the top 1% of households. …

"from 2003 to 2004 … real average income for the top 1 percent of households — those making more than $315,000 in 2004 — grew by nearly 17 percent. For the remaining 99 percent, the average gain was less than 3 percent" [link]


• Under the Bush tax cuts, the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes - a minimum of $87 million in 2000, the last year for which the government will release such data - now pay income, Medicare and Social Security taxes amounting to virtually the same percentage of their incomes as people making $50,000 to $75,000. …

Those earning more than $10 million a year now pay a lesser share of their income in these taxes than those making $100,000 to $200,000. …

The people at the top of America's money pyramid have so prospered in recent years that they have pulled far ahead of the rest of the population … Draw a line under the top 0.1 percent of income earners - the top one-thousandth. Above that line are about 145,000 taxpayers, each with at least $1.6 million in income and often much more. … The share of the nation's income earned by those in this uppermost category has more than doubled since 1980, to 7.4 percent in 2002. … the share earned by the bottom 90 percent fell. [link]


• in 1970 the top 0.01 percent of taxpayers (the 13,000 richest families in America) had 0.7 percent of total income … in 1998 the top 0.01 percent received more than 3 percent of all income [link]


• The 400 wealthiest taxpayers accounted for more than 1 percent of all the income in the United States in the year 2000, more than double their share just eight years earlier, according to new data from the Internal Revenue Service. But their tax burden plummeted over the period. … The rate actually paid by the top 400 in 2000 was about the same as that paid by a single person making $123,000 [link]


• … the share of the country's GDP going to wages and salaries sank to its lowest postwar level, 45.4%, in the third quarter of 2006 … labor's share of the nation's income is falling … Profits, meanwhile, are at their highest level as a share of GDP since the booming 1960s. [link]


This adds up to something very simple: people who work for a living are falling behind. People who live off their wealth are doing better and better. Mission accomplished!

This is not sustainable:

The income gap between the rich and the rest of the US population has become so wide, and is growing so fast, that it might eventually threaten the stability of democratic capitalism itself.


See if you can guess the name of the moonbat who said that.
10.29.2008 9:11am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
Jukebox: Your fatwah against Byron York seems to rest on pretty flimsy (or perhaps dishonest) grounds. In your 11:43 post, you link to a supposed "blatant falsehood" York made in regard to the Troopergate figure Monaghan. I followed the link and it goes back to a post by York on the Corner on 9/2. Here's the thing: The statement you're calling a blatant falsehood justifying your decision never to read York ISN'T a statement by Byron York; it's York QUOTING a statement from a memo distributed by the McCain campaign.

What does that say for YOUR credibility?
10.29.2008 9:15am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
[The now discredited] Jukebox: "What the facts suggest is contrary to what you claim the facts suggest. Poole-Rosenthal scores show that Obama is roughly at the center of his party."

Those aren't really "facts" plural. At most it is one "fact", arguably favorable to your point of view, but hardly conclusive of the overall issue of how far to the left Obama actually is.

I would point out that at least one other analysis IDs Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate based on his votes.

However, I would suggest we should look beyond Senate votes in making this judgment. Obama hasn't been in the Senate that long and, throughout most of his term, he has been running for national office. His presidential aspirations could very easily have caused him to moderate his voting pattern in order to make himself look more mainstream.

What's more telling is his ideological orientation BEFORE he became a potential prez candidate. You may not think the New Party deserved the "socialist" label, but it clearly was far to the left of even the Dem party (which is of course why they organized it in the first place). Evidently, his ideological orientation was in line with New Party, or he wouldn't have joined and they wouldn't have endorsed him.
10.29.2008 9:27am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
CB55: I really don't get what your point is. Assuming your statistics are correct, what is YOUR solution?

Smokey: I admire you patience in attempting a point-by-point response to CB55. One correction, however: GDP isn't national wealth. I think it can be better described as the increase in national wealth from one year to the next. I think I read somewhere that national wealth totals something like $60 trillion.

[Discredited] Jukebox: You need to be careful with those household income stats. Household sizes have dropped a lot over the last generation, so naturally growth in household income has been sluggish. (Something like 70% of black babies are born to single moms!) Also, it would be nice to know the extent to which those dire-sounding stats include illegal aliens. I mentioned earlier that a good chunk of the uninsured are actually illegals. Deal with that problem and a lot of these issues become more manageable.
10.29.2008 9:51am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
conrad:

The statement … ISN'T a statement by Byron York; it's York QUOTING a statement from a memo distributed by the McCain campaign.


Let's review. "A senior strategist in the McCain campaign" whispered a lie into York's ear (it was a conversation, not "a memo"). York happily and approvingly conveyed this lie to his readers, quoting that "senior strategist." Without lifting a finger to question the lie or express even the slightest doubt about it. Even though about a minute of googling would have been enough to identify the lie.

York basically was handed an oral press release, and he basically reprinted it verbatim. If NR was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GOP, York's article could not possibly have been any different (except for the tiny print at the bottom of the page, where it would have said 'copyright GOP,' instead of 'copyright NR').

But the echo chamber marches on. Lindgren then happily and approvingly reprinted York's article. Without lifting a finger to question or verify any of the statements.

At this point, what has effectively happened is that McCain's oral press release is being published and promoted at NR and VC, even though it contains at least one falsehood that is both brazen and highly material.

Can you imagine the derisive howling we would hear from you folks if NYT or LAT had created an 'article' that consisted of essentially nothing more than literally a verbatim Obama press release? With not even a pretense of using any other source, or verifying any of the facts presented? Nevertheless, we're supposed to think that NR is a reliable source of factual information, and NYT/LAT et al are not. How amusing.

Anyone can make a mistake, so it's also important to understand this: Lindgren and York were told about the falsehood, and did nothing. How can you defend this behavior?

Anyway, your feeble defense of NR reminds me of Bush's 16 words. You're recycling the famously pathetic defense of him, which relies on exactly your kind of extreme literalism: he wasn't really saying that Saddam sought yellowcake. He was only saying that UK said that Saddam sought yellowcake. Therefore his statement was literally true. Never mind that he was endorsing and promoting the UK claim, even though CIA had already determined that the UK claim wasn't "very credible."

Likewise, it is pathetic for both York and Lindgren to promote McCain's falsehood, and then hide behind the idea that they were only quoting some other liar, instead being the originator of the lie. And this defense is doubly pathetic when they have both pointedly neglected to run a correction.

Look into the law of defamation, and you'll notice that it applies the kind of common sense that you're attempting to deny: if I hear you make a defamatory statement, and then I quote you to someone else, I'm just as culpable as you.
10.29.2008 10:04am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
conrad:

I would point out that at least one other analysis IDs Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate based on his votes.


You're obviously talking about the infamous statement from National Journal. Trouble is, the Poole-Rosenthal analysis is a lot more objective and reliable. That's explained here.

Evidently, his ideological orientation was in line with New Party, or he wouldn't have joined and they wouldn't have endorsed him.


Hint: not everything you read at Power Line is true. Obama was not a member. And let us know if you want to make McCain responsible for every group that endorses him. Maybe you didn't notice that he's been endorsed by Al Qaeda. Evidently, McCain's ideological orientation is in line with Al Qaeda, or they wouldn't have endorsed him.

Household sizes have dropped a lot … 70% of black babies are born to single moms … a good chunk of the uninsured are actually illegals


When you offer truthy factoids like this without showing a source, I consider them completely useless. Just so you know. Where did you read those things? Maybe in a VC article which quoted NR quoting McCain?
10.29.2008 10:24am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
[Discredited] Jukebox: There's an old saying that when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!

Your argument that York committed a "blatant falsehood" by accurately QUOTING a campaign official is utter bunk. The purpose of York's blog post was to relay the McCain camp's response to the questions being raised about the adequacy of the vetting they did on Sarah Palin.

Here's where you give yourself away, however: When you posted the allegedly false statement about Monaghan, you OMITTED THE QUOTATION MARKS that appeared in Byron York's piece! In other words, YOU'RE the one being deceitful, misrepresenting to everyone here that those words were York's and not a quote from someone else merely reported by York.

BTW, by your standard, you shouldn't be reading any news stories, because every newspaper in the country reported in 1998 that Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I guess they were all lying. Oh wait, I left out something: the freaking quotation marks showing these were Clinton's words and not those of the reporters covering the White House.

What a tool.
10.29.2008 10:42am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
Discredited JB: Your comments about the 16 words make no sense. There was nothing "pathetic" in inclusion of those words in the SOTU speech. Read up on it in this FactCheck piece: http://www.factcheck.org/bushs_16_words_on_iraq_uranium.html

As for your ravings about Byron York somehow being involved in a conspiracy with McCain's people to launder known falsehoods into news stories that can be re-quoted by McCain's campaign (or whatever you're asserting), (a) there's no evidence of such a consiracy, and (b) that's not the charge you were originally making against York. You charged him with saying something that was in fact a QUOTE from someone else. Why not just admit it? I mean, other than the comic relief it's providing, what's the point of your continuing to hemorrhage credibility in this fashion?
10.29.2008 10:59am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
Discredited JB: "You're obviously talking about the infamous statement from National Journal. Trouble is, the Poole-Rosenthal analysis is a lot more objective and reliable. That's explained here."

And the link supposedly proving that the Poole-Rosenthal analysis is "a lot more objective and reliable" comes from [drum roll] David Brock's Media Matters for America!

Here's how Media Matters for America describes itself (per Wiki): "a web-based, not-for-profit, progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

Terrific authority you have there.
10.29.2008 11:14am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
Discredit JB: "Hint: not everything you read at Power Line is true. Obama was not a member."

Yes he was. The New Party's own newsletter -- I'm not clear on what Powerline has to do with this -- describes him as a member and he posed for pictures with other members and endorsed candidates.

"And let us know if you want to make McCain responsible for every group that endorses him. Maybe you didn't notice that he's been endorsed by Al Qaeda. Evidently, McCain's ideological orientation is in line with Al Qaeda, or they wouldn't have endorsed him."

Did McCain accept the AQ endorsement and pose for pictures with other AQ-endorsed candidates for their newsletters?
10.29.2008 11:19am
Conrad Bibby (mail):
Me: "Household sizes have dropped a lot … 70% of black babies are born to single moms … a good chunk of the uninsured are actually illegals"

Discredited JB: "When you offer truthy factoids like this without showing a source, I consider them completely useless. Just so you know. Where did you read those things? Maybe in a VC article which quoted NR quoting McCain?"

Me again: Google "household size u.s." and the very first article that comes up is from an extreme right-wing outfit called "MSNBC". It discusses the trend toward smaller households. You're familiar with google?

[sigh] Here's the damn article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14942047/

From Clarence Page: "Recent figures suggest that now, almost 70 percent of black children are born out of wedlock."

As for the problem of so many illegals being uninsured, here's a USA Today story addressing the correlation:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/ washington/2008-01-21-immigrant-healthcare_N.htm

It appears that illegals account for anywhere from 15% to around of a third of the uninsured, and a much higher percentage of the increase in the numbers of uninsured since 1980. It's hard to peg the numbers because we don't have hard statistics on the number of illegals in the US. Also, this is an "inconvenient truth" for the mainstream media, so there hasn't exactly been a tsunami of coverage of the fact that the supposed crisis levels of people lacking health care is due in large part to illegal immigration.
10.29.2008 11:43am
MarkField (mail):

I beg to differ. Intellectual ability, learning, a strong work ethic, interest, etc. are, regrettably, much rarer than the advocates of universal college education seem to recognize, and no amount of government handouts or social engineering will change that fact.


I'm not sure that this is responsive. jbg's point was that the value parents place on education is a good predictor of college attendance. Your points, whether I agree with them or not, don't really address that.

You seem to have a fairly narrow view of who should attend college. I have a much broader one. I don't think people have to have all your characteristics in order to benefit from college. In fact, I guess I could apply your logic downward and say that in their absence people shouldn't even attend high school. That doesn't strike me as persuasive.
10.29.2008 12:28pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
conrad:

When you posted the allegedly false statement about Monaghan, you OMITTED THE QUOTATION MARKS that appeared in Byron York's piece! …You charged him with saying something that was in fact a QUOTE from someone else


It's not "allegedly" false. It's false. I showed proof. Your dishonesty is revealed in your use of that word.

Anyway, please pay attention to exactly what I said the first time I raised this issue. In particular, please pay attention to the very first words I said:

mccain via york via lindgren


Right off the bat, I made it exceedingly clear that I was quoting Lindgren who had quoted York who had quoted McCain (when I say McCain, I obviously mean his campaign). So it's asinine for you to claim that I was trying to hide the true origin of the comment.

And when I discussed the situation in another comment, I said this: here are the words York published. And then I showed the words:

The man who was fired has said on the record that he was never pressured


York did indeed publish those words. And I provided the link so everyone could see that. Your claim that I did something misleading is extremely silly.

every newspaper in the country reported in 1998 that Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky


Try this exercise: see if you can find a single article which quoted Clinton's statement, without making even a pretense of questioning it or using another source to convey a different perspective. If you can find such a thing, that would sort of be a fair comparison. And it's still not completely fair, unless you can show that the paper could have easily discovered that the statement was false, even before they printed it. Because York and Lindgren could easily have done that: discovered the falsity of the statement even before they printed it. Obviously that is not true in your Clinton analogy.

But then you have to go a step further. You need to show that the same paper neglected to report the truth, even after it was determined that Clinton's statement was false. Do you really think you can find such an example? Because that's what York and Lindgren have done: neglect to post a correction or report the truth, even though they have been notified that the statement they published is false.

The McCain campaign lied, and then York and Lindgren promoted that lie, and neglected to run a correction, when notified. Why is all this OK with you?

your ravings about Byron York somehow being involved in a conspiracy with McCain's people to launder known falsehoods into news stories that can be re-quoted by McCain's campaign


That's not what I said. Here's an idea: try responding to what I've actually said, rather than your fantasy of what you think I might be thinking.

You're describing a scenario that took place while the war was being sold, but I'm not claiming this is what happened with York and Lindgren. It's something simpler: they helped McCain spread a falsehood.

Read up on it in this FactCheck piece


That article has some very serious flaws. I proved that here.
10.29.2008 2:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
conrad:

Terrific authority you have there.


You obviously have no sense of irony. Maybe you didn't notice what just happened with one of your pals who presented NR as a source. He claimed I should examine the NR article he presented, even though I have shown proof that York is not trustworthy. So I finally did examine the article, and proved that York is again untrustworthy.

The MM article about Poole-Rosenthal presents proof for all the claims it makes. That proof doesn't go away simply because you decide to wave your hand and dismiss it.

Here's how Media Matters for America describes itself


What's really funny is that you're not even alleging that MM is dishonest or disreputable. You're simply pointing out, correctly, that their mission is to correct "conservative misinformation." So what's wrong with that? How does that discredit the proof they presented?

The New Party's own newsletter -- I'm not clear on what Powerline has to do with this -- describes him as a member and he posed for pictures with other members and endorsed candidates.


Links, please. And please don't bother pointing to a righty blog that links to another righty blog that links to another righty blog that links back to the first righty blog.

Incidentally, anyone is free to start an organization and claim that anyone is a member. For example, a few seconds ago I founded an organization called Nun Rapers and Puppy Torturers of America. And my first newsletter, which I am about to distribute to the press, includes a list of members. Do you know who's on that list? You. So that proves you're a member, right?

Did McCain accept the AQ endorsement and pose for pictures with other AQ-endorsed candidates for their newsletters?


I'll wait for you to show proof that Obama did exactly what you're claiming he did. And aside from that, do you think no one notices how you're moving the goal posts? Before you said this:

Evidently, his ideological orientation was in line with New Party, or he wouldn't have joined and they wouldn't have endorsed him.


You claimed that if they endorsed him (something you haven't even proven yet), that this is sufficient to indicate that "his ideological orientation was in line" with them. Why doesn't this same logic apply to the endorsement AQ just gave McCain?
10.29.2008 2:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
conrad:

Google "household size u.s." and the very first article that comes up is from an extreme right-wing outfit called "MSNBC". It discusses the trend toward smaller households.


What a nice example of how sloppy you are in your reading, thinking and writing. Or how dishonest you are. Or both. Let's review. Here I cited statistics showing that household income has been relatively stagnant between 1979 and 2005. You responded as follows:

Household sizes have dropped a lot over the last generation


I challenged you for proof. So you presented an article which says this:

[this year] the average number of people living in U.S. households … will be at a new low of 2.6 people per home


The article also says this:

In 1967, when the U.S. counted 200 million citizens, households hovered at just over three residents each


First of all, a change from "just over three" in 1967 to "2.6 people per home" in 2006 isn't exactly "a lot," and it also isn't a "generation." 40 years is closer to two generations. More importantly, 1967 isn't the relevant year. I made a comparison to 1979. So let's get some better numbers (pdf). Average household size in 1980 was 2.75. Average household size in 2006 was 2.6. That change is what you call "a lot?" Going from 2.75 to 2.6 is a decline of 5%. On what planet is that fairly described as "a lot?"

Let's take another look at the statistic I originally cited:

between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent.


You are correct to point out that the "13 percent" should be adjusted to take into account the change in household size. Big deal. The change in household size was 5%. That means the 13% is really 13.7%. Wow! That changes everything, doesn't it. So let's repost the statistic, taking that correction into account:

between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13.7 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent.


Thank goodness you spoke up to tell us that "household sizes have dropped a lot over the last generation." Obviously that changes everything. Not. Here's one reason: it's simply not true. Unless you think 5% is "a lot."

And your comments about illegitimacy and immigration are red herrings which don't alter the underlying facts I presented.
10.29.2008 2:20pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"First of all, 9-5 jobs are 37.5 hrs/wk, not 40. That alone takes your average hourly to $8. Also, many workers only have temp and/or part time jobs, further raising the hourly average. Of course there are also people who work more than 40 hrs/wk or more than one job, but they're less likely to be in the bottom half."

OK. Replace my 40 hours with 37.5 hours, and $7.50 with $8.00.

That means 25% of taxpayers are making less than $8.00 per hour. Does that pass the common sense test?

So, there is something about this figure we don't know. For example, how is it computed? Suppose a spouse works one hour per year and earns $10. The other spouse makes $100,000 in the year. They file jointly and have a total income of $100,010. Are both spouses considered taxpayers in the calcuation that delivers $15,000? Is the spouse with a $10 income part of the denominator in the calculation?

What defines a taxpeyer in the calculation?

I wonder what the average income would be for the second quartile using the same rules?
10.29.2008 2:36pm
Michael B (mail):
Andrew J. Lazarus,

A bet concerning what? The tax rate decrease, that it was decisive or that tax revenues increased? Or about the fact of the Cold War, the problems in the wake of Carter's presidency or the Democratic Congress and the nature of its role? I never denied the red ink per se, I more simply placed it within some larger contexts.

Regardless, why not more simply forward the information you have, via supportive links or otherwise, to the extent it might correct any of that?

(And don't broach the subject of Clinton's surplus without also opening up the subject of the fact that Clinton's tenure existed entirely in the interwar period, between the fall of the Soviet Bloc and 9/11 - also that he failed to better appropriate monies during that interwar period, for example as related to a better realignment of defense budgets and resources. WTC '93 was not as decisive an event as 9/11, but it did occur only 30 days into his presidency and the source of that event was quickly understood.)
10.29.2008 3:02pm
Perseus (mail):
I think railing about "the advocates of universal college education" is a bit of a straw man argument.

You seem to have a fairly narrow view of who should attend college. I have a much broader one. I don't think people have to have all your characteristics in order to benefit from college.

Once again, I beg to differ, but don't take my word for it. Here's an excerpt from an article in the Atlantic, "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower":

Sending everyone under the sun to college is a noble initiative. Academia is all for it, naturally. Industry is all for it; some companies even help with tuition costs. Government is all for it; the truly needy have lots of opportunities for financial aid. The media applauds it—try to imagine someone speaking out against the idea. To oppose such a scheme of inclusion would be positively churlish. But one piece of the puzzle hasn’t been figured into the equation, to use the sort of phrase I encounter in the papers submitted by my English 101 students. The zeitgeist of academic possibility is a great inverted pyramid, and its rather sharp point is poking, uncomfortably, a spot just about midway between my shoulder blades.

And I find it difficult to justify having taxpayers shell out so much money to people who will receive, at best, modest benefits from a standard college curriculum.

As for Sarah Palin as model, that was Mark Field's scarecrow.
10.29.2008 4:11pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
It's good to go back to the original data, where we discover (surprise!) that the Heritage Foundation are liars and cheats.
The tax rate decrease, that it was decisive or that tax revenues increased?
The graph linked to by Michael B combines Federal Funds receipts where the rate was cut and receipts went down and Trust Fund (e.g. Social Security) receipts where the tax rate went up and receipts went up. See page 31 of this link [large pdf warning] for the original data, which show that Federal Funds receipts were reduced by the Reagan Tax Cuts and did not recover until 1987 measured in constant dollars!

I see this fraud so often (and I don't blame Michael for it, but his sources who know better) that I have had the refuting data bookmarked for over 15 years.
10.29.2008 4:42pm
Conrad Bibby (mail):
Discredited JB: Your act is becoming quite tiresome. You cite sources you agree with, reject the ones you don't. That's not intellectually honest. You can't reasonably reject everything a reporter (Byron York) publishes on the basis of one or two problems you have with past stories. If that were the standard, then nobody should ever cite anything from the NYT simply by virtue of Jason Blair.

On household size, I cited MSNBC for a discussion of the TREND. I referred you to it because it was the first article that came up on google. I never suggested that the specific stats they reported are conclusive or represent the maximum extent of the phenomenon.

Also, my initial comment to you about household size was that "You need to be careful with those household income stats." The statistics you cited very likely understate the extent of income growth for the middle class over the last generation because household size has been trending down. I don't claim expertise in economics or demographics, nor an encyclopedic command of all the relevant statistics. I was simply pointing out a problem of apples and oranges in the statistics you were citing. Sadly, you couldn't abide the thought that someone would question the absolute truth of what you had posted, so you demanded a source to back up my contentions, none of which should have seemed all that controversial (do you really doubt that a large percentage of African American births are to unmarried mothers?).

As for the "16 words", again, it's the same story with you every single time. FactCheck is no good in this instance because you have "proved" their article has some "verious serious flaws." Actually, you haven't proven any such thing. Essentially all you've done is aligned yourself with the CIA's view of the yellowcake controversy. That's the same CIA that employed Valerie Plame, tapped her husband to drink green tea in Africa, and generally try to throw a monkey wrench into Bush's foreign policy every chance it got. It's the classic Jukebox M.O.: find a source you agree with and declare it authoritative; when confronted with an authority you disagree with, find some reason not to consider it.

On Obama's membership in the New Party, I'm not going to play your game. You know perfectly well the relevant party newsletters have been posted online. You know how to find them. If you're really interested in the possibility of confronting an inconvenient truth about Obama's leftist background, you'll take the necessary 5 minutes to do a google search. I'm not going to do it for you this time.
10.29.2008 5:00pm
MarkField (mail):

And I find it difficult to justify having taxpayers shell out so much money to people who will receive, at best, modest benefits from a standard college curriculum.


The amount of education we expect from people is essentially arbitrary. 200 years ago, readin' and writin' was plenty for most people. Today, college track is more common in the US, less so in Europe and elsewhere. There is no absolute right answer to the amount people generally need.

I start by asking what purposes we expect education to serve. Among the various purposes, I'd identify these:

1. To make our citizens good citizens (it's a republican government, after all).

2. To give the people in our culture a common frame of reference so that we possess a shared knowledge base. It's a form of cultural glue.

3. To train people to work in the marketplace (clearly, this will vary over time as the marketplace changes).

To me, a quote from an English professor who shares your view of education isn't very persuasive. In this sense, I agree with Herman Hesse that "The task of the teacher and scholar is to study means, cultivate tradition, and preserve the purity of methods, not to deal in incommunicable experiences which are reserved to the elect – who often enough pay a high price for this privilege."

You seem to feel that education should be limited to those who can appreciate "incommunicable experiences". I see it as much broader.


As for Sarah Palin as model, that was Mark Field's scarecrow.


She certainly scares me.
10.29.2008 5:05pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Anyway, your feeble defense of NR reminds me of Bush's 16 words. You're recycling the famously pathetic defense of him, which relies on exactly your kind of extreme literalism: he wasn't really saying that Saddam sought yellowcake. He was only saying that UK said that Saddam sought yellowcake. Therefore his statement was literally true. Never mind that he was endorsing and promoting the UK claim, even though CIA had already determined that the UK claim wasn't "very credible."

"The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans."

July 5, 2008 MSNBC Associated Press
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25546334/
10.29.2008 5:29pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Elliott, that shipment was of pre-1991 material that had been babysat by the United Nations all along. It does nothing to make the UK's claim true or even more likely.
10.29.2008 5:39pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Does yellowcake have an expiration date?
10.29.2008 5:47pm
David Warner:
MarkField,

"She certainly scares me."

Pull yourself together there, Mark. If you've survived teen daughters, I'm sure you can make it through Palin. Although judging by your Hesse quotes, she may be a little radical for you.

I guarantee you've asked me to accept a lot more with Obama (and I have) than I'm asking you to with Palin.
10.29.2008 6:41pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Elliot: the yellowcake you refer to was known, and inventoried, before the war. You know that, don't you. It can not possibly be the yellowcake referred to by the UK, nor could it have been used, without our knowledge, to restart a nuclear weapons program, even assuming Saddam had the other necessary components, which he did not.

Is that clear now? If not, click the link I already gave you.
10.29.2008 6:52pm
Perseus (mail):
The amount of education we expect from people is essentially arbitrary. 200 years ago, readin' and writin' was plenty for most people. Today, college track is more common in the US, less so in Europe and elsewhere...

That still begs the question as to how many people are genuinely capable of taking advantage of a college education. All too many students (and I've taught more than a few undergraduates at a non-R1 public university) seem incapable of meeting fairly modest standards of intellectual rigor, let alone appreciating the "incommunicable experiences which are reserved to the elect." Moreover, the bulk of the first two purposes of education that you identify could be satisfied with a high school curriculum.
10.29.2008 7:54pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
conrad:

You cite sources you agree with, reject the ones you don't.


Wrong. I cite sources that show proof. MM showed proof. You're dismissing it because you don't want to deal with the proof they provided.

And I reject sources after I discover they are dishonest. I've proven that NR and York are dishonest. But I still looked at the York article about Biden and taxes, and I evaluated the evidence there. But you're not willing to do the same with the MM article I cited.

You can't reasonably reject everything a reporter (Byron York) publishes on the basis of one or two problems you have with past stories.


How ironic. That's exactly what you're doing with MM. And you're not even going to the trouble of proving that you even ever had "one or two problems" with them in the past. Whereas I proved that York is unreliable, and then I evaluated his new article, despite that.

I'm not doing what you're accusing me of doing, but you're doing exactly what you're accusing me of doing. A better example of pure projection would be hard to find.

I never suggested that the specific stats they reported are conclusive … I don't claim expertise in economics


Your dishonesty is transparent and shameless. Let's review. You said this:

Household sizes have dropped a lot over the last generation


Here's what that statement is: false. Have you acknowledged making a false statement? No.

I've seen your MO thousands of times, literally. What you do is make shit up, and try to sound like you know what you're talking about, even though you don't. And then when challenged, you pretend to show proof. And then when it's discovered that your so-called proof doesn't actually substantiate the bogus claim you made, you pretend that you never actually made a specific factual claim ("I never suggested … I don't claim expertise").

Thanks for giving us yet more proof of a very basic phenomenon: the GOP is packed with liars, from top to bottom.

Essentially all you've done is aligned yourself with the CIA's view of the yellowcake controversy.


Wrong. My fact-check of the factcheck article is very specific, and thoroughly documented, and in no way relies on blindly accepting "the CIA's view of the yellowcake controversy." You haven't made even a pretense of addressing the very long list of problems I identified in that article.

That's the same CIA that employed Valerie Plame, tapped her husband to drink green tea in Africa, and generally try to throw a monkey wrench into Bush's foreign policy every chance it got.


Sure. And that's why Dubya gave the boss a medal. Makes perfect sense.

You know perfectly well the relevant party newsletters have been posted online


Exactly. And I've examined them thoroughly, something you probably have never bothered to do. Which means that I know they don't come even close to proving what you claim they prove. And that's why I'm calling your bluff. Because that's what you are: a bluffer.

Here's one interesting fact about those newsletters. They specifically say they were only "recommending" Obama, not "endorsing" him:

For Congressman of the 1st Congressional District, the Executive Committee was faced with two very good candidates. As we are not making endorsements but merely recommendations, we felt no conflict in recommending both Bobby Rush and Barak Obama.


You said they "endorsed" him. That statement is obviously false. When are you going to withdraw it?

And when are you going to tell us why it's OK with you that McCain, York and Lindgren all promoted a falsehood regarding Monegan?

You can go run and hide now, because we all know that you're not going to address these questions.
10.29.2008 8:00pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
perseus:

I find it difficult to justify having taxpayers shell out so much money to people who will receive, at best, modest benefits from a standard college curriculum.


Now that's what I call elitist.
10.29.2008 8:00pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
andrew:

that shipment was of pre-1991 material that had been babysat by the United Nations all along


Indeed. And the further irony of this stockpile is that it makes the 16 words even more absurd. It makes no sense that Saddam would try to sneak yellowcake out of Niger, with great difficulty, when there was already plenty of it sitting in Iraq. Yes, the UN was supervising it, but the obstacles to getting it from Niger were still many times greater. Some of the details about this are almost completely overlooked and unreported, to this day, because they didn't become available to the public until the Libby trial. The following text is from one of the trial exhibits (pdf). It's part of the information that Wilson reported when he returned from Niger:

uranium from Niger’s mines is very tightly controlled and accounted for from the time it is mined until the time is [sic] loaded onto ships at the port of Cotonou, Benin … even a kilogram of uranium would be noticed missing at the mines. On-site storage is limited … each shipment of uranium is under Nigerien armed military escort from the time it leaves one of the two Nigerien mines until it is loaded on to a ship in Cotonou. … Trucking barrels of yellowcake northward would require an experienced guide and many armed guards, due to the shifting dunes and bandits in that region … it would be difficult, if not impossible, to arrange a special shipment of uranium to a pariah state given these strict controls and the close monitoring by the Nigerien government and the two mining companies.


More from the same trial exhibit:

The alleged contract between Niger and Iraq says that Niger will sell Iraq 500 tons of Uranium in two tranches per year. INR explained that would mean somewhere between one sixth and one eighth of the total output of the two mines and that twice a year 25 semi tractor trailers loads of yellow cake would have to be driven down roads where one seldom sees even a bush taxi. In other words, it would be very hard to hide such a shipment. When the idea of moving the stuff across the desert to Sudan (???) was broached INR responded that while it is not difficult to drive across much of the hard packed flat desert terrain, there are many problems including heat up to 130 degrees F, wear and tear on the vehicles, water, fuel and drifting sand that would make such a trip difficult in the extreme.


It's helpful to notice that Bush thought it was very important to tell us about a rumor based on forged documents, at the same time he was hiding from us these very basic facts about the extreme unlikelihood of Saddam ever actually obtaining any Nigerien yellowcake. Heckuva job, Dubya! Mission accomplished.
10.29.2008 8:00pm
MarkField (mail):

Pull yourself together there, Mark. If you've survived teen daughters, I'm sure you can make it through Palin. Although judging by your Hesse quotes, she may be a little radical for you.

I guarantee you've asked me to accept a lot more with Obama (and I have) than I'm asking you to with Palin.


Well, by the standard of surviving teenage daughters, nuclear winter looks like Hawaii.

As to who would have to make the greater sacrifice, I have given up Scarlett Johannsen for Obama. Also for Lent. Beat that.


That still begs the question as to how many people are genuinely capable of taking advantage of a college education. ... Moreover, the bulk of the first two purposes of education that you identify could be satisfied with a high school curriculum.


I don't think anyone can answer your "begged" question without stating their expectations of the purpose of education in general. I think most people are capable of taking such advantage. That doesn't mean they do.

As for your final sentence, I can only say that I can't agree in light of (a) the current high school curriculum; and (b) the current state of our education system. Maybe if those improved I'd agree.

To some extent, though, I see your complaints as inconsistent. If, in your view, most students are unprepared for college (or unable to take advantage of it), then that suggests a poor high school education. That's not something I'd care to bet the republic on.
10.29.2008 8:08pm
Perseus (mail):
As for your final sentence, I can only say that I can't agree in light of (a) the current high school curriculum; and (b) the current state of our education system. Maybe if those improved I'd agree.

To some extent, though, I see your complaints as inconsistent. If, in your view, most students are unprepared for college (or unable to take advantage of it), then that suggests a poor high school education. That's not something I'd care to bet the republic on.


I don't see it as inconsistent at all. It suggests that the focus should be on improving K-12 education rather than on trying to ensure that virtually everyone goes to college. Having colleges devote so much of their resources to, in effect, remedial education strikes me as tremendously wasteful, particularly because higher education is so costly.

Now that's what I call elitist.

"Elitist" is the epithet hurled by the egalitarian with red cheeks. But it is equally elitist to expect the many taxpayers who will not attend college (and most will not) to subsidize the few who will.
10.29.2008 9:46pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Well, how about that expiration date? Does yellowcake have one?
10.29.2008 11:06pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
It's very durable, just like your obtuseness.
10.29.2008 11:19pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Maybe you didn't notice, but Bush didn't make a speech warning us about the yellowcake Saddam already had. Rather, Bush warned us about the yellowcake that Saddam was allegedly trying to get. In fact, it seems that Bush was perfectly happy to allow most people to have no idea at all that there was already plenty of yellowcake inside Iraq. Because if people had known that, they would have realized that it was absurd to claim that Saddam was interested in going far away to try to get some more.
10.29.2008 11:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
perseus:

it is equally elitist to expect the many taxpayers who will not attend college (and most will not) to subsidize the few who will


The question of how society should finance college is separate from the question of whether it's good for society to generally encourage people to aspire to college. I see that you have some opinions and concerns about the former question, but I was making a point with regard to the latter question. So I think the concern you're expressing doesn't really address what I've been saying.
10.29.2008 11:35pm
MarkField (mail):

I don't see it as inconsistent at all. It suggests that the focus should be on improving K-12 education rather than on trying to ensure that virtually everyone goes to college. Having colleges devote so much of their resources to, in effect, remedial education strikes me as tremendously wasteful, particularly because higher education is so costly.


Ok, now this I agree with.
10.29.2008 11:35pm
David Warner:
MarkField,

"As to who would have to make the greater sacrifice, I have given up Scarlett Johannsen for Obama. Also for Lent. Beat that."

There is no greater sacrifice, nor noble deed of service, than to give up Scarlett Johannsen.

On the other hand, I've had to sacrifice every last ounce of disbelief to advocate for Obama, and as many here will attest, judging by my Palin posts, I didn't have much of that to spare. Call it a tie.
10.29.2008 11:52pm
David Warner:
"I don't see it as inconsistent at all. It suggests that the focus should be on improving K-12 education rather than on trying to ensure that virtually everyone goes to college. Having colleges devote so much of their resources to, in effect, remedial education strikes me as tremendously wasteful, particularly because higher education is so costly."

Until the current K-12 church is disestablished, such efforts will largely be in vain. There is a reason that our Higher Education system is tops in the world and our K-12 barely mediocre. The former is free, the latter not.
10.29.2008 11:54pm
MarkField (mail):

Until the current K-12 church is disestablished, such efforts will largely be in vain. There is a reason that our Higher Education system is tops in the world and our K-12 barely mediocre. The former is free, the latter not.


I don't find this persuasive. Here in CA, after all, our K-12 is in real trouble* but our public universities are top quality. The success of the highly subsidized public universities leads me to believe that public funding is not the sole cause of the problem.

*Note that I sent both my kids to public school all the way through college. It's very possible to get a good education in LA public schools. The caveat is that in order to get that good education, you (the parent) need to monitor the situation regularly and understand all the things you can do within the system. If you simply send your child off to the local school in the expectation that they will take care of him/her, you will be disappointed, to say the least.
10.30.2008 12:53am
Perseus (mail):

The question of how society should finance college is separate from the question of whether it's good for society to generally encourage people to aspire to college. I see that you have some opinions and concerns about the former question, but I was making a point with regard to the latter question. So I think the concern you're expressing doesn't really address what I've been saying.

They are indeed separate questions, but I believe I've addressed both questions. Your reply to my views on the latter question amounted to name-calling.

Until the current K-12 church is disestablished, such efforts will largely be in vain. There is a reason that our Higher Education system is tops in the world and our K-12 barely mediocre. The former is free, the latter not.

I wouldn't exactly call the current K-12 public education system "free."
10.30.2008 1:02am
David Warner:
MarkField,

Re: suspending my disbelief, see, for instance, this.

As for K-12 vs Higher Ed. I went to a (suburban) public school, and teach part-time (full-time next year once I go through all the hoops to get my union card) in one. There are many good ones, just as there were many good parishes in, say, the Church of England for hundreds of years. But look at the CoE now. Compare the ecclesiastical vibrancy in the States.

The difference between K-12 and Higher Ed is not funding per se, but freedom and diversity on about twelve different dimensions. The most important one being that a significant chunk of that funding follows the student to the school of her choice.
10.30.2008 1:10am
David Warner:
Perseus,

"I wouldn't exactly call the current K-12 public education system "free.""

I didn't.
10.30.2008 1:11am
Perseus (mail):
I didn't.

My mistake. I don't think that either is free (except perhaps a place like Hillsdale, which rejects government funding and the strings attached to it), though I agree that higher education is much freer.
10.30.2008 2:15am
David Warner:
Perseus,

"I don't think that either is free (except perhaps a place like Hillsdale, which rejects government funding and the strings attached to it), though I agree that higher education is much freer."

Well, you go to war with the reality you have. We're all Gramscians now.
10.30.2008 2:34am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
perseus:

The question of how society should finance college is separate from the question of whether it's good for society to generally encourage people to aspire to college. I see that you have some opinions and concerns about the former question, but I was making a point with regard to the latter question. So I think the concern you're expressing doesn't really address what I've been saying.


They are indeed separate questions, but I believe I've addressed both questions. Your reply to my views on the latter question amounted to name-calling.


I said you were an elitist for saying this:

I find it difficult to justify having taxpayers shell out so much money to people who will receive, at best, modest benefits from a standard college curriculum.


That doesn't strike me as your "views on the latter question." It strikes me as an answer that seems to deliberately entangle the two separate questions. That's why I'm saying you haven't addressed the latter question.
10.30.2008 3:12am
MarkField (mail):

The difference between K-12 and Higher Ed is not funding per se, but freedom and diversity on about twelve different dimensions. The most important one being that a significant chunk of that funding follows the student to the school of her choice.


I'm sympathetic to this also. I support school choice within the public school system, as well as a number of other reforms.
10.30.2008 12:09pm
David Warner:
MarkField,

"I'm sympathetic to this also. I support school choice within the public school system, as well as a number of other reforms."

Any color as long as its black. Unless you have a wider definition of public than that position commonly implies. We (collectively) have been reforming our Prussian-style "public" school system for over a century. Time to let some smaller subsets of that "we" try their various hands.

Our K-12 system is still pre-modern:

"The essential point is that as the machine technology makes social relations complex, it dissolves the habits of obedience and dependence; it disintegrates the centralization of power and of leadership; it diffuses the experience of responsible decision throughout the population, compelling each man to acquire the habit of making judgments instead of looking for order, of adjusting his will to the wills of others instead of trusting to custom and organic loyalties. The real law under which modern society is administered is neither the accumulated precedents of tradition nor a set of commands origination on high which are imposed like orders in an army upon the rank and file below. The real law in the modern state is the multitude of little decisions made daily by millions of men."

Lippman, A Preface to Morals, 1929
10.30.2008 3:22pm