RSS

Sunday Open Thread

18 Aug

Sunday is always a good day to have an open forum to say whatever is on your mind, so have it. What issue du jour peaks your interest?

I will begin by refuting the assertion that Hillary Clinton is qualified to be POTUS. In my opinion, she is woefully inadequate to occupy that important seat and could actually be less qualified than the current occupant – and that is saying quite a bit. Let’s examine just a few examples:

1. Remember Hillary’s “3am call” commercial during the primary with Obama? Well that call actually did come in with regards to Benghazi and she failed to answer. Her response to Benghazi is a colossal failure in leadership. There was 8 hours between the killings of Amb. Stevens, and the other two Seals, with response teams less than 2 hours away – she did, and/or advised nothing. Four Americans are dead because of her indifference and the perpetrators are still at large and not even being sought after.

2. Remember when Hillary Rodham worked on the panel investigating Nixon? She claimed then – “what did the President know and when did he know it?” Good question, right? When she was asked the same question in regard to Benghazi, her response was – “what difference does it make”. Again, a colossal failure in leadership.

3. Remember when she meant to “reset” Russian relations? But the translation of the word she used on the juvenile push button she gave the Russian ambassador actually meant “recharge”. And today – Russian/American relations are at an all time low, and Putin has zero respect for both Clinton and Obama.

The only reason Hillary is being considered is because she is a woman, and that fact should be offensive to smart and accomplished women everywhere.

Advertisements
 
110 Comments

Posted by on August 18, 2013 in Open Thread

 

110 responses to “Sunday Open Thread

  1. cluster

    August 18, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Here’s another issue that has my interest – Fast & Furious. Here’s an excerpt from Sheryl Attkinson’s report:

    During Fast and Furious and similar operations, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) encouraged the Lone Wolf and other gun stores to sell massive amounts of weapons to questionable purchasers who allegedly trafficked them Mexican drug cartels. Patino is said to have purchased 700 guns while under ATF’s watch. Ever since, a steady stream of the guns have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. But the Justice Department has refused repeated requests from Congress and CBS News to provide a full accounting. An estimated 1,400 guns are still on the street or unaccounted for.

    It’s a shame we don’t have a “transparent” administration that would be willing to answer the tough questions. Instead, they hide behind executive privilege.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57598487/more-fast-and-furious-guns-surface-at-crimes-in-mexico/

     
  2. cluster

    August 18, 2013 at 8:00 am

    For all you who mock the presence of God and Faith (and yes, I am speaking to you Rusty), I give you Nick Vujicic:

    http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org

    Incredible human being who has been a blessing in many peoples lives.

     
    • cluster

      August 18, 2013 at 9:10 am

      No comments on Nick?

       
  3. rustybrown2012

    August 18, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Cluster,

    You throw out some very detailed information about Hillary’s timeline and actions for 8 hours during the attack, as well as the position of the response team. What are your sources?

     
    • GMB

      August 18, 2013 at 9:05 am

      “Based on the Constitutional qualification requirements she is qualified. That doesn’t mean she would be a good president or bad one for that matter.”

      “but has revealed herself to be a clueless, money-grubing buffoon countless times so, there’s that.”

      And the exact same thing can be said about Hillary.

       
    • cluster

      August 18, 2013 at 9:09 am

      My source is the plethora of testimony and information that has been revealed since the attack.

       
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 9:41 am

        No, your source is a plethora of right wing talking points. I will duly note that without a source, your claims of inside knowledge on the night of the attack are utter horseshit.

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 9:47 am

        Sometimes I think that you work for the administration. Your knee jerk defense of them is a little strange. I would direct you to read the testimony from Gregory Hicks, and to read the following Time article:

        http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/08/death-security-and-hillary-2016-making-sense-of-the-benghazi-hearings/

        But aside from that, I will ask you:

        1. Why were stand down orders given?
        2. Have the perpetrators been caught?
        3. Why were talking points altered by administration officials?

        And do you not have any comments on Nick Vujicic?

         
      • GMB

        August 18, 2013 at 9:50 am

        I recommend we ask Ambassador Stephens about the attack? Know any good necromancers?

         
      • kmg

        August 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

        Why were the stand down orders given?

        There’s some disagreement over whether an order was actually given. The leader of the 4-man team says it came from SOCAFRICOM. The commander of SOCAFRICOM says no order was given. Even if the team leader had requested permission, it would have been foolish to let him go. One 4-man team armed with nothing more than 9mm sidearms was going to play John Wayne and wade into up to 60 opponents with pop guns blazing? Any commander who would approve that should be relieved on the spot.

        Regardless, this point has nothing to do with the Secretary of State. She did not have C2 of that team or of any military forces other than the Marine Embassy guards. Their mission is to protect the Embassy.

        Have the perpetrators been caught?

        Apparently not yet, but there is a warrant out. We’ll see if the Libyan government provides him to us.

        Why were the talking points altered by administration officials?

        For the same reason all no talking points are released exactly as originally written. There were disagreements over language that blamed State for ignoring previous warnings, but the statements about the suspected source of the attack were in every version of the talking points.

        Now here’s a question: When did it become the Secretary of State’s responsibility to protect CIA covert operatives when their operation goes to shit? Why isn’t Darrel “Gone in 60 Seconds” Issa calling the DCI before his committee? Could it be because the DCI isn’t the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016?

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

        I just don’t remember the youtube video ever being mentioned in the CIA memos, so it seems a little odd that that was what Susan Rice almost exclusively talked about the following Sunday. No?

        Amb. Stevens and Amb. Hicks reported directly to Hillary, so yes, she would be involved. Don’t ya think? And during an 8 hour, fatal attack on our embassy, doesn’t it seem a little odd that Obama and Clinton had only one reported conversation, and didn’t bother to convene in the situation room? No? No big deal right? Am I being racist for raising these questions? LOL, just kidding.

         
      • kmg

        August 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

        cluster,

        The CIA first brought up protests in the talking points. http://www.ibtimes.com/newly-released-benghazi-emails-reveal-talking-points-timeline-full-text-transcript-1262877

        Yes, Clinton would have been kept informed, but she didn’t have command and control of anyone to send to Benghazi. The military said they had no assets close enough to get to them and that the 4-man team at the Embassy would have been incapable of doing anything.

        It appears now that the CIA was running the show in Benghazi using State Department cover and it was a CIA compound where the brunt of the attack took place. How is State responsible for CIA actions or inactions?

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

        “I just don’t remember the youtube video ever being mentioned in the CIA memos, so it seems a little odd that that was what Susan Rice almost exclusively talked about the following Sunday. No?”

        No! You should try reading through your own link:

        “the CIA’s original version had called the Benghazi attack “spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo” over the notorious YouTube video.”

        Here are a few other tidbits from your link:

        “David Petraeus, who was then CIA director, testified last fall that he had urged the removal of any reference to al Qaeda to avoid tipping off suspects whom the U.S. was monitoring.”

        “Could the U.S. military have done more to help? Not according to the Pentagon – and the hearing’s key witness.”

        “despite repeated discussion about what Clinton knew and when she knew it, no smoking gun emerged from Wednesday’s hearing”

        …thanks for the great link Cluster! And let us all note that your spurious claims that Hillary “did and/or advised nothing” for 8 hours during the attack and that 4 Americans died due to her “indifference” are ENTIRELY unsubstantiated.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        Oh, and I read a bit about that Vujicic fellow, seems like a nice guy. What’s your point?

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

        That’s why I also instructed you to read the testimony from Amb Hicks, Rusty, but I can’t help it if you have a closed mind. Here’s an excerpt from the testimony:

        “The net impact of what has transpired is the spokesperson of the most powerful country in the world has basically said that the President of Libya is either a liar or doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he accused. Hicks added, “My jaw hit the floor as I watched this…I’ve never been as embarrassed in my life, in my career as on that day.”

        Even the President of Libya called it a terrorist attack, and not a spontaneous uprising.

        Hicks also said an inflammatory anti-Muslim YouTube video initially cited as a cause of the alleged protest was “a non-event in Libya.”

        http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/08/politics/benghazi-hearing

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm

        …..your spurious claims that Hillary “did and/or advised nothing” for 8 hours during the attack and that 4 Americans died due to her “indifference” are ENTIRELY unsubstantiated.

        What difference does it make??

        (said it my best defensive, high pitched, nasal tone)

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm

        Cluster,

        I did read part of Hick’s testimony and thought “big deal”. So one guy testified that it was obvious to him it was a terrorist attack. So what? The early CIA memos made the connection between the attacks and the video, and Rice went with their reports. If the administration was trying so hard to cover up the terrorist angle, why did the president call it an act on terrorism THE NEXT DAY?! This is a non story.

        Concerning your question, “What difference does it make??”, well, doesn’t make a difference to me but maybe you should be a bit more concerned that I pointed out you’re pulling your talking points out of your ass.

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

        Do you even understand the reference of my comment “what difference does it make”? I don’t think you do, which is pretty funny. You are also an amazingly incurious fellow, so allow me to continue your education.

        As striking as what appears in the email traffic is what does not. There is no mention of the YouTube video that would become a central part of the administration’s explanation of the attacks to the American people until a brief mention in the subject line of emails coming out of an important meeting where further revisions were made.

        http://hotair.com/archives/2013/05/16/the-amazing-shrinking-benghazi-talking-points/

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm

        Cluster,

        Oh, I get it now. Dumb. The whole “what difference does it make?” kerfuffle is another overblown, failed republican attempt to make something out of nothing. You see Cluster, normal people don’t have these juvenile, right wing “gotcha” talking points stuck in their brains, so we don’t always get an oblique reference to them when they come up. Like the whole retarded “you didn’t build that” non-issue. But nice to see you’re capable of remembering simple phrases.

        My proven point still stands: Your post consists entirely of right wing talking points pulled from your ass, and other right wing asses. Sorry.

        Oh, and why was it that amid this scandalous cover up to eliminate references to terror the president as well as other top officials immediately were referring to the attack as “acts of terror”? Didn’t get your answer to that one, sparky.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

        Another thing Cluster, where did you get the information that the administration is no longer looking for the perps? I bet that came straight from your ass, too. Boy, you’ve got a lot of room in there!

         
  4. mitchethekid

    August 18, 2013 at 8:44 am

    The Constitution lists three requirements for any individual wishing to become president of the United States. A president must:

    be a native-born U.S. citizens. Someone may be born abroad, but only if both parents were citizens of the United States. The only exception to this was for those around at the time the Constitution was adopted. Their requirement was that they had to be a citizen when the Constitution was adopted.
    be at least 35 years of age. The youngest president elected was 43 years old. However, there was one president who was even younger.
    have lived in the United States for at least 14 years to be president. This does not have to be consecutive or even the 14 years leading up to becoming president.

    Obviously, a lot more is needed than this. The candidate must be acceptable to a large number of people across the nation. Nonetheless, these are the minimum constitutional requirements for someone to become president of the United States.

    So clarify not qualified. Is that a subjective opinion or a statement of fact? And what’s the worry? She’s not announced anything yet and it’s 3 yrs away. The right wing hysteria is based on pure speculation. And what are you so afraid of? If she’s not qualified, then there should be no problem.

     
    • cluster

      August 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Based strictly on the Constitutional qualification requirements, which are the minimums I will add, Sarah Palin is qualified. How do you feel about that?

       
      • casper

        August 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

        “cluster
        August 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

        Based strictly on the Constitutional qualification requirements, which are the minimums I will add, Sarah Palin is qualified. How do you feel about that?”

        Based on the Constitutional qualification requirements she is qualified. That doesn’t mean she would be a good president or bad one for that matter.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

        Palin is technically qualified, but has revealed herself to be a clueless, money-grubing buffoon countless times so, there’s that.

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

        PalinClinton is technically qualified, but has revealed herself to be a clueless, money-grubing buffoon countless times so, there’s that.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

        Easy there pardner, that’s the next POTUS you’re talking about!

         
      • mitchethekid

        August 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

        She is. And so are you, me and the cleaning lady.

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm

        I am voting for your cleaning lady. Is she hot?

         
      • mitchethekid

        August 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm

        Yes. She’s also my realtor and girlfriend.

         
  5. GMB

    August 18, 2013 at 8:50 am

    “So clarify not qualified. Is that a subjective opinion or a statement of fact?”

    I have to side with the Constitution on this one If our founding fathers had wanted candidates to have “business experience” or “prior political experience” they would have codified into the constitution.

    Instead of having Kris the housewife or Vinny the cab driver we have career pols like boner and piglossi.

    The career pols are what is the main problem with this country. It is as if they some kind of nobility, say a count or some such nonsense.

     
    • cluster

      August 18, 2013 at 8:54 am

      The US is quickly becoming an oligarchy, which is not a good thing, and that needs to be recognized and remedied.

       
      • GMB

        August 18, 2013 at 9:03 am

        Then we need to quit voting, en masse, for those same people who are perpetuating that oligarchy. Even if it cause some pain.

        Freedom isn’t free and it is not just another word for nothing left to lose. You can have absolutely no money, no material possessions, no family and still lose your freedom to live your life witout interference.

        Government is in the business to keep government in business. We the people allowed it. Only we the people can remedy it.

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

        One way possible remedy will be to stop savaging those who choose to run. Politics has become a blood sport, and that fact keeps many very highly qualified people from entering the arena. One slip of the tongue and you become the target of your opponent, and if you are a republican, you v=become the target of the media, which leads me to the second remedy – the media needs to once again become objective and get out of bed with the Democrats

         
      • casper

        August 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

        “cluster
        August 18, 2013 at 8:54 am

        The US is quickly becoming an oligarchy, which is not a good thing, and that needs to be recognized and remedied.”

        I’d take that one step further. We already are an oligarchy and have been for some time.

         
      • ricorun

        August 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

        Cluster: “The US is quickly becoming an oligarchy, which is not a good thing, and that needs to be recognized and remedied.

        I agree. So, what do we do about it? I’m guessing our agreement might become somewhat strained as we descend from the superficial into the details. I’m good with that, how about you?

        But just so you know, I do remember a time when I sickened you or some such phrase. So you might want to lighten up a little on the personal side, m’kay?

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm

        Well I can honestly say that your condescending tone is sickening, other than that, I really don’t know what you’re talking about, but that’s not unusual.

         
      • ricorun

        August 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm

        cluster: “Well I can honestly say that your condescending tone is sickening, other than that, I really don’t know what you’re talking about, but that’s not unusual.”

        Okay, I’ll assume that as a starting point. But you still haven’t answered the question, re: what should be done about your observation that the US is quickly becoming an oligarchy?

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

        But I did offer an opinion in my 9:06am post –

        1. Stop savaging those who choose to run
        2. Demand an objective media

         
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm

        So was that it Rico? No further commentary?

         
      • ricorun

        August 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        Sorry Cluster, no more time today. I’ll try to add something of substance tomorrow. It’s a really big issue with all sorts of facets, and I’d like to at least start it off right. But if you’re just looking for reach-for-the-stars type stuff, I’d add to yours: (1) demand more transparency in both the Congress and the executive branch, and; (2) get “Big Money” out of electoral politics as much as possible.

         
  6. GMB

    August 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

    http://www.thetower.org/article/is-morocco-the-model-for-arab-democracy/

    Not much is heard about this so called “Arab Spring” country lately.

     
  7. meursault1942

    August 18, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Alright, open thread! So now I can post this really interesting Business Insider article arguing that low wages are doing more to strangle the economy than anything else:

    One of the big reasons the U.S. economy is so lousy is that big American companies are hoarding cash and “maximizing profits” instead of investing in their people and future projects.

    This behavior is contributing to record income inequality in the country and starving the primary engine of U.S. economic growth — the vast American middle class — of purchasing power. (See charts below).

    If average Americans don’t get paid living wages, they can’t spend much money buying products and services. And when average Americans can’t buy products and services, the companies that sell products and services to average Americans can’t grow. So the profit obsession of America’s big companies is, ironically, hurting their ability to accelerate revenue growth.

    One obvious solution to this problem is for big companies to pay their people more — to share more of the vast wealth that they create with the people who create it.

    The companies have record profit margins, so they can certainly afford to do this.

    But, unfortunately, over the past three decades, what began as a healthy and necessary effort to make our companies more efficient has evolved into a warped consensus that the only value that companies create is financial (cash) and that the only thing managers and owners should ever worry about is making more of it.

    I think it’s a very compelling argument. Higher wages are absolutely doable, and they would benefit everybody, not just the recipients of those higher wages, by really getting the economy moving.

     
    • cluster

      August 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Allow me to be the devils advocate. The are valid reasons why big companies are in a wait and see mode – the obvious one being Obamacare. Many companies are simply uncertain as to how that legislation will impact them financially, so as a consequence, they are not hiring or expanding until they know for sure what the ramifications are. Secondly, labor is subject to supply and demand, and currently the supply outweighs the demand so why would a company pay more? That being said, any individual can greatly enhance their earning power on their own, by improving their skill sets, increasing their productivity and being an asset to any company they choose to work for. People don’t deserve higher wages for simply showing up and breathing.

      You approach this issue from the mindset that labor is static and those people in the force are victims of a colluded market place. I see the issue from the perspective that labor drives the market place and valuable people are always in need and can command higher wages. But that is just one small component of a complex issue. Another component which is adversely impacting the economy is the administrations unsettled tax and regulatory positions. Business’s have a difficult time making long range plans when they have no idea what those tax and regulatory conditions will be down the road.

       
      • bardolf2

        August 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        Cluster

        I think your comment about “any individual can greatly enhance their earning power’ was mentioned as a typical argument against raising wages.

        While any individual might be able to make themselves worthy of a larger paycheck, i.e. set themselves apart by enhancing their skills the same argument doesn’t apply as a whole. SO if everyone enhanced their skill set (like nowadays a lot more people have college degrees) then they wouldn’t be separating themselves from the masses and hence wouldn’t deserve a special premium for being unique. The article talks about companies as profit machines and there is no rationale for such company to reward a skill set which is broadly available. If everyone had a Ph.D. in engineering then there would be PhD’s in engineering getting paid minimum wage.

        Your advice (if most people are being hired by big companies or big government) works only if relatively few people take it. One of the problems is quite often small businesses rely on the going rate of big businesses to set their own salaries. The only answer would appear to have more and more self-started business which could avoid direct competition in the pricing arena with big corporations which can use scale itself to stifle competition.

         
      • meursault1942

        August 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

        “You approach this issue from the mindset that labor is static”

        I don’t believe labor is static, and neither does the author of that article. He’s just pointing out a simple fact: Low pay is crippling the economy. People aren’t buying things because they don’t have the money to buy them. If they have money, then they can start buying things–one man’s spending is another man’s income. Better-paid workers are bigger participants in the economy; more participation in the economy benefits everybody. Company revenues grow, tax receipts grow, the middle class–the real engine of the economy–remains well-fueled.

        The four charts in that article really tell the story:

        1) Corporate profits and profit margins are at an all-time high

        2) Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low

        3) Fewer Americans are employed than at any time in the past three decades

        4) The share of our national income that American corporations are sharing with the people who do the work (“labor”) is at an all-time low

        All of this adds up to a sputtering economy. It’s not as though companies don’t have the money to pay their workers more. They’re just choosing not to. Management is doing great; workers are getting screwed. Our economy no longer values work.

        The other thing this article discusses that I think is important is the fact that it’s labor, not management, that actually creates revenue for companies, yet management treats labor as nothing more than a cost on a spreadsheet, so management’s primary concern is to keep labor costs down. Not only is that demeaning–it doesn’t treat workers as members of a team; it doesn’t even treat them like people–it’s foolish.

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 5:18 am

        Mersault,

        That is just a far too simple look at a complex issue. There are reasons why those wage indicators are what they are, and it’s not because corporations just decided to pay less. There is far too much economic uncertainty in the country right now for any business to increase wages, expand employment or operations right now and that is function of our liberal government. There are consequences to actions, something of which liberals have a hard time understanding, but it is a reality. Look at Detroit – that city is the poster child for liberal politics and governance.

        Also, labor is not static – meaning workers can decide to change their employment at any time. Unfortunately, because of the liberal policies currently stifling the economy, their options are very limited. If you want higher wages, you have to create a favorable business climate which promotes certainty in regulation and taxes, and encourages growth.

         
      • meursault1942

        August 19, 2013 at 7:47 am

        “workers can decide to change their employment at any time.”

        Really? Who’s hiring? Almost nobody. Why? because there’s very little demand for goods and services right now. Why? Because people have very little money to spend. Why? Because wages have plummeted. Wages go up, spending goes up, economy picks up. The economic uncertainty you refer to is a direct consequence of lower wages. Remember: Corporations are raking in more money than they ever have, and their profit margins are higher than they ever have been. Their growth is being encouraged just fine; they just are choking it themselves because, as Blogett puts it, “The obsession with ‘maximizing short-term profits’ that has developed in America over the past 30 years has created a business culture in which executives dance to the tune of short-term traders and quarterly earnings reports, instead of balancing the value created for employees, customers, and long-term owners.”

         
      • cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

        The economic uncertainty you refer to is a direct consequence of lower wages.

        That statement is not even close to the truth. Let me point out a basic, elementary fact of life to you – business’s (at least 90% of them) want to pay competitive wages, want their workers to have a good life, in that a happy worker is a productive worker who is also a consumer. Do you actually think that the evil CEO’s think that a suppressed labor force is a good thing for his company? This notion that business’s are intentionally suppressing wages outside of any negative regulatory or tax influence is really so mind numbingly stupid, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around. Have you ever owned a business? Have you ever employed anyone? Business’s want a healthy, productive, financially well off labor force for their own internal production needs, but also for an increase demand in their own products and services. One feeds the other. So you may want to direct your concerns to the man child in the white house who has zero understanding of economics, instead of assuming that evil management is is taking advantage of the proletariat.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 8:55 am

        Cluster,

        Are you out of your mind? It’s been pointed out to you that corporate profits have been rising steadily for quite some time and are currently at all time highs (as is worker productivity), wages are stagnant, unemployment high, and your conclusion is that the corporations hands are tied because it’s all the fault of the big, bad muslim marxist in the white house?! You know, corporations aren’t exactly fragile hot house flowers that wither with the slightest change of atmosphere. So exactly which policies are responsible for grinding American businesses to a standstill when it comes to giving their labor force a fair shake?

        Your reliance on right wing talking points is nauseating, as is your unbridled faith that corporations always have their workers best interests in mind, particularly in light of the facts just presented to you.

         
      • cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 9:26 am

        So exactly which policies are responsible for grinding American businesses to a standstill

        Rusty, you and I will never see eye to eye so let’s not pretend that we ever will. I am a very traditional American who has strong Faith and belief in free enterprise and capitalism. I sense that you are anything but.

        You might want to read up on the Obamacare legislation to see how that bill has had some very adverse economic ramifications, aside from the Presidents reluctance to tap into domestic oil reserves, and his penchant to reward cronies in the green energy industry. The “muslim marxist” as you referred to him as, is an economic amateur, and many business’s are simply waiting for him and his acolytes to leave office.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

        So, you’re resorting to deleting my comments now?

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

        Nothing has been deleted rusty –

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

        oh, never mind, I see my post was kicked down to a different place. Didn’t think this blog would be so thin-skinned! kudos.

         
      • GMB

        August 19, 2013 at 10:30 am

        Very interesting. Seems the joker in charge of enforcing barky care doesn’t want it foe himself. just like our ever loving congress.

        http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/werfel-irs-chief-pass/2013/08/01/id/518347

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 10:36 am

        That’s another great point GMB – why did congress go out of their way to exclude their own staff from the mandates of the bill before heading off to vacation? Must be “talking points”.

         
      • meursault1942

        August 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

        “business’s (at least 90% of them) want to pay competitive wages, want their workers to have a good life, in that a happy worker is a productive worker who is also a consumer.”

        If they want that so badly, then why are they not providing it? There is nothing preventing them from providing it; they’ve got the money, they’ve got the ability, they’ve got no obstacles to paying their employees better. They are choosing not to do so, and the article explains why:

        But, unfortunately, over the past three decades, what began as a healthy and necessary effort to make our companies more efficient has evolved into a warped consensus that the only value that companies create is financial (cash) and that the only thing managers and owners should ever worry about is making more of it.
        [snip]
        But, unfortunately, over the past three decades, what began as a healthy and necessary effort to make our companies more efficient has evolved into a warped consensus that the only value that companies create is financial (cash) and that the only thing managers and owners should ever worry about is making more of it.

        Again, corporate profits–and profit margins–are at an all-time high. As the corporate profits have been rising, wages have been falling to the point now where wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. Those two things are correlated. Businesses are doing great; workers are not doing well at all. Those two things are correlated as well.

        Businesses are not being stifled, clearly. Their growth is not being choked. Their record-setting profits and profit margins prove it. There is nothing but opportunity and ability for them to increase pay to the benefit of the entire country. They are making a deliberate decision not to do it for the sake of short-term profits. After all, minimizing labor costs makes the quarterly earnings reports look great, and that is the only thing they care about.

        “Business’s want a healthy, productive, financially well off labor force for their own internal production needs, but also for an increase demand in their own products and services. One feeds the other.”

        You are in agreement with the article, then: A financially well-off labor force would benefit workers and companies alike. It’s a shame businesses are refusing to provide it.

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        There is nothing preventing them from providing it;

        Really? Nothing? How about the highest corporate tax rate in the world? How about volumes and volumes of costly regulations that are being added daily? How about Obamacare, the financial effects of which are still unknown. How about global demand which is softening? Look Mersault, a complex issue like this is confounded by a myriad of issues and can not be resolved with the simplistic juvenile approach of just “pay people more”. Maybe in liberal land that works, but not in the real world. And business’s don’t exist simply to “pay people more”. Good grief

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

        “That’s another great point GMB – why did congress go out of their way to exclude their own staff from the mandates of the bill before heading off to vacation? Must be “talking points”.”

        …right you are Cluster, it is another cynical republican talking point. You’re catching on!

        http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/08/14/20021898-congress-isnt-exempt-from-obamacare?lite

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm

        You are a dutiful member of the proletariat Rusty, and probably not someone cut out for freedom.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

        I got news for you Cluster, proletariats are free too, but if your idea of freedom is unchecked greed, you can keep it.

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        You know a nation that provides the highest standard of living for even the poorest amongst us can hardly be considered a nation of unchecked greed. Just saying.

         
      • meursault1942

        August 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm

        “How about the highest corporate tax rate in the world?”

        US corporations pay an average effective tax rate of 12.6%, and I’m sure we all remember the tales of corporations making billions of dollars in profit and not only not paying corporate taxes, but getting tax refunds (*ahem* GE). They aren’t being taxed to death; again, they are making record profits.

        “How about volumes and volumes of costly regulations that are being added daily?”

        Such as? What regulations preclude corporations from paying better wages?

        “How about Obamacare, the financial effects of which are still unknown.”

        Companies certainly aren’t being hit hard by Obamacare; they’re continuing to report high profits. Whatever major deleterious effects Obamacare is supposed to have, they aren’t showing up.

        Also, it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t just some new development that you can blame on a recent thing like Obamacare. It’s been a trend going back a good 30 years: Profits up, wages down. Look at the charts in the article. What’s been going on is pretty unmistakeable.

        “And business’s don’t exist simply to “pay people more”. Good grief.”

        But you said upthread that “Business’s want a healthy, productive, financially well off labor force for their own internal production needs, but also for an increase demand in their own products and services. One feeds the other.” They want a financially well-off labor force, but they don’t want to pay people more. Those are conflicting goals.

        But really, the view that businesses are solely about profits and that maximizing profits means minimizing wages is exactly what the article is pointing out as being foolish, wrong, and highly detrimental to the US economy:

        These days, if you suggest that great companies should serve several constituencies (customers, employees, and shareholders) and that American companies should share more of their wealth with the people who generate it (employees), you get called a “socialist.” You get called a “liberal.” You get told that you “don’t understand economics.” You get accused of promoting “wealth confiscation.” You get told that, in America, people get paid what they deserve to get paid: Anyone who wants more money should go out and “start their own company” or “demand a raise” or “get a better job.”

        In other words, you get told that anyone who suggests that great companies should share the value they create with all three constituencies instead of just lining the pockets of shareholders is an idiot.

        After all, these folks say, one law of capitalism is that employers pay their employees as little as possible. Employees are just “costs.” You should try to minimize those “costs” whenever and wherever you can.

        Again: These companies are choosing to pay low wages as a matter of economic philosophy focused on maximizing profits. They aren’t being forced to pay low wages.

        Also, I should point out that at no point have I said that raising wages would magically fix the economy. But it certainly would help the economy quite a bit; that’s something you seem to agree with.

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm

        Your first response is a good example of needed tax reform of which I wish your party, and both parties for that matter, would get on board with. The marginal rate is 35% – highest in the world. It is only because of lobbyists, politicians and gamesmanship that they pay less. Wish you could see through that.

        The effects of Obamacare are NOT yet known. Try and process that.

        How about if you use Google and search around for regulations that have been implemented since 2009.

        And corporations are the entities that pay the union wages, that pay the high wages for all those folks who live in those nice subdivisions. Did you think the middle class is financially sustained by mom & pop stores? I am sure you can find greedy business’s but those would be the minority, so how about if you start looking at the world through adult eyes, and realize that feel good, big government, liberal policies have unintended consequences (rusty could not have said that better). I mean look at Detroit – that’s what happens when people like you and Rusty set the ground rules.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

        My reference to greed was directed at corporations, not at our nation as a whole. My positions is that if corporations scaled back their rapacious tendencies a bit, this country would be much better off. You know – the point of this thread that you tried to derail with “dumbed down talking points”, to quote a great philosopher from times gone by.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm

        M,

        Great points and a shame we have to keep repeating ourselves but good luck trying to break through the barriers.

        Don’t you know that corporations are just paralyzed by the ACA and “economic uncertainty”? After all, it’s not like corporations have ever had to deal with economic uncertainty in the past.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        Cluster,

        The number of regulations introduced under Obama is consistent with previous modern administrations. It may be somewhat higher, but much of that has to do with implementing the ACA and trying to solve the monumental health care crisis in America – I know, what an asshole! If you have information that contradicts that, please provide it (crickets chirp, or directed to Michelle Malkin’s website in three…two…one…).

        And you keep tying the bankruptcy of Detroit ENTIRELY to liberal policies. That’s stupid, but unsurprising coming from you. Care to provide evidence for that one, champ?

        I really hate to sound like that retarded pussy “tired of libs”, but it’s becoming quite clear that your worldview is primarily comprised of dumbed down talking points. Hey, if the shoe fits.

        To all, excuse my tone, but it’s frustrating dealing with this type of mentality. When confronted with evidence that corporate greed is damaging our economy we get this from Cluster:

        “And corporations are the entities that pay the union wages, that pay the high wages for all those folks who live in those nice subdivisions.”

        …corporations pay wages? Really, they pay actual wages? Who knew?! Guess it’s check and mate for you, champ! But of course, they’re paying those union wages only when they haven’t been successful at busting unions with the help of their republican shills. Just saying.

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

        Unions have been busting themselves sport – if they were so beneficial to their membership, people would be signing up in droves. Capiche?

        Re: Detroit – that city has been governed by democratic mayors for the last 50 years, and in fact I think Kwame Kilpatrick even went to prison on corruption charges. The city council has also been heavily democratic over the last 50 years, and unions have dominated the city as well. Oh but wait – all those democrats were putting in place conservative policies right? Careful on that check mate sport – it could be premature ejaculation – which of course you probably are familiar with.

         
      • meursault1942

        August 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        “The marginal rate is 35% – highest in the world. It is only because of lobbyists, politicians and gamesmanship that they pay less. Wish you could see through that.”

        How would dropping the tax rate change that? Companies have figured out how to pay little to no corporate taxes–some even figured out how to get refunds. Do you think they’ll stop doing that if we just lower the tax rate? Nope. And why would they? Paying no corporate taxes will always be more appealing than paying some corporate taxes–especially when your fixation is quarterly profits.

        “The effects of Obamacare are NOT yet known.”

        If they’re not yet known, then they can’t be said to be holding wages down. And they certainly can’t be said to have set the unmistakeable trend of higher corporate profits correlated with lower wages we’ve seen over the past 30 years.

        “How about if you use Google and search around for regulations that have been implemented since 2009.”

        I don’t want a list of regulations; I want a list of regulations that are depressing wages; better still, if the are depressing wages how much are they doing so? And again, this high profits/low wages thing isn’t some sudden new development. It’s been happening for several decades now, and through all sorts of political and economic conditions. The trend is due to philosophy, not circumstance.

        “And corporations are the entities that pay the union wages, that pay the high wages for all those folks who live in those nice subdivisions.”

        Well, yes and no. As noted a few times now, wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. Those folks who live in those nice subdivisions are, generally, management, not labor; labor mostly can’t afford to live in nice subdivisions.

        “Did you think the middle class is financially sustained by mom & pop stores?”

        The middle class is barely being financially sustained at all; that’s a huge part of our economic problems, and that’s something that better wages would certainly help to alleviate.

        Also, I’m not sure where the “big government” accusation is coming from here. I haven’t mentioned the government at all. I’ve mentioned that corporations are making a deliberate choice in line with their “short-term profits above all” philosophy to keep wages low and that it would be to everybody’s benefit for corporations to rethink that philosophy and actually pay its profit-generators (i.e. its workers) better, especially when corporations are fully capable of doing so. Again, they’re choosing not to, and it’s a poor choice that is affecting the entire country. I would like them to make a wiser choice, as companies like CostCo have done.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 5:13 pm

        Cluster,

        Are you really oblivious to the long and storied history of organized union busting in this country? Walmart ring a bell as a recent example?

        Detroit’s decline is far more complicated than you imply. Here is an interesting comparison of Detroit to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, though suffering from similar dynamics which hobbled it’s founding industries, is doing relatively well and experiencing something of a revival. And guess what? The Pittsburgh’s Mayor’s office is occupied by a Democrat – and has been for the last 80 years.

        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/a-tale-of-two-rust-belt-cities/?_r=0

        How’s that working out for your hypothesis for the relation of mayoral party affiliation to fiscal success, Einstein?

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        Thanks for pointing out Pittsburgh, “genius”. It proves my point. Here’s an excerpts from a recent article:

        “When financial collapse was hitting, Pittsburgh’s leaders did what they had to do when they had to do it,” said Pittsburgh Finance Director Scott Kunka. Unlike Detroit, which borrowed to balance budgets, in the late ‘90s the city of Pittsburgh laid off a quarter of its workforce – from 4,000 to 3,000 workers — shoring up city finances. More recently, it bit the bullet and is pumping $13 million more a year into its underfunded pensions. Detroit, in contrast, is asking a bankruptcy court to relieve its staggering $1 billion pension liability. “The pension reform plan worked,” said Kunka.

        Now, who has been calling for pension reform on the national level? Liberals? Or conservatives?

        And I have a friend who works at Walmart and loves the benefits they offer, and is happy with his pay. He has no interest in having to pay some union boss do his bidding for him. By the way, did you know many union bosses make high six figure incomes? They are what you consider the evil rich.

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        Rusty,

        Welcome to your new liberal economy:

        According to the US census Bureau, at least 1 in 4 N.J. adults, ages 18-31 live at home and 42% are 24 or older. Experts call it an “epidemic” of millennials leaching off their parents, but does a bad economy and student loan debt crisis justify the situation?

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        Nice to see Pittsburgh’s Democratic leadership was so responsive to the situation. Reevaluation of pensions is not an exclusively conservative position. And this still makes your correlation of Democratic leadership to the collapse of Detroit kind of bullshit, don’t you think?

        BTW, could you be troubled to provide links for your information/quotes? It’s really pretty standard in online debates like this, unless you are embarrassed by your source or otherwise have something to hide. Jesus, I think I’ve had to request this 10,000 times with conservatives – why are you so evidence-averse?

         
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 4:41 am

        Rusty, I just got that information from their local news:

        http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/08/02/pittsburgh-thriving-while-detroits-economy-dives/

        And you really need to think outside the partisan box. Not every Democrat is a brain dead liberal, and not every Republican is a conservative (think John McCain). Those Democrats in Pittsburgh made some tough decisions that were the right thing to do and need to be made at the national level as well – cut government, and reform entitlements.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 7:15 am

        I need to think outside the partisan box? You’re the one who brought it up. I asked you to explain your repeated assertion that Detroit was a liberal mess and your only response was that the city was controlled by Democrats.

        You need to keep better track of your own conversations, chief.

         
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 8:26 am

        Well I guess when you continue to call me names, you’re losing the battle, so I will let it slide. Democrats usually enact liberal policies, as we have seen in Detroit. Sometimes, they do the right thing and enact more conservative policies as we have seen in Pittsburgh. It’s not a black and white world.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

        “Sometimes, they do the right thing and enact more conservative policies as we have seen in Pittsburgh. It’s not a black and white world.”

        …which was exactly MY point at 7:32 when I posted “Reevaluation of pensions is not an exclusively conservative position.”

        And AGAIN, YOU were the one to frame this issue in purely partisan terms at 3:31 when you posted:

        “Re: Detroit – that city has been governed by democratic mayors for the last 50 years, and in fact I think Kwame Kilpatrick even went to prison on corruption charges. The city council has also been heavily democratic over the last 50 years”

        …are you having trouble with your medication or something? This dissembling is lame even by your standards. Regarding me “losing the battle” – that’s rich! Very sad you resort to the “I WIN!” tactic – a sure tell of a loser.

         
      • Cluster

        August 20, 2013 at 9:06 am

        Rusty, in all the time I have been familiar with you, I have NEVER seen you go against the Democratic strain. Never once have I seen you oppose Democratic governance, while I have on many occasion spoke out against Republicans – namely McCain, Graham, Snowe, McConnell, etc. I even railed against Bush when he named Harriet Meyer as nominee to the SC, and put forth his misguided immigration plan. So forgive me for thinking that you actually can think outside the partisan box.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

        Cluster,

        Well, I guess you missed the time at b4v where I supported Rand Paul giving Obama hell over drone strikes. Nevertheless, I suppose it’s true that I’m a partisan Democrat by default. You see, I think both parties suck but I think Repubs consistently suck more than dems – I can’t think of a single race over the years where I supported a R. over a D. So, guilty as charged! But I’m perfectly willing to think outside of the box, just generally to the outside left of it.

         
    • rustybrown2012

      August 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Great article M. No doubt higher wages would help the economy.

       
      • cluster

        August 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm

        And more flowers would make the planet smell better.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        Good to know you’re for more flowers as well as higher wages, Cluster. There’s hope for you yet!

         
    • rustybrown2012

      August 19, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Cluster,

      You make my point that you’re relying on republican talking points rather than facts. Unlike you, I have looked into the AFA and understand that the reality does not match the above-mentioned talking points and, unlike you, I can provide links that support my contention:

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-57595475/is-obamacare-a-job-killer/

      And so I guess we’re left to assume that the two other specifics you mention – a reluctance to tap into oil reserves and the unsubstantiated smear that Obama is shoveling truckloads of money to “cronies” in the “green energy industry” are responsible for the reluctance of corporate America to expand, hire more workers and provide them with living wages. You do realize that doesn’t make sense, don’t you?

      Cluster, I’m not trying to break your balls, but I’m calling you out on your gullibility for republican bullshit and your inability to think about those issues critically. M.’s article makes a very strong case based on logic, reasoning and statistics. For your rebuttal you didn’t address any of the factual arguments in the article but offered instead a collection of dreary, unsupported republican red herrings.

      I sympathize with you. I know your life must have been much easier and your arguments much stronger when my rebuttals were routinely deleted. Sorry.

       
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 10:18 am

        Cluster, I’m not trying to break your balls, but I’m calling you out on your gullibility for republican bullshit

        It just boggles my mind that you consider the adverse economic conditions in play as a direct result of Obamacare to be “talking points”. It’s a delusion that is hard to wrap my head around. Are the delays in the SHOP and employer mandates “talking points”? Is the creation of more part time employment vs full time “talking points”? Is the rise in private insurance premiums “talking points”? Is the letter from the AFL-CIO asking Obama to fix the program “talking points”?

        And then to think that I rely on “republican talking points” is just deliciously delusional on your part. But whatever dude, you have your world I have mine, and thankfully the two will never intertwine. Be well.

         
      • GMB

        August 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

        Here is another repub talking point. From the Chicago Tribune no less.Why those TEAtards, don’t they know barkycare is perfect!

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-obamacare-0818-jm-20130818,0,5666959.story

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 10:40 am

        Yes Cluster, they are talking points. Throwing out several accusations which may or may not have direct impact on the economy is a diversionary tactic. You know, the implementation of anything as huge as a major overhaul to the way health care works in this nation is by definition going to have many snags, much uncertainty and some unintended consequences. Adults know this while partisan cheap-shot artists search for problems and disagreements to exploit and turn them into…talking points.

         
      • Cluster

        August 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        …..and some unintended consequences.

        Welcome to the unintended consequences.

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 19, 2013 at 11:19 am

        I’m sure you all are aware at some bright news indicating that the ACA is beginning to work in patriotic states that WANT it to work for the benefits of it’s citizens. Republican obstructionism will cause problems in other states, and that will supply Custer and GMB with brand new talking points and the ability to point their fingers and whine “see, I told ya so”:

        http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/07/29/19754964-obamacare-works-where-state-officials-want-it-to-work?lite

        BTW, for the record, I support a single-payer system and have my own problems with the ACA, but it’s better than nothing and better than anything the republicans have put forward.

         
  8. casper

    August 18, 2013 at 9:20 am

    cluster
    August 18, 2013 at 9:06 am

    “One way possible remedy will be to stop savaging those who choose to run. Politics has become a blood sport, and that fact keeps many very highly qualified people from entering the arena.”

    That would be great if we could do it. I’ve considered running for office in the past, but I’m not ready to have my life ripped apart just so I can serve.

     
    • GMB

      August 18, 2013 at 9:29 am

      ” I’ve considered running for office in the past, but I’m not ready to have my life ripped apart just so I can serve.”

      I have heard that you do not wear matching socks. I promise that I won’t make this a campaign issue but don’t you think the voting public has a right to know?

       
      • casper

        August 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm

        “I have heard that you do not wear matching socks.”

        You caught me. I often wear two different brands of white socks.

         
  9. GMB

    August 18, 2013 at 9:27 am

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/politico-live/2013/08/mccain-us-lost-credibility-on-egypt-170724.html?hp=r1

    “The United States has “no credibility” in the Middle East due to the Obama administration’s inaction in Egypt, Sen. John McCain said Sunday.”

    No mr. mcrino, we have lost all credibility because we have allied ourselves with terrorists and those would use democratic institutions to do away with anyone else using those same democratic institutions to better their country.

    You helped this fiasco along, now please mr. mcrino lay down in the bed you made. The Egyptian
    people do not want the brotherhood so bad that they rallied behind the Army who has no intrest in democracy itself, to get rid of them.

     
    • meursault1942

      August 19, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Here’s a tough question: When did the US have credibility in the Middle East? It’s been a long time.

       
  10. cluster

    August 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

    The following is an email circulating around, and it bears repeating here:

    10) Only in America … could politicians talk about the greed of the rich
    at a $35,000.00 a plate campaign fund-raising event.

    9) Only in America … could people claim that the government still
    discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President, a
    black Attorney General and roughly 20% of the federal workforce is black
    while only 14% of the population is black. 40+% of all federal entitlements
    goes to black Americans – 3X the rate that go to whites, 5X the rate that go
    to Hispanics!

    8) Only in America … could they have had the two people most responsible
    for their tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department)
    and Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn
    out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.

    7) Only in America … can they have terrorists kill people in the name of
    Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be
    harmed by the backlash.

    6) Only in America … would they make people who want to legally become
    American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of
    thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone
    who sneaks into the country illegally just ‘magically’ become American
    citizens.

    5) Only in America … could the people who believe in balancing the budget
    and sticking by the country’s Constitution be thought of as “extremists.”

    4) Only in America … could you need to present a driver’s license to cash
    a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.

    3) Only in America … could people demand the government investigate
    whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went
    up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. oil company (Marathon
    Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

    2) Only in America … could the government collect more tax dollars from
    the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a Trillion
    dollars more than it has per year – for total spending of $7-Million PER
    MINUTE, and complain that it doesn’t have nearly enough money.

    1) Only in America … could the rich people – who pay 86% of all income
    taxes – be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay
    any income taxes at all.

     
    • GMB

      August 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      Sorry Cluster. These are all just repub talking points. They don’t amount to anything as long as Rusty gets this socialist utopia.

      Will it be a soviet style utopia or a zimbabwe style utopia?

       
  11. mitchethekid

    August 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Lets take a look at history shall we, instead of blaming the current administration for all of the woes in the middle east. When push comes to shove, in the recent past blame Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and all of the rest of the failed Neoconservatives. Who used a…well, whatever. Won’t go into GWB. Now.
    You want to blame someone for our problems there? Blame the United States 60 yrs ago. It was about oil then, it’s about oil now and was about oil for the invasion of Iraq. Until we as a technological society have a come to Jesus moment and realize that not only is the burning of fossil fuels increasing the temperatures and killing life as we know it on the planet, the demand for carbon fuel energy is the prime motivator for terrorism and strife. Until we either do the right thing, and figure out a way to get energy from water or figure out a way to suck the oil out from under the middle east with out hem knowing,we are perpetuating everything that maintains the level of hostility that exists in the world. Especially where the oil is.
    I do not believe in American exceptionalisim. Not to say that we are not subjectively exceptional, or have our boutique but we are not the only country or the only group of people that exists. All of us in the world must co-exist and until that realization is accepted, we will continue to have these sort of conflicts.
    So below is an article about the United States orchestrating a coup. After reading it, don’t focus on the current administration. Focus on the reality of the behavior of our government. Or the reality of human nature. We butchered the natives from sea to shinning sea, stole their recourse’s and built a culture and society based on a European model from the 17th century. And now we are needing the resources of another part of the planet, stealing from another culture which in the short term causes misery and death for all involved. A bomb went off in Boston. Planes flew into tall buildings. To simplify, it can be traced back to ethnic strife about the possession of a valuable commodity. The United States needs to extricate itself from this cyclonic equation. And I am just the man to do it. Me and Cluster!

    Oil nationalization and the 1953 coup
    The Shah’s portrait on the 1000 Iranian rial banknote, issued by the Bank Markazi Iran.
    Main article: 1953 Iranian coup d’état

    By the early 1950s, the political crisis brewing in Iran commanded the attention of British and American policy leaders. In 1951, Mohammad Mossadeq was appointed Prime Minister and committed to nationalizing the Iranian petroleum industry controlled by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. Under the leadership of Mossadeq’s democratically elected nationalist movement, the Iranian parliament unanimously voted to nationalize the oil industry – thus shutting out the immensely profitable Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), which was a pillar of Britain’s economy and provided it political clout in the region.
    Pahlavi with US President Truman in Washington, c. 18 November 1949

    At the start of the confrontation, American political sympathy was forthcoming from the Truman Administration. In particular, Mossadeq was buoyed by the advice and counsel he was receiving from American Ambassador in Tehran, Henry F. Grady. However, eventually American decision-makers lost their patience, and by the time a Republican Administration came to office fears that communists were poised to overthrow the government became an all consuming concern (these concerns were later dismissed as “paranoid” in retrospective commentary on the coup from US government officials). Shortly prior to the 1952 presidential election in the US, the British government invited CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. to London to propose collaboration on a secret plan to force Mosaddeq from office.[8] This would be the first of three “regime change” operations led by Allen Dulles (the other two being the successful CIA-instigated 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état and the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba).

    Under the direction of Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., a senior Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer and grandson of former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, the American CIA and British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) funded and led a covert operation to depose Mosaddegh with the help of military forces disloyal to the democratically elected government. Referred to as Operation Ajax,[9] the plot hinged on orders signed by Mohammad Reza to dismiss Mosaddeq as prime minister and replace him with General Fazlollah Zahedi – a choice agreed on by the British and Americans.

    Despite the high-level coordination and planning, the coup initially failed, causing the Shah to flee to Baghdad, and then to Rome. After a brief exile in Italy, he returned to Iran, this time through a successful second attempt at a coup. A deposed Mosaddegh was arrested and tried. The king intervened and commuted the sentence to one and a half years. Zahedi was installed to succeed Mosaddeq.[10]

    Before the first attempted coup, the American Embassy in Tehran reported that Mosaddeq’s popular support remained robust. The Prime Minister requested direct control of the army from the Majlis. Given the situation, alongside the strong personal support of Conservative leader Anthony Eden and Prime Minister Winston Churchill for covert action, the American government gave the go-ahead to a committee, attended by the Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, Kermit Roosevelt, Henderson, and Secretary of Defense Charles Erwin Wilson. Kermit Roosevelt returned to Iran on 13 July 1953, and again on 1 August 1953, in his first meeting with the king. A car picked him up at midnight and drove him to the palace. He lay down on the seat and covered himself with a blanket as guards waved his driver through the gates. The Shah got into the car and Roosevelt explained the mission. The CIA bribed him with $1 million in Iranian currency, which Roosevelt had stored in a large safe – a bulky cache, given the exchange rate at the time of 1,000 rial to 15 dollars.[11]

    The Communists staged massive demonstrations to hijack Mosaddeq’s initiatives. The United States had actively plotted against him. On 16 August 1953, the right wing of the Army attacked. Armed with an order by the Shah, it appointed General Fazlollah Zahedi as prime minister. A coalition of mobs and retired officers close to the Palace executed this coup d’état. They failed dismally and the Shah fled the country in humiliating haste. Even Ettelaat, the nation’s largest daily newspaper, and its pro-Shah publisher, Abbas Masudi, were against him.[12]

    During the following two days, the Communists turned against Mosaddeq. Opposition against him grew tremendously. They roamed Tehran, raising red flags and pulling down statues of Reza Shah. This was rejected by conservative clerics like Kashani and National Front leaders like Hossein Makki, who sided with the king. On 18 August 1953, Mosaddeq defended the government against this new attack. Tudeh partisans were clubbed and dispersed.[13]

    The Tudeh party had no choice but to accept defeat. In the meantime, according to the CIA plot, Zahedi appealed to the military, and claimed to be the legitimate prime minister and charged Mosaddegh with staging a coup by ignoring the Shah’s decree. Zahedi’s son Ardeshir acted as the contact between the CIA and his father. On 19 August 1953, pro-Shah partisans – bribed with $100,000 in CIA funds – finally appeared and marched out of south Tehran into the city center, where others joined in. Gangs with clubs, knives, and rocks controlled the streets, overturning Tudeh trucks and beating up anti-Shah activists. As Roosevelt was congratulating Zahedi in the basement of his hiding place, the new Prime Minister’s mobs burst in and carried him upstairs on their shoulders. That evening, Henderson suggested to Ardashir that Mosaddeq not be harmed. Roosevelt gave Zahedi US$900,000 left from Operation Ajax funds.[citation needed]

    U.S. actions further solidified sentiments that the West was a meddlesome influence in Iranian politics. In the year 2000, reflecting on this notion, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright stated:

    “In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran’s popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Mosaddegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran’s political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.”[14]

    Mohammad Reza Pahlavi returned to power, but never extended the elite status of the court to the technocrats and intellectuals who emerged from Iranian and Western universities. Indeed, his system irritated the new classes, for they were barred from partaking in real power.[15]

     
  12. bardolf2

    August 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    It’s Monday night on the Sunday open thread. I’m wondering about a little argument that got hammered into us for decades and now has disappeared. There used to be endless arguments about making the US independent of Middle East Oil because that’s why we needed the big military presence there.

    Well, the US is pretty much independent of Middle East Oil now and yet we still hear about Egypt and the Suez canal and having to have a huge navy to protect shipping lanes for China … What gives?

    Also, those people who kept bringing up the price of oil as proof that Obama was mismanaging the economy might be in for a big surprise if prices drop 30% like some analysts are predicting. http://www.cnbc.com/id/100902515

     
    • GMB

      August 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      There is no reason for the United States to be responsible for the protection on any other nations economic well being. Let them sacrifice the time, money, and lives of their military for their own benefit.

      The Suez Canal means very little if anything at all to the economy of the United States. It does mean a lot to european economies since quite a bit of oil and natural gas flows by that route.
      Let the europeans defend it and keep it open. The military forces of Nato countries are a joke thanks to the taxpayers of the United States. Make them spend their own damned money.

       
    • Cluster

      August 20, 2013 at 4:53 am

      That’s a good observations, but as GMB said – follow the money and you will find your answer

       
      • meursault1942

        August 20, 2013 at 9:49 am

        On theme of the corrupting influence of money–specifically oil money–I read this fascinating profile of the fabulously corrupt dictator-in-waiting of Equatorial Guinea yesterday. The guy has committed more crimes both in his homeland and in the US than anybody can count, yet he pays no price for it. It’s obvious why he doesn’t pay any price in Equatorial Guinea, but as to why he never suffers any consequences at all here in the US…well, the crucial bit of information is that Equatorial Guinea is the Kuwait of West Africa, and US companies have contracts to tap those vast reserves of oil and natural gas, so we avoid punishing the guy, lest it affect those contracts.

         
    • ricorun

      August 20, 2013 at 6:55 am

      GMB: “The Suez Canal means very little if anything at all to the economy of the United States. It does mean a lot to european economies since quite a bit of oil and natural gas flows by that route. Let the europeans defend it and keep it open. “

      It would be nice if the Europeans would step up in such a scenario, but my guess is it would be the Chinese. That brings up the question as to whether you’d be as fine with the Chinese stepping into the power vacuum created by a US pull-out?

       
      • GMB

        August 20, 2013 at 7:20 am

        The Chicoms already operate the Panama Canal. What difference does another one make. Despite all the propaganda coming out of chicommuna, their blue water navy is not up a major confrontation.

        Most of their blue water ships and crews have never seen one minute of actual combat operations. Their so called carrier force is a joke. One is barely operational and the other is very much still in pieces at various ship yards.

        The only threat that is worth the name threat is the small fleet of ssbn’s that chicommuna possess. I would want to bet much on their life expectancy in an actual war.Their value has more to with propaganda than any real worth.

        I won’t even go into any opinion about where those chicoms have the missles on those ssbn’s targeted. I can guarentee you will not like my opinion on that matter.

        If anyone is going to step up to the plate it probably be the Indian Navy. It now has three operational aircraft carriers in their fleet. Even though the total number of aircraft on those carriers barely equal the complement of a Nimitz Class ship, they can still project their power a lot further than the chicoms can.

        Let what will be, be.

        Now I’ll go back to dreaming about a couple million out of work bureaucrats.

         
      • meursault1942

        August 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm

         
      • rustybrown2012

        August 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm

        M,

        That’s why the U.S. carrier is always strutting around the locker room without a towel on!

         
    • ricorun

      August 20, 2013 at 7:04 am

      baldorf: Well, the US is pretty much independent of Middle East Oil now

      Well, yes and no. It’s true that we don’t get much oil directly from the Middle East anymore, but it’s also true that Middle East oil still significantly affects oil prices. So if those sources “dry up” prices will skyrocket.

      I’m afraid that the only way to make Middle East oil relatively irrelevant to the US (or anyone, for that matter) is to destroy the demand for oil — or at least make the demand small enough that you could drown it in a bathtub (to paraphrase Grover Norquist).

       
      • bardolf2

        August 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm

        Of course that line of argument applies to all countries involved, so the US doesn’t want the European market to collapse or vice-versa and nobody wants China’s economy to collapse etc. etc. etc.

        We can say that prices in the US for oil are not determined by regional supply and demand but by global supply and demand (duh, I know) and hence there is no reason the US taxpayers should be footing most of the bill to protect the free flow of oil which benefits non-US countries directly and the US indirectly.

        BTW destroying the demand for oil is not needed. If non Middle East supplies could be increased to meet current and near term demands in such a way that prices didn’t go up, why isn’t that good enough?

         
  13. GMB

    August 20, 2013 at 12:11 am

    “Won’t go into GWB.

    I have no idea whatever you could be talking about.

    If you really want to go back and assign blame on why the middle east and africa for that matter is such a mess maybe you should blame the colonial powers of the day.

    Instead of basing government along ethnic or tribal lines they drew arbitrary borders that had no basis other than thats where their mandate ended. Then they put into power whatever friendly oligarch they could find that would guarantee their economic dominance.

    It is all about the money folks. Nothing more, nothing less.

     
    • meursault1942

      August 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

      “Instead of basing government along ethnic or tribal lines they drew arbitrary borders that had no basis other than thats where their mandate ended. Then they put into power whatever friendly oligarch they could find that would guarantee their economic dominance.”

      Bingo. The stupidity of what they did really boggles the mind, and everybody involved has been suffering the consequences ever since.

      On a side note, APN has achieved its first 100-comment thread in no time flat! Woo-hoo! Congrats to Mitchie and Cluster–break out your alcoholic beverage of choice!

       
      • GMB

        August 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

        “break out your alcoholic beverage of choice!”

        Can I have a diet Dr. Pepper instead? I got this diabetes thing going on don’t ya see. It doesn’t mix well with alcohol.

        I want a beer darnit!!!!!!!!!!!

         
      • mitchethekid

        August 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

        I guess 100 is an event. I never knew. We still need to attract some more respondents. Maybe we could troll and offer candy.

         
  14. ricorun

    August 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

    A Republican case for climate action? Yes, it’s possible — so long, I guess, one doesn’t equate “Republican” with “conservative” and/or “libertarian” (though arguably for different reasons).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/opinion/a-republican-case-for-climate-action.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=0

    By the way, that reminded me of a question I’d like to direct at GMB (or anyone else who feels they know the libertarian mindset well enough): how do libertarians deal with transactional externalities? Those are the costs incurred by one or more persons (usually more) who did not participate in the transaction. Transactional externalities include such things as the costs incurred by homeowners surrounding a chemical company which accepted a contract which resulted in them polluting the groundwater, a new meat processing plant which produced a foul odor when they started slaughtering, um… fowl, commuters on a stretch of road that became damaged (resulting in greater wear and tear on said commuters’ vehicles) when a shipping company moved in next door, etc., etc.

     
 
%d bloggers like this: