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Can we distort McCain's record?

Yes we can!

This is beginning to be a pattern. Obama has never appealed to me as a candidate, but I was at least hopeful that he'd represent a break from the sleazy, dirty soundbite politics we've seen too much of lately, in which one side seizes on a phrase or sentence, lifts it completely out of context and deliberately mischaracterizes it.

I guess I was naive. Perhaps Obama fears he can't win an honest campaign against John McCain. He may be right.

(via Glenn)


Oh, get off your fainting couch already. Do you honestly think that McCain is going to run a high-road campaign against Obama when his surrogates are already sending out mailings calling him "The Hamas Candidate"? What do you expect Obama to do, just be a pussy? Obviously, yes.

Obama did not distort what McCain said. While he expressed sympathy for those who are not doing well, McCain did say that America has made great progress economically under George Bush.

This false claim of distortion made by Glenn Reynolds and now yourself is itself becoming a pattern. Many have now attacked Obama's bringing up McCain saying that the American people would not care if we stayed in Iraq for a very long time. Many have pointed out that we indeed have been that long in Kosovo, Korea, and Europe. However, what that comparison leaves out is the fact that the people of the countries hosting us haven't been regularly targeting our troops for assasination. So the prospect of our staying in Irag for 10 or 100 years is quite different than our stay in Kosovo has been.

Obama is right to question McCain saying we could be in Iraq for a very long time and he is right again here to question McCain's praise for the Bush economic record.

Obama accurately conveyed what McCain said. Yes, McCain's record includes voting against the Bush tax cuts. However, McCain's record is not important, because he is now supporting those cuts, as he has supported much of the rest of the Bush economic policies in order to win the Republican nomination.

So the distortion here is being made by Mr. Reynolds and yourself.

You are playing a game while pretending to be against games.

Furthermore, what Obama said McCain said is exactly what McCain has been saying in many different conservative venues, in the Republican debates, as well as to conservative commentators like Larry Kudlow.

It would be a distortion if Obama misrepresented what McCain said and/or has been saying, but Obama didn't.

LOL Barry,
Since when it is called distortion repeating the words of someone. Listening to the video, McCain made clear that he believes we made economic progress under Bush. That's exactly what he said.

I think McCain would have been a much better candidate for the republicans 10-20 years ago. And if you are so sensitive about "record distortions", you may want to express your opinion about the smear campaign against Obama by Faux News and also some of the MSM. They are trying to swiftboat and destroy Obama with irrelevan and ridiculous stories about Wright, Bill Ayers, etc. But they are failing. Get used to it. It will be:
President Barack Obama :-)

Just wait until it comes out that John "Songbird" McCain, the alleged war hero, was never actually mistreated or even held against his will in Vietnam, but cooperated voluntarily with the communists immediately out of fear of being tortured.

He didn't live in a wooden box, and he didn't come back starved down to 90 pounds like some guys I knew who had lifelong health issues. He stayed in an apartment and returned at normal weight.

His father had the North Vietnamese keep him safe because he was such a crappy pilot he couldn't even keep his plane in the air. He was never "shot down".

There is no such thing as "the Bush economy," just as there was never any such thing as "the Clinton economy."

The best years America had were under the "Gingrich economy" - 1995 - 1999. Congress controls the federal purse strings and advances the fed's economic agenda and budget.

Now we've had Pelosi-Reid in charge of Congress for OVER two years!

The first SIX months of their reign could be attributed to the policies of Hastert-Frist.

We are no well into "the Pelosi-Reid economy."

Were they responsible for the Fed leaving interest rates too low for too long?

Well, they didn't put any pressure on Bernanke to do anything about that, so....yeah, they are.

Are they...or Bernanke responsible for lenders making bad loans or borrowers making bad individual decisions?

Not at all, although the liberal Democrats ARE responsible for changing lending practices that led to the making of those "bad loans," by seeking to eradicate things like savings/income ratios and location risk adjustments as "red lining."

Oddly enough, we were in the midst of a great recovery from the 2000-2001 recesssion with the Hastert-Frist economy, while things have tailspun during the Pelosi-Reid economy.

P.S. Keep on hawking the views of those neo-nazis in the Patriot Movement! Heil Barely! Heil Bo Gritz!!

Tickets please! All tickets out for inspection. Right this way to enter JMK-Land, where Pelosi-Reid have been in charge of Congress for OVER two years....even though it's only been 15 months since the new Congress was sworn in; where it's liberal Democrats who are responsible for the ca-ca economy even though the Republicans controlled the federal government for much of this decade; where the Democrats are to blame for Fed policy even though the place is run by Bush-appointed Ben Bernanke.

Congress controls the economy.

If we haven't had the Pelosi-Reid economy since january 2007, then I suppose your contradicting Bill Clinton, who hailed the late 1990s economy as "the Gingrich economy" on numerous occasions.

It wasn't Bernanke who held interest too low for too long, that was Greenspan. The Hosuing Bubble is Greenspan's spawn.

Bernanke raised rates but the housing bubble had already broken. The current energy policy (I believe our energy policy is set and approved by...Congress???) that touted ethanol is responsible for the rising price of corn and livestock feed...thus the rising food prices.

We HAD a huge recovery from 2002 - 2006 and one of the longest periods of extended growth.

I believe that was the "Hastert-Frist economy."

The economy post-January 2007 is the....???

...uh, the Bush economy? Uh, the...result of too much reckless borrowing and spending by consumers and government?
And the '02-'06 economic recovery was good, but wasn't one of the longest periods of extended growth...1991-2001 tops them all, followed by 1982-1990 and 1961-1969, just for starters.

Actually Fred, 1991 thru 1994 weren't particularly good years.

In fact, mid-1992 thru early 1994 saw a slight recession that was brought about in part by Bush Sr's disastrous breaking of his forward thinking "read my lips" pledge, enabling Bill Clinton to run on the inane slogan, "It's the economy stupid."

But Clinton's early years weren't all that great either. They were marred by infighting with Congressional Democrats.

No, the BEST economy of the 20th Century was "the Gingrich economy" of the mid thru late 1990s.

It was THAT Congress that cut federal spending, delivered a Welfare Reform that changed America's economy for the better in a HUGE way!

And Newt Gingrich rightly took credit for it and Bill Clinton was not at all reluctant to agree on that.

There was a time, when some partisans would have had the guts to argue over such things. Now, it seems that EVERYONE agrees that, "It's Congress that controls the purse strings, sets the budget and is responsible for the economy."

In fact, I dare say that I'm nearly as big a fan of Newt Gingrich as you yourself are, Fred.

I rank the greatest Americans as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams etc., followed by Lincoln (for saving the Union), followed closely by Reagan, who turned America away from the disastrous Carter policies of Keynesianism and One Worldism and Gingrich who, with Congress in Conservative hands for the first time in almost half a century, merely embarked on remaking the American economy and delivering, during his tenure, the best economy America had over the 20th Century!

OK, come to think of it, I may actually be a slightly more passionate fan of Newt's than you are.

You'll have to find me where Clinton praised the "Gingrich economy." Given Bill's behavior the past few months, I can't imagine him giving credit where it ain't due or where he can't share it, at least.
And so I guess the 1980s were the Tip O'Neill economy?

And where's the sources for this year-and-a-half long recession you seem to have invented?

I dont see how anyone who cares for this country could vote McCain. The country is at the edge of catastrophy from the policies of the rogue Bush administration, and McCain says that he will simply continue the same policies. In other words, he will complete the collapse. In my opinion, voting for McCain is essentially unpatriotic. Just my opinion :-)

Wow, JMK was squarely blaming Clinton for the theft and treason of Ken Lay and other Bush supporters who crashed the economy in 2000. But wait, that was a Republican congress, and they make the laws and control the purse strings, so ...

LOL! JMK is one of those nutty old men who hangs out nursing a slice of chocolate pie at the local Pancake House so he can trap other customers into his lunatic rantings and psychotic Republican worship.

Yes, Fred, the 1980s WERE indeed "the Tip O'Neill economy."

The Carter debacle shamed the Democrats and cowed them into going along with the shift from the disastrous Keynesian policies that got us into the Stagflation of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Reagan's wins, both in 1980 and 1984 were so huge that many Dems felt that if they obstructed Supply Side progess that they'd wind up a minority Party in perpetuity.

There were no stalwart Keynesians who had the guts to risk their reputations and political careers by trying to make affirmative arguments for Keynesianism. Come to think of it, there really aren't many of them today!

Keynesianism is what France and Germany have recently run away from.

I'll say this, Keynesian policies DO tend to level out incomes and result in greater economic equality and increase economic security for those employed, by making it all but impossible to fire workers, while offering a veritable guaranteed income to those who are unable to find or unwilling to work, BUT at the cost of low to no economic growth, few new jobs being created and a permanent Carter styled, "economic malaise."

Supply Side policies, while not perfect (the completely free market with its extreme instability and wild boom and bust cycles is considered the closest thing to economic perfection) do allow for considerable economic growth, within a highly regulated economy, while maintaining a bare-bones, "safety net" of a welfare structure, all of which would be anathema within a free market framework.

Outside the "perfection" of the incredibly insecure and wildly fluctuating free market economy, where workers have virtually no job security, as new companies with new ideas supplant older, more established compnaies regularly and where there are periods of incredible prosperity, followed by severe retractions that, even though generally shorter than the booms, must seem interminable to those who can't maintain their lifestyles during such busts, there are only two choices, the regulated market-based economy advocated by Supply Siders and the veritable or de facto Command Economy favored by the Keynesians.

While Supply Side policies have some severe imperfections, Keynesian policies inevitably lead to what they led to in the U.S. under Carter, in Germany under Schroeder and in France under Chirac - low to no economic growth, high inflation and double digit unemployment.

"JMK was squarely blaming Clinton for the theft and treason of Ken Lay and other Bush supporters who crashed the economy in 2000..." (Barely Hanging)

The "Tech Bubble Bust" brought on the implosion of the NASDAQ in the spring of 2000...of course, the Tech Bubble Bust was brought on by changes within the SEC (on margin rates and IPO regulations). The SEC, like the FBI and the FAA, is controlled exclusively by the Executive Branch of government (and rightly so). That's what enabled the FBI (under G W Bush) to raid Rep William Jefferson's office in La over malfeasance and corruption charges).

The Tech Bubble was completely unrelated to the Enron, Tyco and Arthur Anderson business scandals that went on during the late 1990s and were brought to justice in the summer of 2002.

I'm surprised (no, not really) that Fred didn't correct this error first, as he's so quick to point out Barry's mis-spellings, or a date with myself...

Must've been an oversight...a "Conservative oversight" at that, since Fred is indeed a self-proclaimed "Conservative."

You see Barely, the earlier "Tech Bubble Bust" was brought about by a slew of dot.com IPOs that couldn't sustain themselves once they got into the market.

Arthur Anderson, Tyco, Enron were NOT dot.coms, nor was Worldcom, an offshoot of MCI Communications and at the time the nation's #2 long distance phone company.

Almost all the companies involved in those scandals used Arthur Anderson (at the time the nation's second largest of the then Big Five" Accounting firms).

That's why Arthur Anderson went under.

I've already outlined the Enron debacle for you here, but you failed to understand that, just as you fail to understand the distinction between the "Tech Bubble Bust" and the separate and distinct business scandals of 2002.

That's not at all surprising, since you've been prone to calle economics "mumbo jumbo."

Again, you'll have to find me where Clinton praised the "Gingrich economy." Given Bill's ego, I can't imagine him giving credit where it ain't due or where he can't share it, at least.
Also, where's the sources for the year-and-a-half long recession of '93-'94 you seem to have invented?

So if the 1980s were the Tip O'Neill economy (Reagan and Jack Kemp and Del Latta and Phil Gramm and Kent Hance and David Stockman and William Roth, be damned), then the 1970s stagflation economy was actually the Carl Albert/Tip O'Neill economy.

Indeed the 1980s were "the Tip O'Neill economy." You're actually one of the few people I've heard refer to a given era's economy as "the Nixon economy" or the Carter economy".....OK, outside the Bey board, that is.

The Democrats, to their credit and as a testament to their sense of political survival, ran away from the Keynesian policies that culminated in "the Carter catastrophe."

For a plethora of good reasons, they embraced the Supply Side policies of Reagan, advanced by the great Milton Friedman - America's Economist Emeritus. They went along with the tax cuts, they approved Alan Greenspan as Fed Chief AND yes, they spent over $2 for every $1 they cut....so yes, the 1980s economy was without question, "the Tip O'Neill economy."

Just as Nixon inanely said "We're all Keynesians now," in the early 1970s, it could far more accurately be said by the early 1980s, "We are all Supply Siders now."

And that's still true today.

Who's around standing up and making affirmative arguments for Keynesian policies now-a-days?

There's no one!

I've never read anywhere that Bill Clinton lauded Newt Gingrich, though I DID hear him credit Gingrich for the economic successes of the late 1990s when interviewed over his book on C-Span.

In my defense, while I do look things up online, I rarely watch TV, listen to radio, and though I have a subscription to the WSJ and Cranes, I rarely look at the NY Times or the NY Post or much of the electronic American media.

An acquaintance of mine who was a successful currency trader never allowed anything other than the National Enquirer in his office, so it seems that you can ignore the traditional American media with few, if ANY ill effects. That guy was a brilliant currency trader and a very sharp fellow, so his "National Enquirer Only" policy didn't seem to hurt him much.

As to the economy of the early 1990s, you are very much mistaken.

From 1989 - 1995 we were in the midst of a major real estate slump.

I bought a house that listed just a year earlier for $167,000 for a mere $136,000 in 1994. It had gone on the market in late 1991 for $184,000!

Unemployment averaged a whopping 7.1% in 1991, it rose to 7.5% for 1992 it was 6.9%....all well above 5%...

Inflation was 4.25 in 1991 and hovered around 4% for 1992 and 1993...

Almost all of that due to the Kennedy-Bush Sr tax hikes, which, ironically enough, was what allowed Clinton/Gore to run on "It's the economy stupid," as disingenuous as that was!

"I can't imagine him (Bill Clinton) giving credit where it ain't due or where he can't share it, at least." (Fred)

I think we AGREE that Newt Gingrich was the greatest leader this nation had over the 20th Century....yes, I feel even more so than Ronald Maximus Reagan!

Through the shear force of his own will and and an incredible charisma, he seemed to almost single-handedly bend the will of both Congress and Bill Clinton to accept the spending cuts (which created the surpluses), the welfare reform that has saved the country nearly a half a trillion dollars since its inception!

Bill Clinton, who'd warred with Tom Foley, pretty much cuddled up to Newt Gingrich, embracing at least 7 of the 10 planks of Gingrich's vaunted "Contract With America."

All those who long for the record low inflation, record low unemployment, the budget surpluses and the widespread prosperity of the late 1990s, are really longing for a return to Gingrich economics!

I was a Nat'l Enquirer guy back in the 70s when they had 2-headed babies and women with 3 boobs in their pages. Now I'm a Weekly World News guy.

Yes, I was a victim of the real estate humping--buying a condo seemingly minutes before the market dropped its drawers--took many years to get back to even and now that investment property has paid some pretty nice dividends for my sorry ass.

I'd list Reagan, FDR and maybe TR as the top 20th century leaders. Gingrich had great potential but endured less than 4 years and obviously the GOP that he brought to power couldn't stand him at the end and pretty much ignored many of his principles during the Bush years. Reagan and tax cuts and strong defense, etc etc remain at the Republican core, even 20+ years on, while no presidential candidate this year mentioned the Gingrich 'legacy'. I'd say he probably had the right message, in many ways, and was as enthusiastic about what he believed, but he might have been the wrong face for the movement for whatever reasons--at times grating personality, at times off the cuff remarks that made one wince at bit, off-putting style at times.
Newt's GOP, and Reagan's, were way far removed from what today's GOP is, sadly. Limited government? Ha! Fiscal discipline? Ha! Prudent foreign policy? Ha! Alliance-oriented foreign policy? Ha! Butting out of my personal affairs? Ha! Open government? Ha! Keeping the cuckoo right at bay? Ha!

"Now I'm a Weekly World News guy." (Fred)

No kidding?!

ME TOO!!!...Big time!

I've always wondered how they got those space aliens to pose with the current President of the United States.

I mean, if I'd mastered inter-stellar space travel, the last goober I'd want to pose for a picture with is someone like Bill Clinton, G W Bush or AlGore.

They couldn't get them a photo shoot with Naomi Campbell or Giselle Bunchen?

It's hard to respect a being who'd fall for the old, "Naomi isn't available right now, but we've got Chris Dodd over there and he'd love to get a picture with you," routine.

"Newt's GOP, and Reagan's, were way far removed from what today's GOP is, sadly." (Fred)

Yes, THAT'S very true. The Moderate wing of the GOP (the Bush's the Dole's and the Whitman's) have always been able to rein in the more Conservative elements of the Party and that's had some disastrous results.

The late 1990s when the Gingrich Congress cut spending (they initially had to shut down D.C. to get Bubba to come around), instituted welfare reform that not only saved BILLIONS, but got many people formerly mired in dependant poverty, back to work again, proved that those policies do work!

The problem with the current GOP is indeed that they abandoned those core principles and overspent and cynically used tax cuts to RAISE tax revenues.

Smaller government SHOULD MEAN "doing MORE with LESS," so that would seem to predicate DEEPER TAX CUTS, down to where they actually DECREASE tax revenues, but that isn't what the Moderate-wing of the GOP believes in.

Here's the problem I have with people who look around and say things like, "The GOP has overspent us into record deficits and have been terrible on the issue of illegal immigration, which is as much a national security issue as it is an economic one, so I'm voting Democratic."

BOTH those criticisms are valid, BUT where's the rational alternative?

It's certainly NOT the Liberal Democrats!

They saw the Prescription Drug Boondoggle and wanted to SPEND EVEN MORE!

They want to spend MORE on the NCLB Act and even MORE on idiotic social progrmas that inclucate dependancy and despair among the poorest Americans!

And they're even worse on the issue of ILLEGAL iimigration.

Right now, the current GOP benefits by having to run against loons who openly advocate MORE spending, higher taxes and claim (for reasons they can never seem to coherently articulate) to revile Conservative/tradionalist America!

The saving grace in all this is that just a single term of a Keynesian and both Hillary and Obama are Keynesians, would almost certainly drive an economy that's been rocked by a disastrous Tech Bubble and equally havoc-wreaking Real Estate Bubble below ground.

Higher tax rates piled onto one of the highest tax rates in the industrialized world will effectively crimp investment and cut off new business and the job creation that brings about, it will drive tax revenues down as those with higher incomes (thus more "disposable income) defer more of their income in tax deferred vehicles (401-Ks, 457s, etc), while those with lower incomes will pay those higher rates, further eroding their purchasing power amidst rising commodities costs....and the worst thing is, with the government getting over 70% of its income tax revenue from the top 10%, the increased taxes those poorer Americans will be forced to pay will not make up the difference in the tax deferred monies that will be squirrled away by those higher income earners!

That's a perfect economic tsunami.

But that's the choice we face, a GOP that's moved away from its core belief in smaller, less intrusive government and a Democratic Party that wants to spend even more than the GOP, but take in LESS tax revenue by raising marginal tax rates.

There isn't a decent choice out there....UNLESS you're "truly rich." Then you can avoid the income tax bite entirely because you don't depend upon income for wealth and you can shield your money in Trusts and Foundations.

...and all as Bush prances off into the sunset, wiping his hands of any culpability (yet again) as his stewardshgip over the federal government matches that of some of his earlier attempts in the business world.

"and all as Bush prances off into the sunset, wiping his hands of any culpability (yet again)" (Fred)

I don't see that, Fred. In fact, Bush gets blamed, not only for the things that ARE his fault (poor planning in Iraq, a terrible, virtually "Democratic" Open Border policy and excessive federal spending), but for things that AREN'T his fault (like gasoline prices, the current and escalating rise in food prices due to a misguided corn-based ethanol program that was pushed by the Pelosi-Reid Congress), so I don't see him skating around the blame at all. In fact he's taken the blame for all of that.

So, he may be "riding off," but he's hardly riding off unscathed.

Being objective, on balance, he was handed a global jihad problem that had gone ignored over the previous decade...and he rightfully engaged it...albeit only AFTER 9/11/01.

To the bad, the administration didn't have enough troops on the ground to secure that country, nor did they seem to have a workable plan in place. Still, the recent surge has worked and has allowed the Coalition government there the time to set up and get established.

He was handed an economy suffering from a deepening Tech Bubble Bust...this administration handled that and brought the country out of that downturn in short order.

He had to deal with a number of rogue CEO scandals that rocked the business world in the summer of 2002...and the Bush justice Dept did indeed "smoke them out and bring'em to justice" - Tyco's Dennis Kozlowski, among others (the Ebbers' and the Enron boys), are still doing federal time. AND the GOP Congress pushed ahead with Sarbannes-Oxley, which Bush signed to counter the kind of rogue behavior that went on and unchecked during the end of the previous administration.

To the bad, he supported a de facto Amnesty proposal that was vehemently opposed by over 75% of Americans. It SHOULD'VE been 100%!

I dare say that I believe there are only two kinds of Americans who support a more "open border" policy - rabid anti-Americans and the woefully misguided and misinformed.

While H-1Bs address a specific problem (structural unemployment), ILLEGAL immigration puts a persistent downward pressure on ALL prevailing U.S. wage-rates.

To the bad, the Bush administration also engaged in some reckless domestic spending during wartime and in the midst of a much needed homeland security build-up.

There was no excuse for the NCLB Act's runaway spending, NOR for the excesses of the Prescription Drug boondoggle.

Yes, the ONLY saving greace there is that "the Democrats would've overspent even more," but that doesn't make Bush's reckless spending look any better...merely "less" by comparison.

Coming up we have yet another Moderate Republican who seems to sympathize (at least somewhat) with runaway federal spending, OR two Keynesian Democrats who promise a return to Carterism.

Some choice.

Bush was pure supply sider and cut taxes on the wealthy like crazy JMK ... where is the prosperity?

Looks like the Corporatist bullshit started by Reagan has run its natural course.

Go ahead, tell me how those dirty Democraps took that huge surplus and turned it into this disaster. I'm sure you can do it!

That "Surplus" was garnered by Gingrich's cutting the federal budget...he had to shut down D.C. to get Clinton on board....but once he did, Bubba buckled on Welfare Reform and most of the rest of the "Contract WITH America."

Look, it's clear you don't know what Keynesian policies or Supply Side policies are....you consistently use those terms in the wrong way.

What the 20th Century taught us is that the Command Economy CANNOT work - the veritable Third World economy that was the former USSR's, Albania's and Bulgaria's proved that a COMMAND ECONOMY (a government-run economy) COULD NOT work.

The Free Market WORKS, but it leaves BOTH businesses and workers vulnerable to sudden and often very drastic changes, when new industries supplant established ones in an unregulated free-for-all.

Keynesian policies lean toward the Command Economy and they've FAILED. They've failed so badly that the people of Germany and France recently ran from them, electing Merckel and Sarkozy respectively.

Supply Side policies work well enough, just not nearly as well as the Free Market.

Hey, with Corporations calling the shots and writing the laws for seven years without a single veto from Bush ... wait, why are we in recession?

Explain it again, JMK.

I must've missed something.

Who's been running the economy since January 2007?

Oh yeah, it's as I thought, Pelosi/Reid who've controlled the purse strings since then.

Weren't the Democrats going to "fix things" and stop "Big Oil from price gouging?" At least that's what they promised back in 2006.

Hmmmm, since then, Pelosi, at the behest of a major Corporate donor (StarKist Tuna, sought to exempt Guam from the Minimum Wage hike, oil and gasoline prices, not to mention food prices (thanks to the Corn-based Ethanol program Congress backed) have all surged, unemployment and inflation have both risen and the stock market has fallen.

Yes, the "Pelosi/Reid economy" sure sucks!

But I'm afraid that things will have to get a LOT worse, before they get any better...

Who's controlled the economy, and the purse strings? I keep forgetting, do the Dems have veto-proof margins in Congress? Have they been passing legislation that stupid Bush opposes but--damnit--he just can't find the guts to veto? Please, with the excuses!
Bush, as he has done his entire 8 years, has happily gone along with whatever Congress wants, making him a full party to everything good--and Bad.

The Democrats are in control of the ONLY part of government that can effect governmental expenditures and tax policy.

The Democrats are responsible for the Minimum Wage increase (and for seeking to exempt Guam, as a "Corporate favor"), an increase that has cost jobs and will almost certainly cost many more should restaurants continue to lose patrons as more people are impacted by the rising price of price of gas and other commodities, while those same restaurantuers are impacted by rising food (commodity) prices...due to the Democrat's misguided "alternative energy" plan.

Choosing to make corn-based ethanol our primary alternative fuel was a mistake given that sugar-based ethanol produces more energy for less cost and that we could also make ethanol from saw grass, a weed that wouldn't have wreaked such havoc on corn and other feed grains, hiking food prices in the process.

The fact that a large majority of the Republicans in Congress and the Executive Branch went along with that, should to any fair-minded individual, be completely immaterial. The Democrats took the lead on that misguided program and they get the blame....simple as that!

And it's Congress who HAS overridden the Executicve Branch on the reinstatement of the FISA laws over their innane and deliberate opposition to the Telecom indemnification from prosecution for their cooperation.

The Telecom Companies cooperation with any government ordered surveillance of potential terrorists and "terror-supporters" should come with an "IMPLIED IMMUNITY," that is, so long as such entities act in good faith (believing their actions right), they should be immune to any prosecution over such cooperation.

The media may have overlooked the fact that the current Congress has been an abomination, but the people have NOT! That's almost certainly why Congress's approval rating has gone from the high thirties under Hastert and Frist to the low teens under Pelosi-Reid.

Congress passes the laws, Congress sets tax policy and Congress sets government spending.

Since everyone HERE has lamented the over-spending of the Bush administration when the GOP controlled Congress, it is incumbent on all of us, as fair-minded people, to rail against all other over-spending as well.

After all, there's no such thing as "good spending" versus "bad spending," although "war spending" is often "to the good."

The BEST source of information on the impact of various spending measures and tax policies on the people are the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, where non-partisan economists can be counted on to give an unbiased assessment of varying economic policies.

I'll wait for them to put forward their papers, but I believe they're generally against increased government spending and most tax rate hikes.....and again, since virtually everyone here (including BW) assailed the over-spending of the Bush administration, it would seem that we must continue being consistent in the belief that "over-spending is the primary problem facing America."

Wah-wah-wah, and poor George W Bush has been totally helpless to do anything about anything this past year and a half. Just standing there while the basically 50-50 Congress runs roughshod over him, poor baby.

Here's the issue Fred, the GOP has been criticized for "being suppine" as the Dems pushed a popular but inflationary and job-killing Minimum Wage hike and a bone-headed corn-based ethanol program through.

Many Republicans voted in favor of the ethanol subsidies, but I don't think it's fair to hold them accountable for a disastrous program that was brought forward by the Democrats.

It's fair to lambaste the Democrats as the originators of that program, just as it's fair to blame them for a Minimum Wage hike that has had many employers cutting their low skilled jobs, through automation.

Supermarkets have been cutting cashiers with those automated self-check out stations.

Some see that as a negative...such people are generally dolts.

It's ALWAYS a postivie when you can get rid of low-skilled jobs like that, so that those workers mired in those jobs can be trained to do more necessary jobs....AND it cuts down the number of unskilled jobs that often become "illicit jobs" that become magnets for ILLEGAL immigrants."

The Bush tax cuts sunset in 2009 and 2010 and there are actually some economists who'll admit that allowing those cuts to expire will reduce tax revenues as more higher income people will defer more of their compensation in tax-deferred vehicles, but that "the GOP should share the blame of any negative economic consequences as they allowed them to sunset."

NONSENSE! I suppose that proves that some economists are over-educated and too light on common sense.

ONLY those who vote to allow them to sunset are to be held accountable, and even if a few Republicans and a few Conservative Dems vote against letting them expire, even though they normally wouldn't support such tax cuts (there are a few ignorant, generally "Moderate" Republicans who oppose the tax cut strategy), they STILL get credit for voting the right way....yes, even if they mightn't have under different conditions.

Oh, it was all that darn minimum wage bill that ruined Bush's perfect economy! Damn those dirty commie Dems!

Puh leeeese.

When did we get to a "ruined economy?"

We haven't even YET been a recession since we came out of the one that began with the Tech Bubble Bust of 2000.

We had positive growth for the first quarter of 2008, 0.6% and many analysts expect that to be revised upward.

So, we haven't even had ONE quarter of negative growth yet!

From today's WSJ:

Despite Pain, Economists Begin Dialing Back Dire Forecasts

"A funny thing happened to the economy on its way to recession: It's taken a detour.

"That, at least, is the view of a growing number of economists -- including some who not long ago were saying a recession was all but inevitable. They note that stock and credit markets have steadily improved since the Federal Reserve intervened to keep Bear Stearns Cos. from bankruptcy in early March, while a series of economic reports have been stronger than expected.

"Economists also cite swift policy responses, including a sharp reduction in interest rates by the Fed -- to 2% from 5.25% last September -- and the distribution of fiscal-stimulus checks to millions of Americans, as factors possibly easing the downturn.

"A couple months ago it seemed like we were on the abyss," said Jay Bryson, global economist with Wachovia Corp., referring to the seizing up of credit markets and the collapse of Bear Stearns. "Things have changed....The numbers we've seen recently haven't been as bad as we were led to believe just a few months ago."

"Wachovia now puts the odds of recession at 45%, down from 90% in April, and expects growth in gross domestic product of 0.6% at an annual rate in the first and second quarters of this year, followed by 1.2% growth in the third and fourth quarters. While he doesn't expect a recession, he says growth will be very weak through next year."


What I'm concerend about in this Pelosi-Reid economy is the trend in energy prices - up in 2007, over 2005 & 2006, and up even further in 2008.

New York has $4/gallon gasoline. Actually the cheapest I've seen in the city is on Hylan Blvd on SI at $3.91/gallon!

I'm glad I don't buy gasoline in NY.

I'm also concrened with the trend in food prices that have skyrocketed in this Pelosi-Reid economy, due almost entirely to the Dem's "Corn-based ehtnaol program."

If that Wachovia forecast holds true, +1.2% economic growth in the third and forth quarters, then the economy will have had over five years of unbroken economic growth under the current administration, which inherited a Tech Bubble Bust, the Tyco, Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia, Arthur Anderson, et al business scandals and a growing radicalized Muslim menace that had been ignored over most the previous decade.

Many investors see very little chance for this economic expansion to continue under the best of conditions, and with the Democratic Congress about to let the highly effective Bush tax cuts expire, raising marginal tax rates by an average of 15% (with increased FICA tax rates added on), and those investors seem to feel that this might be a good opportunity to saddle a Democratic administration (with a Dem Congress) with the failures of a "Carter-Redux."

Of course, I'm not wishing for economic dislocation, BUT if we are destined for it (and raising marginal tax rates would certainly set the stage for that), I say let the Dems (and Keynesianism) take all the blame.

THAT might well be worth some suffering!

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