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May 02, 2008

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Gmax

OT

RED Ken Livinstone has apparently lost his reelection bid to the Tory. This is equivalent to a real conservative winning NYC or Boston. I am sure PUK is dancing in the streets. I would say Gordie is probably polishing up the old resume right about now.

Gmax

OT

Here is a delicious report in the Independent:

In his first elections as Labour leader, Mr Brown saw his party come a humiliating third behind the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. With results in two thirds of the 159 councils in England and Wales holding elections known, Labour’s projected share of the national vote was 24 per cent – two points below its recent low in 2004 when Tony Blair was hit by a backlash over the Iraq war.

The Conservatives won an estimated 44 per cent share of the vote, allowing them to claim they were on course for a general election victory. David Cameron today hailed the results as “a big moment” and “a positive vote of confidence” in the Tories. But he warned his party against complacency.

Labour was also bracing itself for another major setback in the election for London Mayor, with sources predicting that Ken Livingstone would be defeated by his Tory opponent Boris Johnson. The result will be announced this evening.

Danube of Thought

Yeah, apparently the Tories have cleaned up nationwide and Labour is reeling.

One thing the Dems never fail to point out is that when you factor in the FICA tax, the marginal rates paid by those at the lower end of the scale are unconscionably high. This has always seemed a bit misleading to me, inasmuch as it's "for their retirement." In theory at least, it's "their" money, taken from them for their own good.

If you listen to Obama and Reich, both of them seem more than willing to alter tax policy for the sole purpose of punishing hedge fund managers. If a hundred million or so other taxpayers get harmed in the process, well, what the hell...we've gotta get those guys!

Danube of Thought

(I was typing while GMax was posting the full picture.)

Porchlight
If a hundred million or so other taxpayers get harmed in the process, well, what the hell...we've gotta get those guys!

The same is true on the "helping" (read: welfare) side of things, DoT. So what if it encourages dependence and fraud and destroys families and inner cities - we've got to make sure no one falls through the cracks!

The liberal/left view is straight out of Robin Hood - steal from the rich to feed the poor. F the middle (no matter what lip service is paid, the middle is never the true focal point - it's always the extremes they're worried about).

clarice

GMax, what fabulous news! Do you suppose it was the spandex pussycat costume that finally did in Livingstone.
Maybe Reich can move to London and run for Mayor--he's an evil, lying, little leftist himself, isn't he? Not quite as bad as red Ken but not far behind.

Cecil Turner
The marginal income tax on the highest earners was 93 percent under Dwight Eisenhower.
Lovely. Not quite "one for you, nineteen for me," but getting there. And Reich's waxing nostalgic position appears to be "Be thankful I don't take it all." Someone ought to write a song.

I also suspect tax avoidance is a major part of the disparity between marginal and effective rates, and the only ones winning that game are the tax attorneys. Remember when the complaint was that the Feds were taking all the tax base, and leaving the states with no means of squeezing? Also in the news is the rise in state use taxes for visitors (gee, I wonder what'll happen there--think they might have a slowdown in marina and airport use?).

Sue

I wonder why they never say anything about tax-free municipal bonds while discussing the rich? People like Tereza Heinz are not concerned about the income tax. Or FICA. Their income comes from tax free munis.

cathyf
If you listen to Obama and Reich, both of them seem more than willing to alter tax policy for the sole purpose of punishing hedge fund managers. If a hundred million or so other taxpayers get harmed in the process, well, what the hell...we've gotta get those guys!
I can just see the commercial now: Middle-aged plain-speaking midwestern woman says, "Well, it's one thing when the politicians spend money we can't afford trying to help people. It's quite another for Mr. Obama to spend money we can't afford to hurt people that Mr. Obama's friends don't like."
Danube of Thought

Clarice, I think the pussycat suit was George Galloway--although it's tough to keep these goofballs sorted out.

Rick Ballard

"One thing the Dems never fail to point out is that when you factor in the FICA tax, the marginal rates paid by those at the lower end of the scale are unconscionably high."

Hey, wait a second, that's the Federal Insurance Contributions Act - those are insurance premiums. That's the way the Dems under Roosevelt sold them and that's what they stay. The contributions fund (partially) a level of benefits roughly defined by the amount contributed.

Or are you saying that the Roosevelt Dems were lying SOBs who scammed the economically ignorant in the '30's in order to accrete control over those incapable or unwilling to plan for their own retirements? Hmmm.... I suppose that's a possibility. Although that would mean that the Roosevelt Dems were no better than the '60's Dems with their profligate and useless War on Poverty and no better than today's Dems with their constant mendacity concerning a very healthy economy.

Gee, that would mean that the Democrats have been winning (when they win) by lying for over 70 years.

Imagine that.

clarice

Thanks for the correction, DOT. You are correct. I bow to your superior knowledge of men in spandex costumi.
(Smooches)

Danube of Thought

Here's a discussion of a quote from FDR:

"Franklin Roosevelt made a famous remark about the Social Security payroll tax, to the effect that he designed Social Security to use a payroll tax so 'no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program.'"

Here's what his grandson had to say about it in a Boston Globe op-ed on January 31, 2005:

"FDR believed that Social Security should be simple, guaranteed, fair, earned, and available to all Americans. President Roosevelt was adamant that Social Security was an insurance program to provide basic needs in retirement."

Tax? Insurance? Both? Whatever you call it, they take your money from you whether you want them to or not.

Clarice, I keep current by modeling my own in front of the full-length mirror from time to time.

Lindak

We pay high taxes so that Congress can afford their taxpayer-funded lux lifestyles. Like Charlie Rangle and his $717/month leased Cadillac DeVille. His rationale is that his constituents expect the best. !@#$%^&*

bgates

The liberal/left view is straight out of Robin Hood - steal from the rich to feed the poor.
Robin Hood's chief enemy was the Sheriff of Nottingham, a government official who enriched himself by overcharging taxes. "The rich" in those stories weren't people who had made great discoveries or built better mousetraps, they were politically connected dynasties who thought they deserved as much as they could squeeze from everyone else. If Robin were alive today, he'd be working at Heritage or Cato.

It's bad enough nobody makes stories for conservatives anymore; don't give over old conservative stories to the left too.

Charlie (Colorado)

Or are you saying that the Roosevelt Dems were lying SOBs who scammed the economically ignorant in the '30's in order to accrete control over those incapable or unwilling to plan for their own retirements?

Yes.

Porchlight
It's bad enough nobody makes stories for conservatives anymore; don't give over old conservative stories to the left too.

You're right, bgates. I'll strike my earlier comment and just say that the left has an unhealthy obsession with both tails of the income distribution, and likes to use unrepresentative extreme examples to justify government intervention at both ends.

SteveMG

The misleading aspect of Reich's (and Hillary's too, as she repeated this line with O'Reilly) is that if we somehow raise the top rates back to 90%+ that we can then greatly reduce middle class taxes.

It's impossible to raise the $3+ trillion in revenues that Washington wants simply by having extremely high top rates on the top income earners. You need to have sufficiently high rates on the middle class in order to generate those receipts.

Anyway, a number of European countries have very high rates and yet continue to run massive deficits as well as having slow growth rates.

I want policies that make a bigger pie. Apprently Reich just wants more of the pie.

clarice

Heh,DOT..As for O'Reilly and Big Oil gouging "the folks", you are right on. And whenever smarter people try to explain to him why he's wrong, he ignores them utterly.
Someone noted the strange statement he made about the DC Madam, the other night. That was also weird.
I think it fair to say he is weird. Rich and popular, to be sure, but weird.
Well, he's largely a populist and I never trsut them .

Danube of Thought

I feel the same about him. He does not deal in anything other than soundbites, and won't permit a guest to do so either. Actually devoting himself to learning a subject such as oil pricing is out of the question--it wouldn't fit his show's format anyway.

Meantime, McCain now leads Obama by six in both Rasmussen and Gallup. I am a principal trumpeter of the idea that pre-Labor Day polls mean nothing, but I can't keep from being comforted. I'm hoping that once people have seen through Obama there's no un-ringing that bell.

Jane

Jim Pinkerton just said on Fox that the democrats are resigned to lose the election rather than fracture the party by displacing Obama.

My how times change.

clarice

DOT, you are usually so pessimistic or should I say prudent?Your optimism brings me cheer.

boris

Oh yeah? Wait til McCain chooses Hillary as VP.

Danube of Thought

Good to see that Pinkerton has awakened to what many others have been saying for over a month now.

Clarice, I know I am generally a pessimist but I've been optimistic on this presidential race for quite some time now. I declared McCain with 300+ EV's on March 19, and I haven't wavered. That's when I concluded that Obama had to be the nominee, and that he and his wife simply weren't electable--and yes, his wife, like every presidential candidate's spouse, is a "candidate" too.

I know it's going to be ugly as hell, MoveOn and Soros and the rest, and all the Dem money, and the Republican brand in high disrepute--but I still think Obama just plain doesn't have a chance.

clarice

From your mouth to God's ears, DOT.

MikeS

Liberals believe that all money and property rightfully belongs to the government.
So, they try to use the tax code to 'get back' as much of the government's money as they possibly can from bitter wastrel citizens who otherwise would likely squander it on guns, bibles, and NASCAR tickets.

cathyf
Jim Pinkerton just said on Fox that the democrats are resigned to lose the election rather than fracture the party by displacing Obama.
It runs both ways... If, somehow, the superdelegates give it to Clinton, then Obama wants McCain to win. If Clinton wins, then he has to wait until 2016 to run again. If Clinton wins a second term, then by 2016 the electorate will have Dem fatigue and Obama's chances will be hurt by that. If Clinton wins in '08 and a republican wins in '12, then Obama will be facing an incumbent in '16.

So, for Obama (and the same calculus goes for Clinton, if Obama is the nominee), the best strategy is the same: "If I'm not the nominee, then I want McCain to win."

PeterUK

"Maybe Reich can move to London and run for Mayor--he's an evil, lying, little leftist himself, isn't he? Not quite as bad as red Ken but not far behind."

Is he a terrorist lover,will he hug a jihadie or a Provo?

Yes we have been having a wonderful time jeering at weeping BBC staff,their bottles of champagne unopened,they are even too shell shocked to snort anything.

At last socialism is on the run,all it needs is for you to do in the Red Witch and the Lounge Lizard.

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning"

Jane

Congrats Puk!

sbw

Not even the end of the beginning.

I'm listening to a CD course that's discussing the French philosophs and salons of the 18th century. Too often a populist uproar created by faulty rhetoric. That was centuries ago. Today's populist fads are no less thin.

troy mcclure

So the stupid time serving powerbrokers in the Democratic party (superdelegates) want
more of the Wright/Rezko/Ayers/Al Sammarai
/Auchi sideshow; as they seem to be leaning
toward the 'Sumatran candidate' himself. You
know Donald Segretti wishes he had it so easy in '71-72, when he dismantled the Humphrey/Muskie campaign to make way for McGovern. Rush is doing the reverse, supporting Humphrey and and they're still rushing toward Barry. lemmings have a better sense of perspective.

Rick Ballard

Peter,

I hope Berlusconi sends Boris a nice long congratulatory message. I just read that the Commies are finally all the way out of the Italian legislature (if true, that's a first since the end of WWII).

Then I found this on Fox:

It was Labour’s worst election night for 40 years, its councilors left almost defenseless in the face of a tax battle and economic worries. Labour finished in third place overall, with just 24 percent of the vote. The Conservatives secured 44 percent, and the Liberal Democrats 25 percent.

Let's hope that November brings such news here.

Danube of Thought

Well, RickB, have you seen the Rasmussen numbers on party ID (I have not)? I'm told the Dems lead by a mere 2%, which I find very difficult to credit.

I'm also curious about his "tracking" polls. I assumed when I first heard the term that it meant that the same people were being polled repeatedly, then quickly learned that that's not the case. However, I have read within the past 48 hours of someone's tracking poll (forget whose) that does just that. Do you know his methodology in this regard?

Danube of Thought

By the way, I believe it is true that there have been seven recessions in the past fifty years, and that, although they have occurred under presidents of both parties, six of the seven have occurred when the Democrats controlled the Congress. Is this true? I so, anyone think anything can be made of this gem?

PeterUK

Rick,

"The 24 per cent share of the electorate recorded by Labour is the lowest since the party emerged on the national scene at the start of the 20th century."

That is a sea change on British politics.Let us hope it translates into a general election victory.There are a couple of bye elections coming up, one the former seat of a long time Labour MP who died recently.Labour goes down on that and they are finished.
Let us hope the process has begun in America.

Porchlight

Congratulations PeterUK! Tremendous newes. Here's to your victory and I'll have an extra mint julep tomorrow (Kentucky Derby Day) in Boris' honor as well.

Porchlight

**news**

PeterUK

Thanks all,I'm of to bed,need a clear head for tomorrows gloating and to make sure they keep going down.What we need is such a cockup that a vote of no confidence can be made.Even Brown mentioning the mother ship of calling his voices to advise him will do.

SPQR

Robert Reich is to economics, what George Patton was to diplomacy.

clarice

Nite, PUK. At the moment we are celebrating (on your dime) EU week in beautiful Washington, D.C. The EU is sponsoring programs on public raedio tours of Embassies and gosh knows whatever way to spend your money on this silliness! Sleep tight.

boris

Go Boris!

windansea

speaking of taxes

Obama Backed Tempory Suspension of Gas Tax in Ill. Senate

During one debate, he joked that he wanted signs on gas pumps in his district to say, “Senator Obama reduced your gasoline prices.”

Danube of Thought

PUK--hope you get this first thing in the a.m. Please do some gloating for me--oh, would I strut about in those softheaded saps' faces. How I'd love to hold forth in a pub or two, while of course secretly packing major heat in case some leftist sod wanted to crack wise.

Go for it!

JM Hanes

I'm sure PUK must be sleeping well tonight! If anyone else has time for a spot of remedial instruction, I'm afraid I really don't know precisely where the Liberal Democrats fit in the Brit political spectrum and a quick pointer or two would save me another tedious session with Google. Am I the only one who feels like you have to use longer and longer search strings to get relevant results upfront? One word searches usually aren't too bad, but for anything else it seems like you have to go seriously Boolean in order to eliminate the chaff.

Rick Ballard

DoT,

The Ras Congressional Generic is at a 3% spread but that's really no big deal. The Ras Party Affiliation spread is getting worse - not closing.

The new Pew Study confirms the fact that the McCain candidacy isn't doing the Republican Party any good at all at the moment:

About equal numbers of Democratic and Republican voters say they have given a lot of thought to the election. But the poll also finds evidence of a partisan enthusiasm gap. Fully 87% of Democratic voters say they are looking forward to the fall election compared with just 54% of Republican voters. In December, before the start of the primaries, 68% of Republicans said they were looking forward to the general election.

That doesn't mean that he won't beat BHO like a rented mule, it just means that you and I are far from being alone in our feelings concerning the quality of the candidate on offer. Fortunately, general distaste for the Dem lack of anything resembling leadership in the Congress may be significantly stronger than the Republican distaste for McCain.

As people become more familiar with the BHO/MO Show I believe that regard for McCain may increase. Unless he comes up with more stupendously stupid ideas, of course. Maybe someone could lock him in a Senate cloak room for a month or so? It sure couldn't hurt.

Elliott

Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job.

PeterUK

I love the sound of gloating in the morning.
The squirming is delicious,I wish I could bag it and send you some DoT.
Of course the Labour ministers are blaming the debacle of the 10p tax rate,but in fact it is a cavalcade of incompetence and corruption stretching back over eleven years,but the main problems are socialists cannot create their high welfare,equal societies without high taxation and compulsion.
Obama is the equivalent of Tony Bliar,keep the electorate hypnotised with smoke and mirrors whilst the Marxists steal your country.Hillary would be quite at home in the old unreconstructed Labour party,an class warrior from way back.
The damage these people can do if they get the reins of power is horrendous.First the gloatathon,then the clean up

PeterUK

JM Hanes,
The Liberal Democrats,a strange creature,the progeny of the Labour Party and the old Liberal Party,conceived during the Lib-Lab pact.Lesssocialist members of the Labout Party joined with the less liberal members of the Liberal Party,in this case totally dissimilar to classical liberals.Lib=Dems tend to the flopsy bumnny,sandal wearing, greenoid,"love to teach the world to sing sector of humanity".It is far too cold for them here,they should rightly live in California.
LibDemdom is also a safe haven for all those can no longer vote Labour but could never bring them selves to vote Conservative.
This is what pushed Labour into third place,it could seep back at a General Election.
In the long run,none of this matters,we are just shunting round junior management to see who goes to Brussels for instructions.

pagar

RAS Party Affiliation

"May 1, 2008
Republican Democrat Other
2008
Apr 31.4% 41.4% 27.2% ""'''''''''''''

IMO, there is no meaningful Other. I think people are saying they consider themselves Independents and yet ninety some percent are going to vote for one of the two major parties. Hard to see how they are other.

Danube of Thought

Thanks, RickB and Pagar. I did notice this morning that Ras has a ten-point spread in party ID, which is in line with everything else I've seen.

Porchlight
I think people are saying they consider themselves Independents and yet ninety some percent are going to vote for one of the two major parties.

Which bodes well for McCain despite the sag in Rep party ID. If these are the ID numbers Rasmussen is using to weight his polls, and he has McCain leading Obama 48-43 and trailing Hillary 45-44, then McCain must already be carrying the lion's share of the "other" or independents. Small wonder he is courting them.

Re: the enthusiasm gap, I think part of that is that Dems probably think they have November in the bag. Just like they did in 2004.

Okay that is my optimistic take this morning.

hoodude

PUK's 6:50 response to the question about the libdems reminds me of MaxMcManics character on GetFuzzy. He's sorta hard to understand but clearly makes ahelluva lotta sense.Thanks PUK,cor innit gon all chinnies?

Mactavish

If Robert Reich looks at how the tax burden is actually distributed he will discover a paradox. Over the past quarter century the income tax has become more progressive even accounting for the greater income growth at the top end of the income scale. Many low income Americans don't even pay income taxes any more. However, this increased progressivity has been offset in large part by the growth in the regressive payroll tax which hits middle class Americans harder. Indeed, for at least half of all American taxpayers the payroll tax is now the largest tax paid. I mention this only because when Social Security was an issue back in the 1980s liberals overwhelmingly pushed for higher taxes as the way to "solve" Social Security's financial problems, and I don't recall Robert Reich protesting this because of its distributional effects!

To the extent that middle class Americans now bear a higher share of the tax burden than in the past reflects not tax favoritism for the "rich" as Reich and others would have you believe, but the indirect consequence of the inexorable growth of entitlement spending which now absorbs more than half the federal government's budget. (Half a century ago it was barely a quarter). If Reich and other liberals are really concerned about the tax burden facing the middle class they should press for reform of major entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Otherwise, almost all Americans will be facing higher taxes in the future.

But I wouldn't count on this. More than likely we'll see higher taxes on upper income Americans followed by "contributions" from the middle class if Reich and other liberals get their way. "Fairness" to most liberals only means that the rich pay more than others, not that others necessarily pay less given their desire for more government spending--their natural preference--over actual restraint.

JM Hanes

PUK:

"LibDemdom is also a safe haven for all those can no longer vote Labour but could never bring them selves to vote Conservative."

Thanks! The various post-election statements from Labour were pretty entertaining: "OK, we get it. We'll stop ignoring you." It's going to be pandermonium from now till the generals, isn't it?

pagar:

My rule of thumb has always been 30/30/30. That assumption has been pretty consistently reinforced by opinion polls on all sorts of controversial issues, not just elections, over the life of this adminstration, which is when I really started watching them. Even on Bush's best days, for example, wiith the brief exception of 9/11, you could count on 29% to disapprove of virtually anything he did, and conversely you could count on 29% to supprt him. Those are the Democrats who will never, ever, vote Republican and vice versa.

I'd characterize the "independent" 30% in between as less doctrinaire in their politics, more pragmatic than pro-active, and ultimately, perhaps more stable, not less stable as such oft used labels like "swing voter" suggest. While activists on either side pull left or right, or left and right, the center pretty much stays where it is, shifting party identification on the fly. You'll hear them called the mushy middle (RINO's anyone?), when they may actually function more like a fulcrum, sometimes deliberately so. This is where you'll find a lot of the folks who think that having a President from one party and a Congress from the other, or a similar split in Congress, is not necessarily a bad thing.

I oversimplify, of course, but that's really the name of game here. In any case, I've never thought that party identification numbers are really all that useful in prognostication. Like polls generally, they can give us an oversimple snapshot of where we are are in the continuum or, as with recent exit polling, where we were -- till folks actually vote when, often as not, a different, frequently unexpected, picture emerges. That's the basic problem with both poll driven policy and poll driven commentary, although it doesn't seem to affect the popularity of either pastime. Talk about faith based poliitcs! Rather than changing their approach to prognostication, both pols and pundits apparently remain convinced that finding the statistical Holy Grail is just a matter of recalibration. On a more mundane level, of course, the media also like polls because they're cheap "news," a fact that has not gone unnoticed by partisan pollsters.

In the final analysis, we're dealing with a chicken and egg proposition. The better the questions, the more reliable the results, but where do better questions come from?

PeterUK

"pandermonium" I love it - stolen.

clarice

It is great..Let's make it available to the masses--PANDERMONIUM..

JM Hanes

PUK:

I'm sure the thief I must have stolen it from won't mind!

JM Hanes

Clarice: ROTFLMAO!

dick

What I found interesting was an article I read where the guy who is suing to force the UK government to hold a referendum on signing on to the EU constitution won a court case that looks like they may be forced to hold that referendum after all. I hope he does win as I don't think the British really want to join a group that tells them what to do.

Another story was about how the EU wants to have their offices declared embassies. That would make the EU a country more than a federation of countries. Not good IMNSHO.

M. Simon

It is a disease:

PANDERMONIA.

M. Simon

Robin Hood's chief enemy was the Sheriff of Nottingham, a government official who enriched himself by overcharging taxes. "The rich" in those stories weren't people who had made great discoveries or built better mousetraps, they were politically connected dynasties who thought they deserved as much as they could squeeze from everyone else. If Robin were alive today, he'd be working at Heritage or Cato.

Historically class warfare has been the rich against the poor.

Our current drug laws are a prime example. The kickers and the shakers against the kicked and the shaked.

Charles Whitebread explains in in his speech on Drug War History.

M. Simon

Jim Pinkerton just said on Fox that the democrats are resigned to lose the election rather than fracture the party by displacing Obama.

I have been saying that for two months.

They have a choice in Denver between a small riot and a full scale conflagration.

BTW Recreate '68 is heavily seeded with Obamatons.

M. Simon

Rick Ballard,

Ever since I became a Republican (9/11) I have enthusiastically supported a Republican Commander in Chief.

It is kind of strange being a RINO and strongly supporting what ever candidate put up vs Real Republicans™ whose support is fading to non-existent.

Who needs sunshine patriots when you have sunshine Republicans and Communist Democrats?

My hope is that McCain wins without Real Republicans™ and that they have to lick his nether orifice after he takes a dump on them. ewwwwwwwwwww.

Some Republicans need to figure out that a Party is a coalition. That a coalition has to prioritize. That no one owns a coalition. If winning the long war is not the most important thing on the table there is always the Libertarians or the Constitution Party. Or staying home.

There are always people willing to open the gates of a city out of a sense of pique. Nice to see so many in the R Party.

bgates

Some Republicans need to figure out that a Party is a coalition.
The ones you are inviting into the coalition are the ones you want to lick someone's anus, is that correct?

M. Simon

bgates,

No. I think that is what they would be required to do to get anything they wanted.

Remember the #1 maxim of winning politicians:

Fuck 'em, they didn't vote for us

bgates

That's a fine maxim for a winning politician. Have you won something?

Rick Ballard

Simon,

One toke over the line today? Or is it just the release of a cumulative buildup of THC?

M. Simon

He it was a line supposedly said by Jim Baker to Nixon about the Jews.

Baker, Nixon, and the Jews

"Fuck 'em," Bush Secretary of State Jim Baker allegedly said about American Jews in March 1992. After all, Baker accurately -- if irrelevantly -- assessed, "They didn't vote for us."

Baker denied making the comment...

Althouse Makes a similar point about the Clintons

BTW I only smoke tobacco these days.

Fortunately I'm not like that Kerry Mullis guy or I might have a Nobel prize.

Too bad some dumb fucks don't know anything about history, politics, or drugs. eh? Did I insult some one? My abject apologies.

Some one care to lay out the purpose of the drug war and then actual results? Stupidity is doing more of the same in the hopes of getting different results.

Let us start with one point. The purpose of the drug war is to keep drugs away from children. How is that working? Illegal drugs are easier for children to get than beer.

So how stupid do you have to be that produces results that are the exact opposite of those intended? Judging by the comments here: average stupidity works nicely.

Or maybe the folks commenting are just too smart by half. i.e. the Obama demographic.

Enjoy.

BTW the drug war was instituted as a measure of covert racism. Don't go after Mexicans. Just go after pot smokers. Since they were mostly Mexicans at the timer pot was initially outlawed by some states. Perfect.

So that would make you lot a bunch of covert racists.

Drug War History

And since you like the idea of price supports for criminals and terrorists that would make you socialists according to Milton Friedman.

The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise by Milton Friedman.

Happy now my racist socialist friends?

clarice

Why should we do better at drug policy than we do about anything else--say, energy policy.

The best way for a problem to be resolved is for it never to be in the spotlight where pols think they have to do something to "fix" it.
The "tragedy of psoriasis" for example will be solved first because no one's pinning psoriasis ribbons to their labels and testifying before committees headed by geniuses like Biden and Dodd about it.

M. Simon

Real class warfare has always been the upper classes against the masses. Charles Whitebread, Professor of Law, USC Law School in a speech to the California Judges Association 1995 annual conference lays it out:

And so, yeah, we will continue the War on Drugs for a while until everybody sees its patent bankruptcy. But, let me say that I am not confident that good sense will prevail. Why? Because we love this idea of prohibition. We really do. We love it in this country. And so I will tell you what I predict. You will always know which ones are going out and which ones are coming in. And, can't you see the one coming right over the hill? Well, folks, we are going to have a new prohibition because we love this idea that we can solve difficult medical, economic, and social problems by the simple enactment of a criminal law. We adore this, and of course, you judges work it out, we have solved our problem. Do you have it? Our problem is over with the enactment of the law. You and the cops work it out, but we have solved our problem.

Here comes the new one? What's it going to be? No, it won't be guns, this one starts easy. This one is the Surgeon General has what? --Determined -- not "we want a little more checking it out", not "we need a few more studies", not "reasonable people disagree" -- "The Surgeon General has determined that the smoking of cigarettes will kill you."

Now, all you need, and here is my formula, for a new prohibition every time is what? We need an intractable, difficult, social, economic, or medical problem. But that is not enough. There has to be another thing. It has to divide by class --- by social or economic class, between US and THEM.

And so, here it comes. '

You know the Federal Government has been spending a lot of money since 1968 trying to persuade us not to smoke. And, indeed, the absolute numbers on smoking have declined very little. But, you know who has quit smoking, don't you? In gigantic numbers? The college-educated, that's who. The college-educated, that's who doesn't smoke. Who are they? Tomorrow's what? Movers and kickers, that's who. Tomorrow's movers and kickers don't smoke. Who does smoke? Oh, you know who smokes out of all proportion to their numbers in the society -- it is the people standing in your criminal courtrooms, that's who. Who are they? Tomorrow's moved and kicked, that's who.

And, there it is friends, once it divides between the movers and kickers and the moved and kicked it is all over and it will be all over very shortly.

It doesn't get much more classy than that.

M. Simon

Clarice,

At this point I do believe it will take another 40 years - until the people who have all these emotional responses to addiction (so well evidenced above) die off and only those with scientific understanding remain.

This page has some links to the latest NIDA work on the subject:

Addiction Is A Genetic Disease.

==

So let me see if I can encapsulate what we know from history, economics, and science:

The Drug War is a socialist enterprise, founded on covert racism, that punishes a genetic minority and those who serve them.

How many proud supporters do we have here? Raise you hands.

M. Simon

From the Whitebread link above:

The first group of states to have marijuana laws in that part of the century were Rocky Mountain and southwestern states. By that, I mean Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana. You didn't have to go anywhere but to the legislative records to find out what had motivated those marijuana laws. The only thing you need to know to understand the early marijuana laws in the southwest and Rocky Mountain areas of this country is to know, that in the period just after 1914, into all of those areas was a substantial migration of Mexicans. They had come across the border in search of better economic conditions, they worked heavily as rural laborers, beet field workers, cotton pickers, things of that sort. And with them, they had brought marijuana.

Basically, none of the white people in these states knew anything about marijuana, and I make a distinction between white people and Mexicans to reflect a distinction that any legislator in one of these states at the time would have made. And all you had to do to find out what motivated the marijuana laws in the Rocky mountain and southwestern states was to go to the legislative records themselves. Probably the best single statement was the statement of a proponent of Texas first marijuana law. He said on the floor of the Texas Senate, and I quote, "All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff (referring to marijuana) is what makes them crazy." Or, as the proponent of Montana's first marijuana law said, (and imagine this on the floor of the state legislature) and I quote, "Give one of these Mexican beet field workers a couple of puffs on a marijuana cigarette and he thinks he is in the bullring at Barcelona."

Well, there it was, you didn't have to look another foot as you went from state to state right on the floor of the state legislature. And so what was the genesis for the early state marijuana laws in the Rocky Mountain and southwestern areas of this country? It wasn't hostility to the drug, it was hostility to the newly arrived Mexican community that used it.

richard

I read all these "facts" that are written here about leftist and socialist and democrats, and I wonder where you get them from. I am liberal myself, and so are a lot of the people I know, including most of my family, and we don't believe anything near some of the whacked out ideas you have.

You must be talking about the radical few. And very few at that.

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