Alarming News

October 26, 2008

In the tank

If the media treated Obama/Biden the way they treat McCain/Palin, more interviews would look like this.

Posted by Karol at 11:34 AM |
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I love the Marx question and his shocked, SHOCKED!!! reaction. How do you present a completely socialist idea and then pull shocked when you’re called on it? These two Dem. candidates would be a raging joke if they weren’t so damn dangerous.

Posted by: ari at October 26, 2008 at 1:12 pm

It’s hard to tell who is the emptier suit, the bottom or the top of the ticket. Then again, the ability to unabashedly spout lies in a torrent must be some sort of skill. Ah yes, lawyers.

Posted by: Casca at October 26, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I’m sorry, but those were dumb questions. And Biden actually handled it very well. Fought back a little, but basically kept his humor. Biden’s a blowhard, no doubt, but I don’t see what everyone else seems to see here.
I’m appalled by Obama’s desire to raise taxes, and I think it could send us into a deep recession, but it’s no more Marxist than Sarah Palin levying a windfall tax on oil companies to go to Alaskan citizens, or McCain’s desire to buy up mortgages. All awful — none of it Marxist.
As for the notion that this is how the media has by and large treated McCain/Palin, I don’t buy it. What made the Katie Couric interview remarkable wasn’t that Palin stumbled over gotcha questions, but that she stumbled over tee-ball question, like “what Supreme Court decisions have you disagreed with?”

Posted by: Joe Weisenthal at October 26, 2008 at 3:07 pm

The same ‘journalist’ interviewed McCain the week before. Complete softball. No criticism, except that he hadn’t been agressive enough with Obama. This post is a nonsense.
Eisenhower had a massively higher upper tax threshold, btw.
Every idea that is a little lefter of the status quo is immediately labelled communism/socialism/marxism by the reps. So has it been I suppose since the days of FDR.

Posted by: bryan at October 26, 2008 at 3:38 pm

I’m sure that it’s possible, even likely, that one may obtain advanced degrees and slide into a comfortable self-image as an intellectual in America, and never know the basic tenants of Marxism. They were advanced in The Communist Manifesto, and mainly attributed to one Karl Marx. Central to all is his statement of aims, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”
Is Social Security socialist? Certainly, but one party has tried to reform it through privitization, so that it isn’t destroyed on the rocks of economic reality, and one party uses reform to scare old people. It is not that conservatives are angels, and democrats are devils. It is that we seek the side of the angels, and they seek to be in league with the devil.

Posted by: Casca at October 26, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Joe, it’s not the questions, it’s the tone. She wanted to get him, just like most other media wants to get McCain/Palin. It’s no secret, and not news, that media members are almost entirely liberal, that’s why it’s such a surprise when one isn’t.

Posted by: Karol at October 26, 2008 at 6:19 pm

There is something up with the link as all I could hear was the echo laden sound of metal on wood – very much like a barrel being scraped.
Otherwise I would agree with Joe’s first sentence.
“I’m sure that it’s possible, even likely, that one may obtain advanced degrees and slide into a comfortable self-image as an intellectual in America, and never know the basic tenants of Marxism. They were advanced in The Communist Manifesto, and mainly attributed to one Karl Marx. Central to all is his statement of aims, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”"
Except that the phrase was coined, or at least first used by Louis Blanc about a century earlier and doesn’t appear in the Communist Manifesto – although Marx does quote it in the “Critique of the Gotha Programme”
Fair do’s though, it’s usually Marxists who get that one wrong.
I prefer Groucho and Harpo myself.
Urbane McVonBek

Posted by: Urbane McMeercat at October 26, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Casca, if the reps aren’t angels, don’t trust them with Social security. The recent freefall in the free markets lead me to the notion that the free markets would cock it up as well. Giving it to a corporation which needs to make money for doing it just doesn’t seem quite right. Let’s face it, one’s medical insurance workers’ jobs are there not so you get treatment, but more so they can profit from finding some get-out clause not to treat you, no?

Posted by: bryan at October 26, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Good gawd, such tedious quibblers. Clearly the “of and to” statement is the accepted encapsulation of Marxism, and there is no more failed government program of confiscation and fraud than the ponzi scheme of Social Security.

Posted by: Casca at October 26, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Eisenhower had a massively higher upper tax threshold, btw.
Bryan, the difference is that Obama and Biden, and Kerry had he won in 2004, would try for even higher than Eisenhower’s rate — once elected. If the Dems do get 60+ seats in the Senate, then anything goes.
“Rolling back the Bush tax cuts” is just a start. It’s not extreme enough to doom their chances. But if they called for FDR’s top rate of 70%, maybe enough people would realize, “Wait a minute, I need these rich people to invest in my business, to loan me money!”

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 26, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Perry, I think Ike’s was even higher, and yet business prospered. The Clinton Years, the Nixon years there was money to be made. I’m sure you’re gonna know the company whose motto is ‘Good business is where you find it’, but obviously I’d stop short of some of the things they did.
Perry, to be fair, I’m just pointing out that these things have been said before, and have not been true; this journo is a right-wing hack, and it’s the nonsense surrounding people’s claims that annoys me. Maybe Obama will suck, maybe McCain will suck, but call them on real things, not just button words for the rubes.

Posted by: bryan at October 26, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Maybe I’m just a pessimist here, but we’re all pretty much whistling past the graveyard as far as debating any economic choices.
I wouldn’t quite say it’s an iron triangle, but the following conditions are pretty firm:
1.) Social Security was based on the premise that future generations would be the same size as the ones before them. Given that the birth rate is just barely above replacement for the United States and legal immigration is not running at a rate that redresses the difference between plan and reality, Soc. Security is pretty much doomed as it is right now.
2.) I won’t even get into Medicaid. Let’s just say Soc. Security was the iceberg that opened up the starboard side–Medicaid is the narrow spread of Long Lances that’s about to break the keel, open the port side like a can opener, and make the Carl Gustav seem like a minor fender bender.
3.) So, given #1, #2, and the fact that we’re going so far into debt that the only reason people still lend us money is so our economy won’t implode and theirs with it, I’d say that taxes are going to have to be raised sometime in the next 3 election cycles _regardless_ of whose in charge.
4.) The only question is, how much? Oh, and what else is going to happen that makes people upset at the government?
Yeah, ponder through some of the scenarios for #4 and you’ll basically see why I’m laughing maniacally at both sides of the political spectrum right now. We’re more screwed than a hot high school chick who just passed out at a college frat party, and neither party has a clue on how to fix it.

Posted by: James at October 26, 2008 at 10:10 pm

An Open Letter to Paul Krugman
Dear Paul:
Forgive my rudeness in calling you by your first name. I have been reading your writings in New York Times, Slate and other fine publications for years. I even read your book “The Conscience of a Liberal.” I have gotten to know you so well that, I feel, we could be on a first name basis. Besides, if we are to create a class-less, hierarchy-free society, calling you Professor Krugman would instantly create a deplorable hierarchy

Posted by: Joe The Plumber at October 26, 2008 at 11:48 pm

“Good gawd, such tedious quibblers.”
That’s as maybe, but as my dear departed Grandfather never once said “if you are going to toss around the quotes of long dead philosophers, at least attribute them properly”
Interesting that you should bring up Ponzi schemes however. Recent events events in the market have thrown up some large scale modern parallels.
Tedious quibbling just about sums it up however. James is on the right track with his last sentence.
All this “private good/public bad or public good private bad” mantras are just dumb.
It’s not the words of long dead philosophers (be it Smith or Marx) that are going clean up the mess but rather some 21st century imaginative thinking.

Posted by: Urbane McMeercat at October 27, 2008 at 5:00 am

James, you forgot the two wars which are also haemorraging money from the US economy. Settle one or both of them, and you can save a few bucks.

Posted by: bryan at October 27, 2008 at 7:06 am

Settle? Or drop like a hot potato and run? Because what is settle, it’s win or lose, there is no settle option. But if you think there is, tell me, what constitutes settling?

Posted by: ari at October 27, 2008 at 9:17 am

the media is in the tank for obama?…no way…I hadn’t noticed

Posted by: Larry at October 27, 2008 at 10:35 am

Of course you can settle a war, and it is a ridiculous notion that you can’t. Peace treaties have been signed by people unable to ‘win’(or lose)a war.

Posted by: bryan at October 27, 2008 at 1:49 pm

I agree with you in theory. However, it seems as if “in practice” that everyone in Washington has lost stomach for one or both wars, to include the current President. Which means, alas, we’re going to “settle” whether we the people like it or not.
Now, all that settlement is going to buy us is more pain, heartache, and destruction–but hey, pay no attention to the radical Islamists behind the curtain.

Posted by: James at October 27, 2008 at 3:10 pm

No, bryan, peace treaties are signed after one of the parties (or alliances) had won. And then they are in the position to offer conditions of peace to the side that lost.

Posted by: Tatyana at October 27, 2008 at 3:21 pm

bryan, it’s useless to settle a war when one side will never stop fighting. And you forget, or ignore, that Arab culture for centuries has used “peace” and “truces” to reorganize for future fighting.
Perry, I think Ike’s was even higher, and yet business prospered.
In fact, if you look at the hard data, it was very inconsistent. One year even saw recession.
Any “prosperity” was because the U.S. economy was exporting a lot of profitable manufactured goods to recovering postwar Europe, but it really wasn’t a Golden Age like so many remember.
The Clinton Years,
Prosperity in part from NAFTA, for which I give Clinton credit, but most of it was not Clinton’s doing. The technological expansion came spontaneously, not as a result of government planning. (If you’re familiar with Friedrich Hayek, you know where I’m coming from.)
the Nixon years there was money to be made.
Actually, only if you were involved in military production (just like in the LBJ years), and otherwise, only if the government let you. Wage-price controls, you know.
Maybe Obama will suck, maybe McCain will suck, but call them on real things, not just button words for the rubes.
Oh, I do much more than spout GOP lines, as correct as they might be. I’m a libertarian, remember. I’ve criticized McCain for his own socialism, namely proposing another $300 billion to bail out irresponsible borrowers at my expense. His lines about freezing government spending and not raising taxes sound nice, but his own plans are contradictory as a whole. And whoever wins, he’ll have to sign probably the largest tax increase in American history. Not within a few years, but next year. I can’t see how the Treasury will be able to borrow enough. And then what will happen in 2017 when Social Security needs to start redeeming the bonds in pilfered “lockbox”?
But as bad as McCain could be, Obama will be far, far worse. Hoover hiked taxes to sustain tax revenues for the sake of “make work” social programs. FDR followed suit. Obama will do the same, just when the economy cannot afford it, and he’s not even doing it for the sake of “revenue.” He’s doing it based on this warped idea of economic “equality.”

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 27, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Don’t disagree with you Perry, and I didn’t mean even to suggest you are a party-line-spouter-dude. Quite plainly you are not. As far as technology during the Clinton years, he was lucky. The internet did him no harm at all. A bit of luck may help the next in line. I think the production of energy will be the next big bang, and it is in Silicon Valley (again) where this technology will come from. It may even turn the USA’s fiscal frown upside-down, as it were.

Posted by: bryan at October 27, 2008 at 7:51 pm

I don’t think counting on an economic breakthrough to counterbalance a tax increase is necessarily a good idea. Moreover, with the economy in the crapper, Mr. “Spread the Wealth Around” is going to face a very, very negative response should he raise taxes.
While I think a tax increase _is_ going to be nominally (oh the cuts that we could make if sanity reigned) necessary, if Obama doesn’t want to face a Congress that will make 1994’s seem downright congenial he’d better build some political capital first.

Posted by: James at October 28, 2008 at 8:42 am

One underestimates the zeal of the righteous. Much like the Clintons, their spin cycle is peerless, but when it comes to actual productive thought and action… I mean c’mon, they’re trotting out Laura Tyson again, lmao. Yes, the midterm elections will be fun.

Posted by: Casca at October 28, 2008 at 10:16 am

Anyone see this quote from an Iraqi government spokesmen, makes me think the US has a chance with that country yet. I was 100% certain Iraq’s gov’t would vehemently condemn the incident:
An Iraqi government spokesman told CNN the Iraqi government was aware of the reports of the U.S. raid and was checking “with the American side to get the full details of the operation.”
The spokesman, Ali Dabbagh, added, “We don’t want for these isolated acts to affect our relations with Syria. We want good relations, but we must remember that 13 Iraqi policemen from the Ministry of Interior were killed in an Iraqi bordering village near that region by a terrorist group that was operating from the Syrian territories.
“We asked the Syrian government to hand us this group and we definitely need to work closely on controlling the borders, because this is a very important issue to Iraq and Syria. We are ready to negotiate these issues with the Syrian government to guarantee everyone full security.”

Posted by: Dan at October 28, 2008 at 10:32 am

Oh, Casca, the “righteous” will be zealous. They’ll also be outnumbered by the number of people going “WHAT THE F*CK JUST HAPPENED TO MY PAYCHECK?!” Add in the fact that they’re talking about wages stagnating for the next 26-52 weeks and, yeah, I want to see whomever the poor schmuck is who won try and raise taxes. That’ll lead to the following:
“Excuse me, but who are you?”
“I am Saburo.”
“Okay, Sab…whatever, what are you doing in the Lincoln bedroom with a rice mat, tanto knife, samurai sword, quill pen, and parchment?”
“I was told that someone was about to commit ritual political seppuku and needed a second. I assure you, my forehand stroke is strong–you will not feel anything.”
This is part of the reason I’m chuckling at all the talking heads who think that electing Obama means the death of the GOP. Um, no.

Posted by: James at October 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm
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