Thursday, January 22, 2009

"I hope he fails."

Rush Limbaugh is a champion of the values crowd.

Rush, a man who muscled his maid into getting him hillbilly heroin; a sexual predator who travels with someone else's Viagra; a guy who can't stay married, despite his millions, for longer than it takes his wives to get past their gag reflex.

Recently he's said he hopes Obama fails. In other words, he hopes you're unemployed, your children go hungry and your wife can't see a doctor, rather than be proven wrong.

Now, I don't know about you, but every time I've voted for the losing candidate, and that's been a lot, I've always hoped I'd been wrong. I've been skeptical, and maybe even jaundiced, but I've always hoped the American president, whoever he is, succeeds.

But not Rush. "I hope he fails," he said.

Those four words have stirred up some questions about Rush's sanity, patriotism, empathy and ability to shed his skin. So, he's retreated to the refuge of all dishonest scum - he claims to have been "taken out of context."

So let's, at the risk of our own gag reflex, listen to what Mr. Limbaugh actually said to that brain trust, Sean Hannity:

I would hope he would succeed if he acts like Reagan, but if he's going to do FDR, if he's going to do the new, new deal all over which we will call here the raw deal, why would I want him to succeed?

Look, he's my president. The fact that he is historic is irrelevant to me now. It matters not at all. I — if he is going to implement a far left — look it. I think it's already decided. $2 trillion in stimulus? The growth of government. I think the intent here is to create as many dependant Americans as possible looking to government for their hope and salvation.

If he gets nationalized health care, I mean, it's over, Sean. We're never going to roll that back. That's the end of America as we have known it because that's then going to set the stage for everything being government owned, operated, or provided.

Why would I want that to succeed? I don't believe in that. I know that's not how this country is going to be great in the future, it's not what made this country great.

So I shamelessly say, no, I want him to fail, if his agenda is a far-left collectivism, some people say socialism, as a conservative heartfelt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed?

Did you follow that? If Obama uses Keynesian economics to get us out of this mess, rather than the debunked Milton Friedman monetarist school, if he brings US health care in line with every other industrialized nation (our competitors), then Rush hopes Obama fails.

Because Rush can't even contemplate that he might be wrong. Even though Rush has been wrong about more things than David Brooks, and that's a big steaming heap of wrong. Rush would rather see America sink into the status of a third world power and its citizens driven into the streets; cold, sick, hungry and unemployed; than be wrong.

This is a man who hasn't gotten anything right. Yes, he's got a successful radio program, but the rest of his life is as fucked up as a trailer park meth addict's. He has money, and that's the only difference.

So, once again, I am gobstruck that anyone, and I mean anyone, gives this guy head space. Even I feel as cheap as a Domincan hooker just letting him share my little 40-watt spotlight.

What an asshole.


scott said...

Amen, brother. "A big steaming heap of wrong." Good stuff

Charlie Stella said...

Davey, davey davey ... Rush is an imbecile (no argument here) but do you really think the Dems (or the Reps) are rooting for the other side once they lose their clout?

That's not to say the Dems rooted for Katrina, say, but once it happened, don't you think the mismanagement (at all levels, except Gov. & Mayor) played to its advantage?

I know plenty on both sides of the fence (voters, now, not politicians) who would upchuck their pablum in a heartbeat before hoping the other side succeeded at pretty much anything (including the war(s)).

That said, anything Rush Limbaugh has to say about anything should be disregarded post haste ... the guy's a walking, talking boil.

David Terrenoire said...

Charlie 3X, I agree with your assessment of Rush, but I think your view of the larger humanity is cold.

But you may be right.

Still, wishing for your president to fail is bad enough in good times, but now it just displays a lack of humanity that is nauseating.

As I'm sure you know, we all have two sides, an emotional and an intellectual. Sure, your emotions may want the other side to lose just to prove you're smarter, but if you have any empathy, your intellectual side keeps that guy in the attic where he belongs.

But Rush Limbaugh is a boil, on that we can agree.

Charlie Stella said...

Davey, Davey, Davey ... what I like most about you (and I mean this), is I believe you're a true humanitarian (from your genuine love of dogs and people) ... so what I really wish is there were more people who acted the way you do/feel.

That would restore some of my faith in humanity ... but you're right, I've grown cold (and very cynical) about it all. This clown spending all that bailout gelt on his rugs, furniture, etc. and the clown Krause who got $28 million for 3 months built into HIS parachute, etc., while people lose jobs, their homes and dignity.

None of those god damn bailouts provided anything in the form of precluding those companies from not only future outsourcing, but reversing jobs they'd already outsourced (so, in effect, we get to pay for losing our jobs). Or how about if I lose one of my two jobs, I can't make a claim for unemployment because the big money they'd have to pay me would screw up the economy (or dent that $28 million they just handed in bailout bread to Krause)?

But that's why I come here to visit ... because you restore the faith ... and sometimes get the blood pumping, too (there's that).

So, tip of the hat to you, brother.

JD Rhoades said...

Actually, Charlie, on December 4, 2000, I wrote a column urging Al Gore to step aside and let Bush take office. After 9/11 I was publicly pulling for Bush to succeed in the war against the people who attacked us. I may have predicted that some of his ideas were doomed to failure, but I never hoped for it, any more than I'd hope for a friend to OD after I'd warned him about his drug habit, or hoped that a friend who insisted on driving after a few drinks would crash.

It's one thing to say "this isn't going to work," it's quite another to say "I hope you fail." The first is a legitimate policy disagreement; the second is putting ideology ahead of country. I'd like for you, if you would be so kind, to tell me the name of ONE Democratic leader or media pundit on the level of Rush Limbaugh who has done the second thing and said or written "I hope Bush fails." One person who, to adopt your example, said after Katrina, "boy I sure hope Bush's boy at FEMA screws up and lets a lot of people die so we can say the Bush Administration doesn't work."

I'm waiting.

Charlie Stella said...

JD ... sorry to keep you waiting (I had some work to do and then there was the bathroom …). Sometimes, it seems to me (my being so kind), your pores seem to open up with incredible vitriol for opinions you don’t agree with. I think your analogies are more than slightly off kilter … or do you really think, for instance, Democrats didn’t enjoy things going so wrong (for their own interests). Or maybe you think them incapable of such wishes?

Christ, wasn’t it Hillary Clinton who tried to bash Obama with Bush-like doctrine (even appearing for interviews on the left-dreaded Fox network with Bill O’Reilly to do so) … as in, see, the “surge” is working. I know the irony in the statement and I’m sure Hillary wasn’t all smiles when the war was a disaster and she couldn’t lay claim to an “I told you so” prophecy, but the point is politicians aren’t half as full of humanity (even the Democrats) as you’re insinuating, pal o’mine.

I don’t know what Keith Olbermann, say, was “hoping” for when Katrina happened … or when American soldiers were killed in Iraq on a daily basis, etc., but I’m pretty confident there was a big fat smile on his face (for his own interests) after the fact(s) … just like I believe there were big fat smiles on some (maybe all) Republicans (and Republican pundits) when things went awry in Vietnam under Johnson.

And I’m more sorry (I guess) to not be able to point out one Democratic “leader” (offhand) to utter those so offensive (to your ears) words Limbaugh uttered, but did you have caffeinated coffee this morning or green tea? Does the suggestion that Democrats (God help us) would even hint they wanted Bush (or any other Republican president) to fail make you upchuck your pablum?

Is it an absolute denial on your part that Democrats (God forbid liberal democrats) might foster such thoughts or is it just a physical (or metaphysical) impossibility of same?

I don’t know what to tell you, buddy … either your still somewhere up there in flight (from the high of the inauguration) or you’re drinking something way stronger than coffee. Nobody is accusing you personally JD (if that’s the issue) of hoping bad on Bush, etc.), but I sure know people on both sides of the fence who did and do. It’s just a fact of life. I go one further and say the too many politicians themselves are guilty of the same after the fact of something bad (or tragic) because in the end it's their bread and butter.

David Terrenoire said...

Charlie 3x,

I think what our friend Dusty is responding to is the notion that everyone does it, and on a person to person level, I'm not certain that's true. But I'll give you a big I don't know on that.

But I do know that the right has developed a particular virulence that I don't see mirrored on the left. This goes back to the 30's, when the right wing of the Republican party were more willing to work with Hitler than they were FDR. You can see some of that echoed in the Rush quote.

But, try as I might, I can't think of anyone on the left so filled with hate and vitriol who still enjoys the kind of public megaphone that Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity, Krauthammer, Kristol and, to a lesser degree, Mark Levin, and Michael (Weiner) Savage enjoy.

Coulter and Rush are often asked to appear on credible opinion and news shows. I can't think if anyone on the left with that ideological anger or that kind of visibility.

So when people like Dusty and I hear any argument that sounds like "everyone does it," we tend to disagree.

Charlie Stella said...

Davey, Davey, Davey … the whack jobs you mention are extremists and although they sometimes have something to say (even Coulter had a decent article I read the other day that made sense), but they’re extremists the way Keith Olbermann is … and although Limbaugh’s rhetoric is much more inflammatory than most, he’s still Limbaugh and should be excused (i.e., ignored) anyway.

As regards FDR … remember that it was Hitler who declared war on the U.S. and not the other way around (right wing aside) … in fact, some argue FDR took his sweet old time getting involved in Europe AND 85% of the country was right there with him (i.e., not so anxious) to get their hands dirty.

As regards “everybody” … I guess my initial comment could’ve been taken that way. Mea Culpa.

And Dusty knows I love him … (did I just type this BEFORE reading his response)?

JD Rhoades said...

Jeez, Charlie, you call that vitriol? That's not vitriol for me...hell, I didn't even call anyone a fuckwit.

However, when you say Nobody is accusing you personally JD (if that’s the issue) of hoping bad on Bush, etc.), but I sure know people on both sides of the fence who did and do I don't think it's "vitriolic" to ask you to name them, just so we know it's not just something you just assumed or fantasized about.

I mean, when you accuse someone like Keith Olbermann of having a "big smile on his face" over dead Americans at home or abroad, that's a pretty serious charge. That's making him out to be not just a blowhard (which he is), it's making him out to be some sort of fucking monster. Likewise, I never had much use for Hillary Clinton, but I never thought she was that evil. Nor am I going to believe that any Republicans rejoiced over casualties in Vietnam without some sort of direct quote expressing that kind of ghoulish glee or something like...well, like Limabugh's direct quote. Unless I can find a quote where a Republican said "Gee, I hope this war goes south so a Republican will win next time," I'm not going to accuse them of treason.

Serious charges like that, where I'm from, require serious proof, not just "Well, they all suck so I'm assuming they want the worst for America." That's the sort of thinking we've had for the past eight years, and I'm tired of it.

David Terrenoire said...

And not to pile on here, Charlie, but when I made that comment about Republicans and FDR, I wasn't referring to his foreign policy, but his economic policy. The GOP has never gotten over Social Security or Unemployment Insurance. Again, see Rush's quote.

As for the war, most of Americans were against getting invlolved in another Euopean war, it's true, but by the time Hitler did decalre war on us (it was the 12th, I think), most Americans knew it was inevitable. Hell, the week before Pearl Harbor, an entire infantry division moved through DC snarling traffic for hours. You don't see mobilization like that without knowing something's up.

By December of '41, even the GOP knew that ship had sailed.

Charlie Stella said...

JD (first):

It’s all fantasy, JD … sort of like this one you’re having now about Dems being above it all. What they’re above, I fear, is the ozone they should be breathing, but that’s another debate for another day (which looks like it’ll come sooner rather than later if this FOX news story about some guy released from Gitmo turned up an Al Qaeda leader in Yemen). Somebody say Willie Horton?

But if you need a name, a friend has volunteered his (although he’s a big union guy, he’s not an official Democratic Party leader, but swears the Dems are the end all). Eugene (Gene) Ryan. Tough as nails, did some time, but insists he was framed and hoped Bush would get us into a war with China and we lost (because of all the work we were giving them) so when we put ourselves back together, the Dems would run things. (And, he called me a moron for betting my beloved new york state buffalo bills would cover the spread in all four super bowls).

I totally stand by what I said about Keith Olbermann … opportunists live off Schadenfreude. It’s what makes them tick. He’s a dick. He’s too meek to be an actual monster.

Hillary is Satan. I’ve had this argument with others about her and this is no fantasy, but she’s the devil herself. Proof, you say? I was watching Angel Heart one night and exactly when Mickey Rourke turns to Robert De Niro (who was playing the devil) in the church scene (and De Niro disappears), my television channel switched and there was Hillary’s mug. I might’ve painted the horns on her forehead, but it convinced me she was, in fact, Mephistopheles.

Enough said about SATAN (and so much for change we can believe in—boy did he cave in, eh?) … let’s take on the bigger issue of politicians smiling over tragedies vs. hoping for them. Me thinks you have the two confused … but that might be the ozone issue mentioned earlier.

You wrote: Serious charges like that, where I'm from, require serious proof, not just "Well, they all suck so I'm assuming they want the worst for America." That's the sort of thinking we've had for the past eight years, and I'm tired of it.

So, JD, are you admitting this kind of talk (“That's the sort of thinking we've had for the past eight years, and I'm tired of it.”), IN FACT, occurs? (or is it just where you’re from)?

Davey, Davey, Davey … pile (on) away, my brother … I’m awaiting the ax on this job (thank you Presidents Bush & Obambi for bailing out all those poorly managed companies) anyway and have some extra time … Your comment also included Hitler, Davey 3 x’s … you just left his name out of your response (since you initially claimed they agreed more with Hitler than FDR). As for the issues you bring up (SS and unemployment insurance), you’ll get no argument from me on those. We’re NOW back in the 1930’s where companies are taking full advantage of this economic crisis to slam workers across the country for everything they can. But then why didn’t (or why did) the DEMS so passionately back this Bush-initialized bail out?

You wrote: By December of '41, even the GOP knew that ship had sailed.

Yeah, but pick your date in December ’41 … seems to me it had to be after the 7th and it was another few days before Hitler declared war (not FDR against Germany). Was he that uninformed about where Hitler’s alliance was headed?

If I don't get back to yous later, have a good weekend, guys ...

David Terrenoire said...

Actually, everyone, even the America Firsters, knew war was inevitable by the fall of '41, before Pearl Harbor.

And when I used Hitler, I meant in a business/economic sense. Prescott Bush and Thomas Watson of IBM, both loved doing biz with the Reich and hated the socialist FDR.

The largest newspaper in DC was the Times Herald, published by Cissy Patterson, a virulent FDR hater.

It was said that she took great pleasure knowing FDR was reading her anti-New Deal editorials just a few blocks away in the WH.

Historians have always wondered why Hitler declared war on the US after the 7th. He didn't have to, and it certainly sealed the deal for FDR, but no one, except maybe Lindbergh, thought peace with Hitler was possible by the late summer or early fall of '41, and most people knew before that.

Charlie Stella said...

Tell it to the British ... and/or the Russians.

But I hear you, Davey 3x's ... it still doesn't bode well for FDR (in my book) that it took him forever to get involved. That one was a no brainer (what Hitler was doing) ... and although Keitho loves to quote Churchill (usually completely out of context), he had been raising war hoops an entire year before Chamberlain went bust at Munich ... after all that and what Hitler did afterwards ... was FDR not getting updates? Forget the right and their position on the war ... what the hell was FDR doing about it?

Charlie Stella said...

Oh, boy .... from CNN ... "The Defense Department recently estimated that more than 60 terrorists released from Guantanamo may have returned to the battlefield."

Let's see, he's in office 3 days now and Richardson folded before he took office, his Sec of Treasury didn't pay his taxes (yes, he paid them JD and with interest, but after he was caught not paying them) and now the bill he just signed yesterday to close down Gitmo ... well, something tells me reality just landed in the oval office (not that the faithful followers will see it).

And before you accuse, I like the guy and hope he does SOMETHING right ... because yes, the OTHER GUY did NOTHING right.

David Terrenoire said...


And before you ask, yes, I am writing a book set in 1941, but FDR was doing everything he could short of going to war because he didn't have the political capital or support to declare war before 12/7.

The biggets thing he did was push through the Lend/Lease to the British which basically said we would lend them planes and tanks and guns and when they were done with them, they would give them back.


The main opposition to the war came from Republicans and southern democrats. Not surpisingly, a number of American businessmen had no interest in helping Stalin.

The majority of reluctance from the common American was a carryover from the WWI. But even that was fanned by the American Nazi party called the German American Bund, which had a strong standing up until around 1940, which is when most people sided with the British, again, understandably.

But FDR and Churchill pushed the American people as far and as fast as they could. If you read media of the day, you'll read a lot about the European War in a magazine with a tank on the cover. Pick up a Time or Newsweek from the fall of 1941 and you'll see a nation that knows it's on the cusp of war.

It's a fascinating time, which is why I chose to write about it.

David Terrenoire said...

Charlie, I did a quick check and before we swallow that 61 number, read this from MediaMatters. I'm not saying it's not accurate, I'm just saying that it could be spin.

" according to the Pentagon, the 61-detainee figure includes 43 former prisoners who are suspected of, but have not been confirmed as, having "return[ed] to the fight." Indeed, during a January 13 press conference, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell stated: "The new numbers are, we believe, 18 confirmed and 43 suspected of returning to the fight. So 61 in all former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight." Additionally, as Daily Kos contributing editor Joan McCarter noted, Seton Hall University School of Law professor Mark Denbeaux has disputed the Pentagon's figures, asserting: 'Once again, they've failed to identify names, numbers, dates, times, places, or acts upon which their report relies. Every time they have been required to identify the parties, the DOD has been forced to retract their false IDs and their numbers.'"

You can read all of it here:

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is not healthy to listen to people like him. People that put ideology (or ratings) ahead of every other concern. That make hatred their main attraction.
The world will finally be a better place when poor ratings put an end to people like Rush Limbaugh.

Frankie said...

All three of you should untwist your panties because when President O'bambi starts doling out millions to the National Endownment for the Arts and the new "highways" (the internet/broadband access, etc.) you'll probably be getting fat stipends to give up your freedom and creativity and write happy little Kumbaya verses for the proletariat.

Who cares about Rush's addiction to oxycoton? I don't hear you berating President Big Ears for snorting coke. Is this because he didn't get caught?

How'd you like the way the reporters beat up Barack's new Press Bitch (I mean, Secretary) yesterday? He's off to a great start with zero transparency and...

an Exec Order to shut down Gitmo. Why doesn't he just come out and accuse our soldiers and officers there (who he's now Commander of!) to be torturers, that they don't follow military law or any law???

Why doesn't anyone dredge up the letters written by Chris Dodd and Barbara Lee to CASTRO congratulating and encouraging the Soviet air strip? There is more to this than unfounded accusations of dangerous detainees being allegedly tortured by our troops or intelligence officers. Dodd and Lee are Commies and they've never wanted the U.S. to have a presence in Cuba. They have powerful friends in the Party who feel the same and seek to undermine our Democratic Republic, surely sending McCarthy's skeleton into seizures in the grave. And these are just a few with hands in Obama's big pockets.

And if they suceed in closing G.B. are they going to prosecute officers and soldiers who were stationed at Guantanamo? Are they going to do away with the JAG Corps while they're at it?

"Help uz Jon Carry, we r stuk hear in Gytmo."

Maybe he can come up with a new soldier's creed too, this yahoo president, combine the Mary Kay creed with the Girl Scout creed and promise not to ever question, detain or lock up a nice Muslim ever again, on their honor? I'd like to see Obama pick up arms in defense of this great nation.

And, when is anyone going to question our president about the money he, Dodd and Franks rec'd from Fannie and Freddie? Why are these 3 above the law if Louis Freeh is no longer heading up the FBI and kissing Clinton ass?

David Terrenoire said...

Wow, a real wingnut! I guess if you poke a stick at their hero, El Rushbo, they scurry out of from under the refrigerator.

Welcome to the Planet Frankie. We haven't had a true crazy here in a long time.

Frankie said...

:) Thanks Dave. I feel the love. I'm not a loyal follower of El Rushbo. He's not my hero, and I realize I went off on a tangent in response to the other responses and didn't really think much about Rush and your original statement. I think what he said was wrong, but while we still have freedom of speech and radio waves, God bless him. I didn't vote for Obama, and I don't agree with his policies, but saying I want him to succeed doesn't make me less of a Conservative. I don't understand Rush's logic.

But, I stick to what I said about Gitmo. It's insane to shut it down. And it's a smack in the face of our hardworking and intelligent COs (JAG and otherwise) and the IC to imply that all they do over there (or do this at all) is torture innocent Muslims.
Also, about Barbara Lee and Chris Dodd; it's a fact they wrote these letters. It's apparently no crime against your country or sin to hold and broadcast Socialist and/or Communist views and intentions even if you are sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, so why do you think these politicians act offended when someone says the word "Socialist". What, they don't think Republicans and Conservatives read? None of our family members came face to face with fascism or the Bolsheviks? We are not all completely removed from history.

John McFetridge said...

It's quite interesting to see America going through this right-left stuff from outside the country.

The current theory is that America right now is where Europe was when it could no longer rely on its colonies for cheap raw material. Expansion was over, the days of unlimited new resources gone. So the existing resources had to be better managed - the move from right-wing to left-wing.

A lot of the world also finds it interesting that many Americans, who have most of what they have thanks to a very well-financed, government-run military continue with this idea of "rugged individualism."

Rush Limbaugh and the president of Iran have a lot of views in common. As do the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Rush Limbaugh.

A lot of the world wants to see America fail, but far more of us don't.

Frankie said...

John, when you say, a lot of the world wants to see America fail, do you mean the President (Obama) or America the nation?

I see what you're saying about the Europe-America comparison, but I think we are going the way of Rome, bread and circus. Everyone with their hand out. Republic be damned. The very liberal Democrats-politicians, civilians, whatever, want a "true" Democracy. If they succeed, our Republic will fail. America will fail.

But, maybe Texas will still be standing. Road trip, anyone?

David Terrenoire said...


I don't know anything about the letters, so I can't comment.

But closing Gitmo isn't an indictment of the men and women who have served there. It is an indictment of a policy that sets a group of people outside the rule of law.

By setting up Guantanamo and the black sites, the Bush administration created a third group of combatants, neither criminal nor POW, and thereby stripped them of any legal protection, either US or international.

Some of us think this was unconsitutional, including the Supreme Court. No one, not even a sitting president can take and hold another human being indefinitely.

We know not all of the people held for years in Guantanamo are guilty. We know some are. The ones who are need to be punished. The ones who aren't need to be let go.

So the closing of Guantanamo has little to do with any US uniform's conduct and more to do with an executive branch looking for a way to circumvent the law.

As someone whose family is involved in intelligence work, the military and law enforcement, I take this issue seriously.

John McFetridge said...

I've heard the Rome comparison before but I don't buy it. Like I said, I'm not American, so maybe you know better, but I have more faith in the American people. Rome never fought to be a real democracy, it never really tried to extend rights beyond a tiny elite. America is far from perfect, but it's tried the whole equality thing more than any other country.

And yes, a lot of the world would like to see the American nation fail. If America succeeds as a multi-cultural democracy with equality for all its citizens (all that regardless of race, colour, creed stuff), then there's a lot of pressure on other countries to try and achieve that, too. If America fails they get to say, 'look we were right, it doesn't work.' Happy day in Tehran.

It's a much tougher thing to do than most realize. When Europe went through this they fell to extremes, communism and fascism and world wars. Maybe it was because there were too many people with their hands out, or maybe it was because people were unable to pull together and help one another.

I really hate this historical revisionism that people are doing about FDR - it's like they have no idea how close the whole world was to communism and fascism - even America. When guys like Limbaugh demean the New Deal it's laughable - the New Deal saved capitalism.

RedTree said...

It's easy to see why the right wing aligned so snugly with the religious right. They both argue their points with complete certainty in their beliefs without the need for any credible proof. They both try to tear down any point of view that doesn't align with their own. They both detest change in any shape or form and refuse to believe that there could be answers beyond the ones that best serve their own purposes.

Arguing with these guys is like arguing creationism versus evolution with a snake-handling preacher from the hills of Appalachia.

Charlie Stella said...

Wow, I missed all this ... Dave, can't wait to read your book. You're right, it was a fascinating time. I love reading about it.

Still, I'm not sold on FDR being anxious to go to war. Yes, WWI was why Hitler got away with so much so fast, but once Barbarossa was put into play, (even though Poland was more than enough for me), it should've been pedal to the metal.

As for saving capitalism ... I'm not so sure it's such a great thing. It's been deregulated into one big farce. Nobody needs what Mike Bloomberg (for instance) has in $'s ... and NOBODY can possibly earn it (there is no means of production there) ... communism is a bit too ideal but what capitalism has become (or what it's done to this country) has led to a cliff ... and yes, it's why some socialistic ideals are FINALLY going to make their way to the suckers (us) ... national health insurance (for one thing). AT first it'll be just another bone thrown to us, but sooner or later, with the insane shifts in income (i.e., the disproportionate income of "new millionaires" vs. the middle class), things will have to get real. Probably not in my lifetime, but I have hope for all those youngins' yet unborn.

And, hey, I just tossed that CNN thing in there to stir the pot one last time before heading out to see Mom. Sorry about that.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

Jeez! If the president said he hoped to cure the economy by re-enslaving all African-Americans, I would say I hoped he failed at enslaving people, but not at curing the economy. When Bush wanted to take away our rights to protect us from terrorist, I hoped he failed to take away the rights, not failing to try to protect our citizenry. However, the so called patriot act rolls on.

Its common knowledge that I think all politicians are full of crapola. That being said, the end does not justify the means in my book, whether you're a blathering kook like Limbaugh or or a retorical giant like Oboma. (both of whom I disagree with) I think Limbaugh like the rest of us has the right to hope that what he thinks is a bad idea fails to get implemented. Thankfully we all have the right to disagree and be publicly open with it, without fear of reprisal. I think that's the neat part of living where we do, and I hope it stays that way. Otherwise, I don't care how many good or bad ideas the politicos roll out. Just don't charge us so much for them!


Charlie Stella said...

Davey, Davey, Davey ... one more FDR issue ... I think had he declared war on Hitler much sooner than Japan declared war on us (whether it was when Hitler invaded Poland or later Russia), the psychological factor would have been huge for allies in desperate situations (either Russia or Poland). I look very forward to your book, brother. This last year has been a huge one for me reading up on WWII (fact and fiction before, during and after the war). Just finished Sophie's Choice.

Did you read (God forbid) Buchanan's take (his book last year about The Unnecessary War)? I didn't agree with much of it, but there were some interesting facts and alternate views.

John McFetridge said...

Just one quick note on the, "Don't charge us too much."

Some people feel you get what you pay for.

In the rest of the world we hear constantly that, "America is the greatest country on earth." Okay, so, if it's the best how can it also be the cheapest?

When we heard that people making over $250.000 a year would see their taxes raise from 36% to 39% we wondered how anyone could ever complain about making a quarter million dollars a year and get to live in America and only have to pay 39% in taxes.

Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

You said it yourself McFetridge; "Some people feel you get what you pay for." Well I'm paying for a $28 million golden parachute for a Wall St. honcho....

Yeah that makes my 61% of $250K not go as far. I don't mind contributing my fair share to the good of all, but when it begins to hurt my family and eat into my kids college fund (yeah at my income they don't qualify for federal education grants), then its time to back down! The local college has a tuition of over 30K a year, plus all your own expenses, and we all know a 4 year degree today is like a high school diploma was in my early days; a starting point.

When someone can logically explain to me why the Department of Agriculture is in the business of giving grants to build fire departments, private air strips, and senior retirement communities, I will understand why I should pay 39% tax. For right now, I don't like what I get for what I pay.

John McFetridge said...

So, you're looking for "change" then, is that it?

Okay, seriously, things have spun out of control, no doubt. The question, I guess, is why people don't talk about improving things like education nearly as much as they talk about not wanting to pay for them. Or, why people don't like the idea of actually pulling together? That "individualism," seems like it leads to a lot of really expensive college courses. If your taxes went down, wouldn't those courses just become even more expensive? If the market actually could afford more, more will be charged, won't it?

I think most people here would probably agree on what the problems are. No one wants to pay more than their share. Everybody wants better results.

And you're right, no one wants to give those Wall Street guys so much money, but it also seems like there were people very opposed to regulating anything for quite a while. Some things we have to accept. We actually do need banks. We don't need them to be crooks. We need to think of the government as the representative of the citizens, not the enemy.

(kind of a sidenote - it does seem odd as an outsider that of all democracies in the world, it's Americans who feel less connected and more suspicious of their government than most of the others who feel the government exists to work for them not against them. The American government may not be perfect, but it really doesn't seem nearly as bad as Americans make it out to be).

Certainly the middle-class squeeze has been coming since the late 70's, pretty much the time the New Deal finally ended. Rush wouldn't see it, but I wonder if there's a connection....

Charlie Stella said...

John: Both America's major parties represent money interests first and foremost. America has been blessed in way more ways than the toys its citizens get to play with (video games, $250 sneakers, flat screen tv's, etc.) ... it's been blessed by never having to deal with a genuine devastating and lengthy war on its modern day soils (except for Pearl Harbor and 911) and we're way too willing to accept what is tossed our way in the form of opiate(s) (for lack of a better word). Whether they were cars, homes, color tv’s … computers, flat screens, etc., those days appear to be dangerous close to over (i.e., those things may not work to satisfy the bulk of American society if the bulk of American society finds itself jobless and then homeless).

Nobody here doubts the potential of America or its citizens (which is one reason our new President has so much support, including mine), but what just happened here (those bailouts) was an incredible smack in our faces (the greater population) and it really better work to provide stronger opiates or at least sustain the ones we have now. Dread (above) isn’t just whistling Dixie. College degrees today are pretty much useless and getting them has become a business in itself (going as far back as when I started graduate school in political science 30 years ago when the remnants of “open enrollment” where my peers in night graduate work--many of whom were simply illiterate). The standards today in college are simple: Show up, do the assignment (no matter how poorly done) and you get a C (while taking loans to pay for much less than subpar educations, the name of the game is college is a business that student loans pay for so keep passing the suckers, no matter how illiterate, because degrees = dollars for the school institutions). How do fix it? Problem one is we’re all trying to survive and don’t have the time, energy or money to move the mountain of bureaucracy that supports institutions that render our education system one big joke. Problem two is the people in charge of it (yes, the morons we’ve voted in) could care less. In fact, it’s in their interests to keep the ball rolling down the same rotten slope it’s been headed for at least 30 years (that I know of).

Our government allowed the financial crisis to occur by turning a blind eye for years (via deregulation, apathy and general incompetence). They rushed through hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout bucks with an attempt to scare us through supporting the plan over a single weekend. When that didn’t work (and they had to pause for a religious holiday), they puffed the bailout plan with $150 billion more of perks and the thing was slammed home. Promises were made regarding how that bailout money was going to be “doled” out and those promises were broken as fast as the checks were cashed. There were no stipulations passed protecting the taxpayer’s (us) jobs or money and millions of bailout bucks went to waste before we (or the clowns who approved the bailout) knew what happened. They “changed their minds” was one explanation.

We’re not ripe for a revolution yet, but I’ll guarantee you that any people given the shit end of the stick long enough (or often enough or hard enough) will hold those responsible accountable sooner or later. Hopefully, our new President’s charisma alone will carry the day (because the politics behind both parties will never do so). Hopefully, those in charge now realize just how big a mess they’ve created over the past and have more than good intentions to get something done. Hopefully, the system won’t crash and we won’t face another depression.

Because this go, because of technology and all the jobs it’s taken away, there are just too many people (many of them with college degrees we once treasured we’re now finding are financially worthless) who will be left with nothing to do. I’m in an industry that has suffered dramatically and by nothing more than luck (that can change day to day) continue to work seven days a week. That can go to zero days a week in a heartbeat. My wife, at age 46, has had to change course (and study nursing--because it’s one of the few jobs that appear to be recession/depression proof) while working full time in the same industry I’m in (in that we are blessed--we both still have jobs). At least 40% of the people in our industry have lost their jobs (either to outsourcing or the technology we use).

And of the $850 billion dollars this government just handed over to institutions who, through nothing more than greed, ruined this economy and helped to ruin the global economy, not a single fucking dime of that money was stipulated against outsourcing.

We all cringe and curse when we read how one asshole spent his bailout bucks on furniture … and how another, because he’d had a golden parachute put in before the crisis, was guaranteed $28 million if Merrill Lynch was bought out, so he received $28 million bailout bucks after ML was bought out because they failed (what Dread was referring to above) … that while we lose jobs and homes, some clown with a golden parachute was gifted $28 million dollars of OUR FUCKING MONEY for THREE FUCKING MONTHS OF “WORK”.

He and those who wrote and accepted the terms of that agreement, and those who signed the checks paying him the money, (in my opinion) should be thrown off the roof of the nearest skyscraper.

Until we’re all on bread lines or seeking shelter for the night, nothing will change in America because we’ve been spoiled beyond action. We all hope, even those who didn’t vote in this election (like me--because we have NO faith in a political system that requires we have just two viable options) that one man can foster the change (whether by his charisma, a lucky charm or voodoo) … because if he doesn’t get it done and should this grand bailout scheme fall on its ass (and it may well do even worse than that) and enough people are out of work/homes and having to scrounge (for real) to survive, then we can all thank technology and our government for bringing us as close to a state of nature as is possible in the 21st century.

And then the real shit storms will hit.

Boy, was that depressing.

John McFetridge said...

Yeah, and it doesn't need to be soooo depressing.

Part of it is too much looking to "leaders." At the risk of being trite, over on Patti Abbott's blog someone mentioned being in a very deep hole and hoping the new administration could get them out. Patti said she couldn't imagine a shovel big enough and I thought (and here's the trite cliche part, which always seems to, unfortunately, be the opposite of depressing) that what you're talking about is millions of small shovels. (and to think I write such hardboiled noir ;)

About the education, we have exactly the same problem in Canada. I really think we were sold a bill of goods in the 60's when trade schools and the idea of a trade was devalued and any crappy BA was overvalued.

Nursing seems sensible. I'm hoping my kids learn trades and read books on their own time.

As for the financial stuff, it would be nice if we went back to "investing" and stopped "speculating." We treat the economy like the lottery.

The middle needs to be restored, the idea that you're either really rich or really poor is just a bad paradigm.

And we all agree, Limbaugh is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Charlie Stella said...


I'm all for the little shovels doing their part ... the problem is there may not be a part for them ... what's to shovel? Hope (and talking about it) will only get us so far. They've effectively destroyed our manufacturing industry. All that money (and power) is in far fewer hands than you might think our "democracy" can do anything about.

Even this most recent attempt at installing royalty to the New York Senate (Caroline Kennedy), I took as a blatant smack in our faces, but it's rolled off our collective backs for the most part. Who the hell was Caroline Kennedy to be appointed to the New York Senate? Nevermind her inability to speak publicly, what the hell were her qualifications beyond her name?

We're not nearly as democratic as we appear, my friend. 90% of this country (and at the bailout's best, 70%) wanted nothing to do with handing over that money (especially so fast). What did our democracy do for us regarding probably the biggest issue of the day?

What we say we're I'm from, (sounds like) "Ooo-Gots" (or shit).

John McFetridge said...

Even back in '99 The Onion had it nailed.