Economics

Barack Obama, Uber Alles

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My friend Robert Scheer, an old New Left stalwart, uses the F-word to describe Barack Obama's bank bailout:

I don't think the idea of nationalizing, as it's now being called–which means bailing out these banks, setting them straight, then letting them go private again, which is the model that everybody is using, and the people who get screwed are the people whose retirement funds had common or preferred shares and they get wiped out, and these bankers come out richer than ever at the other end–that's not a leftist idea and it's not socialism. This is what we used to, in Comparative Economic Systems, call fascism. It's putting government at the service of the big financial interests. That's what happened in Italy, that's what happened in Germany, that's what happened in Japan.

While I tend toward reluctance in tossing F-bombs, Scheer's rant points to what will soon become a serious problem for the new president: No matter how hard he spins to the contrary, bailouts just aren't fair. They take responsible people's money (by force!), and hand it to irresponsible people, while dismissing critics of the process as out-of-touch fatcats (even though, as always, the rich have a better chance of being bailed out than the poor, because they can hire lobbyists).

Reason on the bailout here. Michael C. Moynihan on intellectual Godwinism here.

NEXT: Briefly Noted: Second Encounter

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  1. So far I’ve lost over $10,000 from this mess. I’m not asking for government to bail me out, as I knew going in the markets fluctuates. But to give even more of my money to the various players that helped foster this loss, reward them for their immoral actions, and create incentives for this to happen again??

    Thanks for standing up for the middle class, Mr. President!!

  2. Yo, fuck Barack Obama.

  3. Yeah, fuck him in his big, Dumbo ears.

  4. Don’t hate a man for his physical features, Kyle. Hate him for his dumb, stupid, terrible ideas. A man can’t really help his ears, but he sure as hell can help promulgating retarded policies.

  5. Oh I know. I don’t hate his ears. They’re just the best point of entry for the skullfucking he richly deserves. Basically, I’m just trying to add insult to injury.

  6. Looking at the actual definition of the f-word though, it’s a little uncomfortable. We’re not there… yet.

  7. Um, Bush started the bank bailouts, not Obama, although Obama is continuing those policies for the most part. Anybody who exclusively screams at Obama for this without mentioning Bush is a Republican partisan hack.

    In any case, what was the alternative? Let 50 to 90% of the banks in the country fail?

  8. $10,000? Wow. I wish I were down $10,000.
    On the bright side, that 4.5% fixed-rate mortgate is signed, sealed and delivered as of this morning.
    Bring on the inflation, bitches. Bring it on.

  9. Geotpf:

    Yes, let a failed business fail. The banks that were run well and survived will be rewarded, not the ones that spent the most bucks on political contributions and DC lobbyists.

  10. >>>In any case, what was the alternative? Let 50 to 90% of the banks in the country fail?

    Fuck yes. Let the 50 to 10% of the banks that are left by em up. Hell let Bill Gates bring some of his foreign aid money back to America and open the First Bank of MS Excel. Monopolies? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

  11. Geotpf –
    The horror! My community bank made double digit profits last year. But you know what – fuck them. It’s that market fundie in me that makes me think that people would learn form this that they should put their money in banks with sound practices, rewarding good behavior.

  12. Why does Robert Scheer hate black people?

  13. Than Xanax-addled pretzel-choking chimp isn’t the President anymore.

    Obama is just like BUSH only worse!

    bipartisan enough for ya commie?

  14. Bring on the inflation, bitches.

    No, bring on houses falling to 1980s prices and zero per cent financing.

  15. No matter how hard he spins to the contrary, bailouts just aren’t fair.

    Unfair doesn’t convey the full horror of bailouts/nationalization/whatever you call it. Taking from the responsible and giving to the irresponsible is unfair and we can all tsk tsk tsk at what has already transpired. But the bigger failure is that what we’re doing to save the economy is having the opposite effect. The unintended consequence of these unfair programs is to discourage responsible people from investing in our markets. We are destroying any chance of recovery by doing what we’re told “must” be done “right now”.

  16. That’s… not what fascism is?

  17. The unintended consequence of these unfair programs is to discourage responsible people from investing in our markets.

    Is anyone else starting to think maybe that’s what they want, to destroy the Dow while they can put the blame on the other party, so it will cease to be a threat to Social Security, and so we will be happily dependent on the Federal Government, with the Dems in control of it?

  18. I honestly think it’s more accurate to call it fascist than socialist. While fascist economics vary a great deal, private gain/public loss is pretty common.

  19. Fascism implies extreme nationalism, imperialism, scapegoating and victim politics, in other words, something much more resembling the modern Republican party.

  20. Fascism implies extreme nationalism, imperialism, scapegoating and victim politics, in other words, something much more resembling the modern Republican party.

    Extreme nationalism, I’ll give you. Scapegoating and victim politics is bipartisan. Imperalism? When is Obama bringing all the troops home?

  21. Well, it is fascism, as Robert Higgs noted a long time ago in “Crisis and Leviathan” and more recently here .

  22. Citizen Nothing,

    What bank did you use? I’m looking to refi, but haven’t found anything better than low 5’s.

  23. We’re not going to get inflation. There’s going to be massive deflation, if anything.

  24. While I generally agree with Scheer’s point, I do think that’s a pretty uniquely lefty definition of “fascism”. The examples he uses are unintentionally funny, too. The government was at the service of big corporations, huh? Remind me exactly how having incendiary bombs rain down on the factories was part of the business plan…

  25. Remind me exactly how having incendiary bombs rain down on the factories was part of the business plan

    In Sheer’s defense, losing is never part of any plan.

  26. “The government was at the service of big corporations, huh? Remind me exactly how having incendiary bombs rain down on the factories was part of the business plan…”

    You can be fascist without marching on Poland. Franco’s Spain was fascist and it never invaded anyone. What Obama is doing looks a lot like Hitler and Mussolini’s economic policies. In that sense, Scheer is right.

  27. Bingo | February 24, 2009, 10:38am | #

    Geotpf:

    Yes, let a failed business fail. The banks that were run well and survived will be rewarded, not the ones that spent the most bucks on political contributions and DC lobbyists.

    In theory, I agree. In practice, we would have 20-30% unemployment as all the businesses that need credit from those banks to stay open would also fail.

    That is to say, does anybody really think things would be better if there was no government reaction to the problem?

    Plus, I still see no mention of Obama’s predecessor here.

  28. jsh | February 24, 2009, 11:11am | #

    Imperalism? When is Obama bringing all the troops home?

    From Iraq, as soon as practical-what is it, 16 months? Now, as for Afghanistan, whether or not we should keep troops there depends to their purpose. If they really are going to go after Bin Laden et al, I’m in favor of keeping them there until the job is done. Of course, this will mean invading parts of Pakistan, since that’s where Bin Laden (probably) is. If we are merely “nation building”, then I personally think they should come home too.

  29. scapegoating and victim politics
    Tony –
    To be fair, the populist wing of the Democratic party is responsible for some of this. I’m expecting, when things get worse, to see a lot more pointed hatred of illegal immigrants.

  30. “To be fair, the populist wing of the Democratic party is responsible for some of this. I’m expecting, when things get worse, to see a lot more pointed hatred of illegal immigrants.”

    Nah, they want the Southwest’s electoral votes.

  31. Plus, the tanking economy has “solved” the problem of illegal immigration for the time being. With no jobs, nobody wants to come, and some are even going home.

  32. BDB –
    I didn’t say from whom I expected to see the pointed hatred of illegal immigrants. You may be right that it’s not completely politically expedient, but you don’t have to win every state, and the rest you can just bludgeon into compliance. Hence, fascism.

  33. Geoptf,

    In the first place, I find it highly unlikely 50% of the banks would have failed; secondly, merely because a bank fails does not mean that it shutters its doors. The biggest problem has been to treat banks as if they are not like normal actors and thus to let them fail and then either reorganize them under new management, liquidate them, or both.

    See also the Greenspan Put.

  34. I honestly think it’s more accurate to call it fascist than socialist.

    Potato/potahto.

    Either the people rule the government or the government rules the people. Everything along the current Democrat-to-Republican scale is variations on the second case.

    In theory, I agree. In practice, we would have 20-30% unemployment as all the businesses that need credit from those banks to stay open would also fail.

    Seems like there were a couple of big banks (Wells Fargo?) saying, “We don’t need the bailout. We don’t want the bailout.” Maybe the small town where I live is unique, but there are several local banks here that haven’t been making outrageous loans.

    That is to say, does anybody really think things would be better if there was no government reaction to the problem?

    I think “nothing” would be better than what Congress is doing. If they really want to help, they could (for instance) reduce or eliminate taxes on investment income, savings, IRA’s, etc.

  35. Fascism is not an economic system. Varying degrees of state control over the economy have existed over the last century, in both liberal democracies and in fascist totalitarian states.

  36. what was the alternative? Let 50 to 90% of the banks in the country fail?

    My alternative would involve not urging those banks to make idiotic loans.

  37. Fascism is not an economic system.

    Fascism is ONLY an economic system. Anyone can be a racist or a mass-murderer.

  38. In theory, I agree. In practice, we would have 20-30% unemployment as all the businesses that need credit from those banks to stay open would also fail.

    I like how people who support command approaches to the economy think everything happens in isolation.

  39. Fascism is not an economic system.

    I believe there’s a future for you in the Illinois State Legislature.

  40. as always, the rich have a better chance of being bailed out than the poor, because they can hire lobbyists

    The story you are about to see is true; only the cronies have been changed…

  41. Off topic, but did Joe Boyle OD on pure Turkish or something? Was he on the plane that crashed in Buffalo?

    Just wondering….

  42. HE’S A FUCKING SERIAL ASSHOLE ON THIS BLOG, NOT ITS FUCKING STAR POSTER. STOP HANGING ON HIS FUCKING NUTS AND LET HIM STAY DEAD.

  43. We’re not going to get inflation. There’s going to be massive deflation, if anything.

    For the rest of the year, yes.

    After that, the future is increasingly uncertain.

  44. “In theory, I agree. In practice, we would have 20-30% unemployment as all the businesses that need credit from those banks to stay open would also fail.”

    Here’s what I don’t get. Why does an economy have to be built with borrowed money*? Are there any examples of debt-free economic systems?

    * And yes I’ve seen the example that the farmer needs to borrow money to by the seed to plant a crop…

  45. Guy in the Back Row,

    Episarch pushed him over the edge in a thread last week about the monkey cartoon. Joe vowed never to come back to the site. Ding Dong The Witch is Dead!!

  46. So he’s dead, and not just dancing in a g-string in Rio?

    OK, thanks, I was just curious.

  47. Episarch pushed him over the edge in a thread last week about the monkey cartoon. Joe vowed never to come back to the site. Ding Dong The Witch is Dead!!

    Wow, that’s like quitting WoW cold turkey. Thanks for the info.

  48. “Off topic, but did Joe Boyle OD on pure Turkish or something? Was he on the plane that crashed in Buffalo?

    Just wondering….”

    He went nuts after I let it leak that as a child, we let him drink from the toilet.

    Good riddance, says I. Good riddance.

    BTW I enjoy Turkish every day. It’s the best!

  49. After that, the future is increasingly uncertain.

    When is it “decreasingly uncertain”?

    When the end is sometimes near?

  50. Maybe one historical example of a socialist or otherwise “leftist” state whose economy wouldn’t best be described by a hyphenated word ending in “-fascist” would make “that’s not a leftist idea and it’s not socialism” not sound so whiny.

    Own the jackboots, gramps. They’re yours.

  51. Reason finally has something to say about the current love-affair with nationalization that the pundits are having.

    My solution: Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    All these people shouting nationalization really just want the banks to be liquidated. Isn’t that what Chapter 11 is FOR????

    The whole point of having bankruptcy laws is to liquidate a company in an orderly fashion, satisfy it’s creditors, and the let it either fold, or reemerge from bankruptcy in private hands.

    What the fuck is wrong with that?

  52. Am I the only one who remembers the Clinton/Blair spin of selling their similar “you get to keep a paper title, but we get the control” plans as “the third way” between capitalism and socialism like Mussolini did?

  53. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.

    Epi pushed Joe over the edge and I missed it? I must go now and find that thread.

    My crush on Episarch just got much, much worse.

  54. I thought it was the saturation of stimulus coverage combined with the foaming-at-the-mouth comments about Keynes that drove him away.

  55. Yep. Found it, read it, loved it. Epi tosses around words like eristic, and joe tosses around words like demimonde.

    Joe’s use of demimonde, while not strictly incorrect, was just pure baseless insult, if indeed he used it purposely for that connotation, and I’m not even sure he did.

    I’d been wondering what joe would do when his side got possession of the ball in the Republicans’ endzone. He freaked.

    [yeah, I can’t do sports metaphors very well.]

  56. Actually, if you follow the threads, joe disappears for days after this breaks nationally:

    Obama Looks Like Bush on National Security Secrecy Argument

    joe comes back for a few dustups on the 18th and 19th, and then publicly and formally bails on the Monkey thread.

    Hope and change died, and not even he could spin it into a positive. He knew it and wisely left.

  57. All these people shouting nationalization really just want the banks to be liquidated. Isn’t that what Chapter 11 is FOR????

    Technically, Chapter 7 is for liquidation. Chapter 11 is for reorganization, where the bankrupt organization renegotiates its debts and continues in business.

  58. Actually, if you follow the threads, joe disappears for days after this breaks nationally:

    Obama Looks Like Bush on National Security Secrecy Argument

    joe comes back for a few dustups on the 18th and 19th, and then publicly and formally bails on the Monkey thread.

    Hope and change died, and not even he could spin it into a positive. He knew it and wisely left.

    It might have something more to do with this site turning into Malkin to the power of NRO. I’m not particularly surprised with this place hating Obama, but I am surprised at how completely baseless many of the charges against him are.

  59. Still, I like to think that he’s somewhere out there, watching over us.

  60. “but I am surprised at how completely baseless many of the charges against him are.”

    Please site examples.

    New rule:

    Any reference to joe, DRINK!

  61. Still, I like to think that he’s somewhere out there, watching over us.

    In a trenchcoat, behind the dumpster across the street from our bedroom window, with a pair of high power binoculars….

  62. “I’m not particularly surprised with this place hating Obama, but I am surprised at how completely baseless many of the charges against him are.”

    No they’re not. Obama is the fruit of affirmative action. So is House Speaker Pelosi.

    So how’s this AA government working out for America?

  63. gah, that was posted in the middle of me editing. I’m dumb. (blockquote away!)

    Anyway, I recall when Obama said he would close Gitmo, it took days for it to show up here, and was barely noted. Meanwhile, Holder expresses his personal view in a confirmation hearing, in response to a question asked to him, and the headline itself says something to the effect of “Obama says indefinite detention okay.” That’s not sloppy journalism, that’s outright false. And commentators here have been blaming Obama personally for dips in the stock market since before he even took office, and no one even bothers to correct that.

    So, anyway – are you really asking why Joe isn’t showing up to get dogpiled over and over? Really?

    That asside – people do take vacations and have complicated things happen to work and their personal lives. I think being quick to equate not posting on a blog with some sort of tactical retreat might be a little hasty.

  64. “Obama is the fruit of affirmative action. So is House Speaker Pelosi.”

    As a mother, and a grandmother, I resemble that remark.

  65. It might have something more to do with this site turning into Malkin to the power of NRO. I’m not particularly surprised with this place hating Obama, but I am surprised at how completely baseless many of the charges against him are.

    Yawn. Eight solid years of Bush bashing (and well-deserved, mind you), and not a peep from our resident left-wingers. You guys couldn’t even take a dose of your own medicine for 1 month. What a bunch of hacks.

  66. Yawn. Eight solid years of Bush bashing (and well-deserved, mind you), and not a peep from our resident left-wingers. You guys couldn’t even take a dose of your own medicine for 1 month. What a bunch of hacks.

    Personally, when I heard people say “Bush did 9/11” or “Bush tried to make Iraq fail” or “Bush wanted Katrina to sink” I corrected them. However, days after the election, people were saying here that Obama caused the economic crisis, and there wasn’t a peep.

  67. New rule:

    Any reference to joe, DRINK!

    My liver just screamed in horror.

  68. max, I think those lacks of peeping are perceived and not real.

  69. my posting today: terrible

    What I am trying to say is there is a line between reasoned and principled opposition, and throwing everything against the wall and hoping something sticks. While most of the writers here are making principled stands against the bailout and stimulus, the minority who feel comfortable making things up are not having any editorial control exercised over them, and the userbase is openly praying for a new line of Troopergate/Travelgate/Blowjobgate style whitchunts. Speaking as a leftist reader who has occasionally posted – I’ll continue to read the site, but of course I’m not going to post as much. What’s the point?

  70. “However, days after the election, people were saying here that Obama caused the economic crisis, and there wasn’t a peep.”

    I haven’t heard right wingers claim this. Usually, the favorite RW trope trotted out with regards to the economic crisis was that it was the fault of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, the CRA, and ACORN.

  71. I’ve found over the years that Reason staff and most regular commenters are quite evenhanded in their hatred of right and left, conservative and liberal, GOP and Dem. If you think that the writers or the commenters here are anywhere close to the Malkin/NRO side of the universe, you must surely live in a bubble as small as joe’s.

    I think the criticism of Obama and the Dems has been ramped up exponentially because — and this will probably make me sound like a rightwing nutjob — they’re the ones in charge now.. And however satisfying it is to bitch about how awful the old guard was, it can in no way obscure the fact of how fucking incompetent and intensely unlikeable and irredeemably stupid and stunningly obtuse the new guard are. It cannot be defended, deflected, rationalized or spun.

    Bush and the GOP spent money like drunken sailors. Obama and the Dems are spending it like drunken sailors in a whorehouse with a whole bunch of counterfeit notes. Obama has done, and likely will do, nothing to correct Bush’s executive overreach. His press secretary makes what’s his name – the guy the left liked for a few weeks cause he wrote a book about how mean and stupid Bush was — his mom’s the old comptroller who married like five times and his dad was a LBJ/JFK conspiracy theorist – who am I thinking of, people? — Obama’s guy makes that guy sound like — I don’t know, who was the last effective press secretary?

    Obama’s month-old administration so far has been bumbling, tone deaf, incompetent and hapless.

    I kind of think that’s why all the suddenly vociferous criticism of Obama. Not because the site’s been seized by neocons and paleocons.

    I would like for joe to pop round one more time and tell those of us who are concerned about the Fairness Doctrine how paranoid and stoopid and crazy we are. That’d be kind of fun.

    And lastly, Obama didn’t cause the economic crisis, but he and the Dems are making it worse every day. The markets don’t give a shit how elegant, smooth, calm, erudite, or plain fucking cool a guy is. Shitty economic policies scare the markets.

  72. Whats pissed me off the most about Democrats right now is that whenever you point out how much they’re spending and borrowing, they bring up the red herring “BUSH DID IT TOO! IRAQ!!!!” as if that makes it all a-ok.

  73. max –
    I feel your pain. I notice the same things, but on those threads I either ignore the foaming-at-the-mouth types or avoid the thread entirely. joe himself was known to get in semantic battles with people that would render discussion on the actual topic nearly impossible. I just move on to the next thread and look for enjoyable discourse or snark, or even something substantive.

  74. Obama’s month-old administration so far has been bumbling, tone deaf, incompetent and hapless.

    ?

    Incompetent and hapless – if you believe the stimulus is a terrible idea, sure, I’ll give you those. “bumbling” and “tone deaf?” Those are about political skill. I don’t think getting a stimulus passed despite almost total republican opposition in the senate and total opposition in the house is bumbling. I don’t think maintaining sky high approval ratings while doing it, despite all these kitchen sinks being thrown, is a sign of being “tone deaf.”

    And no, the fairness doctrine is not coming back.

  75. “And no, the fairness doctrine is not coming back.”

    That’s what he WANTS you to think! He will do it under another name!

  76. The Fairness Doctrine is the rights Emmanuel Goldstein.

  77. I think the criticism of Obama and the Dems has been ramped up exponentially because — and this will probably make me sound like a rightwing nutjob — they’re the ones in charge now..

    That’s the key, I think. I remember the seeming changeover in Reason’s editorial stances once Clinton left office (don’t remember reading H&R back then), and the same seems to have happened in reverse with Obama coming into power.

    This shouldn’t be surprising on a libertarian blog, ferchrissake.

  78. You have to be seriously disconnected from reality (which probably means ODing on talk radio and its related propaganda outlets) to think Obama’s first month an abysmal failure. His approval ratings are stratospheric. More people in this country support the stimulus plan–heck more people in this country support legalizing marijuana–than support Congressional Republicans.

    This country as a whole–the same country that gave W. history’s highest approval ratings following his failure to prevent 9/11–is putting the blame for this current crises squarely on Republicans, and they’re willing to wait Obama out for a pretty long time.

    Of course opinion polls aren’t truth. But really you have to be a Rush Limbaugh whore to equate the vast abuses and disaster that characterized the Bush admin. with a few cabinet appointees with tax problems, or whatever it is you’re referring to.

    The crisis in our economy is bad enough to force Bush to become a socialist. Reason seems awfully disconnected from the reality of the peril we face. Oppose the stimulus if you want, but offer an alternative that isn’t “it’ll get better, eventually, if we just sit here and scratch ourselves and complain about socialism.”

  79. You have to be seriously disconnected from reality (which probably means ODing on talk radio and its related propaganda outlets) to think Obama’s first month an abysmal failure. His approval ratings are stratospheric.

    I think using approval ratings is a silly way of judging if someone’s first month has been a failure. If you ask 100 people if they think Obama’s first month has been a failure, and 55 of them say yes and 45 of them no, you’re not going to tell the 45 that they’re wrong, only they would have been right if only 6 more people voted with them.
    It is a measurement, sure. But is it the best measurement? No.
    Maybe if you’re only talking about political failure, etc.

  80. He is popular cause he’s new. You’ll have more to brag about if he is still in the upper 60s approval rating this time next year.

  81. One thing he needs to stop is this “things are going to SUCK, America!” schtick he has been doing.

  82. You cite Obama’s approval rating as evidence that his policies have been successful in the same post that you cite W’s formerly high approval ratings. Hilarious.

  83. The crisis in our economy is bad enough to force Bush to become a socialist.

    Yeah, the guy responsible for the largest expansion of government in history sure loved him some free markets.

  84. I don’t think getting a stimulus passed despite almost total republican opposition in the senate and total opposition in the house is bumbling.

    But nor is it particularly impressive, given the size of the Democratic majority. As several Dems in Congress, and lots of happy lefties on the intertubes keep reminding us, Obama doesn’t need Republican support to get legislation through.

    Look, there’s no point arguing about whether my concerns about the FD constitute paranoia or not until we see what happens. More than one Congresscritter has said they want it back. Those that haven’t used the term have referred to the more cuddly localism term, about which Sullum, I think, has written, or maybe Jesse Walker. We’ll see. Am I a raving paranoiac for thinking that quite a few congressional Democrats would like to erect barriers to free speech – or, to put it in their language, make talk radio, whose audience is miniscule in comparison to network and cable TV, more balanced by forcing talk stations to carry liberal programming which in thirty years has been proven unable to draw an audience? Am I paranoid to think that they’d also like to get their grubby little fingers on blog content? (Yes, I’m aware of the unholy parentage of “CFR.”) Maybe. Let’s meet back here in a year and see.

  85. “Am I paranoid to think that they’d also like to get their grubby little fingers on blog content? ”

    And force the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, MyDD, and Democratic Underground to all have right wing posts? Yeah, whatever.

  86. The Democrats won’t re-instate the fairness doctrine for the simple fact that while right wingers may dominate talk radio, Democrats pretty much control mainstream network TV, one (maybe two) of the cable news channels, and a majority of blogosphere.

  87. And youth crime has, too, for that matter.

  88. They won’t enact the FD for the same reason they’re not going to put ACORN in charge of managing national elections, and for the same reason they’re not going to replace the star spangled banner with a hammer and sickle.

    Because they don’t live in the paranoid right-wing universe where these things are supposedly of paramount importance.

  89. “…which is the model that everybody is using.”

    Well, what if everyone jumped off a bridge?

    … wait a second…

  90. Democrats pretty much control mainstream network TV

    Donohue got himself classified as ‘news’ back in the day just to get around the FD. Don’t think they’d let having to obey it themselves stop them from bring it back. Rules, like the FD, are for other people.

  91. Get ready for big down day in the stock market tomorrow.

    President 666 is delivering a sermon tonight and every time he opens is mouth, the market takes another dive.

  92. ” Don’t think they’d let having to obey it themselves stop them from bring it back.”

    It’s like talking to a 9/11 Troofer.

    Hey, why don’t we focus on things that Obama, you know, has actually said he’s going to do like taking over the banks rather than worrying about phantom threats to Rush Limbaugh?

  93. HE’S A FUCKING SERIAL ASSHOLE ON THIS BLOG, NOT ITS FUCKING STAR POSTER. STOP HANGING ON HIS FUCKING NUTS AND LET HIM STAY DEAD.

    I’ll say this, he did talk very well the democratic talking points.

    And people came on and wrote why he was wrong. And I learned a lot from the people telling him why he was wrong.

    He could be an a-hole and get caught in semantics, and do the whole internet tough guy thing. Honestly though, many times it takes two to play that game.

    When commenters ignored that and took him to task on his leftist assertions, I enjoyed reading. So much so that at times I wondered whether “joe” was secretly a writer for ‘Reason’.

  94. BDB | February 24, 2009, 4:12pm | #
    ” Don’t think they’d let having to obey it themselves stop them from bring it back.”

    It’s like talking to a 9/11 Troofer.

    Hey, why don’t we focus on things that Obama, you know, has actually said he’s going to do like taking over the banks rather than worrying about phantom threats to Rush Limbaugh?

    Really? You think he is that wrong?

    Do you think the fairness doctrine will mean fairness about the drug war?
    About whether there should be international aid?
    About whether there should be public school?
    Even truther shit, will they get the right to have their views expressed in the news? I doubt it.

    The whole compaint about the fairness doctrine, is that true fairness is the free market. Politically enforced fairness, on the other hand would never be fair.

  95. “Reason seems awfully disconnected from the reality of the peril we face. Oppose the stimulus if you want, but offer an alternative that isn’t “it’ll get better, eventually, if we just sit here and scratch ourselves and complain about socialism.””

    Got that, Reason? Pony up your own plan for frittering away trillions in borrowed dollars, or you don’t belong in the conversation.

  96. It’s like talking to a 9/11 Troofer.

    I don’t know if they’ll try to bring the FD back or not (or just do it under another name). I do, however, believe that if they do, they’ll exempt their pals in the MSM. That’s not the same as claiming there were govt explosives in the WTC on 9/11.


  97. The whole compaint about the fairness doctrine, is that true fairness is the free market. Politically enforced fairness, on the other hand would never be fair.”

    Yes, I agree, but the fairness doctrine isn’t coming back. He said it isn’t coming back. He doesn’t have to votes to BRING it back. Yet people still keep saying “don’t believe what he says, or simple math, he WILL bring it back”. That’s what I mean about the Troofer comparison–no matter what you tell them, it just adds another wrinkle to the conspiracy.

  98. If he can’t get it passed under its current name,. what good does changing its name do? Anyone with an IQ over 20 will know what it is. He just doesn’t care about the fairness doctrine.

  99. Tony | February 24, 2009, 3:41pm | #

    Because they don’t live in the paranoid right-wing universe where these things are supposedly of paramount importance.

    I don’t know absolute truths, but I listen to Chris Mathews, Read some Newsweek, watch the Daily Show, AND listen to Rush.

    And come here to see the ideas fought out.

    On the Rush show, I have heard clips where various politicians, including Bill Clinton have talked about how the government should get more involved in the internet and talk radio to ensure fairness.

    Some of the comments were truly shocking.

    If those comments were taken out of context, I’d like a show to point that out. Or a place like this to provide a link that shows they were taken out of context. Rush shows clips from other shows and proves how they were taken out of context. He also shows up other agencies for their false reporting.

    Rush was the first i heard explain how McCain Feingold was not going to work, and was a violation of the 1st A.

    Maybe you should listen to more Rush. Maybe YoU are living in a bubble, not Rush listeners?

  100. “On the Rush show, I have heard clips where various politicians, including Bill Clinton have talked about how the government should get more involved in the internet”

    Not even Communist China effectively controls the internet. And you think our technically illiterate Congress could?

  101. BDB | February 24, 2009, 4:22pm | #
    If he can’t get it passed under its current name,. what good does changing its name do? Anyone with an IQ over 20 will know what it is. He just doesn’t care about the fairness doctrine.

    Maybe he doesn’t like getting taken to task on his failures.
    Maybe it is just passed the way much of the left unpopular stuff gets passed, tucked away in other unrelated bills.

  102. Not even Communist China effectively controls the internet. And you think our technically illiterate Congress could?

    They don’t stop drug traffic either, but they trample a lot of human rights while trying.

  103. Also, I think this somehow relates to the topic.

    But with regard to the truthers. They are given a voice here, and their logic is easily refuted, and their ideas are SHOWN to look foolish.

    This does not happen in the MSN at all. That does nothing but give the truthers credit.

    The same with racists.
    The same with hollocaust deniers
    the same with religious fanatics. Or really religion in general.

    Let these people have a voice and argue against it. Government control of the media does not do that.

    The MSM does not do that either.

  104. Maybe you should listen to more Rush. Maybe YoU are living in a bubble, not Rush listeners?

    Yes I live in a bubble. I read 7 newspapers daily, listen to NPR whenever I’m in the car, flip between all the cable news channels, read blogs of all political persuasions (including this one). Not to mention all manner of articles and books on every subject that interests me, of which there are many.

    My only goal is to keep myself as informed about realty as possible. Maybe I succeed, maybe I don’t. But one thing I’ve learned after all this is that Rush is a lying, hypocritical demagogue, and millions of Americans take his drug-crazed BS as absolute truth.

    But then again, I do live in the bubble of the librul media. Maybe all mainstream sources of information are engaged in a huge conspiracy to deceive Americans and oppress conservatives. And maybe Rush is right about everything. Anything’s possible. But not everything is probable.

  105. When commenters ignored that and took him to task on his leftist assertions, I enjoyed reading. So much so that at times I wondered whether “joe” was secretly a writer for ‘Reason’.

    Agreed and well said.

  106. Tony,

    The difference between the Rush listener and the NPR listener, is that the NPR listener is oftentimes foolish enough to think that what they listen to isn’t biased.

    Or that these epithets:
    hypocritical demagogue,

    Don’t apply to what they listen to.
    The lying part? Being that we can’t know intent, factually inaccurate seems a better fit. And also equally applicable.

    Drug crazed? Now you are just falling victim to drug war propaganda. Maybe like ‘House’ he works better on pain meds?

  107. Technically, Chapter 7 is for liquidation. Chapter 11 is for reorganization, where the bankrupt organization renegotiates its debts and continues in business.

    Correct. Well, it’s too bad there’s noone on here who wants to argue the pro-nationalization case, cause I would persoanlly like to hear a good explanation of why that’s supposed to be superior to Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    They’re all basically saying that the government should take over to either liquidate the bad debt, or else restructure the banks.

    The only real difference I can see is that nationalization puts Congress and the White House in charge of the liquidation and restructuring, instead of the courts.

    So I’m forced to conclude that the push to nationalize is really just a power grab. They want direct control of the banks so they can direct their operations in politically advantageous ways, instead of leaving that power to the courts.

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