Sunday Funnies a la lmsinca

Not so much political, as just musings on life. . .

Peanuts

Story of my life here in Utah sometimes. . . thankfully not yet this year!


Calvin and Hobbes

I miss Calvin and Hobbes.


Pearls Before Swine

But Pearls Before Swine has filled a lot of my need for sarcastic humor.  What’s going on in your worlds today?

61 Responses

  1. I'm always entertained by articles that quote previous conventional wisdom as a cautionary tale on current conventional wisdom."'And Mr. Carter’s chances for re-election go up every time another vigorous and moderate Republican like Sen. Howard Baker or a vigorous, modern, decisive, and experienced Republican like John Connally has to withdraw from lack of support. There once was a possibility that some Republican would come along who could contest the middle ground of politics with Mr. Carter and give him a real run in the November elections. Suppose the Republicans had been capable of putting together Jerry Ford and John Anderson as their candidates. A Ford-Anderson ticket would have had an excellent chance of winning out over the expectable Carter- Mondale ticket, and perhaps even of reconverting the Republican Party from a class to a national party. But such a prospect has gone glimmering now. The Republican Party is determined to have Mr. Carter’s favorite Republican as their candidate. Every time Mr. Reagan wins another primary the White House cheers, on the assumption that Mr. Reagan is the easiest Republican for Mr. Carter to defeat in November.'"When a Democratic dream turns into a nightmare

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  2. That is funny. Don't forget though, Carter was primaried.Hoover for R's and Cleveland for D's.

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  3. Carter was primaried (by liberal lion Ted Kennedy), and a libertarian-left candidate was running as a 3rd party. And then he ran against Ronaldus Magnus in the general.

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  4. If there's a Ronald Reagan in the current field, I'm missing it. Always possible (Newt thinks he is), but I don't see it.

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  5. Newt thinks he isNewt is full of all sorts of delusions. Nobody I know sees it, so I think that McWing's prognostications are correct (for good or evil, we're dealing with an Obama second term). The question for Lefties is how can we get a President we love??

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  6. Speaking of funnies, I just read Paul Krugman's contribution to the public discourse this week. Well, not so much funny as sadly laughable.His primary argument is a giant straw man. We liberals aren't attacking the rich and don't want to punish them, he protests; we just object to their "canonization." Really, Paul? This is, I contend, a quintessential tactic of the Left: attack someone or something, then deny you are doing it and pretend that you are just responding to the defenders. Are we really supposed to fall under a spell of belief that liberals aren't villifying and demonizing "the rich"? Really? Obama isn't? OWS isn't? The "economic" argument in Krugman's column is equally ham handed. He calls Romeny Gordon Gekko and claims that he made much through "job destruction." What in the world is that even supposed to mean? If jobs at companies acquired as part of the Bain portfolio were economically productive, why would Romney or anyone else want to "destroy" them? And if they weren't, is Krugman suggesting that they should have been maintained anyway? Krugman has become a comic figure.

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  7. a quintessential tactic of the Left: attack someone or something, then deny you are doing it and pretend that you are just responding to the defendersActually, I believe that this is Karl Rove's favorite tactic. I don't see any tactics at all from the Left, just much running in circles with hands in the air! 🙂

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  8. This is an interesting little passage in Krugman's column:"Well, by at least one criterion, Bain during the Romney years seems to have been especially hard on workers, since four of its top 10 targets by dollar value ended up going bankrupt. (Bain, nonetheless, made money on three of those deals.) That’s a much higher rate of failure than is typical even of companies going through leveraged buyouts — and when the companies went under, many workers ended up losing their jobs, their pensions, or both."I know nothing about Bain's track record under Romney, but I have enough sense to spot what appears to be a contrived statistic when I see one. Four out of the ten largest? Why not an overall percentage? Why not the bottom or the middle ten? How about some rigorous and reliable stats on private equity acquisitions? Krugman is a propagandist who plays on his academic credentials to manipulate people

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  9. qb: Four of the 10 companies Bain acquired declared bankruptcy within a few years, shedding thousands of jobs. The prospectus shows that Bain investors profited in eight of the 10 deals, including three of the four that ended in bankruptcy. (Not from Krugman's article: from hereFace it, Romney doesn't have a leg to stand on, no matter whether or not you don't like Krugman.

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  10. "The "economic" argument in Krugman's column is equally ham handed. He calls Romeny Gordon Gekko and claims that he made much through "job destruction." What in the world is that even supposed to mean?"Its supposed to mean that when companies increase profitability, there are several ways to achieve that; one is to cut workforce & increase worker productivity – i.e. each remaining worker contributes more to the bottom line. Another might be through economies of scale – two companies merge & redundant departments are combined and/or outsourced. From an investor/shareholder perspective, this is a positive – cut costs & increase the bottom line. But from a political perspective it undermines the claim that being a successful businessman means Romney knows how to create jobs. This is not rocket science.

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  11. "If there's a Ronald Reagan in the current field, I'm missing it. Always possible (Newt thinks he is), but I don't see it."Agreed. I don't recall Reagan needing to backtrack as much as The Newt has.

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  12. BTW, bsimon, I'm now a stockholder in the Packers. Woo hoo!!

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  13. Actually, I believe that this is Karl Rove's favorite tactic.Such as?Another good example on the Left is same sex marriage and gay rights.

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  14. Face it, Romney doesn't have a leg to stand on, no matter whether or not you don't like Krugman.Face what? What is the precise charge against which Romney has no leg to stand on? His investors made money? Including on 3 of four companies that went into bankruptcy? What is his malfeasance here that makes him Gordon Gekko or that reflects negatively on his understanding of economics, or his values or principles?

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  15. Its supposed to mean that when companies increase profitability, there are several ways to achieve that….What you said indicates that Romney understands economic efficiency and productivity. Calling it profiting through "job destruction" isn't just demogoguery but isn't even an accurate description. No, it isn't rocket science; that's why Krugman's descriptor reflects so poorly on his intellectual honesty.But from a political perspective it undermines the claim that being a successful businessman means Romney knows how to create jobs.That's simply a non sequitur at two different levels. Again, if Romney understands what you said, then he understands business, productivity, and efficiency, ergo he understands how jobs are created. And I don't see anyone here claiming that no jobs were created or added in any of Romney's portfolio companies, so this statement is completely unfounded even taken at face value.

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  16. "I'm now a stockholder in the Packers. Woo hoo!!"I have a certificate from the last offering…

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  17. "if Romney understands what you said, then he understands business, productivity, and efficiency, ergo he understands how jobs are created."Ah. So he understands how jobs are created, he just chose not to while at Bain. Is that what you're saying?

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  18. qb: ""Well, by at least one criterion, Bain during the Romney years seems to have been especially hard on workers" . . . comrades! How was Bain after the Romney years? Forgot about profits and decided to focus on people, and making sure that workers owned the means of production?

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  19. qb: Krugman has become a comic figure.Well, he's always been pretty comic to the right, and serious and weighty and wise to the left (generally). I've been told (by a lefty) I can't disagree with Krugman, because he has a nobel prize and I don't. So there!Sometimes I see where he's coming from (when he said what we needed to control healthcare costs were "death panels", I gotta agree), most of the time, nobel prize or not, he seems to be wearing ideological blinders, to me. Of course, like many pundits, he's got an axe to grind. He coulda complained about Bain capital 4 years ago . . .

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  20. "Ah. So he understands how jobs are created, he just chose not to while at Bain. Is that what you're saying?"Ah. So it is your position that the only economically proper business choice is to add new jobs at all times, even if the business already has more employees than it needs. Is that what you are saying?

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  21. The last two Dem Presidents were career politicians who never did anything else in their lives, unless you count community agitating. We are supposed to believe this means they know about business and jobs. But not Romney.Got it. As the current cliche puts it, cool story bro.

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  22. QB, you wrote: "[Krugman] claims that [Romney] made much through "job destruction." What in the world is that even supposed to mean?"Now you ask, apparently sarcastically: "So it is your position that the only economically proper business choice is to add new jobs at all times, even if the business already has more employees than it needs. Is that what you are saying?"It seems to me that you understand exactly what Krugman was saying about job destruction.

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  23. Romney is hardly a businessman, qb. His one foray into business cost hundreds of Americans their jobs. He's an Ayn Rand capitalist.bsimon–1997. I'm impressed!

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  24. "bsimon–1997. I'm impressed!"I had a good year & decided to buy one for my brother for Christmas. Couldn't help myself & bought one of my own too.

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  25. I decided to reward myself for surviving this year–kind of the same thing. I love the fact that the Pack aren't owned by one person but by the fans. Yea, us!

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  26. "I love the fact that the Pack aren't owned by one person but by the fans."They're a bunch of dirty collectivist hippies over there!

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  27. Goose: His one foray into business cost hundreds of Americans their jobs. I dunno, but I'm betting that was a likely outcome, with or without Romney.

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  28. Romney is hardly a businessman, qb. His one foray into business cost hundreds of Americans their jobs. He's an Ayn Rand capitalistThese are just more meaningless statements, michi. Bain aquired many companies. Some grew larger and hired more people, some shrank, some later went into bankrputcy. It's how business works. Obama wouldn't know anything about this.

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  29. Newt's debate jab at Romney was pretty revealing. He pointed out that Romney lost to Ted Kennedy in 1994. If Romney isn't a career politician it isn't for lack of trying. He has lost far more elections than he has ever won. An interesting statistic compared to, say, Rick Perry who has never lost one.

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  30. bsimon: does that make us part of the 1%??? :-)Kevin: possibly, but if he's gonna claim business experience based on his Bain time he's got to own the outcome.qb: my point is that he's trying to claim that he knows how to grow American business. . . and his one time that he could have he cost Americans their jobs. Not somebody I'd be on.

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  31. Um–"be" should be "bet"

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  32. "does that make us part of the 1%??? :-)"The club is far more exclusive than that!

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  33. Ha! We're the 0.001%

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  34. michi, your claim happens to be completely wrong … factually. Bain invested in scores of companies. He ran it for 15 years. I don't know what "one time" you are talking about, but it doesn't work that way. But I'm done.

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  35. "he's trying to claim that he knows how to grow American business. . . and his one time that he could have he cost Americans their jobs. Not somebody I'd [bet] on."Right. He should back up the claim with some numbers. It also begs the question: does success in business translate well to a successful presidency? Let's see, the last successful POTUS with a business background was … uh … someone will have to remind me. St Ronnie? Nope; he was a union boss & public speaker between his acting & governing careers. Eisenhower? No, he did something else, I think; some kind of career federal employee. TR? Lincoln? Both attorneys and politicians.

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  36. qb: I'm referring to the one time that he was in business rather than politics. He ran numerous American businesses out of business and cost hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans their jobs. I'm not on the side of investors who don't have any skin in the game. It's why he lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994.

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  37. Jimmy Carter was a pretty successful peanut farmer. George W. Bush had to be bailed out by his dad's cronies multiple times.

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  38. Good points, yello. I'd say Romney was a successful businessman, just not a successful American businessman.

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  39. Here's the inconvenient truth about business and jobs. In the capitalist system, businesses exist to make money for the owners, not to create jobs. Employees are a necessary evil to make products/provide services. Unless hiring additional staff will result in increased production, or cost reductions it won't be done. If government policies (i.e. temporary employer payroll tax cut) are designed around the premise that businesses exist to create jobs, then they are going to invariably produce disappointing results.

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  40. And hence why I said that Romney is an Ayn Rand capitalist, jnc. He was in it for his own good (and that of the investors), not the public. Nothing wrong with that. But to then claim that he's a patriot and in business for the American good is wrong.He's not any better an American or a patriot than somebody who hasn't been a businessman. So his whole claim to superiority on that basis is blown out of the water.

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  41. "In the capitalist system, businesses exist to make money for the owners, not to create jobs…. If government policies (i.e. temporary employer payroll tax cut) are designed around the premise that businesses exist to create jobs, then they are going to invariably produce disappointing results."Yup. Same's true for the wealthy, of course; they don't exist to create jobs either..

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  42. Romney… what is he going to do, run my country like he ran those corporations?So, when does the merger with China take place?

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  43. Taroya: what is he going to do, run my country like he ran those corporationsProbably not, they are very different things. I would guess (with a few key differences that would make liberals howl) he'd run it a lot like Obama. bsimon: they don't exist to create jobs either.So maybe we should just go back to calling them "rich people" instead of "job creators".

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  44. This is a pretty decent Bloomberg piece that looks into Bain, both the good and the bad. It doesn't appear to me that "creating jobs" is a great campaign strategy for Romney. What he's done is more akin to financial investing than job creating investing and it's unclear whether on balance he created more jobs than were lost.Geoffrey Rehnert, a former managing director at Bain who worked for the firm until 1999, said that while Bain was focused on making money, its strategy was to create businesses that created jobs. Rehnert, who is now co-chief executive officer with Wolpow at Audax, said he’s “certain that Bain Capital was a net creator of jobs by a wide margin,” while he had no data to support that. At a minimum, Wolpow said, Bain helped preserve jobs that otherwise might have been lost.Bain and the campaign didn’t respond to requests for job creation estimates.A Bloomberg News review of several Bain deals during Romney’s tenure showed that workers in some firms had indications their jobs might be in jeopardy soon after Bain moved into management. In other cases, pink slips arrived after Bain and its investors had collected their profits and left debts behind.Interviews with former employees and executives at Bain and companies it controlled, along with a review of Bain’s activities described in public documents and news accounts, paint a picture of an operation that wasn’t focused on expanding employment. Instead, Bain’s mission, like most private equity firms, was to generate gains for its investors.

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  45. Another quote from the same piece, and there are several similar stories.Michi, thanks for putting up the Sunday Funnies. We almost finished getting our son and family moved. My husband's going back out there today to help finish up while I hold the fort down here. God I hate moving. I think I'll just plan on dying here and let my kids deal with all of it after I'm gone.Redundancies led to cuts and plant closures, a standard practice when companies are merged, said Scott Garrett, who was the chief executive officer at Dade from 1994 to 1997. “It’s very unfair to suggest that Mitt Romney was anything but a very good business person,” said Garrett.Bain and Goldman cashed in on their investment in June 1999, selling back shares to Dade for $365.4 million.Dade borrowed so much money to make that payment that when sales declined and interest rates rose the company struggled to pay its creditors. Standard & Poor’s downgraded its outlook for Dade Behring to negative from stable. The company later filed for bankruptcy.“They leveraged this thing to the hilt and got out when they could,” Rumbin said. “We were left holding the bag.”It didn’t work out as well for Rumbin. His position was eliminated.“These guys worked there for two years and ended up as millionaires,” he said. “I worked there for 25 years and I’m not a millionaire.”

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  46. Goose: Kevin: possibly, but if he's gonna claim business experience based on his Bain time he's got to own the outcome.Agreed. and it's a defensible outcome. Jobs are not created for their own sake, but to accomplish a goal for an entity in a given context. He'd have better optics on his business history had he "done everything he could" to keep every last job, but his overall management performance might have suffered (by the only important market metric: profit), and he'd now get attacked on that. I'm not sure how many people lost their jobs under George W. Bush's management during his business career, but I imagine it's very few–because he was attacked on his poor financial performance, not the number of people who lost their jobs under his watch. In any case, the president and the government is limited in their options. The government can provide various incentives for job creations–but that's clearly a nut that hasn't been cracked yet, or we'd be doing it and it'd be working. The government can create jobs directly via stimulus spending, but the permanence and overall economic value of these jobs is debatable. They do not seem to be enough, or to last long enough, to make a huge difference.The other option is for the government to reduce regulation, lower taxes, get out of the way, and just wait. This, however, still requires that businesses see a market reason to hire, or expand, or increase production, and no matter what the government does or does not do, it's entirely possible that businesses will not see any reason (or have any capability) to hire or expand or increase spending. Thus, you can lower taxes on job creators and reduce regulation and have no impact that way, because what the individual markets that businesses are in is probably the most pressing issue, regarding hiring and expansion.

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  47. bsimon:Same's true for the wealthy, of courseSame's true for everyone.kevin:So maybe we should just go back to calling them "rich people" instead of "job creators"Doesn't have to be one or the other. Just because someone does not exist for a specific purpose doesn't mean they don't actually serve that purpose.

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  48. Mich:And hence why I said that Romney is an Ayn Rand capitalist, jnc. He was in it for his own good (and that of the investors), not the public.If that is the definition, then pretty much everyone is an "Ayn Rand capitalist".

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  49. "This is a pretty decent Bloomberg piece that looks into Bain, both the good and the bad. It doesn't appear to me that "creating jobs" is a great campaign strategy for Romney. What he's done is more akin to financial investing than job creating investing and it's unclear whether on balance he created more jobs than were lost."The benchmark I would use to judge Romney's tenure at Bain isn't whether he saved jobs, but rather whether or not the restructurings achieved their stated purposes which I believe in most cases was to turn around failing companies. If most of the turn around efforts failed and resulted in bankruptcy or break ups, then that's a fair benchmark to judge him against.

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  50. "The other option is for the government to reduce regulation, lower taxes, get out of the way, and just wait."For how long? Reducing regulations is what got us here, why do you think that more of the same will get us out?Young children will push to see exactly how far they can go and get away with. They are TAUGHT that there are limitations. They are TAUGHT how to behave, it is not inherent.In the business world, that teaching is called "regulation". And just like young kids, they push the boundary as far as possible, and when the boundary is removed (or never existed), they go for blue bloody murder. Why not, there have been no consequences for negative behaviour thus far.Share resources? What for? Go take them, by any means necessary, and then there is no need for sharing. We call that "monopoly". It only exists in business. In real life, when kids have a monopoly (of toys) they are told by the adults to share, that not sharing is a bad behaviour.Of course, business is just a bunch of paper and not people (regardless of what the SCOTUS thinks). Nevertheless, for me, AS ABOVE, SO BELOW, and vice versa, absolutely, without any other qualification. If the people that make up a corporation think that they don't have to share, or that there are no limits to what they can do, then they most certainly will commit blue bloody murder, literaly if needed.We call individuals that behave that way sociopathic: a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.Same thing applies to a corporation or business. In my personal philosophy, there is no diffence between a sociopathic person, and sociopathic business, and a sociopathic gov't.The last two are made up of people, and people are supposed to know what moral responsibility and social conscience is, and they are expected to behave that way, and they are expected to teach their children the same.However, the current congressional majority crop is made of people, more than one of which stated almost so many words, that their purpose is to see the current President fail. What did you tell your kid when he said that he hoped so-and-so failed?Why do we apply such a double standard? Where and when did we get the idea that it was supposed to be that way, and that such negativity was acceptable in the people that we want to represent who we are?Okay, I have taken a very long time to write this, so I guess I had ought to post it now…

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  51. Taroya" "The other option is for the government to reduce regulation, lower taxes, get out of the way, and just wait."For how long? Reducing regulations is what got us here, why do you think that more of the same will get us out?Reducing regulations is a very broad category and it is, no doubt, some of what got us here but not all of it. It would seem to me there are many useful standards and regulations (most having withstood the test of time) and others not so useful. Federal regulations make hemp production of the entirely non-intoxicating kind absurdly difficult and expensive: what's the argument for the benefit of maintaining much of our War on Drugs regulatory structure, from your point of view? Any? I think most people can be talked into the idea that regulations can be good or bad. The Patriot Act is mostly a lot of regulations. Clearly, some people who think bank regulations are bad think regulations in the name of homeland security are good. And vice-versa. But let's assume that whichever regulations are removed, they are the ones most onerous and least useful in regards to the economy. We're still waiting for businesses to respond to real demand and anticipated demand in the marketplace . . . when will that be? That's a very good question. It might be a year. It might be four years. And whose to say the uptick in the economy might not happen whether or not we raise or lower taxes or increase or reduce regulation? There is some chance that, to some degree, our presidents and politicians are doing rain dances. When it doesn't rain, the other side blames their opponents poor rain dancing skills. When it finally does rain, the dancer takes credit, asserting that it was their dancing–and not, say, random weather patterns finally moving in their favor–that made it rain. If the people that make up a corporation think that they don't have to share, or that there are no limits to what they can do, then they most certainly will commit blue bloody murder, literaly if needed.This is consistent with my experience of human nature. This is also true of the government, which is the point of checks and balances. Which is why gridlock is mostly good. When gridlock is gone, we get The Patriot Act or the National Defense Authorization Act. Same thing applies to a corporation or business.… and any government agency. 😉

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  52. However, the current congressional majority crop is made of people, more than one of which stated almost so many words, that their purpose is to see the current President fail. Well, this is typical, I think, in politics. A little more rancorous now, perhaps, than in living memory (though not historically). But the end result is to raise the bar (even if it is arbitrary), making it difficult for the president to get things done. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, although it's hard to feel that way if you agree with the president's goals, generally. In the end, the executive branch is becoming more powerful, under Obama as under Bush, and the government is growing, in both size and legal power. While I'm not a fan of the hyperbole or the hostility, I'm generally of the belief that the congress checking the power of the executive, and the executive checking the power of the congress, and both houses checking each other, and the judiciary checking them all is how it should be. The most significant piece is the congress checking the judiciary, but some mechanism for that should have been explicitly provided–like if super-majorities in both houses "veto" a judicial decision, they can at least force a restart on judicial review. Or have an opportunity to clarify the language of a law, and then have the case reviewed. Or something. But, I digress. What did you tell your kid when he said that he hoped so-and-so failed?Depends on who it is! If it's the guy robbing houses up and down the street, I'm going to agree! If it's the teachers trying to raise money for some new AV equipment, I'd be irritated and there'd be a lecture. Why do we apply such a double standard? Where and when did we get the idea that it was supposed to be that way, and that such negativity was acceptableIf the only other option is to have broad cooperation on every piece of legislation, then, yes, such negativity (as much as I don't like it) is acceptable, in comparison to the alternative. Which would be–though it may not feel like it at the moment–unchecked government power. Which would end up, I suspect, being far more oppressive than anything going on in Washington right now. Although this is just my opinion, and I'm a guy who sometimes walks into a room for a specific reason and then stands there for several minutes trying to remember why I walked in that room, only to eventually give up and leave, and not remember what it was I had been on about for hours.

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  53. "Reducing regulations is what got us here, why do you think that more of the same will get us out?"I think that not letting them fail got us here. the key is learning that actions have consequences. When the banks called DC, the correct answer is "piss off."

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  54. " I think that not letting them fail got us here. the key is learning that actions have consequences. When the banks called DC, the correct answer is "piss off.""We'll never know. Speaking of consequences, it's not at all clear that the consequences of 'piss off' would have been better. The bailouts pissed me off, but not bailing them out would likely have been worse.

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  55. NoVA:When the banks called DC, the correct answer is "piss off."I'd be a lot more sympathetic to that position if DC was not itself very much entagled in creating the problems in the first place.

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  56. "but not bailing them out would likely have been worse."that's probably true. but i'm fine with that. and what Scott said is also true.

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  57. Okay, Kevin, I'll give. You are absolutely correct that not all regulation is a good thing, the Patriot Act being the top on my list at the moment. Esp. since that particular little bee can so easily be abused, and has, and will continue to be, and has also opened the door to more of the same. I really don't like Big Brother. I do really like regulations. May be why I like IT; there are rules, processes, and procedures, that when they are broken, provides me with job security and a sense of Godhood. :>I am SO HAPPY that I am not the only one that gets caught in the elevator lobby muttering to myself: "Why am I on this floor? What was I supposed to be doing? Did I fix it already? For who?"NoVA, I so wish the gov't had told them to piss off. But, too big to fail, and hoping they will fail, are two different things.Also, debating the pros and cons of legislation is of course a necessity, but it is not necessary to that debate to throw insults, any insults. You may shout. You may cry. You may pound your fist and stomp your feet. You may not tell lies in order to promote your side.Because it happens doesn't make it okay. If your view can't be supported without lying and insulting, then that view is neither moral nor conscienable. I get it if it is a slip now and then, I do it, you do it, everybody does it. Tempers get lost now and then. But our current congress isn't just slipping now and then, or losing their temper here and there. And the candidates are way over the top.

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  58. Michi: "Good points, yello. I'd say Romney was a successful businessman, just not a successful American businessman." ?? I am lost…

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  59. Taroya — it's nice to see you over here at ATiM. i'm not sure if you were reponsding to me or not with your line that begins: "Also, debating the pros"If so I didn't mean to throw an insult.

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  60. Oh, no no, NoVA, you didn't throw any insults. I was referring to Kevin's "broad cooperation on every piece of legislation", and recalling other places where I was involved in debates.I see insults and lies fairly constantly in our gov't, and I don't approve. I have had to represent a smaller group to a larger one, and I had to support what the group as a whole wanted, not what I wanted. THAT is something that I suspect most of our representatives never learned.

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  61. Interesting… newshour just showed a clip where The Newt took a shot at Romney to return all that money he made bankrupting companies. So its apparently not just a liberal meme.

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