Federalism

Obama Officials Threaten to Cut Funding to Arizona in Response to Criticism From Arizona Senator

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Here's a bluff I'd like to see called, if only to watch the White House try to defend basing its spending decisions on whether a state's politicians have enough snap in their salutes:

What was that you were saying about the stimulus?

On This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said of the $787 billion stimulus package, "the reality is it hasn't helped yet. Only about 6.8 percent of the money has actually been spent. What I proposed is, after you complete the contracts that are already committed, the things that are in the pipeline, stop it."

A day later, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer received letters from Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood,  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar all pointing out the billions headed to Arizona.

Kyl "publicly questioned whether the stimulus is working and stated that he wants to cancel projects that aren't presently underway," LaHood wrote to Brewer, a Republican. "I believe the stimulus has been very effective in creating job opportunities throughout the country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know."

While ugly, this attitude is not remotely surprising. The more you cede your own well-being to an 800-pound gorilla, the more that 800-pound gorilla is going to act like a thin-skinned asshole.

Link via Instapundit.

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  1. Everything I know about economics I learned from the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse.

  2. Sure, it’s wrong, but one has to appreciate it a bit considering the GOP senators get to have their cake and eat it to: bitch about the stimulus and collect the checks too! But hey, watching government spending increase while bitching about it is the GOP’s specialty.

  3. So you’re calling Obama a gorilla.

  4. That is a great photo of Leonard Small.

  5. Tammany Hall. Did anyone expect anything less from a Chicago/Illinois politician?

  6. Tammany Hall. Did anyone expect anything less from a Chicago/Illinois politician?

    The appearance of the law must be maintained at all times. Especially while it is being broken.

  7. I guess the Cook County Democratic Organization (CCDO) would be a more appropriate analogy than Tammany.

    Political machines are back, well they’ve been back.

  8. Kyl should counter-offer to opt out of the stimulus money if Arizona also gets to opt out of the taxes and debt that pay for it.

  9. MNG-

    Stop thy knee jerk reflexive defense of the donkeys, please. Why not focus upon the enormous gap between Obama’s campaign platitutdes about “clean” and “transparent government” and the reality of the Obama administration’s dirty, messy, sordid governance?

  10. The headline isn’t even true– they didn’t threaten, they merely asked whether Arizona wanted their money. If John Kyl doesn’t want his state’s share, he should try to return it to the treasury like Sanford did.

  11. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know.

    What a bunch of dickheads. They went absolutely apeshit when certain governors now tried to do just that.

    Can I say apeshit in a post about the Obama administration?

  12. Apparently it’s gorillashit.

  13. I strongly hope that Obama has Bush and his minions arrested. Then I will have the wonderful anticipation of Obama and his collection of retards being dragged off to Gitmo in four years.

  14. I’m with PapayaSF – The response should be “sure, don’t send us the money and we’ll opt out of a comensurate amount of our citizens federal tax obligation. Suck it you corrupt fucking thugs.”
    -K

  15. Here’s a bluff I’d like to see called

    Oh, don’t make me laugh. Without my say-so they wouldn’t piss with their pants on fire.

  16. “While ugly, this attitude is not remotely surprising. The more you cede your own well-being to an 800-pound gorilla, the more that 800-pound gorilla is going to act like a thin-skinned asshole.”

    Priceless……

    Let this be a warning to all those that want the Feds, or govt in general, intruding into your health care. Think of a pissed off, incompetent, thin skinned, clumsy 800 pound gorilla as your brain surgeon.

  17. Let this be a warning to all those that want the Feds, or govt in general, intruding into your health care. Think of a pissed off, incompetent, thin skinned, clumsy 800 pound gorilla as your proctologist.

    more appropriate

  18. Obama Officials Threaten to Cut Funding to Arizona in Response to Criticism From Arizona Senator

    Obama didn’t threaten anything.

    Kyl “publicly questioned whether the stimulus is working and stated that he wants to cancel projects that aren’t presently underway,” LaHood wrote to Brewer, a Republican. “I believe the stimulus has been very effective in creating job opportunities throughout the country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know.”

    He asked the state official if they don’t want the stimulus money in response to Kyl’s demanding that he cancel the stimulus.

    Show me anything in that statement that is a threat. Anything.

    He is basically saying “does John Kyl speak for your state or not?” He is also showing that he isn’t forcing the stimulus on anyone.

    I don’t see what the problem is. He’s calling their bluff and pointing out the hypocrisy, but at no point did anything “threaten” anything.

  19. While ugly, this attitude is not remotely surprising. The more you cede your own well-being to an 800-pound gorilla, the more that 800-pound gorilla is going to act like a thin-skinned asshole.

    You know who the asshole is? The guy out there trying to score political points by opposing something that he has no intention of giving up.

    Calling a politician’s bluff when said politician is trying to score cheap political points makes Obama an asshole? Well more assholes please.

  20. Nice house you have there.

    Be a shame if it burnt down.

    Not a threat.

    Narrow definitions and semantics as a defense are generally a pathetic defense.

    Giving the context it’s a threat. Only a shill or mildly retarded rhesus monkey would think otherwise.

  21. Stop thy knee jerk reflexive defense of the donkeys, please

    Maybe the dolts around here should stop their knee jerk attacks on everything Obama.

    The same people that hollered about Bush Derangement Syndrome (when people opposed him for legitimate reasons like torture, illegal surveillance, and extending the power of the executive and misusing his “wartime” powers ) are the first people to fucking misrepresent what Obama does and cast it in the most dishonest and negative light possible.

    Like I said before….can someone show me where the threat is in “if you don’t want the money let us know”? Is threat an honest characterization of the letter?

  22. Giving the context it’s a threat. Only a shill or mildly retarded rhesus monkey would think otherwise.

    Only an illiterate dolt would equate “do you want this or not” with a threat.

    Where is Obama’s implication of consequences? Where is his “it’d be a shame if…” in the letter?

  23. Where is Obama’s implication of consequences? Where is his “it’d be a shame if…” in the letter?

    Right here.

  24. Sounds like something the mafia would do. Well, Obama is from Chicago and LaHood is from Northern Illinois. Granted, Peoria is not quite Chi-town, but LaHood has spent enough time in politics that he might as well be from Chicago.

    These are, dare I say it, strong arm tactics. The Obama administration is trying to infringing upon the First Amendment rights of their political opponents.

  25. Right here.

    What the hell does lamenting the loss of US ownership of Busch corporation have to do with his letter to AZ officials?

    Despite that, in the link you provided where is the implied threat. What is the implied consequence?

    Wow some people are STOOOOPID

  26. Only an illiterate dolt would falsely defend Obama like a rabid monkey when there is zero argument that Obama threatened anyone. Reading comprehension is fucking key in arguing a point. If you want to narrow this to absurdity then at least have the fucking sense to realize that you are defending Obama for something that no one accused him of.

    You blindly assumed it was a slam on Obama and not, as clearly stated in the title, Obama officials. Hows that for narrowing the argument? Are you so blinded with outrage about an Obama slight that you can’t even argue the fucking point about this being about officials and not Obama.Shill much?

    Now go ahead and expand the phrase “Obama Officials” in some pathetic fucking attempt to be right after narrowing the definition of threat to an outright threat.

  27. I’M GOING TO OPERATE. GET BITS OF BRAIN.

  28. ChicagoTom,

    Why send the letter in the first place? What exactly is the purpose of the letter?

  29. Maybe Kyl should get on his own state’s government. They’re the ones who spend the money, so if they’re dragging their feet, it’s on them.

  30. Only an illiterate dolt would falsely defend Obama like a rabid monkey when there is zero argument that Obama threatened anyone. Reading comprehension is fucking key in arguing a point. If you want to narrow this to absurdity then at least have the fucking sense to realize that you are defending Obama for something that no one accused him of.

    There was no threat in the letter either by Obama or his officials or any member of his cabinet.

    Yet you and Mr. Welch stated that the letter was a threat. And let’s not play games here. Do you think his cabinet members did sent the letter without his knowledge or his direction?

    Anyone who believes that this letter was a threat by the Obama administration needs to learn to read. It was a simple question — do you want the money or not. That is not a threat.

    Why send the letter in the first place? What exactly is the purpose of the letter?

    Because one of AZ senators (John Kyl) is trying to score political points by demanding that the stimulus be cancelled. So he is basically calling him out by seeing if the rest of the AZ republicans feel that way.

    Was it a political move to try and shut a blowhard critic up and call his bluff? Absolutely.

    Was it a threat? I don’t see any evidence of any threat. There were no implied consequences. It was a simple question. Do you want the money? If not let us know and we wont send it.

  31. You blindly assumed it was a slam on Obama and not, as clearly stated in the title, Obama officials. Hows that for narrowing the argument? Are you so blinded with outrage about an Obama slight that you can’t even argue the fucking point about this being about officials and not Obama.Shill much?

    I am arguing the point. The point is the letter wasn’t a threat, and the title of the post is a mis-characterization.

    You are the one trying to play semantics. Show me which part of the letter was a threat either implied or direct.

    You can’t because it wasn’t.

  32. If your boss wants to fire you for not pleasuring him orally, thats not a threat either, right?

    He’s not “threatening” to hit you or anything violent, he’s just asking if you wanna get paid or not.

  33. Removing the context from an argument. Another strategy of failure.

  34. ChicagoTom,

    So the Senator was a blowhard for questioning the validity of the claims about the stimulus?

    Was it a political move…

    But we were assured that the Obama administration would be above mere politics. Really they are their own worst enemies that way.

  35. It’s a crony threat. The push and rhetoric aimed at forcing non Democrat governors to take the money is a clear indication that the administration wants the states to take the money. To turn around and then say you can give it back is political threat. If they did deny the funds the same attacks that other governors saw would be aimed at AZ.

    You can twist, play semantics, narrow arguments, and ignore context all you want. It’s a political threat. Either you are acting as an outright shill and don’t see it or you are being dishonest with yourself for the sake of shilling. Either way it’s mildly entertaining.

  36. ChiTom:
    1) Saying the stimulus is not working and we should stop it != Stop sending the money. To pretend that the administrations reaction is anything different than saying “watch what you say buddy, or we’ll take our [in reality your, see below] ball and go home” is naive at best and outright shilling at worst.
    2) It is not their money to bribe and, yes, threaten, with. It is manifestly an implied threat in the context of the exchange. They are not literally asking politely whether Arizona wants the money or not. If you are willing to give them that sort of credit…
    3) Is Kyle engaged in political grandstanding? Maybe. Is the Administration engaged in political grandstanding? Maybe. Threats? Yes. That you catagorize Kyle as grandstanding and the Administration as righteously standing up to that political hacks grandstanding smells like shilling.

    -K

  37. “Like I said before….can someone show me where the threat is in “if you don’t want the money let us know”?”

    Timing.

  38. See, here’s the deal, dipshit. One day later – one fucking day later – FOUR FUCKING CABENET SECRETARIES perpetrated a coordinated letter writing campaign. What are the fucking odds of that happening organically? And for what? A governor expressing an opinion.? Why didn’t they write the governor since he’s the one who made the comments?

    And do you think they wrote those letters themselves? Each cabinet secretary would have asked someone on their communications staff to write the letter and then they would have had to run it by their legal team. What are the odds of THAT happening organically and within 24 hours.

    To reiterate:

    Timing

  39. Correction: Senator, not Govenor. We regret the error.

  40. “There were no implied consequences.”

    Defunding, dipshit.

  41. Think of a pissed off, incompetent, thin skinned, clumsy 800 pound gorilla as your brain surgeon.

    MY BRAIN HURTS

  42. Justice Department Agrees Confession Obtained Under Threat of Death May Be Unreliable

  43. It wasn’t a threat. They were just informing the detainees they may someday die.

  44. Because one of AZ senators (John Kyl) is trying to score political points by demanding that the stimulus be cancelled. So he is basically calling him out by seeing if the rest of the AZ republicans feel that way.

    Kyl suggested that the entire rest of the stimulus be canceled nationwide. LaHood responded by suggesting that Arizona continue to be taxed for the stimulus money spent everywhere else, but not get its share of the spending. That’s entirely different from what Senator Kyl was suggesting, and surely you know it.

    Sure, it’s wrong, but one has to appreciate it a bit considering the GOP senators get to have their cake and eat it to: bitch about the stimulus and collect the checks too!

    They voted against the stimulus. Where in the hell does this reasoning come that if you vote against the stimulus, you shouldn’t get any of the spending, but you’re damn sure going to get taxed regardless?

    Look, fine, only the states whose senators voted for the stimulus can get stimulus spending if only the states whose senators vote for tax increases pay taxes. Also, if you live in a state whose senators voted against the GWB tax cuts, then you pay taxes at the higher old rate. Fair trade to me.

  45. So the Senator was a blowhard for questioning the validity of the claims about the stimulus?

    No, not at all. If that’s all he was doing no one would have cared. He is a blowhard because of his demands that the Obama Administration to cancel the rest of the stimulus plan, saying it was a complete failure.

    It’s much to early to call it a complete failure. You could argue that you think the logic is flawed, or that it isn’t the most effective way to do it, but to state that as of right now it’s a complete failure is pure grandstanding. And that makes him a blowhard.

  46. “Think of a pissed off, incompetent, thin skinned, clumsy 800 pound gorilla as your brain surgeon.”

    How about an intelligent 800 pound gorilla like the one from the Brotherhood of Evil? He knew about the Brain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsieur_Mallah

  47. I agree with Tom. Kyl and the GOP are all like “the stimulus is a terrible failure that needs to be discontinued. Hey, don’t cut off our stimulus checks, wtf?!”

  48. If the program has not met the goals to date it was designed to meet to date is it not a failure? It should be noted that the goals were set by the people enacting it.

    Cause there’s been a wee bit of backpedaling as the numbers keep sliding as milestones go by.

  49. The real threat would be if the administration threatened to send Napolitano back to us. Yuck.

    By the way, is LaHood French for The Hood? Is that possible?

  50. Defunding, dipshit.

    Look asshat, that isn’t a threat you illiterate dolt.

    Do you want the money or not is not a threat to defund. It is asking if you want to voluntarily forgo funding.

    If I am looking to rent an apartment and I am bitching about the terms of the lease and the condition of the place and the a prospective landlord asks me if I want to rent his place or not, he is threatening me with not letting me live there or is he asking what I want to do?

    Seriously this is basic reading comprehension. You’ve got to be the stupidest motherfucker I’ve come across on the internet. (and that includes youtube comments)

    It wasn’t a threat. They were just informing the detainees they may someday die.

    Nice analogy. “Tell me what I want to hear or Ill kill you” is equivalent “if you don’t want the money tell me and i wont send it to you”

    really? That’s the argument you are going with?

    Like I said some people are STOOOOPID

  51. If the program has not met the goals to date it was designed to meet to date is it not a failure? It should be noted that the goals were set by the people enacting it.

    No it isn’t. The stimulus wasn’t supposed to be a magic bullet, nor was it sold as an overnight fix.

    It was a long term solution to an economic problem. t this point the jury is still out. So people screaming that a few months into it its a “complete failure” are nothing but blowhards.

  52. See, here’s the deal, dipshit. One day later – one fucking day later – FOUR FUCKING CABENET SECRETARIES perpetrated a coordinated letter writing campaign. What are the fucking odds of that happening organically? And for what? A governor expressing an opinion.? Why didn’t they write the governor since he’s the one who made the comments?

    look asshole — no one is arguing that what the admin did wasn’t a political move. of couse it was. but it wasnt a threat. it was calling Kyl’s bluff and making him look bad.

    Kyl is saying the stimulus is a failure and should be canceled — yet his state wants the money. So this shows that Kyl is a bit out of touch with his constituents and his state GOP.

    It’s a purely political move and a rather good one at that.

  53. “The stimulus wasn’t supposed to be a magic bullet, nor was it sold as an overnight fix.”

    You are right. It was not sold as an overnight fix. It was sold as an urgent emergency measure that had to passed immediately, with no debate or modification, to prevent unemployment from rising over 8%.

    And a damn good job it did of that.

    Oh yeah, the stimulus bill also guaranteed the AIG executives their bonuses. That goal was met.

  54. Only an illiterate dolt would equate “do you want this or not” with a threat.

    I agree that the letter was a threat, but I was able to read the above ad hominem. So does that at least make me literate dolt?

  55. “Nice analogy. “Tell me what I want to hear or Ill kill you” is equivalent “if you don’t want the money tell me and i wont send it to you”

    Which could trigger a political death when the democrats in your state blast you with negative ads about it.

    Dipshit

  56. It’s much to early to call it a complete failure. You could argue that you think the logic is flawed, or that it isn’t the most effective way to do it, but to state that as of right now it’s a complete failure is pure grandstanding. And that makes him a blowhard.

    It’s a failure because it was a failure from the beginning, as I and others (including the GOP) were saying. The stimulus was designed from the start to take too long to spend the money, unlike the GOP alternative bill, or other alternatives suggested.

    Your point is since Congress designed the stimulus poorly, it can’t be criticized as a failure because it hasn’t taken effect yet? But spending so slowly is failure. Under the Keynesian lights that justify the stimulus, stimulus spending that takes place after recovery is worse than useless.

    The stimulus wasn’t supposed to be a magic bullet, nor was it sold as an overnight fix.

    Overnight, no, but those Administration charts did show a significant effect by now. But in any case, the fact that the majority was more interested in getting their pet spending, even if it took until late 2010 to do it than in real stimulus is absolutely something to criticize. A stimulus bill that takes too long to stimulate is a failure.

  57. “Senator Kyl said no to money from Washington that could have been used to help children with cancer.

    Senator Kyle.

    Bad for the cancer kids.

    Bad for Arizona.

  58. I agree with Tom. Kyl and the GOP are all like “the stimulus is a terrible failure that needs to be discontinued. Hey, don’t cut off our stimulus checks, wtf?!”

    Kyl is saying the stimulus is a failure and should be canceled — yet his state wants the money. So this shows that Kyl is a bit out of touch with his constituents and his state GOP.

    You two are either morons or being willfully obtuse. There’s quite obviously a difference between opposing the stimulus for the whole country– and the tax and debt burden for the whole country– and wanting your state to still be taxed just as much but get none of the spending.

    Do you believe that anyone against the Bush tax cuts should be forced to pay taxes at the higher rate?

  59. “no one is arguing that what the admin did wasn’t a political move”

    All political moves are threats.

  60. Jesus, Chicago Tom loses a lot of respect for playing so fucking dumb in this thread. It is complete bullshit to say an unsolicited letter merely “asking” if you don’t want the money based on the Senators remarks isn’t a (very) thinly veiled threat. I guess appealing to literalism and narrow readings is fine when it suits your purpose. But you know god-damned well if this was the Bush administration responding to a Democratic senator’s complaining about soaring defense spending with a letter pointing out how much his state gets in that defense spending and asking if they would rather not get it, Chicago Tom would be calling that (rightly) a threat.

    This kind of partisan blinders garbage is what irritates people about those around here who are essentially shills for the Dems or GOP. It’s too bad to see Chicago Tom taking up the slack for joe. That letter in any normal, non-naive, non-intentionally stupid and non intellectually dishonest readings is a fucking threat. Don’t play (I hope it’s playing) dumb and stop digging your already too-deep-to-climb-out-of respect-hole.

  61. I giveth.

    I taketh away.

  62. I don’t like Kyl one bit, and I’m sure it’s just political grandstanding on his part, but I also don’t think that it was just a simple question from the BO administration. “Threat”? Not so sure, but a warning…probably.

    But then, most all of these politicians are grandstanding, bullying pricks that should be tarred and feathered, as far as I’m concerned.

  63. “But you know god-damned well if this was the Bush administration responding to a Democratic senator’s complaining about soaring defense spending with a letter”

    Four letters. Four coordinated letters within one day.

    And as someone posted earlier today, Chicago pizza is nothing more than a casserole.

  64. Tom,
    Time to move on.

  65. What else would you expect from our scum-bag in chief’s administration?

  66. “Chicago pizza is nothing more than a casserole.”

    A better description would be the chow mien of Italian cuisine.

  67. ChicagoTom,

    It’s much to early to call it a complete failure.

    No it isn’t, because fiscal stimulus never works.

    It was a long term solution to an economic problem.

    Actually, it was a short to medium term “solution.” Unless long term to you means 2010 to 2011.

    …nor was it sold as an overnight fix.

    It was sold as a program that would keep unemployment below 8%, and that was very, very explicit as I recall. Now unemployment is roughly 10% and we are being told that it would be worse without the stimulus; one should be rightly skeptical about such claims given how off the Obama administration has been off (and how generally the economics profession has been off). One thing is for sure, this crisis is demonstrating just how correct Hayek was about the nature and causes of economic cycles.

    John Thacker,

    You are right; spending it slowly is actually a feature; it was supposed to be spent slowly. I don’t think many people realize this.

  68. “You are right; spending it slowly is actually a feature; it was supposed to be spent slowly. I don’t think many people realize this.”

    I do.

  69. You take that shit back! Right now!!!

  70. It was a long term solution to an economic problem.

    By definition, stimulus spending is not long term. Under the Keynesian principles that support stimulus spending, it only has an effect in the short-term, when aggregate demand is below what the economy at maximum utilization. It has absolutely no effect once the economy returns to full employment. That’s why under the Administration charts the stimulus was supposed to have a greater effect on unemployment right (although still ramping up) than in 2012.

    Unless by “long term” you mean 2010 and 2011, the Administration did not in any of its technical charts and support (perhaps in rhetoric and stump speeches) claim that the stimulus would have an effect in the long term. Their economists would be laughed at even by Keynesians if they did.

    OTOH, perhaps you mean that the stimulus was expected to help in 2010 and 2011, and the Administration was perfectly fine with a stimulus package that took much longer to take effect than alternatives. Which is still certainly worthy of criticism.

  71. John Thacker,

    Well, fiscal policy can’t really work over the really short term; it (by its own defenders remarks) takes too long to ramp up. By the time it kicks in, all is generally improving anyway.

  72. “I believe the stimulus has been very effective in creating job opportunities throughout the country. However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know.”

    What the Arizona governor should say in response:

    That’s a great idea!

    You just keep that stimulus money.

    And by the way, from now on, we will also allow every single citizen and business in Arizona to “forfeit” any and all responsibilty from paying federal taxes of any sort.

  73. The stimulus is long term. Long term as in it works when the business cycle swings back up. Of course at this rate that might be when my grand kids graduate college.

    tom has to be trolling by now.

  74. It’s much to early to call it a complete failure.

    Bullshit. As joe was so fond of telling us, stimulus packages werent for the medium or long term, they were short term “stimulus” to be injected immediately. Thus, the effect should have been felt by now.

    If it is spent next year, it aint stimulus. That is just spending.

  75. How come the administration didnt send the same letter to South Carolina? The governor there would happily tell them to keep their money.

  76. “How come the administration didnt send the same letter to South Carolina? The governor there would happily tell them to keep their money.”

    They are planning to sweeten the deal by adding funding for Gubernatorial “fact-finding” trips to Argentina…

  77. I wonder if the Argentinian mistress would have ever become public knowledge if he hadnt fought the stimulus money?

  78. You want to find an outlaw, hire an outlaw. You want to find a Dunkin’ Donuts, call a cop.

  79. Fuck Obama and fuck every single one of the fascist cocksuckers that work for him. Their names will be remembered.

  80. “Maybe the dolts around here should stop their knee jerk attacks on everything Obama.”

    99% of the Gang of 535 deserve knee jerk attacks.

    Not just Obama… the whole fucking lot of ’em.

  81. “Fuck Obama and fuck every single one of the fascist cocksuckers that work for him. Their names will be remembered.”

    AND the fascist cocksuckers that preceded the current crop of fascist cocksuckers.

    And their mommas, too.

  82. Despite that, in the link you provided where is the implied threat. What is the implied consequence?

    Wow some people are STOOOOPID

    oy, chitom, your humor sensors are way…waaaaaay off. Way off. Reboot, try again.

  83. Jesus, not this shit again. The headline is clearly a misrepresentation of what transpired. This is the kind of misleading stunt news that has rendered most of the media unreliable for anyone seriously interested in important topics.

    It’s clearly dishonest journalism, and whatever respect I once had for Welch has now eroded. He’s been gravitating towards this kind of fudging since he arrived. Shockingly, he is the editor of the magazine.

    “Narrow definitions and semantics as a defense are generally a pathetic defense.”

    If you haven’t already invested in an irony meter, now is the time. You’ve not only managed to perpetrate the very fallacy that you attempted to construct, but you failed to show any concern for the dishonest in actually claiming that someone said what they didn’t say.

    Ron Paul anyone? There were a lot of narrow definitions, and semantics being used to rationalize his clearly crackpot ideas, and associations.

    Yes, those pesky clarifications known as “definitions” and “context.”

    For anyone coming here for the first time, expect more of this absolute horrid reasoning when discussing almost any subject with these loons.

    If Libertarians want to be taken seriously (I’m not convinced that many of them do), then they must adhere to the same standards that they often claim their opponents ignore.

    It’s interesting to see how dead this blog has become, compared to the arrogant punditry that characterized it only a couple of years ago. Those were the days, weren’t they gentlemen?

    The few Libertarians who seek to have children can tell them about the Golden Era of Libertarianism in America, when they almost managed to get a

    Obviously, some

    I still find it somewhat amusing that a Libertarian magazine had to settle on an editor who has made it clear that the isn’t even a Libertarian.

    Poor guys. They’re so desperate for support that they’ll even let an avowed “statist” hold the bullhorn for them.

    “Guaranteed losers” doesn’t even begin to describe the Libertarian culture. I just though it was funny when many of you actually believed that you had a shot.

  84. The apologists for Gangsternomics on this thread were staggering & highly under-dimensioned. In fact, I suspect a Zombe cloned himself here several times under two or more aliases in order to inflate the false appearance of a “robust debate.” I’m pleased that reason and those grounded in the reality of human nature had the day, at least in the cyberland of Reason. Reason & Common Sense trump scientism every day of the week – even when scientism splices itself to its untethered desire for authority. The marxian logicians have Hegelian swelled heads, & sadly, plenty of Heidegger mixed in. Dubious ventures to those of us who deal with history honestly.

    Here’s a decent link for the zombie apologists to “deconstruct” in a bizarre dialectical & dogmatic effort to dissimulate. Good luck with all that.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=KPMJAAAAIAAJ&printsec=titlepage&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0

  85. Woah Obama didn’t threaten to cancel it, he asked Arizona’s governor if the state still wanted to continue to receive stimulus money, in light of Sen. Kyle’s statement that the stimulus was a failure and not working. It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to ask based on his criticism of the program. It wasn’t a threat.

    If I buy you a hamburger from McDonalds, and you tell me McDonalds is horrible as you eat your burger, it’s perfectly reasonable for me to ask you if you want to give your “horrible” burger to someone else. It’s not a “threat” to take away your food.

    That’s what happened here. Nothing more.

    And I’m incredibly pissed off at Obama for other reasons, so i’m not one of those people who believe Lord Obama can do no wrong. But this is just nonsense.

  86. I apologize for the formatting. The “enter” button pushed itself. It’s clearly a statist plot meant to make Libertarian blogs appear unreliable, and thus ripe for government takeover. Any other rationalization is little more than using “Narrow definitions and semantics as a defense…”

    Finally, I feel that my attack was incomplete. What I meant to finish stating is that the few Libertarians who seek to have children can now tell them about the Golden Era of Libertarianism in America, when they almost managed to gain a %1 increase in overall interest. It starts small gentleman. Keep up the good…work.

    “Wow some people are STOOOOPID”

    Indeed. In particular, individuals who respond to valid critiques by using the word “STOOOOPID,” and then misspelling it.

    Few of you have any knowledge or respect for logical consistency. Libertarian logic tends to resemble that of a trial lawyer.

    “oy, chitom, your humor sensors are way…waaaaaay off. Way off. Reboot, try again.”

    So now it was a joke that those outside the clique didn’t get? I mean, I’m not sure. How do those without decoder rings tell?

    If it’s serious commentary, then it’s inexcusable. If it’s a veiled joke, then it’s inexcusable.

    If you’re going to make it your duty to critique the rhetoric of others, then, at the very least, you should try to avoid adopting their dishonest strategies. It’s the new era of Gonzo journalism where it’s more important to be controversial, than it is to be accurate.

    Anyway, no threat was implied in the statement. They called him on his bluff that neither of them would likely follow through on, even if the issue was pushed.

    He played a rhetorical game of “Chicken,” and lost face.

    I expect Welch, in the spirit of accurate reporting to qualify the headline. If not, then his intentions become even more obvious.

  87. The only people who think:

    Chicago Pizza = Deep-Dish Pizza

    are not from Chicago.

    We eat thin-crust just like everywhere else. And it tastes really good, unlike everywhere else.

  88. “And I’m incredibly pissed off at Obama for other reasons, so i’m not one of those people who believe Lord Obama can do no wrong. But this is just nonsense.”

    I have not had an ideological axe to grind since I began visiting this site seven years ago. However, this isn’t the first time this kind of inaccurate framing of an issue has occurred here under Welch’s helm.

    Katherine Mangu-Ward is another contributor who received a tongue lashing from some members for reporting in a similar manner. Of course, the meaningful criticisms seem irrelevant to them, since I suspect it’s controversy that their after.

    I followed Welch’s blog back when he was shilling for Ralph Nader, and it’s been interesting to watch his transformation from an aw-shucks blogger interested in nuance, to someone who is willing to wear the Libertarian clown shoes for a paycheck.

    Either way, this matter should be above Libertarian ideology, and whatever differences we have on the subject. What we don’t need is a continued acceptance of this kind of shoddy reporting that only manages to damage the credibility of not only the author, but the site as well.

    As it currently stands, Welch, and some other contributors, who may or not still report here, have pretty much invalidated the commentary on this site by playing these kinds of games. What this has left them with is an echo chamber of cranks who likely manage deter quality contributors from wasting their time here.

    You reap what you sow.

  89. Anyway, no threat was implied in the statement. They called him on his bluff that neither of them would likely follow through on, even if the issue was pushed.

    Nope, disagree.

    I’ll take the option to have my stimulus checks cut off if and only if I also get excused from paying any and all penalties (read: taxes) required to pay for the stimulus. Otherwise it’s an even rawer deal that it started out to be. And that was pretty raw.

    You don’t suppose Obama would offer to let Arizona simultaneously opt out of paying for the stimulus, do you? If not, then it really is a threat.

  90. So you’re calling Obama a gorilla.

    Somebody had to do it.

  91. I have not had an ideological axe to grind since I began visiting this site seven years ago.

    You lost all credibility right there, if you are who I think you are.

    What this has left them with is an echo chamber of cranks who likely manage deter quality contributors from wasting their time here.

    So you’re not a quality contributor? Face!

  92. Taxpayers deserve to have line item veto power when it comes time to pay the tax bill. There’s a base amount you owe for defense, and to maintain law and order.

    The rest is entirely optional. The idiot politicians who put things in place that nobody wants to pay for, get back-billed for their mistakes.

    But now I’m entirely dreaming. This half-baked idea almost surely won’t work in current form. But somehow there has to be a way to hold politicians responsible for what they do.

    I propose that California balance its budget by imposing a “You Failed” penalty tax on every past and present member of the California legislature, as well as the governor, going back to the first year that California first spent more than it brought in.

    And we all know that as California does, the rest of the nation eventually follows.

    How else can we start holding politicians accountable? By including a new section on every citizen’s voting ballot, where you get to write in the names of the top five asshole politicians of the previous term. Those politicians who get the most votes, get handed over to the mob of angry citizens to do as it will with them.

    People respond to incentives, so have faith. Politicians can be fixed if you just motivate them properly.

  93. You reap what you sow.

    So tell us again, how exactly did they get you? What was it that they put in the ground?

  94. Market Magic,

    Just fwiw, I’m pretty sure that headline came as written from the MSM. I saw an article on this long before I found it here, and it most certainly read as if Obama’s staff threatening Kyl.

    If you think that’s a misrepresentation, blame the source.

  95. “Kyl is saying the stimulus is a failure and should be canceled — yet his state wants the money. So this shows that Kyl is a bit out of touch with his constituents and his state GOP.” – Chicago Tom

    Are you then in favor of scrapping the direct election of Senators and go back to when they were selected by the state legislator’s? Kyl is not responsible to his state government, and what his constituents are telling him may be different then what you are assuming.

    Furthermore is Kyl’s point about the stimulus being a failure wrong?

  96. When Gov. Sanford was saying that South Carolina was not going to take the stimulus money, was not the Obama adminstration’s reaction “you cannot legally do that”? Why the different reaction here?

  97. One of our more worthless trolls is back. Yay!

  98. If I am looking to rent an apartment and I am bitching about the terms of the lease and the condition of the place and the a prospective landlord asks me if I want to rent his place or not, he is threatening me with not letting me live there or is he asking what I want to do?

    This is just a really poor analogy. A more accurate one would have the renter being forced into the apartment against his will and already having paid a security deposit or first months rent, with the implication being these would not be returned if he did not rent the apartment. Thus, making the landlord’s question a veiled threat.

    Is there no such thing as subtext in Chicago?

  99. You call me a subtext again & I’ll break your fucking legs.

  100. I love Chicago and MNG’s heads I win tails you lose arguments. When Sanford tried to turn down the money, Tom and MNG promptly called him insane and against his own people. The money is going to be spent anyway. How could Sanford turn it down for cheap political points. Now Kyle criticizes the bill while his home state accepts the money, something MNG and Tom have already told us is the only sane option. And promptly MNG and Tom come on here to talk about what a hypocrite Kyle is and how he has no right to criticize the stimulus when his state is benefiting. If you crtitize the stimulus and turn down the money, you are insane. If you criticize the stimulus and take the money, you are a hypocrite. But remember dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

  101. I guess appealing to literalism and narrow readings is fine when it suits your purpose.

    This is pretty much required of any supporter of our Parsin’ President.

    BTW, nicely done, John @ 9:27. Apparently, the only options available to anyone who opposes the stimulus are (a) insanity or (b) hypocrisy.

  102. If I buy you a hamburger from McDonalds, and you tell me McDonalds is horrible as you eat your burger, it’s perfectly reasonable for me to ask you if you want to give your “horrible” burger to someone else. It’s not a “threat” to take away your food.

    That’s a ridiculous analogy. The stimulus isn’t free money; the people of Arizona are being taxed for it regardless (and despite their senators voting against it.) Just because someone thinks that it was a bad use of their money doesn’t mean that they want their money to still be taken to be given to someone else.

    How about, “If I take money out of your wallet against your wishes to buy you a hamburger from McDonalds, and you tell me McDonalds is horrible and you’d like your money back instead, it’s perfectly reasonable for me to ask you if you want me to give the hamburger to someone else then, but refuse to give you back your money.”

  103. Woah Obama didn’t threaten to cancel it, he asked Arizona’s governor if the state still wanted to continue to receive stimulus money, in light of Sen. Kyle’s statement that the stimulus was a failure and not working. It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to ask based on his criticism of the program.

    No, it’s not a reasonable thing to ask based on the criticism of the program. The criticism is that the stimulus is a bad use of money. That doesn’t mean that you still want your money taken but don’t want the poorly allocated benefits; getting something inferior for your money is still better than getting nothing for it. Here’s a closer analogy:

    Suppose 50 people at your work have agreed to chip in $10 each every day to buy lunch. (A different guy goes and picks it up.) One day, a majority of your co-workers vote to use the money to buy lunch at McDonalds not only today, but for the rest of the month. You vote against it, as you hate McDonalds, and think that that’s a terrible use of $10. After a day or two of this, you say that you’d rather just pull out of the scheme. Your co-workers say, “Oh, should we just give your burger to someone else then?” They force you to continue paying the $10 every day, taking it out of your wages if you refuse. You decide to eat the burger, since they’re taking your money anyway. Your co-workers MNG and ChicagoTom call your a hypocrite for eating the burger.

    After you continue to complain, they agree to just not buy you a burger with the money. This means that instead of spending all $500 for 50 people, they spend $490 for 49 people. However, instead of giving you your money back, they reduce everyone’s charge down to $9.80, including yours. Now you’re paying $9.80 and getting nothing. MNG and ChicagoTom call you insane.

  104. Voros McCracken

    The only people who think:

    Chicago Pizza = Deep-Dish Pizza

    are not from Chicago.

    We eat thin-crust just like everywhere else. And it tastes really good, unlike everywhere else.

    Except NYC and Long Island, where pizza was first introduced to the new world….

  105. Sure, it’s wrong, but one has to appreciate it a bit considering the GOP senators get to have their cake and eat it to: bitch about the stimulus and collect the checks too! But hey, watching government spending increase while bitching about it is the GOP’s specialty.

    If Ray LaHood was personally funding the spending out of his own wallet, your attitude would make sense. As it stands, Ray Lahood is a first class asshole on a power trip.

  106. We eat thin-crust just like everywhere else. And it tastes really good, unlike everywhere else.

    This time of the year with my tomatoes, peppers, onions and zucchini in bloom, the best pizza in the world is right here.

  107. Dear Mr. LaHood,

    I received your letter, and gave it some thought, and I have this to say. The state of Arizona does not personally answer to you, not a single legislature or Arizonian would have agreed to join the Union if that were a condition of membership, so stop wasting time with trivial bullshit to placate your thin skinned ego. Shut the fuck up, and do your job.

    Sincerely,
    jan

  108. The level of incivility in these comments is the lowest I have ever seen, much lower even than the trucking forums where Chevy owners insult Ford owners. At least there, the foul language and ad hominum attacks seen here would get you banned.

    Are these the reasonable readers of Reason, the enlightened and ennobled free thinkers of Libertarianism? I sure hope not.

  109. nice post..
    ___________________
    Britney
    The best place for the best ENTERTAINMENT

  110. This is your free brain looking at a gorilla. And this is your enslaved brain looking at an 800-pound gorilla. Any questions?

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