"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Friday, September 4, 2009

Open Thread

Open thread today, talk about any topic:
  • 23rd Congressional race, 
  • Obama addressing the schools (should be no big deal, other than the directive from the Ed dept)
  • health care
  • local government and pension cost
  • Spitzer considering a comeback
  • Obama's falling poll numbers
  • Farm Labor bill


Dan Francis said...

* 23rd Race: This is NOT a race, per se ... more like a shooting gallery, and the worst is yet to come as soon as the rest of the ammo arrives.

* Health care: Not as long one single GOP rabid conservative, and I underscore rabid conservative since I have many good GOP friends who are not rabid (I hope).

* Obama to Address Students: I post this, long, but I need to say it:

This issue is so pathetic that I hate to comment, but I can't resist. It's my nature to comment when needed - and it is now:

Here's my take:

* The GOP (rightwing side mostly) and aided by FOX and Talk Radio (especially) are "trying to destroy our fabric as a nation by saying and hyping these kinds of stories and lies ... that Obama and the DEMS are destroying our fabric with school speeches and health care reform and change in government."

* How ironic is that: "Peddle the idea of fear with fear peddlers with a pack of lies?"

It's a nasty War of Words. And, yes, nasty words do matter - just examine the health care "debate" if we can call it a debate rather than a riot about to become a shooting match.

And, now, this hype and fear about a President speaking to middle-school kids -- weak, very weak:

* Both Geo. H.W. Bush and Reagan did the exact same thing ...

I am sure as we reexamine those speeches we will see that their side used clips in political Ads and such, etc. So, what?

If the GOP continues this "death wish" (to regain power at any cost), it will be costly.

But, if the GOP were to "win" on issues like this and killing health care, then they deserve to win in 2010, and the DEMS deserve to lose.

But, the real losers: the public (as usual). IMHO.

— dmf

Dan Francis said...

I'll post this to underscore my view on the "school speech" it speaks for itself:

* Districts in states including Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students.

* Others are still thinking it over or are letting parents have their kids opt out.

Some conservatives, driven by radio pundits and bloggers, are urging schools and parents to boycott the address. They say Obama is using the opportunity to promote a political agenda and is overstepping the boundaries of federal involvement in schools.

"As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality," said Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell. "This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

North Korea or Saddam Hussein?

My my, how far politics has reached in our country - it's still our country, right? Just checking.

~ dmf

Anonymous said...

Nice to see that Dan, on every single issue, sees everything from a distinctly Donkey point of view. How very independent be your thoughts, my boy. Since you're party failed to hear you yet again on your recent candidacy, you've reverted to a "yes sir" kinda guy. No one is surprised.

Anonymous said...

Here's my "pet peeve" Candidates being forced to the voter's throat, by the 2 major parties, this happens on all levels, the county govt. posts should be non-partisan, the county admin. position should be elected not appointed,(better to keep him on his toes), The Authorities (taxing) should have their budgets voted on.

Anonymous said...

Here's my "pet peeve" Candidates being forced to the voter's throat, by the 2 major parties, this happens on all levels, the county govt. posts should be non-partisan, the county admin. position should be elected not appointed,(better to keep him on his toes), The Authorities (taxing) should have their budgets voted on.

Dan Francis said...

Anonymous 1:50... ding, false, wrong answer.

Yes, I'm a lifelong DEM and proud of it, but I am NOT a lock-step, blinders on, walk the Party line no matter what type of DEM.

I determine what's right and then appropriate - that's the right thing to do if in office when decision making ...

That pisses off as many DEMS as it does Anonymous posters like you here.

~ nice try, though.

Anonymous said...

You say that, Dan, but every time there's a decision to make of any significance, you dance to the Donkey. I know, you always say you're independent and all that. But you can't tell from your opinions, only from your claims of balanced thought. Everybody claims that stuff, most everybody is lying.

Earthbob said...

Hannah Montana and Spongebob Squarepants absorb many hours from our childrens attention.

Yet, when the President of the United States plans a "stay in school" pep talk, it becomes a political issue.

President Reagan addressed our school children, and included in his message his view on cutting taxes.

President Obama has captured the fancy of the younger generation.

It is one thing to complain about what a President has said. There were complaints about President Reagan's remarks.

It is another thing to prevent a President from saying anything at all.

Actions speak louder than words.

This whole affair to stop a President from encouraging students to stay in school is Bass Ackwards.

But, then again, there may be more value in Spongebob showing young students a wonderful vocation in the serving of Crabby Paddies for a living.

Anonymous said...

Depends on what our First Black Prezident says EB. There's an entire lesson plan involved, asking questions of elementary students of "how can you help our prez?" And at a time when he's turning the country into something we won't recognize in a decade. But I guess that's what a lot of people want. You seem to be in the majority. I voted. I lost.

You say the Great One has captured the fancy of our youth. Let me ask you why that is, EB. If you ask a kid, or most anyone who loves him, you get answers ranging from the usual "change" to "first black pres". There's nothing to discuss. No substance to the position.It seems they have bought into a package. Marketing has won the day. So the school speech would seem to be a logical extension of a successful strategy. And you can bet there will be no real resistance from the teacher unions.

Blues in the Bay, one more day.

Earthbob said...

"Depends on what our First Black Prezident says EB."


But, let him say it.

"how can you help our prez?"

President Reagan asked the same question from students, as he espoused his belief for lower taxes.

"And at a time when he's turning the country into something we won't recognize in a decade. But I guess that's what a lot of people want."

Many Democrats had similar reservations about President Reagan's Administration.

When we look back with the luxury of 20/20 hindsight, we realize that, at the end of Reagan's 2 terms, he had added 2 cabinet posts. President Reagan insisted he was going to eliminate cabinet positions.

That doesn't diminish President Reagan's accomplishments, it demonstrates that a President's change doesn't always go as deep or as planned.

That pesky thing called the U S Constitution keeps our Government in check.

When FDR attempted to pack the Supreme Court to obtain all that he wanted, the Constitution prevented him from doing so.

The Constitution provides for Free Speech, even for Presidents. We do not have to listen, and, we do not have to have our children listen.

But, wouldn't a parent want to know what is being said, and, talk about it with their children.

If the President has captured the youth's fancy, it may be the right time to "keep it real" with our children.

4 of my 5 vote.

We have talked about this and will talk about this.

My 15 year old will be voting in the next election.

"There's nothing to discuss. No substance to the position."

We have discussed deferred wealth and Social Security.

We have discussed Inflation and Recession occuring at the same time.

We have discussed the National Debt and the Cost of Money to service that debt.

Just "keeping it real" with those who may have more of a fantasy about change, my anonymous friend.

Let the President speak.

Action speaks louder than words.

Encourage our youngest citizens to learn, and let them continue to observe until they can vote.

To my Anonymous Friend:

I did not use Muddy Waters or proces.....oops!

Anonymous said...

EB, all media, pop culture, music and movie industry, their schools, everything our kids are exposed to (except perhaphs your hated FOX news) is slanted left. The kids have no chance to think for themselves. Your 15 year old has already voted; her mind is already made up. They want "change". ???

I'm sure healthcare is her the biggest issue in her life. That, along with high taxes. So helping the prez is a high priority. And you call this "learning?" I view it as continuing indoctrination. But then again the Frog will tell you media is balanced and fair, so maybe I gots it all wrong.

Earthbob said...

"(except perhaphs your hated FOX news)"

It is evident that you do not know me by that remark.

"Your 15 year old has already voted; her mind is already made up. They want "change". ???"

My 15 year old?

HE hasn't made up his mind. Not a female.

He is considering a military college. That is a change, and a surprise to me.

It appears the one most negatively influenced by pop culture is you, my anonymous friend.

It seems to have beaten you down.

More importantly, you are willing to surrender and give up to, what you describe as, the exposure.

So far, you are 0 for 2 in your assessment of me.

"So helping the prez is a high priority. And you call this "learning?""

Observing the President, and all the different actions of our governments is learning.

"I view it as continuing indoctrination."

Listening and thinking about words is nothing to fear, my friend.

Ignoring those words would bring us closer to a Pol Pot like indoctrination, as in Cambodian Re-Education Camps.

Ignorance is the womb of all monsters.

What is the biggest issue in my 5 sons' lives? Girls, not Health Care.

Do not despair. my anonymous friend. The President's words are not going to risk the fate of the planet.

The Sun is still going to come up in the morning.

"so maybe I gots it all wrong."

Just my son's Gender and my journalistic choices.

Enjoy your holiday.

T said...

Looks like you have become the only game in town. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

American thinker,
The Congressional Budget Office came out with an update to its predictions of the federal budget this week. For some reason, the CBO did not title its report “Hell In A Hand Basket.”It is difficult to put all these predictions into easily understandable apples-to-apples comparisons. But I will try. One thing that messes up the understanding is that the White House or Treasury comes out with predictions as well the CBO, and usually at about the same time, so that there are always multiple estimates of about the same things.Here is my tip for getting a grip on such predictions: ignore all predictions coming from the Obama administration. To keep things simple and within an order of magnitude of the truth, stick with CBO estimates. Not that the CBO is perfect, but (a) it is more accurate than anything coming from Obama, and (b) its predictions are apples-to-apples comparable to each other.In March, the CBO came out with a report that included predictions for two different scenarios: a “baseline” scenario and an “Obama budget” scenario. It also updated that report in June. In August, the CBO updated only one of those predictions, its “baseline” one. (Format note: the embedded links here are directly to pdf versions of the CBO reports. In the first two reports, look for Table 1-1. In the August report, look for Table 1.)The CBO’s “baseline” is an estimate of what will happen if Congress does nothing new and just lets existing law continue. If tax breaks expire, Congress lets them expire, etc. The CBO also assumes discretionary spending will go up merely at the pace of inflation. The “baseline” is not quite what Bush left for Obama, since it includes legislation passed already, such as the $787 B stimulus and the $410 FY 2009 reconciliation budget, both passed in 2009 under Obama.The CBO’s “Obama” estimate is based on Obama’s proposals being adopted, rather than continuing with the current law. Obama’s proposals are documented in his budget, originally submitted February 26 and updated May 7. This budget is not yet law; it is what Congress is considering right now. Also, this budget includes neither Obamacare nor Cap & Trade.In order to compare all these predictions, each full of numbers and assumptions, I provide only the predictions of the cumulative deficit over 2010-2019.“Baseline” from March report: $4.441 trillion.“Obama budget” from March report: $9.270 trillion.“Baseline” from June report: $4.441 trillion.

Anonymous said...

“Obama budget” from June report: $9.139 trillion.“Baseline” from August report: $7.137 trillion.Note a few things. First, Obama’s budget would more than double the long-term deficit, from $4.4 T to about $9.2 T, when estimated apples-to-apples. Secondly, the baseline estimate has gone up $2.7 T, or 61% just between June and August. Third, we do not have such an updated estimate for Obama’s budget.If CBO would re-do its estimate for Obama’s budget like it did for the baseline case, we could expect the 2010-2019 cumulative deficit to be $12 T to $15 T if Obama gets his way — before Obamacare or Cap & Trade or anything else new.Let’s be clear here. If Congress from here out does nothing but maintain the dreaded status quo, we are on an unsustainable budget path. A path of structural deficits never going below $500 B or 3% of GDP in any year from now on. A path that leaves us with a public debt of about 67% of GDP from 2011 on, or a level not seen since Truman was paying off World War II.That’s the good news. The bad news is if Obama gets his way. If he does, essentially double everything: annual deficits more like $1 trillion or 6% of GDP every year. Debt held by the public will reach at least 80% of GDP, if not 90% or more.You need to note something else about all this. We are talking 2010 and beyond. Obama expects our current recession to end this year. Most economists expect the same thing. Years from 2010 on are expected to be post-recession years. To be explicit, that means that even Keynesians would say fiscal stimuli are not needed in those years.Yet we spend like crazy, non-stop, that entire time! This is not about fixing the current recession.Critics (e.g., the Washington Post) always like to remind us of Cheney’s quote, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” I don’t think Cheney meant just any deficits, but deficits of limited size and duration. Size and endurance matter.In Reagan’s eight years, 1981-88, the deficit averaged 4.2% of GDP, with the worst year being 6.0%. Under George W. Bush, 2001-2008, the deficit averaged 2.0% of GDP, with the worst year being 3.6%.Now let’s look at CBO’s forecast of Obama’s deficits for 2009-2016. The average deficit will be 6.3% of GDP, with a worst case of 13% and a best case of 3.9%. And these are the rosy predictions, the June predictions — before being updated in August as the baseline scenario was.Do you get the size and endurance differences? Obama’s average will be worse than Reagan’s worst single year. Obama’s best will be worse than Bush’s worst single year.

Anonymous said...

Obama’s average will, in fact, be worse than any year since 1930 except for World War II. That means unprecedented in peacetime.What’s more, the numbers under Obama never get better. The picture doesn’t clear up with the end of this recession. The deficit will be 5.6% of GDP, and the public debt 82% of GDP (unprecedented in peacetime), in 2019. But again, those are the rosy numbers.Obama’s budget is now being considered by Nancy Pelosi’s House and Harry Reid’s Senate. Do you think the tweaks they make to Obama’s budget will increase or decrease the deficit? Obama’s budget did not include health care reform. The health care bill currently being considered (H.R. 3200) was estimated to add $1 trillion to the 2010-2019 cumulative deficit, per the CBO. Things were bad in 2008. What Obama did early ($787 B stimulus, $410 B reconciliation, $350 B TARP part II) made them worse. What he put in his February budget would make them even worse. What he proposed after that budget (health care reform with a public option, cap and trade emissions legislation) would make them yet worse again.Every single proposal from this President makes the budget outlook worse. Much worse. Unprecedented in peacetime worse. Third World basket case, debtor-nation, worse. Can we get anything from this man that is not a 1,000 page piece of legislation that costs $1 trillion and needs a new czar?Let’s grant, for the sake of argument, that Obama was handed a terrible situation. He was made captain of a ship that was leaking and close to sinking. But instead of patching the leaks, he is taking an ax to everything. He says we can’t live with the status quo.Can we please not save this country by destroying it?

Canmandan said...

I am not as concerned by a government and administration that tries to control the message by rolling out talking points to demonizing the other side, as I am with the legions of mind numbed donkeys who drink the cool aid and fail to do their homework before they jump on the bandwagon. These people when challenged always seem to resort to the same old saw – portray themselves as Independent thinkers that always consider issues on their merits. Their views and responses are as predictable as a Catholic catechism.

Talk radio and FOX news are not enemies of the state. They simply have a different opinion and in a Democracy that is healthy. What is not healthy is a government that tries to control dissent by marginalizing and demonizing anyone who disagrees with them rather than considering opposing views on their merits.

Something tragic and totally unexpected happened on the healthcare front that the left never expected – given time the public actually READ the health care bill and worse yet they UNDERSTOOD WHAT IT SAID. Now they know WHY CONGRESS TRIED TO PUSH IT THROUGH AT BREAKNECK SPEED and they are taking them to task for it.

The problem with Obamacare is not that the people don’t understand it; the problem is that THEY DO UNDERSTAND IT.

I went to two town hall meetings in my district. The people I saw there were not mindless neo-cons bent on destroying the country. It was a mix of Conservatives, Republican, Democrats, and Independents, each of whom had something in common – legitimate concerns ranging from specific requirements in the bill to larger issues like government control of one-fifth of our economy and government interference in our healthcare choices. They wanted to know things like why if the government has all the answers they haven’t fixed Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Health Care, Social Security, the Post Office and that money pit Am-Crash. They wanted to know why if Obamacare was so great that Congress would not insist that all members of government and government employees be required to sing up.

In response to their questions they were given excuses and told about the vast Neo-Con-Fox NEW- Talk Radio conspiracy that was controlling their minds. Then they woke up the next day to find themselves ridiculed in the press.

As a result everyday people are mad as hell and they are digging in for a protracted battle. These people are not the problem. The problem is Congressional leaders and a Socialist in the Whitehouse who has become drunk on power.

Anonymous said...

The problem is Congressional leaders and a Socialist in the Whitehouse who has become drunk on power.

September 8, 2009 9:29 AM

AMEN to that!

Anonymous said...

EB, I'd respond but my attention span is too limited to remember all you said with that posting style of yours. I recall you saying your son/daughter is hoping to go to a military school. Best of luck on that. I saw that West Point was named the best there is last year. I had a close friend who went to Annapolis. The guy couldn't go anywhere without the phone ringing, asking if he or his family needed anything. Never saw anything like it.

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