One more reason, this time economic, to keep the Dems out of the driver’s seat

One of the great things about Times Select, which represents the NY Times’ decision to charge for popular columnists, is that I no longer feel this masochist need to read Paul Krugman’s columns.  When they were available for free, I always felt it was incumbent upon me to see what nonsense he had come up with and, if necessary, to challenge it.  He’s still at the nonsense, but I’m ignoring it because I don’t pay for Times Selection.

Thomas Nugent, writing at NRO, didn’t ignore the last Krugman economic column, but analyzed it instead.  It’s a useful analysis because it reminds us that, for all their horrible spend, spend, spend ways, at least the current crop of Republicans aren’t joining taxing to their spending.

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Comments

  1. kevin says

    How funny, I was just thinking this morning about how much calmer my life is since Maureen Dowd’s articles are no longer free. I think the impetus was the news that Howard Stern may choose to go back to the public airwaves; it seems his website hits are down 90% and he has significantly less influence since moving to satellite (although he denies it.) Ah, my schadenfreude abounds!

  2. Zhombre says

    Instead of satellite, I’d like to see Stern move to another planet.

    Remember the NYT is the Paper of Broken Record: Bush is bad, Bush is bad, Bush is bad.

    On a serious note, I am baffled why the Democrats still have the rep among voters of being the better party on domestic issues (whereas most voters would choose Republicans on defense and security issues). I recall years ago, my junior high civics teachers saying he’d like to vote for JFK for domestic policy, but Nixon for foreign policy. Any advantage the Democrats may have accrued in domestic issues has long since dissipated, IMHO. They’re running on fumes. A party that seeks to score political points by attacking Wal-Mart is not populist.

  3. Ymarsakar says

    They don’t have to be populist to be able to bribe voters with welfare packages and pork barrel projects for their county. What do people really care about Walmart if they don’t work there, shop there, or have one near them? Nothing, less than nothing really. Politics is all about “what have you done for me recently”. The Democrats can do far more for blacks and latinos with the power of the government behind them, Reno style if you get my drift, than Walmart, a little itty bitty corporation with small power and influence compared to the superpower might of the US government.

    People who think corporations are more powerful or powerful enough to install politicians, need to understand something. The government has the military, the corporation lives in America, which is protected by the government military and ONLY the government military. If that logic doesn’t work for them. Then rest assured in the knowledge that those who want stuff will always go to the more powerful and beg for stuff.

    Who will people go to beg for stuff? Corporations? No. The government. Therefore, to follow the logic, the US gov is more powerful than any corporation or all the corporations combined. Based upon the logic and based upon the behavior of the “Blood for Oil” people.

    You ever heard of “he who controls the military completely, controls the nation”?

    To use sci fi terms, he who controls the orbitals, controls the planet. It’s about hard power, not talk.

    So to answer Zhombre’s comment about why people like the Democrats… I think it is pretty obvious. People like the Democrats on domestic issues because Democrats will do more for you than the Republicans…. Humans being who they are… come on.

  4. BigAL says

    Yes, the government is more powerful than any corporation. But who runs the government?…It’s people. And if these people who run the government have close ties to corporations then they will often serve the needs of the corporations rather than the citizens they represent.
    This current situation of “war profiteering” is not unique in U.S. history and certainly not unique in world history.

    However, that does not provide an excuse for citizens and elected-officials to not constantly strive to account for every penny of government money rewarded to corporations. For every penny given by the government to a private company for some government project, there must be a detailed and logical explanation accounting for what goods and services were actually provided by the private company and the actual fair market value of the work provided. Unfortunately, we are currently in a situation where the congressional committees (designed to hold these private companies accountable for the work they promised to do) have consistently failed to do so. Patriotic Americans should be crying foul at every street corner and every internet blog. Our government was designed with the assumption that people in government will always take advantage of power for personal gain if not held in check.

    This is about accountability with public resources.
    This is not about political parties.

    If elected-officials are not holding private corporations accountable for the goods and services they promised to provide–then we, as patriots, must assume the elected-official stands to gain from the lack of accountability.

    It goes deeper.
    The argument against welfare generally states that “people will not work for something if they know they can get it for free”. Every single time the government gives money to a corporation without accounting for the actual goods and services provided (along double checking the fair market value of the work) they are giving the corporation motivation to: 1)not actually do the work they promised to do; 2) to seek more government contracts; 3)provide campaign contributions to politicians they know will not hold them accountable.

    Basically, the lack of accountability motivates people to STEAL public resources

    Government needs accountability. Period.

    Anything less is dangerously flirting with fascism.

    I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or Libertarian or Green…if you push for more government accountability you are most likely a patriot.

    Lastly, we must remember the most common cause of no accountability: big government!
    Big Government provides the smoke screen that allows people within and outside of government to not be held accountable.

    I beg you to vote for people who push for accountability AND the reduction of government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. says

    The people who run the governments, have close ties to corporations you say. Which ,logically, would make government the boss of corporations. It doesn’t make corporations the boss of governments…

    Here’s how the corporations serve the government. Corporations pay a lot in corporation taxes, on an absolute level. Therefore when governments tax corporations highly, corporations serve the government by giving them money and support in return for tax breaks and other favorable legislation. Corporations serve governments because corporations pay government taxes and have to beg-petition the government for stuff the corps desire. It’s called a feudal relationship, extrapolated.

    Does a king giving his servants some boon or money, doing things for his servants, mean the king is subservient to his servants? No.

    Transparency is a good thing. But theory I know already. You don’t even name one corporation that you think Congress is letting become corrupt, right now right here.

  6. BigAL says

    Ymarsakar.

    Please don’t misquote me. I’m not going to mis-use your words–I just have one thing to say:

    If you don’t believe the statement below to be true I think you’ve already given up on the hope that we are living in a democracy. I haven’t given up, and no, George W. Bush (as much as he’d like to think he is) IS NOT OUR KING….AND NEITHER IS THE GOP OR THE DEMOCRATS!!!!!!

    The argument against welfare generally states that “people will not work for something if they know they can get it for free”. Every single time the government gives money to a corporation without accounting for the actual goods and services provided (along double checking the fair market value of the work) they are giving the corporation motivation to: 1)not actually do the work they promised to do; 2) to seek more government contracts; 3)provide campaign contributions to politicians they know will not hold them accountable.

    Basically, the lack of accountability motivates people to STEAL public resources

    Government needs accountability. Period.

  7. BigAL says

    Ymarsakar.

    By the way…if you need me to provide you with an example of companies that have been given government contracts without being held accountable for the actual goods and services provided (along double checking the fair market value of the work)…….then I advise you to pay more attention to what is going on around you.

  8. says

    then I advise you to pay more attention to what is going on around you.

    For your benefit, I advise you not to take me for a fool. This rope a dope strategy of not presenting evidence and proof, and then say you don’t need to cause it should be self-evidence is pretty obvious. I don’t like obvious slurs on my intelligence. I’m not guillible, not with the amount of propaganda I’ve seen. I’m not just going to take your word for it ex post facto. Logic doesn’t work that, especially not deductive logic.

    I didn’t use one quote, a quote being “”. If you are refering to my first sentence, it is what is known as a paraphrase, a rendition, and it used your words. False accusations are also ineffective against me.

    I haven’t given up, and no, George W. Bush (as much as he’d like to think he is) IS NOT OUR KING….AND NEITHER IS THE GOP OR THE DEMOCRATS!!!!!!

    I thought you said this isn’t about the Democrat or Republican party. Now it is? Okay, if you say so. For someone who talks about it not being about parties, you sure bring up political sides and accussations a lot. It takes more than that to confuse me.

    Period.

    Ex post facto argumentum ad nauseam. That’s the period.

  9. BigAL says

    Ymarsakar.

    “I didn’t use one quote, a quote being “”. If you are referring to my first sentence, it is what is known as a paraphrase, a rendition, and it used your words. False accusations are also ineffective against me.”

    Your paraphrasing was inaccurate-that’s all I was saying. I appreciate you using exact quotes in your response.

    “I thought you said this isn’t about the Democrat or Republican party. Now it is? Okay, if you say so. For someone who talks about it not being about parties, you sure bring up political sides and accusations a lot. It takes more than that to confuse me.”

    I was simply pointing out that this is not a monarchy and that George W. Bush, the GOP, and Democrats are not my King. I personally believe the two-party system is corrupt and incompetent (almost beyond repair)—you want proof of that? I give you the Government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

    “This rope a dope strategy of not presenting evidence and proof, and then say you don’t need to cause it should be self-evidence is pretty obvious.”

    Halliburton is the most obvious example. They have received billions in no-bid government contracts. In August 2003, the Washington Post reported that “interest in Halliburton was ignited by a routine Corps of Engineers announcement in March (2003) reporting that the company had been awarded a no-bid contract, with a $7 billion limit, for putting out fires at Iraqi oil wells. Corps spokesmen justified the lack of competition on the grounds that the operation was part of a classified war plan and the Army did not have time to secure competitive bids for the work.”

    That was in 2003. Have they since found time? They’ve had 3 years. Why does Halliburton, to this day, still get government “No-Bid” contracts? Shouldn’t government contracts always be bid out in the long run?

    “The practice of delegating a vast array of logistics operations to a single contractor dates to the aftermath of the 1991 Persian Gulf War and a study commissioned by Cheney, then defense secretary, on military outsourcing. The Pentagon chose Brown and Root (Halliburton) to carry out the study and subsequently selected the company to implement its own plan. Cheney served as chief executive of Brown and Root’s parent company, Halliburton, from 1995 to 2000, when he resigned to run for the vice presidency” (Washington Post, August, 2003).

    How convenient! Cheney goes to school in Natrona County High School in Casper,WY and goes on to study political science at the University of Wyoming. He was never an oil guy until he got into politics. He eventually becomes defense secretary and then becomes Halliburton’s CEO. Wow, a wise choice for Halliburton. Ironically, Halliburton conducts the study that supposedly proves that “No-Bid” contracts are necessary for defense and security reasons (does any member of congress check the validity of this report? NO). AND EVEN MORE CONVENIENTLY, HALLIBURTON BECOMES THE MAIN BENEFICIARY OF NO-BID CONTRACTS LATER ON WHEN WE INVADE IRAQ — WHICH IRONICALLY WAS SOLD TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE–IN LARGE PART-BY SPEECHES GIVEN BY DICK CHENEY.

    I certainly did not want to insult your intelligence. I just don’t like war-profiteers and I believe Bush and Cheney and their oil friends are exactly that.

  10. BigAL says

    One more thing and I’ll give you the last word if you respond again:
    The argument against welfare generally states that “people will not work for something if they know they can get it for free”. Every single time the government gives money to a corporation without accounting for the actual goods and services provided (along double checking the fair market value of the work) they are giving the corporation motivation to: 1)not actually do the work they promised to do; 2) to seek more government contracts; 3)provide campaign contributions to politicians they know will not hold them accountable.

  11. says

    Your paraphrasing was inaccurate-that’s all I was saying. I appreciate you using exact quotes in your response.

    You mean you demand that I repeat your words for you, instead of you repeating it yourself, which you apparently do with great enthusiasm.

    This is of course, a simple distraction from the important point, which is that based upon what BigAl said, the logic is irrevocable.

    Yes, the government is more powerful than any corporation. But who runs the government?…It’s people. And if these people who run the government have close ties to corporations then they will often serve the needs of the corporations rather than the citizens they represent.

    What exactly did I misquote from BigAl you wonder. Well, as I see it, I exposed a logic problem with his words and this constitutes as a “misquote” from BigAl. Not convincing to say the least.

    So to reiterate what I said, and in order to compare and contrast, here’s what I said. It was not a misquote, it was not a quote at all, but it was an accurate logical paraphrase with a logical conclusion. Read and decide for yourself.

    The people who run the governments, have close ties to corporations you say. Which ,logically, would make government the boss of corporations. It doesn’t make corporations the boss of governments…

    I do have to wonder if people realize that being obtuse doesn’t get them any brownie points. If Big Al can’t even get something this small correct, I doubt he has any potential worth in the structure of his other positions, which I assume is derived logically from the same mistakes in reasoning he made here.

    This is just a reminder that I don’t just see what people say to me as an argument between me and him. It’s not about you did this, I didn’t do that, for me. It’s about me being the third party observer, observing myself talking with another person, Big Al for example. It is a different perspective, which is why I have a different point of view when I’m writing in response to some argument. I use that perspective in order to streamline and clarify ambiguous and translucent subjects.

    I also particularly don’t like people who attempt to be condescending towards me as a way of winning debate points. I find it easier to talk about the subject, when there is no “I” for them to attack.

    I was simply pointing out that this is not a monarchy and that George W. Bush

    I didn’t say Bush was a monarch, so obviously you brought it up for your own reasons, not in response to someone else talking about it. This reflects a certain mentality and priority, which is known by psychological and behavioral analysis.

    You know what’s curious. If Halliburton no bid contracts were such a pain and such a problem, why aren’t the MilBlogs that I have I read, ranting about it? Why don’t Colonels talk about it during their graduation speeches at Army Infantry School graduation? Why don’t I hear people whining about it when soldiers bitch and complain about Iraqi corruption? Either it really is a military secret, or maybe it isn’t as bad a problem as some people wish it to be. That’s one reasoning, the other reasoning is that the Post is watching the government and we should listen to the mainstream media for hints of what the gov is doing wrong…. Somehow that does not exactly parse in a rational fashion for some reason.

    The more people say it isn’t about the Democrats or Republicans, the more they talk about how bad Bush and Cheney are. Why does that also not parse in a reasonable way?

    Sure, they could be blaming the party in power, but last time I checked, Democrats in the Senate had quite a lot of “power”. So the self-selective priority of focusing on Cheney and Bush is almost irrational in the context of the pre-stated beliefs that Democrats are as corrupt as Republicans.

    Thanks for playing the game though, BigAl. I’m sure people will read both sides, me and yours, and decide for themselves.

  12. BigAL says

    Ymarsakar

    I know, I know, I said I was giving you the last word but i just had to chime in one more time.

    yes you said:
    “The people who run the governments, have close ties to corporations you say. Which ,logically, would make government the boss of corporations. It doesn’t make corporations the boss of governments…”

    In actuality I said, IF these people who run the government have close ties to corporations then they will OFTEN serve the needs of the corporations rather than the citizens they represent.

    You incorrectly paraphrased saying that I said “The people who run the governments, have close ties to corporations”

    There is a huge difference– your paraphrase says “THE PEOPLE WHO RUN GOVERNMENTS” and goes directly to “HAVE CLOSE TIES”

    Your incorrect paraphrase implies that ALL people who run government have close ties and WILL serve the needs of the corporations rather than the citizens they represent.

    My actual words say “IF THESE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE GOVERNMENT HAVE CLOSE TIES” “THEY WILL OFTEN SERVE THE NEEDS OF THE CORPORATIONS” By leaving out key words like
    “IF” AND “WILL” it changes the meaning of what I actually said.
    My words point out the fact that not all people who run government have close ties with corporations and even if they do, it does not necessarily mean they will exploit that relationship for profit. Some people actually have morals and the way I structured my sentence allows that fact, and your paraphrase misrepresented this by making my comment sound as if I was saying all people who run government have ties to corporations and will exploit that relationship for profit.

    “If Halliburton no bid contracts were such a pain and such a problem, why aren’t the MilBlogs that I have I read, ranting about it? Why don’t Colonels talk about it during their graduation speeches at Army Infantry School graduation? Why don’t I hear people whining about it when soldiers bitch and complain about Iraqi corruption?”

    Watch the documentary “Why We Fight”–it came out last year. Contributors include Fox News Correspondent Bill Kristol and Senator John McCain. It underscores the “Industrial-Military Complex”- a term which Dwight Eisenhower coined and warned Americans with in his last speech before he was finished with the presidency in 1960.
    If you’re unfamiliar with the problems many many Americans have with the “No-bid” contracts awarded to Halliburton and other countries — this documentary with interviews from people all over the political spectrum does a good job of explaining it. It also goes into detail about the “Industrial Military Complex” I hope you’ll watch it.

    Another good one is “Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers” which I was lucky enough to see in Denver at a special screening a few hours ago. It also goes into detail about how the government awards contracts (often no-bid) to a corporation without accounting for the actual goods and services provided (along double checking the fair market value of the work).

    I also suggest books by Ayn Rand — “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Virtue of Selfishness”, among others. She is great, her books really help explain the dangers of big government and the welfare state which she escaped in the old USSR. She also specifically warns of the dangers “corporate welfare” which bring about the same basic negative consequences as any other form of welfare.

    Which brings me to where I ended on my first blog of the day:

    “I beg you to vote for people who push for accountability AND the reduction of government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    I appreciate you taking the time to read all my responses and engage with me in discussion. It doesn’t appear we agree on much, but that’s OK, at least we’re both thinking about the future of our country. That’s more than many people can say in reality.

  13. says

    For your benefit, I advise you not to take me for a fool * * * I don’t like obvious slurs on my intelligence. I’m not guillible

    Just an observation from someone who works with geniuses—spend less time expounding on how smart you are; people can make up their own minds.

  14. says

    No problem here, it’s just been my experience that there is an indirect proportionality between the time one spends explaining how smart they are and the reality. If one is secure in their abilities, they don’t need to claim intelligence as support of their argument.

  15. says

    Actually, Kevin, I honestly wasn’t saying how smart I was. If you think that was the case, you misunderstood the meaning conveyed.

    Read the full quote. It’s about communicating to Al that it would be to his benefit, in convincing me, to not assume I am as dumb and dense as he thinks I am. It is quite different from me boasting about how smart I am. Defending myself is not aggression, and it isn’t wrong. Not anymore than Israel when they use their technological superiority over the poor Palestinians by using too many cluster bombs, a boast of how powerful they are in reality.

    Your experiences with people do not give you the right to put me into one of your slots, no matter how standardized those slots are.

    If you want to be honest and if you want to tell people what you made your mind up to be, then you can do yourself and me a favor by saying to what degree you think I am unsecure in my abilities and the reasons for that belief on your part.

    I didn’t claim intelligence as a support for anyone’s argument, so thanks for the kind words Kevin, but they would do more good somewhere else.

    This is my last post to Al. I’m drawing the line here at clarifying what I mean. Even Neo neocon had to do it at one time or another, so I’m not special in this retard. If this disappoints, then well, you have my regrets. By the way, I tolerate O’reilly’s dishonorable conduct in saying one thing and doing another, when he talks about giving guests the last word, but that is because O’Reilly keeps his condescension towards me, the viewer, at a bare minimum. I am far less motivated to tolerate your actions, Big Al, because of your condescension towards me. Making the subject about how naive or dumb I am in not seeing what is going around me, is not discussion in my view, although it might be in others. To each their own.

  16. says

    do yourself and me a favor by saying to what degree you think I am unsecure in my abilities and the reasons for that belief on your part.

    If one is secure in their abilities, they don’t need to claim intelligence as support of their argument; if that statement upsets someone, then I would offer that as proof of their insecurity–otherwise, why get so upset? (Except possibly for the gramatical errors.) As to degree–that’s up to the individual to know in their heart.

    With regards to the post, I just made an observation that time spent discussing one’s intelligence is wasted. Specifically, so what if BigAl thinks your a fool and comes across as condescending? Heck, you could have used the clever rejoinder, tu quoque! (Seriously, it would have been better than “Ex post facto argumentum ad nauseam” and frankly, would have made more sense.)

    With that being said, this is neither the time nor the forum to answer your question; however, suffice to say that I’ve made some general observations and I’m quite comfortable to leave it to others to draw their own conclusions.

  17. says

    I’ll made one observation and a comment, then that’ll be it. When people are being coy and deceptive, they dance around the subject and attempt what is known as the “rope a dope”. When one does that, it is because their position is weak or is currently unable to be exploited, so one must stall the other until an advantage may be accrued. This obtuseness therefore, is intended not to help, but to hinder.

    Tu Quo Que means “you do it too”. I didn’t think or call BigAl dumb or lacking in sense. It can’t be tu quoque when there is only one guy engaging in ad hominem. Ex post facto argumentum ad nauseam means, after the fact arguments repeated over and over. Big Al has pasted several of his arguments, more than once. And he did it after those arguments had already been read by me and not commented upon. Ex post facto argumentum ad nauseam makes a lot more sense than your thinking that tu quoque was a clever rejoinder in this situation. I hope you understand what tu quoque means, because if you don’t, that would be quite a shame.

  18. says

    Google the phrase “Ex post facto argumentum ad nauseam” you get exactly zero hits. You are correct with “Ex post facto” and you are correct with “argumentum ad nauseam.” They just don’t go together the way you claim they do so in the absence of an authoritative citation on this, I am going to say, you’re wrong.

    As to “tu quoque” (one word), you are also correct. While I don’t agree with him, I don’t see where BigAL engages in an ad hominem attack. In fact, I thought his final statement, I appreciate you taking the time to read all my responses and engage with me in discussion. It doesn’t appear we agree on much, but that’s OK, at least we’re both thinking about the future of our country. That’s more than many people can say in reality was rather classy in response to your condescension. If he’s calling you a fool and you disagree, you could reasonably claim that he was foolish for labling you as such, thus tu quoque. But more precisely, I was being sarcastic (and for that, I do apologize.) I was implying that you were using latin phrases in a vain attempt to sound intelligent. Why not just succintly say what you mean instead of going off on verbose, meandering posts or using obscure references? Ideas impress, not word count.

  19. says

    Ymarsakar,

    You have presented some good arguments before; sometimes we agree and sometimes we don’t and when it comes to opinions, everyone has one and no one is right all the time. On the other hand (as an example) the tan^-1(1degree) statement. That wasn’t an opinion, it’s a false statement and when someone claims something to be true that isn’t, I will sometimes (depending on my mood) choose to point it out–as I did with that individual. You too have written things that were outright wrong (or nonsensical) in the fields of science, math, and computer science (while trying to present an air of expertise or authority on the subject) and I have let it slide in the spirit of harmony. However, when you do, don’t be surprised if someone calls you on it.

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