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Week In The News: Obama And The GOP, Chavez, Filibuster

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

Obama breaks bread with the GOP. Hugo Chavez. HIV baby cured.

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, people surround the flag-draped coffin carrying the body of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez as his supporters crowd the streets during the procession from the hospital where he died on Tuesday to a military academy where his body will lie in state in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (AP)

In this photo released by Miraflores Press Office, people surround the flag-draped coffin carrying the body of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez as his supporters crowd the streets during the procession from the hospital where he died on Tuesday to a military academy where his body will lie in state in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (AP)

Hope for a new Grand Bargain. The president goes on charm offensive to get a deal with the GOP. Critical differences remain.

Uncertainty swirls about what’s next for Venezuela after the death of Hugo Chavez. Rand Paul filibusters John Brennan and American drone policy. Dennis Rodman’s new BFF Kim Jong-un threatens a nuclear attack. The UN slaps North Korea with new sanctions.

The Dow soars. Ballet star confesses in Bolshoi attack. Backlash grow to allowing knives on planes.

This hour, On Point: Our week in the news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Guests

Susan Davis, chief Congressional reporter for USA Today. (@davisusan)

Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From the Reading List

USA Today “Another day, more Republican outreach for President Obama. The president will lunch Thursday with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the 2012 vice presidential nominee. This comes a day after dinner with a dozen Republican senators.”

Reuters “Saluting, clenching fists and making the Roman Catholic sign of the cross over Hugo Chavez’s open casket, Venezuelans crowded on Thursday to see their deceased leader one last time and pledge that his socialist revolution will not die.”

NBC News “The case of a baby who may have been cleared of an HIV infection raises two tantalizing prospects: Is it possible to save even more newborns from infection, and is it possible that other babies may have been cured and no one knows it yet?”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    “There couldn’t have been a starker contrast between the new leadership of Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz and the old guard of McCain and Graham,” noted one GOP aide.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/paul-filibuster-energizes-tea-party-against-gop-establishment/article/2523650

    • JobExperience

      So the GOP is gonna split pretty soon. Right? Farther right. And then the Democrats will be Stormtroopers and Brownshirts.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I would hope that this signifies the GOP returning to its roots.  As to what the Democrats will be, I can not say. The Blue model is in shambles. So they will be forced to choose one constituency or the other.  If I were to advise them I would suggest they choose the people over the bureaucrats.  

      • Don_B1

        Senator Cruz has already been making those noises.

    • JGC

      Lindsey Graham is going to get challenged in 2014. And what about the wedge that some conservatives are continuing to drive between the Rove wing and the Armey wing?  

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I subscribe to the axiom: “Politicians are like underwear and should be changed often.”  Mr. Rove has demonstrated his skill and character in the last election.  After that performance why would anyone take him seriously?  I am happy to count him among those that I have offended.

        • JGC

          If only Rand Paul had worn Depends instead of Fruit-of-the-Loom, he might have been able to continue his filibuster for  at least another 8 hours… 

        • Gregg Smith

          “ ”Politicians are like underwear and should be changed often.”"

          I heard it as diapers and that they needed to be changed for the same reason.

      • Gregg Smith

        All of that is very interesting to me. I don’t like Graham and think he is way off base about Rand Paul but I do see a basis for his argument. I thought he was great during the Clinton impeachment. Still, I’d like to see him go.

        The Rove thing is interesting too. I see his position as well and think it has some merit but it is being taken way out of context by some. Rove was good for the Tea Party but he is still the “establishment”. I don’t have a problem with the Christine McDonnels in politics and Rove does. On that point I don’t like his strategy. But it’s not as bad as it’s being portrayed.

        Ultimately, I think trying to out Democrat the Democrats is a failing strategy. 

        • JGC

          Without Joe Lieberman, and soon (maybe) Lindsey Graham, John McCain will find the Senate a very lonely place. I don’t see a new Three Amigos team of Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz; with Cruz, his ego is “All for One, and One for One”, the One being himself.

          Addendum: favorite description of Cruz, as said by an anonymous Republican senator to Ruth Marcus of WaPo – “Ted Cruz: Jim DeMint without the charm.”

          • Gregg Smith

            The nomination of John McCain was the point when the squishy middle Republican establishment got their way in Presidential politics. Romney was better but still not a true Conservative IMO. What the establishment wants loses. I’ll take my chances with the young blood. 2010 was big.

          • JGC

            2010 was big. 2012 was even bigger.

  • Ray in VT

    Is there going to be some mention made of the girl from Mississippi who was apparently cured of HIV?  That disease was a death sentence when I was growing up, and hundreds of thousands have died in Africa, but perhaps someday soon we could at least see this terrible disease eradicated at least in newborns.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      We all pray this is the beginning of the end of that horrible disease. 

      • Ray in VT

        Amen to that.

        • JobExperience

          It may have been a pre-emption rather than a cure. Cocktails administered at birth have eradicated retro-virus in many infants.  That’s routine. A newborn has a different situation from a grown-up with encysted HIV. But corporate medicine boasts exceptions to lure investment. The face and hand transplants result in dashed expectations for experimental subjects while John Travolta and Nick Cage switch ugly mugs at will (in cyberspace).

  • Coastghost

    “Venezuelan President Succumbs to Socialized Medicine: Details at Ten”.

    • JobExperience

      If you had the same cancer as Lance Armstrong, and you knew the best treatment for the lowest price was in Cuba, would you go? Or would you cut off your lugnuts for spite. Cuba had a Mafia and slave labor cancer and Fidel cut out the tumor, so now you’re hoping remission is over.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      While millions succumb to “free market health care” (sic).

      The Onion beat you to it.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the organisms “nightmare bacteria” during a telephone news conference, and noted that they could pass their trait for drug resistance — encoded in a scrap of genetic material called a plasmid — along to other bacteria.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/health/deadly-drug-resistant-infections-rise-in-hospitals-report-warns.html?ref=science&_r=1&

    • jefe68

      Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a government agency. You know one of the things government does and is payed for by our tax dollars. They are going to be hit by the sequester and from what I’ve been reading in the past week most of the right leaning and libertarian people posting on this forum seem to view as “big government”.   

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        There is an appropriate role for government in society.  You are intentional misstating my position
        because that is the only way to justify an omnipotent and limitless government.
         

        • StilllHere

          Slowing budget growth is akin to drowning in the bathtub to big gov types.

          • JobExperience

            Instead of drowning the Pentagon, maybe we could just give it MERSA, and let it’s ass rot off. Apparently, with all the transfusions we been giving to no avail, big bidness must be terminal.

      • Don_B1

        And an already understaffed one.

        Food inspectors visit many food processors infrequently and sometimes through representatives, paid by the processors, who subsequently neglect observations of improper processes.

        It was Republicans who unleashed FDA oversight, thus creating the deluge of ads for alternate medicine. It also creates nightmares for doctors who are not told by patients of alternate medicines being taken.

    • JobExperience

      Sounds like prions to me.
      You might not believe how many people I know have gone in the hospital for a minor corrective procedure and died of these type infections. Rest homes are “eat up” with this stuff. The other day in a doctor’s office a staffer was bandaging on of my chronic ulcers after an examination. “Where’s your gloves, Honey,” I politely asked. “Oh, don’t worry,” she replied confidently,”I’ll wash my hands real good before I eat lunch.”
      “I’m dead meat!” thought I.

      • anamaria23

        Sounds like you need a new doctor.  That staffer’s performance is inexcusable and hopefully reported to higher ups.   

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Bin Laden’s son-in-law is an enemy combatant whose goal was to kill innocent Americans.  Instead of being coddled in a NYC jail with a bunch of left wing ACLU lawyers wasting millions of taxpayer dollars and resources trying to get him freed on legal technicalities, he should be given a one way ticket to Gitmo.  While en route, they should get the blindfolds and buckets of water ready so that some effective interrogation sessions can take place.

    • northeaster17

      Calm down. He will end up like the Blind Shiek rotting on Rikers Island. What is it about conservatives that there is no trust in our court system. If one looks at the record of our vaunted military tribunals there is not much incentive to put anyone on trial there.

      • margbi

        Agreed.  There’s a saying: Military justice is to justice as military music is to music. 

        • JGC

          Speaking of military music, the budget for military marching bands is $500-million per year, more than the annual budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (about $445-million).

          • Gregg Smith

            One is justified, one is not.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            You’re right about that.

            So I gather you favor an entertained populous over an informed one?

          • Gregg Smith

            The military bands don’t inform much.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      If the only way we can defeat evil is to become a greater evil then what is the point?

      • Gregg Smith

        I part with you here, IMO confronting evil with a nasal rinse is not evil if it can help defeat terrorism. The dude has some intel. That’s the point. He certainly should not get a trial and should go to Gitmo although they don’t water board there.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I believe that water boarding crosses the line and is torture.  I believe we are able to defeat AQ with out it.
          I believe that both atomic bombing were necessary to end the war and secure the peace afterward.  

          • Gregg Smith

            I understand that, but evil? Water boarding was only performed on 3 victims, no one was killed, maimed or even hurt. Lives were saved (Library Tower) and intel gained led to Bin Laden. I get your point and respect it but I disagree with the term evil. Surely you can give the same leeway to a beneficial procedure that hurt no one as you do to the righteous murder of millions in Japan. 

            These are tough decisions we trust our leaders to make, at the time with what is known and in context. 

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I hope my answer didn’t seem flip. I am fully aware that Americans will die because of a decision not to use enhanced interrogation techniques. I am very concerned about the corrupting effects making such high stakes decisions have on our leaders and on us. I am very concerned about the use of drones, and warrant less wiretaps, and many other techniques that can erode of liberty.

          • Gregg Smith

            On that I can agree.

          • Don_B1

            Have you read of the negotiations with the Japanese government before the atomic bombs were dropped and the Japan’s demand for the continuation of the Emperor versus the U.S. demand for “Unconditional Surrender”?

            After the bombing, the Japanese still got their right to have the Emperor.

            I am not that sure the U.S. got that much except proof it had a workable bomb and a Soviet Union even more determined to get an equal capability.

    • brettearle

       Isn’t it simply enthralling to acknowledge that, some Enemy Combatants who are tortured, know about as much subversive information as a cockroach under a rock in your back yard.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        For some reason, I just keep picturing those airplanes flying into the WTC, people on the top floors given the choice of either being burned alive or leaping 100+ stories to their death, and know that this guy and others that he associated with for years would do it again if given a chance.  We need to make sure that they never get that chance.  This guy probably knows all kinds of information that would be helpful to us in preventing another attack, not only on American soil, but overseas.  So instead of being able to get information out of him, he will be encouraged by some ACLU lawyer to plead the fifth since he is on U.S. soil.  How absurd!

    • JGC

      NPR (Dina Temple-Raston) reported that the charge of conspiracy is only recognized in the U.S. court system, and not by International Law. That seemed to preclude sending him to Guantanamo, as he was not a direct combatant? I need to listen to that report again to let these points filter in. 

      This is the type of fine reporting and analysis that your $1.50 of annual tax dollars helps support; information that is not easy to find in other media outlets.

  • Ray in VT

    Surely this will be denied or pooh-poohed by some, but this seemed to be of interest:

    Climate to Warm Beyond Levels Seen for 11,300 Years
    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/climate-to-warm-beyond-levels-seen-for-at-least-11300-years-15701
     

    • northeaster17

      Our grandchildren will have the right to be disgusted by our lack of action on this.

      • JobExperience

         And they won’t need clothes.

    • WorriedfortheCountry
      • Ray in VT

        Good to know what the deniers are saying about it, I guess.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Deniers?   Gee, what did they say about this new paper?  Other than mocking some media headlines,  all I saw was they were interested in analyzing the quality of the science in the study.

          Have you ever checked out WUWT?  They serve a useful service by keeping a skeptical eye on climate science.  Sure, some of the comments are snarky but they are much more tolerant than some of the warmist blog sites.

          • Gregg Smith

            Unfortunately this is what it’s come down to. There is no room for any question at all. Swallow it whole or be a denier.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I remember Scott Pelley being questioned on why he didn’t interview a ‘skeptical’ climate scientist for a story he did on 60 Minutes and he compared it to doing a story on the Nazi’s and interviewing a Holocaust denier. Unbelievable!!! It is amazing that he was able to keep his job as a journalist after that comment. Now he is the lead journalist at CBS.

          • Gregg Smith

            When I think of Pelley all I see is that smug $hit-eating grin at the debate just before Newt ripped him a new one.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             LOL!!!

          • Ray in VT

            There isn’t really any debate in the scientific community.  Those who really study and publish on the matter are very unified in their position on the fact that warming is occurring and that humans are in large part responsible.  Sure, the creationists and the industry funded folks have their doubts, but few in the actual climatologist community do.  97-98%.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes there is a ton of dispute. Especially about the urgency and extent of the problem. There is even more dispute on a “solution”, with many of the hard core believers admitting there is nothing that can be done without China and India. As I have stated before you cannot back up that 97-8% claim but we already have been there. 

            I don’t know what kind of bubble you must be in to say it’s largely settled by the scientific community. It’s not. Maybe it’s depends on the definition of “it”.

          • Ray in VT

            I backed up my number claim based upon a survey of scientists published in a peer reviewed publication of the American Geophysical Union.  If you choose to ignore that because of the bubble in which you reside, then that is your business.  Ignore facts all that you like, but they exist.  Evolution and creationism are not equally valid theories, and the scientific community is pretty confident and unified regarding climate change.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not going to go back and look it up (yet) but you did not back it up. As I recall it was 97-8% of a small universe of “earth scientist”(not climatologist) which is hardly a basis for your claim.

            I tried to find the article you linked (it’s easier than looking up comments) but only found this:

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/about-that-overwhelming-98-number-of-scientists-consensus/

          • Ray in VT

            http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

            A 30% response rate is pretty good for on online survey.  While the poll was conducted for all earth scientists:

            “Approximately 5% of the respondents were climate scientiests, and 8.5% of the respondents indicated that more than 50% of their peer-reviewed publications in the past 5 years have been on the subject of climatd change.”

            I do not bring up evolution and creationism out of the blue, as you suggest.  If you actually take a look a number of the prominant groups that challenge the scientific community on the science of climate change, then you will see that quite a few of them push creationism and/or Intelligent Design.

          • Don_B1

            Ray, Gregg is just blowing his troll smoke here. He has refused time and time again to even consider anything that does not support HIS position.

            You and those others reading here can find a discussion of what it means to have a scientific consensus and links to studies supporting your 95% statistic (from a few years ago so it IS higher now) here:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

            But note that Gregg’s whole role here is to distract everyone from the subject at hand.

          • Ray in VT

            I have checked it out a bit, and perhaps denier is a bit too harsh, and I knew that when I wrote it, but at times I think that they come awfully close with their allegations of data manipulation and such.  I would prefer to stick to the peer reviewed literature.

        • Gregg Smith

          It’s not denial, it’s honest debate.

          • Don_B1

            Bull pucky!!!

            Every “alternative” explanation provided by the “deniers” (or you!) has been shown, multiple times, to be FALSE, UNTRUE, ETC.

            Anyone who wishes can check out their favorite myth at:

            http://www.skepticalscience.com

            where I have directed you many times, but obviously you want to continue being the trolling fool.

            You have not once raised a question on any single answer provided on that site.

          • Gregg Smith

            I think it’s a hit site with an agenda and no credibility. I have addressed it many times. Meanwhile you didn’t refute a word of WFTC’s link. Go figure.

          • Ray in VT

            “a hit site with an agenda and no credibility”.  That sounds an awful lot like a vast majority of the sites that you reference to support your views on climate change.

          • Gregg Smith

            You’re entitled to your opinion.

          • Ray in VT

            And so are you, and so is the scientific community, which has a better informed one.  I just prefer to side with them.

          • Gregg Smith

            Then endorse WFTC’s link or refute it on the merits.

          • Ray in VT

            I dislike it as a source, based in part upon some of it’s content, but I will leave it up to the scientists to push back against claims made by it, as they did with the allegations of improper station citing.  Tell me, since you seem to be an authority, from which institution did you receive your M.S. or other advanced scientific degree that qualifies you to be such a great judge of the available facts?

          • Don_B1

            Ray, anytime Gregg talks about “credibility” of anyone, he is really pointing the arrow at himself.

            He throws out nothing but sleazy lies when he talks about credibility.

          • Don_B1

            As usual, you have it backwards/upside down, however you want to say wrong.

            The main allegations in WUWT’s post is cherry-picked and without context quotes from other commenters, particularly some artfully selected sections from the dot.earth blog.

            And just where do you get the idea that the Skeptical Science site has no credibility? That remark from you makes your whole comment section a piece of hogwash, as usual.

            YOU are the person here with NO credibility, whatsoever!

      • Gregg Smith

        Thanks for posting the well documented rebuttal to the opinion piece.

        • nj_v2

          ^ Didn’t read the study or the “rebuttal,” and wouldn’t understand it if he did.

          • Gregg Smith

            I can’t read but I looked at the pictures.

        • Ray in VT

          Which is the opinion piece?

      • Don_B1

        Get your denial words direct from the center of false climate news so you will know how they are distorting this report!

        Then read any of the accurate climate blogs:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/issue/

        http://www.desmogblog.com/

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/issue/

        These blogs have not yet reacted to the Climate Central post, not to mention the article in Science, at least to my knowledge, but I assume they will.

        But the major thing in this new Science article is that it supports and strengthens the accuracy of previous studies.

        Maybe WUWT feels the impending collapse of its main argument through the Gates/Koch funded BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature) study, performed by physicist Richard Muller, and others and now this study. Its arguments will be debunked if it can find any stronger than what they posted in your link, as those are so transparently false it would be a waste of time.

      • nj_v2

        Haha, wattsupshisazz, a teevee weather dude.

        98% of all science organizations, societies, and real climate researchers understand and agree that the climate is changing in dramatic and significant ways, that a significant contributor to that is carbon released into the atmosphere from human activity, and that the changes are likely to get more dramatic in the future.

        A small minority comprising the scientifically ignorant, politically reactionaries, corporate shills, and mindless tagalongs argue otherwise.

        I’ll go with the real scientists.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           ”real scientists”?  Like Mikey Mann?  The same Michael Mann who falsely claimed he won the Nobel prize (he even framed his faux prize and hung it on his wall) and had to be slapped down by the Nobel committee.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Anyone who believes human carbon emissions are dangerous and isn’t pro nuclear power generation is a science denier.

          • Don_B1

            The emission of CO2 and other (carbon-based greenhouse gasses) from extraction and burning of fossil fuels IS dangerous.

            When engineers can develop nuclear power plants that when built now provide electricity at less than the current estimates of $0.25 to $0.30 per kWh, you will find all the support for nuclear needed. These estimates, which price nuclear way out of the picture, are widely thought LOW.

  • Coastghost

    “Socialismo o muerte!” read the defiant but tattered banners in Havana: electing to investigate the comparison, Hugo Chavez chooses death. (NPR reports just this morning that egalitarian embalming is about to be introduced to Venezuela: shades of Evita!)

    • JobExperience

      Whaddiya want on your Tombstone?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Whaddiya want on your Tombstone?

        Mushrooms and Pepperoni.  :)

        • Ray in VT

          No!  Mushrooms are gross!

          • Gregg Smith

            Have you ever seen pepperoni made?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “Your act hasn’t changed much.”

  • Ray in VT

    A good February jobs report.  236,000 jobs added.  Unemployment rate down to 7.7% from 7.9% and new weekly claims for unemployment was the lowest in some 5 years.

    • JobExperience

       Workforce shrinking, more underemployed part time and temps, stretch outs, all income gains and perks to the top 1%…
      Stats don’t pay the bills.

    • Gregg Smith

      The new normal is depressing. Fewer people searching for jobs in a smaller universe of jobs equals a lower unemployment rate. 

      You are correct, it is good news but only on the context of the rotten recent past. For a sobering look at what I mean look at the Labor Force Participation Rate:

      http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

      • Ray in VT

        Maybe we’ll just have to adjust to the new normal if this is it.  We have an aging population and automation technology has displaced many workers.  Robots can replace a lot of workers and you don’t have to provided benefits.  It’s been a long time coming, although our labor force participation rate is about the same now as it was in the early 1980s, so in that respect maybe the new normal is just the return of the old normal.

        • Gregg Smith

          I reject that, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

          • Ray in VT

            Certainly it doesn’t.  We can get rid of automation and crack down on American companies using 3rd world sweat shops to make our shoes and such.  That might bring back some jobs.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t think so.

          • Don_B1

            As I suspect you understand, automation is not going away, both for the benefit of workers as well as the necessary productivity increases it provides.

            But, raising the minimum wage to more like $12 (or more) with annual indexing plus possibly going to a four day workweek could provide workers a living wage and provide work for everyone.

            Technology, as well as taking away jobs, will lead to new opportunities in new areas that are not currently on the horizon. The above two possibilities may only be needed to bridge the period between today’s and tomorrow’s economies.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The labor participation rate is now the lowest in 30 years.  Congratulations.

      • Ray in VT

        You’re welcome.  I’m glad that I could be of service.  I have a new widget-making machine that is sure to put some workers out of a job, plus I bought this company in Illinois and outsourced all of the jobs so that I could make some extra bank.  I’m just trying to do my part.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I can tell you’re richer than I am because riffraff like me only call money “simoleans” instead of “bank”. Then people talk to me like I’m Sam Spade and ask me to find their bird statue.

          • Ray in VT

            I thought what really separated me from the riffraff such as yourself was the car elevator in the garage at my 4th home.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Does your car elevator have a 24-hour operator with a red pillbox hat and white gloves? If not….

          • Gregg Smith

            Mine does.

      • Don_B1

        @rayinvt:disqus @WorriedfortheCountry:disqus 

        There are two reasons for the decline in labor participation:

        1) The continuing high unemployment rate due to lack of sufficient government spending stimulus.

        2) The increasing number of Baby Boomers who are retiring.

        See Jared Bernstein’s blog, “On the Economy” for details on this months Jobs Report and search his blog for a discussion of the relative importance of the two:

        http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/deeper-dive-into-the-jobs-report-labor-force-participation-and-weekly-earnings/

    • Don_B1

      The lack of strong recovery is due to lack of stimulus, in fact moderate austerity “forced” on President Obama by Republicans and some Democrats. See:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/opinion/krugman-the-market-speaks.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

      There is an argument that Obama “invited” the rise of the deficit hawks, and chose to just try to make government more efficient and effective instead of cutting with a meat ax/chain saw.

      Also, there is data showing the effects of technology on jobs availability is not negligible, but the final resolution of this is hugely controversial.

  • Markus6

    Even when trying to avoid the news, I’ve heard about furloughs or layoffs for air traffic controllers, TSA people, researchers into deadly diseases, meat inspectors and even, if you can believe this, people who watch for asteroids that may hit us. And they said that this puts us in danger. 

    There’s nothing about the gross internal inefficiencies of these agencies. Nothing about postal workers who are forced to go slow, social services who duplicate each other. I’ve worked with these groups – easily 30% of the workforce could be dropped without reductions in services. 

    But they are good at one thing. And that is picking out what to reduce that hurts the most people who will then yell for more government. And they’ll do it while proclaiming they’re trying to protect important services and they’re all about efficiency. They’ll proclaim it but won’t do anything about it because it’s much easier to pick off one group of taxpayers after another. They know we’re a bunch of simple minded schmucks. 

    • JobExperience

       Productivity demonstrates that dropping 30% of the workforce is very profitable, but also very hard on the remaining workers still receiving the same wage or less.
      How could the fact that all income gains now go to the top 1% be viewed as efficient, unless you’re an exec garnishing your bonus (which you ain’t)? Better quit  playing with daddy’s shoes, or you’ll get a smack.

      • Markus6

        I agree with part of your point, but the two are not connected. 

        It stinks that the top 1% make as much as they do. It’s not efficient, morally wrong and a function of it being an insider’s game.

        But it is also wrong that taxpayers have to pay for something that is incredibly inefficient. And if you redesigned the organizations and the work, it would be harder on full timers who put in 20 hours per week (but getting paid for 40) but not harder for many (because of the overlap of services). My point is there is no effort to do either and many taxpayers naively assume we need, for example, as many firefighters as we have (I know this is a local not federal problem, but you get the idea).

        That one thing is wrong (1% getting so much), doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about gross mistakes in other areas. 

      • DeJay79

         Markus was talking about Government jobs, which is completely different from the privet sector to which it seems you are referring.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    President Obama is sending a lawmaker whose relationship with Hugo Chavez has come under scrutiny in the past to represent the United States at the Venezuelan strongman’s funeral on Friday.
    Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) allegedly met with Chavez in 2006 at the bequest of one of his donors, indicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, to request a criminal probe into a Venezuelan banker who had fallen out with Stanford, The Miami Herald reported in 2009. The banker, Gonzalo Tirado, was charged with tax evasion and theft a year after the meeting with Meeks. 

    http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/americas/286947-obama-chooses-lawmaker-accused-of-corrupt-ties-with-chavez-to-attend-strongmans-funeral#ixzz2MxD0UozK

    • brettearle

      Next thing anyone knows is that Obama will be accused of being a Marxist, for the 10 millionth time, simply for sending emissaries to the Funeral.

      Make sure you discover whether Meeks littered illegally on Highway 61, in 1982….or whether the emission controls, on his Escalade, do not fit current standards.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Would it be fairer to call him a gremlin?

        • brettearle

          Ha, Ha….

          No….I’m afraid that designation is reserved exclusively for Mr. Paul.

          [Nice try, though...]

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Thank you for noticing.

          • brettearle

             Always a pleasure….

        • northeaster17

          Mr President should suffice.

    • JobExperience

      Wow, this suggests Obama is pretty tight with the Romneys who picked up Stanford’s pieces. It’s a small world, and a tiny political class, isn’t  it? If Hugo Chavez had lived he might have someday shared a cell with Manuel Noriega, not that he done wrong, except to our esteemed Owners and traffickers.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        How are you feeling today?

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Now that budget sequestration is under way, it looks less like the fiscal apocalypse that had been predicted and more like a long-overdue intervention with politicians who are addicted to borrowing and spending.
    I agree with President Obama that sequestration’s across-the-board rather than specific cuts are a “dumb” way to reduce spending. That is why I voted against the plan two years ago. But if sequestration is dumb, it’s even dumber not to cut spending at all.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324128504578344534093602790.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

    • Don_B1

      Known inefficiencies, overlap, and outright purchases of goods or services that do not benefit the public should be eliminated, but in the present economy the money not spent that way must be spent as soon as possible on things that would benefit the public, like teachers and first responders and near-broken infrastructure, in order to build a strong recovery from the Lesser Depression which the Great Recession put the economy in.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        But that is not how the money is spent.  It is used to buy votes.  That is why NPR is spared while the VA is cut.

        • Don_B1

          Please show me where NPR is not cut; note that NPR gets its money by selling programs to individual stations. Is it because CPB sends most of its money to individual stations, where member donations can, at least temporarily, “smooth over” the drop in funding from CPB? Also, CPB sent “full funding” size checks to stations last fall and future checks will “resolve the difference.”

          CPB is setting aside 10% of its funding to cover the 8.2% reduction in funding that the sequestration law requires.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    The White House’s latest gimmick of closing the White House to tours as a result of the sequester is absurd.  If they want to save money, why didn’t the congressional members that went out to a very expensive Washington restaurant the other night just buy a loaf of bread, a jar of mayonnaise, some cans of tuna fish, some potato chips, and save the taxpayers a couple thousand dollars?

    • J__o__h__n

      Did Paul Ryan bring a brown bag when he dined with Obama?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        He should have.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        That would be fine with me.  That’s what you and I would do in order to do our part toward not spending money due to the sequester.

      • Don_B1

        The Rep. Paul Ryan that was seen partaking of two $300+ bottles (with two other diners, a hedge fund owner and a Chicago School of Economics professor) of Burgundy wine at a posh D.C. restaurant and only later after being “outed” sent a check for his portion?

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    For decades, Democrats have straddled a divide: they sought to represent both the producers of government services and the low and middle income citizens who depend on those services. Democrats want the votes and the contributions of teacher unions, and they want the votes of the parents whose kids attend public schools. As long as the blue model worked, the contradictions could be managed.

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/03/06/blue-civil-war-the-battle-for-california/

  • Ed75

    The Cardinals will soon elect a new pope. It’s not so important who it is – he will teach the Catholic faith, work to be holy, and show the joy of the faith. They are capable of selecting the right person, from prayer. The important thing is: will we listen to his teaching at this critical moment?

    • J__o__h__n

      I’m not planning to.  This corrupt organization has nothing to offer.

      • Ed75

        The Church is two things at the same time: it is a perfect society, holy, divine; and it’s in need of reform, always. Both at the same time.

        • J__o__h__n

          There is no such thing as a perfect society and holy and divine are just nonsense.  How can something perfect need reform?  The religious always counter reason with silly riddles packaged as profound questions that can’t be answered.

    • JGC

      Martin Luther in 1520: “Priests, bishops or popes…are neither different from other Christians nor superior to them.”  

      Read Garry Wills new book, “Why Priests?”

      • Ed75

        Yes, I know about Gary Wills and his new book ‘Why priests’. It’s bad theology, and it’s not even historically accurate, amazing someone can publish something like that.

      • Ed75

        Oh, and if the new pope takes the name ‘Peter II’, it’s time to pack the bags.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “The Cardinals will soon elect a new pope. It’s not so important who it is”

      Nuff’ said.

    • Don_B1

      You are probably right in that the Pope by himself will not be able to make the slow first steps toward making the Church more reflective of modern needs and dealing with the new transparencies expected of all human institutions.

      The current body of Cardinals from whom the Pope will be selected, and which will implement his directives, is likely too conservative to make the necessary changes.

      But the way the Cardinals are “talking to each other” through the press in ways not done in the past may be a sign that progress can come soon.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    The Outdoor Channel, a leading hunting and fishing-themed television network, announced Thursday that it plans to sell itself to billionaire sports mogul Stan Kroenke’s company, destroying a merger deal with InterMedia Outdoor Holdings, which is owned by major Obama donor and Huffington Post blogger Leo Hindery Jr.’s private equity fund InterMedia Partners.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/07/billionaire-outbids-obama-donor-for-the-outdoor-channel/#ixzz2MxAdPP00

  • Coastghost

    True to form, the Venezuelan economy registered an annualized rate of inflation of over 20% the week of El Commandante’s death: the highest in all of Latin America, as it was during every year of his dismal rule. (2012′s rate: just over 21%, January 2013′s rate was just over 22%.) Chavez apologists can claim all they want to that inflationary economics actually help the country’s poor, and probably do. 

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Drafted in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Hedlund said his bill would require the approval of “deliberative body” such as a city council to purchase a drone, prohibit drones equipped with weapons, and require those using drones to report on their activity.

    http://www.patriotledger.com/news/x1522333917/State-Sen-Robert-Hedlund-makes-push-for-drone-bill#ixzz2MxO0caIo

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Based on those numbers, you could argue that strict gun laws cause more gun violence. I wouldn’t necessarily go that far; I think it is fairer to say that Fleegler’s study doesn’t prove anything at all, but suggests, at least, that draconian gun laws are ineffective when it comes to homicide–which, after all, is what those laws are primarily intended to prevent.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/03/new-study-finds-firearms-laws-do-nothing-to-prevent-homicides.php

    • brettearle

      How many people would throw acid in someone’s eyes, or use a baseball bat, or a tire iron, or a 2 x 4, if there were fewer guns?

      There would be less deaths.

      This country is a partially violent country–whose malignant machismo nature and whose excessive paranoid nature is played out in the collection of, the hording of, and the obsessive possession of firearms…..Plain and Simple.

      It is THROUGH firearms that American citizens often express their sick impulses, one way or another.

      Not via Tire Irons or 2 x 4′s….

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Sadly you are very wrong. Just as illegal drugs are common so are illegal guns. Criminals will not be disarmed by the laws you advocate. If you are able to prevent law abiding people from owning the tools to defend themselves the result will be more violent crime not less. Most of the victims of that crime will be women and children, the poor and the old.  I would call what you propose hateful and oppressive even if it comes from the purest motives.

        • brettearle

          Do you feel that your statistics are accurate, but opposing statistics are not?

          Prove it.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am not arguing with Dr. Eric Fleegler statistics.  I am arguing with the conclusion he and you are drawing from them.  My position is support by both his report and by FBI uniform crime statistics.  How ever you wish to add it up the answer in America is: more guns less crime.

        • Don_B1

          Asking everyone who wants to purchase a gun to pass a background test does not seem that “hateful” or “oppressive,” particularly to those who have lost a child or other loved one to (random) gang violence.

          Preventing the possession of large ammunition magazines does not seem “hateful” or “oppressive,” either.

          Certainly neither measure will stop the gun violence in its tracks the day after passage and signing into law, but they would put the country on a track toward getting some control over illegal and destructive gun use.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

             Certainly both measure will discourage law abiding citizens from gun ownership and therefore will increase the incentives for criminals to get guns to commit crimes.  The victims of crime are more likely to be poor, minorities, women, the elderly, and children.  That is hateful and repressive.  Just as we need more people voting as a measure of being involved in the politics of our nation, we need more Americans taking responsibility for their own safety and owning guns.  I repeat: more guns less crime.    

    • northeaster17

      Like in Canada?

    • hennorama

      RWB – Do you have any of your own ideas to offer?

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        As you are well aware I have many many ideas to offer.  The problem you have is that they conflict with your own.  

        • hennorama

          RWB – My post is not about agreement or disagreement. It was related to your multiple posts that were simply quoting the words of others. I have no problem with you expressing your own ideas, then quoting others to support your ideas.

          But simply posting “FTA: blah blah blah” alone seems pointless to me without adding ANY of your own thoughts or commentary.
          But simply posting “FTA: blah blah blah” alone seems pointless to me.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am sorry I misunderstood the context of your previous post.  The words seemed an attempt to demean my originality.  I must guard against assuming such in future.  Please forgive me.  

            As I see it the articles I post are a starting off point.  I post separately to allow people to like topics individually.  (A difference between my postings and nj_v2).  One may comment or not on that topic.  I try to reply to most comments and to honestly present my views.  I do so before the program in hopes that my topics may be included in the broader conversation.  Frankly I find much of what is accepted here as factual to be of questionable validity.  Unquestioned believes can lead to avoidable mistakes.  I disagree with the idea that a real “truth” can not stand up to scrutiny.  

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY for your response and your explanation. I do respect and appreciate your views.

            Indeed other posters do lift headlines and quote others extensively, but not without some of their own thoughts. For example, nj_v2 prefaces such posts with some comentary (“Rethuglicon/right-wing jackassery of the week” or “Dimocrap jackassery and regression of the week…”).

            In contrast, when you post “FTA: blah blah blah” without any comment, the reader is left to wonder whether you agree or disagree with the words that are quoted. “What’s the point of this post?” is a question that fairly springs to mind, and that was the main thrust of my comment to you.

            Thanks again for taking the time to explain and for promoting mutual understanding.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Stand by for the Grand Sellout. My prediction:

    As the pain of the sequester kicks in, our Rockefeller republican, wall st loving prez will agree to “entitlement reform” (English translation: cuts to SS and medicare) in exchange for “loophole closings” that don’t lead to significant new revenue. He doesn’t have to be coerced into cuts, he can’t wait to do them. He offers them even before he’s asked.

    With “liberals” like this, who needs paul ryan? This is a dangerous president. Since so many accept the media smoke that he is liberal, he can easily do very harmful things that would cause an outcry if they came from the honest right.

    ps from TPM this morning on “Why is Obama Talking to Paul Ryan”

    “If Obama can somehow convince a dozen Senate Republicans to vote for a bill that closes tax loopholes and cuts Medicare/Social Security, he’ll need the House to work around the blue slip issue and bring it to the floor. Which would mean asking Boehner to abandon regular order.”

    WHY is a “liberal” working on a deal to cut SS/medicare???

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Are you saying that President Obama is actually a deep cover member of the Tea Party Movement?  Interesting.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I look at the walk instead of the talk and I follow the money. He will do a “Nixon goes to China” on SS/Medicare.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I hope you are right and he does enact meaningful restrictions on entitlement programs.  But I don’t believe he will.

          • jimino

            Social Security has not added, and by law can not ad, one cent to the deficit. 

            Or maybe by “restrictions” you mean prohibiting Congress from stealing the money dedicated to SS to fund their own agenda.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            That would be a good place to start.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Having the SS funds invested in T-bonds is not stealing any more than I am a victim of theft when I buy a T-bond. Before anyone recycles the “IOU” talking point, bonds ARE IOUs. 

            The only problem with the trust fund holding T-bonds instead of a mattress full of cash yielding 0% is that the class warriors are gonna argue that the SS T-bonds are different from “real” T-bonds and defaulting on them is OK. Then it will finally be time for pitchforks and torches.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I’d love to raise the SS cap, have medicare negotiate drug prices, and have medicare review procedures for effectiveness, for starters. However, those somehow never come up in the DC echo chamber when  ”entitlement reform” comes up.

          • Don_B1

            Just this week, a doctor “commentator” raised the “death panel” hoax again in reference to making Medicare spending cuts.

            Republicans just want to cut benefits not what Medicare will spend its money for.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            I’d really like to see a restriction on the entitlement of the financial manipulators to treat the profits from their scams as dividends and cap gains.

      • jimino

        Like I have been saying, he’s the 3rd most right-wing president in modern times.  Might move up if he succeeds in harming SS.

        And he’s such a bad politician that he’s being widely labelled a “socialist/Marxist/liberal” while doing so. 

        • TomK_in_Boston

          No, being able to carry off the liberal charade means he’s a great pol.

    • donniethebrasco

       Why do we have to pay our bills?  It is so much more fun to print money and do things we like.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Absolutely, let’s keep the romney types with under 13% tax rates, no need to pay our bills.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    LED light bulbs break the $10 price barrier and finally put horrible CFL bulbs on notice.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/512236/once-pricey-led-bulbs-to-dip-under-10/

     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    For “Made-up news”, just another Serious Voice of Conservative Journalism, The Daily Caller, has been caught running a story too good to check out.

    An escort who appeared on a video claiming that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) paid her for sex has told Dominican authorities that she was instead paid to make up the claims and has never met or seen the senator, according to court documents and two people briefed on her claim.

    Didn’t I call dibs on mistrusting The Daily Caller before anyone else here?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       I guess you missed the part where the WaPO interviewed a different prostitute than the Daily Caller so NO they didn’t exonerate sleazy Bob.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic. The “scandal” that Tucker Carlson’s bots went with was “Menendez hires then-underage hookier”.

        The latest Caller story doesn’t even make that allegation about the new hookers that they’ve found.

        The Daily Caller’s need to clutch pearls and faint on the couch v. the WaPo’s very slightest bit of actual fact checking.

        Tucker Carlson’s need to fluff something which isn’t Father-of-the-Year conduct sounds so weak-ass when he starts making stuff up. At some point anyone who believes anything he says without checking it out anyplace else is a patsy.

        Who to believe? Whooooo to believe?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          The Daily Caller source might be full of crap but the WaPO, in their rush to clear sleazy Bob, got their story wrong.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Did you ever submit anything to an editor anywhere? Some rinky-dinky college or high-school paper?

            And “sleazy Bob” is pretty telling. Or did that become his new name, “SleazyBob Menendez”.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Democrats in NJ call him sleazy Bob.  I was just piling on.

          • Gregg Smith

            Menendez would be history if he were a Republican.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            David Vitter did what, again, and resigned in shame what happened?

          • Gregg Smith

            Vitter is a sleaze ball that cheated on his wife. There was no corruption, free plane rides or anything of the sort like with Menendez.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The big Daily Caller thrust, before the election for Menendez, was “UNDERAGE PROSTITUTE!!!”

            And Vitter–did he frequent prostitutes where it was legal? All I’ve read were New Orleans and DC.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      From Glenn Reynolds:
       JOURNALISM: Washington Post quietly makes major change to Menendez story. “Without informing readers in the story or elsewhere, on Monday night The Washington Post deleted its explicit claim that the Dominican prostitute who recanted her allegation against Sen. Robert Menendez had appeared in a video posted to The Daily Caller. . . . Readers were not notified of the update anywhere on the article page of Leonnig’s story, and the time stamp was removed to make it impossible to know when the edits went into effect.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You lost me at “Glenn Reynolds, Pajamas Media”.

        If there’s a real source, I’ll read it.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Anyone can check the article that you have posted to see if it still maintains there original false claim:

          In a story by investigative reporter Carol Leonnig, the Post initially reported at 4:47 p.m. that “the women’s videotaped claims, with their faces obscured, were played on the conservative Web site The Daily Caller. The news site reported that ‘the two women said they met Menendez around Easter at Casa de Campo, an expensive 7,000-acre resort in the Dominican Republic.’” 

          http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/05/washington-post-quietly-edits-menendez-story-to-remove-attack-on-thedcs-reporting/#ixzz2MxkKqn2u

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’m not kidding when I ask for a real source. And that means not the Daily Caller. Or Breitbart.

            Plenty of other stories have been filed on this matter.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Wow. Not to step on my own feet, but how could I forget what Tucker does when the tables are turned.

      CARLSON:  I wish David Vitter were a Democrat.  I wish he were a liberal Democrat.  I wish he were Russ Feingold, because then I would defend him every bit as zealously as I am defending not what David Vitter did, but his right to be unbothered by the rest of us for something that‘s
      none of our business.

  • donniethebrasco

    Don’t you realize, the press still believes: “If there is a problem, it is George Bush’s fault.”

    • DeJay79

       and mostly they are right.

    • brettearle

       So….when Nero let Rome burn, that must mean that the next Emperor should carry the blame.

      Is that correct?

    • doggypeg

       omg–a Bush defender?

  • toc1234

    is Jack in NH or will he be calling in from Chavez’s funeral?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      “I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there” 

  • BlueNH

    Last Fridy afternoon, the State Dept issued their Environmental Impact Study on the Keystone XL Pipeline project through the United States. Much of the report was written by pro-oil consultants (go figure!). Will Obama deny or allow this permit? To climate activists, it appears he is heading towards approval.

    Why no discussion of this important issue? As James Hansen, NASA climate scientist has said, if Alberta mines all their tar sands, it’s “game over” for the climate (and humanity).

    Climate change is the most important issue of our time. China is turning into a desert; the Arctic summer ice will be gone in a few years and winter ice will be gone in a decade; oceans are rising and flooding island nations; storms are becoming more extreme and drought in the heartland will raise food prices. Why aren’t we more alarmed? Why isn’t this subject being discussed by the media?

    • donniethebrasco

       We need to stop people using oil.

      Some ideas:

      $5.00 tax on a gallon of gasoline

      Carbon credits that reduce every year.  Eventually, you will have to pay to breathe.

      Support urban farms and suburban farms.  For example, tax credits equaling $50 for every tomato you grow.  There will also be jobs for people to verify that the tomato was actually grown in a urban or suburban environment.

      • Gregg Smith

        Be careful, some are nodding enthusiastically.

      • StilllHere

        Double for heirlooms

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Canada will still extract the oil even if the Keystone is not approved.  Without Keystone, Canada will ship the oil directly to China so we are only quibbling about whether the US gets to benefit from the oil and resulting jobs.

      • BlueNH

        Not true. There is no direct route to their West Coast, so they can’t sell it directly to China (don’t you think they would have done it that way if it was the easiest route?).

        The price of this dirty oil is artificially low. If the US denies the KXL, the price will be reflected in the cost to extract it.

        There are more jobs in a clean green energy economy. Why aren’t we moving towards 21st century fuels? There is $3 trillion/year at stake. I’d rather see Americans employed in green energy than 19th century dirty fuel jobs which can never move us forward.

      • jefe68

        Do you think the oil from this pipeline would go to the US? It’s bound for the international market, as is all oil. So China getting this oil is very likely. 

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          If it did go to China, it would be as a refined product.  Therefore we would get some nice tax revenue on the sale.

      • JGC

        I am more in line with BlueNH’s comment, but here is what Albertan commentator Diane Francis has to say on the subject in last weekend’s Financial Post:

        ‘On distribution, railways are playing an increasing role in moving oil to markets …and a series of pipeline capacity increases along the border (and to existing pipelines through B.C.) will be approved to get the Canadian oil out to the markets. The Americans need our oil sands and less high-profile means of shipping it there will work and be welcome. (Obama approved an equally large pipeline in 2009 for bitumen but the oil went to Chicago refineries, not through pristine farmland en route to refineries owned by Tea Party billionaires, the extremist Koch Brothers, where the Keystone stuff is destined.  This was a major political miscalculation on the part of the Keystone backers.)’

        So from what I gather up here, they are hopeful Keystone will now be approved, but if not, it is coming in by rail tanker, and there may also be a rededication of natural gas pipelines to move oil through to Quebec and some Quebec refineries, and also continuing on to East Coast U.S. refineries. If Keystone XL does not come through, the oil sands people have Plans B, C and possibly D ready to go, and most of it will end of in the U.S. refineries anyway.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           ”The extremist Koch brothers”?  You mean the ones that fund Nova on PBS?

          • JGC

            I am just quoting (somewhat)conservative Albertan commentator Diane Francis, word for word.  And if she sees the Koch Bros as “extremist”, so be it. Can’t say I disagree… 

  • MrNutso

    Insanity:  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Like voting?

      • Gregg Smith

        … for Obama.

      • MrNutso

        Actually, I don’t expect a different result when voting.

  • donniethebrasco

    The old saying has changed.

    Do not speak ill of the dead, except Hugo Chavez.

    • wauch

       Exactly and OnPoint and NPR has decided they are going to jump on the “Chavez is a Latin American Hitler” narrative. I am debating boycotting OnPoint and Jane Clayson in the post-Chavez coverage as a substitute was completely spineless. Rand Paul and Chavez spoke to a disenfranchised growing class of people who see institutional politicians and Wall Street types for what they are. The same goes for Bernie Sanders (BTWs also pulled off an equally stunning filibuster).
      Brennan is reason # XXXXXXXXX…… why I regret voting for Obama once let alone twice!

      • donniethebrasco

         I don’t think that Chavez is a Hitler.  He is a pure “Robin Hood” populist.

        Wealth is created.  A rich class is made.  Their stuff is taken by the government.  The government allows the stuff to be used up.  They print currency because they have to have it to continue their “Robin Hood” government giveaways.  They debase the wealth creating capital and currency.

        Then they blame their problems on Bush.

        • wauch

           I didn’t say you said Chavez was Hitler. I actually have quite a great deal of admiration for Chavez for a variety of reasons. However, blaming stuff on Bush is an old story but the fact remains that Bush put 2 wars on a credit card and defense spending is the biggest elephant in the room.

      • nj_v2

        Rand Paul; puhleeze. Pay attention, man.

        Nominally right about the drone program, he’s otherwise a racist neoliberal hack. Like dad Paul, he wouldn’t have supported the Civil Rights Act. Was put into office by astrouturf Tea Bagger “Freedom Works.” Held up a flood relief bill so he could attach an amendment that would confer civil rights to zygotes to “end abortion once and for all.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/26/rand-paul-fetal-personhood-flood-insurance_n_1628128.html)

        The filibuster was just a theatrical, self-promotional stunt. He could have just had his aide send a memo to Reid’s aide to lodge his filibuster. But he saw an opportunity to launch his 2016 presidential campaign. He even spoke for a whole hour without taking a drink of water! Take that, Rubio!

        Don’t mistake this clown for a progressive!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Nominally right (about this one item)” is a good description.

          If Rand Paul will filibuster when appropriations time comes around, then I’ll reconsider.

  • donniethebrasco

    Is it too late for Joe for Oil to run for Senate?  He will no longer get paid from his “charity” $1.2 million per year, since Chavez is not around to pay the Kennedy’s their annual bribe.

  • donniethebrasco

    The press cannot hide Obama’s lies around the sequester.  The American people now know the truth and have turned their back on him.

    The US will not capsize into the ocean.

    Lower government spending means nothing to them.  Just to a bunch of non-working hacks getting paid to not work.

  • donniethebrasco
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    There’s a major disconnect in Washington – in order to fix the cuts caused the sequester, we need to get in there and come up with a balanced budget? Which would have cuts orders of magnitude bigger than the sequester? Really?

  • doggypeg

    It is sad that President Obama feels safe enough to make cuts in Social Security and Medicare. He must feel confident that Americans are so used to being slapped around that we won’t do anything with our disgust and outrage. Someone’s got to pay for our out-of-whack economy and I guess the Grand Bargain will ensure that it’s the middle class that pays–through taxes, fees, local tax increases and cuts to services. Someone’s going to pay and it might as well be the seniors, single moms, government employees, preschoolers, unemployed and other assorted riff-raff. Surely we wouldn’t want to tax un-earned income or close the loopholes for private jets and show ponies!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      Lots of folks seem to be fine with scrapping the pensions people have worked for for decades on the auspice that they are not affordable. They don’t like it as much when all of a sudden what they’ve worked for for decades also gets put on the chopping block.

    • donniethebrasco

       This is the problem with “Robin Hood” populism.  When everyone sees the government as the creator of value and the arbiter of fairness, everyone has their handout.

      Because government is at best a zero-sum game, eventually everyone has to accept less.

      • doggypeg

         Whether or not you agree with every government expense (who does?), you must agree that our government provides some useful services. Whatever those services are, I think the wealthy should be paying a greater share. Look at any numbers about wealth and income in the country in the last few decades and you can’t help but notice that the income of the wealthiest has skyrocketed at the same time that their tax rates have gone way down. And the share of the wealth has also skyrocketed. And who is asked to pay for the economic mess?

    • donniethebrasco

       Do you know what “loopholes for private jets” means?  It means that businesses can expense the costs associated with private jet travel.  Just like they can expense the costs of wages, products, paper, computers, airline travel, hotels, meals, uniforms, etc.

      Why doesn’t the press think instead of just writing what the Obama administration says?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Do you?

        Because I thought that this loopholes meant that private jet owners get to write these investments down faster than the rest of aviation.

        A friendly line in the tax code that allows a depreciation schedule of five years for private jets as opposed to seven years for other airlines contributes over $300 million to the annual debt tally.

        What’s messed up about bringing corporate jet tax rates into line with the rest of the aviation industry, and redirecting those funds to the FAA?

        • doggypeg

           But my question is is it just the private jet loophole that you seek to justify or are you saying that the many other loopholes designed to let rich people pay less in taxes are also fair?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Probably neither. I’m the riffraff, which I expect you are also. (If not, my apologies.)

            I guess I’m saying if one is rich enough to worry about the depreciation on a Learjet, one probably doesn’t need to buy “Lobbying Congress for Dummies” to figure out how to get their particular interest spoken for when the tax code is kajiggered a bit.

            And with me it’s always about the mediascape. Half the commercial media in this country is going to talk about this particular issue like it’s the worst tax increase evah, and (relatively) poor folks need to storm the Bastille (or whatever) because “your tax cut is next!”

          • doggypeg

             Well, tax breaks for private jets is a lot easier for people to digest than the sometimes pretty complicated financial schemes/loopholes that really matter. So the media sometimes seize upon a small issue to represent the larger issue of the rich not paying their share (as in Warren Buffet paying a lower rate than his secretary). And for me, there’s a bit too much kajiggering going on. Though, come to think of it, taxing capital gains as ordinary income or putting a nickel tax on every stock transaction would bring in a lot more money.

      • doggypeg

         Are you suggesting that there are no loopholes for the wealthy (say, deferred compensation?) that should be eliminated or that private jets shouldn’t be included in the list?

  • DeJay79

    “he did win the re-election, as democartes like to say”?!?!
    you mean As A matter of Fact!, He did win re-election.

  • MrNutso

    That is not Republicans priority.  Their priority stop the takers from taking from the makers by getting rid of entitlements, so they can cut taxes for the Rich.  They could give a $hit about deficits or the debt as demonstrated under Bush.

  • nlpnt

    Allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies and  making all income (not just the first $100,000) taxable under FICA would go a long way to fix the “entitlement program”.

    The Ryan Medicare-privatization program would heap yet more long-term uncertainty on a public already afraid to spend due to the you’re-on-your-own society we’ve been building for the past 30 years.

  • doggypeg

     I thought the oil went to Americans who can’t afford sufficient heating fuel. Are you saying that Joe Kennedy is pocketing the money? That would truly be scandalous. Can you provide a link to an article?

    • donniethebrasco

       http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/03/06/Joe-Kennedy-Praises-Chavez

    • donniethebrasco

       http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/columnists/howie_carr/2013/03/moonbats_mourn_another_red_thug

      • doggypeg

         I read the Herald piece and read all the back and forth about Kennedy’s income on Topix.com. My take is that rich people’s tax returns (e.g. Romney and Kennedy) are complicated. Was the income you’re referring to compensation from the non-profit Citizens Energy or from the “other entities.” While Carr and Breitbart are hardly reliable sources, I am certainly willing to concede that some non-profits pay their executives way too much. And if Kennedy was paid $600,000 from a charity helping poor people, then he should be ashamed of himself. Would it be ok with you if Venezuela gave oil to a non-profit which paid it’s execs a more reasonable salary?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Doesn’t it bother you that Chavez was stealing the oil from the poor people in Venezuela to give relief to the relatively affluent in Boston?  Also, doesn’t it bother you that Chavez is worth $2B when he was not wealthy when he entered office 14 years ago?

          • doggypeg

             Two good questions. The second first: Do I have to choose between a populist but authoritarian ruler who profits from his position, but vastly improves conditions for the majority of his citizens AND a president who must share power with a legislature and judiciary, who uses his position to keep a wealthy class wealthy and in power? In other words, I think Chavez’s good works deserve commendation and I think the pundit/media demonization of him has more to do with those good works than with his autocratic ways–which they are very tolerant of when the dictator is “our dictator.”
            As for Chavez “stealing” oil money to give to American poor instead of the poorer Venezuelans: I see it as foreign aid with a political mission with a much higher purpose than much of the US foreign aid which our  presidents have “stolen” to give to corrupt/brutal militaries around the world.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       And don’t forget that Chavez ‘gave’ the oil to Joe For Oil at the expense of his own poor people who are living in slums on $1.50/day as a propaganda tool.

      • doggypeg

         There’s a lot to be said about Chavez’s authoritarian ways (not to be confused with the authoritarian ways of rulers YOU like), but I thought most observers have noted the dramatic advances the Venezuelan poor have made under Chavez–literacy, health, housing, income, etc.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Pray-tell, which ‘authoritarian’ rulers do I  like?

          • doggypeg

            I am guilty of stereotyping. I should know by now that not everyone who expresses a conservative worldview necessarily goes along with US foreign policy. While the United States has a long and proud history of supporting authoritarian (and worse) rulers, I had no reason to assume you did as well.

      • hennorama

        WorriedfortheCountry – love him or hate him, Hugo Chavez was a shrewd politician.  The “propaganda tool” of subsidizing low income folks in the demonic USA, to show solidarity with the poor while thumbing his nose at Pres. G.W. “the Devil” Bush is just one example of his political skill.

        Surviving a US-supported coup is another.  Not many leaders ever lived to tell THAT sort of tale.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Shrewd but not very good for his people or the free world.  Hitler was a ‘shrewd’ politician too.

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – TY for your response.

            Hitler was indeed a shrewd politician. However, mentioning Hitler and Chavez in the same post is way off-base, IMO. Chavez never led his country on a worldwide military conquest, and never exterminated millions of people.

            History will judge Chavez, but it’s fair to say that life under Chavez was better for the poorest of Venezuelans, and Chavez made the poor a major focus of his policies. Could he have done more for them? No doubt. But he did help the poorest a great deal.

            As to Chavez’ impact on the free world – he was a minor irritation at most.

            One might view Chavez’ continued domestic popularity and repeated reelection as due to the rising price of oil, and his use of rising oil revenues to finance his policies.

            Hmmm… now when did oil prices start to rise dramatically? Recent wars in the Middle East seem to coincide with recent oil price spikes. This site charts oil prices and notes various world events that may have impacted them:

            http://www.wtrg.com/prices.htm

            Chavez also had a very useful foil in Pres. Bush II. No doubt Chavez’ domestic and international popularity was enhanced by his criticism and mockery of Pres. Bush II, who was notably unpopular both at home and around the world.

            Chavez used every means at his disposal to maintain power, including gerrymandering and vote rigging, especially during more recent elections. And certainly his domestic policies may not be sustainable. But he helped the poorest in his country, and was at most a minor irritant to the “free world”.

  • robinbrenner

    Let’s be clear about what the right-wing of the Republican Party is doing.  They’ve wanted to “starve the beast”, severely limit government, for decades.  That’s what’s going on here.  That’s why the deficit is taking precedence in their minds in the shorte term at a time when investment in the economy is what’s really needed.  It’s hard to take their policies seriously when you consider this.  A large majority of the American people do believe in what government does….not the waste and pork, but those policies that impact the quality of our lives.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Correct. Follow the money….as it flows to the top.

  • DeJay79

    austerity now is a horrible idea.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Who is suggesting austerity?

      • doggypeg

        What else is austerity if not cuts in services, cuts in pensions, wages, government employees, increased taxes for the great middle class, etc.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Have you been to metro DC recently?  They can afford a cut.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Stop confusing “metro DC” with “where federal dollars go”.

            Plenty of self-professed fiscal conservatives around military bases (which have become single-industry towns) are discovering what this sequester is doing.

          • doggypeg

             I’m not sure what that means. Are you saying that you can see useless government activity in Washington DC and therefore all the cuts I briefly mentioned are justified?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             The wealth and local DC economy is a proxy for government waste.  There is plenty of room to cut government waste.  Why not pay government workers at the same rate as the private sector?  That simple change would save $Billions and would not increase unemployment.

          • doggypeg

             A lot of government workers do get paid more than their private sector counterparts (not true of course for doctors, lawyers, high-level managers, librarians, engineers, etc). If cuts are to be made, does it make sense to cut the wages of middle-class government workers (another blow to our disappearing middle class) or maybe charge  a transaction fee for stock purchases or increase the taxes on unearned income? I think it would be fairer and better for the economy if taxes were adjusted back to where they were in the 50s or 60s.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            We can have both tax reform AND spending cuts.  Right?  We have a $16.5T debt AND an annual $800B deficit and still no Federal budget.

          • Mike_Card

            It’s been 16 years since there was a federal budget.

          • doggypeg

             I don’t have a problem with spending cuts, but like you , I imagine,  I have my priorities. To me it makes no sense for us to have an economy that is booming at the very top and busting at the bottom. We should not be laying off teachers and social workers at the same time as we tolerate tax rules which benefit the very richest.

      • StilllHere

        Austerity = slower growth of the size of government according to those who want a bigger government

    • donniethebrasco

       Austerity is required when you drain the treasury and the American people for “Robin Hood” populism.

      • doggypeg

         Austerity is required? Required by who? In light of the trickle-up economics that we have become accustomed to, austerity is “required” by those who require the trickle be increased to a downpour (up)!

  • OnpointListener

    If the Republicans would get out of the way, we would be doing even better!

    Austerity from the sequester will have a negative impact over time unless the measure is reversed.

    The people imposing the sequester and who refuse to raise revenues by closing loopholes and reforming the tax code never had a problem putting two wars and Medicare D on a credit card.

    • StilllHere

      Whereas runaway deficits and debt are the way to the promised land.  

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Hey, the right had their chance. Not one balanced budget submitted during a 5-year expansion. Funny, that.

        (Cue the “nobody was a conservative last decade” chorus.)

    • Gregg Smith

      For a second there I confused you with “OnPointComments”.

    • OnPointComments

      What is austerity?  Austerity is the White House closing its doors to public tour groups to save money for the sequester.  Austerity is not giving the ax to the White House “Chief Calligrapher,” Patricia A. Blair, who has an annual salary of $96,725, and her two deputies, Debra S. Brown, who gets paid $85,953 per year, and Richard T. Muffler, who gets paid $94,372 every year.  Everyone knows the government can’t function without calligraphers.  Austerity allows for the commissioning oil portraits of outgoing EPA administrator Lisa Jackson at a cost of $38,350, Air Force Secretary Michael Donnelly at a cost $41,200, Commerce Secretary John Bryson’s portrait at a cost of $22,500, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s portrait at a cost of $22,500.  $400,000 on oil portraits in the past two years.
       
      What is austerity?  Wasting taxpayer money as they always have.

      • doggypeg

         I think of austerity as longer lines at the DMV, longer response times for EMTs, fewer art and music teachers, potholes, no Saturday postal delivery, uninspected food, social workers with caseloads of 50, libraries cutting hours, medical research reduced etc. You get the idea…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The economy is doing great – it’s just there are millions of Americans that are no longer part of it.

    If you don’t make money, spend it or invest it you are not part of the economy.

  • Coastghost

    Jack Bleatty: amazed to hear you’re not wearing your black armband down in Caracas. As to “gender equity”: women earn less cumulatively during their careers because they spend more time out of the labor force during their careers than their male counterparts. Fewer women than men work full-time jobs, too. Blame biology, if you please, rather than crediting corporate governance.

    • donniethebrasco

       Jack,

      I doubt you would want to spend 2 seconds in Venezuela under Chavez.  If you said one thing that Chavez disagreed with, maybe a general was accused of firing a secretary for not “playing ball.”

      If you talked about it on the radio, you would be in Caracas jail in a New York minute.

      • toc1234

        thats the thing with the pro-Chavez crowd in the States, they think that Chavez would have been buddy -buddy (err, komrade-komrade) w them, but in reality Chavez would’ve laughed at their naivete and probably relieve the silly liberal of his wallet.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          You need to come up with better schtick about “silly liberals”.

          Chavez’ great sin was getting on the US’ govermnent’s list of official bad guys. That’s made almost every story from the US press about him incomplete.

          The US’ history of intervention in Latin America is riddled with people who are worse than Chavez, but were kept as friends of the US.

  • twenty_niner

    Jack,

    Interest rates are at record lows because the Fed is buying up 90% of new bond issuance (with printed money).

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-03/treasury-scarcity-to-grow-as-fed-buys-90-of-new-bonds.html

    • donniethebrasco

       As soon as inflation starts, it won’t stop for 10 years.

      • jimino

        Just out of curiosity, how many years have you all been predicting inflation is right around the corner?

        • twenty_niner

          It already is if you calculate using the Carter-Administration methodology.

    • StilllHere

      It really says something that he doesn’t know this.  

    • toc1234

      listening to Jack talk about the economy is like listening to my 5 y/o neice talk about football.  or Obama talk foreign policy…

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    The TSA decision to allow certain types of knives and other weapons is truly about as stupid a decision as one could make.  One needs to look no further than that to figure out why people have so little confidence in the federal government and their decision making criteria.  Is this an early April Fool’s joke, or are we on candid camera to see people’s reactions when they hear such absurdity?

    • Saul B

      Were you paranoid about being stabbed in the years prior to 9/11/01, when small blades were allowed on board?

      No one with a blade is getting into the cockpit. So why’s someone with a small blade any more dangerous on a plane than in any other public space?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Didn’t we learn anything from boxcutters on 9/11?

        • Saul B

          Yes, we learned that the old hijacking model of the plane being diverted and hostage negotiations happening on the ground was no longer valid, and that no passenger is to be allowed entry into the cockpit under any circumstances.

          Are you equally scared of any number of everyday objects that can be turned into razor-sharp edges (soda cans, drinking glass shards, a CD)?

    • donniethebrasco

       The reason is because the TSA employees keep missing the pen knives in people’s bags.

      Instead of making them better at finding pen knives, they remove the requirement.

      It is akin to a grading curve.  Instead of improving performance, they remove the requirement.  Too many TSA workers were failing spot checks.  This makes the union mad.  Then the TSA caves and improves the grades of TSA agents with a single swipe of the pen.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I think that you hit the nail on the head.

    • Gregg Smith

      I went to Mexico a few weeks ago and was shook down. I had a corkscrew in my bag (I didn’t even know it was there) and it had a tiny blade to cut the foil. They searched my bag, felt me up and swabbed my hands for chemical analysis. I understand they were doing their job but it seemed silly to me. On the way home I carried a sitting hammock on board that had a 3′ long, 2” dia. hickory pole. No problem. I can guarantee I could raise more havoc with the poll than the corkscrew… but it’s not my nature.

      • JGC

        You fit a 3′ long hammock chair in the overhead bin! At least you didn’t bring back one of those 3′ wide sombreros. I hate it when I have to share a seating row with one of those tourists that tries to wear their souvenir sombrero home.

        • Gregg Smith

          Yea, it was woven and easily packed except for the pole. I untied it from the pole before embarking and if there was trouble my plan was to toss the pole and stow the hammock. But there wasn’t a problem.

  • donniethebrasco

    What is that buzzing I hear outside?

    It looks like a dro……..

    • jimino

       Drones don’t kill people.  People do.

    • JGC

      MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – In a possible setback for the Administration’s controversial drone policy, a new poll conducted by the University of Minnesota shows that a broad majority of Americans are opposed to being killed by a drone strike on U.S. soil. The poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus five percentage points, showed that 97% of those surveyed “strongly agreed” with the statement, “I personally do not want to be killed by a drone,” with 3% responding, “Don’t know/No opinion.”

      “There’s no other way to interpret these numbers,” said U of M’s David Logsdon, who oversaw the the survey. “The idea of being killed by a drone is not playing well out there.”…At the White House, spokesman Jay Carney tried to make the best of the poll results, telling reporters, “Look, people are afraid of getting killed by a drone.  We get that.  But there is still broad public support for drones killing somebody else.”

  • Gregg Smith

    It’s good to know Obama can’t send a drone after an American in America willy nilly. Why was is so hard to get that answer? Thanks Rand Paul.

    • J__o__h__n

      For once I agree with you. 

      • Gregg Smith

        It’s not the first time, you just try to block it out. But this isn’t partisan and others here have expressed agreement as well. It’s a no-brainer.

      • nj_v2

        It’s the broken-clock phenomenon.  

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I’m missing something. A broken clock is right about holding the US government’s feet to the fire w.r.t. threatening US citizens when a Republican is in the White House?

  • northeaster17

    I have thought that Kaddaffi was taken out because of his nationalized oil system

    • donniethebrasco

       Are you saying that Chavez was taken out as well?

      Kaddaffi was in power for over 40 years.  What were “they” waiting for?

      Were they waiting for the US government to blow up the twin towers so that they could have political cover for going after Kaddaffi?

      • northeaster17

        Bush tried to take Chavez out in 2002. That coup failed. No sense in trying again since we were on to Iraq. Another country with nationalized oil.

  • DeJay79

    jack, jack, jack… the fake “conflict” between them and us is what keeps that regime in power the last thing they actually want is to talk peace.

  • nj_v2

    Rethuglicon/right-wing jackassery of the week…

    http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/03/02/state-lawmaker-says-bicycling-is-not-good-for-the-environment-should-be-taxed/


    State lawmaker defends bike tax, says bicycling is not good for the environment

    Representative Ed Orcutt (R – Kalama) does not think bicycling is environmentally friendly because the activity causes cyclists to have “an increased heart rate and respiration.”

    This is according to comments he made in an email to a constituent who questioned the wisdom of a new bike tax the legislature is considering as part of a large transportation package.

    (snipped)

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/27/idaho-lawmaker-force-all-adults-into-militias-to-protect-gun-rights/
    Idaho lawmaker: Force all adults into militias to protect gun rightsA Republican lawmaker in Idaho has proposed an amendment to the state Constitution that would require all adults to be militia members in an effort to preserve their right to bear arms.

    At a Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, state Sen. Jim Rice (R) said that he feared that the U.S. Supreme Court would change the definition of the Second Amendment and allow the federal government to confiscate guns owned by individuals, according to The Associated Press.

    (snipped)

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/02/27-7
    In Blind Poll, Republicans Choose Progressive Budget Solutions Over Their Own Party’s
    Of three major proposals, majority of voters choose one least discussed amid “sequester” madness
    When the Business Insider polled registered voters and asked for their preferences among three Congressional plans floated to avoid the looming “sequestration” cuts in Washington, they found that when stripped of their partisan labels, the policies most favorable to the majority were those offered by the progressive wing of the Democratic caucus.(snipped)http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/fox-news-host-student-activists_n_2819058.htmlFox News Host Greg Gutfeld Compares Student Environmental Activists To ‘Radical Islamists’ (VIDEO)Fox News host Greg Gutfeld compared college students pushing for fossil fuel divestment at their universities to “radical Islamists” on Tuesday and branded themanti-American for wanting their schools to cut financial ties to oil companies.”Remember how the goal of the radical Islamists is to force existence back to a time when Mohammad walked the earth?” Gutfeld said. “The only difference between them and the divestors is the radical Islamists cut to the chase.”(snipped)

    • donniethebrasco

       That’s what I said.  The government will tax breathing because it creates CO2.

       We need to stop people using oil.

      Some ideas:

      $5.00 tax on a gallon of gasoline

      Carbon credits that reduce every year.  Eventually, you will have to pay to breathe.

      Support urban farms and suburban farms.  For example, tax credits
      equaling $50 for every tomato you grow.  There will also be jobs for
      people to verify that the tomato was actually grown in a urban or
      suburban environment.

      • jefe68

        You and Ed Orcutt should start political action group.
        You both have so much in common.

    • DeJay79

       these are always great, well done.

      • nj_v2

        It’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel (not that i’ve ever done it), but thanks!

    • nj_v2

      And one more. Not from this week, but reaches back a few years for a kind of greatest hits.

      As scary as it is humorous; about a 12-minute video…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGVaEGgSNV8&feature=player_embedded

      • Gregg Smith
      • 1Brett1

        I love those Frank Luntz infomercial -er, “focus groups.” They are just so obviously staged and orchestrated, with each comment being spoken without pause and one orderly following another (it’s kind of a nice touch that these aren’t actors, as that gives the group a spontaneous and “authentic” feel. especially when they all have to chime in with such statements as, “Obama is a Muslim.”).

        I guess Mr. Smith’s “rebuttal” shows how uninformed some voters are without being staged…but the main difference between the video you put up and his is that yours shows the stupidity of actual Republican legislators (the Luntz “focus group” notwithstanding). Which is much more of a concern than citizens being accosted off the cuff. 

      • hennorama

        OMG I had forgotten the $200 MILLION DOLLARS A DAY!” nonsense (and the rest).

        What fools.

        TY for sharing.  (Again).

        • Gregg Smith

          Maxine Waters said 170 million jobs would be lost after a sequester that increased spending over last year by $15 billion. There are only 150 million jobs to begin with. Beat that.

      • nj_v2

        I wonder if the treasurer dude got elected.

    • jefe68

      Ed Orcutt is now the poster boy for the segment on the right that are living in a fantasy world of make believe. Really, the mans an idiot.

      does not think bicycling is environmentally friendly because the activity causes cyclists to have “an increased heart rate and respiration.”

      Classic.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    WHY did we pay attention to Chavez?

    What a stupid question.

    OIL.

    If we didn’t need the MILLION plus barrels A DAY, Chavez wouldn’t even be a footnote in world history. 

    • jimino

      The Venezuelan-national-oil-company-owned Citgo is an upstanding corporate citizen of our country.

      • Gregg Smith

        I never go to Citgo, I go to BP.

        • alsordi

          BP is the Devil.  I look for Citgo whenever I need gas.  

          • Gregg Smith

            We cancel each other out.

          • StilllHere

            Except you probably drive a gas guzzler!

    • DrewInGeorgia

      I also found our attention to Chavez similar to our preoccupation with Castro: Gotta keep an eye (and a jackboot) on the Commie an’ Socialist folks to make sure they don’t make Capitalism look bad.

      Insecurity is the biggest tell.

      • Gregg Smith

        I kinda get the proximity thing with Cuba but never understood why our policies with China were directly opposite of those towards Cuba.

        • jefe68

          Business.

        • Ray in VT

          Too many voters to court in South Florida, perhaps.

          • Gregg Smith

            Certainly, I was born in Miami.

    • GuestAug27

      Kaddafi, Chavez, Sadam Hussein, Ahmadinejad have one thing in common: they tried to set up an oil-trading system that would NOT use the U.S. dollar as the trading currency.  That would be very bad thing for the U.S. economy.  Imagine we would have to actually earn the money to buy our oil instead of just printing it.  Awful!! These guys obviously needed to be taught a lesson.

      • StilllHere

        You’re joking right.  No matter what currency they would have chosen, the dollar would still dominate global trade.  And these 4 losers wouldn’t have been a blip on global trade.  I’m not sure you’ve got a good grasp of monetary economics.

  • Ed75

    I’m thinking of Pope John Paul I, who showed the joyfulness of the faith.

    • Mike_Card

      He was a speed bump.  In 33 days, he didn’t even get to have his boy to f*** in his quarters.

      • JGC

        Ouch!  But it’s true, I overlooked the I vs. II distinction. JPII could be characterized as joyful; JPI could be characterized as: hit the snooze button for five more minutes?

        Quick story for everyone:  My parents (Dad: SuperCatholic, Mom: Baptist Whatever) took their one and only grand European tour during that  autumn when JPI was (briefly) Pope.  They did a tour of the Vatican and the early Christian crypts, and woke up the next day to hear Pope John Paul I had bit the dust. My Dad was breathless with excitement to be in Rome during the transition of the papacy; my mom’s take was, “Didn’t we just see a bunch of dead popes yesterday?” 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “SuperCatholic”.

          You got me to laugh out loud at the image of a guy pulling off his suit, a la Superman.

          • JGC

            Now I’m laughing, too!

  • nj_v2

    Dimocrap jackassery and regression of the week…

    http://www.propublica.org/article/under-obama-more-appointments-go-unfilled

    Under Obama, More Appointments Go Unfilled

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services haven’t had a Senate-confirmed administrator since 2006. The Federal Labor Relations Authority has had only a single member since January and can’t issue decisions. And the Election Assistance Commission hasn’t had any commissioners at all since 2011.

    All presidential administrations have vacancies. But an analysis of appointments data by ProPublica shows that President Obama hasn’t kept up with his predecessors in filling them. A greater share of presidentially appointed positions that require Senate confirmation were sitting vacant at the end of Obama’s first term than at the end of Bill Clinton’s or George W. Bush’s first terms.

    At least 68 of the positions remain vacant, including 43 that have been vacant for more than a year.

    The vacancies have been spread across dozens of different departments and agencies, with some hit harder than others.  At the Department of the Interior, for instance, six of its 18 appointed positions were vacant at the end of Obama’s first term. The department had three vacancies midway through Clinton’s presidency and only one midway through Bush’s.…

    …“I think President Obama bears some responsibility and the Senate bears some responsibility,” said Anne Joseph O’Connell, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, whose research shows that Obama filled fewer positions in departments and executive agencies in his first year in the White House than any of the last four presidents.

    (excerpts)

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/03/04-3

    Obama Offers to Cut Social Security, Medicare and Popular Programs (Again)
    Move fulfills progressive predictions that deficit fear-mongering will pave the way for inevitable ‘grand bargain’

    According to new reports, President Obama is once again offering cuts to popular social programs such as Medicare and Social Security as a bargaining chip in the ongoing sequester debate.

    Such a move by the president is one that many progressives foresaw and warned against, saying that deficit fear-mongering would only pave the way for an inevitable “grand bargain.”…

    (snipped)

  • 1Brett1

    “Extree! Extree! Pope springs eternal!” …well, not so much…

  • Gregg Smith

    Here’s a balanced report on the latest jobs numbers with several sources contributing.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/03/08/february-jobs-report-unemployment-edges-down-to-7-7-236k-jobs-added/

    • Gregg Smith
      • Ray in VT

        Only when it is viewed with a range of a dozen years and 3 percentage points.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           U6 unemployment rate is still 14.3%.  Today’s news is ‘relatively’ good but we have a long way to go.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes we do, but it’s only good news in the context of the new normal.

          • Mike_Card

            Your point is?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I always thought the point of reporting U6 now was to show how little the economic press cared about it then. I mean, we had a 5-year expansion during which median income declined, and only the usual suspects (Krugman, DeLong, Baker) gave a damn about it then.

        • Gregg Smith

          The view from 2008 is horrifying to me. It’s not good. We can disagree.

          What bugs me is when jobs added are reported and made to look like the lower unemployment rate is good news when in fact it’s not. As I wrote before, fewer people looking for work in a smaller universe of jobs equals a lower unemployment rate. Maybe you can dispute that but I don’t know how. Having a press that touts the rate in a vacuum is propaganda. 

          People like to gripe about revenue and the LFPR is the main reason why it’s low. It’s the economy’s biggest problem.

  • ejbakeriii

    On the current iteration of the North Korean situation: I think Gideon Rose was way off in his dismissal of the current flap as nothing more than another meaningless episode in an ongoing meaningless spat. Please look at a map and consider the history of NE Asia since the end of WWII. China, a major participant in the Korean war on NK’s side, is right next door and, even though frustrated with and angry at NK, can’t and won’t stop supporting NK. From the point of view of the PRC a US/ROK military presence on their border is unacceptable and the prospect of 10s of thousands of NK refugees pouring into NE China is very troubling.  I don’t think the North Korean’s would launch a nuclear attack on the US, even if they could, which they can’t. And I don’t think the US is about to launch a military attack on NK, even though I do think the NKs feel threatened and thus keep trying to build up their armaments. However the US and ROK are about to launch another of our surely redundant and unnecessary, endless military exercises, and, and the NKs are responding in kind. There is always a chance that this could lead to a serious military conflict in a place where war would be an unacceptable disaster and would serve no useful purpose. Jack Beatty is right. The US can bring this to a halt by the only way the matter can ever be settled peacefully—by making a serious proposal to negotiate a peace settlement to the Korean War and following through on it. The North has been asking for such negotiations for decades. It is time for us move in that direction.

  • ejbakeriii

    On the current iteration of the North Korean situation: I think Gideon Rose was way off in his dismissal of the current flap as nothing more than another meaningless episode in an ongoing meaningless spat. Please look at a map and consider the history of NE Asia since the end of WWII. China, a major participant in the Korean war on NK’s side, is right next door and, even though frustrated with and angry at NK, can’t and won’t stop supporting NK. From the point of view of the PRC a US/ROK military presence on their border is unacceptable and the prospect of 10s of thousands of NK refugees pouring into NE China is very troubling.  I don’t think the North Korean’s would launch a nuclear attack on the US, even if they could, which they can’t. And I don’t think the US is about to launch a military attack on NK, even though I do think the NKs feel threatened and thus keep trying to build up their armaments. However the US and ROK are about to launch another of our surely redundant and unnecessary, endless military exercises, and, and the NKs are responding in kind. There is always a chance that this could lead to a serious military conflict in a place where war would be an unacceptable disaster and would serve no useful purpose. Jack Beatty is right. The US can bring this to a halt by the only way the matter can ever be settled peacefully—by making a serious proposal to negotiate a peace settlement to the Korean War and following through on it. The North has been asking for such negotiations for decades. It is time for us move in that direction.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      That you, ed?

  • MrStang

    Piggish corporate behavior:
    “Conservative lobby group behind push to
    lower minimum wage, report says
    Politicians backed by conservative group
    Alec have introduced 67 laws in 25 states
    aimed at reducing minimum wage levels”

    m.guardiannews.com/politics/2013/mar/06/alec-minimum-wage-report

    • Gregg Smith

      The minimum wage should be abolished altogether.

      • DeJay79

         sure and deflation should rule our currency. how about back to the “good old days” when a loaf of bread cost 5 cents and V2 rockets were landing in London.

        • Gregg Smith

          Not really, but a hike in the minimum wage is the last thing we need.

        • GuestAug27

          Is deflation not a decline in prices?  Why is decline in prices presented a as problem by the experts?

          • StilllHere

            Because people will delay purchases for a better price so economic activity is distorted and instability created. It feeds on itself, as does inflation, and creates the need for radical structural change; in the case of deflation, a significant reduction in capacity, meaning plant closures and layoffs.

          • GuestAug27

            Thanks.  That sounds like a good thing.  People will not delay purchases of goods and services they really need.  Spending less on stuff we don’t need is very desirable.  We could compensate for the reduction in capacity by reduction in working hours.  24-hour work week anyone?

      • GuestAug27

        I agree.  Wages are the cost of labor.  The best way to increase the wages is to limit the supply of labor: 24-hour work week, preferably worldwide.  Just like we did in the 1930s when we went from 60 to 40 hours per week. 

        • nj_v2

          Better get kids working again, like Newt says. Greggg should like that, he was a big Newt fan.

          • Gregg Smith

            That was a great idea Newt had. It’s a shame it was demonized, distorted and lied about.

          • nj_v2

            Newt’s a genius, Palin’s an intellectual, Limballs is poignant. Got it.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes you do, congrats.

  • MrStang

    Wealth inequality in America
    perception versus reality
    This is an exceptional way to communicate large numbers people
    m.youtube.com/results?hl=en&gl=US&client=mv-google&q=Wealth+inequality+in+america&submit=Search

    • OnPointComments

      “Tax Inequality in America”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KENaWXPmBr0

      • pete18

         A pie chart that should be posted in every public school!

        • nj_v2

          ^ I assume none of the clowns applauding this nonsense are rich. One has to wonder why people believe in things that work against their interests. What’s the matter with Kansas.

          • Gregg Smith

            Right, wrong or fairness have nothing to do with interests.

          • pete18

            I’m not sure what it is that you think that we’re applauding that is against our interests?

            A puncturing of the the rich don’t pay their “fair share” myth so Washington doesn’t continue to make stupid tax policy that will further impede the economy?

            Or is it something else?

          • jefe68

            Yes, one does wonder.
            It’s the water…

          • hennorama

            nj_v2 – the authors of the underlying research presented in Video 1 said this:

            “Given the consensus among disparate groups on the gap between an ideal distribution of wealth and the actual level of wealth inequality, why are more Americans, especially those with low income, not advocating for greater redistribution of wealth? First, our results demonstrate that Americans appear to drastically underestimate the current level of wealth inequality, suggesting they may simply be unaware of the gap. Second, just as people have erroneous beliefs about the actual level of wealth inequality, they may also hold overly optimistic beliefs about opportunities for social mobility in the United States (Benabou & Ok, 2001; Charles & Hurst, 2003; Keister, 2005), beliefs which in turn may drive support for unequal distributions of wealth. Third, despite the fact that conservatives and liberals in our sample agree that the current level of inequality is far from ideal, public disagreements about the causes of that inequality may drown out this consensus (Alesina & Angeletos, 2005; Piketty, 1995). Finally, and more  broadly, Americans exhibit a general disconnect between their attitudes toward economic inequality and their self-interest and public policy preferences (Bartels, 2005; Fong, 2001), suggesting that even given increased awareness of the gap between ideal and actual wealth distributions, Americans may remain unlikely to advocate for policies that would narrow this gap.”

            http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%20ariely%20in%20press.pdf

      • Gregg Smith

        That was great!

      • GuestAug27

        This tax inequality is a result of income inequality.  I’d love to pay more taxes, but there is no money left when I am done paying for food and shelter.  The rich could fix this quite easily: they could take a pay cut and give the rest of us a raise.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Dude (or dudette) I agree, but we don’t have to say “pay cut”. The rich haven’t suffered to speak of; the recession started later and ended earlier for them than us, and they’ve really tilted the gaming table

          I don’t know where that exact phrase came from, but our mainstream press is pretty fond of the idea that any change, including letting temporary tax cuts be temporary, is RaisingTaxesOnYouAndMe!!!11one!.

        • StilllHere

          It’s not a zero sum game, somebody doesn’t have to do worse for you to do better.

          • GuestAug27

            Maybe 100 years ago it was not a zero-sum game.  Now with 9 billion people on the planet, it IS a zero-sum game. The Earth has finite resources. We are using them at about 1.5 times the sustainable rate.  I do want some of those resources to be around for our kids and their kids.  That means those who have too much will need to share.

      • hennorama

        OPC et al,

        Please note: the narrator of this video makes a MAJOR assumption, and then extrapolates completely different information into the charts, switching info about WEALTH distribution and assuming it is the same as info about TAX distribution.  It’s not.  Don’t fall for this nonsense.

        Quoting the video:

        “…and THIS is what most Americans consider the ideal TAX distribution – at least I’m ASSUMING that becasue it’s identical to what the other video said what they think the ideal WEALTH distibution should be …”

        Basing one’s conclusion on such obviously faulty reasoning is absurd.  Don’t fall for this nonsense.

        • OnPointComments

          I find the video and its conclusions just as relevant as the “Wealth inequality in America” video that preceded it.

          • hennorama

            OnPointComments – TY for your response.

            Do you at least acknowledge that the “Tax Inequality in America” video’s narrator was using completely erroneous and specious information?

            Was the info presented factual or assumed?

            At minimum, one would expect an “apples to apples” comparison.

            The video you cite essentially is saying “Using information on a completely different topic as evidence, I’ll demonstrate my conclusion.”

            Absolutely absurd nonsense.

          • OnPointComments

            I think the creator of the video intended it to be as absurd as the one he was mocking.

          • hennorama

            OPC – that may be your interpretation, but my question stands:

            Do you at least acknowledge that the “Tax Inequality in America” video’s narrator was using completely erroneous and specious information?

          • OnPointComments

            No, I do not.  He made assumptions which he stated.

          • hennorama

            OPC – Wow. Open your eyes, ears and mind. If you can’t see how the very first chart in the video is erroneous and specious, you are being willfully blind.

            The first chart in the video is labeled “TOTAL Share of Federal Tax Liabilities” but you’re OK with using data about WEALTH distribution, and then mislabeling it “Distribution Most Seem to Find Ideal” under the heading “Federal Tax Liabilities”? Really? Is the chart in any way accurate? Is it opinion or fact?

            As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

            This video is fallacious nonsense. The only accurate part of the first chart was the bottom graph. The rest was nonsense. The narrator foolishly thinks Americans have the same opinion about WEALTH distribution that they do about TAX distribution.

            It’s NOT TRUE.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Hey hennorama, you didn’t seem so bent out sorts with the original video when they conflate wealth and income.  Why are you so upset with response parody video?

          • hennorama

            You can see my consolidated response post “up top”.

        • pete18

           His charts on tax distributions are correct
          and he makes clear that he’s making an assumption of what people think tax distribution should be based on what the Wealth Inequality video claimed people wanted as the ideal wealth distribution.
           Since the two areas of tax rates and wealth distribution are always conjoined by those who bring up “wealth inequality” or “fairness” in tax rates it is appropriate to mention it in a rebuttal. Wealth “inequality” is one of the prime rational for higher rates on the rich.

          I think the narrator’s first line in the video was the most pointed. He describes the Wealth Inequality video as “pandering to the petty, childish belief that the only reason some people are poor is because others are rich.” That’s it in a nutshell. The mentality of victims who don’t understand the unbelievable opportunity of the free market.

          An excellent article here about the self destructiveness of that attitude: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/03/05/economic_mobility_117269.html#ixzz2MuJfyLB6

          • Gregg Smith

            I thought the last line was funny. The first one does indeed hit the nail on the head. The whole idea of wealth distribution is insane to begin with. The case is never ever ever made as to how the rich take money from the poor but since there is an income gap they say it has to be. Any attempt to make the case always equates people keeping a bit more of what is theirs with taking it from the poor, which makes no sense.  

          • hennorama

            Please see my consolidated response post “up top”.

        • Gregg Smith

          The original video made the same assumptions about ideals. The actual numbers were cited and accurate.

          Also, wealth is not distributed and tax liabilities are. 

        • OnPointComments

          You say “The first chart in the video is labeled “TOTAL Share of Federal Tax Liabilities” but you’re OK with using data about WEALTH distribution, and then mislabeling it “Distribution Most Seem to Find Ideal” under the heading “Federal Tax Liabilities”?”  
           
          Did you watch the first video on wealth distribution?  It was all about distribution of wealth that most people “think” would be “ideal.”  Why would one video that presents people’s imaginary view of ideal wealth distribution be okay, but another video that presents imaginary tax distribution not be okay?

          • hennorama

            OPC – Please see my consolidated response post “up top”.

        • Bruce94

          Agreed.  Notice that the narrator quickly switches to the share of federal income tax revenue that the wealthy generate.  If you include regressive payroll taxes as well as state, municipal and local levies in the analysis, the overall tax burden on the wealthy and the effective rate they pay do not appear at all excessive.

          The top one percent has paid an increasing share of federal income taxes only because their income has risen much faster than their tax rates have fallen for the last three decades–an increase in income facilitated by ultra low rates of taxation on capital gains and by some estate tax loopholes.     

          • pete18

            That’s a specious argument. State municipal and local taxes are dictated by each state and municipality and are meant to be spent on state expenses. They are not part of the federal spending and taxing discussion.

          • Gregg Smith

            And the payroll tax is not a tax on income.

          • Bruce94

            The narrator started the discussion by talking about ALL fed. tax liabilities and specifically mentions social insurance, which to me implies payroll taxes (not to mention other federal levies like excise taxes that are even more regressive).  He then abruptly changed his focus to income taxes and the old canard about how the top 1% are unduly burdened.

          • StilllHere

            You’d think that would be obvious.

          • Bruce94

            Disqus?

          • Bruce94

            Really?  The fed. govt. funds 26% of all state and local spending.  18% of total fed. outlays goes to the cities & states in grants (not counting  tax preferences & deductions benefiting local & state govt.).  The broader point missed by your reply is that the fed. income tax is only one of many types of taxes that individuals pay in a given year or over their lifetimes.  It makes little or no sense to treat it as if it were the only tax that matters, which is exactly what the narrator of your bogus video does.  Interestingly, he starts out talking about ALL fed. tax liabilities including social insurance and implicitly the payroll tax, but quickly changes the focus to income taxes exclusively so he can end with an empty, worn-out, rhetorical flourish about how the 1% are being forced to bear an excessive burden.

      • Bruce94

         It is should not be surprising or disturbing to anyone that the top 1 percent pay substantially more in federal income taxes and that their share of fed. taxes has risen over the years.  This can be explained by the fact that for the last three decades, their income has risen much faster than their income tax rate has fallen resulting in an extreme and insidious inequality in both income and wealth distribution that we have not witnessed since the Roaring ’20′s.

        The share of wealth held by the top 1 percent of households has risen to 35 percent from 21 percent in the late 1970′s, while their share of national income has tripled from 8 percent to 24 percent today.  

        When laissez-faire, free-market conservatives like the narrator in this video whine about the wealthy bearing a disproportionate burden of government, they are resorting to the simple trick of citing only revenues from the federal income tax, which is progressive.  If other federal levies like the regressive payroll tax are included AS WELL AS  state and local taxes (even more regressive), the tax burden on the wealthy does not at all appear excessive and their effective rates are not as high as you might think relative to the rest of the country.    

  • J__o__h__n

    I’m glad the On Point censor has calmed down.  NPR censored my post in which I called Clinton, “Slick Willie” in reference to his attempt to distance himself from his shameful legacy of signing DOMA into law. 

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Wow.  That is amazing.  I didn’t know they did much censoring on this site.

    • nj_v2

      I just got a “comment needs to be approved by a moderator question.”

      They don’t even have the courtesy to post a basic set of forum rules, explain how the moderation works, provide any filtering mechanism to make invisible selected screen names, but they can randomly decide to review posts?

  • MrStang

    Time Magazine, Vol. 152 No. 19
    About $59 billion is spent on
    traditional social welfare programs. $
    92 billion is spent on corporate
    subsidies. So, the government spent
    50% more on corporate welfare than
    it did on food stamps and housing
    assistance in 2006.
    Before we look at the details, a
    heartfelt plea from the Save the CEO’s
    Charitable Trust:
    There’s so much suffering in the
    world. It can all get pretty
    overwhelming sometimes. Consider,
    for a moment the sorrow in the eyes
    of a CEO who’s just found out that his
    end-of-year bonus is only going to be
    a paltry $2.3 million.
    “It felt like a slap in the face. Imagine
    what it would feel like just before
    Christmas to find out that you’re
    going to be forced to scrape by on
    your standard $8.4 million
    compensation package alone. Imagine
    what is was like to have to look into
    my daughter’s face and tell her that I
    couldn’t afford to both buy her a
    dollar sign shaped island and hire
    someone to chew her food from now
    on, too. To put her in that situation of
    having to choose… She’s only a child
    for God’s sake.”

  • MrStang
  • marygrav

    Is being censored by the Left worse than being censored by the Right.  I asked this question because I called OP and gave my opinion that Hugo Chavez was being attacked on the Right and praised on the Left in a manner that appeared that he would rise on Easter Morning.

    The censor told me that OP was not going to deal with this issue of Chavez and before I could state my comment that the reason that unemployment was stabalizing (spelling always bad) is because the US Chamber of Commerce/AEI sponsored boycott is slowly breaking down in the face of Realpolitik.

    Even though the censor hung up on me, I continued to listen and behold Chavez came up as a news item, yet he was not to be talked about.

    We talk about freedom of speech and the freedom of the airwaves, as well as the so-called Liberal Agenda, but is the Right correct when they state that this is all static?

    • Gregg Smith

      That’s tricky. As someone who has been calling into, appearing on and emailing to radio shows for years and years, I can say you just never know. Before the information age I’d write letters to the editor. I always try to avoid thinking there are agendas that prevent some letters, emails or comments from being aired but sometimes it’s hard to deny. In the end it’s not a matter of free speech. There is no right to be heard. The tricky part comes when taxpayers foot part of the bill. 

    • http://twitter.com/Dragonsong73 Eric R. Duncan

      Also, you were denied the chance to speak on a radio show: not prohibited from making the point you wanted to in another venue (in fact you got to make it on the website of the same show, so OP is letting you make your case in another venue this media outlet controls) This is not censorship. Both sides of the political spectrum using that word too broadly it weakens its meaning for when we really do see censorship regardless of which party is in power.

  • MrStang

    http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/node/272 Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is
    a network of business owners and
    executives who believe a fair minimum
    wage makes good business sense.
    A project of Business for Shared
    Prosperity in partnership with the
    American Sustainable Business Council”

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Again, I predict that Obama will attempt a “Grand Sellout” of SS and Medicare. This is very evil for a Democrat. With the Clinton/Rubin “new dems” as friends, who needs enemies?  Maybe there is hope he can be stopped, tho:

    “Pelosi on Thursday said reforming Social Security alongside tax reform would be a nonstarter — effectively ruling out chained CPI, a Republican favorite.Pelosi said that raising the Medicare eligibility age is a “scalp” and “trophy” for Republicans that “doesn’t produce any money.””LOL, “chained CPI a republican favorite”. Come on, it’s an Obama favorite. And I really hate this “reform” language. Please call a cut a cut.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Evil for a Democrat but good for the country?  Unless you believe Democrats are in favor of generational theft.

      Remember the unfunded entitlement liabilities are currently running at a staggering $123T or $1M/taxpayer.

      http://www.usdebtclock.org/

      • TomK_in_Boston

        “Generational theft” is cutting benefits for the kids and calling it “saving”. How dare you offer them less than what we have?

        • Gregg Smith

          “But back in Washington, his Health and Human Services Department is launching a pilot program that would shift up to 2 million of the poorest and most-vulnerable seniors out of the federal Medicare program and into private health insurance plans overseen by the states.”
          http://www.nationaljournal.com/healthcare/obama-more-flexible-on-medicare-than-rhetoric-suggests-20120908?page=1

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Hey, I’m the one who has been saying that President Obama wants a Grand Sellout.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          You have mis-characterized Ryan’s latest plan (the one cosponsored with Ron Wyden, liberal Senator from Oregon) which would give Medicare recipients a CHOICE, of subsidies for private insurance or traditional Medicare. So you are anti-choice?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            You are a walking talking point. If healthy seniors, the only ones who would take a groupon, leave the program, it would simply leave the sickest, raise traditional medicare costs, and kill  traditional medicare. Victory for the class warriors. Insurance works best when everyone is in the pool – that’s why national health care in the developed world costs so much less than our corporate care.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             You choose to ignore that it is unfunded to the tune of $100T (if you include PartD).  Instead you offer simplistic objections that aren’t even based in fact.  You also don’t seem to ‘get’ that creating competition will bend the cost curve.  I don’t know if this is the best solution but it clear that just have government bureaucrats running Medicare DOES NOT work.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            We have the world’s highest costs because we have the world’s most privatized system. United Health and Well Point could compete and “bend the cost curve” right now if that was ever going to happen, but it does not. Rather, they loot the system for their executives and for their bureaucracies, and always well. The way to cut costs is single-payer national health care. 

            Medicare costs have increased more slowly than private insurance costs. Medicare is much more efficient than the private sector. Cutting medicare and shifting costs to private insurers a la ryan may decrease medicare costs but will increase total health care costs, a very bad thing.

          • jefe68

            Oh please, Paul Ryan is a fake.

      • jefe68

        What part of SS don’t you understand? It’s solvent until around 2025 or 30. That could be solved by raising the level of contribution to say the forst 2 million people earn. And that includes dividends.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           What part of unfunded liability and generational theft don’t you understand?  SS is in the least trouble and the easiest to fix but the current system is still generationally unfair.

          • jefe68

            How so? We are the one of the wealthiest nations on the planet.
            We spent more on the Iraq war for naught than we did on our own people here in the US.
            Your comment is not about a problem it’s about an ideology that that is opposed to the New Deal and Great Society social programs.

            At least be honest about your agenda.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Huh?  I’ve never promoted eliminating SS.  I just want it funded properly and avoid generational theft.  Let’s have some honesty in the system.

            Medicare is even worse since it is both a fraud (with underfunding) AND is also laden with fraud.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You should spend more energy reading the comments of others and less time fighting the monsters you think they are.  (So says the voice of experience.)

          • Gregg Smith

            I appreciate your approach. I always try to remain civil and if things get heated (as passion sometimes dictates) I try not to get personal. I can think someone’s opinions are idiotic without thinking they are an idiot. Many of the comments start with, “it says a lot about you that…” or “You obviously have never….” but my favorite is when the Fox/Rush monster gets raises it’s head out of the blue. Still, I mostly ignore the personal stuff and try to stay on the issue.

            Others I respect (on both sides) don’t take that view and tend to fire back on a personal level. It’s not my style but I can’t say my way is best. I still look at the underlying facts and try to get through the bombast. 

            However, there are a few, and I hesitate to name names, who I really don’t like or respect. I still engage with them and still try to uphold my standards for discourse. After a while (a year or more) people define who they are and the question becomes, do I ignore or swing back? Snark ensues. I don’t like to sit back and let certain viewpoints go unchallenged. I would say there are no more that 3 or 4 that I feel this way about to the point of changing my tone and approach. 

            I have noticed you are beginning to get a feel for which commenters have little to add to the debate.

    • jefe68

      I agree, he’s a Republican in Democrats clothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    The President sitting down with the opposing party for an hour is news worthy, what further example of failed leadership is needed. 

    • StilllHere

      It says something doesn’t it.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    From the Dept. of “you can’t make this up”:

    New CIA director, John Brennan, takes oath of office on a copy of the constitution which does not include the bill of rights.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/brennan-takes-oath-constitution-without-bill-rights-205110620.html

    Maybe they’ll blame it on Uncle Joe Biden.

    • StilllHere

      Keep an eye out for the drones…

  • Mike_Card

    This teabagger obsession with the 16 Trillion national debt is an exuberant notion of what really ignorant people love.  Has the national debt increased beyond 16T in the past 4years?  Why does anyone think the national debt needs to be repaid today or tomorrow?

    Most businesses–successful ones, anyone–understand the advantages of debt financing.  Especially when the cost of borrowing is fundamentally -0-.

    Or are we still at the ‘family sitting around the kitchen table’ stage?

    While I’m at it, Rand Paul needs to get a new rug; what a dipshit.

    • Gregg Smith

      What happens when interest rates go up? 

      I get the point and agree that sometimes deficits don’t matter. In fact they can be good. This is not that. Our debt surpasses our entire GDP. We are spending nearly a quarter of GDP. It’s unsustainable. 

      • jefe68

        You are out of your depth.

        • Gregg Smith

          What did I get wrong?

          • jefe68

            Austerity wont work and if you think it will look a Great Britain. It’s a complete failure.

          • Gregg Smith

            If we cut back to spending 20% of GDP, is that austerity?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Gregg is on point.  Check the duration of the public debt.  Things could go South fast and we WILL not control our destiny.

      • StilllHere

        Exactly, it’s a house of cards; even Clinton understood the power of the bond market.

      • Mike_Card

        That is probably the core question, and we’re not getting a response to it–I don’t quibble with the concern, but we shouldn’t ignore the current benefit of costless financing.

        We still have bridges caving in, highways crumbling, and other needed infrastructure expenditures going begging.  For the DC bought-and-paid-for crowd to wail about the national debt at this time in an economic cycle is just silly.

        When interest rates rise, we can deal with the situation; but it’s important to acknowledge that–despite China–most of the national debt is owed to US sources.  Like it or not, the Fed pegs the interest rates in today’s financial world–to pretend interest rates are set in a Randian “market” is to ignore reality.

        And I think–btw–Rand Paul is every bit the dipshit he demonstrated himself to be, and he needs to ditch the wig.  Just in case anyone cares.  :-)

        • JGC

          But I’m glad Paul held forth on drones, and in a good olde-fashioned American filibuster way.    And I had no idea…really, that is a wig? No way! (not that there is anything wrong with that…)

          • Mike_Card

            I have nothing to provide as a reference other than photos.  Coupled with his opportunistic media grab on C-SPAN, I’ve got to conclude that this guy is not only an apparent narcissist, he furnishes his own proof.

            What a dipshit.  I don’t hate him, I pity him.

    • StilllHere

      We’re financing day-to-day expenses, not investing.  No one would make long term loans to a business for working capital requirements.  

      We’re Greece if the Fed stops buying our debt or if investors lose faith in the governments ability to pay it back or faith in the dollar holding its value.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Hateful name calling does not prove your argument.

      • Mike_Card

        As the vein goes here, I just call ‘em as I see ‘em.  And he’s a dipshit

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

           ”I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

          Voltaire

    • twenty_niner

      “While I’m at it, Rand Paul needs to get a new rug; what a dipshit.”
      What’s with name calling? Relax, I don’t think Rand Paul is going to take away your food stamps anytime soon, and I’m sure one day you’ll be able to buy cigarettes with them (is Obama still smoking?). 

      As far as borrowing is concerned, that’s old school. No need to borrow when you can print. Bernanke is printing $85 billion per month to cover costs, and it’s brilliant. Short of cash? Just print some cash. I think this is going to catch on.

  • Gregg Smith

    Roger Ailes new book sounds interesting. He calls Obama lazy;  He says Biden is dumb as an ashtray; And says Newt is a prick. I am looking forward to the fascinating read, the man is a genius and his expertise on the media should be enlightening.

    I think it was Colin Powell who said calling Obama lazy is racist which I find incredible but it fits the liberal narrative. Soledad O’Brien had a panel discussing it and her ignorance is astounding. If she got out of her liberal bubble maybe she would know what she was talking about. At least she didn’t call Ailes a racist.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2013/03/08/cnn-s-soledad-o-brien-embarrasses-herself-attacking-fox-news-chie

    CNN is bad, I mean who could forget Candy Crowley in the debate? But MSNBC is by far the worst. I was reminded of a story they aired in 2009 about racism and assault weapons. It’s sick:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYKQJ4-N7LI&feature=player_embedded

    • JGC

      But you have to admit MSNBC is just as beholden to its advertising base as is FOX News,and the Excellence in Broadcasting Network…unlike NPR.

      • Gregg Smith

        I think its a chicken or egg thing. In the end I don’t think dishonesty is good business. On a related note, “The View” has fired Elizabeth Hasselback because of her “extreme right wing views”. This is an effort to appease their audience which I predict will shrink. MSNBC has only 12 viewers, I think. I don’t subscribe to the view that humongous audiences that create astronomical wealth are all brainwashed. I think you have to bring something honest to the table to gain wide acceptance. Once you do, they all come after you. You cannot thrive very long in that environment (like Rush or Fox) by being dishonest, unfair and devious.

        Regarding NPR, I don’t have a problem with the pledge drives annoying as they are. But they certainly cater to their leftist base… and their advertisers. This show has two on the front page.

        • JGC

          Pledge drives can be annoying, although I really do like the creative and desperate appeals from folks like Alec Baldwin on up through the locals at Vermont Public Radio.  

          And they only appear briefly, maybe fourish times a year.  Whereas, commercial radio pleas are everyday, every 13 minutes… Quicken Loans, Lear Gold, LegalZoom, 1-800Flowers, etc…If you put a value on your time, lets say minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, then the Excellence in Broadcasting Network is asking you to listen to their numerous advertisements for $2 or $3 of your time, each hour. 

          • Gregg Smith

            But so does NPR, it just sounds different. If you go to any of the websites of foundations and organizations they hawk for you are asked for money.

            In the end no one is forced to buy anything.   

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        no

    • Fredlinskip

      It’s not as if Ailes is a political operative whose main motive is to distort the truth in a manner to benefit GOP.
      Before Fox, he was political operative in Bush 1 campaign- & worked for Ronnie’s and Guilianni campaigns.
      I’m sure his book will be offer a paradigm of “fairness and balance” just like the media outlet he runs

      • Gregg Smith

        I think so too.

  • hennorama

    pete18, WorriedfortheCountry, OnPointComments, et al:

    I can’t believe I need to continue this discussion about two different videos, but as there have been multiple responses to my posts, I will.  This is a consolidation of responses to various comments.  Apologies in advance for the lengthy post.

    1.  The YouTube video MrStang first posted a link to (let’s call this Video 1), titled “Wealth Inequality in America” by YT user “politizane” was based on an article titled “Building a Better America–One Wealth Quintile at a Time,” which you can read here:

    http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%20ariely%20in%20press.pdf

    [Full disclosure: I have met one of the authors, but have never discussed this article with him.]

    The authors surveyed “A nationally representative online sample of respondents (N = 5,522, 51% female, mean age = 44.1), randomly drawn from a panel of more than 1 million Americans, completed the survey in December, 2005.1 Respondents’ household income (median = $45,000) was similar to that reported in the 2006 United States census (median = $48,000), and their voting pattern in the 2004 election (50.6% Bush, 46.0% Kerry) was also similar to the actual outcome (50.8% Bush, 48.3% Kerry). In addition, the sample contained respondents from 47 states.”

    They also ensured that respondents understood what “wealth” was.

    “We ensured that all respondents had the same working definitionof wealth by requiring them to read the following before beginning the survey: ‘‘Wealth, also known as net worth, is defined as the total value of everything someone owns minus any debt that he or she owes. A person’s net worth includes his or her bank account savings plus the value of other things such as property, stocks, bonds, art, collections, etc., minus the value of things like loans and mortgages.’’

    The authors used an independent company, Survey Sampling International, to conduct the survey.  According to that company’s website “SSI is the world’s leading provider of sampling, data collection and data analytics for survey research.”

    In other words, they didn’t simply “present people’s imaginary view of ideal wealth distribution”.  They presented an analysis of the actual non-imaginary responses of the actual non-imaginary survey participants.

    2.  Video 1 accurately presented the info contained in the underlying research paper.

    3.  The video OPC posted a link to titled “Tax Inequality in America” (let’s call this Video 2), was created by David Angelo, using the YouTube handle “eEconomics”.  He’s definitely sardonic, but presents information as being factual.  Based on his other YT vids and his comments about this video on YouTube, he was not making a parody, IMO.

    4.  Video 1 did not “conflate wealth and income”.  Rather, it separately and very briefly discussed how the share of the income of “the richest 1%” has changed over the last 2 to 3 decades.

    Video 1 mentioned “income” three times, all in a single sentence.  Quoting (at 4:59 into the video): “While the richest 1% take home almost a quarter of the national income today, in 1976 they took home only 9 percent, meaning their share of income has nearly tripled in the last 30 years.”

    Even if you still believe Video 1 did “conflate wealth and income,” you must agree that “wealth” and “income” are at least similar in some ways.

    5.  Video 2 presents graphic information dishonestly.  If you don’t believe this statement, pull up Video 2 then mute the sound.  Look at the first chart (at about 0:54 in).  Read all the labels.  If you think this chart is honest, I give up.

    IMO, to think this chart is honest, one must conflate Americans’ views about “Distribution of Wealth in the U.S.” (a term used in Video 1) with the term “TOTAL Share of Federal Tax Liabilities” (used in Video 2).

    That’s exactly what Mr. Angelo did when he stated on Video 2  “…and THIS is what most Americans consider the ideal TAX distribution – at least I’m ASSUMING that because it’s identical to what the other video said what they think the ideal WEALTH distibution should be …”

    I’m quite certain that the terms “ideal TAX distribution” and “ideal WEALTH distibution” have NO similarities whatsoever.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Didn’t video #1 talk about the CEO income in comparison to the ‘average’ worker (not the janitor, which was an insulting statement in and of itself)?  Maybe I saw a different video.  If so I apologize but the video I saw was structured with similar verbiage and graphs to video #2 so I will hope you will excuse my error.

      Also, what is video #1 suggesting in this proposed nirvana of ideal wealth distribution?  Dividing up Mr. Gates and Mr. Buffets property?  There was something icky underlying the video. The beauty of our system is anyone can move up the wealth strata within one generation and there are more barriers in others systems( like Europe).

      • hennorama

        WorriedfortheCountry – TY for your response. Your views are appreciated.

        Toward the end, Video 1 discussed hard work. The audio said “Do you really believe that the CEO is working 380 times harder than his average employee?” while the video graphically displayed “THE CEO now makes 380x the AVERAGE worker’s pay,” during this discussion of hard work.

        Video 1 was not “suggesting [a] proposed nirvana of ideal wealth distribution” at all. It was presenting, in a far more dramatic way than its authors, the data contained in a scholarly research article.

        BTW. to clarify the meaning of the noun “distribution” in Video 1 and the research article, m-w.com shows this (which is the meaning here):

        “2a : the position, arrangement, or frequency of occurrence (as of the members of a group) over an area or throughout a space or unit of time ”

        For those who did not read the article, the authors’ written summary was this:

        “Abstract

        Disagreements about the optimal level of wealth inequality underlie policy debates ranging from taxation to welfare. We attempt to insert the desires of ‘‘regular’’ Americans into these debates, by asking a nationally representative online panel to estimate the current distribution of wealth in the United States and to ‘‘build a better America’’ by constructing distributions with their ideal level of inequality. First, respondents dramatically underestimated the current level of wealth inequality. Second, respondents constructed ideal wealth distributions that were far more equitable than even their erroneously low estimates of the actual distribution. Most important from a policy perspective, we observed a surprising level of consensus: All demographic groups—even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy—desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.”

        In other words, survey respondents were really clueless about the realities of the relative net worth (“wealth”) of each “Wealth Quintile” of Americans, and how the total net worth of the country is distributed throughout various parts of the populace. However, respondents did expect this distribution would be uneven, even in their choices of so-called “ideal wealth distributions.” Quoting again FTA:

        “…. all groups also desired some inequality—even the poorest respondents.”

        The authors expressed surprise that they found a wide consensus among ALL demographic groups of respondents. Their findings indicated (repeating here):

        “All demographic groups—even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy—desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.”

        These findings were accurately presented in Video 1. The video narrator added some info (CEO pay vs. average worker pay) and editorialized a bit at the end, but the information presented was an accurate portrayal of the research, unlike Video 2′s complete mischaracterizations.

        The narrator in Video 1 summed up his point at the very end:

        “All we need to do is wake up and realize that the reality in this country is not at ALL what we think it is.”

        That is in line with the findings in the research article that found “… respondents dramatically underestimated the current level of wealth inequality.”

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Worth more review, I will get back to you.
       

    • Gregg Smith

      Wealth is not distributed. Income is earned. The rich did not take money from the poor but the poor are demanding more money from the rich. That subscribes to the theory that they are entitled to what is not theirs and if they don’t get it then the rich are uncaring and cruel. The second video shows why the first video is propaganda designed to fan the flames of class envy. 

    • OnPointComments

      Suppose I conduct a nationally representative online sample of respondents, randomly drawn from a panel of more than 1 million Americans, give them a definition of wealth and no other information, and ask them what the ideal wealth of Hennorama should be.  Please explain to us how their collective opinion could possibly be relevant.
       
      Something liberals like to do is get the statistics, and if the result isn’t how they would have constructed it in their liberal, ideal world, then it must be evidence of a societal sin.  The liberals are wrong.

      • hennorama

        OnPointComments – TY for your response. I respect your views.

        Please note that I never said anything about the relevance of either Video 1 or Video 2, or the underlying research represented accurately in Video 1. My point throughout my posts about these Videos is that Video 2 is fallacious.

        Your suppostion is a mischaracterization of the research article. The researchers did not ask anyone what the wealth of any individual should be.

        The intent of the research, as expressed by the authors of the article, was to find out the views of those they call “regular” Americans, and to then

        “… attempt to insert the desires of ‘‘regular’’ Americans into [policy] debates, by asking a nationally representative online panel to estimate the current distribution of wealth in the United States and to ‘‘build a better America’’ by constructing distributions with their ideal level of inequality.”

        The authors conducted the survey, then presented their findings. Those finding were accurately and dramatically presented in Video 1.

        In marked contrast, Video 2 completely mischaracterized the findings of the research by ASSUMING information that was not in evidence in any way. Quoting video 2 again:

        “…and THIS is what most Americans consider the ideal TAX distribution – at least I’m ASSUMING that because it’s identical to what the other video said what they think the ideal WEALTH distibution should be …”

        Such mischaracterizations should not be taken seriously by anyone, unless one is fine with conclusions based on mischaracterizations.

        Video 2 in effect presented something along these lines:

        “Someone else did a lot or research, and found that this is the typical diet of horses. I assume from these findings that bird feces contain remnants of the same items that the research showed that horses typically eat, since some birds eat horse feces.”

        • OnPointComments

          You’re right, the researchers did not ask anyone what the wealth of any individual should be, and that is precisely my point.  It’s much, much easier to ask the polling group “How do you want to split up the money?” and not give them any additional information; a more difficult question is “Bill Gates conceived of Microsoft and built it into the colossus that it is today, and because of his efforts and ingenuity he is worth $50 billion dollars.  Who should have the money that Bill Gates earned?”  But, quite frankly, the views or desires of “regular” Americans on even the more difficult question are absolutely irrelevant.  
           
          If you don’t think the authors of the “scholarly research” article and the creator of the video have a liberal bias, you are naïve.  The video creator used terms such as “more equitable,” “skewed unfairly,” and “shockingly skewed,” and says “we don’t have to go all the way to socialism,” but clearly he believes that we need to go part of the way.  The authors exposed their liberal bias in the question they posed in the final paragraph of their paper:  “Why are more Americans, especially those with low income, not advocating for greater redistribution of wealth?”  How utterly simplistic.  I wonder on what basis the authors would redistribute the wealth.  I wouldn’t have been shocked if they had suggested divvying up the pie based on an American Idol-type contest. 

          • hennorama

            OnPointComments – TY again for your response. I respect your views.

            You are again mischaracterizing the research article. The researchers did not ask anyone “How do you want to split up the money?”

            It appears that you might be misinterpretting the word “distribution.”
            The meaning of the noun “distribution” in both the research article and in Video 1 is, according to m-w.com:

            “2a : the position, arrangement, or frequency of occurrence (as of the members of a group) over an area or throughout a space or unit of time ”

            Please note that I never said anything about the bias or lack of bias of the researchers, the narrator in Video 1, or Video 2 for that matter. My point throughout my posts about these Videos is that Video 2 is fallacious.

            This is irrefutable.

            A secondary point is that Video 1 is an accurate representation of the data contained in the research article. I make no claims at all as to the worth of the research conducted by the authors of the article. Instead, I merely state that Video 1 accurately presents the information.

            I would have absolutely no problem with Video 2 IF actual data about what the narrator in Video 2 called “the ideal TAX distribution” was presented. The problem is that the creator of Video 2 clearly DID NOT do anything like that, and instead presented data on a completely different topic (what he called “the ideal WEALTH distibution) as if it was on the topic of “the ideal TAX distribution”.

            This is fallacious, which is my point.

          • OnPointComments

            At 24 seconds:  “then he asked them what they thought was the ideal distribution” of wealth.
             
            We’re quarreling over semantics.  In my opinion, if you ask someone what they think is the ideal distribution of wealth, in the abstract, the response is indicative of how they would likely distribute (or split up) this abstract wealth if they had that power.

          • hennorama

            OnPointComments – TY again for your response. I understand and respect your views.

            Quoting the film Cool Hand Luke “What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.”

            It seems that the differences between the verb “distribute” and the noun “distribution” are not fully appreciated. The researchers NEVER used the VERB “distribute” in their article.

            In my view, given the nature of how researchers speak, the noun (again, not a verb) “distribution” was used like this:

            “I came home to find that my teenager, who I had asked to seed the new front lawn, had simply dumped the whole bag of grass seed on one narrow strip of dirt. This uneven distribution of the grass seed was not the distribution that I had expected.”

            “Instead, I had expected an even distribution of the grass seed over the entire yard.”

            (Clearly the speaker is a socialist when it comes to grass seed, right?)

            It seems that you think the noun “distribution” was instead being used as a verb, along the lines of

            “I came home to find that my teenager, who I had asked to seed the new front lawn, had distributed the grass seed by simply dumping the whole bag of grass seed on one narrow strip of dirt. My teenager had unevenly distributed the grass seed, and this was not the distribution that I had expected.”

            “Instead, I had expected my teenager to evenly distribute the grass seed over the entire yard.”

            (Again, the speaker is clearly a socialist when it come to grass seed.)

            Video 1 accurately presented the data in the research article, whereas Video 2 was fallacious. Regardless of your bias, my bias, the researchers’ bias, the creator of Video 1′s bias, or the creator of Video 2′s bias, those simple facts are irrefutable.

    • Fredlinskip

      Hennorama please don’t resort to facts- 
      Please stick to simplistic “infotainment” sources that reconfirm preexisting biases.

      Otherwise someone might learn something.

      • hennorama

        Fredlinskip :-).

        TY for your response. Facts are indeed a weakness of mine, which I freely admit.

        • Gregg Smith

          “Facts are indeed a weakness of mine…”

          Finally, I agree with you.

          • Fredlinskip

            I too agree with you for a change:
            While Hennorama seems to base his beliefs on fact, you consistently cling to “infotainment”.

      • Gregg Smith

        As if peoples views of wealth distribution were a fact when wealth is not distributed. It’s wacko. The fact is the poor are not paying their fair share. That’s fine (I repeat, that’s fine) but they need to pipe down and and if they do want to weigh in then thank the rich. A poor person cannot buy a used car until someone else can afford to buy a new one and sell it. A poor person cannot rent a house until someone else buys it. Half the country could not pay zero income tax and get tax credits (checks) unless the other half paid 97% of the bill. 

        Where am I wrong?

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Thank you for your interest.  I had assumed (there is that word again) that it was understood that I was posting articles that I agreed with.  Going forward I will include a personal comment.  

  • Fredlinskip

    From conversation below, I think Conservatives maintain huge blindspot concerning “redistibution of wealth” argument. Apparently they feel it is Dems goal to “hold up” the wealthy, who have earned their incomes fairly and honestly, and give it to those too lazy to earn it. This is a VERY distorted argument, rooted largely in fantasy.
     
       “Income inequality” refers to trend that over past 30+ years in America, wealth has been “redistributed” from those making the product or providing service to managers and execs up the “food chain“. Back in ‘70’s there was much better “balance” in that employees were able to take a larger percentage of “profits”. Since then, pensions have disappeared for less predictable 401K’s. Unions have been actively minimized. Trade policy has not particularly benefited American worker. Tax policy has increasingly favored the wealthy. Poor immigration policy has driven down wages. All this time, execs and CEO’s were glorified when they made many hundreds of times the salary of the employee. Yes, many in investor class have managed to hang on coattails of Wealthy long enough, at times, to help “legitimize“ this trend.
         During the same time period, another predominant theme was that “government should be starved”, and, for example, off shore tax havens were created for express purpose of avoiding taxation, which now contain 10’s of trillions of $. 
       Wealth “redistribution “to the top” happened in a profound way during housing “meltdown”- the $ and assets went to the wealthy and banksters, while middle and lower incomes got crushed.
     
       These are facts of American life for last 30+ years. 
    Some might think, well what of it? There are winners and losers.- that’s capitalism.
       Problem is that consumer spending propels our economy more than any other factor. If average consumer doesn’t spend, economy tanks. This also is the death nell for “small business”. Because SB is often “propelled” by the local economy- when people are not spending locally, unemployment rises.

      This is the inevitable conclusion of “wealth redistribution” to the top which has already occurred.
    So what to do?- endorse a country of serfs, kings, growing poverty, and a weak economy for all but a few?

      When Progressives speak of “wealth redistibution” they are speaking to ways of reversing this trend- not to simply rob from rich and give to poor. 

    • William

      What is the point of wealth transfer if it is not working?

      • Fredlinskip

        It seems to have worked just fine for those at the top, but I seriously question whether this trend will lead to long term prosperity for country as a whole or to a healthy employment rate.

    • twenty_niner

      “During the same time period, another predominant theme was that “government should be starved””
      Don’t worry too much about the beast. The beast is doing quite well. The top three counties in the US in order of highest income all border DC or are one county over. Out of the top ten, seven are proximate to DC.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-income_counties_in_the_United_States

      And the chart below shows the beast’s diet – a healthy one and getting bigger by the day. Beast starvers raise your white flags; you’ve lost the battle and the war. A paltry $85 billion in cuts (to the rate of increases) apparently will unleash LibZilla on the countryside and gets all of you starvers running for cover.

      We’ve got the message LibZilla. I’ve seen the movie “Casino”. The good folks in Loudoun, Fairfax, and Arlington counties don’t won’t anybody, AND I MEAN ANYBODY, f*%kng with the skim. Got it. Sorry.

      Dear LibZilla, before you spew a stream of fire breath on your monitor, the chart includes both local and state spending, which has been rising steadily for 100 years. I attached the local/state chart as well.

      • Fredlinskip

        I agree there is a trickle down effect local to DC. Just don’t pretend it began with Obama. Plenty of pork barrel spending and no bid contracts occurred under W. 
        Some spending needed to occur after the crash to reverse the hemmoraging of jobs at the time.
        The “starving the beast” comment was meant to direct attention to the fact that revenues dropped off, which relates to higher National debt.
        History demonstrates that at least up til now, higher tax rates for upper incomes seem to coincide with a healthier economy, with exception only of “bubble” economies on several occasions.

        • twenty_niner

          “Plenty of pork barrel spending and no bid contracts occurred under W.”

          Agree 100%. I was no fan of Bush and the other neocons either. I’ve said many times the two parties are largely two sides of the same coin. Both love big government; they just don’t agree on which end to feed, the head or the ass (with the obvious joke being omitted).

      • hennorama

        twenty_niner – you’re suffering from CECS – Correlation Equals Causation Syndrome.

        Your post implies that proximity to Washington, DC is the cause of what you inaccurately described as “The top three counties in the US in order of highest income ..”

        Your contention that “The top three counties in the US in order of highest income all border DC or are one county over. Out of the top ten, seven are proximate to DC” is not exactly accurate.  You’ve left out two very important qualifiers:

        1.  Median

        2.  Household

        This of course ignores the fact that, using the EXACT SAME SOURCE YOU CITE, the list of “Per capita personal income, 2010″ shows that only ONE of the counties you specifically cite (Arlington County, Virginia) in the Top 10, at position #5.

        Your post also ignores another possible reason for the relatively high MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD Income of the three counties you list – educational attainment.

        Again, using the EXACT SAME SOURCE YOU CITE, using “data [representing the] average 2006–2008 from the American Community Survey of the United States Bureau of the Census”, Loudoun, Fairfax, and Arlington counties are #6, #3 and #1 respectively, “Based on bachelor’s degree attainment (and above) for people 25 and older in the county.”

        See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-income_counties_in_the_United_States#2008

        Your post was a nice but rather simple-minded try.  Better luck next time.

        • Gregg Smith

          You really need to dig a little deeper. DC is another world where fancy restaurants thrive, fine jewelry is bought and sold, luxury hotels abound, average income is high, unemployment is low and the streets are full of cars that cost as much as houses.

        • twenty_niner

          “Your post also ignores another possible reason for the relatively high MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD Income of the three counties you list – educational attainment.”

          Actually it’s fat government contracts and cush federal jobs, and the Mercedes and BMW dealers around the beltway are none to pleased about the sequester. There are so many Mercedes and BMWs driving around the DC area, it looks like Moscow. Again, nobody but nobody f’s with the skim!
           
          I know you are a hardcore statist, and when you read books like “1984″, you wonder what Winston was complaining about and why he couldn’t just get with the program. Here’s some reading materials to free your mind. This comes from the CATO institute, which is like garlic to a vampire, but try to get through it:

          http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/overpaid-federal-workers

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner – You continue to demonstrate that you’re suffering from CECS – Correlation Equals Causation Syndrome.

            Can you prove your claim “Actually it’s fat government contracts and cush federal jobs …” in this most recent post?

            Can you prove that proximity to Washington, DC is the reason some nearby counties have relatively high median household income?

            Can you disprove that relatively high educational attainment is NOT another possible reason for the relatively high MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD Income of the three counties you list?

            Now you seem to think that because, as you say “There are so many Mercedes and BMWs driving around the DC area …” that the presence of a large number of these makes of automobiles means that either A) corruption (i.e. what you characterize as “the skim”) must be present, or B) the high number of these vehicles means that there are “… fat government contracts and cush federal jobs …” nearby.

            Perhaps you’ve failed to notice the large number of luxury vehicles in locales such as Beverly Hills, CA, Orange County, CA, Silicon Valley, several Florida cities, the oil boomtowns in Texas, Oklahoma, etc, the areas near the New York financial centers, and many other locales worldwide. I guess all those areas also have what you call “the skim” and/or “… fat government contracts and cush federal jobs …”.

            Care to offer any proof? Or is this just another of the things “[You] know”?

            You also have joined the list of posters who make foolish assumptions about me. “[You] know” nothing about me. I have to at least give you credit for not foolishly assuming my sex/gender as have some others.

            I look forward to your non-simple-minded response.

          • twenty_niner

            Obviously, you’re the slow kid in class, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

            Unlike NYC, which has the financial industry, or the Midwest, which has manufacturing (what’s left of it), or Silicon Valley, which has tech, or Hollywood, which has entertainment, the economy in Washington area is predominantly based on the government. I’m sure even the densest of liberal would agree to that.

            An article from the post:

            Government dollars fuel wealth: D.C. enclaves reap rewards of contracting boom

            http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2011-08-15/local/35269089_1_federal-contracts-government-contracts-median-household-income

            From Forbes:

            The Expanding Wealth Of Washington

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2012/03/19/the-expanding-wealth-of-washington/

            “This prosperity is rooted largely in the steady growth of the federal workforce, as federal spending accounts for one-third of the region’s economy. ”

            And for your viewing enjoyment:

            TONIGHT: HANNITY ONE-HOUR SPECIAL TO EXPOSE WASHINGTON WEALTH EXPLOSION

            http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/01/25/Tonight-Hannity-One-Hour-Special-To-Expose-Washington-Wealth-Explosion

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner – I take your ad hominem response to mean that your answers to the questions I posed are “No”, “No”, and “No”.

            Repeating my questions:

            Can you prove your claim “Actually it’s fat government contracts and cush federal jobs …” in this most recent post?

            Can you prove that proximity to Washington, DC is the reason some nearby counties have relatively high median household income?

            Can you disprove that relatively high educational attainment is NOT another possible reason for the relatively high MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD Income of the three counties you list?

            You cite three articles. One article directly contradicts one of your statements. You typed “… the economy in Washington area is predominantly based on the government.”

            The WaPo article you cite says “A third of the region’s gross regional product now comes from federal spending.” While one third is a large proportion, it leaves out the other two thirds of the region’s GRP entirely. Is this your definition of “predominant”? When two thirds of the economy does NOT “…come from federal spending”?

            Isn’t more accurate to say this region’s GRP is “predominantly NOT based on the government”?

            “I’m sure even the densest of [twenty_niners] would agree to that.”

            What about this article, also from the WaPo:

            “Washington area is wealthiest and most educated region in the nation, census data show

            By Carol Morello and Dan Keating
            Washington Post Staff Writers
            Wednesday, December 15, 2010; 12:05 AM ”

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/14/AR2010121404031.html?nav=emailpage

            I guess education has nothing to do with it, right?

            And if proximity to Washington, DC was the sole reason for a place to have high income, then why isn’t the District of Columbia itself on the list? According to the US Census Bureau, DC’s “Median household income, 2007-2011″ was $61,835. This is more than 7% lower than county # 100 on your list. DC’s percentage of persons below poverty level was also over 27% higher than the national average.

            So much for proximity.

            See:http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/11000.html

            BTW, here’s another fact for you:

            When looking at the larger Metropolitan Statistical Areas (an MSA is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area) that the US Census Bureau uses, the Washington–Baltimore, District of Columbia–Maryland–Virginia–West Virginia CMSA ranks # 2, behind the San Francisco–Oakland–San Jose, California CMSA, and ahead of the Anchorage, Alaska MSA.

            Two of the Top Ten MSAs in terms of Median Household Income are in Minnesota. Does that mean we should be concerned about Minnesota, too? Two of the Top Ten are in and around Connecticut. Should we be worried about Connecticut?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highest-income_metropolitan_statistical_areas_in_the_United_States

          • twenty_niner

            YOU DIDN’T DO YOUR READING ASSIGNMENTS!

            Well this is remedial class and it’s enough to keep you kids from sucking your thumbs all day.

            See, just a small  drop in government spending has these guys freaked out:

            “Virginia senators fear sequester”

            http://fcw.com/articles/2013/02/08/virginia-sequester-fears.aspx

            Because they understand how the bread gets buttered in Northern VA. 

            And there’s a lot of butter:

            “New Report: D.C. Area Really Does Have the Worst Traffic in the U.S.”

            http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/New-Report-DC-Really-Does-Have-the-Worst-Traffic-in-the-US-189744731.html

            And they’re not driving to factories to go build stuff or Google HQ to crank code.

          • Guest

            Type your reply…

          • hennorama

            twenty_niner – Thank you for your brave responses. That makes two straight failures to answer direct questions, which seems to be your pattern of behavior. Avoidance is not an answer.

            If your arguments are too weak to defend, or if you are unable to answer direct questions, why not simply say so, and save some time?

    • Gregg Smith

      I wouldn’t say “hold up” or “lazy”, maybe “confiscate” and the farthest I can go is “placated”.

      In 2007 GM sold 9,370,000 vehicles. That same year Toyota sold a little less but virtually the same, 9,366,418. GM lost $38,730,000,000 (-$4,055 per car) and Toyota profited  $17,146,000,000 (+$1,874 per car).

      ***Time out***

      Think about that. Really, let it sink in.

      That’s what happens when runaway pensions, unions and government muck things up. The rich are not getting rich at the expense of the poor.

  • Fredlinskip

    I’m a bit disappointed Rand Paul’s filibuster wasn’t looked upon in greater favor.
    If you stand up before the Senate and speak for hours, it’s likely you make a few mistakes that will result in a few unfavorable sound bytes. The point is he was using the filibuster rule like it was intended.- not like it has so come to be abused.
       Shortly after election Harry Reid had a chance to address the filibuster rules and make some needed change. He copped out. Couple weeks later, he was on the floor complaining how GOP was filibustering Hagel’s nomination as “unprecedented” in American history.

    You had your chance Harry- you blew it.

    • hennorama

      Sen. (Ayn) Rand Paul droned on and on about drones, effectively making his filibuster the first domestic drone attack of 2013.

      It was definitely good to see someone using the talking filibuster for once, regardless of whether one agrees with the politics of the speaker.  It was also commendable that Sen. Paul questioned the US policy on the use of UAVs, as once again, the use of available technology seems to be outpacing legal concerns.

      Clearly UAVs will be used in ways that are not readily apparent at present.  As the cost comes down, we will see private use of UAVs increase greatly.  Experimentation will increase, and new, unanticipated uses will emerge.

      As an example of new, unanticipated uses of technology, one can point to author Susan Spencer-Wendel.  She was afflicted with ALS, and lost the use of all of her fingers except her right thumb.  Undeterred,

      “She wrote the book [called Until I Say Good-Bye] — all 89,000 words of it — on an iPhone, using her right thumb, the only finger she had use of. It took three months, and she compares the task to climbing a mountain or finishing a triathlon.”

      One doubts that the creators of the iPhone anticipated this use of their technology.

      See:http://www.npr.org/2013/03/09/173525564/d

      So … all props to Sen. Paul for bringing this topic to the greater attention of the public, regardless of whether it was a political stunt intended to increase his visibility, or simply intended to get an answer to his question about using UAVs to assassinate American citizens on US soil.

  • Bruce94

    Disqus?

  • OnPointComments

    In reply to Hennorama’s comment from further down:
     

    Quoting from the film A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!”
     

    An Errant Teenager Story About The Ideal Distribution Of Grass Seed

    “I want you, my teenager, to take this grass seed and put it in the distribution on the ground in which you think most grass seed ends up when it is sown.” The observant teenager has noticed that the neighbor across the street had analyzed his soil, gotten the tools he needed, prepared the ground for seed, and worked diligently on his lawn, and he had the lush green carpet to prove it; but the neighbor next door had done none of these steps, rarely worked in his yard, and had a sparse patchy lawn as evidence of his lack of preparation and nonlabor. Your teenager, being possessed of above average intellect, figures the seed distribution should be mostly on the part of the ground that gets worked regularly, while the other part on which little work was done should get less seed.  

    “No, no, no!” you scream. “Put the seed in the ideal distribution, not the distribution in which you think it usually ends up.”  

    Putting his above average intelligence to use again, your teenager thinks to himself, “Ideal distribution. What do I think the ideal distribution should be? The ideal would be that both parts of the ground are prepared equally and worked equally, and the ideal seed distribution would be somewhat even over the entire yard.” He gets to work changing the distribution of seed to fit his ideal by splitting up the big pile into smaller more equal piles, and raking it over the entire yard.  

    “That’s much better,” you tell him while you finish viewing an archived copy of Rachel Maddow on your IPad before moving on to the latest postings on MotherJones and HuffingtonPost, “the ideal distribution should always be even.”  

    Your teenager, somewhat confused, asks, “Mom, do you think we should go across the street to our neighbor, who works hard in his yard every day, and take some of his seed, tools, fertilizer, and some of the sod he has already grown, and give it to our neighbor next door who hardly ever works in his yard?”  

    You enthusiastically reply, “Why yes dear, that would be the ideal distribution!”  

    As you said, the mother is clearly a socialist when it comes to grass seed.

    • Fredlinskip

      It seems you channeled both Fox “News” and cartoon channel to come with such a tale.
      Perhaps Orwell’s Animal Farm would be appropriate to discussion.
      In this story, the “citizens” of farm overthrow  despotic leader (the farmer) and set free society. (might be analogous to American Revolution)
       They write across the barn “all (citizens) are equal”. Well time goes on and a division of labor occurs and eventually the pigs move into the farm house and in end have transformed themselves in every way to be even more despotic than the farmer. At the same time, the citizens over time come to realize they receive *less and less compensation for greater and greater productivity. Meanwhile someone has changed the inscription to “all (citizens) are equal, but some are more equal than others”.
         
          This seems to be the society you endorse- England has finally been replaced with an even more despotic leader- Not the Government, for they have become greater and greater pawns of  American Aristocracy. This is especially true of GOP, whose most binding ideology has become- no more revenue from “greed is good” crowd to help pay down national debt that was accrued while they made their fortunes.

      • OnPointComments

        It was more “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut (1961) that I was channeling.
         

        “THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”
         

        The government forces citizens to wear “handicaps” (a mask if they are too handsome or beautiful, earphones with deafening radio signals to make intelligent people unable to concentrate and form thoughts, and heavy weights to slow down those who are too strong or fast).  The satire raises a serious question concerning desirability of social equality and the extent to which society is prepared to go to achieve it. (Wikipedia)

        • twenty_niner

          But whom on this board is Diana Moon Glampers?

          I can think of a few candidates.

        • Fredlinskip

          Wasn’t big on Vonnegut- used to love Ray Bradbury when real young, though.

        • Gregg Smith

          I think I’ve read everything Vonnegut ever wrote.

    • hennorama

      OPC – you certainly have spun an interesting if irrelevant tale.

      Please point out anywhere in the research article or in Video 1 where the researchers or the narrator asked survey respondents or the audience anything like:

      “… do you think we should go across the street to our neighbor, who works hard in his yard [or in his chosen field (clearly a missed opportunity for metaphor there, OPC)] every day, and take some of his [money, or anything else he owns, or his] seed, tools, fertilizer, and some of the sod he has already grown [or the money he has earned or any of his net worth, however it was acquired], and give it to our neighbor next door who hardly ever works in his yard [or to anyone else for that matter]?”  

      IF that were the case, then you might have an argument.

      You also seem to fail to fully appreciate the near unanimity of the reseachers’ findings.  Their findings indicated (repeating here, again):

      “All demographic groups—even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy—desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.”

      The researchers were not asking, “Do you think we should REdistribute net worth among the various “Wealth Quintiles”?

      On the contrary.  The researchers had a representative sample of those they called ‘‘regular’’ Americans estimate the actual wealth distribution in the United States at the time of the survey.  (Again, “distribution” means “the position, arrangement, or frequency of occurrence” here). 

      FTA:  “For their estimates of the actual distribution, we asked respondents to indicate what percent of wealth they thought was owned by each of the five quintiles in the United States, in order starting with the top 20% and ending with the bottom 20%.”

      In other words, they asked respondents, in effect “Who do you think has net worth in the US, and how much do you think they have” based on 5 quintiles (highest, three middle, and lowest).

      Then, they asked respondents for “their preferences for theideal distribution of wealth in the United States.”  Again, FTA:

      “For their ideal distributions, we asked them to indicate what percent of wealth they thought each of the quintiles ideally should hold, again starting with the top 20% and ending with the bottom 20%.

      “To help them with this task, we provided them with the two most extreme examples, instructing them to assign 20% of the wealth to each quintile if they thought that each quintile should have the same level of wealth, or to assign 100% of the wealth to one quintile if they thought that one quintile should hold all of the wealth.”

      I also find it interesting that you don’t defend the integrity or accuracy of Video 2, since you cited it originally.  Curious.

      My points, again:

      1. Video 2 is fallacious.

      2. Video 1 accurately presented the info contained in the underlying research paper.

      • OnPointComments

        I granted myself much dramatic license in spinning my narrative.  I was hoping to make it as deliberately provocative as the “Wealth Inequality in America” video.
         
        My points, again:
        1. Video 1 and the research article on which it is based are irrelevant.
        2. Video 2 is as relevant as Video 1.
         

        Pete18 beat me to the punch on referencing the US Treasury study on income mobility.  Others, besides the US Treasury, have also written about the dubious usefulness of abstract static data.  Do you think it would have influenced the perceptions of the “regular” Americans about wealth inequality if they knew that most in the bottom 20% didn’t stay there, and some were even in the top 10%, 5%, and 1% a decade later?  I bet it would, but then the video wouldn’t have been nearly as provocative or suited their agenda nearly as well.

        • hennorama

          OPC – TY for your response.

          While it’s encouraging to see that you think the source you originally cited is irrelevent, why would you cite what you consider to be an irrelevant source in the first place? Using what you yourself consider to be an irrelevent source is not a reasonable way to conduct an honest exchange of ideas.

          Your source is not only irrelevant (according to you), it is fallacious, which was my point throughout. Why would you cite such a source?

          Again, please note that I never said anything about the relevance of either Video 1 or Video 2, or the underlying research represented accurately in Video 1.

          My goal throughout was to demonstrate that Video 2 was fallacious, in an effort to maintain a factual basis for the discussion. Whether what you describe as “abstract static data” is useful or not is for the reader to judge.

          What is clear however, is that fallacious data or sources are NOT useful to anyone interested in an honest exchange of ideas.

          • pete18

            It was actually factual data, which used clearly labeled assumptions as a point of reference to amplify a legitimate point. Perfectly acceptable
            method of honest debate and discourse.

          • hennorama

            pete18- TY for your response. I respect your views, but I don’t think you actually believe what you’ve typed.

            If you believe Video 2 “… was actually factual data, which used clearly labeled assumptions as a point of reference to amplify a legitimate point. Perfectly acceptable method of honest debate and discourse.” then you have really low standards for “factual” and “clearly labeled” and “acceptable”. I know you have higher standards than that.

            As do OPC and WorriedfortheCountry.

            Please tell me how using someone else’s research on a completely different and unrelated topic, and then assuming said research directly translated to the second topic, could possibly be considered “factual” and “clearly labeled” and “acceptable”.

            Is the topic of US wealth (net worth) by quintile in any way related to US Federal taxation by quintile? Is wealth taxed in the US?

            Try to imagine the issues being reversed, and if you might consider Video 2 to be “factual” and “clearly labeled” and “acceptable” were an argument presented in that manner. I do not believe you would. As I said, you and OPC and WorriedfortheCountry have higher standards than that.

            At least I thought you did.

          • pete18

            I think the difference between us is that you are approaching video 1 purely as a scholarly document and I see it as a piece of political advocacy.

            I think it is creating a false premise out of an incomplete set of facts and a leading question and then arguing for a certain type of action in response. It’s not saying, “look the numbers have shifted
            in the quintiles over the past 30 years, isn’t that interesting,” it’s saying “look at these stats, this is horrible and unfair, we need to do something.” That’s why it’s a video on the internet, no other reason.

            One of the things that this type agitprop is used for is to buttress the argument for higher tax rates on the wealthy and more social spending on the lower quintiles.

            In my opinion, video 2 is responding to it in that vein, with a preemptive visual counter-point to
            what is one of the predictable and destructive solutions offered from “progressive” wing of the aisle when fueled by this type of
            presentation.

            Perhaps the study itself is presented more dispassionately and doesn’t
            suggest any particular reactions. I don’t know, I’m only responding to the
            video.

    • GuestAug27

      Oh, what a cute story for little children.  Here is a version for adults. 

      There are three neighbors.  One of them is a slave owner and the other two neighbors are his slaves.  The first slave picks his master’s cotton all day.  The cotton is sold and the proceeds are used to buy food for the master and two slaves.  The second slave works on the master’s beautiful big lawn all day. 

      The lawn behind the slaves’ shack is not visible from the master’s mansion windows and therefore is not maintained.  Of course, the slaves don’t feel inclined to take care of the lawn behind their shack because it does not belong to them and they are too tired anyway.
      What should the teenager do with his seed?

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      The problem only comes in the next generation of seeds, when one becomes so large that its leaves blot out the light of its neighbor, preventing it from growing.

      Very few people are truly arguing for the type of communism you’re portraying. We want our capitalism back- the kind where the free market is allowed to work. When organizations STOP withdrawing from the public till, even when we tell them not to, and even if they promise to pay us back (they still haven’t yet), then capitalism will work as it should. But when they drag the rest of us down to pay for their debts, whilst keeping all of their gains, we’re all in trouble. Privatized gains + Socialized risk = Corporate Socialism. And that particularly virulent form of crony capitalism is far, far worse than anything the Randians misdiagnose the left of practicing.

      When the wealthy use their wealth to grab power, and then more wealth while keeping others from climbing that same ladder, we have a huge problem. Ignoring this problem is what has gotten the Republicans into so much trouble lately. Ever consider why they can’t get the youth vote now? Turns out young people don’t like having all the costs passed to them, while the ones who don’t need help seem to get all the benefits.

  • hennorama

    From the Dept. Of I Thought Republicans Were Supposed To “Stop Being The Stupid Party”:

    Rep. Paul Ryan’s new budget is reportedly based on appeal of Obamacare

    “Ryan: New House Republican budget includes ObamaCare repeal”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/10/ryan-new-house-republican-budget-includes-obamacare-repeal/#ixzz2N9kRiqEH

    Number of FAILED votes to repeal Obamacare to date: 33

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Ryan claims his budget will have a responsible replacement for Obamacare.  I haven’t seen his proposal but I am curious if it is something that can solve health care woes.

      Obamacare is horrible law.  It would be more accurate to state the the party that supports Obamacare is the ‘stupid party’.  Unfortunately, the Democrats are entrenched and are unlikely to repeal this disaster because they would view it as a political defeat.  So the Dems are putting politics ahead of the good of the American people.

      • Gregg Smith

        I do not see how there can be any recovery with Obamacare in place.

  • pete18

    This is in response to hennorama’s reply below to me and the other usual conservative suspects over the two now infamous videos:

    I think your intense and myopic focus on the “assumption” line of video 2 and the “facts” of video 1 allows you to completely miss the overall point of video 2 and people’s complaints about video 1.

    Despite your protests about dictionary definitions, the presentation in video one is clearly implying with words like “wealth distribution” and “share of wealth,” that there is a fixed amount of money that is divided up amongst the different quintiles and that there is an inherent unfairness with how that money is divided, spread, sprinkled, etc. At the end of the video the language becomes more direct about its goals when it muses about how there must be something else that is “fair for hardworking Americans.” The system is intrinsically unfair, people are becoming rich at the expense of the poor and middle class, and even though it announces that isn’t suggesting that we become socialists, it is most certainly indicating that the government must do something about it. Return us to the glory days of the 1970s (or something like that).

    For many who agree with this, both here and out and about in the blue landscapes, one of the ideas to make things fairer is to tax the rich even more to make them pay their “fair share.” Video 2 effectively demonstrates the absurdity of this argument by using the same visual graph system in video 1 to show how much the rich actually pay as a percentage of the overall tax burden and how this contrasts with people’s perceptions as measured by poll data.

    Video 2 is not presenting the line about the assumed tax distribution as a documented fact nor is it dismissing the data of the first video. The author’s making a reasonably assumption of people’s attitudes towards tax fairness based on not only the polling data from the first video but on general arguments floating about in the media and ether about “fairness” in regards to income and taxes. He makes it crystal clear that particular line it is an assumption. The top line about what Americans think the tax distribution is, is based on actual poll data, so that part is apples to apples based on the disparity between the reality of who pays taxes vs. what some poll data says is the perception. The tax data about which quintiles carry what burdens is factually correct.

    However, as important as the tax argument is that isn’t the biggest concern I have in this video duel. The real worry with the first video , as Greg already pointed out, is its underlying premise. Are the rich getting richer, is the wrong question to asking if you are worried about people’s economic wellness in all the brackets. The relevant query is, in my opinion, is there mobility between the quintiles or are they static? And, as a sidebar, why are some people poor and why are some people rich? The reality is that the different quintiles aren’t a static block of people. There is significant movement in and out of them.

    “The U.S. Treasury released a study in November 2007 that examined income mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005. Using data from individual tax returns, the study documented the movement of households along the distribution of real income over the 10-year period. As shown in Figure 1A, the study found that nearly 58 percent of the households that were in the lowest income quintile (the lowest 20 percent) in 1996 moved to a higher income quintile by 2005. Similarly, nearly 50 percent of the households in the second-lowest quintile in 1996 moved to a higher income quintile by 2005. Even a significant number of households in the third- and fourth-lowest income quintiles in 1996 moved to a higher quintile in 2005.

    The Treasury study also documented falls in household income between 1996 and 2005. This is most interesting when considering the richest households. As shown in Figure 1B, more than 57 percent of the richest 1 percent of households in 1996 fell out of that category by 2005. Similarly, more than 45 percent of the households that ranked in the top 5 percent of income in 1996 fell out of that category by 2005.”

    http://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/itv/articles/?id=1920

    Money is earned not distributed. A person doesn’t become poorer because some other person became richer. The reason why some CEOs make 381 times the rate of the average worker (if that stat is indeed true) is because that’s what the market values the CEO’s job at. There are less people that have the skills to run a company then there are people who have the skills to do the other work at the company. Therefore, in a competitive marketplace that’s what those CEOs are currently worth. There’s nothing unfair about that. There hasn’t been some secret structural change to society brought on by a cabal of rich people to make this so. It’s the same reason professional baseball players are paid more than teachers even though we probably all agree that a good teacher may be more valuable to our children than any time they spend watching baseball. The reality is far more people are willing to spend money to watch baseball than to pay teachers to teach and there are far less people will the ability play baseball at the professional level than there are teachers qualified to teach at public and private schools.

    http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/opinion/sowell-wealth-inequality-a-numbers-game/article_66caa4d6-0a5c-11e1-b171-001cc4c002e0.html

    When people remain focused on what they perceive is a structural inequity brought on by their favorite straw-men (the rich, republicans, tea partiers, etc) they do themselves and everybody else a disservice.  There are predictable ways to stay out of poverty and to gain wealth. People should be studying wealthy people to see how they increase their income and emulating them. Those concerned with keeping folks out of poverty shouldn’t be bashing the rich or complaining about how unfair the wealth “distribution” is, they should be on a crusade to encourage people to get married, finish high school, wait until their at least 20 before having children and to work full time. These are far more important factors in keeping people out of poverty than any of the government interventions to “redistribute” wealth.

    http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2003/09/childrenfamilies-haskins

    The reasons conservatives don’t favor raising tax rates on the rich to an even more lopsided and unfair rate isn’t because of the childish and strange critiques that they want to “help their rich friends” or “are working against their own interests.” We hold this position because we see further tax increases on the upper incomes as counter productive to the economy. We also see that despite the good intentions of many government programs that many of them are completely ineffective and lots of them are destructive to the people they are trying to help.

    http://www.pbs.org/fmc/interviews/moynihan.htm

    These programs, along with every other aspect of government–including defense spending—shouldn’t be automatically renewed every year at a higher level without some criteria in place to measure their effectiveness. Trying to redistribute income or cap wages creates the exact opposite effect of its intentions, it destroys wealth and curtails the ability of people to move up in incomes or increase their net worth.

    http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/09/20/the_fallacy_of_redistribution/page/full/

    • Fredlinskip

      How much better it would be if Obama admin continued W’s ineptitude was  and allowed country to sink into Depression. Then argument would be over and all could see what deregulation and supply-side economics had wrought upon our country. After Great Depression, taxation of the wealthy went up into the 90%’s- And these folks were STILL plenty wealthy.
         You use a study released in ‘07 concerning data up to ‘05 to speak of mobility between quintiles This is idiotic. 
      Sure- let’s use data in the middle of the biggest BUBBLE in American history to demonstrate our thesis. Over and over Conservatives sight data just before the crash- “See economy’s swell- looky there!” Please show me the stats after the crash and how mobility between “quintiles” is doing then and maybe there’s room for discussion. Show me the stats after the grand GOP supply-side philosophy has wiped our economy clean please.
      “Money is earned not distributed. A person doesn’t become poorer because some other person became richer”. How quaint. What happened in housing bubble- who was left with the $ and assets? Who didn’t? In last 30+ years where did vast majority of income gains go? 
        “CEO is worth 381 times..” How often does it occur that CEO’s profit immensely short-run and then jump into blue yonder with golden parachutes leaving companies worse for them being there, while jettisoning as many employees as possible during their “tenure”.
        Pro sports and celebrities is really a different argument.

      “When people remain focused on what they perceive is a structural inequity brought on by their favorite straw-men they do themselves and everybody else a disservice.” 
      I would suggest, that when people fail to recognize that huge inequities in society create structural weakness in the system as a whole,they do themselves and everybody else a disservice.

      “What is important is the equality of opportunity to access the American dream. That should be everyone’s concern”.
       You are absolutely right.
      **And if you study our society today in comparison with the 4 decades before Ronnie arrived, you will see that this mobility has decreased enormously.

      • pete18

        You will find that mobility through the quintiles is pretty consistent over 15-20 year stretches. This is
        isn’t based on “bubbles” (or a good economy enabled by tax cuts) but because most people gain wealth as they get older. That’s because they become more skilled, more educated and more experienced and therefore become more valuable in the marketplace. This is economic common sense 101. For your edification you can read the University of Michigan study, which has tracked income mobility every year since 1968. You can see the same results in a “non good economy enabled by tax cuts time” 1975-1991 where the study showed that most people in the bottom 20 percent of earners in 1975 were in the top 40 percent of earners by 1991. Only 5 percent of them were still at the bottom at the end of that 16 year stretch while 20 percent of them had risen to the top quintile.

        http://psidonline.isr.umich.edu/

        Someone should make a video out of this study and put it on the internet. Think what fun we could have here if they did.

        • Fredlinskip

          “You will find that mobility through the quintiles is pretty consistent over 15-20 year stretches.” This  would seem counter-intuitive because at same time people’s incomes grow, new people are entering the market. Therefore as some are growing other’s are taking their places in that “quintile”.
          Otherwise your point is well taken and  I will study more, when time permitting. Thanks

          • pete18

            You’re welcome, however, I’m don’t follow you as to how you think new people entering the market would change anything.  Most people who enter the market start at the lower quintiles and work their way up. The number of people entering a quintile wouldn’t change the mobility of anyone already in them. These studies follow individual people through the quintiles not the percentages of people that are in them.

            It’s pretty dry reading, but If you take a look at them you will definitely find it revealing.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    For the thirteenth straight year the FTC says that by far Identity Theft is the biggest consumer complaint. It also still ranks as the most prevalent form of criminal activity even though many instances go unreported. What does it take to merit a show On Point? Maybe if someone had just written a book or released a movie that would do the trick. Oh, wait, there was a recent movie and from a trailer I saw it mocks the victim and ingratiates the criminal. Just like our Criminal Justice System. Go figure.

    So a self-absorbed, hoo-hah slinging, capital wringing wretch of a Human Being can dominate coverage for months on end but a crime that ruins thousands of lives every day doesn’t even warrant mention?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/edblack/2013/03/07/yet-again-consumers-rank-identity-theft-as-top-concern/

    https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17g-CrimIdTheft.htm

  • Gregg Smith

    The raging debate (down below) between OPC and Henna over the semantics of the two videos needs a truce. I have a suggestion. Rather than bickering over the differences between “Ideal tax distribution” and “Ideal wealth distribution” (What does either really mean?), why not just say “fair share”? That way the term can have 1000 definitions for every 1000 people. It’s a Democrat-proven, Luntz-tested catch phase that has the bonus attribute of sounding awesome and meaning absolutely nothing.

    I do not see any way to look at the 2nd video and conclude taxation is distributed in a fair manner. I also don’t know very many people who think it should be fair, the question is: “How unfair should it be”? 

    Okay, there may be one way to say it’s fair. That is, if the rich got rich at the expense of the poor. That’s the reason, right? The notion is assumed by default, any debate must start by assuming that premise… just because. The question, “What else could it be” always demands a default answer and that’s it, period. 

    I hear the rich benefit more from the infrastructure. Infrastructure is equally available to every single American. What can we legislate to make it more equal? 

    I hear wages are too low. The best I can tell, this particular claim is either limited to blue collar workers or assumes all blue collar workers have no choice but to be chained to the station in life they were born into, what ever it is, no exceptions. That’s just not true.

    • DrewInGeorgia

       Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

      Equivalent Sacrifice.

      • Gregg Smith

        How does the language of that law read? Write it up.

    • ExcellentNews

      You are absolutely right ! Why cant these dang workers borrow a few million from their fathers and start their own hedge fund !!! It is so clearly Obama who keeps middle class America from making it big on the free market…

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Paul Krugman makes This Week unwatchable.  He is smug, obnoxious, rude and constantly interrupting and monopolizing the time.  Most importantly, he just makes things up and states them as fact.  Yesterday, he was applauding the recent CBO report that this years deficit was reduced to $850B.  Incredibly he offered this into evidence that we have solved our budget woes and he compares this level to the (still too high) 2006 $248B deficit.  Krugman rarely has anything  interesting to offer to This Week — unless you find his fantasies interesting.

  • Ruth Perkins

    What about the welfare (People’s) money for big banks ($83 billion) that Elizabeth Warren exposed that would be at least almost if not enough to cover the monies being fought about in the sequestration?

    Here’s a copy of the letter I’ve received:

    Ruth –

    Attorney General Eric Holder indicated in testimony before the U.S.
    Senate that some Wall Street banks have gotten so big that they are now
    above the law.

    He actually said earlier this week:

    I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so
    large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are
    hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a
    criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy,
    perhaps even the world economy.

    This is wrong — just plain wrong. We are a country that believes in
    equal justice under the law — not special deals for the big guys. And
    that’s not all the special deals that the big banks get.

    According to recent calculations by Bloomberg, the top ten biggest
    banks receive an $83 billion subsidy every year in the form of lower
    borrowing costs — something not available to your community bank or
    credit union. The markets think that, if things get tough, the
    government will be there to bail out the big banks again but not the
    little guys.

    To put things in perspective — that $83 billion subsidy is about the
    same amount of money being fought over in the sequestration.

    So why are we still debating this issue at all? Isn’t it obvious that
    the “too big to fail” problem still exists and is bad for small banks?
    Bad for taxpayers? Bad for our economy? Bad for justice?

    Here’s one theory that worries me: maybe people believe that the banks have in fact become too big to shrink. They have started to say that we can’t cut these banks down to size.

    I’m not one of them, and neither are colleagues of mine like Sen.
    Sherrod Brown who have been fighting hard on this issue. We know we can
    take on the big banks and their army of lobbyists and win because we’ve
    done it before.

    When banks are too big to fail, too big to jail, too big for trial, too
    big to manage, too big to regulate, too big to shrink, and too big to
    reform… they are just too big.

    We’re just getting started here.

    • ExcellentNews

      You clearly do not understand modern economic theory. If the peons (scratch that…) the people’s money is taken and given to bankers, coal barons, and crony contractors, that is called the FREE MARKET and JOB CREATING. If the people want some of their money to be spend on R&D, infrastructure, and help for the unfortunate, that is called MUSLIM ANTI-AMERICAN JOB-DESTROYING SOCIALISM… :)

  • Fredlinskip

    Concerning long argument below and videos>

    Stang’s video simply points out some basic facts about income distribution in America and how it is different then people’s perception. 
    It also points out that this huge increase in wealth of those occurred in last 30 years.

    OP’s video is really a whole lot of nonsense. Big clues are, “let’s assume this, let’s assume that.” It’s a pointless peace of  propaganda, insulting to those of us left that have intelligence. It’s a joke. if your only point is that the wealthy pay a high % of taxes you shouldn’t require an asinine sophomoric video to point that out. 
    If you think video 2 is a “reasonable interpretation” of anything you’ve been drinking way too much Koolaid. Hennorranna goes way out of his way to try and argue the facts to a bunch of folks that care not much about facts.
    IMO

  • ExcellentNews

    Well, the news can be summarized as follows:

    - The republican party vows to oppose President Obama in putting terrorists on trial.

    - The republican party vows to oppose President Obama in eliminating terrorists otherwise.

    - The republican party vows to oppose President Obama in investing in American manufacturing, infrastructure and R&D

    - The republican party vows to oppose President Obama in cutting useless spending such as tobacco subsidies

    - The republican party vows to oppose President Obama in education reform

    Now that’s a party beyond my ability to BELIEVE IN.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

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Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

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Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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