Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Over

Well, that's it. Nomination sewed up, election over. He's for Mitt. The Donald has farted in the general direction of Romney (after previously trashing the guy), and tens of voters, persuaded by the very heft and depth of the man, will follow close behind.

Donald Trump, famous for uttering "you're fired," a message of virtue to Mr Romney, has made and remade his self-reported billions by gaming the system in ways none but the 1% can: leaving creditors in the lurch with multiple bankruptcies, he's managed to hide behind laws made to his liking by legislators in the thrall of his, and other's, big money. (And, lest we forget, he tugs at the tightest strings of a teabagger heart with his birtherism. What could be a more powerful attractant?)

Side by side, Trump and Romney are like bookends for the legal tomes that keep the rich rich and the not-so-rich perpetually unable to get there. Avaricious avatars, totems in toto they are, for the Republican vision of America's future: the one an ego-bloated billionaire who made his money by manipulating real estate markets, passing the buck to you in the process (for that, in the end, is what bankruptcy does); the other, never a producer of anything you could hold in your hand, played arcane financial rules to the benefit of himself and his investors, risking the money of others while deliberately forcing company after company into failure.

Arms linked, if only figuratively, like a two-pack of sausages, these icons recoil with indignation at anyone who thinks that their sort of capitalism is perverse and destructive. The politics of envy, they call it. To point out the ways in which it undermines free enterprise and the long-dead American dream is to unlove the country whose sole purpose, in their eyes, is to promote the disparities of opportunity that provided them their riches; and the maintenance of which are at the expense of having the wherewithal to pay for the needs of everyone else.

None of which matters to teabaggers, who were once outright orgasmic at the idea of a Trump presidency (less so, flaccid more like, other than the fact that he's white enough, at the thought of Mitt.) The more unearthly (in the sense that the earth is, well, sort of grounded) the better, to those people.

Mitt and Donald, peas in a pod. One took himself into bankruptcy, more than once, deliberately, as a gimmick to pass the burden of his mistakes onto he cared not whom; while the other took others there, also intentionally, to enrich himself. Making money for its own sake, unencumbered by regulation, producing no external value, as a game, as a personal privilege, with no concern for consequences to anyone else. It's the teabaggR future. What's not to like?


Frank Drackman said...

OK, I've never gone bankrupt, but it IS the law, just like free, legal, abortions.
And if you loan money to someone who goes bankrupt, sucks to be you, dumbass.
Thats why I only loan money with collateral and at the highest interest rates allowed by law.
And your right, the Birther stuff is gettin lame, I totally believe our Muslim-Socialist-Foodstamp-Affirmative-Action-Peas-Eater-inChief was born in America.
Well, Hawaii.


Cory said...

Franky- you're gonna have to try another schtick, or wander back to the closet. Your cutesy lil' kiddy comments are getting purdy lame, not to mention getting real old there pal... Try giving it a break, fore you wear your lil' self out.

Frank Drackman said...

"cutesy lil Kiddy"???
better to remain silent and appear a fool than to speak and reveal you like little boys...oh forget it, Jerry Sandusky..
And I'm the only one who comments regularly anyway, I bore myself actually, but Routine's important for Alzheimer's patients and I don't want Sid hangin himself with some Coated Vicryl.


PS you suck too

SeaSpray said...

Thanks for my first out loud laugh of the day - the Donald pic. :)

It's begun ..I am feeling it in my body - stress over politics. I am constantly listening to talk radio. I took a break for the longest time ..and now it is becoming and appendage. I even bring it in to the shower.

Then I think ..why do this now? Why not at least wait until they pick someone and go with the current news as the election nears? I can'-put-it-down. Some friends are debated out. Not me ..I have to watch. The political Junkie has taken over my being.

(Considering joining the local campaigning. of course up here ..our county always goes republican although the influx of city people is changing the politacl demographics or potentially will.)

As you know ...I will be voting republican ...but have not been able to assess who. But my least favorite? The RHINO pic! Romney!

Okay one perk ...mayyyy be that Gov Christie (Moderate)who came out in support of him ...did NOT shoot down the possibity of a VP position. He definitely left the door open. He has been good for our state. I LOVE that he says exactly what he thinks and does NOT pander to anyone that I have noticed. We still need hin gere tho. I did help with his campaign - just phone calls, but was fun.

There are pros and cons for all of them. Well I am not at all considering ..what's his name? the isolationist, the one who would let Iran build nuclear bombs - PAUL.

Anyway Dr S ...pretend you are in some alternate universe ...albeit ..a miserable one for you ...and you were going to vote for one of these republicans. Which one would you chooses. You HAVE to vote - no other option and not voting is not an option either. So you hold your nose close your eyes to disengage yourself as much as possible ...from the dastardly deed of voting for one of them. Which one?

I do read you in my reader at times - just get stressed and I know my comment don't matter. I still love your writing even tho content often causes angst. It is interesting how we humans can view the same situation with vast differences of opinion.

Have a great weekend.

This east coast girl says ..GO GIANTS!!! :)

SeaSpray said...

Here is a youtube with Jon Stewart and Larry King - about Mitt that I think you will appreciate:

He's so funny and often spot on.

It resonated within me because I have bothered by his affect ..even tho he is a handsome man and pleasant. he also felt plastic ..not sure. then recently I heard someone say that if you peeled his skin back it would be a robot underneath and I thought .."THAT'S it!" And so Jon noticed this in 2008. Interesting.

Another thing Dr S. I thought of when I was watching Ann Coulter defend john ? the CNN reporter who Newt took to task over the 1st question.

Actually ...first I thought ...omg is 2012 the year of the apocalypse (don't really believe that)when Ann COULTER is on FOX defending a CNN reporter! Ha ha! then I thought of you. :) I may not be around here much ..but I do think of you Dr S with all the political stuff.

Sid Schwab said...

The first thing I'd tell you, Seaspray, honestly with your best interest in mind, is to stop listening to talk radio. Seriously. Those guys have no interest in facts. We may disagree, and there are plenty of good reasons to do so; but the talk radio folk are simply spewers of hate and deliberate manipulators of your fears. Successfully, evidently. I'll never understand how a thoughtful person like you -- and you most certainly aren't alone -- can find their sort of demagoguery persuasive. How many times do I have to point it out? Isn't there a thoughtful conservative for you? I admit it's hard to find. But how about David Brooks or Ross Douthat? Andrew Sullivan? Conor Friedersdorf? Do you really need to be lied to?

But never mind; there's no getting past it, for reasons I'll never understand.

So, pick your poison. In the most important way, here's not a dime's worth of difference among them: every single one wants to take us back to everything George W Bush stood for: more wars, less regulation of banks and Wall Street, more cuts in the things this country absolutely can't get along without much longer, tax cuts for the most wealthy, increases for everyone else. (You've seen the charts of their tax plans, right?) No money for roads, research, education: surely you see that? It's explicitly what they say.

So if it's more important to you to see DADT reinstated, to see same-sex marriage abolished, to have Christianity taught in science classes, to outlaw abortion under any and all circumstances, to go back to when millions have no health insurance, to see to it that there's war with Iran, than it is to have enough money to pay for our crumbling infrastructure, our failing schools, needed research, the bare-minumum safety net for the really needy -- if those are your priorities, then throw a dart at a board with all their picture on it.

They'll all do the same thing: protect the unprecedentedly low taxes on the most wealthy and on corporations, the record profits, the inability for someone like you ever to cash in so that their superpac donors get what they want instead of what the rest of us need.

You are aware that's true, right? That taxes on the very wealthy are at record lows, that corporate profits are at record highs and their taxes record lows. That the so-called anti capitalist Obama (according to your talk radio hosts) has presided over those occurrences? That the stimulus actually worked? That the economy has had eight months of continuous expansion?

Okay, how about this idea: put aside labels, D or R, turn off the radio, and think what this country needs. Make a list. Think, assuming you believe we need the stuff I've mentioned, who's proposing what in how to get us there. Consider whether it's ever happened that lowering taxes and cutting regulation has accomplished what any R candidate says. Try to remember back a mere five years or so, and see if you can call up a vision of what happened to the economy under the very circumstances to which those guys -- every single one of them -- wants us to return.

Or not. If you think the most important thing is to stop gays from serving in the military or to protect the tax cuts and deregulation that got us into this mess instead of returning to a level where we can pay for the needs of everyone else but the most wealthy, then really, it doesn't matter.

Do you want a Moon colony in addition to the above? Do you want to see judges with whom you disagree arrested? Go with Newt. Do you want to outlaw same sex marriage and do you equate homosexuality with screwing dogs? Do you want public education to become indistinguishable from religious education? Do you think science is dangerous? Go with Rick. Do you want a guy whose entire campaign is based on the lie that Obama hates America, apologizes for it? Go with Mitt.

Really. How can you go wrong?

Cory said...

Franky- I rest my case!

Sid Schwab said...

P.S., Seaspray: I assume you've heard the name Saul Alinsky nearly non-stop on talk radio, and, of course, from Newt Gingrich. Suggestion: take the time to read about him independently, from a non-incendiary source.

Then ask yourself who is following his blueprint for gaining influence in our political system. Answer: teabaggers, and political Christianists. Seriously. You'd be surprised to find out how non-radical he was, how he was received by Rs at the time, what he actually said. Do it.

And then decide whether you're getting the insights you deserve from your beloved talk radio.

Anonymous said...

I think you would like talk show hosts Dennis Prager, Bill Bennett, & maybe Michael Medved.

From the few shows I've heard while in the car, they seem to discuss a wide variety of topics from a conervative point of view without being RWS's.

Dr. Sid will probably dig up some controversial comments they made at some point to counter my point; I'm just going off of what I've heard from them.


Anonymous said...

Dr Sid,
How come you didn't charicaturize Dr. Paul in your response to Seaspsray?

He's wants to reduce the size and scope of federal govt to our founders intent as outlined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights and turn over all other issues to the states as outlined by the 10th Amendment.

The idea of keeping Democrats out of our pockets and Republicans out of our personal lives and other countries affairs is appealing to me.


Sid Schwab said...

She seemed already to have kissed him off because he doesn't like war.

We've discussed his ideas before, you and me: gold standard, getting rid of the Fed. Nothing more to say about that. Like it or not, neither will ever happen, whether he were elected (no chance in hell) or not.

And, given that it's a wasted vote, it was a stretch even to have mentioned the frothy mix guy.

Anonymous said...

A bit tangentiall, but Romney really aggravated me with his flippant "let's ask the constitutionalist." comment to RP.

No, how about YOU read and understand the bedrock document of our constitutional republic and then formulate a thoughtful response. Of course, now he's talking about how he "loves our constitution" in his campaign.

Are our 2012 choices really gonna be a guy who understands the constitution but describes it as "fundamentally flawed" and has his major legislation sent to the Supreme Court For violating it VS. a guy whose knowledge of the constitution can be summed up by saying, "I'll consult the lawyers"?
Ron Paul is well aware it ain't gonna happen too. He does a poor job communicating that the real world result would be a real move towards decreasing our debt and living within our means without the instability caused by such a huge sudden shift in monetary policy. He's the only guy I have any faith in to decrease our national debt.


Sid Schwab said...

The question, PT, is at the expense of what. I refer to the national debt. If that's priority one, come hell or high water, and if taxes can only be cut, then the only result will be devastation of the future, as I've said hundreds of times here.

The one and only time when national debt was actually being lessened (so much that Alan Greenspan was worried it was too fast) was under Clinton, when taxes were at a rate that allowed the wealthy and businesses to flourish.

Any of the Rs, including Paul, were they able to get their ideas into law, would literally devastate our ability to pay for pretty much anything but a huge military.

If there's where your priorities are, and if you don't care about the things that guarantee a future -- ie education, infrastructure, research, oil alternatives, health care -- then, as I told Seaspray, take your pick. They're really all the same. Paul would cut back on the military, and I'm all for that. But he'd cut everything else too. Leaving it to the states is a cop-out. Don't know about your state, but mine is firing teachers, ending road projects, cutting higher ed at draconian levels. Why? Because of drying up federal funds and because citizens are unwilling to pay the difference.

So it's just another way of looking at everyone who hasn't yet got what you have, and saying "Fuck 'em." Right?

Sid Schwab said...

P.S., PT: I agree it's too bad Obama went for a health plan originally designed by Rs; but I don't agree that the fact that it's been taken to court means anything. First, it's not yet been decided (although the reason it's gone to the Supremes is that the majority of lower courts approved it; either way, one side or the other would have challenged.)

Second, your conclusion that somehow it means Obama doesn't understand or regard the constitution is specious, which you know.

But yeah. I'd have been a lot happier with a Medicare-for-all kind of deal which didn't give away so much to your favored (I assume) corporatist insurers like the Rs wanted, and still do.

Anonymous said...

"leaving it up to the states is a cop out"

I humbly disagree. It simply switches who the tax collector is and, some would argue, addresses the specific states issues more efficiently b/c the politicians making policy are closer to their constituents needs, which may vary from state to sate. It also allows like minded individuals to migrate to areas that share their preferences.

The arguments wouldn't go away, they would just be conducted on a state level with the results being individual states carrying a set of laws more representative of its character and values.

If you "ask the constitutionalist", he would explain thats exactly why the anti-federalists fought for a Bill of Rights that includes the 10th amendment. this argument has already been had, an agreement was reached, and the proper process should have been followed before any legislation was enacted that ignores it.

As an aside, "anti-federalists" should be called federalists b/c that he govt they supported, meanwhile the federalists should have been considered nationalists b/c they supported the constitution WITHOUT a bill of rights, very much resembling how our country runs today.

While there are many compelling arguments that certain issues should be handled at the national level, there are just as many arguments that those and others, including taxation, are best dealt with at a state level.

Prostitution, a health insurance mandate, legal abortion, legalized marijuana, social safety net and entitlement programs; all of this has been done at the state level and the results of statewide experimentation provides us empiric data on the long term results of the policies. Compare that to a national level where the political winds shift every four years and we're all left arguing if the results, either good or bad, are due directly to the policies, lag effect from previous admins policies, or an effect of the uncertainty caused by so little continuity in policy.


Sid Schwab said...

I don't entirely disagree, PT; and yours is half of the statist/federalist argument that's existed since before 1789. Were your list left entirely to the states, there'd be enormous differences among them, along the usual rich/poor lines.

Is there a national interest in seeing that all kids have a chance at quality education, or is it okay of the ones in Texas and Mississippi get ever worsening opportunity?

I guess it's okay if you live in my state, where the decline is not as steep and where religionists aren't as far along the path of deliberate stupefication.

I do like the idea of states being more able to experiment with various approaches to various problems (it's part of the ACA, you know, that Rs want to kill). But are certain national standards necessary? What are the issues that have national implications that ought to be standardized: pollution, food and drug safety, basic educational standards? Is there a minimum amount of health care coverage and quality standards to which all states ought to hew?

And, since we are -- by some standards, anyway -- a nation, is there an obligation that crosses state lines for the better off, the more endowed with natural riches, to share?

Same old arguments, really. As with everything else, there's no perfect balance, none that would satisfy you and me perfectly. Like taxes. In my view we were closer to perfect before GWB galloped onto the scene and slunk away. But if you believe in the basic idea of America, you have to accept compromise.

Leaves out the RWS™ and congressional Rs, of course, but I'm okay with the concept.

Sid Schwab said...

And here's what you get when you leave everything to the states:

""He (a legislator) needs to make enough that he can say no, in regards to temptation," you said.

Which would have been a moral puzzler on its own. But then you had to bring The Bible into it. You raised, without prompting, the issue of teacher pay.

"It's a Biblical principle," you said. "If you double a teacher's pay scale, you'll attract people who aren't called to teach..."

"If you don't keep that in balance, you're going to attract people who are not called, who don't need to be teaching our children."

Let me sum it up. You said Alabama must pay public servants more to keep them honest. You said Alabama must pay teachers less to keep them pure, and you invoked The Bible to say it.

Stop! In the name of Steve Jobs, stop!

But you didn't stop.

When an audience member asked about the retirement system, you ended your speech this way:

"Well you know what," you said. "I think we're going to be raptured out of here before it comes that time for you anyway."

Anonymous said...

Fyi, If you check the US treasury website the total US debt went UP every year of the Clinton presidency. The widely used CBO data ignores intergovernmental holdings.


Sid Schwab said...

The link doesn't seem to work. Nevertheless, I think you're missing the point; and, no doubt, so did your source. Probably, in his case, deliberately, as he has before.

Had the Clinton surpluses been allowed to continue, the debt would have begin to decline. And, as you may know, there are limits on how the debt can be paid down.

The surpluses weren't directed entirely to that task. But over time, as borrowing would have necessarily declined, the debt would have fallen as bonds were retired and not renewed. It's math.

Sid Schwab said...

Okay, sorry: I got the link to work. I think the essential mathematical point remains: under Clinton the gov't began to take in more than it spent. You know: "it's your money," said Bush, who decided to "give it back."

I don't disagree there's funny-money manipulation. Your source, himself, admitted that some of the added debt was due to pre-existing law, as I suggested.

Anonymous said...

The hillbilly from 'Bama is a perfect example of how the states can quickly illustrate to the nation what a bad idea looks like. A state with a "F-it, the raptures coming anyways" economic policy and slave wages for teachers will quickly find itself part of a modern day Exodus of both citizens and teachers. Other states would notice and adjust. As is now, all teachers are paid one wage schedule despite vast differences in effort. Experimentation in states with various reimbursement strategies could be a good or bad thing; well never know.

I've seen a chart showing that republican leaning states take more fed money than left leaning states. If that's accurate, cut their fed funding and lets see if a conservative model can prosper without fed help. Who knows what'll happen, but I guarantee it'll be informative.

Why do Education standards have to be set on a nationwide level? Maybe our national standards are too lax? Maybe a Finland type system without standardized testing would work better (I doubt it)? Maybe a gifted student could finish his wrk in 2 hours/day and use the other time to work, intern, or pursue other activities? Maybe schools could pay gifted Students to tutor the less academically talented? Maybe kids could use technology by enrolling in parentally supervised "online" schooling with only weekly class sessions & daily athletics? Maybe states would partner up regionally to set standards? Maybe a private organization of teachers/educators would set standards or a regional group of states would partner? Maybe parents would become aware of differences between states and actually participate in their kids education more? There are literally thousands of ideas with merit that will never be tried with a nationalized system because the bureaucracy is too slow and the stakes too high to try nationally. You're worried about a downward shift by removing standrds, i'm hopeful for improvements due to innovation. There would probably be little of both at first with a gradual improvement long term. My high school history class consisted of reading aloud from a textbook; civics was the same. How much worse can it get?

Pollution and Food-drug regs has merits as does OSHA standards and many other things. We honestly don't know what would happen if it was just left to the Courts to seek damages for injured parties. Maybe a state law requiring potential polluters to post bonds for prenegotiated damages beforehand? You pollute, the state keeps the bond to pay damages to citizens. I think food quality would be hairy for a while, but nothing corrects a market more quickly than a bout of e coli. Maybe a private or state entity could form to oversee food; carrying approval from them would provide confidence without the federal intervention.

Interesting that you mention sharing resources, as Sarah Palin negotiated ACES so that all members of her state received royalty checks for the inconvenience/risk of having oil drilled on their states property. Why should property tax paying residents of barren, desolate, uninhabitable Alaska share their new found wealth with other states? Good for them. Same with Marcellus Shale found under land very few wanted to own. The proceeds belong to those who faithfully paid property taxes for years on otherwise unwanted land.


Anonymous said...

Pollution and Food-drug regs has merits as does OSHA standards and many other things. We honestly don't know what would happen if it was just left to the Courts to seek damages for injured parties. Maybe a state law requiring potential polluters to post bonds for prenegotiated damages beforehand? You pollute, The state uses the bond to pay damages.

Interesting that you mention sharing resources, as Sarah Palin negotiated ACES so that all members of her state received royalty checks for the inconvenience/risk of having oil drilled on their states property. Why should property tax paying residents of barren, desolate, uninhabitable Alaska share their new found wealth with other states? Good for them. Same with Marcellus Shale found under land very few wanted to own. The proceeds belong to those who faithfully paid property taxes for years on otherwise unwanted land.

As for taxes, I really don't care what the rates are (within reason); the issue is how the money is spent. The govt is just too darned inefficient. Friends with govt jobs brag that they do 2hours of work per week; the fed govt only allows women or minority businesses to bid certain state projects (mbe/wbe). I'd rather the rich keep the money and invest it in stocks of companies that create jobs. Or how about this idea for Our consumption economy; flat tax rate for everyone but for "the rich", mandate that they either pay a higher tax rate or purchase goods/services in lieu of sending the gov a check. Not sure if it's legal at a state level, but it's preferable to being taxed and would be a real world version of "trickle down economics".

As for oil alternatives, let the market figure it out. If the states see an opportunity to bolster a specific alternative, let the legislators and business leaders convince individuals to invest in those companies by free will. I believe there are enough concerned citizens out there who would contribute to a viable long term alternative, especially if there was a potential ROI. Instead, we get tax payer money shoveled into ethanol fuel while people starve around the world.

Research funding is a huge concern, but again, the states can form large multi-state research bodies and funnel funds towards an independent body deemed credible and efficient.

The point of my stream of consciousness is that 1. Taxes dont have to be collected by the Fed for everything and 2. that there are considerable negatives that accompany the positives of the minimum standards. As with everything, with time people would adjust.


Anonymous said...

One more point.

I preferred non-profit insurance company started & regulated by individual states and funded by both premiums and, if private charities deemed it worthy/efficient, donations. It would compete directly against the private companies, but not be burdened with shareholders or a need to profit. Ultimately, it could partner with religious or secular hospitals or even construct its own hospitals. I envision it providing care for those cut from their insurance carriers with the understanding that once that persons legal case against its Original carrier ended, the non-profit company would be entitled to a portion f the proceeds to remain solvent. I would hope that the non-profit board would be allowed the discretion to only partially subsidize care for the few young patients too irresponsible to buy their own policy, but allowed to provide much needed help to those who really needed it. Maybe a pipe dream, but constitutional, non-compulsory, and worth a shot.

Of course, specific states could also try their own Obama style Medicare for all model.


Anonymous said...

A brief anecdote on private vs federal regulations:

Sometimes, a small private group is more in touch with what regulations are beneficial than the fed. I'm sure anecdotes abound otherwise (especially in the construction industry), but the Fed isn't the only answer for all issues.


Sid Schwab said...

Good points all, PT, other than the fact that Alaska was giving oil checks to its citizens long before the quitter was gov. Long.

I don't, on principle, have a problem with states controlling their own destinies in many areas. I thought it was weird, for example, that the fed gov disallowed California's pollution standards which were stiffer than the fed's.

I worry about letting states decide such things as civil rights, though; and your friend Ron seems to be less of a libertarian in that regard than he is in other areas. I do like the idea of various states being labs for various ideas.

But none of it matters; the rapture will be here any day now; it'll all be moot, and we'll never have the opportunity to meet, being pretty widely separated thereafter.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling I'll miss the "free ride to heaven" rapture bus. If I have to ride with that guy from 'Bama, J Falwell, & Jeremiah Wright, I may even ask to get off. Either way, your welcome in my bunker. And it ain't cuz I like ya; I just can't find my copy of Copes Dx of The Acute Abdomen.


Popular posts