Tsunami? How About Just High Tide?

I feel I should point out that there are at least 11 races outstanding. And the Democrats appear to be winning those handily.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/05/2010-elections-11-undecided-races_n_779791.html


So much for a tsunami or a repeat of 1994.

There’s a lot of chatter on how ‘The American People’ (I wish the conservatives would be a little more accurate about that. It implies the rest of us are not American people and it’s a ittle insulting) sent a mandate that Democrats could have accomplished more if only they would move more to the center (translation: be more Republican). Rachel Maddow pointed out that it was actually Blue Dogs who were shown the door Tuesday night. Nearly 2/3rds of Democrat losses were moderates. That would seem to suggest to me that voters prefer Democrats with spine intact.

Along those lines, Nancy Pelosi has announced her intention to run for miority leader. She claims in an interview with E.J. Dionne that the Republicans loathe her so much because she knows how to get things done. Good on her.

Predictably, Republicans have wasted no time trying to get back to their same old ways. Even Linsey Graham dropped the ‘bomb Iran’ theme song.


He made this speech in front of a bunch of Canadians at a Security Conference who immediately sucked all the air out of the room with one big gasp. To a person, the Republicans are already threatening to repeal everything done in the last two years to please their corporate constituents. Wonder how long it will take before the nation collectively realizes this? Collectively realizes that Republicans do not have the interests of ‘The American People’ in mind.

Repeal Health Care Reform. Repeal Wall Street reform. Repeal everything ever accomplished during the Obama administration. Repeal Obama himself (by the way, Obama has never said he would seek a second term). So we’re in for two years of shutdown and obstructionism. All I can say is, “Hello fillibuster. How you like me now?”


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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120 Responses to Tsunami? How About Just High Tide?

  1. robert verdi says:

    The other side of right wing Euphoria is the belief this election wasn’t so big. It really was massive (more so than I thought)on the local, state, and in the House. In the Senate the gains were over 6 senate seats, nothing to sneeze at, especially with over 23 Democrats verse 10 Republicans up in 2012. As for 11 races that Dems are winning “handily”, I would dispute that comment. Several of the races the GOP is winning and Murkowski is going to vote Republican, so a defeat of Miller is hardly a Democrat victory.

  2. Todd Dugdale says:

    Mr. Universe wrote:”That would seem to suggest to me that voters prefer Democrats with spine intact.” It certainly shows that going “Republican-Lite” is a path to nowhere for the Democrats. This DLC strategy is what got us Blanche Lincoln – the ‘more electable’ candidate. On the other hand, I concede that it also got us Manchin. There really is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy, in my mind. In a wider sense, it’s more important for Democrats to field candidates that offer an alternative to the social conservatives, more than the fiscal conservatives. But that’s just a starting point, not a hard-and-fast rule.robert: I’m glad you are enjoying this moment. But even some on the Right are realising the shallow nature of these results. Turning out in disproportionate numbers has a downside: those elected are not truly representative, and are vulnerable. While non-voters don’t matter at the polls, they shape the opinions of those who do vote. And what really made the difference in so many of these races was unaffiliated voters, who are notoriously fickle and who expect results. They are not partisan cheerleaders who will casually dismiss clumsy moves or tone-deaf statements. They will not make excuses when magical solutions do not measure up to reality.There were a lot of close races, and a lot of Republican victory margins that came in less than 5%. If the Republicans push an anti-incumbent narrative again in 2012, these seats will be precarious. It’s hard to make the Democrats a credible bogey-man when your side is in control.And let’s not forget the obvious: the Party spent over two years goading the base into a fury. Can they really keep that up for another two years? I see an analogy of the Republican Party to that of a cheetah. The cheetah can outrun and kill the gazelle, but in doing so it is left so exhausted that it cannot even defend its kill from slower predators.This is the high tide. Enjoy it. You will look back on these days for decades, in the same way that you continually live in a world where Reagan just got elected.

  3. robert verdi says:

    I will enjoy the moment when policies I believe good for the nation are adopted.

  4. filistro says:

    It’s all about what happens to the economy. And looking ahead, there are only three things that can happen by 2012.1.) it will get worse. 2.) it will stay roughly the same3.) it will improveIn all cases, the GOP is sunk in 2012. If teh economy worsens or stays mired, the GOP will be blamed, especially if they are obstructionist and noisily demanding during this session.If the economy improves they won’t get the credit… that will go to the President, as it always does. Furthermore in good economic times people feel sunny, optimistic and expansive. (Sigh.. remember that feeling?)… They are more open to spending on research and social programs and less likely to vote out of fear.Because the GOP is a party of fear, one that campaigns, governs and influences voters based on appealing to their fear, it does not do well in times of prosperity.So… there’s just no hope for you guys. Sorry. 🙂

  5. robert verdi says:

    No matter what happens Obama wins?

  6. shortchain says:

    As we’ve seen, the economy has started to improve. Hiring has gone from nowhere to anemic. Now, with the GOP poised to enact radical cost-cutting, where does anybody think the economy is going to go now? As those who have failed to learn the lessons of history — and economics — are about to be shown, the financial downturn of 1936 can happen again. I wonder how that will turn out for the GOP.

  7. filistro says:

    No matter what happens Obama wins?Yup, that’s it. Sorry 😉

  8. Bart DePalma says:

    Mr. U: “So much for a tsunami or a repeat of 1994.”Still in the denial phase of political grief?Here is the Dem autopsy report:The GOP is set to gain between 63-65 seats in the House, the highest gain for the GOP since 1938 and the highest for any party since 1948. 1994 was “only” a gain of 54 seats, now the distant second since 1948.The GOP now has its largest majority in the House since 1946. This majority covers the country as only three states not touching an ocean still have majority Dem Hose delegations.The hidden tsunami is at the state level. The GOP gained nearly 1000 seats to return to its domination of 1928. The GOP has both chambers in a majority of states and at least one in another quarter of the states. GOP governors now run nearly 2/3 of the states.While it would have been nice to take the Senate, Manchin is essentially a Republican and taking CA and WA were reaches. My only real disappointment is that Bennet’s massive negative ad campaign in CO worked.In this age of computerized gerrymandering, the election will probably be the biggest wave of our adult lifetimes. High tide my ass.

  9. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:Clinton is the archetype for Dem survival in a conservative resurgence – proclaim the era of big government is over and govern like it.Manchin offered the recipe for Dem survival – going on a commercial employing a “second amendment” solution to an Obama bill.Obama is no Clinton and certainly no Machin. Obama is a complete socialist ideologue as I suspected and will defend his “achievements” to the end.Every single Dem in a remotely competitive district that did not run away from Obama and his policies lost. Why should Obama be any more successful?Unless the GOP can succeed in hamstringing Obamacare and all the regulations heading businesses’ way, this recession will effectively last through 2012 just like the Great Depression dragged on and on and on. Obama is no FDR and is going to have a helluva time explaining 8%+ unemployment four years into his Administration.2012 cannot some soon enough.

  10. Bart DePalma says:

    Fili:I posted a response to your comments which went into mediation purgatory. Would you mind retrieving it?Thanks.

  11. filistro says:

    @Bart.. High tide my ass.Bart, dear… you sound a bit cranky :-)I think it IS a frustrating time for Republicans. This was a big victory but it feels strangely hollow, doesn’t it? It’s like when you were a kid and there was this big, exciting, gorgeously wrapped gift under the Christmas tree and you were excited about it for a week beforehand, and then the big day came and you unwrapped it, and it was a pair of mittens and matching hat.BUMMER.There are lots of reasons the GOP feels hollow in victory… but I think the main one is they have this electoral success but there’s nothing they can really DO with it because they are a divided pary of warring agendas. It’s like they’ve been given a shiny brand new car for their road trip… but they still have no destination. And they know that as soon as they start discussing the issue of route and destination, there’s going to be a huge fight that will spoil the trip for everybody.

  12. filistro says:

    Bart… I have no idea how to retrieve messages. If I did, my frustration level would be much lower. I have found that when I run afoul of the moderation screen it often helps to empty my cache, reboot, surf other sites for a while and then come back.

  13. robert verdi says:

    Seriously, a lot can happen two years from now and to argue the results are pre-determined is a stretch.

  14. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono or Mr. U:When you moving to Blogger? This provider is becoming a real pain in the ass.

  15. robert verdi says:

    Here is a breakdown of the voting offered by the Times, I suggest you gentleman look at it.http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/weekinreview/07marsh.html?ref=politics

  16. filistro says:

    robert… I think we are on the verge of a massive economic recovery and a wave of exuberance unlike anything the country has seen for a long time. When the dam bursts and companies are forced to start spending that $3 trillion in cash they’ve been sitting on, we will see a massive rising tide across the entire continent.For instance Caterpillar now says they foresee so much demand for heavy equipment in the next few years, they are not just re-hiring, they have also quietly begun signing independent welders and mechanic contractors to make sure they’ll have the expertise they’re going to need.In the face of that tsunami of optimism and happiness, GOP carping and hand-wringing is just going to look silly… almost QUAINT.In the long run, nobody ever makes money by betting against America. They just don’t.

  17. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro wrote: “Bart, dear… you sound a bit cranky”Darlin, I typed my first post above with a big goofy grin on my face. This is Christmas, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July wrapped into one. The only thing that could make today better would be if my Dolphins pull off the upset of the Ravens this afternoon.Fili: “I think it IS a frustrating time for Republicans. This was a big victory but it feels strangely hollow, doesn’t it?”Actually, I am going to be very curious to see what the GOP House does. The Constitution makes the House the most powerful part of the federal government with the power of the purse.It is interesting to note that the NYT had an article today discussing how the GOP could cut off the funding oxygen for the bureaucracy. The article ended with a comment by a Dem appropriations committee staffer to the effect that: Obama can veto any GOP bills, but he cannot compel the GOP to spend money.If the GOP uses the power of the purse properly, it can accomplish much of what the voters elected them to achieve. Meanwhile, they can make a great show of sending popular bills to the Senate and President to be killed so they can run against Obama and the Dem red state senators in 2012 on his bad economy and his bad policies.

  18. filistro says:

    The Constitution makes the House the most powerful part of the federal government with the power of the purse.LOL… from The Hill: “As of Oct 5 there were 420 bills that had been passed by the House since January 2009, but were still languishing in the Senate.”What a pity all those crazy Teapers like Buck, Raese, Angle and O’Donnell kept you from taking the Senate too, eh? 😉

  19. DC Petterson says:

    Bart, I freed your comment. You’re welcome.

  20. Bart DePalma says:

    The NYT is not pulling any punches in its analysis of the 2010 exit polling:http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/weekinreview/20101107-rightward-march-poll-graphic.pdfRemember that exit polling usually misses a substantial number of conservatives. Ask President Kerry.

  21. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “The Constitution makes the House the most powerful part of the federal government with the power of the purse.”filistro wrote: “LOL… from The Hill: “As of Oct 5 there were 420 bills that had been passed by the House since January 2009, but were still languishing in the Senate.”You need to distinguish between your progressive objectives and my Tea Party objectives.You need legislation to accomplish your preferred expansions of government.We need only to cut off funding for the large swaths of government we oppose to achieve our goal of limited government. The House and not the President is the perfect tool for this because all funding originated in the House.

  22. DC Petterson says:

    @filistroIt’s like they’ve been given a shiny brand new car for their road trip… but they still have no destination. And they know that as soon as they start discussing the issue of route and destination, there’s going to be a huge fight that will spoil the trip for everybody.This is true. Added to that, the Republicans only have control of the House. Which means they can’t actually get a single part of their agenda enacted. All they can do is obstruct and shut things down. Bear in mind, the vast majority of the public doesn’t normally pay attention to politics until maybe 6 weeks before an election. It’s not going to be possible now for them to miss that all the Republicans can do is stand in the way.Bart is right about one thing. The state legislature gains are scary. But if they do make significant changes there, it’s only the most partisan among the electorate who will like those changes. The Republican agenda today is to stop spending money. On the state level, that means less police, less fire departments, less road repairs, less education, less support for state parks, less garbage pickup, less snow plowing, etc., etc. Less of the stuff that actually makes a difference in people’s everyday lives. Which means people will see that, even when Republicans DO have a governing power, the only thing they do is shut stuff down.Redistricting is a problem. As Bart pointed out, the Republicans have no hesitation about drawing the most partisan and absurd gerrymandered districts. They are all about winning, not actually governing. But on the other hand, when they’re screwing their own constituencies, it’s hard to see even that as a long-term strategy. Observe: Gerrymandering only works because you concentrate the other guys into a small number of massive ghettos. This gives them big majorities in few districts. Your own people are spread thin, giving them narrow majorities, but in far more districts. That’s how you get control of a majority of districts.But if all you have is narrow majorities, that makes your wins fragile, and easily reversed. All it takes is to piss off your base — or even just 5% – 10% of your base — and POOF! all those gerrymandered districts go the other way. So even this is a losing strategy, long-term. Hell, with the internal wars in the Republican party, it could even kill them in 2012, if they can’t hold together the nutbats with the rabid lemmings.So, I agree — this isn’t really such a big win for the Republicans. It’s like getting really, really drunk. It may be fun while you’re doing it, but the next morning will be painful.

  23. DC Petterson says:

    @BartWe need only to cut off funding for the large swaths of government we oppose to achieve our goal of limited government. Actually, either chamber can stop legislation. Any legislation. Where bills “originate” is irrelevant to that. If all you’re interested in is not enacting legislation, you can do that with control of either the House or the Senate.As far as bills that have to “originate in the House,” that has become no more than a pleasant fiction. When the Senate wants to write a bill that is supposed to “originate in the House,” there is a trick they use. They’ve been doing it for a century and a half. They take some other bill that the House already voted on, and amend it. The Senate will remove all existing provisions from the bill, and substitute whatever it wants. Thus, the bill “originated” in the House, but was completely re-written by amendment in the Senate. This is a common practice, and there is nothing to prevent this from continuing to happen.So no, having control of the House gives the Republicans nothing in particular, other than the ability to kill stuff. Which they had anyway, with the Senate filibuster rules. Nothing has really changed as far as the ability to enact legislation.

  24. GROG says:

    @fili,I feel pretty good about your prediciton of it being a certainty that Obama will be re-elected in 2012, given that your predictions are almost always wrong.How’d that “summer of recovery” go when we were supposed to have added hundreds of thousands of jobs per month?Or how Obama’s 50% approval rating was going to translate into a good election day for Dems?Or how the Tea Party was going to destroy the Republican party (who just had it’s best day in 72 years)?

  25. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:The Senate can amend anything it likes and the House can ignore it.So long as the GOP House is disciplined and does not collapse in reconciliation they do not have to fund anything they do not want. The GOP certainly has a large enough margin for the Dem district GOP reps to defect. However, the number of GOP reps in Dem districts is not nearly as large as all the Dems in GOP districts after 2008, so we should not have Pelosi’s problem of convincing Blue Dogs to commit political suicide.The GOP House simply needs to tell the Senate that their spending ceilings and the subject matter of each bill are non negotiable. What is negotiable is what to spend in that subject matter area under those ceilings.So long as The House produces narrow spending bills and sends the most popular ones through first, the Dems in the Senate or the Dem President cannot shut down the entire government and blame it on the GOP. Instead, the Dems will be playing chicken with their own sacred cows.

  26. filistro says:

    @GROG.. I feel pretty good about your prediciton of it being a certainty that Obama will be re-elected in 2012, given that your predictions are almost always wrong.I’m glad. Making you feel good is one of my goals in life. B-)How’d that “summer of recovery” go when we were supposed to have added hundreds of thousands of jobs per month?I was off by a couple of months. Just watch those numbers start taking off now.Or how Obama’s 50% approval rating was going to translate into a good election day for Dems?His approval remains amazingly durable. At this rate, and once the GOP assumes a higher profile, it will be close to 60’s by mid-winter. (Reagan’s was at 34% in the corresponding point of his first term.) Or how the Tea Party was going to destroy the Republican party (who just had it’s best day in 72 years)?The Tea Party cost the R’s the Senate. It will also cost them any shot at the presidency in ’12… and ultimately it will destroy the party as we know it. I really, truly believe that.

  27. shiloh says:

    Still in the denial phase of political grief?~~~~~Bartles, still stealing my meme lol, nothing original.And (8) posts in (1:36) time frame. hmm, weren’t you disingenuously takin’ a break from 538 a couple days ago :-P>Probably the best news for O’Bama are all the newly elected Rep govs, especially if the economy continues to recover slowwwly. Scott won a close contest in FL and Kasich in OH ie if people are unhappy w/their state govts not working w/the federal govt, they will blame there state govt. This will help Obama/Dems in WI, PA, MI, ME, IA, NM, NV also w/their new, don’t want any federal govt. help Rep governors.>>>And again, poor Bartles as Colorado turns a bright (((BLUE))) B)>>>Indeed, polls and don’t we love polls Bartles, have indicted they want the Rep congress and Obama to work together to solve problems, but Bart’s winger teabaggers want none of that, god love ’em.Polls have also indicated voters don’t think Reps will cooperate in any way, shape or form, shocking! ;)Bart, (29) million of Obama voters stayed home in 2010 as you don’t want to imagine the (((Tsunami))), if they all vote in 2012, eh. And there will be new elible voters who turned (18) from 2009 to 2012 and their first impression will be all the new teabagger clowns voters just elected to office.Good luck w/that.Indeed, elections come down to choices, especially the presidency, where it’s all about Commander-in Chief which is why incumbency is such a big factor. What sunk Carter, w/all his other economic problems was the 444 day))) Iran Hostage Crisis. as presidential politics is a fairly simple equation.>Bart, feel free to disagree w/any of my intelligent/rational 🙂 spin.take care, blessings

  28. GROG says:

    When the left is gloating about hanging on to the Senate and Harry Reid’s seat, that means it was a very, very good day for the GOP.

  29. shiloh says:

    Again Bartles, you’ve got the ball, don’t drop it …solo estoy diciendo

  30. filistro says:

    @GROG.. When the left is gloating about hanging on to the Senate and Harry Reid’s seat, that means it was a very, very good day for the GOP.It’s just so delightful when your braggart, big-mouth opponent loses the game by scoring on his own goal.There was absolutely NO WAY the R’s shouldn’t have taken Reid’s seat. It was, to put it mildly, a slam dunk. And yet they still managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.It was fascinating to watch. And FUN 😛

  31. Todd Dugdale says:

    DC Petterson wrote:”Gerrymandering only works because you concentrate the other guys into a small number of massive ghettos. This gives them big majorities in few districts. Your own people are spread thin, giving them narrow majorities, but in far more districts. That’s how you get control of a majority of districts.” I don’t see redistricting being a big game-changer here in MN. We are already living with Republican-drawn districts. That’s basically why Bachmann is in office right now. All that they can do is make Republican-held districts bluer, because the metro area (60+% of the State’s population) is bright blue. We are seeing some reddening of the rural districts as people move out of the metro into lake homes and such, but that just leaves the metro even bluer. There’s just not enough red to go around. I’m cautiously optimistic that these Republican-dominated legislatures will make over-confident assessments as to future growth and partisan identification.

  32. DC Petterson says:

    @BartThe Senate can amend anything it likes and the House can ignore it.Exactly. My point was that your previous statement, The Constitution makes the House the most powerful part of the federal government with the power of the purse.… is really irrelevant. With the technique I described, the “power of the purse” is wielded equally by both chambers.As a practical matter, either the House or the Senate can create legislation. Either one can stop it. And since the Republicans have simply been stopping legislation anyway through use of the filibuster, they’ve gained nothing legislatively by taking control of the House.The Senate, on the other hand, has the power of treaty approval and of advise and consent on Presidential appointments. If the Senate changes the filibuster rules, the Republicans will lose the ability to stop these things.

  33. DC Petterson says:

    @BartThe Constitution makes the House the most powerful part of the federal government with the power of the purse.And I hope you keep pushing this meme. I hope all elected Republicans keep pushing this meme. Shout from the rooftops that you have gained control of the most powerful part of the federal government!!!So, when the Republicans fail to accomplish anything — other than making the economy worse, and taking away services Americans rely on — you’ll get the blame.

  34. GROG says:

    Mr. U said:Rachel Maddow pointed out that it was actually Blue Dogs who were shown the door Tuesday night. Nearly 2/3rds of Democrat losses were moderates. That would seem to suggest to me that voters prefer Democrats with spine intact.All this means is that the Dem party is becoming a fringe leftwing party. The R’s needed Reid to retain his seat and Pelosi to remain Dem leader. With those two and Obama, it will be a constant reminder to the voters of how far left the party is. They have very few common sense moderates left.

  35. robert verdi says:

    Tea Party Motivation played a key role significant GOP gains in the Senate and massive gains everywhere else. Let me put it like this, without the Tea Party races like Nevada and Delaware would never have been in contention in the first place and pointing out the 3 or 4 races lost while ignoring the dozens wonis a mistake.

  36. filistro says:

    without the Tea Party races like Nevada and Delaware would never have been in contention C’mon, robert. You’re not even trying. Delaware wouldn’t have been in contention? ?Without the Tea Party, Mike Castle would have got the R nomination in Delaware and gone on to beat Coons by 20 points.Name a specific GOP seat that you feel the R’s would not have won without Tea Party enthusiasm.

  37. robert verdi says:

    How about the House?

  38. Todd Dugdale says:

    About 3.7 million of that juicy, likely-to-vote 65-75 age demographic will shuffle off the mortal coil by 2012. And that doesn’t even consider the large number of 75+ demographic that will drop off the voter rolls.

    Try scaring 30 year-olds with ancient tales of SDS, Black Panthers, and Weathermen. Try stirring them with nostalgia for the 1950’s. Try running narratives based on the Cold War on people who weren’t born when it ended.

    Meanwhile, the independents will be turned off by the stale fixation on the Culture War at the expense of the economy.

    Being in charge is a liability.
    Grampa Wingnut won’t be impressed by his local politician’s church attendance when he can’t drive to the Legion Post because there’s no money to plough the roads in winter. And with state aid to local government cut, his property taxes are going to go up while services go down.

    The state budgets have all been cut to the bone already. There isn’t any low-hanging fruit there to be had. And there’s a huge pile of magical promises that the voters expect you to keep.

    The barometer to watch is going to be Christie’s popularity numbers. He was the might hero who was voted in first, and he had all of the magical answers.

  39. robert verdi says:

    Let me try and explain this again. The general upswing in GOP fortunes was tied to Tea Party motivation and to detach the good from the bad choices is simply not possible, but all in all things worked out pretty damn good.

  40. shiloh says:

    Cutbacks inevitable for KasichCOLUMBUS: As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.Republican John Kasich not only won the governor’s office Tuesday, but voters also handed him solid GOP majorities in both houses of the legislature to enact his agenda.But with the state facing a potential $8 billion budget shortfall next year, the cuts and reforms the governor-elect has signaled he will offer could be unpopular and politically difficult for GOP lawmakers to approve, Statehouse experts say.And there will be no Democrats to blame.Even state Sen. Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond, who is likely to become the next Senate president, acknowledged that his own Republican members may recoil at the sight of Kasich’s two-year budget due March 15.”It’s going to take their breath away when they see some of the changes we’re going to have to make in order to balance the budget,” Niehaus said.Whether Republicans stick together behind Kasich or succumb to the immense pressure from Statehouse lobbying groups and constituents back home will play out before July 1, the deadline for the new budget.”It’s going to mean some very tough decisions and going back home and telling some friends of ours, I’m sorry, we can’t do this for you right now. We’re not in a position to do this,” Niehaus said.As two-term GOP governor and retiring U.S. Sen. George V. Voinovich put it, “[Republicans] are not going to have any excuse if Kasich comes to them with some tough things.”Girding for reductionsSocial-services advocates, school and university officials and health-care deliverers are girding for steep reductions in government aid, particularly because Kasich has taken tax increases off the table. In fact, he wants to cut taxes.Although Kasich said after the election that he expects strong support from GOP legislators, he made it clear that he won’t let anyone get in the way of making the changes he thinks are needed.”Special interests are not going to win,” he said after a luncheon with lobbyists and others Thursday. “They have to be respected, they represent jobs and industries or whatever, but either get on the bus or the bus is going to run over you.”There will be pressure.It won’t be easy for Kasich and Republican lawmakers to stand strong against the withering pressure to preserve programs and services from worthy advocacy groups and local officials. Voinovich was reduced to tears in 1992 when he cut government assistance for poor people as protesters on the north lawn shouted outside his Statehouse office window.Paul Beck, a political science professor at Ohio State University, said the task will be made harder for Kasich and legislative Republicans, because major reforms take time and won’t produce immediate results to help balance the next budget.>Again, cutting the budget means cutting jobs …carry on

  41. filistro says:

    stopping italics B-)

  42. filistro says:

    oh.. shiloh already did…carry on 🙂

  43. shiloh says:

    Just double-checked and my italics tag was closed, so it’s a 538 problem.This is the first time I have checked my tags after making a post, should have done it from day one …

  44. filistro says:

    You’re right, shiloh… also robert’s last post shifted magically within minutes from italics to plain text.How odd…

  45. shrinkers says:

    @shilohAgain, cutting the budget means cutting jobs …According to Republicans, those aren’t real jobs anyway, so it’s no loss. Eliminating them doesn’t hurt the economy because gubmint can’t create wealth.And the services that will be cut are ones no one wants, and ones that gubmint shouldn’t be doing anyway. Buy your own damn snowplow.We’ll see how well that argument holds up in practice.

  46. GROG says:

    Revenues are not increased by adding to the tax rate, they’re increased by adding tax payers. This is what the left fails to understand.The first thing that needs to be done is to create jobs. Democrats saw this crisis as a golden oppurtunity to grow the size of government and run spending out of control. And the result is near double digit unemployment rates as far as the eye can see.The Republicans who ran on low taxes for everyone and fiscal responsibility better keep their campaign promises. They better get rid of the Democrat created economic uncertainty so businesses will start investing and banks will start lending. Jobs will be created, tax revenues will increase, and spending will be back to sane levels. Unless Democrats try to obstruct sanity and continue their failed policies that got them run out of just about every level of government last week.

  47. shrinkers says:

    @GROGRevenues are not increased by adding to the tax rateYou are free to provide evidence for this. I trust you can prove that increasing some tax rate has never increased tax revenues, yes?The first thing that needs to be done is to create jobs.Agreed, Which is why moves like canceling the high-speed rail in Wisconsin and Ohio was so stupid. Hundreds of jobs — maybe tens of thousands — were just not-created.Democrats saw this crisis as a golden oppurtunity to grow the size of government and run spending out of control.I trust you can provide a quote from some Democrat (all Democrats?) that their purpose is to “grow government” and to “run spending out of control.” Do you have a quote somewhere of any Democrat explicitly claiming these as the purpose and goal of Democrats?And the result is near double digit unemployment rates as far as the eye can see.Actually, the result of Democratic policies has been nine uninterrupted months of private sector job growth, after Republicans tanked the economy and caused us to lose over 700,000 jobs per month in early 2009. More private sector jobs have been created since March of 2009 than in the entire 8 years of the Bush Administration. The “near double digit unemployment was caused by Republican policies, and is slowly being correct by the Democrats, as I have just shown.The Republicans who ran on low taxes for everyone and fiscal responsibility better keep their campaign promises.I love hearing conservatives say this!They better get rid of the Democrat created economic uncertainty so businesses will start investing and banks will start lending.You are free to offer some proof that “Democrat created economic uncertainty” is in any way affecting investment or lending. Conservative pundits have been claiming this, but have never offered a shred of evidence in support of this notion. PErhaps you have a video of a bank president claiming to be not making loans because of “uncertainty?” Unless Democrats try to obstruct sanity and continue their failed policies that got them run out of just about every level of government last week.You are free to provide some mechanism other than the successful Democratic economic policies to show why and how the economic freefall of ’08 and early ’09 has been turned into a slow and steady recovery. Your statement seems to be not mere opinion, but demonstrable nonsense.

  48. shiloh says:

    And just to get Bart and his teabagger lemmings in a really, really good mood! ;)The obvious:To be sure, OH and FL again being scorched earth presidential campaign states in 2012 notwithstanding …Obama/Dems proved in 2008 (((they don’t need!!!))) Ohio and Florida to win the presidency, eh. :-Psolo estoy diciendo>Did I mention Obama does not need Ohio and Florida to win re-election as the presidential electoral margin of error “appears” to be more of a winger problem nowadays and of course the Dems will not have an enthusiasm gap in 2012! B)Of course my perfect scenario: The Rep candidate wins the popular vote and Obama wins the electoral vote ie Karma! 🙂 as wingers will commit mass suicide by jumping off a cliff in tandem lolbut, but, but a lot of water under the bridge between now and then as Bartles has run out of “crap/spin” to talk about 😀 or so he said the other day …ciao

  49. shiloh says:

    In case my last post hasn’t sunk in yet for 538 winger trolls, let me repeat:Obama/Dems proved in 2008 (((they don’t need!!!))) Ohio and Florida to win the presidency !!!but Reps absolutely need Ohio and Florida to win the presidency. In fact, no Rep has ever been elected president w/out winning Ohio.Have a nice day! 🙂

  50. GROG says:

    I trust you can provide a quote from some Democrat (all Democrats?) that their purpose is to “grow government” and to “run spending out of control.” Do you have a quote somewhere of any Democrat explicitly claiming these as the purpose and goal of Democrats?.Why do you need a quote? There is real life evidence. Have you not been paying attention to what’s been going on the past 4 years since Dems took control of Congress and the past 2 years since Obama has been in office. Companies not hiring due to economic uncertainty.http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/staffingmanagement/Articles/Pages/FewersOptimistic.aspxBanks not lending due to economic uncertainty.The index for rejections of credit applications was at 52 for July, higher than the 47.5 in the prior year. NACM attributes this to two factors: companies trying to accumulate cash and economic uncertainty.http://www.cortera.com/news/trade-credit-grows-in-importance/The cause of all this uncertainty…Obamacare, Cap and Trade, Financial Reform, Tax hikes…not to mention the evergrowing power of the EPA. The Democrats have given no indication that they plan to significantly reduce spending, lower the debt and deficits, and reduce the tax burden on corporations. In fact they’ve indicated they want to raise taxes by repealing the Bush tax cuts. Why would any company want to invest and any bank want to lend in that environment?

  51. shiloh says:

    Have you not been paying attention to what’s been going on the past 4 years since Dems took control of Congress and the past 2 years since Obama has been in office.grog, there’s one big problem in your (4) year winger meme spin ie Obama got (69 million) million votes Nov. 2008 as voters correctly blamed cheney/bush for 2001 to 2009.Let me repeat: voters correctly blamed cheney/bush for the economic conditions from 2001 to 2009.take care

  52. GROG says:

    @shrinkers,There’s evidence that gridlock actually spurs investment because gridlock reduces uncertainty. If taxes can’t be raised, regulations can’t be passed, etc, businesses know what to expect.http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-19/obama-s-bull-market-intact-as-gridlock-signals-gains.htmlThis Businessweek article in June predicted stock gains as it became clearer Republicans would control Congress. http://www.slate.com/id/2272780/Have you noticed what the stock market has done since Tuesday?

  53. shortchain says:

    GROG,Right, because the only “economic uncertainty” that exists in the business world is that produced by the government.The buying habits of consumers, and the fact that millions are out of work, more millions are working part-time, and they just aren’t spending money, the fact that the banks are still uncertain about how much bad debt they have on their books — none of those things have anything to do with the “economic uncertainty”.Right.

  54. shortchain says:

    GROG,The gains in the stock market couldn’t have anything to do with the Fed’s announcement of its little stimulus package, of course. Sure, the bump in the market coincided exactly with the date and time of the Fed announcement, but … nah, couldn’t be.You’re just one long series of non sequitur arguments today.

  55. Alki says:

    @ Bart….Here is the Dem autopsy report:***************************************And a similar autopsy report existed in 2008….except that time it was the Rs who were DOA. And Rs are still as hated as they have been since 2006. Rs can’t govern. We’ve seen that for 10 years. The GOP brand is broken. And given the comments from your leaders, nothing has changed. In fact, two of your newly elected Rs have already started killing jobs in their respective states.In the long run, all Obama has to do is play his cards well and he wins. Like filistro, I see little chance of him losing from these midterm elections two years hence. So sorry.BTW Bart, how do you feel about raising the debt ceiling in June? Just askin’.

  56. Alki says:

    @ Bart….While it would have been nice to take the Senate, Manchin is essentially a Republican and taking CA and WA were reaches. ***************************************CA and WA were reaches??? Now we know its YOU who is reaching……..as well as acting a bit desperate. Trends start in the West, Bart. You better get yourself prepared for 2012.BTW what are you going to do about your home state turning blue? In fact, all the evidence of what’s happening in this country is playing out in your own state.

  57. Bart DePalma says:

    Grog/shortchain:The GOP victory as been priced into the markets since it became obvious a month or so ago.The current ups and downs are because business likes the idea of the Fed debasing the currency so out exports can undercut the competition, but our trading partners understandably do not, raising the prospect of a currency and/or trade war.As a side note, this is the second round of the Fed effectively printing money to buy government bonds from the banks in a vain attempt to goose lending. The problem is that the banks simply use the proceeds and buy more government debt as a safe haven. We are already seeing inflation in imports, especially oil. I wonder how long it will take before all this new printed money starts goosing general inflation?

  58. Alki says:

    @ Grog….The first thing that needs to be done is to create jobs. Democrats saw this crisis as a golden oppurtunity to grow the size of government and run spending out of control. And the result is near double digit unemployment rates as far as the eye can see.. ***************************************Then why are newly elected Rs killing jobs in WI and OH?

  59. Alki says:

    @ Grog….There’s evidence that gridlock actually spurs investment because gridlock reduces uncertainty. If taxes can’t be raised, regulations can’t be passed, etc, businesses know what to expect.***************************************BS. We have had a bull market for the past two years……..it started shortly after Obama was inaugurated. Whatever meme Business Week is pushing, its BS.

  60. shrinkers says:

    @GROGOne quote from one of the articles you linked:“This is likely due to uncertainty about future economic conditions.”Note: future economic conditions. On the way out of the massive Republican Great Recession, of course there is “uncertainty about future economic conditions.” This has nothing to do with Obama’s policies. It has to do with the fact that recovery is a long-term process.I note you have not answered a single one of my challenges — no quotes from any Democratic politician saying that their purpose and intent is to “grow government” and to “run spending out of control.” This is your claim, not their purpose.No quote from any banker claiming that he isn’t making loans because of “uncertainty”, as you claimed they were doing.No evidence that raising tax rates has never ever increased tax revenue.No evidence that anything other than Democratic policies have led to the slow and steady recovery we are seeing. You have presented some articles with pundits who agree with you. But nothing other than opinion pieces.Try again.

  61. Bart DePalma says:

    Todd Dugdale:You might want to check out the NYT exit polling to which I linked above.The Dems have driven away the white working class wing of the FDR coalition to the GOP, which has caused the following demographic shifts:1) Whites were 78% of the vote and 62% of them went GOP, this highest percentage in exit polling history.2) The female vote split for the first time in exit polling history.3) 59% of independents went GOP, yet another first.As to minorities, The GOP portion of the hispanic vote is back up over a third.Geographically…1) The rural Dem wing of the FDR coalition is all but extinct. The GOP is now pulling 86% of the rural vote, another record. 2) The GOP is back to enjoying the double digit leads in the suburbs which 1994 and 2002.3) The Dems were limited largely to their megalopolises.

  62. shortchain says:

    Bart,”I wonder how long it will take before all this new printed money starts goosing general inflation?”Since precious little of that money will make it into the hands of the consumer, and since it’s a drop in the bucket anyway, the only thing it will inflate is the stock market.

  63. Alki says:

    Dancing Obamas charm India





    By DION NISSENBAUM AND MARGARET TALEVMcClatchy NewspapersNEW DELHI — They have dubbed it “the Obama Indian Tango.”Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/07/1914029/dancing-obamas-charm-india.html#ixzz14dah9rgL

  64. Alki says:

    @ Bart……..Whites were 78% of the vote and 62% of them went GOP, this highest percentage in exit polling history.***************************************And this comes to you as surprise why? 78% of southern whites voted for Rs, the party opposite to the Obamas. You don’t find that statistic surprising in the least? Not even for a second?. Give me a break. We know why the white vote broke the way it did and we know what region of the country came out for its party. Same ole GOP……the party of the South.

  65. Bart DePalma says:

    Todd:The question is whether the 2010 realignment of the white working class vote to the GOP is lasting. Without it, the Democrats are an urban left minority party.

  66. Bart DePalma says:

    Alki:Look at the election map. The Dems lost the South in 1994.The big change is that the white working class vote shifted hard to the GOP and painted the Midwest the reddest its been since reconstruction.

  67. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: “I wonder how long it will take before all this new printed money starts goosing general inflation?”shortchain wrote: “Since precious little of that money will make it into the hands of the consumer, and since it’s a drop in the bucket anyway, the only thing it will inflate is the stock market.”The money is being effectively printed at the Fed, it flows to the banks when the Fed buys the bank’s government bonds, then into the government when the banks use their proceeds to but more bonds and finally the government spends every penny. The Fed might as well print money for the government to spend like Weimar Germany.

  68. shortchain says:

    Bart,See? There are points where we can agree.Except in my opinion they aren’t even going to print the money. It will be all electronic transfers both directions, so even the paper mills won’t see a bump.

  69. shrinkers says:

    Since the main worry during a serious recession and its aftermath is deflation. I’m not too worried at this point about inflation. Besides, one aspect of a reasonable, low, and sustained rate of inflation is that money borrowed today is repaid in future years with cheaper dollars. That makes the necessary Keynsian spending easier to pay off later on. And as long as wages and entitlements keep pace with prices, it isn’t a problem for consumers. So “inflation” isn’t a useful scare tactic at this point, Bart. Nice try, though.

  70. shortchain says:

    Bart,Furthermore, one of the very few policy positions that Rand Paul espouses that I can wholeheartedly agree with is to audit the Fed.If the GOP can get this through the House, I’ll try and get my senators to vote it through.

  71. GROG says:

    @shrinkers,What do quotes have to do with anything? Look at what’s happening in the real world. shrinky said:You have presented some articles with pundits who agree with you. But nothing other than opinion pieces.Not true. Both articles had hard data and both quoted several investment bankers. @Bart, I wonder how long it will take before all this new printed money starts goosing general inflation?More Democrat created economic uncertainty.

  72. GROG says:

    Alki said:Then why are newly elected Rs killing jobs in WI and OH?What? Some temporary jobs being created at the expense of billions of borrowed dollars, pushing the states further and further into debt? That’s the left’s idea of job creation. We need real, sustainable, private secotor job creation.

  73. shrinkers says:

    @GROGWhat do quotes have to do with anything? Look at what’s happening in the real world. Well, you said,Democrats saw this crisis as a golden oppurtunity to grow the size of government and run spending out of control.In other words, you are talking about the goal and intent — the motive — of “Democrats.” You’re talking about how they “saw” the Republican-caused economic crisis. Their own statements about their motives would be far more convincing than anything you might imagine about their motives.IF you want to infer their motives, then a good way to do it would be to look at the results of their actions. We’ve had 9 months of private-sector job growth. The DOW is higher than it has been since before the crash, after experiencing the fastest and farthest recovery in history. The economy is growing — slowly, but growing. The American auto industry did not collapse, and is returning to pofitability. The banking system did not collapse. One might point to those things as having been the “goal” of Democratic policies. A statement far more defensible than yours would be, Democrats saw this crisis as a challenge to the American spirit, an unusual disaster that required unusual steps in response — and they took those necessary steps, and bravely did what was needed to restore America’s economic health.

  74. shrinkers says:

    @GROGWhat? Some temporary jobs being created at the expense of billions of borrowed dollars, pushing the states further and further into debt?Wrong on every count. These projects would not have “push[ed] the states further and further into debt.” It’s Federal money, not state money. And it’s already allocated, and if it doesn’t go to these projects, it will go to projects in other states. And these infrastructure projects produce far more economic activity than they cost, so, long run, they will more than pay for themselves, thus adding nothing to the long-term debt.Furthermore, in addition to the construction jobs, there would have been tens of thousands of additional permanent jobs created — maintenance, train employees, increased tourism and entertainment. Goods would have been transported faster and cheaper, increasing economic activity (read: jobs) in the same way that the interstate highways did. Increased travel for pleasure, personal, and business reasons. This is both a long-term and shirt-term disaster, not only for Wisconsin and Ohio, but for the entire Midwest — and thus for the nation. I can’t help but wonder why conservatives do such destructive things.

  75. shrinkers says:

    end the slant.

  76. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain wrote: “one of the very few policy positions that Rand Paul espouses that I can wholeheartedly agree with is to audit the Fed. If the GOP can get this through the House, I’ll try and get my senators to vote it through.”Amen brother! This may be one of the areas where we can get true bipartisan agreement.Hopefully, we can find others.

  77. shrinkers says:

    Well, as long as we’re in the bipartisan agreement thing, I also feel an audit of the Fed would be valuable and important.Followed immediately by an audit of all contributions for political ads and full disclosure of the source of the funding.

  78. shiloh says:

    Bartles, Bartles, BartlesThe big change is that the white working class vote shifted hard to the GOP and painted the Midwest the reddest its been since reconstruction.Hyperbole aside 😛 btw Bartles, re: Reconstruction ‘nuf said! lol1972 ~ 1984Bartles, if one continues to make shit up! you’re gonna continue to look like a complete fool! B)solo estoy diciendobtw, shout out to Minnesota in 1984. :)It really is kinda amusing after Bart got his tsunami, that he feels compelled to persist in his hyperbolic absurdity! Not surprising, but slightly amusing. :D>And Bart, are you enjoying your break from 538 …>Mr. U, U didn’t turn 538’s clock back.carry on

  79. shortchain says:

    Bart,If H. R. 1207 comes up in the House, it will be very instructive to see who opposes it. Those are the people in the pocket of the banking industry. My cynical guess, though, is that it will somehow not make it on the docket, purportedly because of the necessity to focus on overturning “Obamacare” — but in actuality it will be because the entire leadership of both parties is in the pocket of the bankers.shrinkers, I’m with you on that, too, of course, but that would alienate not only the bankers but the people with more money than the bankers…and that, in our corrupt democracy, isn’t going to go over.

  80. shiloh says:

    Also a shout out to Massachusetts 🙂 in 1972, as America’s one state which didn’t vote for a Constitutional criminal, Nixon ie the only American president who (((resigned in disgrace!!!)))When you are in the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect! ~ Mark Twain

  81. shrinkers says:

    @shortchainshrinkers, I’m with you on that, too, of course, but that would alienate not only the bankers but the people with more money than the bankers…and that, in our corrupt democracy, isn’t going to go over.I’m sure you’re right. But it’s fun to propose actions that will not be taken. Like the Republicans bleating about repealing PPACA.

  82. Alki says:

    An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrumhttp://www.timwise.org/2010/11/an-open-letter-to-the-white-right-on-the-occasion-of-your-recent-successful-temper-tantrum/

  83. GROG says:

    @shrinkers,Who’s going to pay to maintain the 39mph high speed train in Ohio? The Federal Gov’t? Ohio has a $9 billion budget deficit and you want to use Federal dollars to build a train? How about putting the money into education or using it to attract businesses to the state or prevent businesses from leaving like it’s the plague. These trains are nothing but a save the planet cause to the left. It’s a folley. And these infrastructure projects produce far more economic activity than they cost, so, long run, they will more than pay for themselves, thus adding nothing to the long-term debt.Please. Provide some proof of that. This train would be a strain on Ohio’s economy for decades. You think it’s going to create “tourism and entertainment” jobs? You think a train is going to bring tourism and entertainment to Ohio? The only train that will bring “tourism and entertainment” to Ohio is a roller coaster at Cedar Point. If Democrat’s idea of job creation is hiring a few janitors

  84. Jean says:

    GROG,re: What? Some temporary jobs being created at the expense of billions of borrowed dollars, pushing the states further and further into debt? That’s the left’s idea of job creation. We need real, sustainable, private secotor job creation.What then, GROG, do you consider “real, sustainable private sector jobs?Most private sector company work is temporary; it is a specific project a private sector company bids on and then completes. It is private sector businesses who actively seek a mix of government and private sector projects that their companies successfully bid on. Quite a few private sector businesses actively seek work that did not originate in the private sector. Regardless where it originated, it is work for their private companies and their employees.

  85. shrinkers says:

    @GROGHow about putting the money into education or using it to attract businesses to the state or prevent businesses from leaving like it’s the plague.I think those are good ideas as well. Of course, the looney right wants to abolish the Department of Education, and they opposed the restructure of the Federal Student Loan program. As far as preventing jobs for leaving Ohio — that was what the fast rail line was for. These trains are nothing but a save the planet cause to the left. You say this as if it’s a bad thing.

  86. Alki says:

    A Grog…..Please. Provide some proof of that. This train would be a strain on Ohio’s economy for decades. You think it’s going to create “tourism and entertainment” jobs? You think a train is going to bring tourism and entertainment to Ohio? The only train that will bring “tourism and entertainment” to Ohio is a roller coaster at Cedar Point. ************************************HSR generate jobs…..far more than freeways do. They will generate jobs like airports do. Train stations frequently become centers for commercial development. Fifteen years ago, Union Station in LA was in decline. There were more birds in the station than people. Flash forward to 2010……the trains are back. Union Station is in the middle of an office and apt boom. Restaurants and shops have opened in the Station. There are throngs of people day and nite.Trains provide faster connections between cities when compared to cars and buses…..and in some cases, with planes. Many people won’t fly. It provides a viable alternative to flying.Cities in Europe kill to get HSR. Its another postive when encouraging industry to settle in a particular locale. Its another example of a city that is moving forward.You will not stop progress, Grog. Give it up!

  87. Mr. Universe says:

    When you moving to Blogger?Bart, et al. We’re testing the new site right now. It’s much faster. Still ironing out details and design parameters.

  88. Mr. Universe says:

    I don’t have access to the clock. That’s GoDaddy, I think.

  89. shrinkers says:

    @GROG
    You think it’s going to create “tourism and entertainment” jobs? You think a train is going to bring tourism and entertainment to Ohio?

    I agree with you, Ohio is pretty boring.

    But a high speed rail line that ran from the Wisconsin Dells north to Minneapolis and south to Chicago would have brought billions of dollars a year in tourism into Wisconsin.

    Oh, the “maintenance” jobs I referred to were not “janitors” as you seemed to think. High speed rail requires high-tech maintenance. These are highly skilled, highly paid jobs, in addition to construction workers, transportation and routing specialists, computer and secretarial services, and all the myriad of others needed to run a complex modern system. And all of those people are consumers. Just simply having the train there and keeping it running — putting aside its immense value in moving cargo and people — would have been a tremendous job creator.

    Wisconsin and Ohio just set back their recovery from the Republican Great Recession, cutting off their own heads just to spite the black man in the White House.

  90. mclever says:

    shrinkers,I totally agree with you about high speed rail. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished we had an alternative to flying! I’ve often asked myself why we didn’t have a viable high-speed train system in this country, because with such a spread-out country, it seemed self-evident that we should have such a system. Well, thanks, Ohio and Wisconsin. Now I know why it’s so hard to get a decent train system setup. Short-sighted people keep blocking common sense solutions!You are also absolutely right about the Minneapolis-Wisconsin-Chicago route bringing lots of weekenders and other tourists through the Wisconsin Dells. I’m not familiar with all of the routes were to be funded by the federal plan, but connecting the coasts with some spokes in the middle to tie in Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Denver, etc. would be fantastic.Hey, the airlines *need* some competition! The biggest obstacle is the startup cost of a new system, because the return on investment is very long-term and most companies (and communities) only think in the short-term, especially these days. But a nation can afford to think long-term, and once the core of a new system is established, it should literally take-off!

  91. mclever says:

    Just for GROG:Examples of *elected* Republicans endorsing the birtherism conspiracy:Free Republic: TN Republicans join lawsuit to demand Obama’s birth certificate.Knox News: TN Republicans join Republican Caucus Chairman in lawsuit to force Obama to show his birth certificate.Those are just a couple of quick links regarding one of the dozens of lawsuits enjoined by Republicans and/or Conservative agitators with regard to the issue of Obama’s legitimacy as a USA citizen. Still think no elected Republicans are pushing this issue? Still think it isn’t impacting the business of our nation?

  92. mclever says:

    Sorry, posted my previous message on the wrong discussion… I’ll repost it over on the birther thread… Ugh.

  93. shrinkers says:

    @mcleverHey, the airlines *need* some competition!You’re absolutely right. A nationwide high speed rail system would be an incredible boon to interstate travel and commerce, comparable to the first intercontinental railroads and the Interstate highways. Note that the oil companies oppose high speed rail, afraid that they’ll sell less automotive gasoline. Thee are the same people, of course, who oppose electric cars and other green technologies.So, powerful special interests are standing in the way of a revolution in American transportation. Business as usual. The elites and oligarchs of the establishment prevent America from moving forward. You suppose the populist Tea Party will be on the side of the common folk, or of the wealthy establishment?

  94. mclever says:

    I bet rail service would be more reliable than connecting through O’Hare in January!;-)Hmm, faux populists siding with what’s best for the common folk or what’s best for big oil… Lemme think on that.

  95. Bart DePalma says:

    If trains are such a wonderful alternative to driving and air travel, there would be no shortage of investors willing to build this wonderful new passenger rail system. All the government needs to do is judiciously apply eminent domain.The reality is that, with few exceptions, passenger rail travel is a money loser which only exists around the world because of massive government subsidies. When free to choose, most consumers prefer the flexibility of autos or the speed of airlines.

  96. shortchain says:

    The passenger miles per gallon of the airplane fleet is about 45, which does not even come close to comparing with trains. The average airport costs hundreds of millions of dollars to build and many millions to maintain — and all done with subsidies.Trains are the most efficient way to move tonnage from point A to point B overland, roughly by a factor of 4 over trucks, the next best. (Ships are twice as efficient as trains). The reason this country moved away from trains is, of course, the highway system, funded — and maintained — almost entirely by federal subsidy, and the individual freedom offered by the automobile.So passenger rail travel is a highly cost-effective mode of travel, which, all things being equal, would beat out all the other choices. Sure, given the choice, people would prefer to drive their own cars. Given their choice, they’d probably also like to have an interstate entrance ramp half a mile from their house and half a mile from their destination.When did it become “libertarian” to consider, in guiding government investment, to prioritize over the public good what people’s preferences were?

  97. Jean says:

    shrinkers,re: But a high speed rail line that ran from the Wisconsin Dells north to Minneapolis and south to Chicago would have brought billions of dollars a year in tourism into Wisconsin. Rochester, MN (home of the Mayo Clinic) has lobbied heavily for the high speed rail line from Chicago to Mpls/St.Paul to run through Rochester. I think Wisconsin was the route selected. But perhaps Rochester, MN will now be a contender for the alternative route.

  98. shrinkers says:

    @BartThe reality is that, with few exceptions, passenger rail travel is a money loser which only exists around the world because of massive government subsidies.Please. Airports and roadways are both heavily subsidized. This argument is absurd.If trains are such a wonderful alternative to driving and air travel, there would be no shortage of investors willing to build this wonderful new passenger rail system. Sure. Just like the interstate highways and all airports are built only with private dollars.Pandering to the ignorant is beneath you, Bart. Or maybe not.

  99. Jean says:

    GROG,Again I askre: What? Some temporary jobs being created at the expense of billions of borrowed dollars, pushing the states further and further into debt? That’s the left’s idea of job creation. We need real, sustainable, private secotor job creation.What then, GROG, do you consider “real, sustainable private sector jobs?Most private sector company work is temporary; it is a specific project a private sector company bids on and then completes. It is private sector businesses who actively seek a mix of government and private sector projects that their companies successfully bid on. Quite a few private sector businesses actively seek work that did not originate in the private sector. Regardless where it originated, it is work for their private companies and their employees.

  100. mclever says:

    Bart,Are you trying to imply that airlines and airports aren’t subsidized? I suppose TSA employees are all paid by private funds…Furthermore, the problem with something like high-speed-rail or the conversion to a different fuel is largely one of infrastructure and startup costs, which reasonably should be borne by the government. No one today would deny that our Interstate system of roads wasn’t necessary and good for fostering travel and trade throughout the United States. Yet, no private company had the wherewithal or funds to create such a system. It’s another example of an infrastructure system benefiting trade and commerce that rightfully belongs as a federal or federally-subsidized project.

  101. Bart DePalma says:

    mclever: “Are you trying to imply that airlines and airports aren’t subsidized? I suppose TSA employees are all paid by private funds…”I believe the airlines and thus their consumers pay for air traffic control and TSA. If they do not pay all the freight, they should.M: “Furthermore, the problem with something like high-speed-rail or the conversion to a different fuel is largely one of infrastructure and startup costs, which reasonably should be borne by the government. “Why? They never were during the golden age of rail before the advent of the automobile and then the aircraft.M: “No one today would deny that our Interstate system of roads wasn’t necessary and good for fostering travel and trade throughout the United States.”We pay for those with a user fee in the form of a gas tax. To the extent that are not, they should be.

  102. shrinkers says:

    @BartWe pay for those with a user fee in the form of a gas tax. To the extent that are not, they should be.We can argue the proper tax that “should” pay for these government-provided services another time. The fact is, the government provides them, through tax dollars. And during the period of startup, when no one could use these services (because the roadways and airports did not yet exist) the money was provided by the government.These are heavily subsidized matters, Bart. All transportation is subsidized, in way way or another, by the government, whether through general finds or through user fees. And the development and maintenance of the infrastructure is and was subsidized by the government. And the oil companies from whom we purchase fuel are subsidized, by a variety of tax breaks and write-offs they receive.Tax incentives and development assistance and other startup and maintenance costs that would be paid for high speed rail are no different.So this argument of yours — the government should not be subsidizing high speed rail — is absurd. If you advocated that we should privatize roads and airlines, and repeal all oil company subsidizes, at least you’d be consistent (though no less absurd).So, getting back to the point — the new governors of Ohio and Wisconsin just killed tens of thousands of jobs, for no reason other than partisan point-scoring. There certainly was no economic reason to do so, nor any consistent political philosophy behind it. Simple partisan game-playing.

  103. shiloh says:

    Bartles, U.S. airlines have been govt. subsidized for the past (40) years and various airlines have been totally bailed out during that time period as one can choose to remain ignorant or not …btwStimulus-Subsidized High Speed Trains Slaughtering Chinese Airlines And Jeopardizing Boeing’s China Dreamtake care, blessings

  104. Bart DePalma says:

    shiloh:Actually, the Bush Administration declined to bail out the airlines after 9/11 and they did what GM and Chrysler should have done – entered bankruptcy, compelled the unions to accept market wages and dumped union pensions back on the unions.Obama knew this option and opted for nationalization.

  105. shorchain says:

    Bart,Roads are subsidized both directly and indirectly, by sharing the cost of road repairs or bridge-building (often through earmarks) and by indirect means: taxes on gasoline, etc, are figured into the standard deduction, and the fuel expenses of truckers are deductible. So the federal government takes in less money from the people paying the gasoline taxes…And then there are all the depletion allowances, which keep the price of fuel lower, making low pMPG modes of transportation artificially more competitive.To unwind all these revenue streams and get a single figure for the subsidies would be a job for some highly-skilled financial person.

  106. Mr. Universe says:

    @mcleverThe powerful auto industry lobby successfully got Congress to fund the Eisenhower Interstate system instead of mass transit thereby guaranteeing decades of auto sales. Of course this in thepost WWII bubble of prosperity when oil was an endless commodity.

  107. shiloh says:

    Primary challenge anyone?Bartles, changing the subject as per usual, after he has totally lost the argument. All is well w/the winger universe! ;)And congrats on finding (1) instance of no govt. bailout as American airlines merged instead of going under, btw a distinction w/out a difference.As shrinker mentioned your subsidy argument er non argument was totally absurd.Bart, how’s your 538 break going? :-Ptake care

  108. Bart DePalma says:

    Do we then all agree that the government should not be subsidizing autos and airlines?I have no problem requiring that all infrastructure and government administration of the road system and airports be paid for with user fees. Folks who do not drive and/or fly should not be forced to pay the way for those who do.Of course, the same requirements should be imposed on mass transit and rail travel.

  109. shiloh says:

    No Bartles, but “we” do agree you lost another 538 debate/discussion.take care

  110. shortchain says:

    Bart,No, this is not an all-or-nothing choice, as even a minimal understanding of politics, economics, science, or even just human nature would inform you. Trust you to put on a pretense of extreme libertarianism rather than argue rationally.

  111. Bart DePalma says:

    I thought so.In essence you are arguing that, because the government redistributed money to subsidize autos and airlines, that we should do so again with railroads.The old two wrongs make a right argument.

  112. shiloh says:

    If only life was as simple as Bartles black and white universe …either or, neither norBart, do you ever come out of your winger world view, daily talkin’ points closet?

  113. shortchain says:

    Bart,More extreme libertarianism bullshit. Aren’t you going to say “tax is theft” pretty soon?Retreating into dogma is the last refuge of the ideologue who knows he has lost the argument.But since you didn’t ask, let’s just say that, since the government is going to continue for the foreseeable future, to subsidize the lifestyle of the brave suburbanites, who pioneered the wild country surrounding the cities, displacing the indigenous, primitive, farming people, and building their little split-level ranch-style dwellings in the countryside which had heretofore been the habitat only of the feral cats which had escaped from the farms, so that they could enjoy the benefits of city dwelling without having to pay for them, and will continue for the foreseeable future to subsidize air travel, in spite of the deleterious ecological and public health dangers of it, it would probably be wise for the government to also consider alternatives, should something unforeseen occur, such as a dramatic rise in the price of oil, or gridlock due to the topological impossibility of providing high linear connectivity to areas which expand in a nonlinear fashion.

  114. mclever says:

    Bart,No, I plainly am NOT saying that the government should not subsidize transport. In fact, I wholeheartedly support the government subsidy of transportation, because it fosters trade and communication with are essential for a vital economy. Infrastructure projects are among the most economically stimulative, because the infrastructure jobs put cash in people’s pockets while simultaneously making it easier for producers to get their products to those consumers who now have cash to spend.I just think the subsidies shouldn’t lock out rail. Interstates, airports, ports, and rail should all receive subsidies, and it’s about time that rail caught up to the other main transportation modes. The government helped to create a boom in the 50s with the Interstate system, so perhaps a rail project could provide a similar stimulus now?This is easy stuff, Bart. Economics 101!

  115. mclever says:

    Mr. Universe,Thanks for the supporting info regarding Congress’s funding of the Interstate system under Eisenhower, as supported by the auto industry.:-)Any reason why it wouldn’t be a good idea to make a similar investment for high-speed rail instead of highways?

  116. shrinkers says:

    So, people who don’t drive on roads shouldn’t pay for them. Anyone who isn’t a gradeschooler should not have to pay for public schools.Only those people directly protected by the military (example: Americans living in Iraq) should pay for the military.Bart, your “individuals pay for their individual services” worldview is counter to the whole idea of having a nation. The concept here is that all the citizens of a nation are in it together, and do some things jointly.By the way — Only those people who actually use police protection — i.e., when you’re robbed — should pay for it. Only people whose hose burns down should pay for the fire department. You should rent books at public libraries, not borrow them. Only people who draw unemployment insurance should pay into the unemployment system.Here’s what. Go build your own log cabin out on a Pacific island somewhere if you don’t want to actually be part of a nation, Bart.

  117. Jean says:

    It looks like Marco Rubio is already jumping off the tea party clown car:Rubio, 39, struck a pragmatic tone at the post-election news conference held in Miami, saying Republicans and Democrats have to work together to tackle big, immediate problems like the national debt and the war in Afghanistan. He did not launch salvos at President Barack Obama, as he usually does, and said he would reach out to Florida’s Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.“Early on in the primary, a conservative group of passionate, well-intentioned people coincided with his beliefs and somehow he got this tea party label, which I don’t think is totally representative,” said Republican fundraiser Jorge Arrizurieta.“Did he embrace and receive the support of the tea party? Absolutely,” Arrizurieta said. “But will he move away from being a real Republican candidate? No way.”http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/11/07/1914455/rubios-party-loyalty-is-clear.html#ixzz14jjENAIm

  118. shrinkers says:

    @Jean It looks like Marco Rubio is already jumping off the tea party clown car:It’ll be instructive to see how the Teapers handle this setback.So, does this mean we have one (1) Tea Party Senator (Rand Paul)? Or does he even count?

  119. Jean says:

    GROG,By the way, GROG, I’m still waiting for an answer . . . GROG: What? Some temporary jobs being created at the expense of billions of borrowed dollars, pushing the states further and further into debt? That’s the left’s idea of job creation. We need real, sustainable, private secotor job creation.What then, GROG, do you consider “real, sustainable private sector jobs?Most private sector company work is temporary; it is a specific project a private sector company bids on and then completes. It is private sector businesses who actively seek a mix of government and private sector projects that their companies successfully bid on. Quite a few private sector businesses actively seek work that did not originate in the private sector. Regardless where it originated, it is work for their private companies and their employees.

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