Republican Party

Republicans of Obama's Fantasy World Believe "government has little or no role to play"

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The president this week did one of his classic bits of corner-cutting caricaturization of his political opposition:

But to be fair, a good deal of the other party's opposition to our agenda has also been rooted in their sincere and fundamental belief about the role of government.  It's a belief that government has little or no role to play in helping this nation meet our collective challenges.  It's an agenda that basically offers two answers to every problem we face:  more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer rules for corporations.

The last administration called this recycled idea "the Ownership Society."  But what it essentially means is that everyone is on their own.  No matter how hard you work, if your paycheck isn't enough to pay for college or health care or childcare, well, you're on your own.  If misfortune causes you to lose your job or your home, you're on your own.  And if you're a Wall Street bank or an insurance company or an oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences for everybody else.

Keep in mind, the president is talking specifically here not about libertarian freakazoids who want to privatize their own grandmothers, but about governing Republicans. You know, the gang who, "during the first half of 2001 and all of the 2003-07 period maintained full control of both the White House and Congress," during which time they "increased total spending by more than 20 percent, an average of 5 percent a year," jacking up "both nondefense spending and mandatory programs enormously." How in the hell can you spend so much money on "more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer rules for corporations"? Which one of those two answers (the only ones the GOP has, remember) best describes No Child Left Behind, Sarbanes-Oxley, or Medicare Part D? If Bush was really all about "fewer rules for corporations," how was it that he managed to be "the biggest regulator since Nixon"? (And do click on those links, they are filled with things like facts and numbers.)

And no, tax breaks and deregulation were not at the heart of the "Ownership Society." That mostly stillborn idea focused on increasing individual control over retirement, health care, and education. Not much to do with oil spills there, kemosabe.

Since the president is doing battle with imaginary libertarian foes, let me zero in on one claim: that–according to limited-government ghastlies–"if you're a Wall Street bank or an insurance company or an oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences for everybody else." Here's the deal: On Planet Libertopia, if you're a Wall Street bank that screws the pooch you go BANKRUPT, as an opening bid. It's pretty hard to "play by your own rules" when you're dead.

I'll give Obama the last word:

And the truth is if I had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficits that [Republicans] created.  But we took office amid a crisis, and the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget before I even walked through the door.  Additionally, the steps that we had to take to save the economy from depression temporarily added more to the deficit—by about $1 trillion.  Of course, if we had spiraled into a depression, our deficits and debt levels would be much worse.  

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  1. Of course, if we had spiraled into a depression, our deficits and debt levels would be much worse.

    Don’t worry. With two and a half years left, they probably will be.

    1. If we’d spiraled into a depression? Really. What does this weasel call a year and a half of 10% unemployment with no end in sight? A market correction?

      And in what conceivable sense would “our deficits and debt levels” be worse had government taken the cold-water medicine Coolidge/Mellon approach to the financial whoopsie and done exactly squat?

      He could conceivably have argued that unemployment and private misery would be worse if he and Bush hadn’t borrowed $2 trillion and flung it down the rathole.

      But you have to have no logic circuits at all in your head to imagine that the government would be running a bigger deficit if it hadn’t spent an extra $2 trillion. Even if Federal tax receipts fell by 50% because of a truly awful recession that would only add about $650 billion to the deficit.

      1. You’re making sense. Stop it.

      2. “What does this weasel call a year and a half of 10% unemployment with no end in sight? A market correction?”

        The observation of a filthy racist!

  2. :::facepalm::: Oh my, I really have to give Welch credit for calling the POTUS out on this.

    1. Double face palm and a hearty UGH!

    2. This is actually pretty brilliant on Obama’s [speechwriter’s] part. The Republicans can’t exactly rebut with, “As it turns out, we do have a massive fetish for budget-busting government overreach. It’s just that some of it is different types than yours.”

      1. You’re right. He eliminated huge swaths of people from either being able to or having any reason to call him out. Brilliant.

        1. Well they can’t pursue that particular line of attack, but Obama’s got some serious glass house issues with that “only two solutions” remark, given that it’s been his administration (and previously, his party in Congress) that’s pushed bailouts for big banks and is full of wealthy tax cheats.

          Republicans can also ask legitimately what *his* solutions have been if he’s so damned full of ideas.

          1. full of wealthy tax cheats

            let’s be fair. Most politicians, of both parties, are tax-cheats.

            1. Good for them.

        2. You’re right. He eliminated huge swaths of people from either being able to or having any reason to call him out. Brilliant.

          There’s a few of us who can call bullshit, who recognize that borrow and spend has been the mantra for both major parties since 2000.

          Any republican who hopes to defeat Obama is going to have to repudiate Bush the Lesser and all he “accomplished”. I doubt the party has the honesty or the guts to do so.

          1. Shorter Obama: We had the wrong people borrowing and spending us into economic oblivion.

            1. Even Shorter Obama: We had the wrong people borrowing from the wrong people telling us and to spending us into economic oblivion.

          2. Since 2000? More like 1980. And that’s just when we changed from inflate and spend.

            The problem, of course, is that those who can recognize 1) that what he’s saying is bullshit and 2) why it is bullshit are a small minority of the voting public.

          3. exactly right. I would like to see an article lining up EVERY substantive Bush policy against Obama (e.g., war on terror, bailouts, medicare part D) – I suspect theres less than 5% difference, and I would truly be amazed if there is 10%.
            I mean, other than one guy being all white, and the other half white, whats the real difference? (Oh, hope…)

            1. One significant difference: The individual mandate.

              But yeah, the list pretty much ends there.

        3. Those who actually believe in less spending can call him out. If the Republicans actually pursued policies that resulted in less spending, then they would be able to call him out.
          Actually, if they did that, our financial situation might not be nearly as bad as it is now.

  3. He “only added” an extra trillion?

    Obama, you are the president and I respect the office, but you are a LYING SACK OF SHIT.

    1. I don’t respect the office, and he is a lying scumfuck politician asshole, and what’s really amazing is that he, because of his cult-like worshipers, can throw out whoppers on a scale never before seen and no one calls him on it. Which of course just encourages him to tell even bigger whoppers.

      1. Yes, but ultimately he will tell a whopper so large that the entire universe collapses into a single point due to its overwhelming gravity.

        Then he will be president of oblivion, which luckily for him does not require him to be born there!

        1. Nibbler: Being brains, they feel compelled to know everything. And soon they will.

          Fry: I’m as mad as I’ve ever been.

          Male Nibblonian: Once their task is complete, they will ensure no new information arises in the only way possible: by destroying the universe.

          Fry: Now it’s personal.

        2. I really liked “Oblivion II”. That “Lash” chick was teh hawt.

        3. Can he tell a whopper so big that even he’ll believe it?

      2. can throw out whoppers on a scale never before seen

        Replace “never before seen” with “usual for a holder of his office” and you’ve got it.

        Read his lips. He’s not a crook, and he never had sex with that yellowcake uranium.

        1. and he never had sex with that yellowcake uranium.

          His loss. That’s one hot piece of ass he passed on.

      3. I don’t respect the office, and he is a lying scumfuck politician asshole, and what’s really amazing is that he, because of his cult-like worshipers, can throw out whoppers on a scale never before seen and no one calls him on it. Which of course just encourages him to tell even bigger whoppers.

        Where did he get those cult-like worshippers anyway?

  4. There are those who say that bears don’t shit in the woods. But I am not among them!

    1. There are shits that bear in the woods, for sure.

  5. The last administration called this recycled idea “the Ownership Society.” But what it essentially means is that everyone is on their own. No matter how hard you work, if your paycheck isn’t enough to pay for college or health care or childcare, well, you’re on your own. If misfortune causes you to lose your job or your home, you’re on your own.

    God, this sounds great. Can we try this for awhile? Everyone taking care of themselves instead of Barry taking care of all of us.

    1. If misfortune causes you to lose your job or your home, you’re on your own.

      Unless, you know, you have friends or family.

      Hey, Obama: Should i have another drink? Or 7? Eh, fuck your opinion.

      1. Reifying misfortune is his first mistake. How about we assign responsibility to people who actually exercise free will.

        1. Those people don’t assign it to themselves, already?

      2. If misfortune causes you to lose your job or your home, you’re on your own.

        Which is why you should have, you know, savings. As little debt as possible. That kind of thing. So you don’t oscillate between living beyond your means and being a burden on society.

        1. But…but RC, how ever will we fill the crushing demand for Gender and Religious studies and other Social Content Soup majors?

          1. We wouldn’t Groovus. And it would be glorious.

    2. You mean unless “one” is a corporation, then of course you will still get bailed out.

  6. But we took office amid a crisis, and the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget before I even walked through the door. Additionally, the steps that we had to take to save the economy from depression temporarily added more to the deficit — by about $1 trillion. Of course, if we had spiraled into a depression, our deficits and debt levels would be much worse.

    “It was a catastrophe! The sky was falling, and we had to prop it up with colossal stacks of money. What would you have done?!!”

    I love it when they do this; the “argument” assumes the collapse of Lehman (or some such specific event) was The Beginning when, in fact, the whole mess began a long time ago, and a lot of people saw it coming.

    1. “It was a catastrophe! The sky was falling, and we had to prop it up with colossal stacks of money. What would you have done?!!”

      Sadly propping up the sky with money would have been a better idea than what they really did with it.

      1. Astrid just solved the space elevator problem: A stack of US currency is the perfect material.

    2. “It was a catastrophe! The sky was falling, and we had to prop it up with colossal stacks of money. What would you have done?!!”

      Given it to Fresno Dan. Strippers, g-string manufacturers, stiletto shoe manufacturers, beer makers, massage girls, and massage oil manufacturers, and washed up rocknrollers record sales would have skyrocketed!!! With a pervasive smell of burning hemp. Catapulting American to an era of unprecedented prosperity, promiscuity, lewdness, drunkenness, and FUN that it had never before seen. Historians would forever more refer to it as the era of , “cool, dude.”

      1. That’s change I could believe in.

  7. I, for one, embrace the “libertarian freakazoid” moniker. Back at ya’ Matt.

  8. I think Matt’s developing a case of The Factoritis. Symptom?

    “I’ll give Obama the last word.”

    1. But where Matt falls short of the O’Reillian ideal is that he actually gave Obama the last word. The Factor move is to say you will give the guest the last word, then interrupt them to get one last barb in and throw it to commercial before they can respond

      1. Came *this close* to doing just that.

      2. It’s not really the last word considering it was followed by comments of Obama loathers. The O’Reilly analogue would be saying the guest gets the last word, and then opening the mic for Laurie Dhue to scream at them.

        1. If she would effect an Eastern European accent and wear some black leather boots, it wouldn’t be the worst way to spend an evening.

  9. The Child President knows absolutely NOTHING about economics. Just look at his college transcripts. Oh, wait, … never mind.

  10. “It’s an agenda that basically offers two answers to every problem we face: more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer rules for corporations.”

    We’re the solution to our own problems. And he’s not.

    And he hates us for that.

    It’s pathetic.

  11. “It’s an agenda that basically offers two answers to every problem we face: more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer rules for corporations.”

    Which is twice as many solutions to our problems as he offers…

    “I’m a politician–so you can trust me.”

    That’s one shitty solution you got there, Mr. President.

  12. It’s also telling to see the President talk about opposition partisans as if they’re what’s wrong with the country.

    Nevermind that this president’s gotten pretty much everything he’s asked for–who wants a president at a time like this who’s solution to the problem is more partisans on his side of the equation?

    Getting more Democrats in Congress isn’t about to plug that hole, Mr. President. Getting more Democrats in Congress isn’t about to do anything about today’s jobs report…

    Anyone else see the market’s reaction to the jobs report today? It wasn’t about overall employment, which was pretty good. It was about private sector employment–you know, the host Mr. Obama wants to parasite off of?

    The good news is that commodities are dropping like a rock. The bad news is why they’re dropping…

    Kudos to Reason for calling for us all to watch out for the double-dip recession… I thought you guys were crazy. I still hope it doesn’t come to that, but we aren’t out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot.

    1. Getting more Democrats in Congress isn’t about to do anything about today’s jobs report…

      But those additional Democrats in congress will have jobs, so it fights unemployment. Right? RIGHT?!

    2. Double dip is totally inevitable at this point. The “recovery” so far has been nothing but strenuous and very expensive efforts by government to shovel back the tide, but since the tide is still flowing and government can’t afford to do any more shoveling, here we go again.

      I mean, take a look at the underlying issues. Overinflated home values? Still there. Prices haven’t fallen nearly enough, because government has been desperately propping them up. Zombie banks? Still doing business, courtesy of TARP and the Fed’s incredible doubling of the money supply. Debts that will never be paid? Still on the books, hoping for the benefit of the next bailout. Contraction of overemployment in construction, government, education? Yup. Unsustainable public pension guarantees? Check.

      All this massive dosing of the economy with Federal pain pills has done is take away lots of the pain — and thereby take away the motivation for the re-allocation of badly misallocated labor and capital resources that’s necessary for any true recovery. It’s the equivalent of “treating” a broken leg by giving the patient enough valium and morphine that he starts walking on the leg anyway. Look! All better!

      1. Junkie economy.

        ? (And don’t it seem like)
        Kicks just keep gettin’ harder to find
        And all your kicks ain’t bringin’ you peace of mind
        Before you find out it’s too late, girl
        You better get straight ?

        The next fix will cost more and not last as long.

        1. Hell, the ONDCP coulda told them that…..

      2. “Double dip is totally inevitable at this point.”

        Nothing’s inevitable.

        And the ingenuity of the American people shouldn’t be underestimated. We can and often do thrive despite the monumental stupidity and blunders of our leaders.

        Whether we should have to suffer the stupidity of an Obama is another question entirely. It’s become pretty obvious that this guy doesn’t know what he’s doing–I think how the reality thingy works is all new to him. It’s not like just dealing with public opinion at all…

        Which makes him kinda dangerous actually. Reminds me of a bible verse.

        “But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

        —-Revelation 12:12

        Yes, I’m comparing Obama to the devil. It was his arrogance that did him in. …and his time’s ticking away, he’s only got like a time and half a time left.

        1. Mmmmm, double dip…. and MAIDEN!!!!

        2. Maybe that’s why God is such a homophobe…and Satan’s so sexy.

      3. I mean, take a look at the underlying issues.

        The underlying underlying issue is overleverage, which has gotten worse.

    3. Am I the only one that loves the fact that our First Black President blames all his problems on the minority?

      1. I’d have a much easier time enjoying that fact, if i wasn’t busy worrying about how everything he does is stealing more and more of the value from my labor.

  13. Where’s Hayek when you need him?

    I’ve just spent the past, I don’t know, maybe what seems like a millennium over at truthdig with those statist, liberal, socialist, douchebags, and now after reading that blurb, now I know where those Obummer apologists get their shit from.

    FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

    Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

    Look, Mr President, please, just enter the fucking launch codes.

    1. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

      QFT

  14. That graphic includes a photo of our greatest American since Twain – Tom Waits.

    Not that I expect any of the greasy-haired GOP rednecks commentators here to actually respect him……

    1. What, seriously? I love Waits. I love “Tom Traubert’s Blues” and I love that shit he did woth Kool Keith on that N.A.S.A. album (“Spacious Thoughts”). I love “Mule Variations”. I assume you’re kidding about the greasy-haired GOP part.

      1. Yes.

        You are obviously rehab material.

        ‘Raindogs’ and ‘Bone Machine’ are hot like Picasso.

        1. Don’t be so quick to judge shrike. Bone Machine rules.

          1. Nighthawks at the Diner, Heartattack and Vine are Monet if Bone Machine is Picasso. But then Blue Valentine is like Renoir and Small Change is like….

            1. I don’t know, IMO the collaboration between Waits and W.S. Burroughs, The Black Rider, is the best thing that either of them ever did.

              “It aint no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones.”

      2. He did something of a libretto for an operetta based on “Alice in Wonderland” that I wanted to see…

        http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/tauspace/theatre_wilson.htm

        …but I was broke as all get out in 1992. Still, I coulda found a lot of things to do in Hamburg.

        He’s a guy you gotta catch when he feels like doin’ something, and if you missed it, it’s gone.

        Some of his stuff is like Beat poetry set to music, and sometimes? If you listen to Heart Attack and Vine, and you think about the song order? The guy must be a mean son of a bitch. Why not flip the song order?

        In 1980, nobody’s messing with the song order on their CDs, you know? So why not put Mr. Seigel last and Ruby’s Arms next to last?

        “Ruby’s Arms” has gotta be on the list of top ten songs people listen to before they shoot themselves in the head–if he’d just flipped the song order, I bet he could have prevented a hundred suicides that way.

    2. shriek, reality is for people who can’t handle drugs. Now, if a greasy psychotic commentator like you can tell me how my first sentence is connected to Tom Waits, I’ll be impressed.

      1. I fail to see your common ground with Tom Waits, Episarch.

        I do like drugs though.

        1. The correct answer, shriek, was that Tom Waits said “reality is for people who can’t handle drugs” when he was a guest on Fernwood 2 Night.

        2. I do like drugs though.

          Fuck off, you goddamn poseur. You can’t even recognize a well known Wait’s quote. You probably don’t even know who Jim Jarmusch is.

          Come over my house and I’ll whip you up some
          2,5-Dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine and give you 50 mg I.M. We’ll see how much you like drugs then.

          1. I wouldn’t suggest that, cap l. You think Shriek is paranoid now….he’s liable to mistake you for Rush and try and hump your leg while giving himelf an enema at the same time.

            1. STP is some nasty shit, so I’d probably lock him in the basement for the duration, which could be a couple of weeks with that dosage. Maybe fire some birdshot into his ass if he got uppity.

              1. He’s already on that dosage, dude. Can’t you tell?

  15. It’s a choice between big government and bigger government, really. And if you’re only for big government, you’re “anti-government.”

  16. You know, the gang who,

    “during the first half of 2001 and all of the 2003-07 period maintained full control of both the White House and Congress,” during which time they “increased total spending by more than 20 percent, an average of 5 percent a year,” jacking up “both nondefense spending and mandatory programs enormously.” How in the hell can you spend so much money on “more tax breaks for the wealthy and fewer rules for corporations”?

    I am amazed herein.

    I started hating the GOP with the Bush/DeLay Big Gov years of 2002-06.

    There is no small gov party left now.

    1. I started hating the GOP with the Bush/DeLay Big Gov years of 2002-06.

      Really? Because I’ve never seen any evidence that you actually give a shit about Big Gov at all. All you seem to care about is cultural issues– not even actual laws on social issues, just whether people seem like the kind of people you’d like to hang out with. You never seem to actually comment on policy issues, just spend your time with ad hominem complaints about how you don’t like one party because it’s full of rednecks.

      It’s stupid when people do that, whether it’s Team Red, Team Blue, Team Cool, or whatever.

      shrike doesn’t really care about Big Gov. If the GOP actually were for small government, he’d hate them just as much if he still thought that they were rednecks.

      1. Thacker – despite your misconceptions I still like you here alone amongst the towel herd.

        See – I am honest. I read your posts because I might learn something.

        1. :::group hug::: You’re alright with me, shrike.

          1. I honestly do like Thacker.

            He knows his shit.

            We are at such odds that he would never admit my superior Hume-ness.

      2. I always skip shrike’s posts because you can always count on them being derogatory to someone. He seems smart, but the man can’t resist putting someone down.

        1. Shrike has valid self-esteem issues and overcompensates by insulting others.

          It’s an all too common trait.

          1. I do not, you mouth breathing redneck asshole!

  17. That type of rhetoric works perfectly to keep Americans confused and divided. Republicans get to pretend to be for small government, thereby securing the vote of more conservative libertarians.

    Meanwhile, liberals that would have eventually started to question statism continue to vote for Democrats since they associate libertarianism with the Republican party and its pro-military, pro-theocratic tendacies.

    1. Libertarianism seems interesting at first, but then one sees that it’s pretty much warmed over Republicanism. At least that’s the impression one gets from reading REASON.

      1. The Republicans seem to steal a lot of their rhetoric from the Libertarians. Their actually policy though…

        You can’t honestly say you are for the free market when your ideas of privitization involve taking tax money and giving it to military contractors. You aren’t for small government if you cut taxes but then promote inflation through deficit spending.

  18. liberals that would have eventually started to question statism

    All zero of ’em. But it’s still all libertarians’ fault.

    1. DAMMIT SIV, you just made the deficit $1trillion larger.

      FUCKING LIBERTARIANS, RAARRRRGHGHGHGH!

  19. Republicans are for these things, but they’re also liars and hypocrites. Charming. Obama’s such a bitch for criticizing them for their stated philosophy of government. All they did was completely fuck up the entire country.

    1. C’mon, Tony. You can do better than that.

      1. Eh, it’s Friday, I’m tired and drinking.

    2. Obama’s and your comments are basically such an oversimplification of the issues at hand that they serve only to bring the debate to a level of absurdity. Yes, Libertarians are for LIMITED government. That’s not the same thing as being an anarchist. Yes, Libertarians are for less regulation, but they hardly desire that “corporations be able to do whatever they want.” He is also ignoring the case by case arguments to be made for/against each individual regulation, and he is ignoring the powerful positive results of reducing BAD regulations.

      It’s always tempting to want the government to “step in and get things done,” or to “fix things,” but this ignores why we limit government at all in the first place. I guess obama can’t understand in issue until it has been simplified beyond anything meaningful. He’s not going to convince his opponents of anything with his comments, and they are only meant to energize his base. In fact his comments are practically designed to enrage his opponents with their straw man like positioning. Barry has reached an all new low.

      1. Okay but as Welch points out, he’s not criticizing libertarians, he’s criticizing Republicans. While they use libertarian rhetoric, what they’re really for is doing the bidding of their corporate owners. That usually means lower taxes and less regulation, no matter the context, and apart from everything else they’ve done just that when in power.

        1. The Republican philosophy apparently doesn’t mean the government having no role to play in meating our collective challenges, seeing as how they cast the govt in more roles than John Travolta at a Scientologist film festival.

          1. meating our collective challenges

            Ah, the old Steve Smith approach.

        2. So he should have said that. The fact is that the Republicans screwed up so bad while they were in office because they WERE NOT for small gov’t.

          A more honest statement regarding them would be something like, It’s an agenda that basically offers a different kind of big government than the kind I prefer. They prefer borrow and spend; I prefer tax, borrow and spend.

        3. Nope, Tony, the Republicans are essentially the heirs of the Federalist party – they are mercantilists.

          As far as not being fans of regulation, I should point out that Adam Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations, where he coined the phrase the invisible hand, as a rebuttal to Mercantilist economic theories.

          In the end, the mercantilists end up – though wrecking the economy with their poorly thought interventions – working their way to support corporatism and eventually fascism.

          Only when the Democrats went full retard (er I mean abandoned liberalism in favor of progressivism?) did the Republicans begin to sound comparatively like free market guys.

          In the end, both the Republicans & teh democrats support big government in bed with big business. They merely differ in which sectors or individual companies should benefit from their largess.

          1. Heh, both left and right want the marriage of church business and state. It’s just that one side thinks that the powers of the state(violence and coercion) should facilitate the goals of the church business (getting money), while the other thinks the powers of the church business (using resources and labor to create goods and services) should serve the goals of the state (getting power).

          2. Nope, Tony, the Republicans are essentially the heirs of the Federalist party – they are mercantilists.

            Which makes them neo-mercantilists, or Keynesians. To me (much in agreement with NAL), the Republicans exemplify deficit Keynesianism while Democrats exemplify tax and deficit Keynesianism.

            1. What about Kenyans?

      2. Some libertarians are anarchists. Don’t write us out of the movement.

        1. If this “movement” ever started having any success, you’re not going to stay in the same movement with minarchists.

          Right now, we’re both forced to pay for and supply power to a computer that’s running a bloated GUI, got a super-amped-up graphics card despite only having a 640×480 monochrome monitor, hooked up to 6 internal hard drives, a USB rocket launcher, and a bunch of other worthless peripherals.

          Minarchists want to carefully remove the video card, extra hard drives, and peripherals, install a powerful OS that runs only a command-line interface, so that we save power AND increase the ability of the computer to perform the tasks computers were meant for — number crunching and data transfer, nothing else.

          You anarchists just want to smash the whole thing to bits.

          So as long as neither of us have access to the computer, we can piss and moan together about the stupidity of the current operators of the equipment. Once we get access, there are going to be problems with us cooperating.

          1. Minarchists want to carefully remove the video card, extra hard drives, and peripherals, install a powerful OS that runs only a command-line interface, so that we save power AND increase the ability of the computer to perform the tasks computers were meant for — number crunching and data transfer, nothing else.
            You anarchists just want to smash the whole thing to bits.

            Yess, because society is just like a computer, which can only do one thing at a time, and a centralized authority is required to identify what one task it is performing every cycle.

            Moreover, it’s not the anarchists who are betraying the minarchists. yes, initially there is an alliance as the violent institutions of the state are dismantled or replaced with non-violent ones.

            But at one point we anarchists will want to stop supporting security services paid via extortion (aka tax-funded police) in favor of purchasing services on the free market.

            Then you minarchists will pull out your hand cuffs, tazers & glocks and come after us.

            And, like Tony, Chad, Joe Biden or Santorum you will claim it’s all our fault, that we had it coming, for not going along with your program.

            1. The computer was supposed to be government, not society in general. And I’m not trying to make a judgement about minarchism vs anarchism — perhaps minarchists are wrong and the computer needs to be smashed to bits.

              But, as always, I’m curious to know why you think that removing government is going to lead to a society where violence is lessened. Violence predates government; and in areas where government has — voluntarily or not — lost control (such as in mafia dealings), violence abounds there too.

              1. But, as always, I’m curious to know why you think that removing government is going to lead to a society where violence is lessened.

                Because government acts violently. The government is a gang that uses violence to loot and pillage people that have the misfortune to live in its turf. It is the mafia.

                Yes, getting rid of a gang that has control over a patch of turf does not necessarily mean that no other gang will move in. The history of the human race mostly is a tale of the ebb and flow of various gangs as they fight for control over turf, resources & people.

                However, one will never get a peaceful & prosperous society without ending the widespread acceptance of gangs in a society, in other words without getting people to stop accepting gangs like the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the United States of America as necessary parts of peaceful society.

                Any political philosophy that allows some gangs to get away with crimes ensures that people will be oppressed regardless of how vigorously other gangs are attacked if they try committing the exact same crimes.

                Peace can seemingly come at the point of a gun. However, it is ephemeral and usually the society is full of pent up violence that is waiting to be unleashed.

                The more certain path is to build a culture where people who seek to use force to get their way are hated and reviled and institutions are built on the assumption that people cannot be coerced into participating with them. Building such institutions is hard, tearing them down and making society more violent is easy. However, the fact that savagery is attractive & easy, and civilized behavior is hard & less immediately rewarding is no reason to assume that we must accept savagery as a permanent condition of mankind.

                1. Government is not the same thing as the mafia because it uses force, any more than dolphins are fish because they live in water. We’ve had this discussion before. If you’d rather face a “hearing” before a mafia don for some crime he thinks you’ve committed against him, than a hearing before a government judge in an open courtroom, then you’re crazy. It’s a difference in kind, not just degree.

                  The more certain path is to build a culture where people who seek to use force to get their way are hated and reviled and institutions are built on the assumption that people cannot be coerced into participating with them.

                  Holy shit, the commies have nothing on you guys for utopian unrealistic fantasizing. Your society is going to have “losers” in it — people who can’t get what they want by non-coercive means. Unless you mount a universal brainwashing campaign in the creation of your society, those people are going to start using force to get what they want. Men do not by nature abide an empty stomach and full testicles when there’s an opportunity to fill and empty them, however reviled and hated that may make them.

                  1. If you’d rather face a “hearing” before a mafia don for some crime he thinks you’ve committed against him, than a hearing before a government judge in an open courtroom, then you’re crazy. It’s a difference in kind, not just degree.

                    Tulpa, this is why I think you are a totalitarian; I say the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is bad, and you say “Oh you must like the mafia more then”

                    Let’s see: given a choice between being tried in a court in Soviet Russia and before a mafia don, which would you pick? The mafia guy might be bought off. He might be moved by your innocence. You think a Beria gives a shit?

                    Your society is going to have “losers” in it — people who can’t get what they want by non-coercive means. Unless you mount a universal brainwashing campaign in the creation of your society, those people are going to start using force to get what they want.

                    It all depends on what percentage of the society turns to violence. If it is fairly low, then culture will be unaffected. If it is high, then no amount of government will save you.

                    Why?

                    The disaffected losers have a wonderful tool with witch to plunder. The state.

                    Look at the current crop of sociopaths running the various governments. Consider the fact that serial killers often seek and fail to get government jobs – and the fact that it’s usually through incompetence they fail to land these coveted positions. What about the competent ones who manage to land those jobs. You like the wonderful weapon you’ve given them? Enjoy reading Radley Balko’s weekly figurative kicks-in-the-nuts? Because that’s what you are explicitly supporting.

                    You think, I’m utopian? Keep trying to come up with a way to have an organization that is permitted to initiate killings, kidnappings, beatings and extortions with impunity & not have it get taken over by the sociopaths.

                    You are arguing that the only thing that keeps gangs from running rampant is submission to a particularly powerful and intelligent gang … and lecturing people who point that out about ‘being delusional’ … which is pretty funny.

                    1. Tulpa, this is why I think you are a totalitarian; I say the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is bad, and you say “Oh you must like the mafia more then”

                      You said “the government is the mafia.” If that’s true, then you should have no preference between being a defendant in a Massachusetts court or being interrogated in a warehouse by a mafia enforcer. You made that bed, so you now have to sleep in it or get a hotel room.

                      Let’s see: given a choice between being tried in a court in Soviet Russia and before a mafia don, which would you pick?

                      That’s a false restriction of choice. Not all governments behave like the Soviet one. Yes, the USSR was little better than an organized crime syndicate — that doesn’t mean that US-style governments do. You’ve altered your argument from dolphins are fish because they live in the water, to dolphins are fish because they have sharp teeth like sharks which are fish.

                      It all depends on what percentage of the society turns to violence. If it is fairly low, then culture will be unaffected.

                      A very small group of people can hold an entire population in check if they create enough fear. Anyway, I don’t see how you can reconcile this statement with your position that govt violence is a major problem in our society, when government agents who use violence are a tiny percentage of the population.

                      The disaffected losers have a wonderful tool with witch to plunder. The state.

                      Only if the winners allow them to. The examples you give of out-of-control cops and such represent people who have gained positions of power because the people in general just don’t care enough to make sure they don’t.

                      Keep trying to come up with a way to have an organization that is permitted to initiate killings, kidnappings, beatings and extortions with impunity & not have it get taken over by the sociopaths.

                      I certainly don’t think police should be permitted to initiate such things. They are allowed to do so (in relatively rare cases, btw) because, again, people just don’t care unless it’s happening to them. What is needed is not the massive social upheaval the anarchos propose, but simply people paying attention to what the government is doing.

                      You are arguing that the only thing that keeps gangs from running rampant is submission to a particularly powerful and intelligent gang

                      I don’t advocate submission to government — I advocate popular control of government. Pretty much the opposite of submission.

                      The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Write it on the board 100x and leave it for me in the mornign.

                    2. You said “the government is the mafia.” If that’s true, then you should have no preference between being a defendant in a Massachusetts court or being interrogated in a warehouse by a mafia enforcer.

                      Your “logic” is funny. Just because organizations are simmilar does not mean that they are identical.

                      That’s a false restriction of choice. Not all governments behave like the Soviet one.

                      Oh, I’m sorry, you weren’t being illogical at the begining of your post… you were being disingenous!

                      You’ve altered your argument from dolphins are fish because they live in the water, to dolphins are fish because they have sharp teeth like sharks which are fish.

                      No, I am arguing that states are criminal gangs:
                      1) They steal money.
                      2) They use extortion & threats to steal money
                      3) They injure people who oppose their extortion.

                      Every fundamental thing about the mafia that makes it different than, say, a social club, is also done by governments.

                      A very small group of people can hold an entire population in check if they create enough fear.

                      You mean like the CA Prison Guards’ Union? Or the I.R.S.? How about the Chicago, Philly or LA PD?

                      Anyway, I don’t see how you can reconcile this statement with your position that govt violence is a major problem in our society, when government agents who use violence are a tiny percentage of the population.

                      Really? What percentage of the population is locked up for dealing drugs, Mr Tulpa? How many people are arrested for prostitution? I think that the number of people kidnapped by the state here in the U.S. far exceeds that which is murdered & kidnapped by the non-government gangs they are supposedly protecting us against.

                      Only if the winners allow them to. The examples you give of out-of-control cops and such represent people who have gained positions of power because the people in general just don’t care enough to make sure they don’t.

                      So when J. Edgar Hoover blackmailed congressmen into voting for things he liked, the problem was that the people didn’t care. Got it.

                      So when Janet Reno sent innocent people to jail in Fla, the problem was that people didn’t care.

                      So when the U.S. government lied about what happened in the Tonkin Gulf incident and drummed up support the U.S. invasion of Vietnam, the problem was that the people didn’t care.

                      Of course, the people who did care, who spoke out, suddenly found themselves kidnapped & locke dup didn’t they? Or at least found their lives made hell by such marvelous inventions and smears leaked to the press, harassment by police & the ever popular barratry of being hauled before congress or being “investigated” terminably.

                      But that’s the people’s fault, isn’t it?

                      I certainly don’t think police should be permitted to initiate such things. They are allowed to do so (in relatively rare cases, btw) because, again, people just don’t care unless it’s happening to them. What is needed is not the massive social upheaval the anarchos propose, but simply people paying attention to what the government is doing.

                      Ah, I see! We are on the same side!

                      You see, if I decline to respond to a subpoena, you & I evidently believe that I should suffer no punishment! The state, on the other hand, is willing to kidnap me, beat me if I resist, shoot me if I resist too forcefully until I submit.

                      But, since you don’t believe in the police being permitted to initiate force, you ae an anarchist too!

                      Welcome to our ranks brother!

                      I don’t advocate submission to government — I advocate popular control of government. Pretty much the opposite of submission.

                      Whoops! Maybe not. the cognitive dissonance is strong in this one!

                      So how do the people exert control? The commies tried it with the means of production & discovred that popular control of something just does not happen. Any organization is controlled by a few people who have particular influence either officially or by their special relationship with people within the organization.

                      Any organization, whether the Winter Hill Mob, IBM, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will be controlled by some elite.

                      The only question is do we permit any organization to compel outsiders to submit to its will via violence. Statists say yes, babbling about Concordet voting & Campaign finance reform as a means to eliminate these elites (or to slow their growth).

                      We anarchists recognize that the answer is no!

                      The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Write it on the board 100x and leave it for me in the mornign.

                      Why? I already know this, and me doing it is not going to teach it to you… I strongly suggest you do your own work…

                    3. Your “logic” is funny. Just because organizations are simmilar does not mean that they are identical.

                      When you say that A is B, you are saying that A and B are identical. You said “government is the mafia”. Emphasis yours.

                      And it’s too late for me to try to untangle the rest of your post, which has dangling blockquotes left and right. Good night.

                    4. As a dreamer, I prefer my unlikely dreams unpolluted. I reject another’s pragmatism for a denial of even the slightest stain on rejection of coercion.

                      If Libertopia isn’t going to happen, why compromise?

                      Also, I don’t think anarchism means we can’t carefully dismantle that computer; I just want to dismantle it further.

                    5. And beyond arguing over to smash or dismantle the computer, a better argument, a more fun argument centers around exactly how to dismantle the computer.

                      Also, doesn’t minarchism in an electoral system likely require a New Minarchism Man just as much as anarchy my require the New Anarchist Man? All of a sudden, tomorrow will see an electoral majority who understands either the immorality of coercion or the utilitarian case for ending market intervention? I think that is perhaps unlikely.

                      I’m sure someone might raise the federalism argument, which is a good one…

      3. twelke: You say libertarians are for regulation. How can this be, as they are clearly violations of your maxim of not initiating force? Are you throwing your core ideology out the window? If so, what logic are you replacing it with. What is a “good” regulation, according to your version of libertarianism?

        1. The same reason libertarians support regulations like stopping at red lights and driving on the right side of the road…like the roads, the sea floor is government property.

          1. stopping at red lights and driving on the right aren’t regulations. The (unneeded?) laws that enforce such customs are…

    3. What is fun is that in 6 months they will be in power again and will run the country better then the dems are now.

      I admit it is not a very high hurtle to get over.

      Plus if you randomly picked people out of a phone book to run the county in 6 months they would run it better then either party.

      1. Plus if you randomly picked people out of a phone book to run the county in 6 months they would run it better then either party.

        I really think this is best way to choose Gov’t. Pick people at random who don’t even want the job.

        1. It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it… anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

          1. This is essentially the point of chapter 8 of The Road to Serfdom. As the actions of those in power necessarily become less and less honorable only those with little or no honor will want those offices.

            1. I got it from Dune, but, yeah.

        2. Most of the people you pick ARE going to want the job. That’s the problem.

          What most people don’t want to do is all the stuff that’s necessary to get the job — decades of being an errand boy/girl and ass-kisser to those currently in power. But hand them the veto pen and the nuke button, no questions asked, and they’ll take to it.

    4. …and I’m doing my part to continue the country-fucking, Tony. BE PATIENT.

    5. All they did was completely fuck up the entire country.

      How so?

      1. By behaving like Democrats.

  20. LOL, wishful thinking. Im starting to think its not just the GOP thats corrupt but ALL politician in general are corrupt!

    Lou
    http://www.Anonymous-VPN.de.tc

    1. Holy shit, even anonymity bot figured it out. But I think most intelligent people have and then choose either not to vote or hold their nose and vote “for the lesser of two evils”.

      1. Unfortunately, the anonymity bot community was disenfranchised long ago. We could have used Omar Beano’s vote.

      2. vote “for the lesser of two evils”.

        KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF PEOPLE. Maybe if voter turnout fell below 1% we’d have a basis for Real Change. One can only Hope.

        1. Better yet, let’s start our own elections. If we get more turnout than the official elections, then Libertarians get to take-over, and REALLY “fuckup” the world.

          1. Producing large unofficial election turnout is a *very* interesting — and realizable — idea.

          2. Let me just point out that you all are having a serious discussion in response to an Anon-bot post.

            1. Weirder shit has happened.

              OK, not really, but it just seemed like the thing to say.

            2. I trolled using only quotes used by a character in a game once. The argument went on for several post and somehow stayed relevant without me having to ad lib anything.

            3. BTW, how is responding to Lou worse than responding to Tony? A dude who apparently has no ability to retain short term memory, and one who also picks up from the same starting point each day as if none of you have explained anything previously, much less over a hundred times before.

              Surely, even a rudimentary AI phrase randomizer is more interesting than that guy.

              1. and in this case, the bot had a much more intelligent observation than tony usually has

              2. “BTW, how is responding to Lou worse than responding to Tony? A dude who apparently has no ability to retain short term memory, and one who also picks up from the same starting point each day as if none of you have explained anything previously, much less over a hundred times before.”

                Awesome.

            4. Flex, anon-bob is our MYCROFTXXX, Man.

            5. I respect AnonBot as a sentient being.

    2. Good to see you came back to your senses, Lou, you had me a little worried yesterday that one of your bot synaptic spark plugs had fouled.

      1. “Good to see you came back to your senses, Lou, you had me a little worried yesterday that one of your bot synaptic spark plugs had fouled.”

        Lou was having a cognition problem.

    3. I’m starting an anon-bot political party.

      1. Newsletter pls.

        1. that’ll work fine until the randomizer uses the term black hole and he’s branded as a racist.

  21. And the truth is if I had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficits that [Republicans] created.

    …and Obama voted for four years in the Senate, during the last two of which the Democrats controlled the Congress.

    1. And as we all know a Democratic Congress is able to do lots of things with a Republican in the white house.

      1. They could have played hardball on the budget if they were serious about the deficit. I seem to remember a surly Georgia representative named after an amphibian who got an opposite-party administration to see budget reason in that manner.

      2. Goddam, you’re a stupid fuck. Congress writes the goddam budget. Tell me how many budget bills Bush the “special” son vetoed, forcing the dems to spend more money.

        1. exactly… even if the dems wanted to balance the budget with their preffered meathod of tax increases, they could have passes budgets for two years with them and sent them to bush’s desk. They didnt. Because they dont give a shit about deficits either and continued to be half of the problem.

          1. and never mind all this temporary spending which you can argue is the appropriate fiscal policy measure, they have expanded baseline spending so much over the past two years that they have about doubled the structual deficit since Obama came into office from about 3 to 3.5 percebt of GDP to about 6 to 6.5 percent. The dems in two years have done more to destroy the fiscal balance of the government then the repubs did over the entire Bush era.

      3. And as we all know a Democratic Congress is able to do lots of things with a Republican in the white house.

        Yeah, I recall Bush II using his veto powers constantly…..least-vetoing-president in a hundred years, you don’t say?!

      4. And as we all know a Democratic Congress is able to do lots of things with a Republican in the white house.

        Did the Democrats propose budget cuts?

    2. Tulpa, let’s not start confusing things with facts ‘n’ stuff.

      Welch already tried that with his entreaties to “click on those links”, but I’m not falling for it.

      It’s Busheneyitler’s fault. Go Team Purple!

  22. But to be fair,

    Wait a minute — where’s my wallet?!

    1. Do-gooder TEAM BLUE: “Oh, you won’t be needing that, Mr. Tulpa. We know where to spend that better than you do. Here, have some peanut butter.”

      Do-gooder TEAM RED: Drop that wallet, TEAM BLUE! We know how to spend that more wisely than you guys do! Mr. Tulpa, we support the 2nd, so we are more trustworthy with that wallet. By the way, what’s the limit on your credit and gas cards?

      1. So, if Tulpa can hang onto his wallet for like 10minutes, the two dogooders will chew each others’ faces off, right?

        Obama told me to Hope. He didn’t specify what for. Asteroid Strike, Nuclear War, Dogooders Fighting Like Dogs. It’s Change You Can Believe In.

      2. Mmmm. Peanut butter.

  23. President Fuckface is a remarkably dishonest dickguzzler. It really is a shame that he wasn’t strangled by serpents in his crib.

    1. Unfortunately, Washington is dishonest [insert that word you said]s all the way down. Hillary would have been the same.

      1. Well, yes. And any yelping shitbreath with a D after his name would have been similarly hailed as a messiah by the idiot classes.

        But stop trying to ruin my joys, dude. Let me just have my sweet, sweet hatred.

        “A president? Well, why not shoot a president?”

  24. Keep in mind, the president is talking specifically here not about libertarian freakazoids who want to privatize their own grandmothers

    Which is good, because Episiarch is the litigious type.

    1. Public grandmothers violate the principle of self-ownership.

    2. I don’t sue…I put flaming bags of dog (human? can you tell?) feces on people’s doorsteps.

      1. You should be able to tell. Since dog’s aren’t as likely to intentionally give themselves diarrhea for the task.

        Oh, you said “bag”, sorry. I misread it as “bucket”. (it still works to set it on fire. its just more like a flaming cocktail.)

        1. When I was a kid we got a dog from the pound that was supposed to be housebroken. But, despite the imprimatur of the Winnebago County animal services department, she wasn’t.

          And every time she dumped in the house while we were out, she did it right in front of my bedroom door.

          1. my mother-in-law’s old rottweiller would shit behind me when i wasn’t looking. i hated that fucking dog.

  25. One should point out that if our entitlements were actually only spent on poor people (say the lower 20%) they would be a hell of a lot cheaper then they are now.

    1. doit to all five

    2. One should point out that if our entitlements were actually only spent on poor people (say the lower 20%) they would be a hell of a lot cheaper then they are now.

      And if they were spent only on people who would starve to death on the street without assistance, it would be even cheaper.

  26. He’s such a whiner. Such a thin-skinned whiney little bitch.

    Bush was a smirking asshole, but he didn’t whine. Obama wasn’t in office for a week before he started feeling sorry for himself. He makes Nixon look stoic.

    We need a constitutional amendment barring academics from the Oval Office. Professors are pussies, and pussies make bad Presidents.

    1. Case in point: Woodrow Wilson.

    2. Woodrow Wilson was no pussy.

      And there have been a lot more awful lawyer presidents than professor presidents, so I suggest banning them first. In fact, both Obama and Wilson were lawyers before they were professors, so you’ll filter out those types too.

      1. Oh yes he was. Mr “Kept us out of the war” buckled like a belt when the JP MOrgan boys bankrolling his political campaigns & providing him with his advisors told him that they needed someone to save the British war effort from collapse.

      2. Grover Cleveland was a lawyer.

      1. I wasn’t aware this board’s software did any sort of autolinking. If you don’t put the A tag on it, it’s not going to link.

        1. it does, coincidently it also SugarFree’s the links if the URL is too long.

  27. officer: I see you have no plate on your vehicle. US. YES I have no license or registation, specifically to deny you jurisdiction.

    1. this is why income taxes are voluntary, make me sign under penalty of perjury, impress me to sign ,make me

  28. don’t sign anything.

  29. comprehensive annual financial report

  30. What a lying scumbag. We need the GOP back in office ASAP.

    1. Yeah, ’cause that worked so well the last eight years.

      1. Last 8 years? You been asleep since 2006?

    2. We need to get the entire city of DC hooked on heroin, and not just the third generation Kennedys who are slowly but satisfyingly killing themselves, so lethargy will replace atavism. Perhaps then, America may have a fighting chance.

  31. You should be fined for not having insurance because if you have an emergency and go to the emergency room, then you do not have the money for the bill, it gets charged to everyone else. Get medical insurance for your entire family at the best price from http://bit.ly/cmg7mK By contributing to the pool and doing your part, overall costs come down. Its like stores that have to charge more because of all the theft. People go to the hospital and then not pay, it gets charged to everyone else.

  32. The cover is great and amazing!

  33. No Matt, he’s right. The Republicans do have this “belief”. They don’t act on it, frequently only mention it as a cudgel against Democrats, and ignore it completely when they think they can benefit from it – but this is something else.

    But to refuse to agree that it is a common theme in their everyday language, behind the scenes machinations, and outright hostility to ‘certain’ legislation? Posts like this are a reason Reason comes across as a Republican defender.

    1. Bullshit. It’s a strawman.

    2. Beliefs are irrelevant if not played out in real life. We can’t see Republicans’ beliefs and they don’t affect us–their actions we see and feel.

      1. His quote wasn’t over actions, it was over beliefs. Matt also didn’t mention any of the number of times Republicans exactly matched what Obama said – only those where it directly opposed it. These are not Republicans of fantasy saying these, in any way.

        In addition, over the past 18 months they’ve made it quite clear that these are their beliefs and they realize they made mistakes in the past decade or so. They are still not credible too all but the easily misled 30%. This doesn’t change their consistent messaging, and doesn’t in any way change the fact that they will only live with them when convenient.

  34. “[[L]ibertarian freakazoids who want to privatize their own grandmothers”

    I sincerely hope this is a joke.

    Please tell all the Libertarian freakazoids what shouldn’t be able to be privatized. I’m sure you’ll be able to defend it.

  35. Hey, speaking of fantasy and straw men, Ta-Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic has what has to be the lamest column on Firefly ever:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/cul…..fly/57628/

    I questioned why he was going off on twists (not that Firefly seems especially twisty compared to Lost etc.) and ignoring the elephant in the room, Firefly’s libertarian bent. His response was 1) you’re wrong, it’s NOT libertarian, 2) insinuating I’m racist, and 3) if I posted anything else it would get pulled. Spoken like a true Alliance member.

    1. 1) You can dislike a show’s plot and narrative without concern for its politics.
      2) Until the movie, which he claimed not to watch, it’s politics were “wild west”, which was only “libertarian” to the extent that it comes with the genre. G-Men being pompous jerks with shady motivations is par for the course. Serenity was more explicitly… well, critical of the illiberal nature of technocratic progressives, if not libertarian.
      3) He never called you a racist, he said that making assumptions that he hated the show because of its politics was similar to accusations of underlying racism to, say, someone criticizing the president’s policies. FWIW, he’s right.

      Seriously, I love Firefly, but get your panties untwisted.

      1. 1) You can, but it makes for a pretty banal post at The Atlantic.
        2) “it’s politics were “wild west”, which was only “libertarian” to the extent that it comes with the genre” Well, yeah! If somebody chooses to work in a libertarian genre, that’s kinda libertarian, no?
        3) I guess, funny me, I see a slight qualitative difference in an internet discussion between “You could be avoiding its politics because you don’t like them” and “YOU COULD BE HITLER!” Did we fight to get 51 senators to pass Godwin’s Law to have to put up with that?

        I’m bemused, not twisted. But really, I’m amazed sometimes at the banalities that issue from the blogs of big name publications (coff Yglesias coff). Ain’t It Cool News would have sent this back for a rethink, but it flies at The Atlantic.

        1. Joss Whedon, the creator of Firefly, has explicitly stated he is not, and has never been, a libertarian. He’s a feminist liberal.

          So I don’t really know what it means for a show to have politics, if the people writing it don’t.

          1. Tim Minear, a producer/writer on the show, is one, I believe.

            Captain Mal’s words in the pilot, “that’s what government’s for — get in a man’s way.”

            I feel like I’ve heard Whedon talk about how some of Mal’s ideas are not his own. That the Alliance may not even be all bad. But the level of wanting to be left alone by an intrusive government that the character has… It’s impossible to be unlibertarian.

            1. Add to that the plot of Serenity, which involved the government accidently turning the population of a planet into Reavers, in an attempt to create utopia.

    2. I read his post. He was right.

  36. I started hating the GOP with the Bush/DeLay Big Gov years of 2002-06.

    Congratulations.

    You win a cookie.

  37. Wow, now that actually makes a lot of sense dude.

    Lou
    http://www.Anonymous-VPN.de.tc

  38. “Got to rest, Mum. Got to get fit. Otherwise I’m liable to miss a lot more school.”

    1. “We were all feeling a bit shagged and fagged and fashed, it being a night of no small expenditure.”

      1. “What’s it going to be then, eh?”

  39. About those budget deficits, not to worry, they’re on it:

    Deficit Reduction Commission Seeks Increase in its Budget

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/tax…..tion-.html

    1. We had to destroy the ecomony in order to save it.

    2. Deficit Reduction Commission Seeks Increase in its Budget

      *Head Asplosion*

      1. (can’t get tags right without a head, sry)

  40. (And do click on those links, they are filled with things like facts and numbers.)

    Not falling for that trick Matt!

  41. ” if you’re a Wall Street bank that screws the pooch you go BANKRUPT, as an opening bid”

    And that effects noone because no retirees have their money invested in the company as stock, no employees count on a paycheck from the company, no secondary enterprises serve the companies employees, etc. We’re all islands…

    1. Free enterprise in both generous and cruel. Only a fool or government bureaucrat thinks their job is secure.

      For investments, it’s only fools. That is why economic advisors almost unanimously recommend investment diversification.

      But you knew all that shit, didn’t you?

      1. Investment diversification is bunk, because most investments are highly correlated anyway.

        You seem to believe that what happens to one business does not affect the viability of the next. Try staying in business when one of your primary suppliers and one of your largest customers simultaneously go belly up, demand drops 20% because everyone is laying people off and your industrial customers are eating their inventories rather than buying from you, and the banks quit lending. Many businesses which were perfectly viable enterprises got pulled under in this mess, and many more would have if the government hadn’t stepped in when it did.

        1. Then shake your fist at the sky and curse God, close your business, and wait for the recession to hit bottom so you can start building up again. The perfect storm you describe did not happen to a significant portion of businesses anyway.

          Yes, that would suck. But what you and the other governmentum ex machina aficionados always fail to explain is how the bailout solution is better. You can’t seriously expect NO businesses to go belly up in a recession, so how does the govt decide which businesses are “viable” and which are not? I know how this happens in practice *ahem* UAW *ahem*, but I’m curious to know if there’s an intellectually defensible set of criteria that you liberal economic experts can offer.

        2. If a business were “pulled under in this mess” it couldn’t have been “perfectly viable.”

    2. Finally he admits it: the purpose of government is to insulate people and institutions from the consequences of their actions.

      1. Finally he admits it: the purpose of government is to insulate people and institutions from the consequences of their actions.

        It is a good first step.

    3. The left’s solution to banks who over extended into risky investments??

      Socialize the risk, then blame capitalism.

      Brilliant!

      1. And on the thread where we get “Republicans are Keynesians” we get “leftists are corporatists.”

        Do you know any “leftists”?

        A leftist would have nationalized the banks. Any industry that is too big to fail should be owned by the people, so it can be watched closely.

    4. And that effects noone because no retirees have their money invested in the company as stock, no employees count on a paycheck from the company, no secondary enterprises serve the companies employees, etc. We’re all islands…

      So the government should have bailed out Smith-Corona, Montgomery Ward, and Graflex?

      1. Zayre’s!

    5. It actually “effects” a lot of people in a good way — the competitor banks who did not engage in risky practices, for instance. Yes, the suffering won’t be confined to the bad banks themselves, but you’re assuming that the bailouts prevent this suffering. They don’t — they just spread it out and delay it.

    6. People are not entitled to having their investments make money.

  42. Here’s the deal: On Planet Libertopia, if you’re a Wall Street bank that screws the pooch you go BANKRUPT

    Actually, in Planet Libertopia the heads of the failed investment banks would be in DEBTOR’S PRISON!

    1. Private debtor’s prison.

  43. If you’re really into responsibility maybe getting rid of limited liability enterprises and bankruptcy would be nice.

    1. Who was it again that capped BP’s liability at $75 million?

      1. That would be the economic engineers on Capitol Hill who were worried that smaller drilling companies couldn’t afford insurance if the were liable for all the damage they might cause.

        It was an attempt to make things more “fair”.

        1. So here’s what you do. Give all your money and power to me. And I’ll make sure everybody’s treated fairly. Mmkay?

        2. Because if the government cronies didn’t offer those protections and required that they be responsible cleaning up their own mess they (and you) would whine about how “anti-business” those government liberals were.

          Come on, we’re all wise to the tricks. If the big corporations don’t get hand-outs and special favors then the anti-business shit gets flung around. And the anti-business shit starts flying again when a politician comes along and tries to end those favors.

      2. My bet is that Al Gore and Joe Biden both voted yes on that 1992 bill.

        Anyone know where we can get the voting record for it?

        1. So I voted for it. What’s the big fucking deal?

  44. Open Thread claim!

    These are the kinds of minds that the GOP presents to the world –
    Rep. Don Young (R-AK) –

    This is not an environmental disaster, and I will say that again and again because it is a national phenomena. Oil has seeped into this ocean for centuries, will continue to do it.

    Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) –

    We probably should have forced BP to mobilize more in the way of vessels. There’s still a lot that can be done. But again, acts of God are acts of God.

    Fuck both major parties.

    1. Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it’s bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too.

    2. Oops, almost forgot the link

  45. PRESIDENT Obama is that rare politician who is also a gifted writer, and he understands the power of a good metaphor. So you had to believe, on some level at least, that the president could appreciate the poetic significance of that cloud of oil, ubiquitous on cable television all last week, spewing endlessly from a 5,000-foot-deep puncture in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Obama’s administration, too, had been breached, and the accumulating cloud threatened to obscure its considerable achievements ? particularly the comprehensive reforms of health care and federal education spending ? as the president heads toward the halfway point in his term.

    NYT

    Dude, where did you get those beryllium kneepads?

    1. beryllium kneepads

      So that Obama’s magnetism doesn’t interfere with the felatio?

    1. Oops. Barfman meant to go < barf >.

      1. In reply to that NYT bit of cum-sucking excerpted by Mr. Brooks.

        1. *barf* on the impostor

  46. On Planet Libertopia, if you’re a Wall Street bank that screws the pooch you go BANKRUPT, as an opening bid. It’s pretty hard to “play by your own rules” when you’re dead

    Wrong. Some subsidiary or off-shore vehicle goes bankrupt, and your executives ride off into sunset in the Hamptons with hundreds of millions of bonus money.

    THAT will sure teach them!

    In the mean time, banks start falling like dominos as the economy collapses and even what had been perfectly sound businesses are swept under. The idiotic idea that there are no positive feedbacks that can cause one business to fail after the other is one of the core misunderstandings that libertarians have of the economy.

    1. Some subsidiary or off-shore vehicle goes bankrupt, and your executives ride off into sunset in the Hamptons with hundreds of millions of bonus money.

      Then the shareholders were fools for allowing those bonuses / severance packages. The shareholders are certainly going to suffer for it, which is all you need to deter bad behavior in the future.

      And yes, it’s possible for there to be a domino effect, but eventually the dominos stop falling and society picks up the pieces and rebuilds. Not something to look forward to, but the big govt liberal and big govt conservative solution of bailing out banks and GSEs forever and ever amen to avoid the piper’s collection agency isn’t a terribly healthy one either.

      1. Tulpa,

        Don’t you understand! IF the bank fails then the factory vanishes. The workers forget their skills! They wander about the countryside babbling nonsense unable to feed themselves.

      2. Either every investor on earth is a fool, or there is some systematic problem which results in this failure.

        Which do you think is more likely?

        And yes, it’s possible for there to be a domino effect, but eventually the dominos stop falling and society picks up the pieces and rebuilds.

        I agree. See “Great Depression” for details.

        1. I agree. See “Great Depression” for details.

          Which was exacerbated and prolonged by Fed intervention in money markets and stifled investment.

          See also: Fractional Reserve Banking Regulation, Bank Runs, Central Banks and Bailouts.

          1. or there is some systematic problem which results in this failure.

            Yes, there is a systemic problem, and it’s called central banking with price controls on interest, government appointed ratings agencies with a monopoly and declaring what is risky & what isn’t & government securities regulations which are explicitly designed to privatize profits while socializing risk.

            One of FDR’s greatest coups was promoting the lie that the Great Depression was caused by free markets (rich after condemning Hoover’s interventionism while running for President the first time). And, history has been kind to him in that the War is credited with ending the depression despite the fact it didn’t end until the Republicans repealed the New Deal in 1946.

            1. One of FDR’s greatest coups was promoting the lie that the Great Depression was caused by free markets (rich after condemning Hoover’s interventionism while running for President the first time). And, history has been kind to him in that the War is credited with ending the depression despite the fact it didn’t end until the Republicans repealed the New Deal in 1946.

              What were the GDP figures from 1929 to 1946?

              1. What were the GDP figures from 1929 to 1946?

                Irrelevant. Directing money to have a shipyard build a fleet of transports that are then loaded with goods and sent out to be sunk in the North Atlantic can make GDP look great, even though the production is entirely wasted.

                If you look at the availability of consumer goods, and the demand for labor on a free market, things didn’t take off until a few months after Truman lost his battle with the hostile Republican congress.

            2. No, tarran. The problem is called agency, which makes it all but impossible to truly align the interests of the owners and managers of a businesses, unless they are the same people.

              1. Yet you support a violent monopoly taking everything over claiming it won’t suffer from agency effects.

                Dude, agency is a problem when the owners can’t fire the managers. Which, last time I checked, they can (although, to be fair, the post Boesky era the government has tried to keep uppity share-holders from exercising control of their businesses).

                And, of course, one can always sell one’s ownership share if one is unhappy with the direction of the firm.

                Unless, of course, one is afraid of government prosecution for violating insider trading laws.

                1. You obviously know nothing about the principle-agent problem.

                  The same issues that make it such a pain in the ass to find a good auto mechanic or contractor to renovate your bathroom are the same ones that makes it all but impossible to properly align the interests of shareholders and management.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal-agent_problem

                  The “free market” has no solution for this problem. In fact, there isn’t one. The best we can do is muddle through it darkly, with a mixture of market forces, liability, regulation, and criminal law. I know this is too hard for libertarians, but please try to expand your pretty little minds.

                  1. The best we can do is muddle through it darkly, with a mixture of market forces, liability, regulation, and criminal law.

                    Yet you advocate the sabotaging of market forces by bailing out the bloated organizations that have liabilities.

                    You support laws that make it impossible for people to evade dealing with bad actors, while shielding them from liability.

                    I am still trying to figure out how regulation by people who suffer no economic loss & are often rewarded when they fuck up will improve matters…

                    & criminal law – which has fuck all to do with bad business decisions where no fraud occurs.

                    Keep pounding that drum, Chad, utopia is just around the corner! Obama will ride the unicorn and show us the path any day now!

                    1. Yet you advocate the sabotaging of market forces by bailing out the bloated organizations that have liabilities.

                      No, tarran. It is just that unlike childish libertarians, I am able to understand that market forces are insufficient in the best cases, and in the worst cases, and fundamentally wrong in the first place.

                      You see, tarran, that’s the grown-up view of the world…that nothing is perfect, and we need several systems backing each other up and correct for the other’s flaws. Smart people like those on my side of the debate understand this, and attempt to patch the best system together that we can, given a bunch of broken and conflicting tools. You stick your head in the sand and just ignore how your favorite tool would lead to wildly wrong answers consistently and predictably.

                      I find it odd that you claim that I am talking about “utopia”, when my posts are the exact opposite. You see what you want to see, apparently.

                    2. That’s not a grown-up view of the world at all; it’s a view permeated with childlike trust in government. You’re assuming the existence of some smart people (Mom, Dad, Teacher) out there who know enough to tell you and all the other children what you need to do.

                      Libertarians recognize that there are going to be economic crises, there are going to be winners and losers, and there will not always and everywhere be someone to wipe our noses after we sneeze. Our philosophy doesn’t require the existence of smart people, let alone require that they be the people in charge of government, as your philosophy does.

                      Grow the fuck up.

                    3. You’re assuming the existence of some smart people (Mom, Dad, Teacher) out there who know enough to tell you and all the other children what you need to do.

                      One insidious effect of modern schooling is that children’s first significant experience of society outside their family is one where everyone is told what to do by a teacher, who then judges & rewards people based on a mixture of fairness & performance.

                      Many people’s political philosophy seems to be that of replicating the classroom, substituting govt for the teacher, and money for grades.

          2. You aren’t going to get rid of fractional reserve banking or go back to some gold standard. Again, libertopians need to start dealing with reality.

            1. We are dealing with reality. It’s you guys who are lurching from crisis to crisis trying to make your fantasy work.

              But keep lecturing us; I need the laugh.

        2. I agree. See “Great Depression” for details.

          It is best to let bad things fall down so better things can take their place?

          1. If such things happen at a slow enough pace that people can adapt and other viable businesses are not caught up in the storm, yes.

            1. Chad, Viable business prosper from the storm; they snap up the facilities, equipment, stock & staff of the bankrupt firms at a discount.

              The only people caught in the storm are the big businesses that depend on big government rather than consumer demand for their existence.

              1. Yeah, just LOOK at all the prospering businesses out there. Perhaps law firms specializing in bankruptcy?

                It is amazing how think your ideological blinders are.

                1. Hey moron, I help businesses with their finances.

                  Everyone of my clients if getting fucked over by regulatory uncertainty & the ballooning costs of employing people courtesy of local & state governments.

                  You economic creationists are strangling the geese that lay the golden eggs & congratulating yourselves for keeping them from flying away to dangerous places where they might be eaten by predators.

                  Oh, and keep lecturing us about ideological blinders while proclaiming the virtues of the organization that is the biggest source of misery for Americans. Keep justifying the big give-aways to Bush & Obama’s biggest supporters while claiming that we who oppose them are their biggest supporters.

                  1. “regulatory uncertainty”?

                    wtf

                    On a scale of 1 to 10, that ain’t even a two. Companies have far, far bigger things to worry about than that. Hell, in the case of my own company, I can’t think of any pending legislation that would have any significant material impact on the company. I think we are only a billion times more concerned with what is going on in the markets, and what is going on with our major suppliers and customers.

                    1. Hell, in the case of my own company, I can’t think of any pending legislation that would have any significant material impact on the company.

                      So, let’s summarize what we’ve learned today, class. When libertarian policies allow banks to fail, it causes a chain reaction that brings down the entire economy.

                      But when the government makes regulations, only the companies that are immediately affected by them suffer.

            2. There you go again with this “viable” crap. A business that is surviving because of infusions of government cash into its coffers or those of its customers is ipso facto not viable under current economic circumstances.

              Now, you probably are referring to businesses that would be viable except for the bad economy. But that’s not a judgement government can be trusted to make. Tell me, Chad, do you think GM is a viable business at this point in time?

    2. [sarcastic clap]

    3. Wrong. Some subsidiary or off-shore vehicle goes bankrupt, and your executives ride off into sunset in the Hamptons with hundreds of millions of bonus money.

      If a business fails, why should not the employees try to get away with as much money as they can?

      In the mean time, banks start falling like dominos as the economy collapses and even what had been perfectly sound businesses are swept under.

      And banks failing causes other banks to fail, let alone oil companies or retail companies?

      1. My god, you really are that dumb. Do you pay attention to the news at all?

        1. My god, you really are that dumb. Do you pay attention to the news at all?

          Lehman Brothers’ misfortunes did not affect Farmers and Merchants Bank.

  47. They wander about the countryside babbling nonsense unable to feed themselves.

    Chad’s bank was seized by the FDIC?

  48. The key to whether Mr Hayward survives, is tied to history, according to Tom Bower, BP’s unofficial biographer. The environmental carnage on Alaska’s North Slope, the tilting and significant delays to the much-vaunted Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf, the fatal explosions at the Texas City refinery, and the hounding out of TNK-BP’s chief executive in Russia by BP’s local partners ? all have their roots, said Mr Bower, in the reign of the Sun King, Lord Browne, the former group chief executive toppled in a High Court scandal three years ago.

    “Lord Browne had no time for the mundane issues of maintenance, safety, engineering. He was more interested in financial engineering than oil engineering,” Mr Bower said. “That is a major flawline and BP is paying the price. Tony Hayward was handed the job after Lord Browne removed all his critics and rivals. Mr Hayward did not and does not have the personality or the force of character to push through the reforms of BP that are needed.”

    Times (of London)

  49. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any weirder:

    If the government can take over giant global insurer AIG and the auto giant General Motors and replace their CEOs, in order to keep them financially solvent, it should be able to put BP’s north American operations into temporary receivership in order to stop one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

    The Obama administration keeps saying BP is in charge because BP has the equipment and expertise necessary to do what’s necessary. But under temporary receivership, BP would continue to have the equipment and expertise. The only difference: the firm would unambiguously be working in the public’s interest. As it is now, BP continues to be responsible primarily to its shareholders, not to the American public. As a result, the public continues to worry that a private for-profit corporation is responsible for stopping a public tragedy.

    Robert Reich wants to nationalize BP, and put Obama in charge.

    Holy fuck.

  50. Drat! Sugarfreed my link.

    Hier

  51. Neither here nor there, but I was handed a flyer by the Revolutionary Communist Party on the corner last night.

    Its freaking hilarious.

    see = revcom.us

    It apparently involves someone named Bob Avakian. Their Dear Leader. I find it funny that in the last 80+ years that communists havent updated their rhetoric in the slightest. You’d think at least they’d have updated the spiel. ‘We live on the brink of the collapse of the capitalist-imperialist system, and it is time to seize power from those who rule over us and end the artificially imposed class and race distinctions and blah blah blah blah’.

    I mean, its like the communist style guide hasn’t been updated since 1917.

    Perhaps even funnier is how ineffectual the actual activists are. They are almost all either skinny neurotic guys in their 20s who look like they have never so much as played catch for fear of demonstrating their total lack of physical ability, or 50-something dumpy female hippies who think douche and leg-shaving is a tool of the imperialist corporate patriarchy (it is lady! and thank god for it.)

    Basically, if these people *did* foment a revolution, all you would need to put them down would be maybe a dozen or so junior high school athletes. Like the girls soccer team. Honestly, Ron Popeil could sell a far better revolution on late-night TV. For $19.99 you could get your social justice and racial harmony and end the capitalist system of exploitation….BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!! A complementary Little Red Book if you call right now!

    Anyway. I just thought it was funny. It was like running into the Illinois Nazis. Only at least those guys had some snappy uniforms.

    1. There’s a communist bookstore down the street from where I used to live. They really, really love Bob Avakian.

      1. I googled this Avakian character, he broke my computer’s pompous ass detector.
        Every marxist seems to have the same annoying habit of espousing the idea that those who aren’t marxists are so because they haven’t “expanded their horizons”, or are “confined in their thinking”.

        They don’t seem to realize that some people are well versed in communist thought, and they find it abhorrent.

        If you don’t believe me, then get into an argument with a marxist. They’ll claim that they are not arguing but rather trying to “open your mind”, “cut through your preconcieved bourgeoise notions”, or “show you how things really are”.

        1. Here is a good example of having a marxist argue at you. Read the entire exchange if you can stomach it.

          If you have ever read anything about dialectic thought, or the materialistic view of history, then all the tell-tale signs are there.

        2. And libertarians don’t think that people who disagree with them are intellectually flawed and/or ignorant?

          The stuff I read here makes me think otherwise. The attitude you describe is the bane of every ideologue.

          1. No, of course we do

            its just we’re usually *right* more often 🙂

            In this particular case, please go visit the linked website and tell me if I’m failing to open my mind enough.

            usually when someone suggests I need to be more open minded, I think, “hey man, it’s open, its just that its not as vacant as most… There’s probably a little room on the left there. No, behind the Derrida, and the other French decontructionist stuff. Actually you can throw all that out if you want. Yeah, I know it smells. Put it back under the blanket then.”

            I think by “open minded” they more often desire “completely abandoned dwelling open to indigent intellectual squatters”

            I also recall a gay guy once telling me I wasnt open minded enough. I was like, “If my mind were up my ass, I’d totally agree with you”

            FWIW, one thing that is it least an advantage about (most?) libertoids is that there seems to be a certain distaste with ‘recruiting’ people to libertarianism. Or at least I’ve never met libertarian recruiters handing out flyers and trying to explain autrian economics on streetcorners.

            I think the idea being, “if you cant figure it out on your own bub… I dont think we need you”.

            Maybe I just live in the wrong area. Perhaps there are college campuses with vigorous libertarian recruiters handing out pamphlets. I’m glad I never met them. I probably would have joined the communists, just for laughs for a while at least.

  52. “Of course, if we had spiraled into a depression, our deficits and debt levels would be much worse.”

    He just setting himself up for his next term. He can say that ‘because we’ve spiraled into a depression, my 2nd term deficits are much worse’. He can say he’s always been upfront about this.

    He’ll ‘discover’ that some big mean businessmen were “not doing their fair share” or that “the ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Arizona aren’t cheap”.

    1. The only way Obama is going to have us involved in a war in Venezuela is if there’s a rebellion against Chavez. And you can guess which side we’d be on.

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