Government Spending

$17 Billion in Budget Cuts: A Lot of Money; $18 Billion in Earmarks: Not a Lot

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Apropos President Obama's insistence that his $17 billion in proposed spending cuts is "a lot of money" in the context of a $3.6 trillion federal budget, a reader points out that during the campaign Obama repeatedly suggested that John McCain's emphasis on eliminating earmarks was misplaced because they amounted to a relatively small amount of money: just $18 billion. Here he is in the third debate with McCain:

Earmarks account for 0.5 percent of the total federal budget. There's no doubt that the system needs reform and there are a lot of screwy things that we end up spending money on, and they need to be eliminated. But it's not going to solve the problem.

[Thanks to Chris Griffin for the tip.]

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  1. Appropos

    It’s actually ‘apropos’.

    But it’s aight, I ain’t mad at ya. I used to spell it incorrectly, too.

  2. Hail Market,
    Full of grace,
    Prosperity is with thee.
    Blessed art thou among systems,
    and blessed is the fruit
    of thy womb, Capital.
    Holy Market,
    Mother of Goods,
    pray for us consumers now,
    and at the hour of our bankruptcy.
    Amen.

    Fucking libertard FOOLS and your pathetic cult. I’m through with you wingnuts. Goodbye.

  3. Morris hit the “Submit Comment” button, determined never to come back to reason again. He’d had enough of the market-worshiping fools there, especially that thug Warty, with his hairy forearms, pronounced superorbital ridges, and low parietal width. Why did that excite him so much?

    He turned back to the computer and clicked “Refresh”…just one more time, he told himself. Just one more time; maybe Warty would have seen his comment and responded?

  4. I’m through with you wingnuts. Goodbye.

    Any chance he means it?

  5. Morris lefiti hit the “Submit Comment” button, determined never to come back to reason again.

    Fixed.

  6. Any chance he means it?

    Nope.

  7. You’re wrong Episiarch it was you I always wanted. I don’t know why but you libertarian men excite me.

  8. Ok listen, you can’t expect a guy who won’t STFU to not contradict himself. He had important shit to back in that debate, like get elected. Now he has important things to do like run the country. He can’t be bothered with consistency there are polls to be followed and a world to run. I mean country to run, but not into the ground.

  9. I found a picture of Morris online. Who knew he had a dance named after him?

  10. There he is again! That Morris sure gets around!

  11. Morris, that’s clever. Let me try.

    Hail Government,
    Full of waste,
    Misery is with thee.
    Enriched art thou from kickbacks,
    And inevitable is the fruit
    Of thy womb, Corruption.

    Holy President,
    Father of coercion,
    Pray for us Unions now,
    And at the hour of our inefficiency.

    Amen.

  12. You’re wrong Episiarch it was you I always wanted. I don’t know why but you libertarian men excite me.

    I’m flattered, Morris, but I’m an anarchist, and I don’t look like Australopithecus. You’d still want Warty, or possibly Tim Cavanaugh.

  13. One quick edit:

    . . .

    Holy President,
    Father of coercion,
    Pray Steal for us Unions now,
    And at the hour of our inefficiency.

  14. Jeez, you libertarians just don’t understand Obama math. $17 billion is much, much, much larger than $18 billion.

  15. I don’t know who that guy is in the linked pictures, but I would party with him any day. I have the feeling you would probably need a photographer to chronicle the events since you probably won’t remember them.

  16. Libertarian Psalm 145

    I will exalt You, my G-d the Market, and I will bless Your Name forever and ever.
    Every day I will bless You, and I will laud Your Name forever and ever.
    The Market is great and exceedingly lauded, and Its greatness is beyond investigation.
    Each generation will praise Your deeds to the next and of Your mightly deeds they will tell;
    The splendorous glory of Your power and Your wondrous deeds I shall discuss.
    And of Your awesome they will speak, and your greatness I shall relate.
    A recollection of Your abundant goodness they will utter and of Your righteousness they will sing exultantly.
    Gracious and merciful is The Market, slow to anger, and great in bestowing kindness.
    The Market is good to all; Its mercies are on all Its works.
    All Your works shall thank You, The Market, and Your devout ones will bless You.
    Of the glory of Your kingdom they will speak, and of Your power they will tell.
    To inform human being of Its mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of Its kingdom.
    Your kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities, and Your dominion is throughout every generation.
    The Market supports all the fallen ones and straightens all the bent.
    The eyes of all look to You with hope and You give them their food in it’s proper time;
    You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
    Righteous is The Market in all Its ways and magnanimous in all Its deeds.
    The Market is close to all who call upon Him – to all who call upon Him sincerely.
    The will of those who fear Him He will do; and their cry He will hear, and save them.
    The Market protects all who love Him; but all the wicked He will destroy.
    May my mouth declare the praise of The Market and may all flesh bless Its Holy Name forever and ever. We will bless The Market from its time and forever, Halleluiah!

    Now go back to your market worshipping, fools. This is the last time I’m coming to this fucking lunatic asylum.

  17. This is the last time I’m coming to this fucking lunatic asylum.

    Promise?

  18. And Pro Libertdouche, if you’re reading this, I’ve repeatedly warned you and the rest of your Urkobold pals what would happen if you didn’t remove my quotes from your pathetic little website. This is your last warning.

  19. I’d be thrilled to have Edward back! Unfortunately, my scanner indicates that you are a fake Edward.

  20. Epi, I may look like Australopithecus, but I turn Morris into Homo Erectus.

  21. HAHAHA, Morris you are truly pathetic.

  22. I love the socialist notion that libertarians worship the “market”. As if there is such an entity to worship… market(s) are the natural consequence of free people doing the things they are good at doing… Its not that complicated.

  23. Obama the lying hypocrite douchebag is at it again.

    Nearly every time he opens his mouth he is lying or contradicting himself.

    I would say it’s amateur hour, but this fool gives even amateurs a bad name.

  24. Woo-hoo, Morris is taking his Obama cum-filled mouth elsewhere.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  25. I’m through with you wingnuts. Goodbye.

    I’m sure this clown will keep his promises, just like Obama doesn’t.

    -jcr

  26. This is the last time I’m coming to this fucking lunatic asylum.

    Gee, if I’d just read a little further, I’d have known that he already broke his promise.

    Come on Morris, what’s wrong? Got your panties in a bunch just because you can’t win anyone over to the collectivist side of the force with schoolyard invective?

    -jcr

  27. Meow meow meow meow…

    Oh, wait. That’s the commercial gig I didn’t get.

  28. Come on people…incif…I dont want to read your responses to Edward/Lefiti/Morris either.

  29. I haven’t been here for very long, but JB could you tone it down a bit? You’re not very clever with those comments.

  30. Is the Department of Education still funded?
    WTF? They got a budget increase this yaer and got shitloads of stimulous payoff cash?

    So much for eliminating useless and wasteful programs.

  31. I will miss Epi’s short-short stories if Morris really does leave.

  32. Morris nervously gargled mouthwash in his mother’s basement, hoping to mask the scent of Warty’s cum on his breath. He’d blown Warty, his eyes closed and dreaming it was really Obama’s cock in his mouth, but fulfilling such a fantasy, sharing by hundreds of thousands of liberal woman (and a few men), alas, was not to be.

    His fingers flew over his sticky keyboard. This time he’d nail those libertard bastards, make them see reason and not that spectacularly inappropriately named Reason, wow them with his wit just this one last time and then he’d quit cold turkey, this time for real, just like he’d given up smack for the 412th time 3 hours ago but this time he was gonna succeed, and then maybe get a job and find a real woman …

    He kicked the sticky blowup Candy the Candystriper doll to the side and hit send.

  33. People have lost thier minds. Going into the election I kept thinking it didn’t matter who won, since the new President was going to have his options severly limited by the recession and already existing deficit. I didn’t consider the possibility that the President and his supporters would just deny reality. I remember telling liberals before the election that there was no way Obama was going to be able to deliver on his promises because the country was in a severe recession and the deficit was already too large. They never had an answer to that. They just sort of shrugged and looked at me puzzled like a dog hearing a high pitched sound. Little did I know that they were just going to igore reality and pretend the money was there and the economy could handle a tax increase and act accordingly. God help us.

  34. The AP had a good fact check on Biden a couple of days ago that Suki alerted me to.

    The Pelosi flap is flapping past lift-off speed with Leon Pinetta defending the CIA.

    All I can say is I am glad I voted Libertarian.

  35. prolofeed,

    LOL, nice story intro!

  36. Wolfram|Alpha is up, running, and sucks bad. That is all.

  37. “The AP had a good fact check on Biden a couple of days ago that Suki alerted me to.

    The Pelosi flap is flapping past lift-off speed with Leon Pinetta defending the CIA.”

    The Pelosi thing is a bit like the Livingstone adultery scandal. The Republicans wanted to impeach Clinton over charges that related to adultery. Because of that, they had to get rid of Livingstone before doing so. Now the Dems want to have some national truth commission over torture. You would think they would have to like the Republicans in 1998 get rid of a speaker who knew and approved of such things. But I am not so sure. I really think the Dems are arrogant and shameless enough to try to convict people of torture when their own Speaker and knew and approved of it. If it wasn’t happening to my own country, I would find the shamelessness of it really funny.

  38. Meanwhile, Chicken Little Paul Krugman, gnashing his teeth and rending his Armani sackcloth suit in the NYT (me no linkee), is advocating a trade war with China as the only way to stave off a massive planetary cataclysm.

    We’re DOOOOOOOMED!

  39. You too, prolefeed. Not funny. Jacob Sullum is trying to make a point and you’re off in troll-flaming liberal-smack fantasy land. Go outside.

  40. I see these comments are still unmoderated. Sigh.

  41. P Brooks,

    I believe it goes like so . . .

    doooooooommmm!!!

    DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

    DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!

  42. @ Lester and Mark,

    Hey, I was just riffing off Episiarch’s 7:38 pm post yesterday. My bad if it was unfunny or I crossed the line of your personal comfort zone. But, hey, we’ve established that this site is SO into upholding (and pushing the socially acceptable boundaries of) the First Amendment’s free speech clause …

    That, or Reason is too lazy or cheap to bother moderating comments on these threads.

    Oh, and kudos to Jacob Sullum for a great blog posting here, despite the threadjacking and troll-flaming it’s been subjected to.

  43. The Pentagon has apparently pulled the plug on the New!Improved! Marine One program. Cost overruns, failure to meet performance goals, whatever.

    Congress will, of course, be fighting tooth and nail to save it.

  44. The difference is that those $17 billion of cuts are then designed to be fed back into the government. The point is to make government more efficient, and thus voters happier about more government spending, since it’s more efficient.

    Cutting earmarks, OTOH, would make it harder to pass big government compromise spending monstrosities like the farm bill, energy bill, stimulus bill, and transportation bill. Those earmarks are used to persuade recalcitrant Members to vote for them.

    So call my cynical, to Obama, cuts to encourage more government spending in the long run: good. Cuts that discourage more government spending in the long run: bad. But don’t you dare call him a socialist.

    The Pelosi thing is a bit like the Livingstone adultery scandal.

    Yeah, that’s crossed my mind a few times. To a large degree that’s how Washington works; you seduce someone in to be part of the establishment, and then if they ever decide to criticize it you can scream “hypocrisy!”

    “We’re divvying up the transportation bill. If you don’t apply for projects, your district will get nothing and your voters will subsidize everyone else. [later] Oh, wait, you want to complain about the spending? Well, didn’t you request earmarks as well, hypocrite?”

    Which is of course why even Ron Paul requests earmarks.

  45. I see these comments are still unmoderated. Sigh.

    [slowly shake head] Lester, Lester, Lester –
    Given my usual polite and low key erudite discussions of the issues of the day you may be surprised to learn that occasionaly I post comments that are profanity and obscenity riddled. Rants that are driven by vituperative anger at the injustice in the world and the lack of dicerning intelligence displayed by others.

    I have also mocked other posters by questioning there sexual preferences, morals, intelligence, sanity, potty training, humanity and hygenic practices.

    I have insulted others moms, dads, siblings and offspring when I deemed it appropriate. It’s all part of the unihibited discourse and exchange of ideas here at H&R.

  46. Fuck you, all those who have a problem with mini narratives. I salute prolefeed for continuing the story. These are designed as mockery of idiots like Morris/Edward/Lefiti/LoneMoron, if you couldn’t see that.

  47. So the argument is what…?

    That Obama shouldn’t cut 17 billion in waste?

    Or that we shouldn’t be impressed?

    My read on his statements is…

    “We have a long way to go to dig ourselves out of this hole, here’s one little piece that will contribute to that larger effort.”

    Not sure the framing presented by JS is a fair characterization.

  48. I see these comments are still unmoderated. Sigh Waaah!

  49. Who the fuck is this mark character to be telling other posters what to do? This place is a profane cesspool, dude. It’s why it’s great.

  50. Epi,
    Your mom is a bum fuck.
    Sugar Free said he couldn’t even get it up when he picked her in that tacky bordello she works volunteers at.

    I say this only because you deserve to know the truth.

  51. John Thacker, you are cynical.

  52. I bet mark wears a helmet when he rides his tricycle.

  53. Neu Mejican,

    So the argument is what…?

    That Obama shouldn’t cut 17 billion in waste?

    That was yesterday. Today it’s mini narratives. Please keep up.

    However, it can be anything you like. Didn’t you know this was an unmoderated forum?

  54. J sub, you haven’t banged her too? I know NutraSweet isn’t her only “customer”. You should try her; I have. She’s not great, true, but it’s the novelty, really. Incest is best!

  55. Neu, are you serious? you actually believe Obama intends to dig us out of the hole? I guess if you completely ignore the budget he proposed you could believe that.

  56. Pres. Obama made a similar point only framed the opposite way. People moaned about earmarks breaking the budget for all those months, and now a similar amount of money is a pittance?

  57. I really think the Dems are arrogant and shameless enough to try to convict people of torture when their own Speaker and knew and approved of it. If it wasn’t happening to my own country, I would find the shamelessness of it really funny.

    Speaker Pelosi is a shiny object Republicans are dangling to distract everyone. Okay let’s get to her, after we prosecute the people who ordered and carried out torture.

  58. So the argument is what…?

    That Obama shouldn’t cut 17 billion in waste?

    Or that we shouldn’t be impressed?

    The latter is one argument. The Commerce Department is still there isn’t it? And this tits on a boar hog program.

    D.A.R.E. America is funded largely as a crime prevention program working through education within schools. It receives funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Bureau of Justice Administration, U.S. Office of Justice and Delinquency Prevention, corporations, foundations, individuals and other sources

    Another is that he hasn’t actually cut anything yet. He has proposed some minor trimming of fat on a grotesquesly obese hog. Because the POTUS is the de facto leader of his party, perhaps you are assuming that the Dem congresscritters will tow the lion and agree.

    We shall see, won’t we?

  59. James,

    Obama’s intentions are certainly to dig us out of this hole.

    Whether his methods are the right approach is another issue.

    It reminds me of the Laffer curve arguments.

    Cut taxes to increase revenue…
    It works unless it doesn’t.

    Obama’s plan is similar conceptually.

  60. The pittance that was .05% of the budget then is a nearly unmeasurable percentage now.

  61. “We have a long way to go to dig ourselves out of this hole, here’s one little piece that will contribute to that larger effort.”

    “Look closely at the watch. See how lovely it is. How finely made. See how the light flashes and sparkles as it moves back and forth. You’re becoming more relaxed now, aren’t you? Let the tension flow out of you. There is no waste here. You’re becoming calm and comfortable. There is no fraud, or abuse. Don’t fight. Relax. Take a deep breath. There is no waste here. Another deep breath; let it out slowly. No fraud. No abuse. We’re making your life better. See how we have changed everything? You’re hopeful now, aren’t you? Drink the Hope. Drink it deep.”

  62. Some would say the intentions of Obama are to destroy the private sector so that his beloved government can step in and be everything to everybody. I don’t call that digging us out of the hole,

  63. Some would say the intentions of Obama are to destroy the private sector so that his beloved government can step in and be everything to everybody. I don’t call that digging us out of the hole,

    Some listen to talk radio too much.

  64. Some would say the intentions of Obama are to destroy the private sector so that his beloved government can step in and be everything to everybody. I don’t call that digging us out of the hole,

    Some listen to talk radio too much.

    I’m finding myself agreeing with Tony, a distasteful expeience at best. I don’t believe Obama has intentions of to destroy the private sector.

    I also don’t believe that LBJ had intentions of creating an entrenched dependent poverty stricken class of reliable Democratic voters with the War on Poverty. But that is what happened. The road to hell …

  65. “intentions of to destroy” Yikes!

  66. “Speaker Pelosi is a shiny object Republicans are dangling to distract everyone. Okay let’s get to her, after we prosecute the people who ordered and carried out torture.”

    Pelosi as much as ordered it by approving it. Further, I will bet you dollars to doughnuts torture is still going on in the CIA right now. If there is one thing that has become clear, it is that Obama didn’t beleive a word of what he said about detainees, torture, military commissions and the like. But, he can do that since he has supporters like you who don’t mind being treated like they are retarded. When the Obama torture scandal comes out, you will be on here screaming about how Obama’s torture, like Obama’s GUITMO and Obama’s military commissions, are really different than the Bush versions.

  67. “I’m finding myself agreeing with Tony, a distasteful expeience at best. I don’t believe Obama has intentions of to destroy the private sector.”

    I don’t think he does either anymore than a crack addict kid lose with their parents’ American Express card has any intention of destroying his parents’ finances. Of course, in both cases the result is the same despite the lack of malicious intent.

  68. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts torture is still going on in the CIA right now.

    Actually I think torture stopped after the Abu Ghraib scandal, meaning it wasn’t practiced even during Bush’s 2nd term. I guess according to Dick Cheney the country was in grave danger that entire time.

  69. “Actually I think torture stopped after the Abu Ghraib scandal, meaning it wasn’t practiced even during Bush’s 2nd term. I guess according to Dick Cheney the country was in grave danger that entire time.”

    Depends on what you mean by “torture”. I would bet you that the CIA right now is using interrogation techniques that would have been described in the campaign as “torture”. Further, if the “torture” scandal comes down to waterboarding KSM, the chief 9-11 terrorist, I wish you luck with it.

  70. “I also don’t believe that LBJ had intentions of creating an entrenched dependent poverty stricken class of reliable Democratic voters with the War on Poverty. But that is what happened. The road to hell …”

    When Barry Goldwarer said that is exactly where it would lead he was dimissed as a right wing whacko. Johnson and his supporters assured everyone that they had no intention of creating a dependent class or bankrupting the government with entitlements. Since I can’t look into their souls, I can’t call them liars. But they were certainly fools for not understanding that was exactly what they were doing.

  71. Maybe Obama isn’t trying to destroy the private sector, but giving unions control of a car company and meddling in compensation packages would be a good way to start. Evidence is already showing that government is the only sector that’s growing. And don’t hold your breath waiting for those new jobs to disappear.

  72. Maybe Obama isn’t trying to destroy the private sector, but giving unions control of a car company and meddling in compensation packages would be a good way to start.

    Hate to side track the tangent, but are we talking about the new Chrysler deal? Last I read, if I understood it right, the government was trying to give the UAW a ton of Chrysler stock that the UAW intended to sell right away.

    Wouldn’t that be only temporary control, but still an inefficient way of transferring ownership of Chrysler to people who care enough to buy it and try to run it right?

    If we are talking about GM I am even more clueless there, but appreciate any help in understanding this better.

    [waves at John T and Naga ~~~ HI!]

  73. Really got it bad child, drink a bottle of turpentine
    When you wake up in the morning, feelin’ kinda fine
    Let it hang out baby, let it hang out now, now na-na now

    You better watch your step girl, don’t step on that banana peel
    If your foot should ever hit it, you’ll go up to the ceiling
    Hang it in baby, hang it in baby

  74. I’m not sure which is worse, the UAW running Chrysler or selling the stock and contributing the proceeds to Democrats.

  75. I’m not sure which is worse, the UAW running Chrysler or selling the stock and contributing the proceeds to Democrats.

    Giving them a pile of stock somehow seems to me like giving a teenager a pile of money with no strings.

  76. “Giving them a pile of stock somehow seems to me like giving a teenager a pile of money with no strings.”

    It is not just giving them a pile of stock. It is giving them a pile of stock at the expense of legitimate creditors. It is like running up 20K on your credit card and giving it to your teenager, no strings attached, and then writing it off in bankruptcy.

  77. Suki,

    They want to dump the stock on someone so they can continue funding the pension funds at the same level. Not gonna happen anytime soon is my guess. The existing shareholders ownership has been drastically diluted while the bondholders were given a pittance. I’m not saying that there isn’t someone out there who would gamble his money on buying the UAW shares with the hope of a future payoff but I am saying such a person would have to shrug off better deals with higher payoffs in other industries.

  78. “I’m not saying that there isn’t someone out there who would gamble his money on buying the UAW shares with the hope of a future payoff but I am saying such a person would have to shrug off better deals with higher payoffs in other industries.”

    I am not so sure about that. Considering that the UAW owns the President in Congress, I seriously doubt Obama motors is going to go broke ever. It is basically a welfare benefit distribution mechanism. Unless and until the Dems no longer control Congress and the Whitehouse, I don’t know that Crysler is that bad of a bet.

  79. Wolfram|Alpha is up, running, and sucks bad. That is all.

    Called it.

    So the argument is what…? That Obama shouldn’t cut 17 billion in waste?

    I was confused by that bit too.

  80. “So the argument is what…? That Obama shouldn’t cut 17 billion in waste?

    I was confused by that bit too.”

    No. The argument is that he should admit that the 18 billion in earmarks is significant. Or, if not, admit that his 17 billion in waste isn’t significant.

  81. John,

    I disagree on two points. One is that Obama and his ilk are politicians. Among politicians there is never firm support for anything. Merely a current balance of power. Two is that if the shareholders and the bondholders were hosed by the President, what can a major investor expect? Hell, the President can undue your decisions as a major shareholder since the precedent has been set that CEO’s can be fired at the President’s whim.

  82. “I see these comments are still unmoderated.”

    Much like life.

  83. “Two is that if the shareholders and the bondholders were hosed by the President, what can a major investor expect?”

    I don’t buy that the Dems will ever walk away from Detroit, but that is a good point. But, that is clearly a risk that will have to be compensated for. At some point, the time will come when the UAW and the government can no longer afford to own Crysler. When that happens, that stock will be sold and a big payoff will be given to the purchasers at tax payer expense. Otherwise, you are right and UAW is stuck with worthless stock. I don’t think Obama will let that happen.

  84. “Speaker Pelosi is a shiny object Republicans are dangling to distract everyone. Okay let’s get to her, after we prosecute the people who ordered and carried out torture.”

    True dat, double tru.

    If you want to point at Pelosi and say “hypocrite”, then I’m with you, but certainly the baddest of the bad guys in this scenario are the ones who initiated and pushed for the torture.

  85. I think your wrong John. Chrysler Terri Schiavo Motors is not going to get better. Eventually, even the dumbasses in congress are going to tire of throwing away maoney at a company that can not make a profit. UAW involvement in management decisions will only hasten that.

  86. Morris needn’t have written his own Psalm, nor did the other commenters have to fire back, since, devil that I am, I can quote scripture to my own purposes: I Samuel 8, on kings

    9: Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
    10: And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
    11: And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
    12: And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
    13: And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
    14: And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
    15: And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
    16: And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
    17: He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
    18: And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
    19: Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
    20: That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
    21: And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the LORD.

    The idea that the government can be the object of idolatry is at least as ancient as mammon being one.

    Kevin

    (not religious, but knows a prophet speaking good sense when he sees it)

  87. Is Obama going to screw the shareholders? I can see the bondholders from what I’ve read, but if he is going to bail out the company I imagine the shareholders won’t mind. But I admit I have not been keeping up with the story much…

  88. “I think your wrong John. Chrysler Terri Schiavo Motors is not going to get better. Eventually, even the dumbasses in congress are going to tire of throwing away maoney at a company that can not make a profit. UAW involvement in management decisions will only hasten that.”

    If a new set of dumbasses is elected to Congress, I think you have a point. But this set of dumbasses will never get tired of throwing money at Crysler. The UAW just has too much influence. Further, to let Crysler die is to admit that the bailouts were a waste of money that just delayed then inevitable. Congress, or at least this Congress, will spend a hell of a lot of your’s and I’s money before they admit that.

  89. BTW
    Does anyone else miss the Weekend Threads that Dave Weigel used to put up? I do. Lately its almost as if the later Friday evening posts are lame and boring on purpose (earmarks, newspapers, California’s budget, zzzzz).

    Look, reason, please put the following topics in your late Friday evening posts:

    1. Evolution, true or not?
    2. Global Warming, true or not?
    3. Israel, bastion of civilization surrounded by savages or cabal of evil Christian-baby eating Zionists?
    4. Liberals, socialists or fascists?
    5. High Every Body, gay or just “bi-curious?”
    6. Absurdly big Romulan battlecraft, tired plot device or enough fucking already with the big-ass Romulan ships?
    7. Lastly, Picard or Kirk?
    8. Somewhat related to number 1 and 7, is there a God (if so, is his name Shatner?)?

    If you can double up any of these then we can happily get back to some 300+ posts.

  90. Absurdly big Romulan battlecraft, tired plot device or enough fucking already with the big-ass Romulan ships?

    Oh for the love of…

    It was a mining vessel. A late 24th century Romulan mining vessel. It’s like taking the Exxon Valdez and strapping some 20mm cannons to it to fight a war. It just so happens that everyone you’re facing is in wood-hulled vessels, so it works out OK.

  91. Thanks, MNG.

  92. MNG,

    Mentioning Star Trek on here produces a truly Pavlovian response.

  93. And Kirk, of course. Original cast and TOS all damn day, what.

  94. MNG you fool! You’ve opened the thread up to Star Trek geeks! Damn you! Damn your black heart to hell!

  95. I gotta agree with MNG. The Weekend Political Thread was a winner concept. Maybe it won’t do as well now as when the election season was with us, but links to 5-8 news stories (3 politics, one international, one cultural?) from the countries world’s magazines, dailies, blogs … (they’re all good) and we’ll take it from there.

    If the Indonesians are going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, you link it and we’ll generate at least 50 comments on it.

  96. MNG,

    If you are going to troll for queers why don’t you just announce your faggotness instead of trying to entice Naga and HEB, who do not seem to be too interested?

  97. MNG @ 3:04, you forgot gun-related topics, but other than that I’d agree.

  98. MNG,

    I think he said “buy-curious”*

    *thank you, David Cross

  99. If the Indonesians are going cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs…

    What’s happening in Sri Lanka right now is pretty ugly.

  100. I’m appalled at the Sri Lanka thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fan of the Tamil Tigers, but I think the government could use a lot more humane actions than they are.

    “#

    MNG,

    If you are going to troll for queers why don’t you just announce your faggotness instead of trying to entice Naga and HEB, who do not seem to be too interested?”

    #, I’m straight, loves the ladies I do. I know you think you know otherwise. Of course we both know I fuck your mom a lot, and yes she has some manly features, but she is not in fact a man. Even your kind cannot be produced asexually…

  101. LMNOP
    The ship was absurdly big and powerful. It wiped out over 40 Klingon ships, wtf? It’s just a lame plot device to make us go “holy shit look at the ODDS our hero must face to win!”

    What they don’t get is that if they developed a really good villian with a compelling story then he would not need an some absurd tactical advantage, see Khan (his ship was actually smaller, but the dramatic suspense was all you could want).

    And while I love some Shat, I liked Picard better, and Data over Spock anyday…

  102. #, I’m straight, loves the ladies I do. I know you think you know otherwise. Of course we both know I fuck your mom a lot, and yes she has some manly features, but she is not in fact a man. Even your kind cannot be produced asexually…

    Trying to get everybody to laugh themselves to death?

    Your text based bearding is more transparent than Elton John’s first marriage.

  103. MNG,

    The Sri Lankan government finally has the Tigers on the ropes. I hate to point it out but it would appear that government forces are gonna try to give em’ the knockout punch. Most likely it’ll be a bloodbath.

  104. “You’ve opened the thread up to Star Trek geeks!”

    Hey, I’m one of the aforesaid!

    And a man with an obscure Sith lord for a handle should not dare to call another “geek” 😉

  105. Meh. Pwned.

  106. I’m straight, loves the ladies I do.

    I pictured you saying that with a wifebeater tied up around your chest while saying the aforementioned phrase with a lisp.

    OH SNAP!

    It’s on like donkey kong, byotch!

  107. You have to love H&R, where you can be called a fa**ot AND a homophobe (TAO)…At least I know I must be doing something right.

    Look #, I know you get upset with me, but as we’ve explained before, your mommy’s screams are screams of JOY, I’m not hurting her (at least not more than she wants)

  108. Flashback: when TAO accused me of being a homophobe he pictured me in a wifebeater too…Interesting.

  109. I’m picturing him in ass-less chaps!

    Yummy!

  110. re: Sri Lanka, I suspect the Tigers know it’s over, so they’re putting civilians in the line of fire. If the government has any sense, the last they’d want to do is anger ethnic Tamils when the insurgency is on its last legs.

    Then again, for a government to behave stupidly and brutally is not unknown.

  111. MNG,

    You’re projecting. 😉

  112. BP,

    I think they’re really gonna do it. Unfortunately beating a people down to the point of ethnic extinction isn’t unknown either.

  113. The Sri Lankan government finally has the Tigers on the ropes. I hate to point it out but it would appear that government forces are gonna try to give em’ the knockout punch. Most likely it’ll be a bloodbath.

    I hope the Tamil Tigers, their murdering fucktard ideology notwithstanding, just goddam surrender. The game’s over guys.

  114. Unfortunately beating a people down to the point of ethnic extinction isn’t unknown either.

    Naga – the Indian government would have to be complicit in that, since there is a large Tamil population in southern India.

    I hope the Tamil Tigers, their murdering fucktard ideology notwithstanding, just goddam surrender.

    That would be optimal, but if they can still delude themselves that they can make Communism work…

  115. Obama’s intentions are certainly to dig us out of this hole.

    Neu,

    Are you basing this on his rhetoric? Or on what economists call “revealed preference”, that is, what Obama is actually doing. Because what he is doing is digging a huge fucking hole and then tossing a teaspoon of dirt out of the hole while the cameras roll and proclaiming, “See? I’m making the hole smaller!” and then pitching back in with a fucking backhoe to enlarge it more.

    I would be OK with cutting $17B from the budget in real cuts — something is better than nothing — but promises of “cuts” that are probably more along the lines of “reducing the rate of growth of existing programs by proposing real increases in spending in said programs” or “cosmetic miniscule cuts for the purposes of deceiving gullible voters that aren’t paying close attention” — eh, not so much something I applaud.

  116. I am not so sure about that. Considering that the UAW owns the President in Congress, I seriously doubt Obama motors is going to go broke ever.

    Ummm, you actually have to sell cars to stay in business. You actually have to convince suppliers to ship parts that haven’t been paid for in advance to stay in business. And you certainly can’t give the UAW voting control over the stock and hope that will turn around an already dire situation. At some point the losses would get so great that the Democrats would have to pull the plug, over the objections of Rust Belt congresscritters.

  117. Why do you need the reason staff to give you something to think about?
    What about Mr Liddy, interim CEO whippingboy at AIG, telling Congress he was instructed by Bernanke to redeem CDSs at face value, rather than market value?

    ps- I do not give a good goddam about Star Trek in any of its multifarious iterations.

    Stanley Tweedle is a vastly more interesting character than James T Kirk.

  118. The ship was absurdly big and powerful. It wiped out over 40 Klingon ships, wtf? It’s just a lame plot device to make us go “holy shit look at the ODDS our hero must face to win!”

    Absurdly big I’ll give you. Powerful? That’s all relative. You take a couple of coast guard cutters, send them back in time 150 years, and they will pwn all. Today, they are puny. Hence my point about the ship being from the later 24th century and the action taking place in the early 23rd.

    Hence the metaphor about the oil tanker with the pea-shooters against the Spanish Armada. Oil tanker wins.

  119. You have to love H&R, where you can be called a fa**ot AND a homophobe

    It is possible to be both gay and hate gays. It is possible to be Jewish and hate Teh Jooz. And so on.

  120. The UAW knows exactly how unlikely Chrysler is to survive over any prolonged period of time; they want to dump those shares ASAP. The question then becomes, “What will they do with the proceeds?”

  121. The UAW knows exactly how unlikely Chrysler is to survive over any prolonged period of time; they want to dump those shares ASAP. The question then becomes, “What will they do with the proceeds?”
    Chrysler LLC is a private company. It is not publicly traded right now. That may change with the new owners/partners. Would you buy Chrysler stock if you could? Didn’t think so. The company is a corpse on life support. Terri Schiavo.

  122. This is why certain entities like the idea of government controlled financial institutions. Institutional investors may not have any choice but to invest in Chrysler & GM in sufficient quantity as to affect their price.

  123. “At some point the losses would get so great that the Democrats would have to pull the plug, over the objections of Rust Belt congresscritters.”

    Yeah. A social welfare program will get so expensive that even Democrats won’t support it any more. Comedy gold P. Brooks. Just comedy gold. If you are not trying to be funny, you are living in denial.

  124. Neu,

    Are you basing this on his rhetoric?

    Like all humans, I have an inherent, if imperfect, ability to read other’s intentions. It is the skill upon which we base the ability to create language and culture.

    Obama does not intend to make the hole bigger in the long run. He intends to do things that will make the hole smaller in the long run. He believes that some short-term digging is needed to implement strategies that will fill in the hole in the long run.

    Whether his plans/actions, whatever, have that effect is an entirely different question.

    “Or on what economists call “revealed preference”…”

    Gimme a fuckin’ break.
    There are way too many problems with that to go into in detail, but let’s just say that perfect knowledge of consequences is not something that economic actors have, even theoretically. Basing a judgment of intention on the outcome would require that the actor knew the outcome ahead of time.

    And in this situation, you are basing your judgment of long-term outcomes on _________…

  125. As for who is/was digging that hole…

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/02/20/obama-budget/

    Now, iirc Bush was proposing a similar set of cuts that was around 34 billion.

  126. Hey…a cheerleader here with good shape. check me out to see my HOT PHOTO ALBUM at
    http://www.interracialchats.com/user_details?prof_id=7767212
    Comment on my photos will be appreciateed…

  127. 26-year civil war? Damn.

  128. What do you expect from some guy who was elected on his ability to preach untruth to an audience of disillusioned underachievers united in their hatred of George W. Bush, without any idea of what they wanted instead?

    List of nice vague terms to use:

    “Hope”
    “Change”
    “Freedom”
    “Justice”
    “Equality”

    None of which have any commonly-agreed upon definition in this context.

  129. OT, but some of you might appreciate this. Note the Ron Paul argument and see if you can spot the lonewackoff post… Maybe these guys read H&R.

    (language NSFW — wear headphones).

  130. ^ pretty funny. Related item (from the same people) hier.

  131. Gimme a fuckin’ break.
    There are way too many problems with that to go into in detail, but let’s just say that perfect knowledge of consequences is not something that economic actors have, even theoretically. Basing a judgment of intention on the outcome would require that the actor knew the outcome ahead of time.

    Who knows if you’ll come back to this thread this weekend, but Neu, isn’t this a touch disingenuous??

    I mean c’mon. In the case of the Obama budget, we *do* know the outcome. It’s not as complex as they might want to believe. No amount of magic is going to make increasing the deficit by trillions of dollars miraculously make us richer.

    Additionally, if anyone besides the Austrian economists were actually paying attention, it would be obvious to everyone on the planet that there is no multiplier and it actually does make a difference where the spending is coming from… This stuff really isn’t unpredictable.

    You can certainly make the argument that Obama doesn’t know that he’s digging us into a giant and likely inescapable economic hole, but that seems to imply that he’s just as much of an idiot as his predecessor… And frankly, on economic matters, Bush was a complete moron – but he was really using a shovel to Obama’s sticks of dynamite.

  132. If you can double up any of these then we can happily get back to some 300+ posts.

    200 of them will be from the same 3 people who must have their beliefs confirmed and cannot live with someone else, who is clearly wrong, expressing an opinion not in line with theirs. MNG, I’m not saying you are one of the three people. I would never suggest such a thing. That would be as crazy as suggesting (old) joe, or jean bart, or LMNOP (to some extent) does this. Or that Epi is having some kind of homosexual love/hate romantic fisting thing going on with sugarfree. None of that is true.

  133. pish-posh*, bigbigslacker. All the sublimated legends (NoStar, et al.) would make triumphant returns…or at least, there’d be Star Trek arguments…maybe even the odd Star Wars/Star Trek flame war…or at least a Hottest Spice Girl debate.

  134. TNG sucks. Don’t even compare it to TOS. And don’t argue with that one. There is no point, because I am right and you are wrong.

  135. …or at least a Hottest Spice Girl debate.

    Debate? What debate? Everyone knows it was Baby Spice.

  136. It’s obviously Scary Spice (Mel B.) that’s the hawtest. Although Posh clearly also radiates the hawt.

  137. Now, iirc Bush was proposing a similar set of cuts that was around 34 billion.

    Oh boy! The “Bush did it too” argument. You may have noticed that Bush has been roundly comndemned in these pages for both the financial sector and auto bailouts. He’s been criticized for deficits, slight-of hand accounting, over optimistic growth projections, and almost every initiative he was responsible for. The whole world is not divided into Republican and Democratic teams, I’m not even on the friggin’ red/blue spectrum, I’m not on the “conservative”-“liberal” line. I’m on a skew line.

    So when U.S. troops are still fighting in Iraq in two years, are gonna drop by to say, “But Bush started it”?

  138. It’s obviously Scary Spice (Mel B.) that’s the hawtest…

    Art, Art, Art. The heat is obviously getting to you, even if it is 2 am or whatever over there. Have some water, cool off, come to your senses.

    Back on Sri Lanka, the rebels have given up the ghost.

  139. You are both wrong. Ginger Spice was clearly the best. Now carry on.

  140. “I remember telling liberals before the election that there was no way Obama was going to be able to deliver on his promises because the country was in a severe recession and the deficit was already too large. They never had an answer to that.”

    You’re coming at this from the naive angle that they actually care about the deficit. They don’t. For that matter the Republicans don’t either as long as they control the executive branch.

    The government is going to continue spending money it doesn’t have. However instead of calling it reckless we now call it “stimulus”.

    When people spend money they don’t have the market goes to shit. When the government spends money it doesn’t have it’s panacea for the recession.

  141. Obama at Notre Dame

    But as the president began his commencement address, at least three protesters interrupted it. One yelled, “Stop killing our children.”

    The graduates responded by chanting “Yes we can.”

  142. It’s obviously Scary Spice (Mel B.) that’s the hawtest. Although Posh clearly also radiates the hawt.

    Gotta second Art’s first sentence, though clearly and defiantly denounce the second. Mel B is the best.

  143. The UAW knows exactly how unlikely Chrysler is to survive over any prolonged period of time; they want to dump those shares ASAP. The question then becomes, “What will they do with the proceeds?”

    it’s been raised before, but to repeat it.

    The head of the UAW announced up front that the union had no interest in owning Chrysler. They were planning to dump the shares and use the proceeds to bail out their pension and welfare fund.

    It looks to me like they realize they have killed the golden goose and now simply plan to get ahold of as many of the already laid eggs as possible.

  144. JsubD,

    Oh boy! The “Bush did it too” argument.

    Sorry, but I had forgotten how difficult argumentation was for you.

    The argument is this…”of course, Obama shouldn’t get too much credit, since EVEN GWB was proposing larger cuts.”

    Doesn’t mean Obama shouldn’t propose cuts, just that his supporters shouldn’t point to them as evidence that he is “getting it right.”

    Sean W. Malone | May 17, 2009, 3:42am | #

    Who knows if you’ll come back to this thread this weekend, but Neu, isn’t this a touch disingenuous??

    Well, only if you ignore the distinction between short term and long term outcomes that my comment was intended to highlight.

  145. Earmarks do not increase the budget.

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