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August 23, 2009



No good will come out of this bad idea being used on our schoolchildren and military.

Too many people in positions of power these days are there to implement these bad ideas.


Parking Lot


((Too many people in positions of power these days are there to implement these bad ideas.))


Speaking of God's people being in service, I am not in service today mainly because my church has been on a long slow slide into liberalism, and it now is completely overtaken, promoting every Democratic Party talking point in the book as 'spirituality'. Consumerism is a terrible no no, carbon tax a very great good, etc. etc. etc. It is a profound sorrow to me, far more than I express, that my church is reduced to being nothing more than a pulpit for Democratic talking points.

I think it is dangerous mind control over the sheeple of the congregation who are mistaking misguided political pap for true religion. Imagine a congregation full of sheep and a preacher who is a wolf.

Melinda Romanoff


Much the same here, I have loong taken refuge to the "Temple On The Concrete" as opposed to listening to a sermon on my mistaken thoughts on individual choice.

The "Temple" can be found at most American domiciles, comes with clickers and is usually featured in real estate lingo as that of the "two car" variety.


Parking Lot - I was raised in a Lutheran church but now attend a non-denominational Bible church. In the WaPo yesterday was an article about how the ELCA voted to allow "monogamous" gays to serve as clergy.

a quote from the article - "We live today with an understanding of homosexuality that did not exist in Jesus' time and culture," Tim Mumm, a lay delegate from Wisconsin and supporter of Lutherans Concerned, an gay-rights organization, said during the debate. "We are responding to something that the writers of Scripture could not have understood."

So, Jesus, God in human flesh, just did not understand human nature. We will set Him straight! Many (but not all) of the mainline Protestant congregations have become social service clubs...they are not Lutherans,Methodists,Presbyterians,...they are the United Way.

In the congregation I grew up in, the members actively pray for the salvation of their minister!...and invite her (almost always a her nowadays)to their Bible study!


Many have wondered and questioned why after 9 months in DC, President Obama still hasn't found a church.

These people must understand, it does not matter where Obama resides, God can pray to Obama, wherever Obama happens to be, and Obama will here his prayers.

Captain Hate

Chris Wallace of FNS is being refreshingly aggressive in his questioning of a VA representative regarding end of life counseling in an interview separate (at the VA person's insistence) from Jim Touhey (sp?) about a checklist in existence that gives leading questions regarding situations that could be dealt with treatment for depression. I've done IT work for implementing military retiree disability payments and feel that the VA should be exhibit A in any discussion of the public option. The VA insists on being the ultimate authority but the data they provide, in addition to rarely adhering to promised time frames, regularly contains duplicate records (with conflicting data for the same individuals) that require preprocessing to remove obvious errors that could be eliminated by basic data validation at the VA's end.

Parking Lot

Melinda, what do you do out there?

Parking Lot


((quote from the article - "We live today with an understanding of homosexuality that did not exist in Jesus' time and culture," Tim Mumm, a lay delegate from Wisconsin and supporter of Lutherans Concerned, an gay-rights organization, said during the debate. "We are responding to something that the writers of Scripture could not have understood."))

Did you ever hear anything as ludicrous as the above? I suppose we should be grateful it is better than the 'Jesus and the disciples where gay' shite though.

Captain Hate

Did you ever hear anything as ludicrous as the above?

Yes, the Episcopal church has worshipped the golden calf of homosexuality and other lib fetishes for years and effectively driven me away. Too bad because the liturgy is beautiful and a useful means of providing a path to lead a good life.


Yeah, I can understand those that don't believe in God, or the Bible. What I don't understand is those that join, and become leaders in a faith that they do not believe.

If you do not believe parts of the Bible, why believe ANY of it?...they're just making it up as they go along.

The Republicans could learn a thing or two about watering down their core beliefs to appeal to "everyone" and in the process appealing to no one. Just look at the declining membership in so many "watered down" congregations.

the bishop

What's that line by Chesterton 'when people
believe in nothing' they'll believe in anything' when I heard of it, my late grandfather never informed me, who the source was. Isn't this a perfect illustration of how the Obama campaign worked, and conversely who is immune to their entreaties.


Too bad because the liturgy is beautiful and a useful means of providing a path to lead a good life.

Cap'n, I attend an Episcopal church that is no longer part of the ECUSA and instead is a parish of the Episcopal Missionary Church. We use the 1928 BCP and it is a beautiful, entirely traditional service. It is quite refreshing esp. in such a blue town - I had pretty much given up going to church until I found it. If you are interested, you might see if there are any "splinter" Episcopal churches in your area.


Just look at the declining membership in so many "watered down" congregations.

And the membership in the more conservative congregations is surging. I like your analogy to Republicans, Janet.

Captain Hate

Thanks Porch; during Cahresl Jhosnno's brief window of sanity, the LGF poster Goddessoftheclassroom told me of a similar situation in the Pittsburgh area.

Glad to see that I'm not the only person who feels that way. I've never been as embarrassed by the church as when the US and UK idiots pretty much called the African and Asian representatives (the only part of the geography where the church is growing as it goes toe-to-toe with Islam) ignorant savages for not being as "enlightened" as they are on homosexuality.


Wow, Ras is at -14. The previous low was -12, post-Gates. Only 27% strongly approve - a new low. He is taking a hit from the left this time.

48-51 overall.


Cap'n, agreed. Lambeth was a disaster. I'm heartened by the growth of the church in Africa and Asia - you'd think the powers that be would take a page out of their book, but no, can't have that.

Pugnacious Pollyanna

The Dems have a major precedent in Reagan's
1981 budget Reconciliation. I come, not to praise Reagan, but to bury him.

Should Reconciliation be used to pass Healthcare Reform?

"When the Budget Act was enacted in 1974, reconciliation was envisioned as the final accounting at the end of the fiscal year containing spending cuts and tax increases to bring the budget deficit back to the level approved in the original budget resolution. The idea was to circumvent the normal impediments, like the Senate’s filibusters and never ending amendments, to achieve deficit reduction. The first reconciliation bill at the end of 1980 fit that conception, as tiny as it was, but the next reconciliation bill, President Reagan’s 1981 tax cut used reconciliation to enact the largest tax cut in U.S. history. Former GOP Congressman and OMB Director David Stockman’s brain child, using reconciliation to expand the deficit with massive tax cuts to take away the federal government’s credit card, worked like a charm legislatively, but spending took off anyway, particularly for defense, leaving record high peacetime deficits that persisted until 1997."



More on Ras: 41% strongly disapprove overall; this matches the all-time high

49% of independents *strongly* disapprove - that is quite amazing.

hit and run

More Ras: "Just 49% of Democrats offer such a positive assessment of the President at this time."

hit and run

("such a positive assessment" = "strongly approve", i clipped too much)


It looks like the Jurnolisters are getting nervous too. From Time of all places:

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1918051,00.html>Key Dems' Ethical Clouds Could Haunt Pelosi

"The Democrats in the House have a substantial majority, but it would be dangerous to take that for granted going into the 2010 midterms elections. President Obama's sagging poll numbers and the problems with health reform already show their vulnerability. They wouldn't want to hand the Republicans a gift."

Sounds like a warning to Pelosi that they can not protect her if she does not protect herself.


BTW the Ras teaser doesn't mention it but if anyone has access to the full poll (premium membership) or knows a blogger who does, I would love to see the overall approval numbers for independents. If the stronly disapprove # is 49% then the overall disapprove has to be well over 60, maybe over 70.

the bishop

Apples and oranges, that was used to build up our military, and reinvigorate the economy, one could return the wealth to it's rightful owners, The American People, this will do the exact opposite. An interesting column on Alinsky, in the Times, inadvertently illustrates the dilemma
some have with the only Alinsky fighter on our side:

Pugnacious Pollyanna

John Holbo VS Megan McArdle on R&D and healthcare reform. Guess who wins?

" Pardon me, but it’s actually important to distinguish between opposition to health care reform on the grounds that it won’t work, and opposition on the grounds that it would be in principle wrong even if it worked.

McArdle’s own case is a nice illustration. As she herself admits: “My libertarianism is somewhere between 80-90% what Holbo calls practical objections. I think government programs, and regulations, usually cause more harm than good, and always have costs to liberty and “practical” considerations like national wealth.” That is, it’s the slippery slope and unintended consequences and power-grabbing bureaucrat arguments. But: “In principle, if it did everything the creators promise, would I support universal health care and generous national pensions? No. But that’s because I don’t think they add a lot of value.” This is a bit unclear, because there are certainly still practical objections bleeding in. (See below.) But I still think it’s important to clarify that 80-90% of McArdle’s own arguments, by her own lights, aren’t really the basis for her own beliefs about the things her argument is about. This doesn’t mean they are bad arguments, because she may take herself to be addressing people for whom these arguments should be decisive. A Kantian can offer utilitarian arguments to a utilitarian (although Kant might have disapproved of that practice. Stickler that he was.) Not that McArdle is a Kantian. Nevertheless, the fact that her own practical arguments aren’t decisive, for her, is causing her to be a bit neglectful of their features. How decisive should they be for others, unlike McArdle herself, who takes the practical question ‘will it work?’ as the crux of the issue? They aren’t bad arguments, but they just aren’t that strong. ‘Things might go wrong’ is certainly true, but so is ‘things might go right’. ‘We might be on a slippery slope’ is true, but so is ‘we might be on a tolerably sticky slope’. If you are weighing the pros and cons, you can’t just weigh the cons. You also have to weigh the pros. She says she has already counted that in. “I would probably need a better than 50% chance that I’m wrong. And I sort of definitionally don’t think it’s that high.” But the fact that she thinks she can’t be wrong, by definition, just shows that she is approaching the question at the wrong level of elevation. As I said in the post, she’s off in some Platonic Heaven of Public Choice Theory, where policies have an ideal tendency to go wrong. That is, they are modeled as tending to go wrong. Suppose I have a proposed public policy change. Call it X. In the abstract, treating it as a black box, it is fair to say that ‘it might work, it might not’. In the abstract, knowing nothing more about it, we can hardly convict the person who says ‘it might be wrong’ of being wrong – or of having a more than 50% chance of being wrong. It’s not an a priori truth that mostly people who say things might go wrong are mostly wrong."



In the congregation I grew up in, the members actively pray for the salvation of their minister!

Now that is sad.

Pugnacious Pollyanna

We're going to have to resort to trickery to pass this shitbag of a reform bill, because the American people are starting to wise up.


Key Dems' Ethical Clouds Could Haunt Pelosi

Why, does she care about ethics?

Pugnacious Pollyanna

"Apples and oranges"

Close enough in a game of horseshoes.

A precedent, nevertheless. Thank you David Stockman, twice!

Pugnacious Pollyanna

Here's one reason we'll never get this trillion dollar healthcare boondoggle passed with a real vote,,,

10-year budget deficit grows by $2 trillion
By Sam Youngman
Posted: 08/21/09 05:25 PM [ET]

The White House next week will revise the 10-year budget deficit from $7.1 trillion to $9 trillion.

Officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) confirmed the enormous debt revision late Friday afternoon, hours after President Obama left for a 10-day vacation.



With all the talk of God and Obama and
"President Obama extends his best wishes to Muslims around the world during Ramadan."

I wouldn't be all surprised if Obama doesn't cut short his vacation to deal with this national crisis. A Florida court (at least for now) has sided with a Christian.

Liveblogging Rifqa Bary Hearing: "I've been a Christian for 4 years of my life. I love my parents but I am in fear of my life because of the past abuse. I assure your honor, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior"

Atlas Shrugs has a lot of stories on this one. The simple fact is that no one in America should have to live in fear that this nation will not protect them from a religion that promotes honor killings.

Pugnacious Pollyanna

Looks like that Cash for Clunkers is turning into a big clunker itself

The U.S. Transportation Department, billions of dollars behind in paying "cash-for-clunkers" rebates, has hired private contractors and solicited volunteers from the Federal Aviation Administration and its own executive ranks to work overtime to clear the backlog.

Employees of the FAA's air-traffic-control unit were asked to help, but the Transportation Department stressed Friday that essential safety personnel were not diverted from their duties.

Planners who expected to sell 250,000 cars in three months are now deluged with nearly twice that many applications seeking more than $2 billion in rebates after less than one month. Only 7 percent of the rebates have been paid, leaving many auto dealers out millions of dollars. Dealers were supposed to be repaid within 10 days.



hours after President Obama left for a 10-day vacation.

The Hill gets in a jab...

Pugnacious Pollyanna

More White House cronyism with another tax cheat

Daschle Has Ear of White House and Industry
Published: August 22, 2009

WASHINGTON — Six months have passed since the morning when Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, under fire for not paying certain taxes, called President Obama in his study off the Oval Office to withdraw his nomination as health secretary and reform czar.

But these days it often seems as if Mr. Daschle never left the picture. With unrivaled ties on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, he talks constantly with top White House advisers, many of whom previously worked for him.

He still speaks frequently to the president, who met with him as recently as Friday morning in the Oval Office. And he remains a highly paid policy adviser to hospital, drug, pharmaceutical and other health care industry clients of Alston & Bird, the law and lobbying firm.


the bishop

Ah it's Septic, with a dose of extra schizophrenia. Now let's see you have higher government expenses with practically no aggregate consumer demand, that's always going to work out fine. Now my only fault with McArdle is that she did not follow her
own philosophy to it's logical conclusion, and at least raise a caveat if not vote for
the other slate

Pugnacious Pollyanna


Could Afghanistan Become Obama’s Vietnam?
Published: August 22, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama had not even taken office before supporters were etching his likeness onto Mount Rushmore as another Abraham Lincoln or the second coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Yet what if they got the wrong predecessor? What if Mr. Obama is fated to be another Lyndon B. Johnson instead?


too bad we liberals were just shitting you guys when we said we were only against the Iraq war because it diverted resources from the "good war" in Afghanistan.

(I'm so glad my imaginary son is in Iraq instead.)


"hours after President Obama left for a 10-day vacation.

The Hill gets in a jab..."

Marcy Wheeler joins in...

"In 2001, terrorists capitalized on George Bush's inattention and extended vacation to strike at America. Now, Rich Scott's Conservatives for Patients' Rights believes it can adopt al Qaeda's tactics by attacking our country while the President is on vacation. "Even on vacation, the President will get no quarter on the public option from Conservatives for Patients' Rights." And they're running an ad that somewhat bizarrely tries to mock Obama's vacation.

There are obvious problems with this strategy. First, regardless of what you think of the White House strategy on health care, mocking Obama for taking the first week of vacation he has had all year will only invite comparisons with Bush, who spent 977 days at either Camp David or Crawford during his presidency--well over a year on the pig farm where he twiddled as New Orleans drowned and blew off warnings about an imminent al Qaeda by dismissing briefers for "covering their ass." Conservatives for PR may be trying to mock Obama by suggesting he's traveling to an effete location with no brush to clear. But at least this President hasn't spent significant portions of his term AWOL during crises, like Bush did.

The big question is whether our press corps will step up to the challenge. "

Pugnacious Pollyanna

We should really put government in charge of health care, maybe using the VA system as a model, to replace those greedy insurance companies who just give themselves bonuses they don't deserve,,,

VA workers given millions in bonuses as vets await checks
By Laurie Ure
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- While hundreds of thousands of disability claims lay backlogged at the Department of Veterans Affairs, thousands of technology employees at the department received $24 million in bonuses, a new report says.

According to a Government Accountability Office report, the VA processed 60 percent more claims from 1999 to 2008 than it did a decade earlier, but the number of claims still pending jumped 65 percent.


Semanticleo pretending to be PeterUK

I wish we had socialist healthcare like they do in Canada...

Vancouver Coastal Health to cut surgeries, NDP critic says
Brennan Clarke
Victoria — From Monday's Globe and Mail Last updated on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009 03:06AM EDT

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority is planning to shut down nearly one-quarter of its operating rooms and cancel thousands of elective surgeries between Sept. 1 and March 31 in a bid to bridge a $90-million budget gap, NDP health critic Adrian Dix charged yesterday.

Mr. Dix, MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway, said documents leaked to him by “health authority sources” propose cutting 6,250 surgeries, about 24 per cent of all scheduled procedures, to the end of fiscal 2009-10.

“What they're doing is deferring these surgeries until the next fiscal year to save money. It's going to increase wait times for people, and thousands of medically necessary procedures won't be performed,” he said.

The plan targets cataract operations, coronary bypasses, joint replacements, certain types of neurosurgery and a variety of elective procedures, Mr. Dix said.


Universal Health Care... as long as you don't get sick or injured between September and March.

Pugnacious Pollyanna

Seroquel, seroquel, my kingdom for some seroquel!

Help me Obi Son-in-Iraq Kenobe,
you are my only hope

the bishop

Nice try, Leo, but Peter would never quote Marcy Wheeler, the Plame flamer for any reason, except to laugh at her. Obama's the man of the people, why vacation in Martha's Vineyard, plutocrat paradise, why not at the house that Rezko built.

Pugnacious Pollyanna


Pugnacious Pollyanna



The last time I went to a synagogue we were entertained by a goupd doing an interpretive dance celebrating the vagina or something.

Jim Ryan

Organized religion too often a crock of crap. If you put man in spiritual authority over man you're asking for trouble.

The New Testament has a tip:

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Mat 6:6)

I think that applies whether you're Hindu, Jew, Christian, what have you.

Pugnacious Pollyanna

the bishop, you can laugh at Marcy Wheeler equating the Conservatives for Patients' Rights with Al Qaeda, but real Americans know they're exactly the same.

I'm pretty sure that just last week the Conservatives for Patients' Rights carried out 4 suicide bombings and 2 beheadings.


Obama's the man of the people, why vacation in Martha's Vineyard, plutocrat paradise, why not at the house that Rezko built.

Well, to be fair, it's the house that Rezko bought.

Pugnacious Pollyanna

plus they blasphemed Obama,,,



the bishop

I know Ranger, but the other line, rings truer, one might say 'fake but accurate' Those are some lively services over there, Clarice


Looks like Dingy Harry is getting dingier all the time:

"It’s the highest stakes ever for a Nevada election, and former boxer Sen. Harry Reid is on the ropes early. Either Republican Danny Tarkanian or Sue Lowden would knock out Reid in a general election, according to a recent poll of Nevada voters."

h/t Michelle Malkin


Today's Ras report makes my heart soar like an eagle.


Robert H. Frank on the desirability of more short-term government spending than we have:

How Cuts in State and Local Spending Endanger a Recovery: ENCOURAGING economic news has been reanimating the critics of President Obama’s stimulus program. But heeding their admonition to end the program would be a grave mistake. We need more stimulus now, not less.... Another quarter-million jobs were lost last month, and even the most optimistic economists predict that it will be many more months, if not years, before robust employment growth resumes. Now we face an ominous new threat to recovery from sharp cuts in state and local government spending.

The more than $15 billion excised from California’s budget last month was just a small fraction of recently announced cuts.... [M]ost recent state cuts have been for services widely viewed as essential... mandated by laws meant to stop politicians from spending beyond their means... [but] sharply reduced government spending is exactly what the economy doesn’t need right now.

Through its legal authority to run deficits to stabilize the economy, the federal government can keep recovery on track by transferring revenue to states and cities....

[O]pponents of the original economic stimulus... flaws in their arguments don’t rise to the absurd heights seen in recent town hall meetings on health care reform. But it is a difference in degree, not kind. Both proponents and opponents of the stimulus program agree that unemployment is high because aggregate spending levels are too low.... Proponents believe that sharply higher government spending will hasten the downturn’s end. Opponents say no....

Lee Ohanian of the University of California, Los Angeles, a stimulus opponent, explained why he believes that increased government spending wouldn’t help the situation. The problem, he says, is that “the higher taxes on incomes or expenditures that ultimately accompany higher spending depress economic activity.” Because the short-run stimulus program has been financed with borrowed money, not higher taxes, Mr. Ohanian must have in mind future taxes needed to pay off stimulus-related debt. His argument... thus boils down to this striking contention: As the government spends borrowed funds, consumers will start to realize that the resulting debt spells higher taxes in the future, which will lead them to curtail their current spending. Those cuts will offset increased government spending, leaving no net stimulus...

This is, as I say every day, simply wrong as a matter of very basic economic theory. Increased nominal government spending financed by future taxes is crowded out by a reduction in nominal private consumption spending if and only if what the government spends money on is a perfect substitute for what private consumers spend money on. That just is not the case.


Charlie (Colorado)

In 2001, terrorists capitalized on George Bush's inattention and extended vacation to strike at America. Now, Rich Scott's Conservatives for Patients' Rights believes it can adopt al Qaeda's tactics by attacking our country while the President is on vacation.

What the *fuck*? I don't think I've ever seen so much misinformation compressed in one spot.

Charlie (Colorado)

I'm pretty sure that just last week the Conservatives for Patients' Rights carried out 4 suicide bombings and 2 beheadings.

Whoever it is writing this, I like it.

Iconic Infidel


David Broder:

Experts on Whether It's Too Soon for a Verdict on the Stimulus: Three Brookings scholars and a suburban Washington mayor agreed on one thing: No one can realistically pronounce the massive $787 billion stimulus bill either a flop or a triumph at this point.... Economist Barry Bosworth launched the discussion on a skeptical note, saying that the recession may be ending but "the government stimulus did not have a lot to do with the recovery"...

I wouldn't call Barry Bosworth an especially good friend of mine, but I know Barry Bosworth, but David Broder is simply wrong if believes Barry Bosworth is undecided about the worth of Obama's fiscal boost program--that is "skeptical" and thinks it might be "either a flop or a triumph."

You go to the first page of Bosworth's slides http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/events/2009/0813_stimulus/bosworth_stimulus_panel.pdf, and you see "recession is ending," and on the next line you see that the economic expansion that is likely to begin now has four sources: "low inventory position, automobile demand below replacement, stimulus spending, monetary stabilization." That's not what you write if you think that the stimulus might well be a flop.

I can't find a transcript of what Broder went to see on Thursday, but here's Bosworth from last December:

Getting Through the Economic Meltdown: [W]e have now run the course of major monetary policy actions... the current situation calls out for large fiscal policy direct impact on the real sector of the economy.... People used to argue about fiscal stimulus.... There’s no need to choose anymore, we used to argue that we wanted it to be quick and temporary, now temporary is far less important. This recession is going to go on for several more years, so yes we want to be quick we have to get doing more because as we sit here debating what to do hundreds and thousands of people are losing their jobs every month, so we got to move more quickly, but I think the Federal Government can now afford to do things like cutting taxes but they can also do a lot of expenditures...


Jim Ryan

Conservatives for Patients' Rights beheaded me last week and then again twice last night. They nailed my head to a coffee table this morning. Not to worry, I had it coming. They're cruel, but they're fair.

Charlie (Colorado)

The last time I went to a synagogue we were entertained by a goupd doing an interpretive dance celebrating the vagina or something.


And I thought Mom's rabbi was Reform.


"With all the talk of God and Obama and
"President Obama extends his best wishes to Muslims around the world during Ramadan."

What! Even the ones he is having killed or tortured?

Jim Ryan

My mom's synagogue makes reform look like the frickin' 700 Club. Trust me. You say the word "God" at a holiday service and you get excommunicated.


Naughty,naughty Septic. If you keep posting bogus posts you know hwat the consequences will be.

Iconic Infidel

Poll: 57% don't see stimulus working
By Brad Heath, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Six months after President Obama launched a $787 billion plan to right the nation's economy, a majority of Americans think the avalanche of new federal aid has cost too much and done too little to end the recession.

POLL RESULTS: Six questions

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found 57% of adults say the stimulus package is having no impact on the economy or making it worse. Even more —60% — doubt that the stimulus plan will help the economy in the years ahead, and only 18% say it has done anything to help improve their personal situation.


the bishop

It practically causes a singularity Charlie,
I know someone's been doing some scalping,
"that's cap n trade over there, the end of life provision in the Senate bill here, over by the bear skin"

Iconic Infidel

David Corn talks about Michael Steele going Postal on healthcare reform, but Corn doesn't understand destroying SS and Medicare is JOB ONE for the Republicans.

"Who do you trust more -- the Post Office or your health insurance company?

Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele and his consultants at the GOP think they have a winning line of attack on President Obama and his campaign to overhaul the health care system. It entails dissing the U.S. Postal Service.

In a fundraising e-mail sent out Thursday, Steele started with a statement Obama recently made to support including a government-run health insurance plan in the health care reform package:

I think private insurers should be able to compete. . . . I mean, if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It's the Post Office that's always having problems.

Obama was countering the claim made by critics that a government plan would drive private insurers out of the market. His point was that private delivery services are still able to thrive, despite competition from the Post Office. But Steele maintained that Obama was acknowledging a bedrock GOP principle: The private sector does a better job.

That was stretching the truth. Still, Steele went on to contend that a government-run health care plan "is inefficient, limits choices, and hemorrhages taxpayer money like the Post Office."

By going postal, can Steele undermine Obama's reform effort? Not if facts matter. True, the Postal Service has had serious financial problems; it expects to lose several billion dollars this year. But when debating the public option, the better comparison is the obvious one: Medicare. A public health plan would in many ways ape Medicare, a generally efficient and effective program that remains largely popular among the elderly who use it. Does Steele want to argue that Medicare is a loser? Despite the fiscal challenges Medicare faces, denigrating it would hardly win the GOP many votes.

The Post Office is a much easier target. Yet in terms of services provided, I would rate it far ahead of the private health care insurers I've had to deal with. Consider this: You can put a letter, photo or whatnot in an envelope, scribble an address on that envelope, drop it in a box, and within a matter of days that very same envelope will appear at the door of the recipient, wherever he or she may live in the United States, even if it's thousands of miles away. All for 44 cents. Federal Express and UPS don't do that -- at that price. (I wonder what their financial situations would be, if they had to operate a universal delivery system and charge so little.)"

Reagan started the drive to bankrupt SS and Medicare by shifting the tax burden off unearned income trust babies and on Joe Lunchbuckets's payroll taxes. Clinto brought the Deficit back to ground level, then Bush Jr. revisisted our Debtor nation status.

It's all in the Plan.


Charlie- I had the same Marcy snippet all set to comment on, but I'll let your comment speak for me.

The funny thing is, she thinks the PRESS needs to do something about it. And she and Jay R. are beating up on Ambinder right now for not getting it. You know, the completely non-partisan Ambinder (snort).

Iconic Infidel

Man, remember when Brad Delong used to piss his pants when the deficit was projected to be 2% of GDP under Bush?

But under Obama, the deficits just aren't big enough...

It's almost as if this guy is more of a Democratic shill than an economist.

Iconic Infidel

No consequences for PUKe. You any relation to Ted Bundy?

Iconic Infidel

Three cheers for the party of NO!

In 2006, Congressional Democrats wildly cheered their obstruction of Social Security reform at President Bush's State of the Union Address.

That was 3 years ago.

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus predicted, “Social Security could face default within two years.”


Thanks, Democrats, for making sure SS goes belly up.

Iconic Infidel

"Thanks, Democrats, for making sure SS goes belly up."

Normally, you folks are intelligent enough to avoid this issue, but there it is, folks.

Republicans want SS and Medicare to fail.

They haven't changed.

Iconic Infidel


the bishop

You mean the Social Security commission that the late Senator Moynihan, presided over, that solution. The Post office example, makes no sense, really, one is going bankrupt, the others are thriving, so put more money toward the one that is going
bankrupt, while the price for it's services
are becoming prohibitive.

Iconic Infidel

I'm too stupid to understand sarcasm.

Imaginary Son

Leave my daddy alone!!!!

Iconic Infidel

Lord Obama told me we are all partners with God, as long as we vote Democrat.

Praise Obama! The American Theocracy has finally arrived!

Iconic Infidel

"I'm too stupid to understand sarcasm". or your sudden temporary lapse of dishonesty.


Back to trollblocker...

Iconic Infidel

I have a lifetime subscription to journolist, marcy wheeler, and brad delong,,,, my dishonesty never lapses.


--Republicans want SS and Medicare to fail.

They haven't changed.--

It is inevitable that these gargantuan Ponzi schemes will fail moron, just as Republicans warned when both were devised.
It is irrelevant what either left or right wants, mathematics and demographics do not belong to a party.

Iconic Infidel

In fact I'm to stupid for this goat. It has left me for Joe Biden.

Iconic Infidel

Actually,they wouldn't let me join Journolist because I'm too stupid. Fools! I have started Moronlist. Hah!

Iconic Infidel

"You mean the Social Security commission that the late Senator Moynihan, presided over,"

Yeah, the one McCain endorsed when he realized the extent of damage done by Reagans's Reconciliation in 1981. It took twenty years for the Robber Barons of Congress, whose 'borrowing' from SS because of Reagans's explosive military increases, for SS to begin it's fund decline.

Thanks Reagan and cohorts!!!!


Recent tidbit re Porkulus - Contractors must pay for stimulus road signs. Of course, the signs aren't mandatory...they're only "strongly encouraged" by Gov and detailed re size and placement. And they're only costing us $500 each!

Iconic Infidel

I hate the fact that Reagan was in total control of the government for twenty years, stealing from SS the entire time.

That bastard.

Iconic Infidel

"That bastard." I think Reagan knew his father.

You, on the other hand............

Iconic Infidel

I'm grateful to Medicare,they took out my brain free, and installed a dimmer switch.

Iconic Infidel

Jokes on them, though... I can't get any dimmer!

Ha ha ha!


Funny, but as I recall, the president that started borrowing from Social Security to pay for military budgets was LBJ to hide the cost of his choice to massively escelate our involvement in Vietnam.

Iconic Infidel

Monday, June 07, 2004
Social Security
Government Borrowing from Your Social Security Contributions
Each week, through FICA contributions from their paychecks, millions of Americans contribute to the Social Security trust funds, the federal 'nest egg' that provides for their future benefits.

Under the budget proposed by the Bush Administration, the government is expected to borrow over $2 trillion from these Social Security trust funds to pay for government spending over the next ten years. Moreover, Administration officials and Republican congressional leaders have called the trust funds "a mere accounting device"1 from which employees will get "nothing in return"2 - indicating that the federal government does not plan to honor its commitment to paying back what it has borrowed from Social Security.

The calculator below shows how much of the money you pay into the Social Security program will be borrowed over the next ten years to pay for government spending. If the federal government does not repay the trust funds, as Republican leaders have suggested, none of this amount will be available to pay for your Social Security benefits.

I believe Bush was Prez and Republicans controlled congress in 2004.

Iconic Infidel

We slime molds don't have fathers,we just congregate now and then and give off spores.
Ah! I feel the urge coming on me.....

bad s##t

GovDelivery denies the story peddled by the WH. Will they receive a dead fish in the mail?



--Under the budget proposed by the Bush Administration, the government is expected to borrow over $2 trillion from these Social Security trust funds to pay for government spending over the next ten years.--

Fortunately we elected God's partner so now the gov will only borrow $9 trillion over the next ten years.

Iconic Infidel

"I believe Bush was Prez and Republicans controlled congress in 2004."

I realise it is now 2009,coming on 2010 and Obama is the President. But you know me and facts.

Original MikeS

...an interpretive dance celebrating the vagina or something.
Amen. I'll drink to that!

Lord Whorfin

centrical- we can only hope!!

That will make two Dem senators taken down this decade.

Iconic Infidel

December 19, 1988
From the liberally biased Heritage Foundation....


Social Security is the federal budgets second largest program, exceeded only by national defense. Roughly 20 percent of all federal spending is allocated for Social Security benefit payments, while about one-quarter of all federal revenues are raised through the Social.

Security payroll tax Because the systems revenues are projected to outpace payments substantially for about the next fifteen years, there has been growing concern that Congress will spend these retirement surpluses on other federal programs, as it has been doing in recent years, rather than prudently placing workers contributions to the system in safe, interest-bearing investments. Pressure understandably thus is growing in Washington to insulate the entire Social Security program from the rest of the federal budget. This would be accomplished by establishing an off-budget Social Security reserve to be drawn down when the baby-boom generation reaches retirement age.

In theory, the idea may have some appeal. In the hard reality of Washington, however, it would fail. The reason: moving Social Security permanently off-budget would not deter Congress from continuing to raid the trust fund Conflicting with a Unified Budget. In addition, the proposal would create a wide range of new problems. It would conflict, for instance, with the longstanding principle of maintaining a unified federal budget for measuring the impact of federal fiscal policy on the United States economy. Since Social Security taxes are part of total federal revenues and Social Security expenditures are part of total federal outlays, the program should be included in the budget and thus in calculating the deficit. Failure to do so would render the deficit meaningless as a measure of the gap between taxes and spending.

Lawmakers during the last eight years wisely have been shifting all off-budget federal spending back on-budget. This process should not now be reversed Massive New Pressures. If Social Security is removed from the budget, moreover, the pressures to spend the temporary fund surplus on higher retirement benefits or on government-sponsored investment programs such as education, infrastructure, and health care would be irresistible politically. Assigning to Congress the task of managing a reserve fund thatis increasing at the rate of $4O-billion-t0-$50 billioneaeh year would be inviting a massive increase in such spending. At the same time, it would unleash massive new pressures to raise general taxes. The reeon: moving Social Security off-budget would increase the official deficit by the amount of the current Social Security surplus, or $40 billion to $50 billion per year. This artificially higher deficit would be used by liberals to argue that the budget cannot be balanced without a major new tax increase If Social Security were removed permanently from the budget, therefore, federal spending and taxes likely would rise substantially. Just as important, by instilling within the public a false sense of security that with a mere accounting change the pension program would be permanently safe from political tampering, the proposal to create an off-budget Social Security reserve fund would impede those Social Security reforms necessary to ensure that todays workers actually receive their promised pension benefits HOW SOCIAL SECURITY IS INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET Though Social Security today is technically off-budget, it is so only-in the sense that it is listed separately in the unified federal budget. In accordance with the 1985 Gramm-Rudman-Hollings .Balanced Budget Act, all final budget totals must include Social Security and all other trust fund programs, like the highway trust fund. This means that the annual budget deficit figure reported by the press includes the Social Security surplus.

The surplus in the Social Security program currently reduces the total federal deficit by a substantial sum each year"

You might want to read that last sentence again.


--What's that line by Chesterton 'when people
believe in nothing' they'll believe in anything'--

I think it's closer to "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything".

--The New Testament has a tip:

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Mat 6:6)--

Jesus was speaking of praying. Hebrews 10:24,25 says:
"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."

And now I'm off to assemble. Toodeloo.

Sue The Bastard

Proud to welcome Reagan into the family of Bastards. He made us proud.

Iconic Infidel

I just wish that the Democrats had controlled the House, the Senate, or the Presidency at some point since 1980. But as we all know they've been completely out of power for the last 30 years.

That bastard Reagan has been in charge the whole time, just siphoning off all the SS funds to pay for his military build up.

Iconic Infidel

Republican Mission Statement;

"Leave No Safety Net Intact"


From the beginning of the Social Security program its transactions were reported by the administration as a separate function in the budget. This is sometimes described in present usage by saying that the Social Security program was "off-budget." This was the budget representation of the Social Security program from its creation in 1935 until 1968.


In early 1968 President Lyndon Johnson made a change in the budget presentation by including Social Security and all other trust funds in a "unified budget." This is likewise sometimes described by saying that Social Security was placed "on-budget."

This 1968 change grew out of the recommendations of a presidential commission appointed by President Johnson in 1967, and known as the President's Commission on Budget Concepts. The concern of this Commission was not specifically with the Social Security Trust Funds, but rather it was an effort to rationalize what the Commission viewed as a confusing budget presentation. At that time, the federal budget consisted of three separate and inconsistent sets of measures, and often budget debates became bogged-down in arguments over which of the three to use. As an illustration of the problem, the projected fiscal 1968 budget was either in deficit by $2.1 billion, $4.3 billion, or $8.1 billion, depending upon which measure one chose to use. Consequently, the Commission's central recommendation was for a single, unified, measure of the federal budget--a measure in which every function and activity of government was added together to assess the government's fiscal position.

This change took effect for the first time in the President's budget proposal for fiscal year 1969, which President Johnson presented to Congress in January 1968. This change in accounting practices did not initially put the President's budget proposal into surplus--it was still projecting an $8 billion deficit. However, it is clear that the budget deficit would have been somewhat larger without this change (it is difficult to say how much larger because this change was mixed-in with the other legislative, budgetary and fiscal policies the President was urging Congress to adopt). In early 1969--just five days before leaving office--President Johnson sent his 1970 budget message to Congress, also using the revised accounting procedures. At this point, a year later than his initial estimate, he was projecting the budget for 1969 to be in a net balance of $2.4 billion. (The fiscal year 1969 began on January 1, 1969, even though the President had released his FY 1969 budget almost a year earlier.)

http://www.ssa.gov/history/BudgetTreatment.html>Research Note #20:
The Social Security Trust Funds and the Federal Budget

But hey, just keep blaming Republicans if it makes you feel better. Its not true, but that's never mattered before, so why start fretting about it now.

Iconic Infidel

December 19, 1988

"The surplus in the Social Security program currently reduces the total federal deficit by a substantial sum each year"

You might want to read that last sentence again.

Opps. maybe I should read that first sentence again,,,

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