Cinco de Enero

America Held Hostage: Day 704. Hostage Release in Sight?

Any excuse to show a Mariachi band is acceptable

Everyone is familiar with Cinco de Mayo, the day Mexico thwarted an attempt of a French occupation against seemingly insurmountable odds. It has become an excuse for Americans to drink a lot of Dos Equis under the false assumption that it’s Mexican independence day. It’s almost as big as St Patrick’s day. Seems ironic to celebrate a Mexican holiday when we seem to expend a great deal of effort trying to kick Mexicans out of the country.

But this article isn’t about the 5th of May or immigration; it’s about the 5th of January. That is the day in 2011 when the 112th Congress convenes. And on that day, and that day only, the new Congress gets to decide the rules of order under which they will operate for the remainder of the session. This includes addressing how the Senate will deal with the filibuster rules that have been abused by the Republican minority during the 111th Congress (see my previous article for more details and links).

There is a great deal of outrage over the procedural abuses of the past couple of years. But despite those filibuster abuses the 111th Congress managed to be one of the more productive sessions in recent memory. The complaints and remedies to address the abuses vary in degree but one thing has held constant: the rules of the filibuster must be altered to prevent this type of abuse from continuing.

Some have cried “abolish the filibuster altogether and let the majority prevail.” Others have called for an end to the secret hold rule. Some say that the spirit of the filibuster has been lost and that all you have to do is threaten a filibuster and go home for dinner and suffer no consequence while the Senate is bound and gagged. Bringing congress to a grinding halt just because you can isn’t governance. Nor is it representative democracy.

Among the chief revisions that Democrats say will likely be offered: Senators could not initiate the filibuster of a bill before it reaches the floor unless they first muster 40 votes for it, and they would have to remain on the floor to sustain it. That is a change from current rules, under which the majority leader is required to file a cloture motion to overcome an anonymous objection to a motion to proceed, and then must wait 30 hours for a vote on it.

“There need to be changes to the rules to allow filibusters to be conducted by people who actually want to block legislation instead of people being able to quietly say ‘I object’ and go home,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

Senator Claire McCaskill

This year, McCaskill lined up backing from more than two-thirds of senators for elimination of secret holds, which allow a senator to block action on a bill or nomination anonymously. She said that Democrats will also push plans to force senators who place holds to do it publicly.

The problem is that all a senator has to do is file “an intent to filibuster” and that is sufficient to require the cloture vote of 60 votes. Let’s start by making senators get up and actually debate the way they did in the old days.

The results of a November 2010 poll conducted for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee by the Democratic pollster PPP reveals that among Democrats, who saw much of their legislative agenda tied up in the Senate by Republican filibusters this year, 77% called for an end to the practice of effectively requiring a 60-vote majority to pass bills. Fifty-seven percent of Republican respondents said they opposed the filibuster, as did 61% of independents.

According to PCCC’s Adam Green, “Even among a skewed 2010 electorate with depressed Democratic turnout and high Republican turnout, voters are tired of obstruction in the Senate and overwhelmingly support the boldest filibuster reform possible: the Constitutional norm of majority rule,” he said. “Democrats can resist the inevitable Republican protests that will come with such reform with the full knowledge that even a Republican-voting electorate supports Democrats being bold on this issue.”

Senator Jeff Merkley

All returning Senate Democrats and Independents have signed a letter to Harry Reid demanding comprehensive filibuster reform for the 112th Congress. The charge is being led by Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon and Tom Udall from New Mexico

As Senator Merkley points out,

…I think it’s important for people to understand that this isn’t a question of filibuster or no filibuster, it’s about the ability of the minority and the majority to participate in a deliberative process. The filibuster was designed to make sure every member gets to participate and that the minority has a significant role. It wasn’t designed to obstruct the deliberative process, and there’s nothing about the way that the Senate is operating right now that is consistent with the way the Senate has operated historically.

So if the social contract is broken, the contract that said “I understand that only under the most pressing, important circumstances will I utilize my privilege to delay the Senate and demand a supermajority vote,” if that social contract is gone and it’s a routine thing because one wants to paralyze the Senate and keep it from operating, then we need to adjust the rules. That doesn’t mean we get rid of the filibuster, but it does mean that we should make anyone who wishes to exercise that [procedure] have to put more energy into it than simply filing an objection and walking away and having dinner while you delay the Senate for a week.

My reforms would create a situation where if you want to delay the Senate for a week and force a supermajority, you can’t do it on a whim. You’re going to have to go to the floor, and you’re going to have to defend your position to the American people. The American people are going to be able to respond to it, and you’re going to have to spend the time and energy to do that. That’s the heart of it.”

It might seem odd timing to alter the filibuster rules when changes to those rules; which worked so well when the Republicans were in the total minority, would work in their favour again now that the Senate is very nearly evenly divided. But Democrats need to be prepared for the possibility that they might be in the minority in the Senate one day.

The filibuster, in theory, isn’t a bad idea. It is important not to quash a valid argument even if it is in the minority. Many of the best policies that have happened in this nation began as a minority ideal and only through public debate did others come to agree to make changes that were once majority concepts. But there is a difference to an objection to a policy and an objection to a democratically elected majority party. And when procedure is misused to shut the whole process down, then something needs to change. Expect that egregious abuse to end on January 5th, 2011. Feliz Cinco de Enero!

(Thanks to Jean for doing some simultaneous and contributory research on this article)

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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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61 Responses to Cinco de Enero

  1. Bart DePalma says:

    I will believe it when I see the actual votes to modify or eliminate the filibuster. Everything else is posturing.

    I would be amazed if the Dems repealed the filibuster now when the GOP has the House and an effective majority in the Senate allied with Red State Dems up for reelection in 2012.

    A repeal would be setting up Obama and those Red state Dems for a series of votes on popular repeals of Dem policy.

    Color me extremely skeptical.

  2. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I’ll repeat my position from a few days ago.

    NO more holds by a single Senator, anonymous or otherwise.
    A filing of an intent to filibuster a bill or nomination requires an IMMEDIATE beginning of the floor speech.
    A cloture vote must be taken after the first 12 hours and every 24 hours subsequent.
    All Senators must remain available for a quorum call.

  3. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Another reminder, from the “Living Libertarian” thread:

    I note that, after a significant passage of time, Mr. DePalma, Esq., defense attorney, has NO DEFENSE against my syllogism concluding him to be a liar and inflammatory in the use of the word “murder” conjoined with abortion.

    Weighed, measured and found wanting.

    Again.

  4. mclever says:

    Bart,

    I don’t think any serious Dems are talking about repealing the filibuster, though the blog chatter might give that impression.

    I certainly wouldn’t support a repeal of the filibuster. I think it serves a valuable purpose in the deliberative body by making sure minority voices have a chance to be heard and recorded into the record, and perhaps even to sway a vote or two or three on the bill in question. But silent filibusters serve no valuable purpose for deliberation or advancing legislation.

    Democrats are somewhat notorious for making political moves that are short-term disadvantageous to themselves, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they did modify the rules somewhat. I think their goal would be to reduce spurious filings of the “intent” to filibuster without actually changing the 60-vote-for-cloture rule. Basically codifying what has long been the “gentleman’s understanding” of how the filibuster was supposed to work, by requiring it be public.

    I could support that.

  5. Bart DePalma says:

    Max:

    There is a famous quote concerning folks who believe they won internet debates:

    “Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics… Even if you win, you’re still retarded.”

  6. Bart DePalma says:

    Mclever:

    I certainly wouldn’t support a repeal of the filibuster. I think it serves a valuable purpose in the deliberative body by making sure minority voices have a chance to be heard and recorded into the record, and perhaps even to sway a vote or two or three on the bill in question. But silent filibusters serve no valuable purpose for deliberation or advancing legislation.

    You make a good point. I would love to see an old fashioned filibuster debate. The filibuster has degenerated into a de facto supermajority vote requirement.

  7. shortchain says:

    If all they do is get rid of execrable anonymous holds it would be a step in the right direction. As for allowing the minority to have a say in governance, wouldn’t that be true if cloture could not be immediately declared without a supermajority? How does allowing a minority to prevent a bill even being debated enhance the minority’s say in governance? From where I sit, all it seems to do is allow them to prevent governance from taking place.

  8. Monotreme says:

    Let the filibuster be a filibuster.

  9. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart said: ” “

  10. shiloh says:

    So Bartles is admitting he’s retarded 24/7.

    He’s at stage (5) :-P

    1) Denial
    2) Anger
    3) Bargaining
    4) Depression
    5) Acceptance

    and the truth shall set you free …

  11. WA7th says:

    I can’t help but wonder just how badly screwed we would be right now if the ability to filibuster had ended when the Republicans were entertaining the idea of changing the Senate rules, and if social security had been privatized as a result of ending the filibuster.

  12. fopplssiegeparty says:

    WA, you just gave me the willies. Good job.

  13. Bart DePalma says:

    WA7: I can’t help but wonder just how badly screwed we would be right now if the ability to filibuster had ended when the Republicans were entertaining the idea of changing the Senate rules, and if social security had been privatized as a result of ending the filibuster.

    I would have earned more than the negative return I will receive being on the ass end of the Boomer driven insolvency of SS.

  14. shiloh says:

    Barted ~ I would have earned more than the negative return I will receive being on the ass end of the Boomer driven insolvency of SS.

    Waaaahhhh! :::sniffle::: Waaaahhhh!

    Offer it up for the poor souls in Purgatory ~ especially since you’ll be spending considerable time there also. :-P

  15. dcpetterson says:

    Boomer driven insolvency of SS.

    Social Security was fixed back in the 1970′s and 1980′s. I’ve explained this multiple times. You keep trying to scare us. The shortfall in Social Security is small, and easy to fix. It requires only the will to do it. Raise the contribution cap to $150,000 and index it for inflation. Then means-test the payouts, so people whose pretax retirement income is over 200,000 don’t receive Social Security payments. That solves it without raising the retirement age, or lowering any benefits for the poeple who need them.

    Get off the talking points already. They’re boring.

    And by the way, since you would have done oh so very well in the stock market, you can also stop claiming that Obama has been bad for the economy.

    You really can’t maintain a coherent argument, can you?

  16. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    dc said: “And by the way, since you would have done oh so very well in the stock market, you can also stop claiming that Obama has been bad for the economy.

    You really can’t maintain a coherent argument, can you?

    I believe that’s called “saddling” Obama with the Bush II Great Recession.

  17. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    If we get back to where SS was in the 80s by taking someone else’s money apart from our own contributions, then the average person would make only 2% on their money. Even a progressive can make more than that in stocks and bonds.

    As for the markets, we are only slightly above where we were before Obama started talking down the economy in January 2009. I shifted to cash until the Obama artificial freefall was over and made the money on the rebound.

  18. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart said: “As for the markets, we are only slightly above where we were before Obama started talking down the economy in January 2009.

    Bart, I am beginning to believe that you could not tell the truth should your very LIFE depend upon it, as it pertains to our negrah President Obama. To wit:

    On October 12, 2007, barely a year before Election Day 2008 and not much more than that until the end of Bush II’s term, the Dow stood at 14093. On Election Day 2008 it stood at 8943, a thirty-six(36) percent drop! By Inauguration Day 2009, when our elected negrah President Obama was sworn in it stood at 8077, a forty-three(43)percent drop from it’s high barely 15 months earlier.

    The Dow reached its lowest point on March 6 2009, at 6626, a drop of only eighteen (18) percent from the day our new negrah President took office.

    Since that time, the Dow has been on an almost continuous climb, you lying ass:

    As of yesterday’s close the Dow stood at 11570.
    That’s a twenty-nine (29) percent INCREASE (more than a 50% difference compared to the 18% drop) since the Inauguration Day 2009 and a whopping seventy-four (74) percent increase since the low.

    So, according to you, a 50% difference is “slight”. You’re an ideological idiot.

    Plus, you “saddle” the first six weeks of our new negrah President with the Bush II stock decline. You’re an hypocritical, ideological ass.

    But, I’m glad to hear that you are making some coin based on the revival in the Dow since the inauguration of our new negrah President! ‘Cause based on you argument skills on display in this forum, you can’t be getting rich in your law practice.

    Keep practicing. Someday you MAY get your head out of your ass!

  19. shortchain says:

    And there you have some of the wisdom of Bart on finance. He learned his investment strategy in one of those three-day seminars held by brokerage houses — they call the strategy by various names, but it’s known by insiders as “churn and burn”, and is highly thought of by the people who make money off transactions.

    And the decline of the stock market, from over 11000 down to 6500, was Obama’s fault. (Apparently, there’s nothing holding the value of stocks up but positive speech from the President.) Which means that his theory that individuals — all individuals, as in all potential SS clients — could make a better-than-SS return on their money in the stock market falls flat on its face.

    As is the norm with Bart’s theories, it’s based on wishful thinking and selective perception.

  20. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    BTW:

    The day Bush II took office in 2001, the Dow was at 10650 and the day he left it was at 8077. A drop of 2573 points or 25%.

    Great work for a GOP president!

    Meanwhile, the Dow has increased that 29% since the day Obama took office, almost EXACTLY the opposite result.

    Damn!

  21. Bart DePalma says:

    Max da Birdhead:

    You are starting your calculations during the Bush Administration. Try starting with the markets when Obama gave his first economics speech just before inauguration. Note the free fall after that speech and after every other speech and presser he gave threatening an imminent Second Depression to sell the Porkulus until early March 09 when he stopped his apocalyptic predictions.

    Next compare the increase of the stock market during this Obama period to that the first two years of the FDR Administration when the market started its rebound without hiring. In the Obama case, we have a far lesser market rebound similarly without hiring.

  22. shortchain says:

    Shorter Bart: “you have to cherry-pick your datapoints carefully, if you want to agree with me.”

    And it helps to twist yourself into a logical pretzel, too.

  23. dcpetterson says:

    Barted:
    Try starting with the markets when Obama gave his first economics speech just before inauguration.

    You’ve played this tune before.

    Show us one stock trader, on the day of an Obama speech, who claimed to be making “sell” decisions based on Obama’s speech.

    You can’t. Because nobody did.

    We’ve been waiting for over a year now for you to provide even a shred of evidence for this post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy of yours (being a lawyer, I trust you’ve heard that Latin phrase — do you know what it means?)

    Document the mechanism by which Obama’s speech supposedly caused a market decline. Show us the particular traders and trading houses whose decisions were based on Obama’s speech. Eliminate all other possibilities. Show us something that supports your theory.

    You can’t. It’s one of the most absurd claims I’ve ever heard, and you have nothing whatever to back it up.

    By the way, about a year ago, you claimed President Obama was assisting some foreign government in an “attack” on one of America’s states. Do you have any reports yet of cities being taken, or any casualty counts, or troop movements or establishment of new airbases?

  24. dcpetterson says:

    Bart:
    … compare the increase of the stock market during this Obama period to that the first two years of the FDR Administration when the market started its rebound without hiring. In the Obama case, we have a far lesser market rebound similarly without hiring.

    Thank you for reminding us, once again, of the truly Biblical proportions by which the Bush Administration screwed our economy.

  25. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I do believe that Bart ACTUALLY DOES expect to compare the Wall Street of 1932 with today’s.

    How ludicrous! I tell you, it’s only pro forma without any redeeming value.

  26. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    OK, lets assume that the series of market free falls directly correlated to the Obama speeches and nothing else somehow were not caused by those speeches. Birdhead is still attributing the markets to the President by virtue of his being there.

    I do not have the time to repeat the slap down I administered last time when you could not produce a single act of the Bush Administration which caused the subprime mortgage foreclosure crisis.

  27. dcpetterson says:

    Bart

    OK, lets assume that the series of market free falls directly correlated to the Obama speeches and nothing else somehow were not caused by those speeches.

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Read and learn Bart.

    You still have not offered one shred of evidence — not even one quote by a single stock trader on any of the days in question — to support your odd theory. You are welcome to say something rational.

  28. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart said: ”

  29. dcpetterson says:

    What Bart has documented is the brilliantly and uncannily accurate knowledge and analysis done by Obama and his economic advisers. In late ’08 and early ’09, Obama warned America that we were not yet out of the woods, that the worldwide Bush economic collapse had not yet ended. Turns out, he was right.

    Rather than give Obama credit for his accurate and insightful knowledge of then-current economic conditions, Bart wants us to believe that Obama caused those conditions, merely by talking about them.

    To use bartlogic: suppose there had been an al Qaeda 9/11-style attack on American soil in, say, 2006. If this had happened, we should have blamed the Bush Administration for this attack, because they had kept warning us that it might happen.

    This seems to be a right-wing worldview — that if I keep saying something, that makes it true. It is an irrational and illogical, magical way to look at things, an absolute denial of reality. And in this case, it exists on two levels: 1) Obama warning us of the continuing collapse caused the collapse to continue, and 2) Bart claiming Obama caused the collapse is all that’s needed to make Obama have caused the collapse (note that Bart never offers any actual, you know, evidence).

  30. drfunguy says:

    Barted: “…the series of market free falls directly correlated to the Obama speeches and nothing else…”
    The depth of your ignorance regarding the term ‘correlation’ is stunning.
    Can you provide a bartspeak translation of correlation and tell us what you mean in this context? Then provide evidence of said (still undefined) ‘correlation’.
    Until you do this we are wasting time.

  31. DC, the story is actually simpler than you suggest. The market was already dropping rapidly before January. The biggest drop came in late September, at a time when the election prediction markets still believed that McCain would be the next President. Barely over a month after Inauguration Day, the market reached its nadir, and the Dow has nearly doubled in value since then. One really has to go to extreme contortions to give Obama the blame for the drop and none of the credit for the subsequent climb.

  32. dcpetterson says:

    Michael;

    Well yes. When the market is already in freefall, I suppose it doesn’t take much insight to suspect it might fall a bit farther.

    Bart is arguing that the market had stopped falling by election day, and that Obama’s comments — that the economy had not yet recovered — are the only things that could possibly have been the cause of the market continuing to fall from November to March.

    To be fair to Bart, FOX “News” was showing charts of the DOW that went from election day through February, showing that the market fell in that period, and blaming it on Obama. Bart apparently took his marching orders to heart. (Note that the FOX charts started at election day, thus absolving Bush of the September crash. The average FOX viewer has a memory of about 20 minutes.)

  33. shiloh says:

    And it helps to twist yourself into a logical pretzel, too.

    One really has to go to extreme contortions

    but, but, but Bart is willing to go that extra mile lol as indeed, it’s his sole purpose in life ~ obsessing about Obama …

    solo estoy diciendo

  34. Bart DePalma says:

    DC: What Bart has documented is the brilliantly and uncannily accurate knowledge and analysis done by Obama and his economic advisers. In late ’08 and early ’09, Obama warned America that we were not yet out of the woods, that the worldwide Bush economic collapse had not yet ended. Turns out, he was right.

    Really? Why then did Obama’s economic team in contradiction to their boss’ Second Great Depression rhetoric issue a white paper projecting that unemployment without the Porkulus would be less than the Carter Recession, nevertheless the original Great Depression? Obama had no economic basis for his incredibly reckless doom predictions.

    drfunguy says: “Can you provide a bartspeak translation of correlation and tell us what you mean in this context? Then provide evidence of said (still undefined) ‘correlation’.

    Correlation is an Obama speech followed immediately by several days of consecutive market free fall.

    Michael Weiss says: DC, the story is actually simpler than you suggest. The market was already dropping rapidly before January. The biggest drop came in late September, at a time when the election prediction markets still believed that McCain would be the next President. Barely over a month after Inauguration Day, the market reached its nadir, and the Dow has nearly doubled in value since then.

    Nice glass over the facts. The markets slid gradually over 2008 and then collapsed suddenly after the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. The markets then recovered over the next couple months with a short, sharp drop when Obama was elected. That was not Obama’s fault. Indeed, Obama’s initial choice of what then appeared to be a moderate economic team helped restore confidence in the markets after the election.

    On January 8, 2009 at George Mason University, Barack Obama delivered what was billed as his first major address on the economy since being elected President. Instead of FDR or Reagan style hope, Obama offered a prediction of doom. Immediately following the George Mason speech, the Dow Jones Average collapsed again, falling 793 points during eight straight losing sessions.

    After his inauguration, President Obama freely used the club of economic doom to beat back protests against the scope of his government expansion. In response to Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell’s protest that even spending $1 million per day since the birth of Jesus would not fund his proposed stimulus bill, Obama threatened: “A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future.”

    As his stimulus bill bogged down in Congress, the President’s description of the state of the economy became apocalyptic. During an February 9, 2009 townhall meeting followed by a presser, Obama said:

    And I promised you back then that, if elected, I’d do everything I could to help this community recover, and that’s why I came back today, because I intend to keep my promise. I intend to keep my promise. But, you know, the work is going to be hard. I don’t, I don’t want to lie to people, and thats why were having a town hall meeting . Because the situation we face could not be more serious. We have inherited an economic crisis as deep and as dire as any since the Great Depression . Economists from across the spectrum have warned that, if we don’t act immediately, millions of more jobs will be lost. The national unemployment rates will approach double digits , not just here in Elkhart , all across the country . More people will lose their homes and their health care . And our nation will sink into a crisis that at some point we may be unable to reverse. So we cant afford to wait. We cant wait and see and hope for the best.

    In a press conference following the Elkhart town hall meeting, Barrack Obama once again talked down the economy:

    I can tell you with complete confidence that a failure to act will only deepen this crisis as well as the pain felt by millions of Americans. My administration inherited a deficit of over $1 trillion, but because we also inherited the most profound economic emergency since the Great Depression, doing a little or nothing at all will result in even greater deficits, even greater job loss, even greater loss of income, and even greater loss of confidence. Those are deficits that could turn a crisis into a catastrophe. And I refuse to let that happen.

    Associated Press reporter Jennifer Loven began the questioning with this exchange with the President:

    Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Earlier today in Indiana, you said something striking. You said that this nation could end up in a crisis without action that we would be unable to reverse. Can you talk about what you know or what you’re hearing that would lead you to say that our recession might be permanent, when others in our history have not? And do you think that you risk losing some credibility or even talking down the economy by using dire language like that?

    OBAMA: No, no, no, no — I think that what I’ve said is what other economists have said across the political spectrum, which is that if you delay acting on an economy of this severity, then you potentially create a negative spiral that becomes much more difficult for us to get out of. We saw this happen in Japan in the 1990s, where they did not act boldly and swiftly enough, and as a consequence they suffered what was called the “lost decade” where essentially for the entire ’90s they did not see any significant economic growth.

    So what I’m trying to underscore is what the people in Elkhart already understand: that this is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill recession. We are going through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. We’ve lost now 3.6 million jobs, but what’s perhaps even more disturbing is that almost half of that job loss has taken place over the last three months, which means that the problems are accelerating instead of getting better.

    In fact, the recession that Barack Obama inherited was not remotely comparable in scope or intensity to the Great Depression.

    However, the President’s reckless comparisons with the Depression triggered another nearly uninterrupted month long slide in the stock markets. After the Obama press conference, the Dow Jones Average lost 1723 more points before finally bottoming out on March 3, 2009. In total, since the January 8th Obama speech at George Mason University, the Dow Jones Average and the retirement savings invested there had lost a quarter of their value in only two months. The President’s comparisons of his recession to the Great Depression were becoming self-fulfilling.

  35. drfunguy says:

    Forgetting for now that ‘free-fall’ is obviously subjective. Are you seriously proposing that every Obama speech leads to market declines? If you are saying that on the average Obama speeches are followed by declines, then show the evidence [hint: you need to look at the whole universe of available data; not just cheery-picking some examples]. If you are saying that that _some_ Obama speeches lead to market declines then you have no point because that would not be a correlation.

  36. shiloh says:

    Bart your 24/7 Obama obsession was embarrassing in 2008, give it a rest …

    Or not.

  37. dcpetterson says:

    Bart:

    Why then did Obama’s economic team in contradiction to their boss’ Second Great Depression rhetoric issue a white paper projecting that unemployment without the Porkulus would be less than the Carter Recession, nevertheless the original Great Depression?

    You’re talking about the white paper they wrote in what, November ’08? or January ’09? something like that. While America was still trying to figure out just hoe badly Bush 2 had screwed the world. You’re upset that Obama’s economic advisers didn’t realize how bad things really were, but Obama was closer to the mark, and you’re saying there was something wrong with Obama?

    You’re a nutecase, you know that?

  38. Bart DePalma says:

    drfunguy says: If you are saying that on the average Obama speeches are followed by declines, then show the evidence [hint: you need to look at the whole universe of available data; not just cheery-picking some examples]. If you are saying that that _some_ Obama speeches lead to market declines then you have no point because that would not be a correlation.

    Actually, I am indeed relying upon the Sherlock Holmes adage of eliminating all other possibilities to prove causation here. Apart from the Obama speeches, nothing else of economic significance occurred at the start of these multiple session free falls. For example, the last time we had a market crash of this severity was immediately after the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy. Nothing like that during this time period.

  39. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Well, Bart and his cohorts and their masters DO have another theory that they trot out every now and again:

    McCain triggered the panic in September 08 by suspending his campaign and rushing back to DC to “fix” things.

    They ignore the fact that in the year previous to THAT the Dow had ALREADY fallen 2700 points, almost twenty (20) %, which is the marker for a serious bear market crash!!!

    From McCain’s folly to Election Day a couple months later, Dow crashed ANOTHER 2500 points. That’s another twenty (20) % from mid-September and TOTAL of thirty-six (36) % from the high a year earlier.

    Bart LOVES to misplace and forget THOSE facts in his frothing rants.

    (signed) Mental Midget

  40. Bart DePalma says:

    DC:

    The Obama economic team issued their white paper just after the first Obama economic speech. It is self evident these fools were wrong, but this white paper does blow up your dodge that Obama and his economic team were warning the nation of their genuine belief that a Second Great Depression was imminent.

    In reality, the economic team was saying we would experience a garden variety post WWII recession without borrowing and spending $800 billion while Obama was falsely threatening the nation with a Second Great Depression if they did not sign off on his spending spree.

  41. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    (above)
    Bart also forgets that Bush II and Paulson rammed TARP through Congress in late September 2008 to the tune of $800 Billion dollars. A GIFT to Wall Street with no strings attached.

  42. dcpetterson says:

    So, Bart, you’re saying that Obama and his economic team claimed the recession would be “a garden variety post WWII recession” — and you allege that caused the Dow to continue dropping?

    I was right. You’re a nutcase.

  43. shortchain says:

    One must learn to interpret Bart’s words. When he says there was no other event that could explain it, what he means is that he didn’t see any, couldn’t imagine any, and, of course, refuses believe that sometimes, for no discernible reason, everybody in the stock market suddenly decides things aren’t worth what they used to think they were worth.

    This is more properly evidence of a shortcoming of his imagination and perception than evidence of an objective causal relationship.

  44. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    If Bart DID read a bit of history, instead of wallowing around in his ideological muck, he would know a few additional facts:

    1) The last time the Dow took close to such a crash was in 1987 (Oh Gawd!!! St Ronnie was Prez!! Tell me it ain’t so!) when it tumbled 34% (less but still close) between August and December of that year.

    2) Three-quarters of that was in a two week period in early October.

    3) But this crash reached its nadir in only four months, not the long, sustained decline of over a year and a half of the Bush II crash.

    4) Finally, the biggest difference was that the 1987 Crash was not systemic as was the 2007-2009 Crash. In fact, 1987 was an UP year for the Dow, it finishing Higher on the last day and it was on Jan. 1.

    Because of that, the “do-nothing” actions of the Reagan administration could NOT be replicated in 2008-09. A lesson Bart has not learned.

  45. On January 8, 2009 at George Mason University, Barack Obama delivered what was billed as his first major address on the economy since being elected President. Instead of FDR or Reagan style hope, Obama offered a prediction of doom. Immediately following the George Mason speech, the Dow Jones Average collapsed again, falling 793 points during eight straight losing sessions.

    Let the record show that the market dropped a mere 27 points on January 8, after having dropped about 250 points the day before. Of course, as we all know, when a large, financial-news-making event occurs, the impact on the market is large and nearly instantaneous.

    Draw your own conclusions. This one is easy.

  46. dcpetterson says:

    Additionally, shortchain, the panic that led to the collapse, and the conditions and dangers involved, all still existed. The Bush economic policies were mostly still in place — Obama wasn’t even sworn in until Jan 20, and to expect his policies to show an effect before March is unrealistic.

    Bush’s policies tanked the economy, including the market — and continued to have that effect until things began to finally turn around in March.

    For anyone to imagine that a magical speech by Obama made the DOW drop an additional 1500 points — after the still-ongoing Bush catastrophe had already brought the DOW from 14,000 to 8000, a fall of 6000 points — is sheerest fantasy. Anyone who can say such nonsense with a straight face is clearly just making up crap in desperation, having no actual logical arguments to level at Obama.

  47. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: On January 8, 2009 at George Mason University, Barack Obama delivered what was billed as his first major address on the economy since being elected President. Instead of FDR or Reagan style hope, Obama offered a prediction of doom. Immediately following the George Mason speech, the Dow Jones Average collapsed again, falling 793 points during eight straight losing sessions.

    Michael: Let the record show that the market dropped a mere 27 points on January 8, after having dropped about 250 points the day before. Of course, as we all know, when a large, financial-news-making event occurs, the impact on the market is large and nearly instantaneous.

    The market tanked on 1/7 on an ADP projection of nearly 700K jobs lost in December. However, the market kept sliding after the January 8 speech even though the govt jobs report was 200K better than ADP and the market should have recovered some of the 1/7 loss.

    Obama’s timing to predict a Second Great Depression was impecable.

  48. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Sorry, but, as you keep making outrageous assertions and then never backing them up with data, you are just bolstering your reputation for having a careless disregard for the truth.

    How about that one you made yesterday about Alaska having 3-5 times the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia? I’m still waiting for evidence.

  49. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    And how about the 65% of the loss from the October 2007 high that occurred in the previous 15 months????

    Huh???

    Like ignoring that, doncha?

    Sorry, Bart, it’s just not any fun any more. Arguing with you is as relevant as punching out a drunk.

  50. Bart DePalma says:

    Shortchain:

    I never posted that Alaska had 3-5 times the oil reserves of Saudi. Read for content. I posted a list of areas made off limits by the Obama Administration. The CO/UT/WY oil shale alone has this much oil.

    Max:

    Recessions cause stock market corrections. News at 11! The recession caused market correction was over when stocks bottomed out in October 2008. Stocks were substantially oversold and undervalued at that time and I jumped back in and made some money before Obama started his economic doom offensive in January 2009.

    Michael:

    Thanks for offering the only fact based critique of my post in this forum. I decided to beef up the chapter by tracking every Obama speech using economic catastrophe to sell the stimulus against the Dow. There were eleven such speeches and every single one without exception was followed by a losing day or days on the Dow.

    After the 1/7 ADP report, Obama gave two economic doom speeches – one at George Mason and another a couple days later when Bush allowed President- elect Obama to give his weekly radio address.

    Otherwise, the markets bounced around depending upon the earning and economic reports.

  51. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    You said “ust in the United States we have untapped reserves between 3-5 times Saudi in Alaska, offshore and the UT/CO/WY oil shale,”

    I wanted that clarification so that everyone can see what an idiotic thing you said. First, let’s get clear a few things:
    1. Including Alaska and offshore is completely a red herring, as they account for essentially nothing, compared with Saudi Arabia. The only reason you included them was to muddy the real issue, which is
    2. You are pretending that oil shale, tar sands, etc, are “reserves”. In that sense, every 4 atoms of Hydrogen and corresponding atom of Carbon on Earth could be considered “reserves”, because it is almost as economically feasible to produce natural gas by combining them as it is to produce petroleum from oil shale and tar sands.

    To put it bluntly, you cannot count these as “reserves” until and unless they become economically feasible, which is at a price point far above where we stand today, and calling them “reserves” is simply lying.

  52. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I’m just going to put it bluntly:

    Bart, you are an abysmal liar! You lie when it is so EASY to prove you a liar. To wit:

    Bart: “The recession caused market correction was over when stocks bottomed out in October 2008.

    They did not “bottom out” for 2008 until November 21! And the Dow, as I have shown previously

    In fact, the lowest Dow was 8378 on October24 2008. On November 21, the Dow was down to 8046, almost 5% lower than 10/24 in less than a month.

    You will NOT make up your own facts here. You WILL be called out for the liar you are.

  53. Bart DePalma says:

    Max:

    You are correct that the Dow hit its low after the election of Barack Obama. This political fear driven dip was not caused by the recession. The market also dipped when Obama was inaugurated.

  54. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    Foreign oil is now nearly twice the cost of recovering domestic oil from the oil shale and this will only get worse as this regime destroys the value of the dollar. The Canadians have been recovering their crude form oil sands without government interference for years now.

  55. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    I notice that, in spite of being asked, rather politely, to provide citations for your claims, you persist in just making more claims.

    Please point us to a document or web site which lays out the costs, environmental and otherwise, of this “recovery”. I’d like to know if the cost envisions something after the recovery comparable, in flora and fauna, to what exists now in that region, or if it will look like the aftermath of decades of coal-mining in Kentucky.

    Until you provide such actual evidence, I, for one, will have to conclude that you know that, under the costs you propose, the result will look like the craters of the moon, and that you are simply being dishonest in claiming such a “recovery” effort would be tolerated.

  56. filistro says:

    @Bart.. The Canadians have been recovering their crude form oil sands without government interference for years now.

    LOL!!! LOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

    OK, recovering my composure after that little howler…

    POP QUIZ, Bart.
    First question: There is a significant difference between SAND and SHALE. Can you explain what it is?

  57. Number Seven says:

    OOO OOOO OOO Can I answer???

    (for Dune fans, lol)

    It is the difference between harvesting melange from the sands of Arrakis and producing it from the Bene Tleilax Axlotl Tanks.

  58. filistro says:

    @Number Seven… It is the difference between harvesting melange from the sands of Arrakis and producing it from the Bene Tleilax Axlotl Tanks.

    You are WRONG. Please go sit at the back of the room with Bart and the other remedial students.

    The difference between sand and shale is:

    *Sand gets down inside your swim trunks and itches. Shale does not.

  59. Number Seven says:

    ROFLMAO

    OK, but look the other way when I put bubble gum in Bart’s hair…

  60. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart the Liar said: “Max:
    You are correct that the Dow hit its low after the election of Barack Obama. This political fear driven dip was not caused by the recession. The market also dipped when Obama was inaugurated.”

    Actually, after the election of Obama, the elation due the the hope for a change from Bush saw the Dow go UP a THOUSAND points, to 9035 on January 2 2009 from late November, before reality took hold again.

    Bart, give up, on this issue you’ve been taken to the woodshed, beaten, dragged around the barnyard, dragged BACK to the woodshed and your bleeding body flogged some more. You may STILL moan your lies from between your swollen lips, but their STILL lies!

  61. Jean says:

    Bart,

    A gift for you -

    http://www.oliverwillis.com/2011/01/01/yep-this-is-definitely-socialism/

    And I’ll post a variation of Bart’s reply in advance, “All economic matrices are meaningful if they can be evaluated to agree with supply side economics and to show that Obama is a failure. Otherwise, they are just a bunch of numbers being manipulated by Democrats to mislead the American people.”

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