GOP Pledge to America

Big news of the day is the working draft of the GOP’s Pledge to America. You can read all 21 pages here.
  
I’m not going to immediately comment on the substance of this document because I want to do a comparison piece on the the old ‘Contract with America‘ later when the full version of the ‘Pledge to America’ comes out. For now, let me just highlight some of the points in the draft.

  • End the attack on free enterprise by repealling job-killing policies
  • A plan to stop out-of-control spending and reduce the size of government
  • Repeal the government takeover of health care
  • Keep Gitmo open and increase defense spending
  • Permanently stop all job-killing tax hikes
  • End government control over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • End TARP
  • Reduce the number of and money to Federal assistance programs
  • Enact the Hyde Amendment permanently ending government funded abortions
  • Tough sanctions against Iran
  • Increase border security
Those are just some of the highlights. None of which are really surprising or new ideas from the Republican Party. Many of them loaded with presumptions that are arguably questionable in their veracity. But I’m sure we’ll get around to arguing about them. We may break them down into individual sections for clarity’s sake. But check the document out and give it some thought. The debate will take off this weekend.

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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205 Responses to GOP Pledge to America

  1. filistro says:

    Instant reaction from the Freepers:“GOP” has nothing to offer but B.S. posturing. What makes this “Pledge” any different from the “Contract with America?” Same old song & dance. They just want to get back in power then it’s back to BAU. I’m not buying a bit of it. The end of the two party thugocracy is at hand.Pray for the USA! . . . . and vote, people, VOTE!” ***Does this reaction surprise you? If so, you don’t know the Freepers. They LOATHE the GOP, whom they consider a bunch of wimpy go-along get-along RINO’S. When they say “Vote Vote Vote!” they mean, “Vote for Tea Party candidates! Kill the GOP!!”Which is why, all in all, I remain more optimistic about the upcoming elections than a lot of others on the left may be feeling right now.

  2. WA7th says:

    The 90’s version was an appeal to logic that many non-Republicans could agree with in theory, even while totally mistrusting the people behind it.This one is mostly an appeal to emotions that preaches only to the choir.

  3. shiloh says:

    This GOP song and dance pledge deflection aside, bottom line: Reps are doing well this year because of campaign money from outside corporate sources, turblossom’s 2 non-profit groups 32 million, The Chamber of Commerce could spend as much as 70 million, the Koch billionaire boys, etc. etc. ~ because of the recent Supreme Court decision re: campaign corporate contributions.Corporations can now run amok giving generic conservative organizations unlimited/unregulated money to run anti-Dem ads, thereby electing more Reps who then cut taxes for major corporations, so they can now give more money to Reps lol so they can have their taxes cut even further.America, what a country!This is not rocket science, plus again Obama and the Dems have done a terrible job controlling the political narrative as Reps are doing well despite themselves!Again, nothing new under the sun as money rules politics ie the best congress corporate money can buy.As America’s financial/salary/asset gap continues to widen between rich and poor.And the band plays on as Nero continues to fiddle …

  4. shrinkers says:

    It’s a l-o-n-g propaganda diatribe. It’s like a rerun of the BS they’ve been spewing for two years. Offensive drivel.filistro, if the Freepers don’t like it — that bodes well. Maybe it’ll kick off an even bigger ware within the Republican ranks.It really is pretty scary to think the Freepers and Teapers are even more psycho nutbat than this insane document.It’ll be interesting to see if Bart defends it, or claims it to be socialist …

  5. shrinkers says:

    It’s a l-o-n-g propaganda diatribe. It’s like a rerun of the BS they’ve been spewing for two years. Offensive drivel.filistro, if the Freepers don’t like it — that bodes well. Maybe it’ll kick off an even bigger ware within the Republican ranks.It really is pretty scary to think the Freepers and Teapers are even more psycho nutbat than this insane document.It’ll be interesting to see if Bart defends it, or claims it to be socialist …

  6. shrinkers says:

    It’s a l-o-n-g propaganda diatribe. It’s like a rerun of the BS they’ve been spewing for two years. Offensive drivel.filistro, if the Freepers don’t like it — that bodes well. Maybe it’ll kick off an even bigger ware within the Republican ranks.It really is pretty scary to think the Freepers and Teapers are even more psycho nutbat than this insane document.It’ll be interesting to see if Bart defends it, or claims it to be socialist …

  7. Bart DePalma says:

    Taking a page from the 1994 Contract with America, tomorrow the GOP will issue its “Pledge to America.” This 24 page document provides far more substantive policy proposals and detail than its process focused CWA predecessor and is clearly influenced by the Tea Party rebellion and its young GOP congressional supporters. Let’s go over the points:Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes: We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases, currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011. That means protecting middle-class families, seniors worried about their retirement, and the entrepreneurs and family-owned small businesses on which we depend to create jobs in America.In short, the GOP is continuing its unanimous position that the Bush tax rate reductions be made permanent. This is a do no harm proposition and not a change of the status quo.Give Small Businesses a Tax Deduction: We will allow small business owners to take a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their business income. This will provide entrepreneurs with a much-needed infusion of capital for investment and new hiring.This tax deduction cannot hurt, but will have little effect on businesses who are not making much income.Rein In the Red Tape Factory in Washington, DC: Excessive federal regulation is a de facto tax on employers and consumers that stifles job creation, hampers innovation and postpones investment in the economy. When the game is always changing, small businesses cannot properly plan for the future. To provide stability, we will require congressional approval of any new federal regulation that has an annual cost to our economy of $100 million or more. This is the threshold at which the government deems a regulation “economically significant.” If a regulation is so “significant” and costly that it may harm job creation, Congress should vote on it first.This is a substantial and far reaching reform. Most people are unaware that the bureaucracy enacts far more law than our Congress every year and imposes well over a trillion dollars in compliance costs on the economy, but does not answer to the voters. This law could slow down the bureaucracy’s inexorable control over every corner of the economy. More specifically, this reform could block the Obama EPA from imposing draconian regulation of our energy economy set to cost all of us hundreds of billions of dollars and the Obama HHS from imposing enormously costly regulations on our health insurance.

  8. Bart DePalma says:

    Repeal Job-Killing Small Business Mandates: One of the most controversial mandates of the Democrats’ government takeover of health care requires small businesses to report to the Internal Revenue Service any purchases that run more than $600. This 1099 reporting mandate is so overbearing that the IRS ombudsman has determined that the agency is ill-equipped to handle all the resulting paperwork.. We will repeal this job-killing small business mandate.This is actually supported by the Obama White House and the Dems. It was one of hundreds of monstrosities which made their way into the Obamacare legislation that no one read until the voting was over.Act Immediately to Reduce Spending: There is no reason to wait to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending. Congress should move immediately to cancel unspent “stimulus” funds, and block any attempts to extend the timeline for spending “stimulus” funds. Throwing more money at a stimulus plan that is not working only wastes taxpayer money and puts us further in debt.Pure Tea Party and a damn good place to start the cuts. Look for President Obama to tour his subsidized electric car factories and tell the make workers that the GOP wants to unemploy them. Actually, these workers can go back to making cars people actually are willing to pay for.Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels: With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future.In short, return spending to 2008 levels before TARP. If they actually go through with this, we are talking about a several hundred billion dollar cut in spending. Excellent.Establish a Hard Cap on New Discretionary Spending: We must put common-sense limits on the growth of government and stop the endless increases. Only in Washington is there an expectation that whatever your budget was last year, it will be more this year and even more the next. We will set strict budget caps to limit federal spending on an annual basis. Budget caps were used in the 1990s, when a Republican Congress was able to bring the budget into balance and eventual surplus. By cutting discretionary spending from current levels and imposing a hard cap on future growth, we will save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.More details, people. Is this a suspension of all discretionary spending increases or just a cap on the rate of increase as occurred during the late 90s under the Gingrich balanced budget plan? It needs to be the former. No more playing.

  9. Bart DePalma says:

    Cut Congress’ Budget: This year, Congress increased its own budget by 5.8 percent at a time when families and small businesses across the country are cutting back. We will make Congress do more with less by significantly reducing its budget.It won’t save much money, but cutting back the surge in congressional staff under Pelosi/Reid can only help keep Congress from drafting more monster bills.Hold Weekly Votes on Spending Cuts: Earlier this year, House Republicans launched the YouCut initiative to combat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. Over the course of nine weeks, YouCut produced proposals to save taxpayers more than $120 billion. We will continue to hold weekly votes on spending cuts.Sounds gimmicky, but it can’t hurt. Time spent holding votes on spending cuts takes away time for votes on spending increases.End TARP Once And For All: Americans are rightly outraged at the bailouts of businesses and entities that force responsible taxpayers to subsidize irresponsible behavior. We will cancel the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a move that would save taxpayers roughly $16 billion.Only $16 billion is left out of $750 million? Are you kidding me?!? The banks paid back nearly all of the loans the Bushies made them take with interest. Where the hell is that money?!?End Government Control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Since taking over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies that triggered the financial meltdown by giving too many high risk loans to people who couldn’t afford them, taxpayers were billed more than $145 billion to save the two companies. We will reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by ending their government takeover, shrinking their portfolios, and establishing minimum capital standards. This will save taxpayers as much as $30 billion.More details, people. Freddie and Fannie are insolvent. Why aren’t you simply liquidating these companies and consigning them to the ash heap of the history of bad ideas like communism?Impose a Net Federal Hiring Freeze of Non-Security Employees: Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engine of our economy and should not be crowded out by unchecked government growth. We will impose a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees and ensure that the public sector no longer grows at the expense of the private sector.Very good idea. Shrink the bureaucracy through attrition.

  10. Bart DePalma says:

    Root Out Government Waste and Duplication: Once created, federal programs almost never go away, even if the problem they were created to address is no longer relevant. More than 20 states have addressed this problem by requiring that programs end – or “sunset” – by a date certain. We will adopt this requirement at the federal level to force Congress to determine if a program is worthy of continued taxpayer support.Long past due idea. Do this with all federal regulations as well. There are 155,000 pages of them now and growing.Reform the Budget Process to Focus on Long-Term Challenges: We will make the decisions that are necessary to protect our entitlement programs for today’s seniors and future generations. That means requiring a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for these programs and reviewing them regularly, and preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities.Cop out, but understandable when the Dems are again telling old folks that the GOP will toss them on the street. You will not be able to avoid this for long, though.Repeal the Costly Health Care Takeover of 2010: Because the new health care law kills jobs,raises taxes, and increases the cost of health care, we will immediately take action to repeal this law.Number One Tea Party priority and supported by a majority of voters. You people better put a stake through Obamacare.Enact Medical Liability Reform: Skyrocketing medical liability insurance rates have distorted the practice of medicine, routinely forcing doctors to order costly and often unnecessary tests to protect themselves from lawsuits, often referred to as “defensive medicine.” We will enact common-sense medical liability reforms to lower costs, rein in junk lawsuits and curb defensive medicine.Amen.Purchase Health Insurance Across State Lines: Americans residing in a state with expensive health insurance plans are locked into those plans and do not currently have an opportunity to choose a lower cost option that best meets their needs. We will allow individuals to buy health care coverage outside of the state in which they live.Great idea. This will effectively gut all state insurance mandates spiking costs that are not shared by all 50 states. Folks in people’s republics like CA should be able to cut their insurance premiums substantially.Expand Health Savings Accounts: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are popular savings accounts that provide cost-effective health insurance to those who might otherwise go uninsured. We will improve HSAs by making it easier for patients withhigh-deductible health plans to use them to obtain access to quality care. We will repeal the new health care law, which prevents the use of these savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medicine.Amen. Give me back my HSA!

  11. Bart DePalma says:

    Strengthen the Doctor-Patient Relationship: We will repeal President Obama’s government takeover of health care and replace it with common-sense reforms focused on strengthening the doctor-patient relationship.Pablum. What are you proposing?Ensure Access For Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions: Health care should be accessible for all, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses. We will expand state high-risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage. We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick. We will incentivize states to develop innovative programs that lower premiums and reduce the number of uninsured Americans.This does not sound good at all. The insurance model is based on everyone paying in on an ongoing basis and only withdrawing benefits when they get ill. In this way, premiums stay reasonable and there are no free riders. However, laws allowing folks to buy insurance only when they get sick and then dropping the insurance when they get well destroys the insurance model. This kind of law imposed by Romneycare in Massachusetts has driven all but three insurance companies out of business and they appear to be about ready to get out of the market. Obamacare has just imposed a similar law for children and nearly every company offering child only health insurance is getting out of the market.If the GOP is adopting this exceedingly bad policy simply to fend off Dem attacks this election season, they are making a bad mistake.Permanently Prohibit Taxpayer Funding of Abortion: We will establish a government-wide prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortion and subsidies for insurance coverage that includes abortion, this includes enacting into law what is known as the Hyde Amendment. We will also enact into law conscience protections for health care providers, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals.Permanently? This policy shifts back and forth depending on which party the voters put in the majority. The volley ball now appears to be heading back into the GOP’s court after the 2010 elections. This limited government focused document needed something for the social conservatives, I guess.Read The Bill: We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives. No more hiding legislative language from the minority party, opponents, and the public. Legislation should be understood by all interested parties before it is voted on.Pure Tea Party. It is a testament to how corrupt our Congress has become that this promise even has to be made.

  12. Bart DePalma says:

    Adhere To The Constitution: For too long, Congress has ignored the proper limits imposed by the Constitution on the federal government. Further, it has too often drafted unclear and muddled laws, leaving to an unelected judiciary the power to interpret what the law means and by what authority the law stands. This lack of respect for the clear Constitutional limits and authorities has allowed Congress to create ineffective and costly programs that add to the massive deficit year after year. We will require each bill moving through Congress to include a clause citing the specific constitutional authority upon which the bill is justified.More Tea for the Party. What a quaint concept, having Congress follow the Constitution.Make It Easier to Cut Spending: By forbidding amendments on spending bills, Democrats have denied lawmakers the opportunity to tighten Washington’s belt and slash wasteful and duplicative programs. Structure dictates behavior, so we will let any lawmaker — Democrat or Republican — offer amendments to reduce spending.This is a return of a Gingrich CWA reform which Pelosi killed when she was elected speaker. The soon to be minority Dems will be able to offer amendments unlike the way they muzzled the GOP minority over the past two years. Classy.Advance Legislative Issues One at a Time: We will end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with “must-pass” legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time.Need more details, but this sounds like the single subject bill rules in many states. Great reform.The GOP also need to pledge that final draft bills will be posted online for the public to read before any votes.Pass Clean Troop Funding Bills: When asked to provide our troops with the resources they need, we will do so without delay. That means no more troop funding bills held up by unrelated policy changes, or extraneous domestic spending and pork-barrel projects.They should call this the Harry Reid rule in honor of its worst abuser.Keep Terrorists Out of America: We will prevent the government from importing terrorists onto American soil. We will hold President Obama and his administration responsible for any Guantanamo Bay detainees they release who return to fight against our troops or who have become involved in any terrorist plots or activities.Makes sense. This should appeal to about 70% of the electorate.

  13. Bart DePalma says:

    Demand an Overarching Detention Policy: Foreign terrorists do not have the same rights as American citizens, nor do they have more rights than U.S. military personnel. We will work to ensure foreign terrorists, such as the 9/11 conspirators, are tried in military, not civilian, court. We will oppose all efforts to force our military, intelligence, and law enforcement personnel operating overseas to extend “Miranda Rights” to foreign terrorists.This is more of a promise to enforce current law than a change.Fully Fund Missile Defense: There is real concern that while the threat from Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles could materialize as early as 2015, the government’s missile defense policy is not projected to cover the U.S. homeland until 2020. We will work to ensure critical funding is restored to protect the U.S. homeland and our allies from missile threats from rogue states such as Iran and North Korea.OK, what will you cut to pay for it?Require Tough Enforcement of Sanctions Against Iran: The Iranian regime is a state-sponsor of terrorism, has actively worked to harm our deployed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and violates the rights and will of its own people. It has declared its determination to acquire a nuclear capability, which threatens its neighbors and the security of the United States. We will work to ensure the government aggressively and effectively implements the sanctions tools Congress has provided.How? All Congress can do is enact laws. The President enforces or declines to enforce the laws.Establish Operational Control of the Border: We must take action to secure our borders, and that action starts with enforcing our laws. We will ensure that the Border Patrol has the tools and authorities to establish operational control at the border and prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from interfering with Border Patrol enforcement activities on federal lands.Establish Operational Control of the Border? Speak in English. Just say secure the borders. Tea Party Priority No. 3 and supported by 2/3 of the voters.Work with State and Local Officials to Enforce Our Immigration Laws: The problem of illegal immigration and Mexican drug cartels engaged in an increasingly violent conflict means we need all hands on deck to address this challenge. We will reaffirm the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of all federal immigration laws.This is a message to the 70% of voters who supported the Arizona immigration law enforcement act and to the courts considering that law.

  14. Bart DePalma says:

    Strengthen Visa Security: To stop terrorists like Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Christmas Day bomber, we will require the Department of Homeland Security to review all visa applications at high-risk consular posts and prevent aliens from attempting to avoid deportation after having their visas revoked.Makes sense.The Pledge finishes with promises of things the GOP will not do:We will fight efforts to fund the costly new health care law.We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources and oppose attempts to impose a national “cap and trade” energy tax.We will fight for the rights of workers and oppose “card check” schemes that put union bosses before individuals’ right to a secret ballot.These are meant to restore confidence to the business community so they will end their capital strike and start investing again.We will fight efforts to use a national crisis for political gain.No more “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Not too shabby. A pretty comprehensive and desirable set of reforms. It appears that the “Young Gun” Tea Party GOP representatives are now in the driver’s seat setting policy and the RINOs have been sidelined.The GOP better carry through.

  15. Mr. Universe says:

    Well, Bart manages to get an editorial in anyway.

  16. Bart DePalma says:

    Mr. U:Do you have something against sharing?;^)

  17. shiloh says:

    Bart did you get a hard-on posting (8) teabagger posts in a row!Just wonderin’>Indeed, Mr. U it’s so nice this site has liberal moderation as next time Bart tries to SHOUT about his beloved Reps cheney/bush who FUBAR’ed America from 2001 to 2009 you can just delete his nonsense.>>>but, but, but just this (1) time we’ll let teabagger Bart make a complete fool of himself! 🙂 🙂 :)Bart, are you getting a lot of work done tonight working on your client’s cases. lolRhetorical question.take care, blessings

  18. Monotreme says:

    Pete Kent lives.

  19. shiloh says:

    >>>apologies to PK ;)>>>

  20. shiloh says:

    >Bart’s kindergarden display reminds me of Mule Rider a couple mos. ago when he childishly made 22/23 short posts in row basically saying Nate and 538 could go fuck themselves!Should have made a cap lol but at that point in time re: Mule’s psychiatric imbalance you just said to yourself ~ whatever.What was really amusing, Mule expected Nate to delete all the posts immediately and they were there for about an hour until Mule had to delete them all his own damn self! 🙂 and of course only the content was deleted, so you had (23) posts in a row saying post was deleted by Mule Rider.>One of the things I like about this site is you can’t delete your posts …>hmm, wonder if Bart will notice I just compared him w/MR 😉 but, but, but Bart doesn’t use bad language, except the couple times he told me to F*ck Off!carry on

  21. Bart DePalma says:

    Shiloh:You are welcome to point out any attacks or rude comments in my analysis of the GOP Pledge to America. The posts are long because the Pledge is over 24 pages of policy argument – far more than the 2-3 pages of bullet points I was expecting.Go on about me all you like, but the topic of the thread is the Pledge. Let’s talk policy because this is likely what a GOP Congress will be producing in 2011.

  22. Mr. Universe says:

    Bart asked:Do you have something against sharing?I do not. I have assured others that you will never be banned from here unless you threaten. You’re just not that type, so welcome. I’m building a big tent here; it’s inclusive.

  23. WA7th says:

    Either I’ve always been in awe of how well MR’s medications work when he chooses to maintain at therapeutic dosages, or else he’s a genius actor. I don’t think it’s his acting skills.I wish I could find an old comment from the troll who posed as a commando from every war fought since the 1980, and always preceded his comment with an impossible story of his war heroics. He was hilarious, and I heard he posted at other sites or that he lifted the prank from something more well known from years ago. I just wish I could remember enough keywords to google it.

  24. shiloh says:

    BartlesThe obvious:You could have posted a link instead of (8) posts in a row. Of course again, if someone is really interested in reading winger song and dance nonsense, not being old enough to know the Reps made this science fiction movie before in 1994, they can always easily Google for it’s contents.Or as I said, just post a link as most of your life you have been been trying to scream above the crowd telling the world how conservatives have all the answers and the Reps are the party of god, apple pie and Chevrolet ie good and the Dems represent everything evil ie bad! And lol your whole frickin’ life has been one winger bullet point after another …>Indeed, we made fun of you not because of the current laughable Contract on America! but the way you posted it in this thread.Bart’s battle cry ~ Can you hear me now! 😉 at this liberal blog, since no one pays any attention to your own boy er teabagger in the bubble winger blog …>btw, noticed your posting addiction after your second pledge post, but politely 😉 waited until you were done w/the process to make fun of you.Even though making fun of you is kinda redundant, eh! :)>and you may have noticed by the # of posts er lack thereof that not many of us are actually interested in the wingers new song and dance as again, we’ve seen this conservative movie before and most sequels are a real let down, except Godfather II ;)>as fili posted re: freepers ~ even they: (((GOP” has nothing to offer but B.S. posturing))) know a fraud when they see it …take care, blessings

  25. shrinkers says:

    I guess Bart felt the whole document should also be posted here. Love the absurd spin in the doc, though. Just one example: allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, on schedule, is “a tax increase.” Passing a brand new law to reinstate those cuts is “maintaining the status quo.” No. The “status quo” is that those cuts — which were passed through reconciliation, in the dead of night, the same tyranny-creating and democracy-killing method that passed the Heath Care Reform — allowing them to expire is the “status quo.” That is what the current law says.Of course, Bart buys all of the propaganda embedded in that document, so his repeat of it here added nothing.But as I’d said, I was curious of he would join with his Teaper / Freeper brethern, or would come down on the side of the Establishment, the Elites of the Republican Party. I shouldn’t have wondered.

  26. shiloh says:

    Business lobbyist not so sure GOP takeover a done dealGOP business lobbyist (conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce) unsure of victory, America agreesTom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which is not to be confused with state chambers of commerce), is arguably the most powerful Republican business lobbyist in Washington, DC — and according to CNN, he’s worried Republicans might not win back control of the House this fall. Ed Henry reports:CNN has learned that Tom Donohue, the powerful president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who has vowed to spend more than ((($75 million))) on key House and Senate races, has privately told colleagues in recent weeks he believes Democrats will just barely hold on to the House majority.Two sources familiar with the conversations said Donohue has privately said he’s gone over every single key race in the House, and he believes Republicans will lose a few seats — losses he believes they don’t see coming — because it is more of an anti-establishment election than an anti-Democratic election.~~~~~~~~~~Donohue’s skepticism appears in sync with public attitudes. As Politico’s Andy Barr argues, this year’s election narrative has not yet been written. He points out that while a plurality of Americans believe Republicans will win control of both chambers of Congress, most Americans say they either don’t know or believe Democrats will retain control. In addition, Barr notes that two recent polls (one from Gallup, the other from Politico) show a tied race on the generic ballot. In fact, as Markos wrote yesterday, outside of Rasmussen, Democrats actually have a slight lead in the generic ballot according to pollster.com.~~~~~~~~~~>Bart, just the bullet points! ;)carry on

  27. Realist says:

    Permanently stop all job-killing tax hikesThis statement is ambiguous. Do they mean:A) Permanently stop all tax hikes (and all tax hikes are job-killing)orB) Permanently stop tax hikes, but only the ones that would kill jobsI’m going to go on the assumption that they wouldn’t have gone with option A, since that would be a waste of words from government officials, and we know that they’re trying to get rid of government waste.So we’re left with option B. Hmmm…didn’t we just read something recently suggesting that a tax hike might actually be job stimulating?Just sayin’…

  28. GROG says:

    I’m looking forward to all the Dem candidates in the next 6 weeks taking each item in the pledge and attacking them one by one.Just like they’ve been running on that pro healthcare reform, pro cap and trade, pro tax increases, pro spending, pro mosque at ground zero, and pro illegal immigration platform.I’m sure the Dems ads will be flooding the airwaves in favor of more government control of Fannie and Freddie, more TARP, more Federal assistance programs, more government funded abortions, lack of sanctions against Iran, and less border security.Actually, it won’t happen. They won’t reveal themselves as being completely out of touch with the American people.

  29. shrinkers says:

    @RealistThis statement is ambiguous. Of course it is. The whole idea of political posturing is to let the observer read into it anything they want. That, plus to have plausible deniablity — no, we didn’t promise that, we promised some other thing.But I am surprised the propaganda piece didn’t mention “death panels.”

  30. shrinkers says:

    @shilohjust the bullet points! The momentum certainly does seem to be shifting. Of course, that was the reason the Republicans waited until now, a scant 6 weeks before the election, to release this propaganda document. They realized they peaked too soon, and wanted something that would capture the news cycles for a while, and cast them in a light saying they have a “plan” for America.Of course, it’s an insane plane, and nothing new — just the same tired rhetoric they’ve been giving us. They want to go back to the glory years of Bush 2, plus a bunch of new rhetorical flourishes they’ve picked up in the last 2 years of Teaper hatefests. But nothing new.Even the idea of this Contract On America Part Deux is nothing new — just copying the Newter,The same ideas that sent us over the cliff. Elect them, so they can repeat the same mistakes. Great idea.

  31. GROG says:

    shrinkers said:”Of course, it’s an insane plane, and nothing new…”Can you explain in specifics what you think is insane about the plan? Thanks.

  32. shortchain says:

    It’s clumsily designed to appeal to the TP, who the GOP hopes won’t understand that it will be treated as toilet paper after they’re elected, and that, even if it’s enacted, it will balloon the federal deficit without providing an iota of benefit to that portion of the population which doesn’t make 250K a year or more.The Democrats running for office will be wise to ignore this dead turkey. Let the news media discuss it, gradually exposing it for what it is. The people who are smart enough to know where their self-interest lies will not need to be shown. Those who are unable to understand what a sham this document is (and the GOP and the TP are) will continue to vote GOP, like they have for generations.

  33. GROG says:

    @Realist,What is exactly is ambigous about this?”We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases currently scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2011″

  34. shrinkers says:

    Wow, Monotreme. Thanks for that link!I loved this quote:This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy. I’ve been saying that for a long time.

  35. parksie555 says:

    Awfully long. Would have focused strictly on the following and what Republicans propose to do differently:”Since January 2009, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have enacted $680 billion in gross tax increases, $316 billion of which are tax hikes that hurt the middle class families President Obama said would not see a tax increase.o So far, Washington Democrats have passed, and the president has signed into law, at least 14 violations of his pledge that “no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.”o The White House’s own internal departments have identified 191 planned rules that will have an economic cost of at least $100 million, including mandates related to the government takeover of health care and the financial regulation bill.”That and the graph right underneath (actual unemployment vs that predicted by Romer, et. al.) show the utter failure of the Obama administration in managing the economy.Would hammer on that and repeal of healthcare. A lot of the rest is fluff for the nutjobs.I personally would have liked to see something about bringing nuclear power back and focusing on domestic energy production, plus maybe some hard policies towards China to try and repair our trade balance and resotre some manufacturing.

  36. shrinkers says:

    The Manifesto includes at least 9 references to something being “job-killing.” They like that term. Everything from policies in general, to taxes in general, to agendas in general, to mandates in general, to the health care law. Apparently this is the new meaningless right wing swear word. Used to be “socialistic.” Now it’s “job-killing.””Stop the job-killing attempts to repeal DADT and the job-killing gay marriages …” (I made that up.)Love this part:Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes: We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases, currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011. That means protecting middle-class families, seniors worried about their retirement, and the entrepreneurs and family-owned small businesses on which we depend to create jobs in America.Of course, these are the tax cuts which the Republicans were perfectly willing to allow to expire. It’s the ones on the obscenely wealthy that the R’s want to protect. Such hypocrisy and dishonesty would be stunning, if we were not already used to it.The disinformation goes on:

    According to congressional analysts, these are the consequences of the tax hikes that are set to take effect on January 1, 2011:• A single mom earning $36,000 per year could pay more than $1,100 more in taxes.• Married senior citizens earning $40,000 per year could pay more than $1,400 in higher taxes.• 31 million families will pay an average of $1,033 in higher taxes next year due to a reduction in the child tax credit from $1,000 to $500.9• 35 million married couples will pay an average of $595 in higher taxes next year due to a reinstatement of the marriage penalty.• 88 million taxpayers will pay an average of $503 in higher taxes next year due to the elimination of the 10 percent tax bracket.

    All that’s true; what they don’t tell you is, these are the tax cuts which the Republicans are holding hostage.So, how dumb do the Republicans think we are?

  37. Bart DePalma says:

    The Pledge is not a campaign manual. Its purpose is to counter the Obama trope that the GOP does not have any plans and, more importantly, provide a list of legislation the GOP will claim as a mandate when they win Congress.

  38. shrinkers says:

    The New York Times pointed out: “Starting now, insurance companies will no longer be permitted to exclude children because of pre-existing health conditions, which the White House said could enable 72,000 uninsured to gain coverage. Insurers also will be prohibited from imposing lifetime limits on benefits. The law will now forbid insurers to drop sick and costly customers after discovering technical mistakes on applications. It requires that they offer coverage to children under 26 on their parents’ policies.” The Republicans are promising to repeal this.

  39. shrinkers says:

    @GROG“We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases currently scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2011”The problem here is that the Republicans are being dishonest and disingenuous.The full quote is:

    We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases, currently scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011. That means protecting middle-class families, seniors worried about their retirement, and the entrepreneurs and family-owned small businesses on which we depend to create jobs in America.

    The problem here is that the expiring tax cuts they list are the ones the Republicans are holding hostage. The expiring tax cuts which they cleverly did not list are the tax cuts on the obscenely wealthy. Those are the only ones the Republicans actually care about. The ones they list are the ones the Democrats are trying to save.The hypocrisy and dishonesty of the Republicans would be shocking, if it wasn’t so typical of them.

  40. Realist says:

    @GROGWhat is exactly is ambigous about this?”We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases currently scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2011″That statement does the same thing as most of the statements. It has two parts:1) We will do “this”2) The result will be “that”I don’t see ambiguity in parts 1, but it would be really handy if they could show evidence that part 1 begets part 2. Contrary to popular belief, merely claiming that it will do so doesn’t actually make it true. If it were, why did Karl Rove’s “permanent Republican majority” end so soon?

  41. filistro says:

    General consensus from the right and the left… the Pledge is a safe document, not at all groundbreaking, no surprises, nothing that will in any way cause it to be game changer. Chuck Todd sums it up best by stating in effect that the deep schism within the GOP has necessitated a tiptoe kind of middle-ground approcah, lest the two warring factions on the right get even more furious with each other.Chuck says *** Change you can believe in? So you can already see the conflict and tension within the conservative movement if Republicans take back Congress. In fact, it isn’t too dissimilar between what President Obama and Democrats have faced from the left. In short, the liberal and conservative bases want to go farther than politics actually allows. Here’s the thing: The Pledge is more detailed and substantive than the 1994 Contract, but also very politically safe. It’s a document that tries to find areas where everyone in the Republican voting tent can agree on right now. In short, it’s a document that attempts to find a center with in the Republican Party.****And yet again I wonder how a bitterly divided party engineers a wave election. I’m starting to feel like a voice crying in the wilderness.DIVIDED PARTIES DON’T WIN BIG!!!IS ANYBODY LISTENING??????????

  42. filistro says:

    Okay, I admit I can’t think of any way to tie this into the Pledge, but it made me chuckle…I’m seeing commentary here and there about how Boxer will benefit hugely from the marijuana ballot initiative… because all the stoners turning out to support it are likely to vote Dem up ticket. There’s something so charming about that idea.“Stoners support Boxer… refuse to take the Pledge!” There you go. 🙂

  43. Mr. Universe says:

    GROG said:What is exactly is ambigous about this?”We will help the economy by permanently stopping all tax increases currently scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2011″Well goddamnit, GROG, It’s NOT A TAX INCREASE!!!!!It’s returning the tax levels to where they were 10 years ago; a stipulation Republicans put in place when the tax cuts were implemented. It just fucking amazes me how you guys can look at a field of flowers and see a tax increase. It’s like that dog in that mov…SQUIRREL!!!The rich assholes of the world are going to pay their share. End of story.

  44. shiloh says:

    @p555Awfully long.~~~~~~~~~~Less is more …but, but, but it gave Bartles his opportunity to make (8) posts in a row 🙂 so as w/everything 😉 it’s a trade-off.ie win/win as both Bartles and the GOP are all hat no cattle er the would be emperor(s) has no clothes!Indeed, when both the freepers and redstate think it’s a sham, you may be a redneck er have a problem.carry on

  45. Mr. Universe says:

    My favourite quote from the article cited by Monotreme:These 21 pages tell you lots of things, some contradictory things, but mostly this: it is a serious [sic] of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes in search of unanimity among House Republicans because the House GOP does not have the fortitude to lead boldly in opposition to Barack Obama.It’s a hail Mary pass. A last ditch effort to bring the Tea Party back into the burning tent. A swansong of a party of outdated ideals.Man, this is painful to watch, but like a car wreck, I’ll slow down and ogle.

  46. shrinkers says:

    @shilohall hat no cattle er the would be emperor(s) has no clothes!I’d say you have it backwards. They’ve got flash, no substance.The clothes have no emperor.(I stole that. But it’s true.)

  47. shiloh says:

    hat = flashcarry on

  48. Mr. Universe says:

    @filistroYou’ll never get stoners motivated enough to get to the polls unless you provide some really dank Cascade sweetsens.

  49. shrinkers says:

    The disinformation continues ….

    The chief actuary at the Obama Administration’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has confirmed that the new law’s massive Medicare cuts will fall squarely on the backs of seniors, millions of whom will be forced off their current Medicare coverage.

    Translation: You won’t need those Medicare Advantage accounts you’ve been rooked into buying, and that have been screwing you, because most of the money goes to insurance companies instead of actual prescription drugs.

    The Obama Administration has been forced to acknowledge that the new law will force some 87 million Americans to drop their current coverage despite President Obama’s promise that Americans would be able to keep the coverage that they have.

    Translation: If the insurance companies have been screwing you, they won’t be allowed to do that. They’ll be forced to sell you honest policies, that treat you honestly.

    Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to using tax dollars to pay for abortion, and the executive order issued by President Obama in conjunction with congressional passage of the health care law is inadequate to ensure taxpayer funds are not used in this manner.

    Translation. We (the Republicans) are flat-out lying. The suggestions we make elsewhere in this document closely track the Hyde Amendment, which both the new HCR regulations and the Obama executive order also support.The document goes on. Pages and pages of nonsense.

  50. shrinkers says:

    @shilohhat = flash🙂 Yeah, I got that. I was just trying to be clever about emperors and clothes.

  51. filistro says:

    Mr U… You’ll never get stoners motivated enough to get to the polls I understand they’re organizing in small groups on an informal combination of designated driver and “whip the vote”… one of the group is staying sober long enough to round up all the others, schlep them down to the polling place and help them affix their pawprints to the ballot.You might call it “grass-roots” activism. It’s a beautiful thing. (*sniffle*)

  52. filistro says:

    There’s one simple, irrefutable, crystal-clear reason that America will pay no attention to this Pledge. It is because the Pledge comes from the same people who are responsible for also giving the nation this kind of hilarity.You can’t ride around in a clown car with other clowns and then expect to be taken seriously because you show us you’re carrying a big-boy briefcase. We all know there’s nothing in your briefcase but a tuna sandwich and a Playboy magazine. You can’t fool us, wingers. Get back in the clown car.“The guy’s a cactus, plain and simple. I mean, Christ, just LOOK at him.”LOLOLOLOL….

  53. shrinkers says:

    Well, at least the Contract On America Part Deux came out just at the right moment to stop the smackdown Bart was getting on his global warming denialism on another thread.

  54. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro wrote: “General consensus from the right and the left… the Pledge is a safe document, not at all groundbreaking, no surprises, nothing that will in any way cause it to be game changer.”In other words, a moderate set of proposals?In a nutshell, the Pledge promises to repeal the entire expansion of government starting with the TARP. To my friends on the right, that means an actual cut – not a slow in the growth of spending – of several hundred billion dollars. Neither Reagan or Gingrich accomplished that.The vast majority of new law imposing burdens on the economy have been imposed by fiat of the bureaucracy. Forcing all regulations with a substantial burden on the economy to a vote of Congress would be the first reversal of the 20th century progressive regulatory state ever.Moderate? I doubt you will be calling the actual legislation seeking to carry out these promises anything less than a game changer in 2011. I will be calling it a good start.

  55. Realist says:

    Which reminds me…@Bart, you have a message from me waiting for you back on the “How’s That Tea Party…” comments section.

  56. filistro says:

    Bart… do you believe the president is a cactus?Oh, c’mon guys, click the link! It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

  57. shrinkers says:

    @BartIn other words, a moderate set of proposals?No, a typical collection of right wing nonsense.In a nutshell, the Pledge promises to repeal the entire expansion of government starting with the TARP.Indeed. The Plunge is promising to send us back into recession. Not a good idea. Insane, actually.To my friends on the right, that means an actual cut – not a slow in the growth of spending – of several hundred billion dollars.For FY 2010 — Obama’s first actual fiscal ear (FY 2009 was still Bush’s), Obama has aleady cut the deficit by over 8%. Not a bad start at all.Neither Reagan or Gingrich accomplished that.Of course not. Republicans lie a lot.The vast majority of new law imposing burdens on the economy have been imposed by fiat of the bureaucracy.That is the nature of lawmaking, isn’t it? Name one law that was enacted by someplace other than Congress. I dare you.Forcing all regulations with a substantial burden on the economy to a vote of Congress would be the first reversal of the 20th century progressive regulatory state ever.Actually, the regulations were already approved by Congress when they created the regulatory bodies. These bodies are created specifically to formulate regulations, and are empowered by Federal law to do so. Are you completely unaware of how law works in America?

  58. shrinkers says:

    @filistro LOFLMAO!Thank you!

  59. shrinkers says:

    A Muslin socialite cactus from Kanye!

  60. filistro says:

    Shrinkers, my fave was:“If the president says he is a human being, I’ll take him at his word,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on Meet the Press. “Though I’ve never heard him complain about being thirsty. Not once. That could be a coincidence, I suppose, but it’s really not my place to say.”LOL. Gotta love the GOP. As long as they Solemnly Pledge to keep us laughing, God bless ’em all…. 🙂

  61. GROG says:

    @shrinkers,Mr. U, etc,I’m still having a difficult time understanding something (I’m sure you’re shocked).You basically describe anyone who disagrees with your liberal or progessive policies as “insane”. You blame the economy soley on Republicans. You refuse to put any blame whatsover on Democrats. You think it’s “obsene” (shrinkers words) to be rich. You’re for things such as cap and trade, the health care reform bill, the stimulus package, the mosque at ground zero, blocking Arizona’s illegal immigration laws,etc, and you mock anyone who disagrees with you.Since you guys have it all figured out, explain why Republicans are going to make major advances in House and Senate this fall. Explain why Obama’s approval rating is at 43% (Gallup). Explain why Democrats are avoiding your leftwing positions like they’re the plague. Explain why you have failed at blaming everything on Bush. Explain why Democrats aren’t running on pro stimulus, pro cap and trade, pro taxes, pro spending, pro health care reform. Enlighten me. Is it all Fox News fault?

  62. shrinkers says:

    GROGYou basically describe anyone who disagrees with your liberal or progessive policies as “insane”. No. just the ones who think that going back to the policies that caused this disaster will somehow fix it.You blame the economy soley on Republicans.I blame the policies that the Republican President and the Republican Congress followed — deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, massive debt spent mostly on war toys, gutting of the social safety net, stuff like that.You think it’s “obsene” (shrinkers words) to be rich.No. I think there is rich, and then there’s super rich, and then there’s OMYFUCKINGGOD HE’S RICH! and then there’s obscenely rich. There are degrees. The guys in the top 2% don’t need a tax cut amounting to an average of over $100,000 each.You’re for things such as cap and trade, the health care reform bill, the stimulus package, the mosque at ground zero,…it’s not a mosque, and it’s not at ground zero — not that it would matter if it was …blocking Arizona’s illegal immigration laws,It’s not an “illegal immigration law”. We’ve already got those. That’s why illegal immigration is, well, illegal.and you mock anyone who disagrees with you.Just the ones who need it.Since you guys have it all figured out, explain why Republicans are going to make major advances in House and Senate this fall. Not unusual in the first midterm for a new President’s first term.Explain why Obama’s approval rating is at 43% (Gallup). Because he’s doing better than Ronald Reagan was at this point in Regan’s first term. Not bad at all, considering the lunatic propaganda from the Republicans.Explain why Democrats are avoiding your leftwing positions like they’re the plague. Because too many of them are gutless wusses.Explain why you have failed at blaming everything on Bush. Failed? Isn’t that why the Dems won both houses of Congress and the Presidency? Explain why Democrats aren’t running on pro stimulus, pro cap and trade, pro taxes, pro spending, pro health care reform. Stimulus, cap & trade, health care reform — most of them actually are running on that. For those who aren’t. see above under “gutless wusses.”Pro taxes, pro spending — no one is “pro” that. But if you want, say, a military, you need taxes to pay for it, and spending to make it happen. Don’t pretend otherwise.Being anti-taxes and anti-spending is blatantly dishonest. Unless you’re Somalia, your government needs to spend, and it needs to tax in order to pay for the spending. So don’t give me that sort of meaningless crap.It’s a question of priorities, of whether you approve of the programs the government is spending money on. So let’s have a sane policy discussion, instead of empty nonsense about “TAXES BAD! SPENDING BAD!”Even being a caveman, you can do better than that.

  63. Realist says:

    @GROG,I don’t claim to speak for others on this site or anywhere else, but I’ll give you my own take in response to your lack of understanding.You basically describe anyone who disagrees with your liberal or progessive policies as “insane”.There’s disagreement of conclusions, where both parties agree on the fundamental facts, and then there’s disagreement on facts. What’s insane is those whose grasp of “facts” is based on unsubstantiated claims made by people who have a particular agenda. What’s more insane is an unwillingness to accept that objective evidence is anything but liberal fabrications.You blame the economy soley on Republicans.Solely? No. Mostly? Absolutely. As I said over in the “How’s That Tea Party…” comments section, the current recession was set up and triggered by insufficient regulation, which permitted hidden information imbalances in markets, which ultimately collapsed when the information imbalances were uncovered. Which party keeps banging the drum for more and more deregulation? It ain’t the Democrats.You refuse to put any blame whatsover on Democrats.Well, I don’t. Clinton was complicit in some of the harmful deregulation. But where Clinton may be a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10 in that regard, Bush is more of a 12.You think it’s “obsene” (shrinkers words) to be rich.Again, I don’t. I do think it’s obscene to be rich and whine about paying taxes. There are many who would consider me to be rich (I don’t, but that’s another story), but I don’t complain about paying taxes. I know I’m getting a good deal for what I pay.You’re for things such as cap and trade,Yes. Based on how well it worked with sulfur emissions, I see no reason to believe it won’t result in lower CO2 production. Furthermore, it will necessarily result in some combination of greater energy efficiency and alternative energy production, both of which reduce our economic dependence on foreign energy sources and thus improve our national security.the health care reform bill,For the most part, yes. I would have preferred a public option, if for no other reason than to have better evidence one way or the other regarding the degree to which the insurance companies are the problem with health care in this country.the stimulus package,For the most part, yes. I think it could be spent better than it is, but it’s better for the economy than austerity. At least in the short term.the mosque at ground zero,You mean the community center a few blocks away from the World Trade Center? Sure, if it doesn’t violate zoning laws, I don’t care what gets built where. And ample case law regarding the First Amendment makes clear that we cannot selectively restrict one religion, so unless the zoning laws are changed to prevent all houses of worship (and I’m not even sure that is defensible), they should be allowed to build.

  64. Realist says:

    @GROG,continuing from the previous comment, since I’m limited to 3,000 characters…blocking Arizona’s illegal immigration laws,I’m wary of how the law will be applied in practice. It smacks a lot of DWB. Why not focus more attention on the hiring of illegals? It’s easy to apply to everyone in a nondiscriminatory fashion?Since you guys have it all figured out, explain why Republicans are going to make major advances in House and Senate this fall. Explain why Obama’s approval rating is at 43% (Gallup). Explain why Democrats are avoiding your leftwing positions like they’re the plague. Explain why you have failed at blaming everything on Bush. Explain why Democrats aren’t running on pro stimulus, pro cap and trade, pro taxes, pro spending, pro health care reform.In a word, marketing. Republicans have a much better marketing department. The evidence to back up my belief is pretty compelling…the number of polls that show that people have the facts wrong is well outside the margin of error. If you start with a different notion of the facts, it’s no surprise that you come to a different conclusion.

  65. shrinkers says:

    Realist, you’re my new hero.

  66. filistro says:

    re: not campaigning on HCR… the GOP seems to be totally missing one little fact. Okay, TWO little facts:1.) there are six weeks left2.) timing is everythingFor instance, several key points in the HCR kick in TODAY… free preventive care, no denial for kids with existing conditions, kids stay on parent’s plan, etc. It’s a nice coincidence to have those things become operative the SAME DAY the “Pledge” vows to repeal the bill.I already notice some frantic back-pedalling. One Gooper, asked by an MSNBC anchor today whether they intend to repeal all that stuff too, said rather lamely that they want to REPEAL it in this Congress, and then REPLACE it in the next. Well, parts of it. Well, just the bad stuff. The really bad stuff. Not all of it. Not the good parts. No.A really powerful message, eh?On the other hand, 39% in the new AP poll believe “death panels” are still part of HCR. I assume they’re all Republicans, but what’s less clear… is this just mischievous, like telling a pollster you believe the Pres is a Muslim even though you don’t actually, just because it’s a fun thing to say?

  67. shrinkers says:

    filistro – I think it will be interesting — if the Teapers don’t come on board for this new Plague on America, will they start openly criticizing it? What will happen if Half-Governor Palin starts opposing it in public? How about Glenn Beck and Limbaugh? Rand Paul? O’Donnell? Nothing in there about outlawing masturbation, after all. Nothing about opposing gay marriage. Nothing about presidential birth certificates. Michelle Bachmann doesn’t even have a loyalty oath in there.We’ll have to see if the really nutbat wingers can staple their mouths shut about what the Plague document is missing….

  68. Jean says:

    The general consensus I’ve seem among right wing Republican Tea Party folks seems to be decidedly more negative than positive and along these lines:”There is NOTHING on these pages. I GUARANTEE that the Tea Party can turn out a “pledge” of its own within the next TWENTY-FOUR HRS that blows this piece of puff to bits. WHAT ARE YOU DOING GOP?? Our LIVES – and those of our CHILDREN – are on the line this November and THIS is what you come up with? Can any of you actually speak and SAY something?And you wonder at our RAGE. We are DONE with this. Boy, are those GOP office phones and faxes going to be busy tomorrow. I’m surprised you didn’t release this tomorrow so you all could slink away in shame (or terror) for the weekend. If there is a conservative leader ANYWHERE in this country NOW WOULD BE THE TIME TO STAND UP! AMERICA IS BLEEDING OUT – and we’re getting handed a Hallmark card instead of a tourniquet !!!!!”The GOP Young Guns seem to be firing only blanks.

  69. filistro says:

    Jean, I’m seeing exactly the same kind of stuff at Free Republic.I think people who don’t research teh winger sites as thoroughly as you and I do have NO IDEA how deep the schism is on the right.The wingers DETEST their own party, and for some reason this Pledge has really set them off. It’s a pure white-hot rage, and it’s directed entirely inward. They would rather vote against a RINO than vote against a Dem. On ballots where there’s a Gooper and a Teaper, they’re going to split the vote. If there’s just a non-insane GOP candidate, they’re going to stay home. They really are. Don’t you agree?I wonder if even Nate is aware of how deep this internecine anger goes, and has any thoughts on how it might skew the vote in November.

  70. Bart DePalma says:

    shrinkers wrote:”For FY 2010 — Obama’s first actual fiscal ear (FY 2009 was still Bush’s), Obama has aleady cut the deficit by over 8%. Not a bad start at all.”The Dem Congress enacted the FY2009 budget and then amended it against nearly unanimous GOP opposition to add the TARP and then again in 2010 to increase discretionary spending by 20% and then threw on the S-CHIP and Porkulus.All the three trillion dollar deficit in FY2009 and FY2010 belongs to the Dem Congress up for reelection this November.

  71. Realist says:

    @filistro,It will be most interesting to see the outcomes of this schism. On one level, I hope you’re right that it will result in poor performance on the R side of the ledger.On another level, though, I’m starting for the first time in my life to actually fear for my safety. Anger of the sort you describe is typically the precursor to armed rebellion. If the numbers are sufficient, you’re looking at civil war. (As an aside, that’s a ridiculously oxymoronic term: “civil war.”)

  72. filistro says:

    Realist… oh, it’s something to consider, all right. Especially since we know these folks are avowed fans of “2nd Amendment remedies.”For instance, looking ahead… if Sarah Palin mounts a candidacy and loses, either at nomination or election level, I truly fear for the winner. Sarah’s fans will not take her defeat lying down… unless we mean in prone position, with eyes fixed on gunsights.

  73. shrinkers says:

    All the three trillion dollar deficit in FY2009 and FY2010 belongs to the Dem Congress up for reelection this November.…. and also all the credit for pulling us out of the hole Bush left us in, avoiding the Second Republican Great Depression, already gaining almost as many jobs as the Bush admin added in eight years, turning around the worst economic contraction in nearly a century. After wasting nearly three times the amount of money you’re complaining about now.Yes, Bart, sometimes it takes drastic measures to repair damage. Your guys put a burrowing phosphorus grenade into the body of the United States. The operation to remove it involved spending some money. Thanks for reminding us how badly the Republicans screwed things up.

  74. shrinkers says:

    After wasting nearly three times the amount of money you’re complaining about now.I was referring to the Republican 10 trillion dollar deficits over the last 30 years.

  75. Bart DePalma says:

    FINALLY, a pollster provided a crosstab for the congressional generic in the competitive districts. Public Opinion Strategies found a national generic of GOP 44% to 39% (not all that unusual), but then found:”The generic ballot shows Republicans leading 44%-39%. Besides all of the usual regional crosstabs, we also broke it out by the type of district. We looked at the sample in the 66 Democratic INCUMBENT districts that Charlie Cook lists as either toss-up or leaning Democratic at the time of the survey. In that key crosstab of Swing Democratic Incumbent Seats, the Republican lead grows to 49%-31% on the generic ballot. That is a very powerful crosstab that says the wave is coming. “http://pos.org/2010/09/national-survey-highlights-dem-problems-in-key-seats/That bears repeating – GOP +19 (!) in the congressional generic for the 66 Democratic INCUMBENT districts that Charlie Cook lists as either toss-up or leaning Democratic (not leaning GOP) at the time of the survey.Game over. This wave is far larger than even I suspected.

  76. Jeff says:

    Be careful of the airborne porcine brigade, because shiloh and I are on the same page!shiloh wrote:Business lobbyist not so sure GOP takeover a done deal. Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is arguably the most powerful Republican business lobbyist in Washington, DC — and according to CNN, he’s worried Republicans might not win back control of the House this fall. =============I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the House stays Democratic by a small margin, and I think it relatively unlikely that the Senate will fall.Now for the good part — I hope that’s how it turns out!Nancy Pelosi cannot possibly control a House that has a 5-seat majority. Republican amendments will be heard, and many will pass. 48 Republican senators will be players. Nothing will happen without Republican approval in either house.Second, nobody is paying attention to the races for governor. Republicans are on track to winning more Statehouses than ever before. They’re also trading up. I’ll trade Hawaii for Michigan, Rhode Island for Ohio and Illinois. Remember, reapportionment takes place next year. Most of those big states are probably going to lose seats (moving to the Sunbelt), and a Republican governor guarantees that reapportionment will be at worst neutral, and quite possibly to the GOP’s advantage.Finally, the Republicans could win 70 House seats and Senate control, but they would be powerless to reverse HC and other obmananations. And at the same time, the GOP base would be dispirited (WHAT! You control Congress and you haven’t made things better?) In other words, it’s not 2010 that counts, it’s 2012.Finally, it’s the economy, stupid. This is/was not a typical business cycle recession, but a financial collapse. Typically, recovery from financial meltdowns take much longer — 7 years is a good median. Very few economists think unemployment will be any lower on election day 2012 than 2008– most think it will be several points higher. I wouldn’t want to be running Obama’s re-election campaign, or be a reapportioned Democratic congressman under those circumstances. And if you haven’t looked ahead, look at the Senate class of 2006 — 23 Democrats, 10 Republicans. =============People probably thought that pigs would fly before shiloh and I agreed on anything, but as I said, watch out for the airborne porcine brigade! I sure do hope shiloh is right!

  77. GROG says:

    Thank you all for your responses. But do you guys understand that you are the ones who are outside looking into the political spectrum of main stream Americans. The ones with whom you disagree and call insane are the majority. The same majority that elected President Obama 18 months ago.Democrats will not run on your issues because they know they will lose if they do. And they are smart to do that.Remember 18 months ago? We were told by 538 commenters that the Republican Party was dead. “Gone the way of the whigs.”Now Democrats are running as fast as they possibly can from the leftwing agenda and Indis are favoring the GOP like never before.I respect you oppinion, but you guys are out of touch with main stream American values. We’re still very much a right of center country.

  78. Realist says:

    @GROG,I can only conclude that you didn’t read my response, but at best skimmed over it.I do not believe that the majority of the populace is insane. I’m coming to believe that a very vocal minority has a, shall we say, tenuous relationship with reality. But those same people are not the ones that “elected President Obama.” Rather, they’re the ones who opposed him, wished that Palin was on the top of the ticket, and were still happy to vote for her as #2.I do believe that there are a number of people who are misinformed about what has transpired over the past two years, and are choosing to vote R as a result. As I said above, marketing is a big part of the reason for this.Furthermore, I believe that there are a number of people who voted for Obama, were let down by the result, and are sufficiently dispirited as to be sitting this election out. It’s a shame, but I understand it.

  79. Jean says:

    fili,Here’s the core of the Tea Party, according to one winger:”I hate the GOP. I always have. I am tired of their taking my vote and not representing me, that is always how it works. In some respect the GOP is worse than the democrat party. The one thing I learned after the McCain debacle is just how many conservatives simply do not vote. We really have no idea how large our base really is. I have run across people in the last year and a half who have not voted since Ronald Reagan. These same individuals plan to vote in November, but beyond that they have no idea. At a time when the tea party has worked so hard they slap us in the face yet again. I do not know if it is worth the fight anymore. The last thing we need right now is for the establishment to knock us down now after all of the hard work, sleepless nights, and the will to take back this country.”

  80. GROG says:

    @Realist,I did read your post. You have opinions that the American people just aren’t buying. People are not buying that fact that Republicans caused the economic problems because of a lack of regulation. Just because someone doesn’t buy your opinion, does not mean they don’t “grasp” the facts. They have the facts and are making their own conclusions. You don’t put any blame on Democrats but many feel its clear that Bareny Franks’ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle triggered the meltdown. Bush and Mccain wanted to reform housing finance but Dems refused. Dems wanted people in houses whether they could afford them or not. And the plan is for there to be a mosque in the “community center” and 2 blocks away from the site of the WTC is ground zero.

  81. Realist says:

    @GROG,See, here’s why I don’t think you read my post:Just because someone doesn’t buy your opinion, does not mean they don’t “grasp” the facts.No, it doesn’t. And I never claimed it did. I did claim elsewhere that the responses to many polls indicate that a sizable minority of the population genuinely don’t grasp many relevant facts. I stand by that statement.You don’t put any blame on Democrats…See, there’s that reading comprehension thing again. I explicitly did, yet you claim I didn’t. Apparently you have trouble grasping facts, too, even when the evidence is right in front of your nose.but many feel its clear that Bareny Franks’ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle triggered the meltdown.I’d suggest you look at what I wrote over at “How’s That Tea Party…” I hold Fannie responsible, but not for the reasons you do.And the plan is for there to be a mosque in the “community center”So what? Explain to me how denying them the right to have a mosque there is not a violation of the First Amendment.and 2 blocks away from the site of the WTC is ground zero.How many blocks away is not “ground zero” anymore?

  82. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyBe careful of the airborne porcine brigade, because shiloh and I are on the same page!~~~~~~~~~~hmm, my first thought after reading Tom Donohue’s quote was reverse psychology ie he really thinks it’s a done deal the Reps will take the House, but he doesn’t want wingers to get overconfident. Anyway Jeffrey, I too hope the Dems stay in control of the House, even if it’s by (1) vote.btw, I just posted the article and didn’t give my opinion, but you assumed correctly we would be on the same page …Additionally lol when you said same page, thought you meant we were posting in the same thread, so be afraid, be very afraid! ;)>But having played w/Mule and PK the last 2+ years, no biggie.Speaking of Mule Rider, a couple posts I saved: 🙂Mule Rider said… I apologize for the off-topic rant. I honestly don’t know about UK politics, certainly not enough to come on here with an informed opinion. As a result, I just threw out a gratuitous “Libs suck! I want Obama humiliated!” rant for kicks. I’ll try and do better about keeping my trap shut on topics that don’t pertain to my area of interest or knowledge. I actually feel kinda bad for having done it because I like threads to stay on topic for the most part. April 29, 2010 6:02 PM ~~~~~Mule Rider said… Shiloh, I’m pleasantly surprised and happy to see you engage in normal, rational, and INTELLIGENT dialogue rather than just the incessant drive-bys and ejaculations of gnarled witticisms and snide sarcasm. I can’t understand why you don’t do this more often. May 7, 2010 2:34 PM~~~~~and thenand thenand then(3) days later …Mule RiderIt goes w/out saying 😉 my all-time fav Mule post!>Finally cudos/props/praise to shrinkers, Realist et al for trying to explain Politics 101 to grog as I would never have the patience lolthat is all

  83. shrinkers says:

    @JeanHere’s the core of the Tea Party, according to one winger:Really interesting stuff.I admit to not actually understanding what the Teaper objection is to the new GOP manifesto. I’d be grateful if you could explain it, because frankly I don’t have the stomach to venture far enough into Freeperland.Since so much of the “enthusiasm” is coming from Teapers, it’ll be interesting to see what effect this dissatisfaction has on final voter turnout. I could well be that, this morning, all of the existing polls — especially the “likely voter” polls — just became obsolete.But we knew things would continue to shift. We’re only about three weeks into the “official” campaign season, and the remaining six weeks is a lifetime. The ground could move long distances in any direction.

  84. shrinkers says:

    GROG: Just because someone doesn’t buy your opinion, does not mean they don’t “grasp” the facts.Realist: No, it doesn’t. And I never claimed it did. I did claim elsewhere that the responses to many polls indicate that a sizable minority of the population genuinely don’t grasp many relevant facts. I stand by that statement.I honestly think many on the Right can’t differentiate between fact and opinion. This may account for a great deal of the problem. If you say there are 9 Justices on SCOTUS, and I believe there are 11, who’s to say who is right?And since someone’s opinion might change — who knows, yesterday I thought there was one Justice for each state — that makes reality pretty flexible.It also means that reality is determined by how many people believe something. If a majority of Americans believe that Obama caused the ’08 market crash, then that’s what happened. If they believe Obama caused the FY ’09 Federal deficit, then that’s what happened. If they believe there are death panels and that the new Health Care Reform bill was a gummint takeover of health care, then it was. It is a democracy, isn’t it?There is no global warming. Adam and Eve had a pet stegosaurus. I honestly am convinced wingers think this way. I suspect that’s what they’re wingers. There must be something attractive about the winger worldview that brings in people who don’t understand the difference between fact and opinion. Maybe it has to do with marketing, or with paranoia, or with, I don’t know, NASCAR.Anyway, Realist, you’re not going to convince GROG that some of the things he believes are true facts are not actually true facts. Wingers just don’t think that way. You believe your way, he believes his.

  85. GROG says:

    Shrinkers, where do you get this stuff? “If they (majority) believe there are death panels and that the new Health Care Reform bill was a gummint takeover of health care, then it was.”No one said anything even remotely close to that.

  86. Jean says:

    shrinkers,re: I admit to not actually understanding what the Teaper objection is to the new GOP manifesto. I’d be grateful if you could explain it, because frankly I don’t have the stomach to venture far enough into Freeperland.That’s part of the GOP and Tea Party problem. The GOP is putting out their usual “smoke and mirrors” and will accomplish less than Newt’s Contract. And the teapers really don’t have specific objections or objections to specific points. They are just mad as hell and “want their county back”. We all know what that’s dog-whistle for.

  87. shrinkers says:

    Something GROG said early this morning …I’m looking forward to all the Dem candidates in the next 6 weeks taking each item in the pledge and attacking them one by one.I actually hope the Democrats do NOT do this.For too long — as in, nearly forever — D’s have been allowing R’s to set the agenda, the terms of the debate, the limits of what political conversation in America is about, and even the words that are used to describe it.Democrats need to be talking about the future, about where we are going. Republican strategists understand this, to some extent, which is why they created their new Manifesto. They’re hoping it will make it look like They Have A Plan. Of course it fails, because the thing contains nothing new. But it is an attempt to map a direction, even if an insane one.Democrats need to do two things — first, to remind people that the economic mess we’re in today was caused primarily by eight years of Republican rule. We can’t turn the keys back to the same bozi. And second, Dems need to recapture the forward-looking sense of hope and achievement that led to the victories of ’06 and ’08.That isn’t done by letting the Republicans set the terms of the debate. Arguing over the Manifesto will simply remind voters that the Republicans have a Manifesto.I’m not a political strategist. I don’t have much in the way of strong suggestions. But I see an opportunity. With the generic polls pulling closer, and with the actual candidate polls looking even better for the Dems than the generics do (as Nate pointed out), and with increasing tension within the winger ranks (made worse by the new Republican Manifesto), there’s a huge hole opening up that a good running back should be able to make lots of yards on.And its time to fire up the GOTV machines.

  88. dr_funguy says:

    Should I pull a Bart and post this one line at a time?No I think I’ll just provide a link and one short quote “Perhaps the two most consequential policies in the proposal are the full extension of the Bush tax cuts and the full repeal of the health-care law. The first would increase the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. The second would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next 10 years, and many trillions of dollars more after that. Nothing in the document comes close to paying for these two proposals, and the authors know it: The document never says that the policy proposals it offers will ultimately reduce the deficit.”http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/the_gops_bad_idea.html?hpid=topnews

  89. dr_funguy says:

    Puh-lease!a national Republican political and public affairs research firm known for push-polling http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/GOP_organization_linked_to_dirty_politics_0609.htmlwhy should anyone beleive this?

  90. dr_funguy says:

    @ GROG re. “Right of Center” nationSo, right of center posisitons include supporting right to chose, the graduated income tax, universal helath care, same-sex marriage? You do know that majorities of Americans support all of these don’t you?http://www.pollingreport.com/abortion.htmhttp://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-4923731-503544.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-payer_health_carehttp://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2010/09/majority-support-for-gay-marriage-appears-to-stick.htmlSo, either you are wrong about it being a center-right country, or these are center right positions, or the country is center right on other issues and these are not significant.Which is it Grog?

  91. shrinkers says:

    Thanks for posting that, dr_funguy. The whole article is great.Grog, this is what I mean by “insane”. The Republican Manifesto will worsen all the ills they are complaining about. There is clear proof of this, hard evidence. They’ve tried these policies. They have failed. We’ve seen what they do. Yet the Republicans keep singing the same destructive song. And people unable to tell opinion from fact keep buying it.

  92. filistro says:

    @ Dr. funguy… So, right of center positions include supporting right to chose, the graduated income tax, universal helath care, same-sex marriage?You do know that majorities of Americans support all of these don’t you?Oooo… SNAP!!!

  93. filistro says:

    for shrinkers, who was wondering…David Frum succinctly explains why Teapers are enraged by the Pledge to America… and why nobody else likes it much either.

  94. GROG says:

    shrinkers said:”They’ve tried these policies. They have failed.”Ok shrinkers. Will you list the policies you’re talking about and how they have failed? Please be specific.For example, don’t say “Republicans were for deregulation and that caused the economic meltdown.”Thank you.

  95. shrinkers says:

    Grog, read the article funguy linked, and get back to me.filistro, thanks for linking that, going off to read …

  96. shortchain says:

    GROG, above: “People are not buying that fact that Republicans caused the economic problems because of a lack of regulation.” — on what evidence? What people? And, even if people aren’t buying it, does that mean it isn’t true?GROG, a few hours later: “For example, don’t say “Republicans were for deregulation and that caused the economic meltdown.””Look GROG, if you can over-generalize on the basis of no information, or whatever your inner GROG whispers in your ear, it is hypocritical (not to mention unfair) to then insist that others cannot also generalize. Sauce for the GROG is sauce for … well, maybe you get the idea.

  97. GROG says:

    @shortchain,The proof is in the puddin. Look at Nate’s House, Sentate, and Statehouse projections. Look at Gallup’s generic ballot polls. Look at Obama’s approval numbers. The people are running your leftwing agenda.

  98. shrinkers says:

    Grog, not sure what your last post had to do with what shortchain said. What does any of that have to do with actual facts?As my previous post said … conservatives seem to feel that truth is voted on.

  99. shortchain says:

    GROG,What generic ballot polls really indicate about what people think is, to put it bluntly, quite beyond your intellectual ability. Mine, too, and also Nate’s — but both of us know that.Also, reality will, in the end, trump what people think.(I’m assuming you mean “from your leftwing agenda. By the way, you don’t know what my agenda is, so let me share. I want to see actual analysis, not a pathetic blend of wishful thinking and cherry-picked datapoints. I do look at all these things you mention — and they don’t mean what you imagine they do. They mean “angry people getting polled”.)For the record, BTW, I have declined for the last two decades to be polled. And I vote. Every single election. What I, and those like me, do to the variance of your treasured polls I leave your limited imagination to work on.

  100. GROG says:

    shrinkers said:”Grog, not sure what your last post had to do with what shortchain said.”Because shortchain asked what evidence I had to back up my statement “People are not buying that fact that Republicans caused the economic problems because of a lack of regulation.”So I gave some references to support my statement.

  101. GROG says:

    shrinkers,If you’re talking about funguy’s Wash Post article, it mentions nothing about failed GOP policies.Can you answer the question on your own?

  102. Monotreme says:

    When you don’t invest in R&D, you get a nation of GROGs and Barts.http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/63647/title/Potato_chips_A_symptom_of_the_U.S._R%20D_problem49% of Americans do not know how long it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun. (Probably half of those don’t believe the Earth orbits the Sun, but that’s another matter.)37% don’t know what a Ponzi Scheme is.http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/taxes/september_2010/social_security_ponzi_scheme_or_not_voters_not_sureThat’s why we are a Representative Democracy (Republic).

  103. shrinkers says:

    Grog, I’m not sure what you’re asking for. Eight years of Republican rule led to the Great Recession. The “new” Republican Manifesto proposes the exact same policies — even when (as with the new Health Care law and Stimulus funds) it requires undoing the fixes that are now in place. You are free to tell me why doing the things that tanked the economy will now fix it.

  104. dr_funguy says:

    One proposal in the GOP “Pledge” is to make permanent the Bush Tax cuts, even for those making over $250,000 per year.The Congressional Budget Office has refuted this policy as economic stimulus. “But economic research suggests that tax cuts, though difficult for politicians to resist in election season, have limited ability to bolster the flagging economy because they are essentially a supply-side remedy for a problem caused by lack of demand. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this year analyzed the short-term effects of 11 policy options and found that extending the tax cuts would be the least effective way to spur the economy and reduce unemployment. The report added that tax cuts for high earners would have the smallest “bang for the buck,” because wealthy Americans were more likely to save their money than spend it. The office gave higher marks to the proposal, now embraced by President Obama, to allow small businesses to write off 100 percent of their investment costs. Neither of those options, though, would do as much to stimulate the economy as offering direct payments to the unemployed and Social Security recipients or reducing the payroll taxes of workers, the study found. But those proposals — as well as aid to states and municipalities — are considered politically untenable with many elected officials reluctant to even utter the word “stimulus” after the $787 billion stimulus. There is more if you care to read it. From the Sept. 11 NTYhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/business/economy/11tax.html?_r=1&ref=congressional_budget_office

  105. dr_funguy says:

    A bit off topic but I found that NYT article that I just referenced because I make a habit of reading most of Eric Alterman’s writing, most recently this: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/09/ta092310.html Alterman does his homework and is an excellent writer, one of the media critics in the US and a historian of some note. His “What Liberal Media” is required reading for those interested in media bias; if you disagree with him you still should be able to refute his arguments (if you can).I have said enough

  106. Monotreme says:

    Krugman’s take on the “Pledge to America”.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/opinion/24krugman.htmlOne thing I’ve noticed in the commentariat: left or right, rabid or cool, no one has suggested that this is actually a serious policy proposal.

  107. shiloh says:

    49% of Americans do not know how long it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun.~~~~~Only 28% Of Americans Can Identify The Chief JusticeA new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that only slightly more than one quarter of the country can correctly identify John Roberts as the Chief Justice of the United States:Asked to name the current chief justice of the Supreme Court, and given four possible names, nearly one-in-ten Americans (8%) choose Thurgood Marshall, despite the fact that Justice Marshall left the Supreme Court roughly 20 years ago, and passed away in 1993. In fact, very few Americans can name the current chief justice in a Pew Research news quiz; just 28% were able to correctly identify John Roberts. Another 6% thought the recently retired Justice John Paul Stevens was chief justice, while 4% named Sen. Harry Reid. A majority (53%) admitted that they did not know the answer.In many ways, Pew’s poll reflects the challenge facing progressives trying to educate the public about the harm Roberts caused since he became Chief in 2005. Roberts led a conservative bloc of five justices to grant corporate interests sweeping immunity from environmental law, from laws protecting women and older workers, from antitrust law, and — of course — from any meaningful restrictions on corporate money in American elections. Roberts’ dissenting votes go even further, declaring that rogue banks, drug companies and the tobacco industry should be immune from much of state law. But it’s hard to make the message about Roberts’ extremism penetrate the public mind if they don’t even know who he is.~~~~~~~~~~but, but, but everybody knows Judge Judy! ;)>Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?When was the war of 1812?The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain from June 1812 to the spring of 1815, although the peace treaty ending the war was signed in Europe in December 1814.btw, the Canadians, Canadian Indian tribes etc. kicked America’s butt. Yes Virginia, America lost a war to Canada!>How log was the 100 Years’ War?1337 to 1453This ends today’s history lesson. Be ready for a spot quiz. Remediation is every Thursday …

  108. GROG says:

    shrinkers said:”Grog, I’m not sure what you’re asking for.”I’m asking you specifically which Republican policies led to the Great Reciession and HOW these policies lead to the Great Recession. “Eight years of Republican rule led to the Great Recession.” No. The economy was rolling along pretty well until Democrats gained control of the House and Senate back in 2006. Democrats ignored Republican warnings and ran Fannie and Freddie into the ground which triggered the collapse. “even when (as with the new Health Care law and Stimulus funds) it requires undoing the fixes that are now in place.”See, that’s a matter of opinion. We do not believe Obamacare of the Stimulus has done or will ever do anything to fix the economy. We believe that it has done and will continue to do the exact opposite.

  109. shrinkers says:

    Grog, The economy was rolling along pretty well until Democrats gained control of the House and Senate back in 2006. Democrats ignored Republican warnings and ran Fannie and Freddie into the ground which triggered the collapse.There have been several conversations already on on what caused the Republican Great Recession. You apparently have an opinion on the matter already. If you actually believe the words of yours that I just quoted, then I suspect you won’t be swayed by anything I say anyway. I feel no need to re-hash it again.

  110. shrinkers says:

    Monotreme,Thanks for posting that link to the Krugman piece. I love this quote:“Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.”

  111. shrinkers says:

    Krugman: Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math. As he points out, the only way to balance the budget by 2020, while simultaneously (a) making the Bush tax cuts permanent and (b) protecting all the programs Republicans say they won’t cut, is to completely abolish the rest of the federal government… Is there any need to comment further on the insanity of the Republican Manifesto?

  112. GROG says:

    Shrinkers,I’m still waiting for you list of Republican policies that caused the “Republican Great Depression”.

  113. GROG says:

    shrinkers,If it’s so blatantly obvious that Republicans or conservative ideas directly caused the “Republican Great Depression”, why are voters running from Democrats this fall? Why aren’t Dems touting the stimulus and Obamacare as the savior of the economy? It should be the easiest sell in the history of politics, shouldn’t it?

  114. Bart DePalma says:

    Pew just ran the most detailed polling yet of how the Dems lost the Indis and why – it appears a majority of Indis have the same views as the Tea Party.http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1739/independent-voters-typology-2010-midterms-favor-republicans-conservative

  115. Bart DePalma says:

    Peggy Noonan has a great piece discussing her conversation with GOP Rep Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee about the Tea Party ground game and how it is becoming more and more dominated by women.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703384204575510283851292698.html

  116. shrinkers says:

    Grog, on your question concerning the cause of the Great Recession, read this threadhttp://blog.538refugees.com/2010/09/20/hows-that-tea-party-thing-workin-for-ya.aspxFor your question on what Dems are or are not running on, and why, read the answers already given to you on this threadhttp://blog.538refugees.com/2010/09/22/gop-pledge-to-america.aspxYou’ve repeatedly asked the questions, and they’ve been repeatedly answered. You’re displaying a great deal of the answer to your second question, right now. I’ll even add another helpful bit for you:We do not believe Obamacare of the Stimulus has done or will ever do anything to fix the economy. We believe that it has done and will continue to do the exact opposite.As I said above, lots of people on the right confuse fact with opinion, substituting their belief in place of the actual data. You’re free to believe what you want, of course, even when it is contrary to fact. But since you start at a different place, as Realist pointed out, it is natural for you to come to a different conclusion.Since your questions have been addressed repeatedly, I’ll save the two links I just gave you, in case you forget.

  117. Bart DePalma says:

    The reason Public Opinion found that the GOP has an insane lead in the contested Dem incumbent districts is that the loss of Indis Pew found above is concentrated in the suburbs.http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-goodbye-clinton-majority-lv-versus-rv-polls-and-those-lucky-dems

  118. Monotreme says:

    @Bart:Thanks for showing liberal and center-left Democrats what is at stake in November’s election.Your efforts have certainly cemented Democratic leads in the Washington State and California senate races. Keep it up and you can lose Colorado and Nevada, too.The more you guys ring the cowbell, the more We The People are tuning the whole thing out. So please keep up the cowbell, and blow that Dog Whistle harder.

  119. shrinkers says:

    Some of your links this morning are pretty useful, Bart. One of them had this chart:http://pewresearch.org/assets/publications/1739-5.pngPew found that Dems are leading among Registered Voters, not trailing among what they call Likely Voters. This chart shows why. Among independents, the ones who disapprove of Obama are showing up as more likely to vote.This is the reason the link is useful — it highlights this fact: the challenge is to motivate the large numbers of people who do approve of how Obama and the Dems are handling the country. We need to get them to the polls. There certainly is time to do this. Whether the Dems actually can do it is another question.Secondarily (and this is not in Bart’s links this morning), it would be helpful to encourage the war that’s brewing within the Republican Party. The Teapers are going so crazy, they seem close to starting a rebellion over the “new” Republican Manifesto. This may turn into a disgust deep enough to keep them home from the polls, or even to write in protest candidates. We’ll have to see what impact that has.

  120. shrinkers says:

    “not trailing among what they call Likely Voters.”should have been”but trailing among what they call Likely Voters.

  121. Bart DePalma says:

    Shrinkers:Have you considered that many of the Dem leaning Indis who have not realigned to the GOP are not voting because they disagree with both parties and feel homeless?Many in the Tea Party were in that category during the Bush years.

  122. shrinkers says:

    Bart:Indies, by definition, “disagree with both parties and feel homeless” to some extent (perhaps some more so, some less). But that’s the reason they are “Indies” instead of identifying with one of the parties.I’m not sure what your response had to do with my point.

  123. filistro says:

    So here are half-dozen comments from the Freepers this morning, chosen at random from the thread because they’re fairly brief. Note that they’re consecutive… there no dissenting voices. I say again… this is not a party that can mount a wave election, no matter what Bart sees in his perusal of selected chicken entrails.***The alternative is to not fall for this RINO ruse.The GOP is scared to death of the TEA Party activists. They represent a threat to these country-club, establishment elites. This “pledge” is suppose to distract you from the goal of replacing party hacks with candidates who will actually follow conservative principles; to stop you from supporting TEA Party candidates.These RINOs have no wish to reduce the size of government. Instead, they want to control the big government apparatus that the Dems have put into place; they want power. If you support the TEA Party insurgency against the Party establishment, you pose a threat to that goal. Thus, the GOP establishment wants to distract you with this “pledge”. Don’t fall for it! They are putting the Party first and the nation last.12 posted on September 24, 2010 4:24:37 ***Right on!21 PAGES of bromides!DUH!If the GOP was serious the Pledge would have been two words: THE CONSTITUTION.Methinks I smell a stinking RINO.13 posted on September 24, 2010 4:54:31 ***If and when Cantor and Boehner and Company actually pass a budget that is literally balanced and spends under 2 trillion, I will say we have made progress.For now I still wait and urge everyone to support the conservative candidates like Miller, Angle, Paul, O’Donnell etc.14 posted on September 24, 2010 5:04:44 ***No concrete proposals, only generalities. This is not Contract With America 2.15 posted on September 24, 2010 5:11:25 ***Well let’s put a contract out on all RINO’s and get rid of them too. America will benefit greatly——now on to November and bug spray the Dems liberally.16 posted on September 24, 2010 5:11:28 ***Here’s my pledge, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”17 posted on September 24, 2010 5:29:12 ****I trust the GOP as much as I trust Mccain, as his ilk seem to control it.18 posted on September 24, 2010 5:50:06

  124. shrinkers says:

    Fascinating, filistro. With the Dems improving in the poll numbers as more people become engaged, and with serious-looking rifts opening within the R’s — among their most enthusiastic potential votes! — that could change the landscape markedly. It bears watching.

  125. Monotreme says:

    Why doesn’t Congress “listen to the people” on Health Care Reform?In a recent national survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, only 14 percent of respondents correctly identified September as the starting month for the law’s first set of patient protections. Less than half understood that health reform would allow for them to receive preventive care services without having to pay anything. Even fewer could specifically identify other important provisions that started on or after September 23, 2010.Moreover, a recent Associated Press poll found that a quarter of Americans believe incorrectly that the law designated a panel of government bureaucrats to make decisions about health care for individuals.— Dr. Kavita Patel on CNN.comhttp://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/09/24/patel.health.care.repeal/index.htmlJust as a side note, in case you think Dr. Patel is making s**t up about 1/4 of Americans believing in “death panels”, Ex-Half-Gov. Sarah Palin has turned up the volume this ridiculous claim:http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=433315368434

  126. dr_funguy says:

    AlternativelyPublic Opinion created this as an artifact of the push-polling for which they are known in order to further the repoublican meme of a “wave” election.We can always count on Bart to repeat such propaganda.

  127. shrinkers says:

    Thanks for posting that, Monotreme. Yes, the right wing propaganda machine is alive and well, pitching to people unable (or unwilling) to separate fact from the Stephen King-like fantasy horror tales provided by the likes of Half-Governor Palin.

  128. GROG says:

    @shrinkers,You’re obviously unable to answer the questions and the questions were not answered repeatedly in the threads you linked to. But thanks for trying.

  129. Bart DePalma says:

    Monotreme:And they say the people do not know what is in Obamacare.”Less than half understood that health reform would allow for them to receive preventive care services without having to pay anything.”That minority including Dr. Patel are either stupid or willfully ignorant. Obamacare provides that you will not make copays for items the government has deemed to be preventative care. You are paying for this care through your spiking premiums.”Moreover, a recent Associated Press poll found that a quarter of Americans believe incorrectly that the law designated a panel of government bureaucrats to make decisions about health care for individuals.”The Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (the panel of government bureaucrats) is empowered to decide which care is cost effective and should be provided to Medicare patients. Many private insurance plans are pegged to Medicare and are likely follow suit. Former OMB chief Orzag was telling economists and reporters earlier this year that this rationing was the means Team Obama planned to cut half a trillion dollars out of Medicare and bend the curve on private health insurance.You folks are so invested in your own propaganda that you have no idea what is in your own Obamacare bill.

  130. dr_funguy says:

    @GrogStill waiting for your evidence the we are a “center-right” nation.Is it our support for single-payer, universal health care?Abortion rights?Gay marriage? or something else?

  131. shrinkers says:

    As of 11:00 am Eastern time, the OW is up over 180 points this morning.U.S. stocks climbed broadly Friday, putting the market on pace for its fourth-straight weekly gain as investors were encouraged by readings on housing and capital spending by businesses that pointed toward a stabilizing economy. … The durable-goods data showed gains in machinery, computers and fabricated-metal products, while a barometer of capital spending by businesses rose. New-home sales, meanwhile, were unchanged from July. The lack of a drop, combined with other readings on housing this week that topped expectations, provided relief to investors who had been fearful of further deterioration in the industry in the face of high unemployment.”There’s hope that the economy is going to be on the mend,” said Barry James, president and portfolio manager at the James Advantage funds. “There are probably about three full-time jobs for every new home that’s built, so if we really do see stability there and start to see some resurgence in terms of purchases by folks, that would be very positive.” http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100924-706897.htmlDoesn’t look like a double-dip. Growth much slower than anyone would like, but certainly moving in the right direction..

  132. shrinkers says:

    Bart, we know what’s in the Health Care bill. We don’t buy your irrational paranoid spin on what it means.The “death panels” belonged to the insurance companies who had the power to deny payment for needed treatment, and who forced tens of thousands of people into bankruptcy every year. Now that their depredations are being reined in, you object.Go put some lead paint in your kids toys and add a handful or rat feces to your ground beef. Government oversight serves a purpose. We saw what the lack of oversight did to the financial sector, and to offshore oil drilling. We’ve been seeing what it does to the cost and quality of health care. You’ve admitted that government has a role in preventing fraud and actual harm. It is past time for the insurance companies to stop harming and defrauding us.

  133. Bart DePalma says:

    shrinkers:I practice insurance law. You have multiple remedies against insurers who do not honor their insurance policies starting with internal appeals which are normally won and then suits seeking enforcement of the insurance contract, which are construed to provide coverage.You have no remedies to the dictates of the Obamacare bureaucracy. Indeed, the legislation authorizing the Medicare “death panel” tries to rewrite Article I of the Constitution to make it difficult for Congress to reverse decisions of that panel.I’ll take my chances with the insurers and the courts.

  134. Realist says:

    @BartYou have multiple remedies against insurers who do not honor their insurance policiesYes, you do. However, denial of coverage for particular treatments is rarely found to be a violation of the policy. There are numerous reasons for this, but most often it is because the language of the policies allows the insurance company to determine what is and isn’t covered treatment.The insurance companies have a fiduciary responsibility to deny coverage for all but the least expensive form of treatment, where the expense is determined over the life of the policy. That is, if a more expensive one-time treatment has a high mortality rate, such that the policy-life costs can be reduced by the patient’s death, the insurance company has not only the right, but also the legal fiduciary responsibility to demand that treatment, despite it clearly not being in the best interest of the insured.The government has no such responsibility to shareholders.

  135. Jean says:

    fili,One of the best winger comments I saw was “Repeal and replace the GOP leadership”.

  136. Bart DePalma says:

    Realist:What case or statute recognizes a fiduciary duty to deny coverage for all but the least expensive form of treatment?That is a rather novel theory of law.

  137. shrinkers says:

    Grog, Bart is conveniently providing a lot of your answers. It is difficult to provide useful and accurate information about the new Health Care law (as merely one example) when the conversation is dominated by disinformants like Bart.It’s unclear if Bart ever believes any of what he says. He’s already described the purely political calculus involved in voting down a defense appropriations bill in order to kill the repeal of DADT, and doing it simply for a political advantage. The Barts of the world really don’t care if any of what they say is accurate, or if it harms people, or if it provides false information. None of that matters. What matters is scoring political points.So here comes Bart, pretending he believes in “death panels.” He writes well, and convincingly. And he’s very good at adapting the topic for his ends.There are no “death panels,” and Bart knows it. But this is a useful wayu for him to frame the debate. The issue of health care is not about “insurers who do not honor their insurance policies.” It’s about providing, and paying for, quality health care. It’s about the discrepancy in power between someone who is sick or injured, and an immense corporation with an interest only in profit, and with no interest in paying claims. It’s about Americans spending far more than anyone else on Earth for health care, and getting worse results than any other developed nation. But Bart wants to frame it as a legal issue, to make us forget what we’re really talking about is people dying.Republicans are very good at framing debates in these bogus terms, very good at coming up with emotionally powerful phrases — like “death panels” — which actually are meaningless lies, but which evoke a response nonetheless. They are good at getting the public to talk about these lies, instead of talking about the real issues.Fannie and Freddie form another example. They were a symptom of the economic collapse, not the cause. A decade of stagnant wages, coupled with cheap credit, allowed consumers to keep consuming, which created a false economic bubble, fake and unsustainable economic growth. Eventually, consumers maxed out their collective credit card. The banks began charging outrageous interest, which made the loans harder to pay, which made defaults more common. Meanwhile, the banks were using their profits to gamble in Reno, and the people doing the deals designed many of them to fail. So the banks wound up losing their shirts at the blackjack table, and couldn’t get any more chips from the consumers. Which meant they couldn’t lend money to businesses to make their payroll. Workers were thrown out of work. Demand collapsed. And all of it was made possible by a total lack of oversight.

  138. shrinkers says:

    (conclusion….)The causes of the Recession were complex and deep and systemic, tied in to the tax structure and the death of American manufacturing and absurd federal deficits. But the Republican noise machine tells you it was subprime mortgages sold to poor minorities who took advantage of innocent bankers who didn’t want to make those loans, but had been forced to do so by evil Democrats. And you believe it, because this is a simplistic explanation that plays into your prejudices. Republicans are great at supplying answers that are simple, comprehensible, jingoistic — and false.And they know they’re selling snake oil, and don’t care.

  139. parksie555 says:

    @dr_funguy – I’ll step up for Grog. Here ya go:http://www.gallup.com/poll/141032/2010-conservatives-outnumber-moderates-liberals.aspxOnly 18 years worth of data though :).

  140. shrinkers says:

    @parksie555 That’s an interesting poll. But if I’m not mistaken (and I could be — perhaps you can answer this) it is based on the self-assessment of the interviewees. That is, the pollster asks something like, “Do you consider yourself to be conservative, moderate, or liberal?” and records the answer.This is in contrast to a poll that would ask the interviewees’ views on various issues, and then attempt some sort of objective assessment of what that person stands in relation to others in the country.Republicans have done a good job of making “liberal” into a 4-letter word. I’m more interested in how people feel about actual issues than in what word they identify with.Again, I could misunderstand Gallup’s methods here. If you could find out, that would be helpful.

  141. dr_funguy says:

    Parksie,Shrinkers hits the nail on the head. If you ask people to identify as conservative or liberal, more identify as conservative.If you ask if they support abortion rights, they do.If you ask if they support universal, single payer health care, they do.Ditto same sex marriage.See my earlier post for links to actual polling (there’s lots more if you care to look).To me the position re. social issues is convincing evidence of a progressive nation, while the identity issue is evidence of successful propaganda agaist the liberal _label_. Can you provide evidence that a majority of Americans actually favor conservative positions on social issues?

  142. parksie555 says:

    Call it propaganda all you want, but the fact is that politically we remain a center-right nation on a wide range of issues. Same sex marriage has one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel in California for Chrissakes! Open your eyes man.

  143. shiloh says:

    @BartlesI practice insurance law.~~~~~~~~~~practice, practice, practice = Carnegie Hall :)Hopefully someday you’ll be really good at being a lawyer and make some money as this should help stimulate the economy …Unless of course, you hoard er save your money like the upper (5%) are doing nowadays.Republicans In Congress Get Worse Marks Than Democrats On Job Performance, Economy (POLL)In an Associated Press-GfK Poll this month, 60 percent disapprove of the job congressional Democrats are doing – yet 68 percent frown on how Republicans are performing.>Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support ‘More Equal Distribution Of Wealth’: StudyAmericans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent. More interesting than that, the report says, is that the respondents believed the top 20 percent should own only 32 percent of the wealth.>ok, as America is going to hell in a hand basket, a little comedy relief!Very little 😉Christine O’Donnell Will Stop America From Sexing Each Other (VIDEO)Sweet sassy molassey! People are still finding clips of GOP Delaware Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell saying strange things on the teevee? Apparently, Christine O’Donnell was, all this time, one of the most televised figures in politics. Additionally, her desire to stop the unmarried masses from making sweet, sweet love to one another was astoundingly ambitious.It all went down on a 2003 episode of “Scarborough Country,”VideoNIES: I tell them to be careful. You have to wear a condom. You have to protect yourself when you’re going to have sex, because they’re having it anyway…There’s nothing that you or me can do about it.O’DONNELL: The sad reality is — yes, there is something you can do about it. And the sad reality, to tell them slap on a condom is not –NIES: You’re going to stop the whole country from having sex?O’DONNELL: Yeah. Yeah!NIES: You’re living on a prayer if you think that’s going to happen.O’DONNELL: That’s not true. I’m a young woman in my thirties and I remain chaste.~~~~~~~~~~A certain symmetry since O’Donnell has been misusing her campaign funds illegal as her only source of living expenses for many years, she may be going to jail soon, where the govt. also provides free living expenses. ;)America, what a country!carry on

  144. filistro says:

    Re: America as a “center-right” nation:The problem with this argument is a failure to define terms accurately. America certainly used to be “center-right” across the board. However, increasingly (as a person who lives in both countries) I see America moving toward the Canadian model, where a majority of people see themselves as conservative on fiscal issues, but quite liberal on social issues.Despite the increasing hysteria of the “social conservatives” (or possibly because of it.. cause-and-effect is difficult to establish here) America is quite rapidly abandoning the precepts of teh “moral majority” and becoming (as dr funguy has shown) ever more tolerant, diverse and accepting of different social values and lifestyles.It’s interesting to watch and speculate how the GOP will adjust to this new and (I think) inevitable reality. Will they dial up the crazy and become a louder but more fringe party… or move away from the Church Lady meddling and concentrate instead on genuine fiscal conservatism?Either way, real change is on the horizon.

  145. dr_funguy says:

    I provided evidence that a majority of Americans support several core progressive social values. Your respond with no contrary evidence (what you did provide was tangential to my point; you can call yourself conservative but if you support those values I identified, you’re hardly conservative by US standards…) and you ask _me_ to open _my_ eyes?

  146. Realist says:

    @Bart,To be clear, the fiduciary duty is to maximize shareholder value, which in an oversimplified sense would consist of maximizing net present value of future profits.Of course, for an insurance company, this consists of maximizing premiums and minimizing payouts.Explain to me how that responsibility is incompatible with denying coverage for all but the least expensive form of treatment?

  147. Jean says:

    Now here’s an insightful comment from over at Politico:The only thing voters disapprove of more than Republicans is the extremist policies of the Tea Party. Republican leaders know that, which is why they are working so hard to stop their major tea party Senate candidates from speaking to the media.

  148. Bart DePalma says:

    Realist:There is no fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value. Corporate officers have a fiduciary duty to make reasonable business decisions and that bar is pretty low.That fiduciary duty never extends to breach of contract or fraud.

  149. Bart DePalma says:

    shrinkers:Do you have any evidence whatsoever to back up your claim that the recession was caused by folks with stagnant wages defaulting on their credit cards and the somewhat contradictory claim that banks used the profits from credit cards to gamble in Reno?This should be entertaining.In reality, the sequences of events were mortgage defaults, collapsing home prices, unemployment, bank crisis, GDP fall and then market crash.

  150. shrinkers says:

    Bart, corporate officers have a duty to maximize profits for shareholders. For insurance companies, profits go up when they raise premiums and make fewer and smaller payments. It’s very simple. Paying for medical treatments cuts directly into corporate profits, on nearly a dollar-for-dollar basis.You are free to show us any current insurance CEO who does not seek to maximize profits.

  151. shrinkers says:

    In reality, the sequences of events were mortgage defaults, collapsing home prices, unemployment, bank crisis, GDP fall and then market crash.Do you have any evidence whatever that these were the only factors involved in creating the recession, or that the consumer debt level carried by mortgage borrowers did not contribute to mortgage defaults? Or have you any proof that the joined consumer and investment banking was unrelated to the banking collapse? What caused AIG all that trouble, hmmm?This should be entertaining.

  152. shrinkers says:

    Oh and while you’re at it Bart, point out the phrase “death panel” within the Health Care bill. And tell us if you taste your dog food before you buy it.And furnish a quote from a single investor who claimed that his decision to sell stock was based on one of Obama’s speeches. Or any of the other absurd claims you’ve made and declined to support.

  153. filistro says:

    More news today from the “divided GOP” front. Hmmm… are we witnessing the gradual development of a meme here?Looks like it.

  154. parksie555 says:

    @dr_funguyhttp://www.gallup.com/poll/118399/more-americans-pro-life-than-pro-choice-first-time.aspxSeems to indicate a rightward shift if anything…http://www.gallup.com/poll/128291/americans-opposition-gay-marriage-eases-slightly.aspxA shift to the left, but still a plurality against…The fact that Obama and Pelosi rightly recognized that single-payer was a political non-starter should tell you all need to now on that subject…Center right. Sorry lefties, but that’s the way it is. Obama and Pelosi are about to learn that the hard way.

  155. Realist says:

    @GROG and parksie,I have little doubt that I’m further to the left on fiscal policy than the US average. What separates me from most of my fiscal left brethren is that my motives for fiscal policy are much more closely aligned with the public face of fiscal conservatives. That is, I abhor waste of taxpayer funds, and believe that government should stay out of anything where private industry is capable of effectively doing the job.How do I end up coming to fiscally liberal policies when starting from a fiscally conservative desire? Easy. I’ve spent time running the numbers, looking from a macroeconomic perspective (which is where government should be looking), rather than a microeconomic perspective, from which most conservatives’ fiscal policies seem to come.I am also very slightly to the left of the national average on social issues, from what I can tell based on reading polls. Nonetheless, it’s clear to anyone who looks at the numbers that the average social position of this country is more liberal than the policies of the Republican party.

  156. parksie555 says:

    @Filly – More news from the “Dems in deep shit this cycle” front…http://www.pollster.com/blogs/us_national_survey_cnn_92123.phpRepubs +9 in the generic – in a CNN poll? Wowsers.

  157. Bart DePalma says:

    shrinkers:Realist is speaking of the fiduciary duties of corporate officers under the law. There is no such fiduciary duty to maximize profits. There are sometimes economic pressures to maximize profits, but no legal fiduciary duties.You can go look for the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board in the Obamacare legislation at Thomas.com. I have posted the sections at least five times for you and am not doing so again because you refuse to read the legislation for yourself.Because this is difficult to find, here is the link to my blog post with the video of the Peter Orzag speech to the Economics Club discussing the Board.http://citizen-pamphleteer.blogspot.com/2010/04/brave-new-world-of-obamacare-death.html

  158. Bart DePalma says:

    parksie555 wrote: “Repubs +9 in the generic – in a CNN poll? Wowsers.”In September 1994, the same CNN poll was only GOP+2.

  159. shrinkers says:

    So, Bart, you are unable to find the term “death panel” in the HCR bill. (I have read the legislation. It’s not there.)And you are unable to name a CEO of a single insurance company who is not attempting to maximize profits.Clearly, it is in the interests of corporate profits to let insurance purchasers die rather than to make substantial payouts to keep them alive.New regulations are designed to curb this behavior. As I’ve said, if you don’t like it, start shoveling rat droppings into your morning oatmeal.

  160. parksie555 says:

    @Realist… Politically and mathematically doesn’t your statement about the average social position of this country relative to the Republican party sort of have to be true? Think about it a bit.

  161. Realist says:

    @Bart,I believe what we have here is a definitional gap. While it’s true that the boards of directors can rarely be successfully sued for violation of fiduciary duties, short of egregious violations, that’s the legal definition. The business definition is rather different, and the incentives offered to corporate executives typically align with the business definition (which has a higher standard), rather than the legal definition (which has a lower standard).To your other point, I have never claimed that the insurance companies are guilty of breach of contract or fraud. Rather, I claim that the contracts as written essentially allow the insurance companies to deny claims for reasons of profit, rather than medicine. I further claim that the contracts are written in this way specifically to maximize profit.

  162. Bart DePalma says:

    Realist:I get so tired of your talking out of your ass about something which you obviously know nothing even after being corrected repeatedly.Here is a good summary of the fiduciary duties of corporate officers:http://www.cof.org/files/documents/education_collaborations/difficultboards/handout1.pdfRead it for content, then man up and admit that you were wrong.

  163. dr_funguy says:

    Once again you confuse labels with positions. More call themselves pro-life then pro-choice, yet 74% favor some access to abortion in the poll that you cite.As to Gay marriage, it is more contentious, but the poll I linked to (awa this one http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm) shows majority support.Clearly, calling the US center right on social issues is not indisputable.

  164. shrinkers says:

    Parksie:Politically and mathematically doesn’t your statement about the average social position of this country relative to the Republican party sort of have to be true? Think about it a bit.The center of the nation is undoubtedly to the left of your average elected Republican. It’s probably also to the right of your average elected Dem. Which means the center of the nation is FAR to the left of any of the Teaper candidates, and FAR to the right of a Dennis Kucinich or a Bernie Sanders.This doesn’t mean a Bachmann or a Sanders or a Paul or a Kucinich can’t sometimes get elected in certain areas of the country. And shiloh is right — the pendulum swings all over the map, and no political party is going to stop its swing.And it is the genius of America that we have all these voices. It is necessary for America that we have all these voices.The center is certainly to the left of Bart of Parksie or Grog. It is to the right of me or filistro or shiloh or Realist. Mr. U, Monotreme, all the rest of us here — ain’t it great we have these conversations?

  165. Jeff says:

    Parksie:You asked for evidence that a majority of Americans actually favor conservative positions and cited a number of issues.Polling is one way to get an idea. Another approach is to look at elections. Take same sex marriage: Two years ago, it was on the ballot in California. Remember 2 years ago? Dispirited conservatives who didn’t vote? Huge wave of young voters? And California one of the most liberal states in the union?Prop 6 was on the ballot that year, to reverse the State’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of same sex marriage. It won — in the most unfavorable political environment possible.If California voters wouldn’t approve same sex marriage, will the voters in Nebraska or Virginia do so?===========I’m not opining on the merits of the case, but if you look at same sex marriage, it hasn’t done very well when people actually vote.I would be careful of saying that people are liberal on social issues if you’re going to use this one as an example.

  166. shrinkers says:

    Bart,m quoting from teh first line of your document:The following is an overview of the duties of a member of a board of directors of a nonprofit corporationDo you have a document that covers for-profit corporations, such as insurance companies, so that we’d have something relevant to the current conversation?

  167. parksie555 says:

    @Jeff – Maybe you misread the posts in this thread. I was citing California’s Prop 6 voting to try and convince dr_funguy that even socially the US is still a center-right nation. I firmly believe we are. I believe your argument is with dr_funguy and realist, not me.

  168. Bart DePalma says:

    Gingrich was on the radio today in a grand mood. None of the usual attempts to downplay expectations of the elections.His 1994 election team currently works for his for profit group advising candidates running for office.Gingrich claimed his team knew they had Congress won in September 1994 and only missed on a couple seats. For 2010, the Gingrich team is projecting the GOP has a minimum of 48 seats wrapped up and may gain up to 80 depending upon the enthusiasm chasm, which Gingrich says is much larger than in 1994. He is making comparisons to a potential 1932 level wave.Interesting.

  169. Jean says:

    fili, I thought of your colorful and descriptive allegories when I read this today:”There was an episode of “The Simpsons” many years ago in which the family visits “Itchy and Scratchy Land.” A giant robot Itchy greets the Simpsons, takes off the top of its head as if it were a hat, exposing circuitry, chips, wires, etc.Marge turns to Homer and say, “See all that stuff in there, Homer? That’s why your robot never worked.”You see, in Homer’s mind, simply building something that looked like a giant robot should have been enough. Plop a tin bucket on a metal torso, give it a name, and the thing should just start working. It didn’t occur to Homer that robots are very complex, and that the advanced technology that goes into the tin-bucket head actually makes a difference.In this little allegory, House Republicans are obviously Homer. They believe they have a policy agenda because they published a document they call a “policy agenda.” Their tin-bucket head is empty, but they aren’t quite sharp enough to realize that this matters.”

  170. dr_funguy says:

    @ParksieA majority of American do not bother to vote therefore voting is only evidence of some subset of the populations beliefs… Otherwise I would cite the current majorities in both houses of Congress and the executive as evidence…

  171. shiloh says:

    @BartlesI get so tired of your talking out of your ass~~~~~~~~~~hmm, someone is getting upset, eh and re: tired, no one is forcing wingers to post at a liberal blog. Your obsession is duly noted.Re: Gay marriage …Gays only recently came out of the closet, whereas it took African/Americans 300/400 years to overcome America’s racial oppression er inequality and as Bart’s teabaggers has proved, racial equality may never be totally achieved as America continues to struggle w/its prejudices/misinformation/hate, etc.but, but, but again it’s only a matter of time as young people mostly have no problem w/Gays and older folk continue to pass on. Again, it took African/Americans 300 years to achieve equality, at least as far as the law is concerned, and Gays have only recently begun their fight for equal protection under the law.Perspective!Repeating myself 😉 Truman desegregated the U.S. military in 1948 when a 1947 survey revealed only 8% of white officers and enlisted men were in favor of said integration.ie there’s the right thing to do, the wrong thing to do and opinion polls!Did I mention young folk don’t have the prejudices old folk have re: Gay marriage …When you find yourself in the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect! ~ Mark TwainSpeaking of the will of the people ~ Gore received more votes than cheney/bush in 2000 and yet …Let’s hear it for democracy! er a Republic er democracy in action er indecision 2000!>#s aren’t important in America as it’s who speaks loudest and gets the most media coverage, eh ~ just ask Bartles as he continues to shout above the crowd!Money, money, money!Again, the best govt. corporate, religious, special interest groups can buy.>A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. ~ Mark TwainWhen the legend becomes fact, print the legend … ~ The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance ~ 1962Directed by Sean Aloysius Kilmartin O’Feeney aka John Ford.I digress :)We now return you to redstate, freepers, etc. sayin’ the Pledge is total bullshit!

  172. shiloh says:

    @dr_funguyA majority of American do not bother to vote~~~~~~~~~~Actually incorrect re: the 2008 election:2008:Eligible voting age voters ~ 231,229,580Actual Voters in 2008 ~ 132,618,580 ~ 56.8%Sí, Se Puede!carry on

  173. Realist says:

    @Bart,You refer to the Independent Payment Advisory Board as the official name of what you call the “death panel.” (Incidentally, while I found some lovely maps at Thomas.com, I wasn’t able to find much legislation.)The IPAB is tasked with reducing Medicare expenditures. Section 1899A(c)2(A)(ii) explicitly states:The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums under section 1818, 1818A, or 1839, increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.Rationing is the reason for the characterization of the IPAB as a “death panel.” As you can see above, rationing is explicitly prohibited.

  174. Realist says:

    @Bart,I get so tired of your talking out of your ass about something which you obviously know nothing even after being corrected repeatedlyFunny, I was just thinking the same thing about you.Here is a good summary of the fiduciary duties of corporate officers:Link duly read. It’s a reiteration of what I said earlier…legal definition. Judge Richard Posner, who I assume even passed the bar, was the source of my statement regarding the business view of fiduciary duty.I’m happy to concede that the legal requirement doesn’t support profit maximization.

  175. GROG says:

    shrinkers saaid:”The center is certainly to the left of Bart of Parksie or Grog. It is to the right of me or filistro or shiloh or Realist. Mr. U, Monotreme, all the rest of us here — ain’t it great we have these conversations?”Amen brother.When we talk about social issues, aren’t we really talking about abortion and gay marriage? Let’s cut to the chase. Is someone going to describe themselves as liberal or conservative based on only 2 issues?I’m for traditional marriage but I am in no way anti-gay. I’m for the right of unborn children to live, but I am in no way anti choice for women. (I am against a woman having a choice to beat her 2 year old child, but I’m also against a man having a choice to beat their 2 year old child.When I think of myself as being a conservative, it has to do with individualism, personal responsbility, and believing Government is not the solution to all problems. I don’t have the extraordinary faith in the Federal Government to run things, (such as health care) as many on the left have.I believe in the spirit of the individual and not in the spirit of Big Government. That’s the core of my conservatism.

  176. Realist says:

    @GROGWhen we talk about social issues, aren’t we really talking about abortion and gay marriage?Perhaps you are, but I’m talking about a lot more than that. Some examples:- Balancing the power of the individual against the power of the corporation- Protecting the minority from the “tyranny of the majority” (quotes used because “tyranny” gets bandied about a little to easily around these parts)- Supporting those whose disadvantages arise from their ancestors, such that they can maximize their contribution to society- Maintaining a sustainable economy, so that future generations can enjoy a life at least as good as that of the current generationI’m sure there are others, but those are the ones that come to mind immediately.When I think of myself as being a conservative, it has to do with individualism, personal responsbility, and believing Government is not the solution to all problems.Based on that definition, I’d be pretty close to conservative as well, though I believe that individualism needs to be tempered against the individual profiting by harming others.I don’t have the extraordinary faith in the Federal Government to run thingsNeither do I, but I also don’t have the extraordinary faith in the free market to run things.I believe in the spirit of the individual and not in the spirit of Big Government.I believe in the government’s role in protecting individualism from causing harm to others. Just as freedom of speech has limits (as ample case law will tell you), but those limits must themselves be as limited as possible while maintaining a healthy, functioning society, so too must freedom of individualism have limited limits. Establishing and enforcing those limits is the government’s role. If that requires the government to be BIG, then let there be Big Government.So, call me conservative, call me liberal, I don’t really care. The label doesn’t matter to me. Call me a Realist.

  177. shrinkers says:

    GROG:When I think of myself as being a conservative, it has to do with individualism, personal responsbility, and believing Government is not the solution to all problems. I don’t have the extraordinary faith in the Federal Government to run things, (such as health care) as many on the left have.I believe in the spirit of the individual and not in the spirit of Big Government. That’s the core of my conservatism.See, here’s the thing. I agree with all those statements as well. I bet nearly everyone does, regardless of where they fall on a right/left spectrum.The differences are often in details. I suspect we agree on many, many general principles. But the polarizing nature of our political debate often makes us imagine we differ even on such concepts as patriotism or personal responsibility.I, too, believe “Government is not the solution to all problems.” I suspect we both agree that “government can address some problems,” for instance, road-building and national defense. We differ only on the details of where and when we should turn to a national solution rather tan an individual or corporate one.That’s why we need to have discussion rather than attack, honesty rather than caricature. There is a place for satire, certainly (Stephan Colbert is a riot) but there also is a place for honest and open and serious exchange.I am far more interested in a true discussion of policy, than a mere contest of posturing. Are you game for that?

  178. GROG says:

    @Realist and shrinkers,I absolutely agree with both of you. The thing we disagree on is the level to which Government should be involved in our lives. The level to which the individual can fend for herself, rather than Government fending for her. Although the Government does not build roads (contractors do) I think the Government should own them strictly because it is more practical. Same with the police,national defense, and fire dept.And to answer your question shrinkers, yes I am game.

  179. Realist says:

    @GROGThe level to which the individual can fend for herself, rather than Government fending for her.Here’s where my fiscal conservatism really comes out. It is often more expensive to have the level of government intrusion lower than to have it higher. Many of these instances arise from a starting point of minimum levels of social contribution.Case in point: health care. We have agreed as a society that nobody should be denied emergency care, regardless of ability to pay. As a corollary to this, we have agreed as a society that we will collectively pay for this via taxation.One of the upshots of this approach is the moral hazard of people getting all health care via emergency room treatment. This is often far more expensive than the collective costs of preventative care would have been. It would cost less still (in taxes) if these people were insured to begin with.So I would rather have fewer tax dollars go to paying for health care, as long as I am otherwise paying for health insurance. After all, as it stands now I’m paying for my care (through health insurance) and other people’s care (through taxes).Doesn’t that sound like a conservative?

  180. Monotreme says:

    I think the labels “liberal” (or its politically correct bastard child “progressive”) and “conservative” have very little meaning.Perhaps they once did, but polemicists of all kinds have polluted the terms beyond recognition, even as a convenient shorthand.I think the Political Compass (http://www.politicalcompass.org) is a good step in the right direction. I’d be happy to compare scores but I think it should go to a separate thread.When you look at the Political Compass’ map of 2008 Presidential candidates, you can see where GROG, Jeff, parksie and others get their evidence for the US as a “center-right” nation. http://http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2008There is also a pretty neat tool that lets you examine the position of US Senators by state. Even Bernie Sanders’ Vermont does not stray across the Y-axis.I truly enjoy the discussions we have here. My only anxiety occurs when I take things too seriously. I have to remind myself it’s just a blog.

  181. shrinkers says:

    Realist is very good at avoiding (or simply not employing) provocative rhetoric. I confess to a weakness for it — being a creative writer at heart, it’s easy to fall into being provocative rather than simply descriptive. Grog, I would enjoy a true conversation with you, on this blog, about substantive issues. I will call you out on empty rhetoric. Feel free to do the same for me.I invite others to join.Shiloh, don’t ever change.

  182. GROG says:

    Sounds great.

  183. filistro says:

    I’m been trying to coax Mr Universe to give us an “Open thread” for the weekend, where we can have a cheerful free-for-all on any and all topics that strike anybody’s fancy.What do you all think? Good idea… or terribly risky? 🙂

  184. GROG says:

    Excellent idea fili. (You’re still my all time fave but shrinky and Monotreme are catching up.)

  185. Realist says:

    @shrinkersRealist is very good at avoiding (or simply not employing) provocative rhetoric. I confess to a weakness for it — being a creative writer at heart, it’s easy to fall into being provocative rather than simply descriptive.Thanks. It takes effort on my part. I have a weakness for rhetoric as well, but the best discussions here (and at the old fivethirtyeight) were the ones that kept rhetoric to a minimum. For that reason, I try to hold myself to a high standard on rhetoric avoidance.It is my sincere hope that we can turn this blog into a place of substantive debate and discussion.

  186. Realist says:

    Good idea… or terribly risky?Who says it can’t be both? 😉

  187. filistro says:

    GROG, in return I think I can safely say… I suspect most of these guys used to wonder exactly what I saw in you, but now I wager they’re beginning to realize that (for a caveman) you’re a pretty good guy 😉

  188. filistro says:

    Who says it can’t be both?LOL… it could be an adventure, all right…

  189. Monotreme says:

    GROG sez:You’re still my all time fave but shrinky and Monotreme are catching up.I don’t know about Shrinkers, but Filistro is definitely better looking than me.

  190. shrinkers says:

    I’m up for an open thread. Works for me.

  191. filistro says:

    @Monotreme I don’t know about Shrinkers, but Filistro is definitely better looking than me Don’t be deceived by those pictures shiloh keeps posting. It’s been YEARS since I last worked as a Playboy bunny…

  192. shrinkers says:

    I’m sure filistro is sexier than any of us.I may have Monotreme beat, even at my age.By the way, my novel is selling reasonably well for an ebook. My publisher is putting together a freebie of mine as a promotional giveaway, my own take on Norse epic poetry. More details as they emerge….

  193. filistro says:

    Oh dear, 190+ posts on this thread.If we get to 200, will Charles suddenly parachute into our midst?Shiver…

  194. filistro says:

    See, now if we had an open thread, I could ask shrinkers how he happens to know anything about “Norse epic poetry.”What a guy!(Is that Beowulf?)

  195. shrinkers says:

    filistro LOL!Anyone who has not watched Stephan Colbert’s testimony in the Ag Committee today, really really should. It’s just that good.

  196. shrinkers says:

    Beowulf is one example of Norse epic poetry (although Beowulf is actually Old English).I studied Norse and Old English and Old Icelandic for a while. I was mostly interested in the spiritual and mythic aspects. But to really understand the concepts, I had to teach myself a lot of the language, and read the texts in the original verse.I took the myth about Odin discovering the lore of the Runes, and I re-wrote it as a modern epic poem. I suspected the market for epic poetry is rather limited today (what with the recession and all). My publisher confirmed that suspicion. So it’s being issued, as I said, as a freebie. I’ll let you all know when I have a release date.WV: 64152 – I got nothing.

  197. filistro says:

    Okay, here’s a wager for Bart, the gamblin’ man. I’m prepared to bet any amount you want to name that shrinkers is the only novelist to be published this month in North America who is offering an epic Norse poem as a freebie along with his book.

  198. shiloh says:

    Speaking of free for all, my last link showed after Bart’s 1994 teabagger tsunami 😉 the 1996 presidential election had the lowest voter turn-out 49.1% for a presidential election since at least 1960 …probably because voters weren’t happy w/Clinton, but Dole was too old and as exciting as a Bartles’ family get together :zzz:and then after 1996 the wingers further screwed the pooch by impeaching Clinton over a BJ er Gingrich began to fiddle instead of governing.ie be careful what you wish for.Presidential voter turn-out:1960 ~ 63.1%1964 ~ 61.9%1968 ~ 60.8%Interesting America hasn’t had a 60% turn-out presidential election since ’68.Trivia:Perot’s ’96 vp ~ Patrick ChoateWallace’s ’68 vp ~ General Curtis LeMay, who coincidentally I knew all about ’cause one of my dad’s fav movies was Strategic Air Command having served in the Army Air Corp during WWII, I digress.Goldwater’s ’64 vp ~ William MillerNixon’s ’60 vp ~ Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.btw, whatever happened to Gingrich who resigned in disgrace much like Nixon and have no idea who Patrick Choate is lol even though I voted in that election.carry on

  199. shrinkers says:

    Presidential voter turn-out:data iz gud

  200. shrinkers says:

    Anyone interested, some unapologetic self-promotion … a wallpaper for my novel and an advance (first draft) cover for the epic poem. Totally safe links. Promise.

  201. Mainer says:

    Oh dear lord, please don’t let ones looks control their ability to post here. For I shall most certainly find extreme moderation in my efforts.You know a large part of the problem with trying to define who some one else is stems from the fact that most people are not one dimensional. Couple that with how certain terms have been so badly missused of late and it is a wonder any of us know where others are coming from.I would rather consider myself a progressive than most any thing else. I have friends now that while conservative are no where near regressive or reactionary. Maybe a starting point would be new catagories to describe what we are actually talking about.

  202. Justsayin says:

    Gingrich is an idiot, Clinton made mince meat out of him, and if it wasn’t for faux news, he wouldn’t have an audience or a job, he’d be quitely selling used cars in nowhereville and we would never have heard from him again.

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