Lean Forward My Ass

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann

Image via Wikipedia

Is it just me or does the timing of Keith Olbermann’s suspension from MSNBC strike anyone as odd? Two days after the election. And does it strike anyone else as odd that Joe Scarborough made donations to Republican candidates as well? Is there a Comcast cleansing going on at MSNBC?

The new Overlords are in town and they appear to have a conservative agenda. I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise for a corporate behemoth like Comcast. Heaven knows they bilked me out of plenty of money on one of those bait and switch package deals before I got wise and got rid of my TV altogether.

But to punish Olbermann? Isn’t he one of the cash cows at MSNBC? I mean we’re not talking David Shuster here. Keith was just awarded the Edward R. Murrow prize for journalism. What the hell is Phil Griffin thinking? The outrage over this will actually hurt MSNBC. I need my Rachel but if Keith goes, I go.

Keith suspended his ‘Worst Person’s in the World’ segment last night in deference to the call for sanity in politics. But let me take up the mantle for a moment.Tonight’s worst person in the World: Phil Griffin of MSNBC.

 

Want to register your objection?

Sign the petetion. Go to:

http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/petition_olbermann/?akid=2639.720582.fQEA2

60,000 people have already done so today.

And get me George Soros on the phone. We need a new network. Again, if Keith goes, I go.

Addendum: It now appears that Keith’s suspension was a result of his refusing to apologize on air for violating MSNBC’s conflict of interest policy. This is not actually that surprising. Keith has a history of contentious run-ins with management whenever he feels it necessary to take a principled stand. It has worked to his detriment in the past. Keith says he didn’t know about the rule that prohibits MSNBC and its employees from making political contributions to particular candidates (though it wouldn’t surprise me if he did and did it anyway to provoke the current controversy in an effort to illustrate the double standard between journalism and FOX being the propaganda wing of the Republican party).

This also brings up some important first amendment issues. Why shouldn’t Keith privately be allowed to support particular candidates? I mean he essentially does that on his show by criticizing conservatives on a nightly basis. Why should FOX be allowed to dump millions into the Republican coffers while Keith gets suspended over a few thousand. Why should Joe Scarborough, and admitted conservative be allowed to make contributions while Keith is held to a different standard?

What’s really going on here?

It seems that while GE was content to allow Keith to have creative license on his show, the new owners have different motivations. Perhaps the shareholders at Comcast see this as a means to shut down liberal political opinion. I suppose Comcast has a right to do so since they now own MSNBC but should they? And particularly in light of this new ‘Lean Forward’ campaign; which I’m interpreting to be the counterpart of FOX’ ‘Fair and Balanced’ meme. I don’t think there are many people who buy into Fox being either fair or balanced. Keith’s whole show and his following evolved from exposing the hypocrisy of FOX and the Bush administration. Quite frankly, there are a lot of us out in America whole feel that Keith speaks truth to power.

So is this a liberal cleansing of MSNBC? Or is it just an internal dispute between management and Olbermann’s obstinance? Perhaps a little of both. I know that Comcast stands to alienate a lot of its constituents if they fail to bring Keith back. Given their current ratings, that doesn’t strike me as something they can afford to do unless they think they can peel off some of the FOX viewership and create a more moderate to conservative image. Best of luck with that. If that’s the case, we’ll take Rachel and Lawrence as well and go start our own competing network.


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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75 Responses to Lean Forward My Ass

  1. shiloh says:

    Keith, Rachel and now Lawrence O’Donnell are the only reasons to watch MSNBC.ok, Lockup 🙂 and many of their documentaries are very interesting!Ed is a whiner and damn annoying …Feel free to disagree 😛

  2. Bart DePalma says:

    Olberman is a nighty negative attack ad for the Dems and MSNBC is concerned about three donations to Dem candidates?People, your network is last among the cable news networks. Can you really afford to yank your circus clown and lose what viewers you do have?

  3. Mr. Universe says:

    Wow, I think Bart just agreed with me. Will wonders never cease?

  4. shrinkers says:

    Bart, are you ready to discuss economics with Michael? Or are you dodging the discussion because you are aware that you don’t actually know anything about the topic? Or is it because you know Keynes was right, and your position consists of empty talking points?

  5. Michael Weiss says:

    Oh Baaaaart…To help out:1) explain the holes in my argument: Government has been proven repeatedly to be capable of investing money more effectively than private industry.2) provide your definition of “wealth,” in the context where you claim that government spending cannot create it.3) show me where the current economy is not supply rich and demand poor. I’ll be happy to provide as much evidence as necessary to show that the current economy is supply rich and demand poor.4) do you still stand behind the assertion that the worst private sector investment has performed better than the best government investment?5) explain the mechanism by which supply drives an economic recovery.6) by stating that a supermajority of voters don’t believe in Keynesian economic policy, were you implying that a supermajority of voters are economists, or that one doesn’t have to be an economist to understand economics? Or were you trying to say something else entirely?7) what percent of voters can explain Keynesian economic policy?

  6. shiloh says:

    Bart, you do know fixednoise is nothin’ but circus clowns as they cater quite nicely to their yahoo lemming, winger choir er teabaggers! 😀 getting 2.6 to 2.8 million viewers in prime time of the (60) million who voted for McCain/palin.ok, just wanted to make sure. :)btw Bartles, I have no network, but do enjoy House and NCIS.When the #1 show on tv is American Idol, don’t try to equate ratings to anything to do with intelligence/education as tv is mostly an escape, eh ie guilty pleasure(s)!take care

  7. Monotreme says:

    Mr. U:Re your Tweet. It still didn’t go through; you can’t put a space in the name.

  8. shiloh says:

    btw, the #1 show on tv:’62 to ’64 ~ The Beverly Hillbillies’64 to ’67 ~ Bonanza’68 to ’70 ~ Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In’71 to ’76 ~ All in the Family ~ Hey, America loves a bigot! :-P’86 to ’90 ~ The Cosby Show ~ hmm, the yin and yang ;)>2004 to 2010 ~ American Idol as America has fallen in love w/reality tv. :DAgain, the average American is clueless re: the Supreme Court, but, but, but they love Judge Judy …take care

  9. DC Petterson says:

    Bart, on another thread, you said:

    The first presidential debate was on September 26, 2008 and the main topic was the economic crisis, which Obama said was the “final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Sen. McCain.” Please do not claim that Obama was unaware of the recession.

    What you pretend to forget is that on September 26, 2008, no one on Earth realized just how incredibly absurdly badly the Republicans had screwed the economy. Wasn’t it just after that McCain famously declared, “The fundamentals of the economy are strong”?

    You pretend that anyone’s assessment on September 26, 2008 of what the economy needed would have been sufficient to address the magnitude of the Republican Great Recession.

    Not even you realized how awful things were at the time. But you pretend now that somehow, Obama magically did know, and that his suggestions at the time were made purposely to mislead.

    You really are not endearing when you pretend to be that stupid, or when you attempt to re-write history for your own narrow partisan propaganda. Nor are you fooling anyone.

    Was more necessary than Obama suggested on September 26, 2008? Certainly. Was more needed even than the Obama Administration request in early 2009? Again, certainly. The full depth of how dramatically Republican policies had messed up the planet would not be apparent until at least March of ’09.

    You criticize Obama for actually doing more in 2009 than he proposed on September 26, 2008 — and criticize him further for doing less than what turned out to be needed. As if anyone could have predicted, with absolute certainty, the true extent of the worldwide crisis the Republicans had caused.

    Yes, we all knew, on September 26, 2008, that there was a crisis (well, everyone except the Republicans, who insisted nothing at all needed to be done, because no, they said, there was no recession, and the economy was not tanking). Your disingenuous blathering would be amusing, were it not so dangerously dishonest.

    So my question for you is — Are you really that stupid? Or do you merely think everyone else is stupid enough to take you seriously?

  10. shrinkers says:

    Italics should be used sparingly.

  11. MoldyMe says:

    Mr U, thanks for the link. BTW, the count is now up to 150,000+ signers.I am appalled that Griffin would do this. From HuffPost (where I am assuming the facts about Phil Griffin’s prior behavior are correct), he appears to be a strong-arm micromanager. And running a network with a lot of strong personalities, I see only trouble ahead. Oy, yoy.

  12. robert verdi says:

    As I said in the other thread, I think that 30 million contract he has is what they wanted out of it. Anyway you guys might like him, but the network isn’t attracting viewership so clearly a course correction isn’t that crazy an idea.

  13. Bart DePalma says:

    Michael Weiss:Why can’t you just start a thread for your debates with me instead of jumping from one thread to another? Because I noticed your latest set of questions here, I will answer them. But I doubt I will be back to an Olberman thread looking for your inevitable follow on economics questions.Michael Weiss wrote: “1) explain the holes in my argument: Government has been proven repeatedly to be capable of investing money more effectively than private industry.”LOL! I am writing my own book and do not have time for a second. Let’s just compare Barrack Obama’s government subsidized electric car industry, GM and Chrysler to Ford Motor Co. Nuff said.Michael Weiss wrote: “2) provide your definition of “wealth,” in the context where you claim that government spending cannot create it.”Creating wealth is providing value added goods and services folks are willing to purchase of their own free will in a competitive market. For example, if folks wanted electric cars as anything but a wealthy man’s toy, the government would not have to spend several billion dollars subsidizing the industry and then several billion more paying folks $7500 to buy each car and still fail.Michael Weiss wrote: “3) show me where the current economy is not supply rich and demand poor. I’ll be happy to provide as much evidence as necessary to show that the current economy is supply rich and demand poor.”Businesses sitting on $2 trillion dollars in cash at little to no return rather than investing it.Michael Weiss wrote: “4) do you still stand behind the assertion that the worst private sector investment has performed better than the best government investment?”If I ever made this categorical statement, I misspoke. The principle of “even a bling hog can sometimes find an acorn” comes into play here. Overall, the private economy always invests better than the government. This is the epitaph on the gravestone of communism and the doctors note by the bedside of terminally ill socialism.Michael Weiss wrote: “5) explain the mechanism by which supply drives an economic recovery.”1) Business cuts costs to return to profit.2) Labor costs go down because of competition among the unemployed.3) A combination of one and two allow companies a better ROI in the same depressed market3) Deferred demand has built up creating better potential ROI4) The markets have stabilized lowering the business risk.5) Because ROI in business job growth is now higher than sitting on cash, businesses will invest and hire, creating demand and products to satisfy that demand. As the economy grows, ROI and investment grows.Here is your normal business cycle recovery without a dime of the keynesian stimulus which failed in the Great Depression and the Great Recession.

  14. Bart DePalma says:

    God damn it to hell! I just wasted 45 minutes responding to one of Michael’s questionaires and it went into moderation.Michael, please retrieve my response post and in the future start your own threads with these debates so we can keep track of them.Love,One frustrated poster.

  15. filistro says:

    Muley, you were banned because you were gross and vulgar.Keep the ugly crap words and threats out of your posts…say anything else you want… and SEE if you can get yourself banned again without the over-the-top cursing. I’ll bet you can’t.

  16. DC Petterson says:

    Bart, I removed your post from moderation. It is above. Thanks.

  17. Bart DePalma says:

    Mule:You can engage and thrash misbegotten ideas and revisions of history while remaining polite. Indeed, I have noted in my trial practice and blogging that my arguments are far more effective at both winning the point and unhinging the opponent.Try it.

  18. Mainer says:

    I think they just hit 175,000 which was their initial goal. I suspect they will go way beyond that. Yes I wan a liberal progressive version of Fox. All I can get on the radio is conservobabble so have pretty much stopped listening and it is time consuming to keep writing to advertisers that I too am a customer or was. I suspect MSNBC will soon be clensed because one must control the message to control the masses.

  19. DC Petterson says:

    I’m not Michael, and he’ll do a better job, but I can’t help myself:Michael Weiss: “1) explain the holes in my argument: Government has been proven repeatedly to be capable of investing money more effectively than private industry.”Bart dePalma: “LOL! I am writing my own book and do not have time for a second. Let’s just compare Barrack Obama’s government subsidized electric car industry, GM and Chrysler to Ford Motor Co. Nuff said.”Translation: I have no answer. I will merely repeat my previous statement. Bart, GM and Chrysler were doing worse than Ford before they received assistance. That’s why they received assistance. They are recovering nicely. GM is about to repay the money, with interest. Chrysler already repaid nearly half of the money back in May. Both of these assistance packages were immensely successful. (I’ll address alternate fuel cars below).MW: “2) provide your definition of “wealth,” in the context where you claim that government spending cannot create it.”BDP: “Creating wealth is providing value added goods and services folks are willing to purchase of their own free will in a competitive market.”Bart, no wonder you are confused. The definition actually used by economists can be found here: “Total of all assets of an economic unit that generate current income or have the potential to generate future income.” I’m not certain what your definition refers to (perhaps Michael can illuminate), but it isn’t “wealth.”BDP: “For example, if folks wanted electric cars as anything but a wealthy man’s toy, the government would not have to spend several billion dollars subsidizing the industry and then several billion more paying folks $7500 to buy each car and still fail.”Governments have a long history of productively and successfully assisting in research and development, and the creation of new industries. You seem to be objecting to that. But your objection has nothing to do with the definition of the word “wealth,” so its difficult to see why you included this opinion of yours as part of your answer to Michael’s request for a definition.At any rate, please provide proof that people don’t want electric cars (the fact that businesses are not yet selling them at a low price does not constitute said proof). Please also provide evidence that the effort to develop electric cars at an affordable price has already “failed” (as opposed to “not yet succeeded”).More in Part 2:

  20. DC Petterson says:

    MW: “3) show me where the current economy is not supply rich and demand poor. I’ll be happy to provide as much evidence as necessary to show that the current economy is supply rich and demand poor.”BDP: “Businesses sitting on $2 trillion dollars in cash at little to no return rather than investing it.”Are you aware that this actually rpoves Michael’s point? That “$2 trillion dollars in cash” is waiting to be invested — it can increase supply. It is not being used for that because there is no demand for the goods or services that would be supplied. Since there is no demand, there can be no ROI. It is the lack of demand, and the excess of supply, that is lowering ROI. When there is no demand, ROI = 0, by definition.MW: “4) do you still stand behind the assertion that the worst private sector investment has performed better than the best government investment?”BDP: “If I ever made this categorical statement, I misspoke. The principle of “even a bling hog can sometimes find an acorn” comes into play here. Overall, the private economy always invests better than the government.”You apologized for misspeaking, then merely repeated the statement you claimed to have not recalled making. I trust you will now provide evidence of your statement. Please prove that every single instance of private investment has, overall, been “better” than every existing example of government investment. MW: “5) explain the mechanism by which supply drives an economic recovery.”BDP: “1) Business cuts costs to return to profit. 2) Labor costs go down because of competition among the unemployed. 3) A combination of one and two allow companies a better ROI in the same depressed market 3) Deferred demand has built up creating better potential ROI 4) The markets have stabilized lowering the business risk. 5) Because ROI in business job growth is now higher than sitting on cash, businesses will invest and hire, creating demand and products to satisfy that demand. As the economy grows, ROI and investment grows.”I won’t respond to each of these individually; the intended argument is clear. You seem to be advocating cost-cutting as a method of increasing Return On Investment. But that’s only half the equation. In order for there to be any Return On Investment, there must, by definition, be “return.” If there is depressed demand for the products produced, there is a hard limit on the possible return. If consumers have little or no money above subsistence levels, then ROI simply cannot increase for any company that produces non-essentials, regardless of how much they costs of production are cut. Their products will not be purchased, thus there will be no return.And by the way, if your step 2) lowers wages, it will certainly lower return further, by decreasing the amount of money that can be used to create return.

  21. GROG says:

    @DC shrinkers,It is not being used for that because there is no demand for the goods or services that would be supplied.Please show proof that businesses are sitting on $2 trillion of cash because there is “no demand” for goods or services. Also, please show proof that there is “no demand” for goods and services.

  22. Bart DePalma says:

    Michael Weiss: “1) explain the holes in my argument: Government has been proven repeatedly to be capable of investing money more effectively than private industry.”Bart dePalma: “LOL! I am writing my own book and do not have time for a second. Let’s just compare Barrack Obama’s government subsidized electric car industry, GM and Chrysler to Ford Motor Co. Nuff said.”DC Petterson wrote: “Bart, GM and Chrysler were doing worse than Ford before they received assistance. That’s why they received assistance. They are recovering nicely.”GM and Chrysler could have followed the route taken by the legacy airlines to return to profitability – bankruptcy to force the unions hobbling them to accept market wages and to transfer the pension funds and obligations to the union. At most, the government only needed to guarantee private bridge loans ala Chrysler in 1979. Instead, the government spent north of $60 billion nationalizing the automakers and bailing out the UAW. Economically, this is a failure.DCP: “GM is about to repay the money, with interest. Chrysler already repaid nearly half of the money back in May.”Once again, I will knock down this dishonest red herring. The vast majority of the TARP money went into buying equity ownership (nationalizing) Government Motors. The loans to which you refer were Bush bridge loans to keep the automakers solvent until the Obama Administration. The tax payers will never get their money back because they paid more than Government Motors is worth.MW: “2) provide your definition of “wealth,” in the context where you claim that government spending cannot create it.”BDP: “Creating wealth is providing value added goods and services folks are willing to purchase of their own free will in a competitive market.”DCP: “Bart, no wonder you are confused. The definition actually used by economists can be found here: “Total of all assets of an economic unit that generate current income or have the potential to generate future income.” My more colloquial definiton falls within that broader economist definition.

  23. shortchain says:

    Bart,You say “The vast majority of the TARP money went into buying equity ownership (nationalizing) Government Motors”That is a lie. 245billion went to the banks. GM+Chrysler+GMAC got a total of 34billion.

  24. GROG says:

    @MW:“explain the holes in my argument: Government has been proven repeatedly to be capable of investing money more effectively than private industry.”MW, why don’t you prove that your ascertion is correct rather than asking somone else to prove it’s wrong? The burden of proof is on you.

  25. Bart DePalma says:

    BDP: “For example, if folks wanted electric cars as anything but a wealthy man’s toy, the government would not have to spend several billion dollars subsidizing the industry and then several billion more paying folks $7500 to buy each car and still fail.”DCP: “Governments have a long history of productively and successfully assisting in research and development, and the creation of new industries.”Give me an example of the government creating and running a new industry from the ground up which was profitable and repaid all of its subsidies with a market ROI. This socialist unicorn never existed.Successful industries like pharma use government money to supplement their R&D, but the government does not direct these industries.”At any rate, please provide proof that people don’t want electric cars (the fact that businesses are not yet selling them at a low price does not constitute said proof).”What? The fact that people are not buying battery cars is not proof that they do not want to buy them?Please also provide evidence that the effort to develop electric cars at an affordable price has already “failed” (as opposed to “not yet succeeded”).1) $30K batteries powering $100K cars which only have a range of 100 miles, with no indication that these vehicles will be price or performance competitive in a free market (not one with artificially spiked fuel costs).2) The fact that no auto manufacturer went into mass production on such cars until compelled (government regulations such as CAFE) and/or bribed (subsidies to build and buy) to build these cars. Even then, they are ramping up production for less than 1% of the auto market.This is the definition of a socialist industrial planning failure, which is why it features prominently in a chapter of my book on Obama socialism.

  26. shiloh says:

    grog The burden of proof is on you.Then why do you ask so many ad nauseam, deflecting questions …take care, blessings

  27. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:Please retrieve my last response post from the mediator purgatory and I will address the rest of your points.

  28. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “The vast majority of the TARP money went into buying equity ownership (nationalizing) Government Motors”shortchain wrote: “That is a lie. 245billion went to the banks. GM+Chrysler+GMAC got a total of 34billion.”I am speaking about the $60+ billion in TARP money that went to Government Motors and was distinguishing between the Bush bridge loans and the Obama purchase of an equity stake for itself and the UAW.

  29. shiloh says:

    MR, one must be visiting Aunt Mimi and asked to use her computer. How quaint! :-PGood to see you’re still obsessed er paying attention as we’re flattered! B)Cry me a river …take care

  30. GROG says:

    @MW and DC shrinkers:85% of Federal expenditures goes to 3 things; Defense, Disease (medicare and medicaid), and Debt to the People(social security, welfare, and intest on national debt).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget,_2008Explain how those things are creating wealth.

  31. shortchain says:

    GROG,If the argument “Government has been proven repeatedly to be capable of investing money more effectively than private industry” is false, as you and Bart believe, then it should be trivial to come up with an example.Go ahead.Also, here is the evidence about how corporations are flush with cash.Total: 1 minute of google searching. No charge for you, though. Helping people get informed is my version of “helping the helpless”.

  32. GROG says:

    @shortchain:Also, here is the evidence about how corporations are flush with cash.That’s not the question I asked. Try to read more carefully.

  33. shortchain says:

    Bart,When you tell a lie, and then defend it by pretzel-logic, it really helps your credibility.

  34. shortchain says:

    GROG,No, you try and read the damned link, if you are going to respond. Try scrolling down to the bottom of the first page.Oh, never mind. Here: “…as long as consumer spending remains low, there’s not much incentive for companies to ramp up. “Geez.

  35. shiloh says:

    Explain how those things are creating wealth.SS gives people $$$ to spend.The military industrial complex is kept afloat by the U.S. govt. as many times these companies charge outrageous prices for their product ie some of these shyster corporations are doing quite well, thank you very much er creating wealth. ;)The irony is many criminal organizations have done quite well in terms of wealth re: medicare and the like as the federal govt. isn’t very efficient, as Rep administrations: Reagan/Bush41/cheney/bush have proven time and time again, eh. 😀

  36. GROG says:

    Come on shortchain. You said “here is the evidence about how corporations are flush with cash”? That was never in question. You didn’t say “here is the evidence about how corporations are not spending their cash because there is zero demand.”You’re digging yourself a hole.

  37. shortchain says:

    GROG,”…as long as consumer spending remains low, there’s not much incentive for companies to ramp up.” What part of that, in particular, are you having problem with?

  38. shiloh says:

    MR I implore the conservatives that do come here – Bart, GROG, robert, et al – an any others who might lurk in the shadows to NOT play into their hands. Leave now. I implore you.Too funny as Bart, grog, robert, et al are obsessed 😛 just like Undeniable.ok, one big difference as Bart, grog, robert, et al never childishly said they were totally finished w/538 and leaving for good 10/20 times 🙂 and they didn’t use the ‘F’ bomb 25/26 times in one post.take care Mule

  39. GROG says:

    @shortchain,I missed in the Wash Post article where the writer cited proof that there is “zero demand for goods and services”, as DC claims. Maybe you can point that out to me as well.

  40. DC Petterson says:

    @GROGPlease indicate where I ever said there is “zero demand for goods and services”.

  41. DC Petterson says:

    @GROG85% of Federal expenditures goes to 3 things; Defense, Disease (medicare and medicaid), and Debt to the People(social security, welfare, and intest on national debt).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget,_2008Explain how those things are creating wealth.I’m afraid I don’t understand your point. Have I ever claimed these things create wealth? Some of them do create demand by putting money into the hands of consumers and wage earners, and that is economically stimulative. But I don’t recall these programs previously coming up in this conversation. Can you elaborate on what you’re trying to say here?

  42. shortchain says:

    GROG,

    I am sorry. I had assumed I was arguing with someone of normal human intelligence, who would understand that “no demand” can never mean “absolutely no demand”.

    On the off chance that you are just pretending to be dim, you might check out here and work backward from there in time to note that the American consumer’s demand for products has been anemic for a long time.

    You might also, if you are, of course, capable of doing this, investigate the disposable income of the American consumer over the last few years, as that will give an indication of demand.

    Lacking any knowledge of what would constitute proof in your view, I decline to bother looking these things up myself and bringing them to your attention.

    Have a nice day. I’ll be back the next time you produce some assertion to interpret it in the same absolute fashion you prefer and point out that you never have any proof for your statements.

  43. DC Petterson says:

    @GROGMW, why don’t you prove that your ascertion is correct rather than asking somone else to prove it’s wrong? The burden of proof is on you.Michael made a cogent and detailed argument on another thread, days ago, in response to some of Bart’s usual nonsense. Michael invited Bart to respond then. We’ve had to chase Bart down to get him to provide his comments. Michael did offer to provide additional evidence if anyone was interested.

  44. GROG says:

    DC said:… It is not being used for that because there is no demand for the goods or services that would be supplied. Since there is no demand, there can be no ROI. It is the lack of demand, and the excess of supply, that is lowering ROI.You have made the statement that there is no demand for goods or services.But that was not my original point. I was asking you to prove that the reason companies are holding onto their cash is because there is no demand for goods and services. I followed that point by asking you to show that there was “no demand” for goods and services. (See comment at 8:55)

  45. DC Petterson says:

    BDP: “GM and Chrysler could have followed the route taken by the legacy airlines to return to profitability – bankruptcy to force the unions hobbling them to accept market wages and to transfer the pension funds and obligations to the union.”That there may have been other ways to return to profitability (ways that would have had a significantly negative impact on the rest of the economy, by the way), is not proof that the way which was actually used did not work. Try again.BDP: “The vast majority of the TARP money went into buying equity ownership (nationalizing) General Motors. The loans to which you refer were Bush bridge loans to keep the automakers solvent until the Obama Administration. The tax payers will never get their money back because they paid more than General Motors is worth.”And it worked. It kept the company in business. It kept people employed. GM is offering stock and buying back the government interest. An emergency action performed precisely as intended. Your main complaint seems to be that it worked, even though you disapproved of the method.BDP: “Creating wealth is providing value added goods and services folks are willing to purchase of their own free will in a competitive market.”DCP: “Bart, no wonder you are confused. The definition actually used by economists can be found here: “Total of all assets of an economic unit that generate current income or have the potential to generate future income.”BDP: “My more colloquial definiton falls within that broader economist definition.”Perhaps, as a limited special case. Your definition, however, ignores many assets that actual economists count as “wealth.” This may be the source of much of your inability to comprehend these matters.BDP: “Give me an example of the government creating and running a new industry from the ground up which was profitable and repaid all of its subsidies with a market ROI.”I don’t have to give such an example, because I never advanced this proposition.The discussion of electric cars came about because you seemed to imply that people do not want electric cars, and government is irrationally attempting to force their development and sale. Do I misunderstand you?

  46. GROG says:

    @DC,Can you elaborate on what you’re trying to say here?My point refers to MW’s claim that government more effectively invests money that the private sector. (I’m assuming he claimed that, but I admit I haven’t gone back and read all the comments in the past weeks worth of threads.) 85% of federal expenditures to to things that do give any return on investment. Defense, Disease, and Interest cost are purely expenses. Social Security and Welfare are purely redistribution of dollars. Taking dollars away from one person and giving it to another creates no economic stimulus.

  47. GROG says:

    GROG said:85% of federal expenditures to to things that do give any return on investment.I meant: 85% of federal expenditures go to things that do not give any return on investment. (Wish we had a preview option)

  48. shortchain says:

    GROG,Not to worry, I’ve learned to speak GROG-tongue.Please provide proof of the statement “Taking dollars away from one person and giving it to another creates no economic stimulus.”Because that appears to be total bullshit in the case where one person has a surplus of money, which is just being kept under their (figurative) mattress, while the other person has no disposable income. Take from the first, who won’t spend, give to the second, who will, and bingo! stimulus.I’ll be waiting for your conclusive demonstration that this example doesn’t work.

  49. DC Petterson says:

    @GROGDCP: It is not being used for that because there is no demand for the goods or services that would be supplied. Since there is no demand, there can be no ROI. It is the lack of demand, and the excess of supply, that is lowering ROI.GROG: You have made the statement that there is no demand for goods or services.No, what I said was that there was no demand for additional good and services — “the goods or services that would be supplied” by additional production. There is, for example, an excess of houses on the market. People are not buying them. The supply exceeds the demand. This is true of many consumer goods, particularly durable goods. Inventories are finally now beginning to be depleted in some areas, which may lead to an increase once again in production. But as long as the demand remains depressed, we cannot expect businesses to increase supply further. Production follows demand, and supply is tied to production.Is that more clear?But that was not my original point. I was asking you to prove that the reason companies are holding onto their cash is because there is no demand for goods and services.That is my theory, and the theory of many economists. When there is stagnant or declining wages, and high unemployment, this inevitably leads to low demand. This low demand easily explains the oversupply (i.e., stocked inventories) and large amounts of capital not being invested (Bart likes claiming $2T). You are free to propose an alternate explanation.

  50. DC Petterson says:

    @GROGMy point refers to MW’s claim that government more effectively invests money that the private sector. (I’m assuming he claimed that, but I admit I haven’t gone back and read all the comments in the past weeks worth of threads.)Ah. You’re joining in the middle of a conversation. No, I don’t think that was Michael’s point. Bart had repeatedly claimed that private interests always invest more productively than government, and that government cannot produce wealth. Michael was merely challenging Bart on these assertions. Michael never claimed that government was better. And I suspect Michael would agree that government is better at some things and in some situations, and private interests are better at others. Would you disagree with that statement?

  51. Todd Dugdale says:

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I wanted to weigh in the Olbermann situation. When I said before that the Right would overplay its hand, this is just one example of that taking place already. This election meant different things to different groups. To the Republican base, it was all about revenge, about beating down the Left. We were supposed to be demoralised and abandon politics, leaving the field to the Right. Our heads were supposed to “explode”. Our Party was supposed to turn rightward. It was Vengeance Writ Large.For the swing voters, however, there was an entirely different motivation. They never bought into this partisan death-match narrative. The Republicans, as they always do, made very huge, very vague, and very magical promises. They could turn everything around, if given the chance. They could generate jobs, restore the voters’ portfolios, and even bring back the 1950’s. It hasn’t gone the way the Right imagined. The Left, except for a few congenital whiners and perpetual hand-wringers, isn’t demoralised and is looking to the future. Shocking as it may seem to the Right, being in the minority is not a death-knell for the Left, else we could not have survived Bush. As for the swing voters, all that they have seen so far is the same “death-match politics” from the Right that they have seen for the past two years. The hyperbolic gloating, the conspiracy theories, the rage and eliminationist rhetoric continue unabated. Rather than being a means to an end, the over-the-top desire to beat the Left into oblivion is seeming to be the end itself. This is not what the swing voters bargained for. And now we have the de-facto censorship of Olbermann. How does silencing Olbermann create jobs, which is what the Republicans were ostensibly elected to do? This is the Right over-playing their hand, thinking that the base is all that matters. What won those gains for them are independents breaking to the Republicans, and their view of the Republican Party is hardly worth bragging about. And, at some point, the Right is going start beating down the swing voters themselves for failure to demonstrate sufficient loyalty to an agenda they never supported: eliminating the Left.

  52. DC Petterson says:

    There is, for example, an excess of houses on the market. People are not buying them. I left out the final step in that example. Since people are already not consuming the existing inventory, adding to that inventory will not increase sales. To use Bart’s arguments, there is no Return On Investment. You cannot get a return on some additional investment if the products produced by that additional investment are not purchased. There is no reason to think those products are going to be purchased if there is already unsold inventory of those products. This is particularly true in a climate of high unemployment, where large segments of the populace have little or no discretionary income.

  53. shrinkers says:

    @Todd Dugdale Excellent points. Yes. “Jobs” has never actually been the goal of the right. It is power. What happened to Olbermann is precisely as you said, an example of a wish to exercise power.But I don’t believe for a minute that MSNBC is going to keep Olberman off the air. He’ll be back.

  54. Mainer says:

    Hmmmmm up over 200,000 now. Little of this makes sense. It is after all a business and we have been told repeatedly that business peope know how to run things better but as in the case of Juan Williams managers don’t always manage very well but to excuse some thing going one way and punish the same thing going another is pretty petty and dumb. Hmmmmmm wonder if civil rights come in here some where?

  55. Todd Dugdale says:

    shrinkers wrote:”But I don’t believe for a minute that MSNBC is going to keep Olberman off the air. He’ll be back.” He’ll be back, of course. This whole thing will just back-fire.

  56. Alki says:

    New GOP Governors Kill $1.2 Billion In High-Speed Rail JobsRepublicans who were elected on Tuesday are beginning to deliver on their campaign promises to kill America’s future. Within hours of declaring victory, the incoming tea-party governors of Wisconsin and Ohio stood fast on pledges to kill $1.2 billion in funding for high-speed rail in their states. The funding, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will revert to the federal government for investment in other states — unless Republicans in Congress are able to kill that, too. Walker warned he would fight President Obama to keep the Milwaukee-Madison link killed “if he tries to force this down the throats of the taxpayers.” Kasich — who called the high-speed rail project linking Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati “one of the dumbest ideas” he’s ever heard — used his victory speech to announce, “That train is dead”: read more……….http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/06/govs-rail-jobs/

  57. shortchain says:

    To paraphrase a man I deeply admired, “there ain’t gonna be no Return On Investment if there ain’t no investment.”Yet some people imagine that, if you just don’t spend money, then your money will magically multiply under your mattress. Apparently, these people believe money is like bedbugs.Oh, and GROG? I’m still waiting to hear your explanation of how my (undoubtedly simplistic and boneheaded) example of how taking one person’s money and giving it to another person can provide economic stimulus.

  58. Mainer says:

    Hey no problem if Wisconsin and Ohio don’t want the money we are trying rebuild our rail net. Hell we might be able to get service all the way to Bangor. Then I wouldn’t have to drive 150 miles to get a decent flight. Of course our new teaper gov said he wanted to tell the president to go to hell but up here money talks and crap talk walks……trust me he would take the money and smile while he did it.

  59. shiloh says:

    Again, Kasich voted for NAFTA and supported normalizing trade relations with China in 2000which shipped Ohio jobs to Mexico and overseas ~ Hey all I ask for is consistency! 😉We’ve met the enemy and he is us!Like Nixon’s Vietnam War plan, Kasich has a secret plan to revive Ohio’s economy …and so it goes

  60. Todd Dugdale says:

    This decision by the WI governor is idiotic, and ruins the plan to get high-speed rail from Minneapolis to Chicago. How is is idiotic? Let’s look at the facts:- This project was fully paid for with federal money. All that Walker had to do stay out of the way and not spend a dime. – In case you think that he is saving us from federal spending, you should realise that this money will just be spent in some other state. – And just to further blow the fiscal conservative cover off this decision, it’s not the money he objects to at all. He wants the money to be spent on roads, not the rail project. What a fiscal conservative hero!- Is the President really supposed to break down in tears because Wisconsin won’t take the jobs and infrastructure that this project promised? – It will just cost much, much more to bypass Wisconsin.

  61. filistro says:

    Meanwhile, over on the Fair and Balanced newtork.. the Republican primaries will be a production of Fox News.Quoting Chris Wallace:”As I said on Stewart, because we own all of the people who are running for president, we’re going to turn it into a 13-week series, like Dancing with the Stars or something,” he said.“We own all of the people who are running.”They simply have no shame. They don’t even PRETEND anymore. And Olbermann gets canned for a legal campaign donation.Beam me up, Scotty.

  62. mclever says:

    I’ll just say that I have no particular feelings one way or the other regarding Olbermann’s “suspension” for his campaign contributions that he “forgot” to get OK’d by the MSNBC brass first. It looks to me like it’s mostly a power-play within MSNBC, where they’re trying to take Keith down a couple pegs. I’m not sure it’ll work, because I think Keith’s ego is unassailable.While I think it’s worthwhile to have a counter to the extreme bloviations of O’Reilly, Beck, and Limbaugh, I honestly couldn’t stand to listen to Keith. I tried, but there was too much hyperbole and shouting. I had to mute the TV for about half his show. I will watch Rachel, and I sincerely wish we had another reasonable voice on the Left. But Olbermann isn’t it; he’s a blowhard. What was it Jon Stewart said? “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.”So, I’ll shed no tears for Keith, who I assume will be back on the air shortly anyway.

  63. Alki says:

    Because Walker is killing the WI HSR project, 300 people were laid off this week in Milwaukee.In less than a week, Rs are killing jobs left and right.

  64. shrinkers says:

    @filistroQuoting Chris Wallace:”As I said on Stewart, because we own all of the people who are running for president, we’re going to turn it into a 13-week series, like Dancing with the Stars or something,” he said.I think it was last summer, maybe as long as a year ago, in the wake of the Citizens United decision declaring corporations to be people, I wondered aloud on the old FiveThirtyEIght when we’d have our first corporation elected as president. Seems they’ll back into it. A president openly employed and wholly owned by a corporation. The campaign as a reality show. Hell, even the presidency as a reality show. Expect it to happen. A scripted presidency, supervised by FOX. You heard it here first.

  65. shrinkers says:

    @AlkiBecause Walker is killing the WI HSR project, 300 people were laid off this week in Milwaukee.The question is, How long will it take the people who voted for these clowns to realize that Republicans are very, very bad for the economy?Stupid question. Eight years of Bush didn’t convince them. Just watch, the very people who lose their jobs will blame Obama for it.

  66. Jean says:

    shrinkers,Well, the Republicans sure aren’t hearing the message the voters sent.From ThinkProgress:Mike Pence: “I’m going to ensure that Republicans come out of the gate and seize this moment, we’ve really been given a second chance at a first impression and I’m going to tell them that we have to rise to the challenge with principle and conviction and not with this attitude that you saw coming from the White House yesterday and from some other quarters on the establishment left in Washington which was that somehow the message of the election was that they want Democrats and Republicans to work better together, to get along — good heavens.” Pence doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp on what the American people want. An Ipsos/Reuters poll released on Monday found that “[m]ore than half of voters (56%) want to see Congress prioritizing cross-party working to enable consensus-based policymaking.” And a New York Times/CBS News poll released last week reported similar results. A whopping 78 percent said that Republicans should “compromise some of their positions to get things done” versus only 15 percent who said they should “stick to their positions.”

  67. shrinkers says:

    @JeanWow. Just wow.

  68. Bart DePalma says:

    Jean:The voters want most fo the Dem “accomplishments” reversead and, as your polls note, the voters want the parties to work together to get that done.Compare that to President Obama’s Nov 3 speech claiming that the voters do not want to change his policies.Who again is refusing too work together?Ras ran a poll on the eve of the election where 59% of likely voters said the President should change his policies to conform to the election results, but only 19% thought he actually would. The voters know where the problem lies.

  69. filistro says:

    @Bart… Ras ran a poll on the eve of the election where 59% of likely voters said the President should change his policies to conform to the election results, Yes, Bart, but Ras has been soundly discredited by his performance this cycle. (Let’s ignore Ras, as he so richly deserves) and look at GQRR exit polling instead. It’s time for the country to start paying attention to REPUTABLE pollsters, not provably biased partisan hacks.“Nor did voters generally align themselves with Republican talking points. Even a majority of self-identified Republicans — 62 percent — said they wanted lawmakers to “keep their hands off” Social Security when addressing the budget deficit. Among all voters, 68 percent opposed cuts to Social Security.Voters preferred Democratic ideas for tackling the budget deficit. Fifty-one percent said they wanted to see an end to the Bush tax cuts for the rich and a new bank tax to address the deficit, while 39 percent backed the GOP’s proposals to cut $100 billion from domestic spending, raise the retirement age and cancel unspent stimulus funds.Sixty-six percent of voters agreed with President Obama’s declaration that “we have to reduce our deficits, but [also] make investments in education, in research and innovation” and “we have to lead in the new energy, Green industrial revolution sweeping the world.”The survey likely comes as no surprise to voters but it’s “a welcome corrective here in Washington, where the conventional wisdom suggests a GOP revival supposedly spurred by voters’ newfound embrace of the Republican Party’s ideas..” “

  70. shortchain says:

    Bart,How do you square your last comment with your previous statements that only polling on specific policies matters?Because, as you surely must know, when people are polled on whether health insurance companies should be able to refuse people with pre-existing conditions, or practice “recission”, the polls show that the public supports the measures in the health reform bill.You really should clarify your position on these generic polls versus specific policy polls. As it stands, you appear to be nothing but a hypocritical partisan.

  71. Jean says:

    Bart, re: The voters want most fo the Dem “accomplishments” reversead and, as your polls note, the voters want the parties to work together to get that done.Not even close, Bart. What part of “[m]ore than half of voters (56%) want to see Congress prioritizing cross-party working to enable consensus-based policymaking” and a whopping 78 percent said that Republicans should “compromise some of their positions to get things done” versus only 15 percent who said they should “stick to their positions”don’t you understand?

  72. filistro says:

    Jean… all of it. Bart misunderstands ALL OF IT.His world view is uniquely shuttered. Show Bart a gazelle and he sees an elephant. Show him a chihuahua and he sees an elephant. It’s truly a bizarre delusional state.

  73. Jean says:

    And here’s Barts “we’re only libertarians” Tea Party:How did the tea party movement affect the outcome? It’s a question that’s been debated to death over the past 24 hours, and former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed was in DC on Wednesday, bleary-eyed but jubilant, to add his two cents. Armed with post-election survey data he’d commissioned through his new Faith and Freedom Coalition, Reed declared that, yes, the tea party was a factor, but the real engine of the GOP’s blowout victory Tuesday was—wait for it—evangelical voters, most of whom co-identify as tea partiers.At a press conference with pollster Glen Bolger from Public Opinion Strategies, Reed insisted that the largest single voting constituency was social conservatives, and they went overwhelmingly for Republicans. “The socially conservative faith-based vote was the fuel and engine of the biggest midterm victory in our history,” he said. His survey data, he said, indicates that 52 percent of self-identified tea partiers are also conservative evangelicals, while two-thirds of evangelical Christians call themselves tea party supporters. His take-home: The “tea party and evangelicals are not at odds. These movements are inextricably intertwined…Either party that ignores or opposed them does so at their peril at the ballot box.” Reed also sent a shot across the bow of his GOP brethren, warning them to “stop apologizing” for being pro-family, because far from hurting the party, evangelicals were helping to keep its candidates in office. Bolger added, incidentally, that two-thirds of the GOP pickup came in places where about two-thirds of white evangelicals live.Reed might be reading a little too much from the tea leaves, however. His data, he claimed, suggests that in 20 years, evangelicals would be an even more powerful voting bloc—what unions are to the Democratic Party, or the NRA to the GOP. “Democrats are going to have to figure out how to reach these voters,” he warned.But other data, even from evangelical researchers, offer a different picture: that of a movement in its death throes. Not only is America becoming less religious as a whole, but younger people—the Millennials—tend to oppose the movement on key issues like gay marriage. Evidence collected by the Barna Group, a market research group catering to Christian clients, suggests that these 18- to 29-year-olds see evangelical churches’ treatment of gays as a major turnoff. Millennials will make up the nation’s single largest voting bloc by 2020, and they are a lot more liberal than the over-60 crowd that turned out in droves on Tuesday.The teavangelicals may be the turning point of this particular midterm, but it’s going to be hard to pin the future of the GOP on a movement whose current members will mostly be dead in 20 years.

  74. shrinkers says:

    Gotta love the hypocrisy of me being banned for being profane when the title of this post says ‘ASS’ in big bold letters.What have you got against donkeys?

  75. shrinkers says:

    Jean, filistro, good finds on those articles. Thank you. This is the stuff that sustains my faith in Americans. Yes. elections go batty sometimes. But a nation is a human thing, it does what we do, for our reasons. Who doesn’t occasionally go temporarily insane?America will come back from this bout of battiness. Long term, never bet against America.

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