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April 04, 2011 03:44 PM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“You can hype a questionable product for a little while, but you’ll never build an enduring business.”

–Victor Kiam


59 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. until he announced his reelection campaign. I feel like a woman who just found out her husband has been having numerous affairs for decades, and when I ask for a divorce he says, “Sure! But can we still have sex once in a while when I can’t find it anywhere else?”

      1. I donated a lot of money to Obama and took off most of my weekends to help elect him. I’ll probably still vote for him, but I won’t put in that kind of effort again. I stuck it out for a long time, but I’m not going to fight for a guy who’s not going to fight for me.

        1. even a fraction of the dedication and motivation of the millions of us who worked many hours on his campaign in 2008, some things have got to look different rather quickly.  We are not corporatists.

          1. arguments I’m not looking forward to, politically this will be interesting.

            You’re right, most people can’t fake passion. The middle doesn’t understand enough to be passionate (no offense, but the indifferent don’t know how toward the middle he is, the rest, by definition, aren’t passionate enough to make up for the left) and the right will abandon him regardless of any compromises.

            Dan’s link below is probably also straight on. Were the right not busy eating itself, we would have a Republican President in 2012. They nominate a Tea Party idiot and we won’t. Hopefully.

            I believe there are too many things unfinished at this point to make an educated guess. Like watching the sportscasters predicting championship match ups; if this team loses three of the next five and this other team wins two of the next eight, etc.

            The Republican primary will be fascinating. Obama will be interesting to us for the next few months, but I predict in a more general, wtf way before election interesting.

              1. You are a progressive who apparently believes the best course to re-election for President Obama is for him to move left and excite the base.  That’s not realistic, both because Obama was never the Leftie that some wanted him to be and the R portray him to be and because it’s not the most pragmatic way to win national elections in the US.

                1. I don’t know how you draw your conclusions so let me tell you directly what I “believe:”  

                  I truly don’t know yet what Obama needs to do to get re-elected — other than he seems to be following the successful political pathway that Republicans have long followed — collect a very large amount of money for a re-election campaign in the only way you can gather large amounts of money, and walk a policy tightrope.  

                  I’m very realistic about politics, having been involved in it directly for a long time.

                  1. You really aren’t going to take me seriously, r u?

                    R u serious?

                    You know what gets me excited about Obama 2012?

                    Everything that got me excited about Obama 2008. Well, almost everything,

                2. I and millions of others who worked their butts off in 2008 will vote for Obama.  That’s not the same thing as being highly motivated to work our butts off in 2012 as volunteers again.

        2. I can tell you he has told the Dems and ‘Team Obama’ not to call, write or e-mail – he will not volunteer or give one red cent and he doesn’t plan to vote for President for the 1st time in his life.

          Think political discussions around my house can get a bit heated? 🙂

          1. The Republican will be too icky to contemplate, and I think your hard-core progressive will hold his nose and vote D.

            He may never admit it, though. Rumor has it his head is pretty damned hard.

            1. Pretty damn disappointed.  I am not going to do shit for Obama other than vote for him one last time.

              If I ever had an inkling of not voting, it was quashed this weekend when I saw Rep. Paul Ryans plan to “reform” medicare.  Apparently private health insurance is such a stellar system and is working so well for all of us, so lets break our promise with the American people and let the health insurers in on that piece of business too.

              No more pesky guarantees from the government !  Lets let private industry kick old people to the curb too.

              People like Ryan are hell bent on fucking up everything in this country and sqeezing out every last penny from us on behalf of their corporate masters.  It sucks ass – don’t give them any more power by not voting.

    1. I think that the Administration has a lot of irons in the fire just now.  So, how could all of those irons affect the way they have come out of the gate with a re-election video?

      The most important domestic iron in the fire is the budget, for 2011 and 2012 AND the vote to increase the debt ceiling.  Are the Republicans going to be more inclined to cooperate in these efforts when the initial ad is soft-sell or when the initial ad bashes the Republicans until they are bloody?

      I think that if this initial ad was aggressive virtually ALL of the Republicans in the House and Senate would emphasize their intent to shut the government down AND forever vote against anything the Administration is for, even the so-called sane or moderate Republicans.  Absolutely nothing would get done for however long the tea party types are in Washington!

      That is the reality.  The Republicans have shown that they don’t care about the country, they only care about their own ‘power’ and in caring only about their own power they will willingly cause the economy to crash again.

      So let’s try not to have tunnel vision today and pay for it tomorrow.

      1. are going to happen anyway, no matter what. Have you not been paying attention to the GOP’s strategy the past few years? Obama has done nothing but try to get them in one some of this, and they’ve been saying “no thanks, fuck you” for 2 years now. Why continue to try to appease them?

        1. There are a few almost responsible Republicans that have been influenced over the last couple years.

          Just what exactly would you consider a benefit of bashing them around the head at this particular point in time?  Benefit?

          I see nothing except creating more acrimony and giving the Repubs more excuses.  

          So what would the benefits be?

          And, pray tell, what Democratic President has achieved more in just 2 years?  I know that you don’t think it was progressive enough but very seldom, if ever, does legislation achieve the best position on the first go round.  It nearly always begins with a ‘good start’ that needs to be built upon.  Even FDR’s legislation took time to ‘mature’.

          There sure are a lot of Progressives who got so used to complaining that they don’t know how else to react.  You get to talking to yourselves round and round and round and round and you have totally psyched each other out until it has become a contest of who can complain and criticize the most or the loudest or the … whatever.  Now, after just over 2 years, Progressives seem to be so freaked out by each other and so stressed out that they can’t even think straight.  They just keep repeating the same things over and over, round and round and round and round until they sound like they have been pre-programmed.

          So, what is the benefit of coming out swinging at this particular time?  Would it really make things better?

          What is the benefit?

          What is the benefit?

          1. would be to motivate progressives, without whom Obama really can’t win. They don’t control the votes, but they donate the money and volunteer with the campaign. With a demoralized progressive base and activated teabagger base, you get improbable results like re-electing the people who crashed the economy before it’s even recovered (i.e., 2010).

            The health care bill was hard to pass. Looking at the history of Clinton’s attempt gave me a lot of appreciation for what Obama managed to accomplish. But the Bush tax cuts were one of the main things Obama campaigned on, and he utterly caved. He vastly increased the deficit with that action (thus simultaneously dooming any new stimulus and threatening many existing programs), and by not ever making a plan for the middle-class tax cuts before the 2010 election, he basically ensured Democrats wouldn’t have anything to campaign on. This isn’t “not quite progressive enough,” it was a thundering conservative victory. He even threw in a payroll tax cut, thus becoming the first President to ever weaken the Social Security tax base and possibly set the stage for eliminating it entirely.

            The memory of that is too raw for him to be asking progressives to help him with four more years. In two years with a filibuster-proof Democratic majority he gave the Republicans everything they dared to ask for and more on their tax policy. We barely even know what he would do under a Republican majority.

            1. In two years with a filibuster-proof Democratic majority he gave the Republicans everything they dared to ask for and more on their tax policy. We barely even know what he would do under a Republican majority.

              For all we know he might:

              – decide to keep Gitmo open;

              – try the 9/11 defendants before military tribunals instead of in our perfectly suitable civilian justice system;

              – fail to support a single payer health insurance system, or even the public option;

              – or even start his own little fine and dandy war – instead of just running the ones he inherited from W – in a whole different Arab/Muslim country.

              Oh sorry – forgot. He’s already done all of that….

              Agree with you spx – What WILL the guy do with R control of BOTH houses of Congress?

              The one thing he apparently WON’T do?

              Grow a pair.

              1. Let me ask you…

                Could Obama actually run those trials here?  I seem to recall some measures barring several aspects of that otherwise reasonable (and successfully demonstrated) idea – and they weren’t Democratic measures.

                Given that, is it any wonder why we have to use a military system in a place we wanted to close?  Is it a mystery why it’s still open?

                And while you may disagree on the Libya issue, I – a normally pacifist and anti-empire Democrat – can’t say that it was a bad decision.

                Why Obama didn’t want to push the health care debate we will probably never really know.  Was it his initial desire to try for bi-partisan support?  Maybe it was his desire to stay out of the way of the process based on the failure of Clinton…  Was it Cabinet and advisory pressure from the numerous Republicans and corporate Dems he’s got surrounding him?  Or was it his own desire to see a moderate solution?  My feeling is that it wasn’t the latter, but rather a combination of the first three.

                I’m disappointed with Obama, but I’m not going to lay it all at his feet either.  Even if he’d wanted to “get it done”, he had less than 2 years of filibuster-proof majorities.  Due to Sen. Byrd’s and Sen. Kennedy’s illnesses, the Senate rarely had a filibuster-proof majority even when the numbers were officially in our favor.  And even with a filibuster-proof majority on our side, Republicans were willing and able to use the Senate rules to completely gum up the works.  We’re lucky we managed to get what we got through the process – though we could have gotten more from the health care reform debate if everyone had pushed, IMHO.

                1. I would just add that due to the length of time to finalize Al Franken’s election and the illnesses that you mention, we had a 60 vote margin for only about 3 months.


                  In two years with a filibuster-proof Democratic majority he gave the Republicans everything they dared to ask for and more on their tax policy. We barely even know what he would do under a Republican majority.

                  sxp  Where did you ever get the idea that the Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority for 2 years?  Sounds an awfully lot like a Repub talking point when they are spouting off their untruths!  And it sure makes all of McConnell’s filibusters hard to understand!

                  If that is the mis-information that is going around, even in Dem blogs, no wonder the anger is escalated.  A little reality is needed.

                  Over the last two years, Dems broke more filibusters than any Senate in recorded history. In fact the only other Senate that comes close was the last Senate, right after the GOP lost its controlling majority on the Hill.


                  Every filibuster eats up tons of time.  One of the reasons that the judicial system is in such need for judges that even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has written to the Senate to please get to the business of confirming judges!

                  And that is just one more way that the Repubs want to make it look like the Dems, Senate and President, are “not doing their job”.  When it is actually the Repubs who are gumming up the works!

            2. And it appears that State Line is also mis-informed.  I know that mal-informed is most likely not a word but I believe it may be a good fit here.  🙂

    1. Since the ruling elite hasn’t spent any of its oil wealth on educating or training their own people, investing in building an economy that will provide jobs once the oil peters out, infrastructure or anything other than their own  personal fabulous life styles and bank accounts,  Saudi Arabia will be left with pretty much nothing but sand as things stand now.

  2. …I really REALLY want the Republican’t Party to embrace the Teabaggers’ messaging for 2012. I hope that Bachmann, Santorum and the rest of the Batshit Crazy Repubs spend every minute talking about Obama’s Kenyan Birth Certificate, and they spend any spare time attacking their GOP rivals about their Conservative Cred!

    Four More Years, Baby!

    Tea party affair could doom GOP

    It’s not unusual for Republican presidential aspirants to shore up their conservative credentials by pledging to cut taxes, slash spending or increase defense funding. This year, however, the way to the hearts of GOP primary voters seems to be through the Quran.

    Already, more than a half-dozen GOP hopefuls have publicly warned about the imposition of Islamic law, Shariah, in America. Herman Cain, the only Republican to have formally announced his candidacy, is vowing not to appoint Muslims to his Cabinet.

    This is the increasingly radicalized GOP – the 2011 version. The GOP’s most extreme wing, the tea party, is setting the party’s political direction not just in Congress, but on the presidential campaign trail.

    The further right Republican presidential hopefuls move, as the political truism goes, the harder it will be for the party’s eventual nominee to craft a political appeal that will attract independent voters at the center – where elections are won. In their efforts to capture the hearts of tea party followers, Republicans may be sowing the seeds of their own 2012 demise.

    Indeed, as overtly conservative as the Republican Party has become in recent years, the tea party is pushing the GOP further to the right.

    1. Winning is nice, but what happened to the party of Lincoln? I’d like to get excited about how the Republicans are committing political suicide, but that’s not going to happen as long as the instrument of their suicide continues to provoke hate speech and mistreatment of Americans. I got my gleeful cackling and voyeurism out in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Now it’s just sad.

      Bill Owens, Wayne Allard, Ben Nighthorse-Campbell… where are Republicans like them now? I didn’t like a damn thing they stood for, but at least they built their careers on policy, not on trying to create such a bubbling-over of hatred that even Democrats wind up having to denounce any Muslim friends and neighbors they may have in order to win.

      1. No, not 1978. The original paper was from Mises, published in 1945.


        Your in-depth rebuttal of Ad hominem was profound. Do you have anything to say about the literature and the idea that our government is the root cause of our class system?

        Regarding 1978 or any other historical date you may object to,

        Ecclesiastes 1:9 (New International Version, В©2011)

        9 What has been will be again,

          what has been done will be done again;

          there is nothing new under the sun.

        1. I think libertarianism as you advocate it is a really bad and poorly-thought-out idea, and I’m glad I gave up on it fifteen years ago.

          And I think trying to persuade anyone here to try libertarianism is utterly idiotic since people post here because they already have fairly solid ideas on politics. Maybe go to a Justin Bieber fansite if you want to find people who think Mises’ ideas are new and exciting.

          1. Okay, Liberty is tough and you gave up. If you do not believe in or advocate liberty, just what is it you are advocating?

            “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” — Wendell Phillips, (1811-1884),  

      1. Everyday modern events PROVE Austrians to be correct. Who debunked it?  

        “Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven’t had capitalism. A system of capitalism presumes sound money, not fiat money manipulated by a central bank. Capitalism cherishes voluntary contracts and interest rates that are determined by savings, not credit creation by a central bank. It’s not capitalism when the system is plagued with incomprehensible rules regarding mergers, acquisitions, and stock sales, along with wage controls, price controls, protectionism, corporate subsidies, international management of trade, complex and punishing corporate taxes, privileged government contracts to the military-industrial complex, and a foreign policy controlled by corporate interests and overseas investments. Add to this centralized federal mismanagement of farming, education, medicine, insurance, banking and welfare. This is not capitalism!”

        ~ Ron Paul

          1. Not one of you pollsters tackled the article I presented.

            So much for an intellectually stimulating discussion on the pros of caste, in the tradition of Mises and Chomsky.

            Come to Pols, we give free lessons in the art of Ad hominem and the liberal 2 step. Way to go Pols, you guys are brilliant. Pols prove that any monkey can run a blog…

                1. (in the tradition of “Training Day”) my rule is that broad discussions of “Why you should be a libertarian” are always off-topic. In the open thread not everything has to be specifically Colorado or even specifically politics, but even if there’s no topic, “be a libertarian” is still off-topic.

                    1. Telling others why they should be libertarians is considered by me to be off-topic. Also I may have been half-joking, I do that sometimes.

                    2. Life with the Fed: Sunshine and Lollipops?

                      Mises Daily: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

                      We have heard the objection a thousand times: Why, before we had a Federal Reserve System the American economy endured a regular series of financial panics. Abolishing the Fed is an unthinkable, absurd suggestion, for without the wise custodianship of our central bankers we would be thrown back into a horrific financial maelstrom, deliverance from which should have made us grateful, not uppity.



                      From the middle of the 20th century onwards, it has been considered outside the mainstream,[3][4] with notable criticisms related to the School leveled by economists such as Bryan Caplan, Jeffrey Sachs, and Nobel laureates Paul Samuelson,[5] Milton Friedman,[6] and Paul Krugman.[7]

                      Wow. Getting Friedman AND Krugman to agree–it must really be stupid.  

                      Austrian economists also argue that mathematical models and statistics are an unreliable means of analyzing and testing economic theory, and advocate deriving economic theory logically from basic principles of human action, a method they term ‘praxeology’.

                      … Mainstream economists are generally critical of methodologies used by modern Austrian economists;[10] in particular, a primary Austrian School method of deriving theories has been criticized by mainstream economists as a priori “non-empirical” analysis[5] and differing from the practices of scientific theorizing, as widely conducted in economics.[11][12][10]

                      Is that like saying they prefer not to model on reality and data but, rather, on their own imagineerings about human nature?  

            1. No, I didn’t “tackle” the article your presented.

              I dismissed it.

              von Mises was an intellectual, but he was intellectually dishonest when it came to his stated views on the role of gov’t in the economy and his acceptance of the gov’t pension the good people of England awarded him.

              He said one thing, and yet in his own life he did another while at no time offering any explanation or defense of the apparent contradiction.  It’s as if Barry Bonds back in the 80s’ was railing against the use and even existence of performance enhancing substances – though they were not then against the rules.    

              What von MIses meant to say was that the role of gov’t for everyone else should be one thing, but the role of gov’t for him should something else.

              Meanwhile, you failed to address the reasons anyone would dismiss von Mises. Brilliant.

  3. Fort Collins is voting–ballots due tomorrow I think–on whether to use instant run-off voting in the future.

    Wouldn’t that be a nice addition to the electoral college? States would still be winner-take-all, but at least Nader/whoever could get their 5% without being a spoiler?

  4. So just an FYI: Jan McKinley, wife of State Representative Wes McKinley, passed away Sunday evening.

    I don’t have contact info with me, but I would imagine cards or notes sent to his House office would reach the family sooner or later.

  5. Libya – The DC/NATO Agenda

    And The Next Great War

    KINGSTON, NY, 4 April 2011 – In the 1930s the US, Great Britain, and the Netherlands set a course for World War II in the Pacific by conspiring against Japan. The three governments seized Japan’s bank accounts in their countries that Japan used to pay for imports and cut Japan off from oil, rubber, tin, iron and other vital materials. Was Pearl Harbor, Japan’s response?

    Now Washington and its NATO puppets are employing the same strategy against China.

    Protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Yemen arose from the people protesting against Washington’s tyrannical puppet governments. However, the protests against Gaddafi, who is not a Western puppet, appear to have been organized by the CIA in the eastern part of Libya where the oil is and where China has substantial energy investments.

    Eighty percent of Libya’s oil reserves are believed to be in the Sirte Basin in eastern Libya now controlled by rebels supported by Washington. As seventy percent of Libya’s GDP is produced by oil, a successful partitioning of Libya would leave Gaddafi’s Tripoli-based regime impoverished.

    The People’s Daily Online (March 23) reported that China has 50 large-scale projects in Libya. The outbreak of hostilities has halted these projects and resulted in 30,000 Chinese workers being evacuated from Libya. Chinese companies report that they expect to lose hundreds of millions of yuan.

    China is relying on Africa, principally Libya, Angola, and Nigeria, for future energy needs. In response to China’s economic engagement with Africa, Washington is engaging the continent military with the US African Command (AFRICOM) created by President George W. Bush in 2007. Forty-nine African countries agreed to participate with Washington in AFRICOM, but Gaddafi refused, thus creating a second reason for Washington to target Libya for takeover.

    A third reason for targeting Libya is that Libya and Syria are the only two countries with Mediterranean sea coasts that are not under the control or influence of Washington. Suggestively, protests also have broken out in Syria. Whatever Syrians might think of their government, after watching Iraq’s fate and now Libya’s it is unlikely that Syrians would set themselves up for US military intervention. Both the CIA and Mossad are known to use social networking sites to foment protests and to spread disinformation. These intelligence services are the likely conspirators that the Syrian and Libyan governments blame for the protests.

    Caught off guard by protests in Tunisia and Egypt, Washington realized that protests could be used to remove Gaddafi and Assad. The humanitarian excuse for intervening in Libya is not credible considering Washington’s go-ahead to the Saudi military to crush the protests in Bahrain, the home base for the US Fifth Fleet.

    If Washington succeeds in overthrowing the Assad government in Syria, Russia would lose its Mediterranean naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus. Thus, Washington has much to gain if it can use the cloak of popular rebellion to eject both China and Russia from the Mediterranean. Rome’s mare nostrum (“our sea”) would become Washington’s mare nostrum.

    “Gaddafi must go,” declared Obama. How long before we also hear, “Assad must go?”

    The American captive press is at work demonizing both Gaddafi and Assad, an eye doctor who returned to Syria from London to head the government after his father’s death.

    The hypocrisy passes unremarked when Obama calls Gaddafi and Assad dictators. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the American president has been a Caesar. Based on nothing more than a Justice Department memo, George W. Bush was declared to be above US statutory law, international law, and the power of Congress as long as he was acting in his role as commander-in-chief in the “war on terror.”

    Caesar Obama has done Bush one step better. Caesar Obama has taken the US to war against Libya without even the pretense of asking Congress for authorization. This is an impeachable offense, but an impotent Congress is unable to protect its power. By accepting the claims of executive authority, Congress has acquiesced to Caesarism. The American people have no more control over their government than do people in countries ruled by dictators.

    Washington’s quest for world hegemony is driving the world toward World War III. China is no less proud than was Japan in the 1930s and is unlikely to submit to being bullied and governed by what China regards as the decadent West. Russia’s resentment to its military encirclement is rising. Washington’s hubris can lead to fatal miscalculation.

     By Paul Craig Roberts  

    1. then why did we allow them to exploit the second largest copper mine in the world in Afghanistan while we fight there ?

      Maybe not a question for you Sir Robin, but one for Paul Craig Roberts.

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