Barbarians at the Gate?

bar·bar·i·an

[bahr-bair-ee-uhn] –noun

1. a person in a savage, primitive state; uncivilized person.

2. a person without culture, refinement, or education; a philistine.

3. (loosely) a foreigner.

4. (in ancient and medieval periods)

a. non-Greek.

b. person living outside, esp. north of the Roman Empire.



 

c. person not living in a Christian country or within a Christian civilization

 


5. callous, self-serving, humourless Republican

te·an·der·thal

[tee-an-der-thawl, -tawl, -tahl; tey-ahn-der-tahl]–noun



 

1. Teanderthal Party. A group of teanderthals with badly spelled campaign signs

2. (often lowercase) Informal

a. an unenlightened or ignorant person; barbarian.

b. a reactionary; a person with very old-fashioned ideas.

Okay, I made some of that up including the variation on neanderthal but for the most part, these definitions are straight out of the dictionary. I couldn’t help myself in making fun of the current crop of outraged citizens and their over-the-top rhetoric.

But why are they mad? Are these just the sore losers from the last campaign? Is their anger so great that they have begun buying ammo, stocking the panic room, and waving the second amendment around as a real solution? Do they seriously want to water the tree of liberty with blood (note: trees actually prefer water)?

I suspect that whenever a big change occurs there will always be a segment of the population that will be ferverently opposed to it. Change is difficult. Adaptation is a slow process. But it is necessary because evolution rejects those who are unwilling to move along; stumbling towards utopia.

My concern is this: we voted for change in 2008. And by ‘we’ I mean the majority; the cornerstone of democracy. We voted to try something new. We voiced our dissatisfaction with the status quo because it had not served us well. Since then, things have improved a little but they could be a lot better. Maybe a new regime will bring about some better results. Maybe someone else can make it happen faster because those other guys aren’t producing the outcome we want to see.

The problem with this scenario of the pendulum swinging back and forth is that the Obama administration doesn’t get a chance to accomplish anything.

Here’s a metaphor. Reluctant as I am to use wartime examples, let’s say we want to take an island from an opposing faction (the status quo). We assault it with everything we have and gain a toehold on the beachfront. We even gain some ground (healthcare reform). We still face fierce opposition but we are resolved to endure. It’s hard, our morale is low and our resources depleted, our faith is challenged. Maybe we ought to call this whole thing off.

Is that what we really want? Say we did that. Say we chose not to reach for something better even though we knew in our hearts the status quo was wrong. What would be the result?

We’d get played for suckers. We’d be the submissive dog lying on our backs hoping the overlords wouldn’t beat us. We’d be guilty of letting the status quo win. We would be losers because we didn’t stand up for the right thing because it was easier to accept the long-standing, ineffective process.

Complacency is the enemy. Complicity with the status quo is the barbarian at the gate. It is not a matter of resisting the onslaught, but rather a matter of fighting for an unrealized ideal.

We are in danger of losing the toehold and the island this November. I beseech you, do not give up the fight. Go vote for the Democratic ticket. Give change a little more time.


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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67 Responses to Barbarians at the Gate?

  1. Jean says:

    Dark background, white print has been difficult to read, but this dark background, dark print is next to impossible to read. Pretty please, could we get a white background, dark print soon?

  2. Mr Universe says:

    Caught me with my formatting pants down, my dear.

  3. Mr. Universe says:

    I really hate this code programming crap. You guys just think I make this look easy.

  4. Mr. Universe says:

    I have spent nearly an hour fighting the auto-format to remove a space between letters b and c on this article. I hate Microsoft.

  5. Jeff says:

    I think your definition is perfect. As you point out, “barbarian” was the term the ancient Greeks used to describe ANY non-Greek, whether they be painted savages like the Picts, or peoples with an impressive culture of their own, like the Persians and Egyptians.In other words, it’s an example of closed-minded bigotry that by definition makes “the others” less than fully human. Kinda like the “Master Race” or “La Raza” (translation: THE race).In fact, I’d go so far as to say your definition sums up the liberal mind-set…. ie, to the degree that you deviate from the Received Truth of the Church of Liberal Dogma, you’re stupid, evil, or just incapable of learning.

  6. Mr. Universe says:

    Thanks Jeff, I’ll take that as a compliment!

  7. Bart DePalma says:

    None of this is very complicated. In commerce, its called bait and switch or consumer fraud.Obama and most of the endangered Dems campaigned as center to center-right promising to stop GOP profligacy and corruption, give tax cuts for nearly everyone, pay for any new programs with a “net spending cut” and that we could keep our own insurance with lower premiums.The voters in 2006 and 2008 were justifiably tired of the Bush GOP and chose to believe the Dem campaign.Obama and the new Dem government broke nearly every major promise they made.The profligacy and the deficit was tripled.The corruption in hiding bills and buying off votes was rampant.Nationalizing the automakers and bailing out deadbeat mortgage borrowers was never in the plan.Obamacare did indeed take away your health insurance and replaced it with a far more expensive government plan, unless you were smart enough to become a free rider only buying insurance when you were sick.Taxes and increased costs to fund all this are being paid by nearly everyone.What made all of this worse is that the Dem government knew weeks ahead of time that folks opposed these policies, effectively told the voters to f_ck themselves and pushed them through anyway for the first time in the history of this Republic.And you continue to be surprised that people are pissed off?Did you really think the voters would all act like good comrades and learn to love Big Brother?

  8. Jean says:

    Bart,And how many of your “it was bait and switch” believers voted for Obama in 2008? I would estimate close to none. It’s the same old song from the same old Republican party base.

  9. Bart DePalma says:

    Jean wrote: “And how many of your “it was bait and switch” believers voted for Obama in 2008?”15% of self identified Tea Party folks voted Obama.http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1436More importantly for the Dems, the center has moved GOP in reaction to Dem policies.http://citizen-pamphleteer.blogspot.com/2010/09/realignment-of-suburbs.htmlDid you think this wave was really just based on the economy? A pure bad economy election where the people basically support the policies was the twenty some seats lost in 1982.This wave is a combination of a bad economy (1982), opposition to the government’s policies (1994) and outrage over government abuse of power (1974) rolled into one.

  10. ALB says:

    I’m going to be honest here.Bart DePalma – You sound like a moron. Not calling you a moron, per se. But you sound like a delusional, Republican moron. Democrats would have done a lot better for this country if there weren’t billions of dollars being spent in the name of spoiling Obama’s agenda. Open your eyes, buddy. 67% of Americans supported the public option originally. Then Fox News began it’s propaganda campaign against the bill. It was reduced to the pathetic Senate version we have now.Health should be the business of the government, not private companies. It’s insane that we have people making money off of keeping our fellow citizens healthy. Plus, the health care bill only saved trillions (2.7) over the next ten years. Sure, it wasn’t the best bill ever, but it was a step in the right direction.Go whine on a conservative blog about what the Democrats have done that’s so awful. It’s like trying to clean a room that’s covered in feces and you’ve got 50 people and all their friends defecating all over the place as you try to clean. Yes. You guessed it – The Republicans are the ones defecating everywhere. And the Democrats are trying to clean it up.

  11. Jean says:

    Bart,According to the Democracy Corp Special Report on the Tea Party Movement, which you have been known to mine for your propaganda purposes:The Tea Party is a grass-roots, intensely ideological, conservative Republican movement, fired up by Fox News and Glenn Beck. It is not remotely an independent or populist revolt against the elites or a working class revolt rooted in frustration with the recession, Wall Street and government.86 percent of Tea Party supporters and activists identify with or lean to the Republican Party.79 percent identify as conservatives.They are among the most pro-big business segments of the electorate: 54 percent rate it warmly and 20 percent coolly.The Tea Party movement is not particularly blue collar. Tea Party supporters are slightly less likely to be college-graduates than the likely electorate (41 percent, versus 45 percent), and the activists more so (48 percent). And 85 percent of the supporters are white.Only 5 percent report having voted for Obama in 2008.http://www.democracycorps.com/strategy/2010/07/special-report-on-the-tea-party-movement/?section=Analysis

  12. Bart DePalma says:

    Jean:I know what the DC spin was. Their data was different. Here is a breakdown of their data:http://citizen-pamphleteer.blogspot.com/2010/07/return-of-reagan-conservative-coalition.html

  13. Bart DePalma says:

    ALB:All the polling concerning the actual Obamacare legislation went underwater in 2009 once folks learned what was actually in the plan and what it cost. In has never surfaced since.Polling offering ala carte free benefits without the price tags is meaningless.

  14. Mr. Universe says:

    Latests BartsObama and the new Dem government broke nearly every major promise they made.Nope, they’re still knocking ’em out one at a time. It’s your side of thde aisle that’s causing the problem.Did you think this wave was really just based on the economy?ummmm…..yeah… stupid.

  15. Jeff says:

    @alb: “Health should be the business of the government, not private companies. It’s insane that we have people making money off of keeping our fellow citizens healthy.”=============Then it’s insane that we have people making money off keeping people fed, clothed, and sheltered. Do you believe we should nationalize those as well?=========”Plus, the health care bill only saved trillions (2.7) over the next ten years.” Nobody ever claimed it saved $2.7 trillion. The relatively modest savings claimed for it were based on:1. Massive cuts to Medicare reimbursements that most likely will never take place, and2. Collecting taxes for 10 years and providing benefits for six.=============As long as we separate payment for medical services from the demand for medical services, we will have a mushrooming cost problem that can only lead to one of two solutions:1. Rationing of care2. Uncontrolled costs leading to national bankruptcy.Once you get past a minimum threshold, there is very little evidence that spending more money on HC produces better results. The Mayo Clinic is one of the best medical providers in the country — and one of the least expensive. I know of no government program that produces high quality, cost-efficient service, and often the results are poor-quality, expensive services. The Massachusetts program, which is quite similar to obamacare, is far exceeding its cost projections and is heading for bankruptcy. I see no reason to believe that extending the Massachusetts model is going to produce different results.To say that the only options on HC is nationalization (which is what we are heading towards under the ombanation), or letting people die in the streets, is a false dichotomy. Currently roughly 85% of the population is covered by medical insurance. Of the remaining 15%, a goodly proportion were young “immortal” people. Others were people changing jobs and waiting for coverage to kick in. The current system certainly needed some overhauls, but in this instance, the cure is worse than the disease.

  16. Bart DePalma says:

    Filistro:I posted this over at the NYT in response to the your comment on the LV polling. I give my post about a 50/50 shot of being censored, so I thought I would repost here:***filistro: @Nate… “The Republicans’ lead among likely voters on the generic ballot is down slightly to 6.5 points this week from 7.5 points last week”..That doesn’t look all that “slight” to me.”I am unsure what LV polling Nate is using. Here is the latest:Ras: GOP+10 (steady as she goes for weeks now).AP: GOP+10CNN: GOP+9 (as compared to GOP+2 in September 1994).POS: GOP+5 (GOP+19 in Cook’s Dem leaning or tossup districts).CBS: GOP+2 (This poll has been running the lowest weight of GOP voters).Rasmussen is the only one doing this consistently with the same weightings and his reading have not changed in weeks since the Indis went GOP after the Obamacare vote.

  17. Jean says:

    Jeff,re: The Mayo Clinic is one of the best medical providers in the country — and one of the least expensive. And the Mayo Clinic strong condemned MN Governor Tim Pawlenty’s inaction in failing to apply for federal health care funds and letting the deadline pass to receive $1 million from the federal government to create health care exchanges. As the Mayo Clinic stated: “The complete implications are not known yet, but Mayo Clinic is concerned about the position the governor took Tuesday relating to the federal reform law. The gov’s actions regarding GAMC and rejection of early enrollment in Medicaid have already cost Mayo Clinic and Mayo Health System a projected $25 million. As the state’s largest private employer, Mayo attracts patients from around the nation, and actions by the governor that jeopardize Mayo’s ability to continue to attract these patients and their families to Minnesota for health care, jeopardizes a vital economic engine for our state.”

  18. filistro says:

    Just linking back to Nate’s latest where I was lucky enough to leave a message early on where it’s likely to get seen.1.) Anybody who’s just arriving from over there, welcome. Most of the old gang’s here already. For total newbies… welcome to you too. Settle in, it won’t take long, you’ll soon be expressing passionate views and slinging insults just like everybody else.2.) Note how cautious Nate is sounding in this new post? I’m telling you guys, something is changing… and I think it’s related to the Tea Party. Be afraid, Bartles. Be ver–r-r-y afraid.3.) Referring to the subject of the thread… a hypothetical question for you all. Imagine if Hillary Clinton had gotten the nomination, won the general and gone on to govern exactly as Obama has. All the same policies. Would there still have been a Tea Party?

  19. Jeff says:

    @Jean: “The Tea Party movement is not particularly blue collar. Tea Party supporters are slightly less likely to be college-graduates than the likely electorate (41 percent, versus 45 percent), and the activists more so (48 percent). And 85 percent of the supporters are white.”===============The differences between the TP demographics and applicable nationaldemographics isn’t particularly significant, and well-within the margin of error for polling such a diffuse group.Concerning ethnicity — 85% white shouldn’t be a surprise. 15% non-white should be. As has been stated repeatedly, here and elsewhere, America is becoming increasingly less white due to immigration and higher fertility levels in non-white populations. I assume that one wouldn’t expect illegal immigrants or children to be active TP participants.If you go to the Census Bureau page at:http://www.census.gov/population/censusdata/cph-l-160h.txt, you’ll see that the baby-boomer generation (roughly people between the ages of 45 and 65)is 80% white. According to your poll (which was performed by a liberal polling company), the Tea Party is 85% white. Again, within the margin of error for a poll. Yes, it would be interesting to cross-compare US demographics with TP demographics, but I think the Baby Boom generation is a reasonable proxy. Younger cohorts are less white, older cohorts more white.If you compare the Tea Party demographics to Republican demographics, I think you would find that the Tea Party is far more diverse than the Republicans.

  20. Jeff says:

    @Jean:You quote the Mayo as saying “The gov’s actions regarding GAMC and rejection of early enrollment in Medicaid have already cost Mayo Clinic and Mayo Health System a projected $25 million”==============Gee, I’m supposed to be surprised that the Mayo Clinic and Health Systems would have liked to have had that $25 million?I’m sure they would have liked to have had $50 million from the Minnesota state budget as well. Just because a potential recipient of money would like to have it, doesn’t mean that it should. My point re the Mayo is that it proves that spending money on HC doesn’t necessarily provide good results — which you don’t seem to disagree with.Nor do I disagree with the concept that organizations like to receive money and are disappointed when they don’t.

  21. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro wrote: “Note how cautious Nate is sounding in this new post? I’m telling you guys, something is changing… and I think it’s related to the Tea Party. Be afraid, Bartles. Be ver–r-r-y afraid.”:::chuckle:::Nate is keeping pace a step behind the other establishment prognosticators adding more and more seats to the GOP gains. Cook & Co. have been saying for weeks that there is a wave coming and that their official totals are low.Nate is being damn coy about what head-to-head polling he is using. NRO.com’s Campaign Spot and Battle ’10 blogs have been posting dozens of local polls and they range from GOP leads outside the margin of error to massive blowouts. A handful of these polls are from districts which Nate does not even have in contention.

  22. filistro says:

    @ Bart Nate is being damn coy about what head-to-head polling he is usingJeez… whose prognostication to trust?Nate… or Bart?Such a HARD CHOICE…(biting knuckle anxiously)I just don’t know which of them is more likely to be right…..

  23. Jean says:

    Jeff,re: Gee, I’m supposed to be surprised that the Mayo Clinic and Health Systems would have liked to have had that $25 million?The governor turned down money to be used to set up health insurance exchanges – where Minnesotans could go to purchase health insurance coverage from a variety of private health insurance providers.So you belong to the “everyone already has access to heath care; they can lways go to the Emergency Room” school of thought?If not, what’s your solution to the problem of millions of Americans having no health insurance coverage (employer provided or otherwise) and having to wait until their health becomes a serious crisis and resulting in a trip to the Emergency Room.

  24. Mr. Universe says:

    Jeff said:If you compare the Tea Party demographics to Republican demographics, I think you would find that the Tea Party is far more diverse than the Republicans.SPHHSHFFFTT!!! Aww dammit. Now I got to clean off my computer screen.Yeah those teanderthals are diverse alright. They’re several shades of pale.

  25. filistro says:

    Re: Teapers and “diversity”… here’s a painfully simple question to which, I’m embarrassed to admit, I honestly don’t know the answer. When Jeff et al say Teapers are “15% non-white”… are they classifying Hispanics as being “non-white.”?That’s all. Just wondering. Thanks.

  26. Jeff says:

    @ Mr Universe: I said: Jeff said:If you compare the Tea Party demographics to Republican demographics, I think you would find that the Tea Party is far more diverse than the Republicans.You said: SPHHSHFFFTT!!! Aww dammit. Now I got to clean off my computer screen. Yeah those teanderthals are diverse alright. They’re several shades of pale.======I didn’t say that either the Republicans or Tea Party have a very diverse constituency. I was making the point that the TP — according to the statistics Jean provided — are reasonably reflective of demographics for the Baby Boom age cohort. I’m not sure why you’re sputtering over the concept that the Tea Party is more diverse than the Republican party.

  27. Jeff says:

    @Jean: “The governor turned down money to be used to set up health insurance exchanges – where Minnesotans could go to purchase health insurance coverage from a variety of private health insurance providers. So you belong to the “everyone already has access to heath care; they can lways go to the Emergency Room” school of thought?”===I wasn’t commenting on the solution to HC. I had cited the Mayo Clinic as an example of good medicine that wasn’t expensive, and you quoted their statement that they were disappointed that they weren’t getting $25 million in HC money. And gee whiz, why would anybody be surprised???Governors have started turning down federal funds when the feds only pay part of the cost, or pay the cost only for a limited period. Believe it or not, governors have to pay ALL the bills. Getting $2 if you have to spend $5 isn’t $2 of “free” federal money; it’s spending $3 they may not have. Why do you think we’re broke?=====As for solutions to the HC problem:1. Poor people get Medicaid. 2. Many middle class people have other priorities in life. Working in a school, I see all ranges. I can point out people who drive $30,000 SUV’s and go skiing every winter weekend, and won’t pay to cover dependents on their HC. NOT MY PROBLEM. 3. Part of the cost problem with HC is the high cost of malpractice insurance and the even higher cost of defensive medicine. It must be some strange cosmic coincidence that obamacare does nothing to address either problem — and that trial lawyers, next to government employee unions, are the largest financial contributors to the Democratic Party.3. Another cost problem with HC is “Cadillac plans.” I would make all HC insurance, in excess of a fairly low cost, taxable to the employee. Why should the UAW have a health plan that costs $20,000 per year? 4. I would also provide tax incentives to make purchasing HC insurance more affordable. Tax credits for lower income people; tax deductions for middle income. 5. Health Savings Accounts coupled with high deductible plans WORK, especially for younger people. 6. Our insanely complex tax code allows corporations to deduct HC premiums, but not individuals. What a great way to discourage individuals from purchasing their own policies…..———–Due to the law of unintended consequences, during WWII we started people thinking that HC was something they should have that other people should pay for. Yes, access to HC is important, but it’s far less important than food, clothing, and shelter. I asked you why we shouldn’t nationalize those as well.My solution to the problem of “millions of Americans having no health insurance” is to make HC more affordable, and to provide incentives and subsidies where needed to make coverage reasonably affordable. But if people are so stupid that they think a ski trip or SUV is more important than their health, if they die for lack of medical attention, it will improve the gene pool.

  28. Number Seven says:

    Jeff, please reread what Jean posted.Mayo was forced to turn down ONE MILLION in FEDERAL AID, NOT 25 or 50 as you hyperbolically post. This lack of ONE MILLION dollars has cost Mayo an estimated 25 MILLION.

  29. Tim says:

    I have to agree with Jean. Although attractive, the dark background makes it difficult to read entries.

  30. Tim says:

    Moreover, if you look closely, 5% – the same number percentage that voted for Obama plans on voting for Democrats not the GOP.

  31. Tim says:

    Jeff – you are correct that the Mayo clinic, along with the Cleveland Clinic costs less for better results. I’m not sure what this has to do with HCR. The government isn’t taking over the Mayo Clinic. In fact, the HCR bill contains money to spend on identifying ‘best practices’ – like that used by the Mayo – and providing incentives to have other systems incorporate those practices. The goal is to reduce the costs for Medicare. That is – is is well worth the costs to assist other medical centers to adopt the practices of the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics, because doing so would vastly reduce the costs paid out through Medicare (for better results) and thereby bring the projected deficits down. It seems that you, for some reason, are suggesting that the HCR is some kind of ‘takeover’ of hospitals – it of course is not. Rather what reform does is primarily reform the health insurance system. It makes it so that insurance actually has to function as insurance. It has to actually cover people who are likely to get sick and actually cover you if you do get sick. Secondly it sets up exchanges – this is simply a way for those on the individual market to have the same leverage as those in the group market. It essentially works like this: If you call an order a pizza, It’ll cost you about $12 bucks. On the other hand, if you call and order 10 pizzas, you can ask for a discount and get it. The pizzas will cost you about $10 bucks each. Those folks on the individual market are in the position of having to order individual pizzas, whereas a large company is in the position of ordering 10 pizzas. The reason that it ‘works’ for the Insurance Companies’ – even though they still don’t like all the provisions – is that they have the opportunity to enroll about an extra 20 million people. The profits that they make in doing so offset the losses they take by having to do thing like cover pre-existing conditions. As far as your assertions that the reduction to the deficits are a result of collecting taxes for the first 10 years while paying for only six years of services – they are simply wrong. The deficits are projected to show a much greater reduction in the next ten years (when taxes will be collected for ten years and services provided for ten years).

  32. filistro says:

    First… HI TIM!!! Lovely to see you, I’ve missed you. I’ve been anxiously waiting for you to arrive so I could ask your opinion on a topical grammatical issue re: Teaper rhetoric… Is it correct to say “The future belongs to We The People”.. or “The future belongs to Us The People”?

  33. filistro says:

    Also (speaking of solving problems while you sleep, as we were in yesterday’s thread 🙂 I woke up this morning with a real epiphany. I suddenly realize why this election is turning around and momentum is gradually beginning to shift toward the Dems.Remember a few months ago when all the pundits agreed the results of this election would be determined by whether it was a referendum or a choice? If the elction was a referendum on the Dems, they told us, the Dems would lose big because of the economy, voter anger, etc. But if the Dems could somehow turn it into a CHOICE between them and the GOP, their losses could be greatly limited.The poor old Dems, hapless as ever, were not able to do that. But it’s been done for them. In the last six weeks the election has begun to be a choice beteen Dems and the Tea Party…. a narrative forced by the Tea Party itself, with its increasingly high profile and kooky candidates. Suddenly we are seeing the development of what Dems could only dream about a few months ago… the emergence of a choice election.That’s what’s making the difference.

  34. Tim says:

    “Obama and most of the endangered Dems campaigned as center to center-right promising to stop GOP profligacy and corruption, give tax cuts for nearly everyone, pay for any new programs with a “net spending cut” and that we could keep our own insurance with lower premiums”1) What ‘endangered’ Ds are you referring to? If I recall, it’s that Rs that were endangered in 2008 (as evidenced by the vast majorities accrued by the Ds – majorities that the Rs won’t come close to replicated even under the greatest ‘tsunami’ projections.Obama campaigned on a number of different things. Maybe you heard a center-right agenda, although I’m not quite sure how that jives with the numerous statements made during the campaign by the GOP that Obama was to the left of Clinton, etc. Nor does it jive with the fact that Obama and Clinton addressed HCR in 12 debates clearly spelling out their proposals. You say: “Obama and the new Dem government broke nearly every major promise they made.” False: if you go to factcheck.org they have a list of promises made by Obama with a rating for each one. Obama promised to bring combat troops out of Iraq – it took 3 months longer than what he projected during the campaign. He promised to send more troops into Afghanistan – he did. He promised a greater focus on Pakistan – he did. He promised to do HCR – and what Obama said specifically was “if you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor.” What he promised was NOT that your HI premiums would immediately go down – what he promised was to bend the arc of health care costs over the long run. The HCR bill does that. It is projected that Group premiums will rise at the exact same rate as already projected or that the HCR bill will slow the rise of those costs by 3%. ” The profligacy and the deficit was tripled.” Obama promise to reduce the long term deficits. He is on track to do so. There was absolutely no way to save our economy without increasing deficits. Moreover, as you should know, if you read – 55% of the deficit increase was built in by GW Bush (tax cuts, the prescription drug care bill etc..) 33% of the rise was created by the economic downturn – in other words, had Obama done nothing at all – simply left things exactly the way they were 88% of the deficits would remain the same. What Obama did add was the stimulus – which included the largest middle class tax cut in 50 years, tax cuts for small businesses, aid to the states, and money for infrastructure. You could quibble about some of the stimulus spending, but economists say that without it unemployment would be 1.7% higher then it is and that we would still be in a recession. therefore the stimulus is starting to pay for itself because it is reducing that 33% rise to the deficits because of the contraction to GDP. “Nationalizing the automakers and bailing out deadbeat mortgage borrowers was never in the plan.” True, the plan wasn’t set for things that had not happened yet. When is it ever?

  35. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “Obama and most of the endangered Dems campaigned as center to center-right promising to stop GOP profligacy and corruption, give tax cuts for nearly everyone, pay for any new programs with a “net spending cut” and that we could keep our own insurance with lower premiums”Tim wrote:”What ‘endangered’ Ds are you referring to?”The between 89 in Nate’s analysis and the over 100 NRO is looking at.”If I recall, it’s that Rs that were endangered in 2008 (as evidenced by the vast majorities accrued by the Ds – majorities that the Rs won’t come close to replicated even under the greatest ‘tsunami’ projections.”Fraud goes a long way so long as you can fool most of the people. The left was voting for Dems regardless of what they said and the center voted for Dems running center to center right campaigns in 2006 and 2008. Of course, the flip side to that scam is losing the betrayed center when the Dems govern from the left.Tim: “if you go to factcheck.org they have a list of promises made by Obama with a rating for each one.”Giving Obama credit for enacting the Obamacare he promised the American people is like crediting a rancher for providing a promised race horse when he gives you an ass simply because they are both animals.Tim: “He promised to do HCR – and what Obama said specifically was “if you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor.” What he promised was NOT that your HI premiums would immediately go down – what he promised was to bend the arc of health care costs over the long run.”You can find the Obama campaign’s HCR plan here:http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPlan.pdfIt says: “OBAMA-BIDEN PLAN TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE HEALTH CARE TO ALLBarack Obama and Joe Biden’s plan strengthens employer–based coverage, makes insurance companies accountable and ensures patient choice of doctor and care without government interference. Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year. If you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of new, affordable health insurance”EVERY single statement in that pitch was a lie.Tim: “Obama promise to reduce the long term deficits. He is on track to do so.”LMMFAO! Dude, the government is projecting trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.Do you have any concept what your government is doing?

  36. Jeff says:

    filistro wrote:Re: Teapers and “diversity”… here’s a painfully simple question to which, I’m embarrassed to admit, I honestly don’t know the answer.When Jeff et al say Teapers are “15% non-white”… are they classifying Hispanics as being “non-white.”?==============Don’t know the answer. I was quoting Jean, who was citing a poll. My response to her was based on US Census Bureau data, which breaks down national origin to minute detail (want to know how many Bulgarian-Americans there are?). To be conservative, I included all Hispanics as “non-white.” In general, however, all these questions boil down to self-identification. I know several people who regard themselves as Hispanic (Spanish-Americans — in the Iberian sense), and would definitely view themselves as white. The great majority of Argentines and Chileans are of 100% European ancestry, but also Hispanic.Goes to show the difficulties our lords and masters in the government race classification business must have in deciding who gets preferential treatment.================The point being discussed was whether the TP is unrepresentative of America. Jean implied it was, because some poll said it was 85% white. I said it was reasonably representative, because if you looked at the demographics of the Baby Boom generation (roughly ages 45 to 65, the most likely age cohort to be involved), the Census says they’re 80% white — 80% vs. 85% is well within the margin of error.I’m actually surprised by how diverse the TP is, compared to the Republican party. (Mr. Universe may still be sputtering). It’s by far too early to tell, but the TP may not only become a dominant force in the GOP, but also a vehicle to bring more minorities into the party.

  37. Bart DePalma says:

    Jeff: “I’m actually surprised by how diverse the TP is, compared to the Republican party. (Mr. Universe may still be sputtering). It’s by far too early to tell, but the TP may not only become a dominant force in the GOP, but also a vehicle to bring more minorities into the party.”This is an interesting possibility. For a couple generations now, the African American community simply refuses to vote GOP even when a sizable potion of the community is conservative and unhappy with the Dems. Maybe the Tea Party can provide a more culturally acceptable entre for voters.The Tea Party is certainly succeeding in bringing in more African American and female conservative candidates into the electoral process under the GOP banner.

  38. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyI’m actually surprised by how diverse the TP is, compared to the Republican party.~~~~~~~~~~Damned by faint praise lol, especially since teabaggers are lily white, older, rich, (((supposedly))) ?!? well-educated, sore loser, anti-Obama lemmings who are totally sponsored/funded by fixednoise, Rep billionaires, etc. ie 100% astro-turf.btw, the same few billionaires who are funding turdblossoms (2) non-profit conservative fund raising groups and several other Rep groups.Basically, Reps are really, really pissed they’re in the minority and have their money changers working overtime to fix the futility (8) years of cheney/bush created.Politics 101 ~ money/money/moneyNo wave, just well-funded candidates/propaganda as again, no one ever went broke under estimating the intelligence of America’s fickle voters.Plus Reps have always been better at controlling the narrative and Dems, as a rule, not able to agree on anything!The nature of the beast as again this is not rocket science …>Also why Jeffrey doesn’t want boehner as Speaker, so Dems get 100% blame 2010 to 2012 knowing current congressional Reps are more incompetent/unpopular than Dems …>Again, Jeffrey and Bart should thank Mr. U for providing them a liberal forum to vent! ;)>The obvious, Bart said he lived 24/7 at the old 538 because of Nate’s political acuity and 538 being the most interesting political blog on the net.Soooo Bart is at this new liberal blog because he really, really enjoys the company of 538 regular progressives, eh.ie he likes us! :)>and yes, the Cleveland Clinic is one of the top (3) hospitals in the country!carry on

  39. mclever says:

    The actual racial makeup of Tea Party supporters seems irrelevant to me. 10%? 15%? Who cares? All one needs to do is look at what they support. Anti-affirmative action, anti-immigrant, anti anything that’s not lily white “moral” right. They say they’re anti-government and anti-taxes, but then they want major (expensive) crackdowns on border security and whatnot. They want to take back their country–from whom? Mostly, they are a collection of folks who are scared and angry that the world is changing and the economy stinks. The rest of their platform is a bunch of dog whistles. Any non-whites in the Tea Party are just hard of hearing…BTW fili – I answered the dream question back on the Free Friday thread. Just FYI.

  40. Jean says:

    Bart,re: EVERY single statement in that pitch was a lie.Since you didn’t votoe for Obama anyway. this is hardly your concern. Take a look back at GWBs eight years as President and then come back and tell us how GWB disappointed you so-called libertarians.

  41. Jeff says:

    @Shiloh: In response to my comment that I’m actually surprised by how diverse the TP is, compared to the Republican party…. you said:”Damned by faint praise lol, especially since teabaggers are lily white…”==== Read the thread! Jean (not a conservative) commented that a poll showed that TPers were 85% white. I pointed out that was actually demographically within the margin of error for the age group.One of the basic rules of life is that facts trump opinions. Your disdain for people with opinions different from yours really doesn’t change the facts.One of the main unifying threads for the Tea Party is the disdain for elites who presume to know better than the peasantry…. For example, you state that “no one ever went broke under estimating the intelligence of America’s fickle voters.”Just typical…. Americans are just too stupid to vote your way. That must also mean they’re too stupid to run their own lives, so we need to have those brilliant bureaucrats and politicians in Washington make all the important decisions for them.You can trust the bureaucrats and the Congress. I’ll trust the people.

  42. Jonny says:

    Good news in Kentucky – Rand Paul is only up by 2% (within margin of error) and among voters who have heard of both Paul & Conway, Conway is up by 3%…

  43. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “EVERY single statement in that [Obamacare] pitch was a lieJean: “Since you didn’t votoe for Obama anyway. this is hardly your concern.”Since the fraud perpetrated on the voters on this and other issues in 2008 deceived the center into putting Obama and the Dems in power and Dem governance has since outlawed my preferred insurance, raised my premiums and put me in hock for $3 trillion in added debt, I would say that this electoral fraud is my concern.

  44. Jean says:

    Bart.You conveniently (but totally in character) ignored part of my comments. I asked, take a look back at GWBs eight years as President and then come back and tell us how GWB disappointed you so-called libertarians.I am interested in your response.

  45. GROG says:

    mclever said: “anti-immigrant, anti anything that’s not lily white “moral” right.”That’s typical leftwing propaganda. The right is ant-illegal immigration. We’re very much pro-immigrant. You’re going to have to do better on this blog or you’ll get called out every time.

  46. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyYou can trust the bureaucrats and the Congress. I’ll trust the people.~~~~~~~~~~hmm, we the people elect the congress but, but, but if all they have to choose from are the lesser of (2) evils or in many cases total loons ie palin, bachmann, angle, o’donnell, paladino, paul, etc. it’s a catch-22, eh.Of course, this is assuming America’s electorate are intelligent, well informed, rational and not easily scared which they aren’t.>And no, not totally stupid as amazingly, Obama received (69) million votes as he benefited immensely from cheney/bush FUBAR’ing America.But being the 1st African/American president: wingers, winger talk radio, fixednoise ie glenn Obama has “over and over again” exposed himself as “a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture. This guy is, I believe, a racist.” beck, etc. has been 24/7 obsessed w/their bigotry the past (2) years stoking the flames for all it’s worth.Hey, African/Americans make the perfect boogeymen, eh for the uninformed, easily scared swing voters.Again, politics 101 which turdblossom and the right wing know all too well.After 9/11 cheney/bush used hate/fear/prejudices to their political advantage quite well until they totally screwed the pooch lol when Bush’s job approval went subterranean to 24%.As mentioned, this is not rocket science as Reps have cornered the market on scorched earth politics since the late ’60s.But even after cornering the market, politics 101 kicks in again ie (1) party fucks up and is replaced by the other party.No wave, no Rep re-alignment as evidenced by Nixon getting (43.4%) in ’68 after getting (49.6%) in 1960. Reagan got 50.75 in 1980. Bush43 got 47.9% in 2000 😉 … btw, how did Bush41, an incumbent Rep president, who had just won the Gulf War a year earlier get (((37.5))) in 1992 ~ just wonderin’ …And of course, Dems controlled the House from 1954 to 1994. And yes, gerrymandered districts has helped Reps in many states, again political maneuvering over political substance.Repeating, the best congress that corporate, religious, special interests can buy.And American politics has been this way since the ’60s as the television age kicked in and now we have 24/7 mass media making hate/fear/misinformation politics much easier, eh.Be careful what you wish for ~ meet the new boss, same as the old boss ie human nature …btw, gerrymandered districts has no effect on the senate as Reps may soon discover they were too clever by half as voting demos are not in their favor long term.take care

  47. Bart DePalma says:

    Jean: “I asked, take a look back at GWBs eight years as President and then come back and tell us how GWB disappointed you so-called libertarians.”Bush’s center-left domestic policies largely alienated the limited government libertarians in the Reagan coalition from the social conservatives and foreign policy hawks.Increasing spending by almost a third, Medicare Part D and NCLB alienated the limited government types. The only reason Bush won reelection in 2004 is because of the tax rate cuts in 2003 and because many limited government folks are also foreign policy hawks and did not want Kerry surrendering in Iraq. However, that marriage of convenience in 2004 fell apart in 2006 and 2008 when the Blue Dogs Dem and Obama ran as fiscal conservatives.If Obama and the Dems had governed as fiscal conservatives, they would only be facing the standard bad economy midterm and would easily keep Congress.

  48. Bart DePalma says:

    The Dem polling firm PPP is telling Politico that the Midwest is currently almost a complete loss for the Dems.http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42713.html“If the election was today the party would almost certainly lose the Governorships it holds in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. It’s also more than likely at this point to lose the Senate seats it has in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Indiana, miss out on a once promising pick up opportunity in Ohio, and quite possibly lose their seat in Illinois as well. And there are too many House seats the party could lose in the region to count.”

  49. Mr. Universe says:

    mclever said:Mostly, they are a collection of folks who are scared and angry that the world is changing and the economy stinks. The rest of their platform is a bunch of dog whistles. Any non-whites in the Tea Party are just hard of hearing…That was beautifully said. I may have to steal it.TIM? is it really you? Wait, I’m not speaking to you because I’m mad at you. You haven’t returned a single e-mail. Nyahh.

  50. filistro says:

    @Jonny: Good news in Kentucky – Rand Paul is only up by 2% (within margin of error) and among voters who have heard of both Paul & Conway, Conway is up by 3%…Wonderful news. Beautiful!Also it supports the narrative I’ve just stumbled onto… the Teapers have managed to turn this from a Referendum into a Choice election. And when the choice is between the Dems and the Tea Party… Dems suddenly start looking a whole lot better. :-):-):-) Mclever… thanks for the dream info. To date you have the distinction of being the only genuine dual flyer I’ve encountered. I’m sure there must be more, though. Why wouldn’t there be, when there are so many of each kind? It makes no sense.My data thus far: 16 people reporting.9 flyers, 7 non-flyers.Of the flyers, 6 skimmers, 2 soarers, 1 dual flyer. Thanks to all… you’ve helped greatly to confirm what I suspected at the outset.

  51. Jean says:

    A new AP poll finds that Americans who think the HCR law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1.The poll found that about four in 10 adults think the new law did not go far enough to change the health care system, regardless of whether they support the law, oppose it or remain neutral. On the other side, about one in five say they oppose the law because they think the federal government should not be involved in health care at all.The AP poll was conducted by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Overall, 30 percent favored the legislation, while 40 percent opposed it, and another 30 percent remained neutral.Only 25 percent of the “get-outs” favor requiring health insurance companies to sell coverage to people regardless of pre-existing medical conditions, while 54 percent of the “do-mores” support it. Broad majorities of both the “get-outs” and “do-mores” said medical care, health insurance and prescription drugs cost too much. And most said the system should aim to increase the number of people with insurance and enable Americans to get the care they need, while improving quality.Among those who want a law that does more, 68 percent favor requiring medium to large companies to provide insurance to their workers or pay a fine; that stands at 28 percent among those who want the government out. The “get-outs” overwhelmingly reject the health care law’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance starting in 2014. But the “do-mores” are split, with 34 percent favoring the mandate, 33 percent opposing it, and 32 percent neutral.Republicans “are going to have to contend with the 75 percent who want substantial changes in the system,” said Stanford political science professor Jon Krosnick, who directed the university’s participation.”Republican legislators’ passion to repeal the legislation is understandable if they are paying attention to members of their own party,” Krosnick added. “But if they want to be responsive to all Americans, there are more Democrats and independents than there are Republicans.”http://surveys.ap.org/data/KnowledgeNetworks/Health%20Reform%20Topline%20for%20Posting.pdf

  52. Jean says:

    And from the Oh the Hypocrisy Department:The issue is the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug through the mid-Atlantic states. They’re harmless to people — the don’t bite, sting, or carry diseases — but for the first time on the continent, they’re doing significant damage to crops, ornamental shrubs, and trees. And as homeowners are discovering, as the bugs begin moving inside as temperatures drop, “when squashed or irritated, the bugs release the distinctive smell of sweaty feet.Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican who represents Maryland’s rural 6th District, sent a letter Friday, signed by 15 members of Congress, asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to take immediate action to limit damage caused by Halyomorpha halys.Of the 15 members who signed the letter, eight of them are Republicans — all from states between West Virginia and New Jersey, and all fairly conservative members of the GOP caucus. The group of lawmakers are looking for “coordinated federal government assistance” from the Obama administration to help farmers and local economies deal with the bugs.In particular, the 15 lawmakers are eyeing a proposal to reclassify the species under federal guidelines to expand regulatory authority over the bugs.In other words, faced with a environmental problem, the first instinct from conservative Republican politicians is to ask the federal government to do something. Indeed, they’re specifically asking for federal bureaucrats to sweep into action and use expanded federal regulations to help people.http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_09/025852.php

  53. filistro says:

    More data on that Paul/Conway poll Jonny mentioned (this is from the Survey USA site:)Women and More Affluent KY Voters Take Another Look at Democrat Conway, Who Catches Rand Paul in Race for Bunning’s Open Senate Seat:In an election for United States Senator from Kentucky today, 09/24/10, Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway finish effectively even, according to SurveyUSA polling conducted exclusively for the Louisville Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV.Today, it’s Paul 49%, Conway 47%, within the survey’s theoretical margin of sampling error.* Conway is up 7 points, Paul is down 6, compared to an identical SurveyUSA poll 3 weeks ago.* In 4 months of SurveyUSA polling, Conway has not previously polled above 45%; Paul has not previously polled below 51%.* Among women, Conway and Paul had been even in 3 previous polls, but Conway today leads by 16.* In North Central KY, Paul had led by as many as 22 points, now tied.* Among more affluent voters, Paul had led by as many as 21 points, today leads by 5. I got this link from the Freepers, who are surprisingly gloomy overall. “I think the tsunami is over,” one of the old-timers just said. Others are dismayed by the hard-hitting Dem ads suddenly appearing on their airwaves. Apparently they really thought this election was just going to be handed to them without a struggle.

  54. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:Hate to ruin your fun, but a 16 point swing among women with no gaffe and which no other poll found is a classic outlier.

  55. filistro says:

    @Bart no gaffes?The man is obsessed with Hitler. There is now growing speculation about why he continues to mention Hitler in so many of his stump speeches. It seems to be some kind of bizarre fixation.Maybe women just don’t like that very much?

  56. Jean says:

    Jeff,re: I didn’t say that either the Republicans or Tea Party have a very diverse constituency. I was making the point that the TP — according to the statistics Jean provided — are reasonably reflective of demographics for the Baby Boom age cohort.The question for you and your Tea Party to ponder should be why are they attracting predominantly only those in the 80% or 85% demographic of white Baby Boomers? What’s wrong with the Tea Party platform that they appeal to only this slice of America?I would be interested to see what percentage of the Tea Party is from south of the Mason-Dixon line. Feel free to post those stats.

  57. Jonny says:

    “no gaffe” re: Rand Paul? The guy is anti-choice even in cases of rape/incest. Telling women they shouldn’t have a choice with their own bodies even if they’ve been raped by a relative doesn’t seem like it would go over very well.I think what’s happening is that people are just really starting to come to some understanding of how far out of the mainstream these far right wing lunatic Tea Party candidates really are. These people aren’t even close to being qualified to be in congress.

  58. shiloh says:

    @JeanFeel free to post those stats.~~~~~~~~~~There are lies, damned lies, and statistics …Just sayin’and surveysand opinion polls>1947 survey: 8% of white officers/enlisted men in favor of integration of African/Americans in the military.1948: Truman desegregates the U.S. military by Presidential Executive Order no ifs, ands or buts!Truman’s Feb 1952 Gallup job approval: 22% ~ lowest ever for an American president.CSPAN 1999 & 2009 presidential poll rank: Truman ranked #5 behind Lincoln, FDR, Washington and Teddy Roosevelt.>Wouldn’t it be nice if today’s timid politicians, and Obama is included, could function w/out surveys and opinion polls …What a concept!carry on

  59. Jeff says:

    Jean said: “The question for you and your Tea Party to ponder should be why are they attracting predominantly only those in the 80% or 85% demographic of white Baby Boomers? What’s wrong with the Tea Party platform that they appeal to only this slice of America?”====== For the very last time. YOU said a poll showed that the Tea Party was 85% white. I pointed out that the age cohort they largely represent is 80% white. In polling, that is called “within the margin of error.” Let me explain in very simple terms. The poll you cited could easily be off by a few percentage points. The issue of “white” vs. “non-white” is hazy and could be defined differently, as filistro pointed out. In other words, they are a reasonably representative group, and somewhat more diverse than the Republicans. What is so difficult to understand about this? It’s not about whether you like them or not, it’s a very simple exercise in demographics.And why are you so freaked out by the Tea Party? After all those years of smelly hippies and whacked out druggies demonstrating, the idea that people on the other side might actually protest (and clean up their trash afterwards) is refreshing. The streets belong to both sides, and the TPers are certainly FAR, FAR more polite than the left ever dreamt of being.Remember what Nancy P said “Protesting is the highest form of patriotism.”

  60. shrinkers says:

    Jean,Thanks for the polling information on HCR, and on today’s Hypocrisy Report.Along the latter lines, MN Governor Tim “Skippy the WonderGov” Pawlenty is asking for Federal aid to help community hit by recent flooding. This is after he rejected federal aid under the HCR bill.

  61. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:Nothing new occurred in KY between your poll and the last one to account for a 16 point swing.

  62. mclever says:

    GROG, the Tea Partiers *say* they are only against illegal immigrants, but in practice, many of them engage in discriminatory behavior against anyone who is different, especially those who “look Hispanic” to them. In their rhetoric, they often leave out the “illegal” identifier when describing those who should “go home to Mexico”.They want to “take back their country” (from whom?), which to me is ’nuff said.

  63. mclever says:

    Bart, just because you haven’t heard any big news from KY, doesn’t mean folks there haven’t seen something to change their minds during the past three weeks.Three weeks of ads can change the minds of 16 percent, especially if those ads reveal information that, while not necessarily new, was unfamiliar to most voters.

  64. filistro says:

    mclever has it exactly right (as usual :-)I told you a long time ago, Bart, about those massive Dem ad buys that were being held in reserve. They’ve been scheduled to run throughout the critical 6-week window that began on September 19. Freepers everywhere are alarmed (and deeply bummed) by the hard-hitting ads now suddenly blanketing their airwaves and attacking their vulnerable candidates.I don’t know about KY in particular, but I suspect this is part of the sudden freefall in Paul’s numbers.Plus Conway is a really good candidate. (And he’s certainly easy on the eyes… not that women would ever be shallow enough to let something like that influence their vote 😉

  65. shrinkers says:

    @BartNothing new occurred in KY between your poll and the last one to account for a 16 point swing.I think three weeks happened. The campaign season started about then. Which means there’s been three weeks of campaigning. Most people weren’t even paying attention before Labor Day. Now they are. Now they’ve had a chance to see Rand Paul.And they don’t like him. He’s a Teaper. They don’t like that, either.What may have “happened” is that voters are now learning who is running.

  66. shrinkers says:

    9/25/2010 2:15 PM Bart DePalma wrote:Obama and the new Dem government broke nearly every major promise they made.On another thread,9/27/2010 7:51 AM Bart DePalma wrote:If we can get past the cliches, what precisely did Obama promise you that he has not delivered? I guess Bart can’t make up his mind which he wants to criticise Obama for — breaking his promises, or keeping them?

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