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Tilting at Windmills

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February 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

AN HONORABLE MAN....Professor Bainbridge has perhaps the final word on the subject of using funerals to make a political statement.

Kevin Drum 2:42 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (177)

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Comments

Are you saying Carter should have pulled off Coretta's toga or incited the crowd to march on the White House with torches?

Posted by: tbrosz on February 9, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Captain Ed writes: The political leaders on the left turned the funeral into an embarrassing recapitulation of the Wellstone funeral,...

When your first clause is a lie, it pretty much puts whatever else that follows into doubt, dunnit?

And kudos to Professor Bainbridge for illustrating how to REALLY use a funeral to make a political statement.

Posted by: Calton Bolick on February 9, 2006 at 3:05 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm, "Cheney" slips in with the same lie, above.

Posted by: Calton Bolick on February 9, 2006 at 3:08 AM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, Dr. King's murder did work out well for your side, didn't it?

Posted by: bad Jim on February 9, 2006 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK

King's principled opposition to the Vietnam war, had it continued, might have made quite a bit of difference to the national dialogue in the late sixties. Nixon might even have been defeated.

Instead, Kissinger wound up getting a Nobel Peace Prize for accepting the same deal that was on the table back in 1968, and a few people died in the meantime.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 9, 2006 at 3:24 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney, you are right that the untimely death of Paul and Sheila Wellstone and their daughter Marcia was a tragedy for America and for the Left. And you are also right that many of those who admired the integrity and politics of Senator Wellstone are disappointed with his successor.

But let's get one thing straight. Whatever happened at that funeral, it was mostly quite respectful, and any partisanness was blown wildly out of proportion by right-wing media pundits, in a lying manner that fooled just enough voters to put Coleman over the top.

It was not what happened at the funeral that cost Mondale the election. It was the right-wing pundits' lies, as usual.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on February 9, 2006 at 3:26 AM | PERMALINK

I was glad they didn't bring her to the capital rotunda to have Alito and his wife get their photo-op -- but a little depressed to see all the politicians give their speeches in Georgia. It was the families choice of course.

When it comes down to it though, the incongruous aspect was W being present for the funeral of a woman he has essentially ridiculed through his policies, speeches, supreme court appointments, and refusal to attend NAACP events. This is what made the proceedings awkward. The speeches the democrats gave were consistant with speeches they've given before in the presence of King and the King Foundation.

Posted by: B on February 9, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

Cneney, when you say "your side" that implies that you are looking at the Left from outside, e.g. from the Right. Yet you agree with my characterization of the right-wing pundits comments on "partisanship" at the Wellstone funeral as lies. If you really are from the Right, I applaud your integrity in admitting that. But if you are from the Left, then why "your side"?

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on February 9, 2006 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

I would like to take an opportunity during this moment of deep reflection to offer you a compromise.

We will let you keep your Marmaduke, Peanuts, and Wiley Coyote if you in turn let us build our nuclear bombs in peace.

Posted by: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on February 9, 2006 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK

When it comes down to it though, the incongruous aspect was W being present for the funeral of a woman he has essentially ridiculed through his policies, speeches, supreme court appointments, and refusal to attend NAACP events.

Posted by: B on February 9, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

So if you disagree with someone's political views you should skip their funeral. Perhaps they shouldn't invite him if they want it to be an affair for true believers? If invited, he can't really skip without bad press - so tough luck for him.

From Martin Luther King's speech
"The marvelous
new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to
a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced
by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied
up with our destiny. "

Posted by: McA on February 9, 2006 at 4:45 AM | PERMALINK

The president certainly cut quite a figure during the ceremonies. Poor baby. Did it cut into his nap time?

Posted by: bad Jim on February 9, 2006 at 4:47 AM | PERMALINK

The most shocking thing about modern Republicans is that they hardly bother to hide their racism. They're good about using putting up a faade, a parade of black faces at the convention, a few dependable toadies in high-profile jobs, but on the campaign trail they let select audiences know exactly where they stand.

This isn't Lincoln's party anymore, and it hasn't been for forty years.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 9, 2006 at 4:55 AM | PERMALINK

McA, I'm just identifying the sore thumb -- not providing a recommendation about how to remedy it.

Posted by: B on February 9, 2006 at 5:01 AM | PERMALINK

a parade of black faces at the convention, a few dependable toadies in high-profile jobs, but on the campaign trail they let select audiences know exactly where they stand.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 9, 2006 at 4:55 AM | PERMALINK

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. " - Martin Luther King

I guess he's still dreaming.

If your skin is black and you aren't a Democrat, every liberal will say that you are a 'toadie' or a 'black face'.

Did you know MLK's niece is a pro-life activist?


Posted by: McA on February 9, 2006 at 5:15 AM | PERMALINK

It was certainly impolite for the speakers to have mentioned Bush's lies to his face. He was obviously uncomfortable, poor baby.

He should have been off somewhere else, raising money or cutting brush, eating birthday cake or pretending to play a gift guitar.

Posted by: bad Jim on February 9, 2006 at 5:58 AM | PERMALINK

Hey McA -- Here's one you can use for the next thread on domestic spying.

Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of . . . progress. --Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by: B on February 9, 2006 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

the flow of . . . progress. --Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by: B on February 9, 2006 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

Why the .... and the intention of the eavesdropping is also for justice..swift justice

Posted by: McA on February 9, 2006 at 6:29 AM | PERMALINK

Swift justice indeed. If only I had real power to take care of my Enemies' List...

Posted by: Richard M. Nixon on February 9, 2006 at 6:34 AM | PERMALINK

I think we should read carefully the cynical, amoral comments from some of the right-wing bastards on this board and be certain to exclude said bastards from the funerals of beloved figures like Wellstone and Mrs. King.

The Wikipedia article cited by Prof. Bainbridge seems substantially accurate. The events after Caesar's death as repesented in Shakespeare closely mirror Plutarch, who is the best source we have.

Shakespeare collapsed the time between Brutus's speech and Antony's for dramatic purposes, but his representation of Brutus's political errors--made from a resevoir of idealism and good will--is substantially correct. Antony had urged that Caesar's body be displayed in public, but the political savvy Cassius "vehemently opposed those measures....Brutus yielded and agreed...thus making a second mistake....By sparing Antony's life, he [raised up] a bitter and formidable foe."

Although obviously one doesn't support murder, short of breaking any laws, we should avoid Brutus's errors and give no quarter to the GOP and its neo-fascist allies, well represented on this board.

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Brutus*.html

Posted by: Steve High on February 9, 2006 at 6:44 AM | PERMALINK

Steve High: "...the GOP and its neo-fascist allies, well represented on this board."

Actually, Steve, they're only well-represented in terms of lines of text. Most of the GOPers (and their ilk) that show up here, with a few notable exceptions, are morons such as McAristotle there who simply post and post and fill up space.

In terms of intelligence, as well as actual numbers, they're quite poorly represented - which is only to be expected.

Posted by: S Ra on February 9, 2006 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

Had Bush not been present, the comments, nice and appropriate as they were, would not have garnered any notice in the press.

Apparently the complaint is that GWB had to listen as a couple of distinguished figures spoke the truth. This, it seems, makes him uncomfortable. After all he is the master of bubble politics.

To this uncomfort I say, too damn bad. If the President got out more and listened to what all Americans (not just his toadies) think of him and his policies, he might do a better job as President of the entire country.

The only President I can think of who has so fully insulated himself from public opinion was Ronald Regan in the last years of his second term. There was a reason for putting a bubble around the President, by that point the old man was well on his way to senility. What is Bush's excuse?

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2006 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

Right-wing conservative activists would never make a political statement or behave inappropriately at a funeral, um, right?

Posted by: Moonlight on February 9, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

I like it. Lumping Tucker Carlson with Fred Phelps. Great. Utterly inappropriate, but great.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2006 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

If invited, he can't really skip without bad press - so tough luck for him.

Thank you, McAristotle, for pointing out the only reason Bush attended was for political purposes. Geez. A politician attends an event for political purposes and has to listen to a few political remarks. The decline and fall of Western Civillization can't be far behind.

Get a grip, please.

Posted by: bobbyp on February 9, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

The people who support making cheap shots at funerals are the same people who didn't comprehend the backlash the Democrats in Minnesota received after the Wellstone Memorial.

In a twisted way, they think they are taking the moral high ground. But it always backfires on them. Just ask Senator Walter Mondale.... oh, I forgot, he LOST. And many analysts say the Wellstone Memorial blowback was one of the major factors.

So, Dems, the GOP benefits when you act tacky at funerals. For the GOP, it's win-win.

Posted by: GOPGregory on February 9, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

In 1963, in his eulogy for three of the four girls killed in the Birmingham church bombings, Martin Luther King said that the girls, in death, had "something to say to a federal government that has compromised with the undemocratic practices of southern Dixiecrats and the blatant hypocrisy of right-wing northern Republicans."

In 1965, in his eulogy for minister James Reeb, King said Reeb had been "was murdered by the timidity of a federal government that can spend millions of dollars a day to keep troops in South Vietnam, yet cannot protect the lives of its own citizens seeking constitutional rights."

Discussing his own funeral, two months before he died, King said, "I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question."

And at King's funeral, his chosen eulogist, Benjamin Mays, declared that "The Memphis officials must bear some of the guilt for Martin Luther's assassination. The strike should have been settled several weeks ago. The lowest paid men in our society should not have to strike for a more just wage."

Longer excerpts from those speeches here.

Posted by: Angus on February 9, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

"The only President I can think of who has so fully insulated himself from public opinion was Ronald Regan in the last years of his second term. There was a reason for putting a bubble around the President, by that point the old man was well on his way to senility. What is Bush's excuse?"

The soft bigotry of low expectations.
Our Special President.
Every time you pick on him, you make Laura cry.
Preznent wont giv me tirkee.
His manliness fills out the flightsuit so well.
If he starts drinking again, we'll probably invade Venezuela.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on February 9, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

'For the GOP, it's win-win.'
--GOPGregory

So, in other words, it's lose-lose for the formerly United States, since the GOP reptiles care more about their party than the country.

Sheesh, the trolls are thick this morning. Did the unemployment checks come out yesterday, so they are all huddled around the PC at the local Starbucks???

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 9, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

". . . even if the Wellstone spin was all lies, it worked - I hope it works again."

The GOP ethics manifesto.

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

And speaking of injecting politics into funerals, who can forget Lincoln's shameful, inappropriate and under-handed attempt to inject politics into his dedication of the Gettysburg ceremony....

To say nothing of Pericles....

Posted by: Stefan on February 9, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

As several people have noted, the comments were in support of exactly the same principle for which Coretta King fought all her life and for which her husband died.

Were these out of line? One might note that at Ronald Reagan's funeral, the Republican speakers had no problem citing the principles and policies for which Prez #40 stood.

Posted by: Rich Chamberlain on February 9, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

"As several people have noted, the comments were in support of exactly the same principle for which Coretta King fought all her life and for which her husband died."

Exactly. Which is why our resident trolls have their panties in a twist.

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

I have never seen a group of more brain-dead trolls on a thread.

All GOPGiggly and Chain-ey can do is repeat the mantra "They might be lies -- but they work!" over and over and over and over again.

The GOP Ethics Manifesto, indeed.

Pretty goddamed desperate, if you ask me ...

Hey -- how's FRED PHELPS treatin' ya, you malodorous hypocrites :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Everything I need to know about funerals I learned from watching The Godfather Part 1.

All the world's a political stage when you're a politician or major public figure. It is impossible not to make a statement. Even stating "no statement" makes a statement. The question is, how does it resonate?

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 9, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

RSM:

No, the question isn't how it resonates. That's for genuine political events; nobody's arguing that a funeral is tantamount to a campaign rally.

The question is, do the messages jibe with the lives of the person they are honoring?

That's why all this nonsense about whether the CSK and Wellstone funerals play in Peoria is so thoroughly misplaced.

Who fucking gives a shit, ya know?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

RSM:

The left is entirely sick of GOP types and their alleged "concern" with how our message comes across, weilding the castration knife in the name of "centrism."

Your concerns are nice and duly noted.

Take them elsewhere. We're interested in telling the truth and honoring the spirit of the deceased.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney:

I'm older than you, Mr. I-actually-listen-to-the-drek-John-Williams-composes-for-Star-Wars.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

The only President I can think of who has so fully insulated himself from public opinion was Ronald Regan in the last years of his second term. There was a reason for putting a bubble around the President, by that point the old man was well on his way to senility. What is Bush's excuse?

You are letting your bitterness get the best of you. Ronnie is a top ten President. This high a ranking is a rarity for a contemporary figure. He started the great economic run we're still enjoying AND defeated socialism almost single handedly. No President have ever made such dramatic changes to the tax code and completely restructured economic theory. Kenysian economics has gone the way of socialism.

The senile smear is perfect. We should have so many senile Presidents. You must have been devastated during his funeral. My guess is you retreated into your bubble. The American people made it clear their reverence for the man.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

"He started the great economic run we're still enjoying . . ."

I assume this is a reference to the large and growing budget deficit.

" . . . AND defeated socialism almost single handedly."

LOL!! Reagan appointed Gorbachev? I don't think so. And decades of Democratic presidents and Congresses funding the cold war. Damn, you're historically illiterate, rdw.

"No President have ever made such dramatic changes to the tax code and completely restructured economic theory. Kenysian economics has gone the way of socialism."

And Clinton demonstrated that Reaganomics is a fraud.

"The senile smear is perfect."

Alzheimers as smear?

I can see why you take this personally, rdw. Your senility has become a cause for ridicule, isn't it?

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

I'm sure Gorbachev had nothing to do with -- or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for that matter.

Of course, we helped bankrupt the Soviet Union by making sure the Afghan mujahadeen were well-equipped with the latest countermeasures. After the Soviets withdrew, Osama & Co. felt like they had singlehandedly wiped out the Godless Eastern Empire, too.

Nice company Ronnie keeps, huh :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Who would expect less from CHENEY...if "all lies" works go for it...the Republican mantra! So much for bringing back ethics and morals to our government...nah, it's all about the power and the money dumb f--ks!

Posted by: Dancer on February 9, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Ridiculous making so much of a nobody's funeral. Let's pander to blacks!

The Democrats are stuck in the era of their last triumphs--civil rights and Vietnam--and Bush is a me-too guy on affirmative action.

Posted by: Myron on February 9, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney:

Nope, you're older than me -- by nearly two decades.

Riddle me this, then:

Why do you behave so immaturely on this blog?

Wrecking a thread with spam for two whole days while people were attempting to have a conversation is the action of a pimply 14-year-old with no friends :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Myron:

Even the right-wing trolls on this thread would all concur that you're a racist asshole.

Go fuck yourself and the pickup truck you rode in on.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

The Democratic Party has become the "Angry Party."

I keep wondering if any Dems realize that being angry and vindictive hurts them at election time.

Posted by: MountainDan on February 9, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

There was a reason for putting a bubble around the President, by that point the old man was well on his way to senility. What is Bush's excuse?"

As we speak GWB is delivering a rousing speech in defense of the warrantless wiretaps. He is also releasing more details about some of the successes of the program so far and detailing the threats we are facing.

Somehow word seeped into the bubble the Dems are viewed as weak on national security and he's decided he's going to hammer on the continued threat AND the continues success we are having at stopping threats.

It's actually interesting when you thing aobut it. Bubbleboy has seen to it their haven't been any more attacks. We don't have car-b-ques and the so-called arab street it rioting in europe but not here.

Methinks bubbleboy is going to continue making these speeches. I find them rousing. I like knowing we're going after them where they are rather than waitig for them to come to us. Which is your strategy. I like the fact he's doing everything possible to stop them and he's not overly concerned about osama's civil rights. Which is obviously a much higher concern for you.

It's interesting how the bully pulpit works. GWB's speech will make ALL of the major networks, the entire cable and talk radio cycles. Anyone paying attention will know he' focused on national security. Then we'll hear Teddy Kennedy, the sleeziest man in government, whine about wiretapping Al Qaeda.
If not Teddy then Dr. Dean. If not that whacko John Kerry. How about that SF lib Nancy Pelosi?

It's funny how someone in a bubble can so dominate the news cycle and the opposition and so clear deliniate the differences.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

MountainDan:

In the first debate, Bush was finally pinned by both the moderator and John Kerry as to why he invaded Iraq, when al Qaeda committed 9/11.

His response was "They attacked us."

Please explain how that's not an expression blind rage at the Muslim world.

Thanks,

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

RSM:

The left is entirely sick of GOP types and their alleged "concern" with how our message comes across, weilding the castration knife in the name of "centrism."

I haven't read of the hub-bub at King's funeral, haven't watched any of the talk shows that probably beat the topic to death, and don't really care to. For the sake of this argument, I could care less if the democrats gave the next Gettysburg Address that roused a nation to action or just looked like they were blatantly capitalizing on another person's terrible loss.

I am saying that her funeral was an event, and statements are made one way or another, and saying "we were just honoring their life" and had no regard for how it might affect people...that's just plain stupid or disengenuous.

Your concerns are nice and duly noted.

I have no concerns, other than for the truth.

Take them elsewhere. We're interested in telling the truth and honoring the spirit of the deceased.

Ah yes, honoring the spirit of the deceased. I wonder if Jesus would be happy with the TV evangelists who "honor his spirit". Or Cindy Sheehan's son. Or Jihadists who honor Mohammed and the Religion Of Peace(tm). Or etc, etc, etc...Little did Ben Franklin know I'd be honoring his spirit when I eat a bowl of oatmeal in the morning.

I am *always* wary when people start "honoring the message." Not that they aren't, but plenty have abused the notion.

There's been a lot of "rolling in their graves" in our history. At my funeral, if I want any "message honoring" to go on, I'll write something before I tank and have it read at the funeral. My friends (both of them) can fight over who gets to read it.

Posted by: Red State Mike on February 9, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

"Methinks bubbleboy is going to continue making these speeches. I find them rousing."

heh. A majority of Americans in poll after poll fail to share your enthusiasm. But I hope GWB keeps on speaking, reminding these voters that the "emperor" has no clothes. I love it!

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

MountainDan:

Please explain how rdw's posts aren't expressions of blind rage, as well.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I assume this is a reference to the large and growing budget deficit.

No, it's to the $12T GDP and $40,800 per capital GDP. The cutting of inflation by 3/4's as well as the unemployment rates and interest rates. The 1981 tax cuts set off the economic boom we still enjoy today.

And Clinton demonstrated that Reaganomics is a fraud

Clinton demonstrated no such thing. Reagan changed the course of History. He completely revamped the tax code cutting marginal rates from over 70% to 28%. Clinton played at the fringes.

I can see why you take this personally, rdw.

Not at all. I love the reagan discussion. I hold 4 aces. It kills lib to know he's ranked in the top ten. It kills libs to know he advanced supply-side economics and strong defense and the dangers of big government. It kills libs he restored national pride after Jimmy's national maliase. It killed libs to witness the genuine adoration at his funeral, to know a majority realized a giant was being laid to rest.

You've got Jimmy national maliase Carter and Bill Monica lewinsky Clinton. And you can't understand why the GOP controls all 3 branches.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

"I like the fact that he is doing everything possible to stop them"

And now a few lines of that great song "Tora Bora, Tora Bora, Tora Bora, Tora Bora, Tora Bora, Tora Bora, Tora Bora, which way did he go?"

Posted by: thethirdPa;ul on February 9, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

The Democratic Party has become the "Angry Party

did Coulter, Limbaugh, SavageWeiner, Malkin and Hannity change their voter registrations to Dem ?

Posted by: cleek on February 9, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Exactly, GOPGregory - as I noted above, even if the Wellstone spin was all lies, it worked - I hope it works again.
Posted by: Cheney on February 9, 2006 at 9:34 AM

wow, a serial liar hoping that more lies "work" in his favor. Is anybody surprised by this?

Two words for you, proud liar--Senator Franken--in the long run, it all works out.

Posted by: haha on February 9, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

It kills lib to know he's ranked in the top ten

only in your dreams

Posted by: cleek on February 9, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

". . . it's to the $12T GDP and $40,800 per capital GDP."

My per capital [sic] GDP would look pretty damn good if it were subsidized by foreign lenders, too. Not much to admire there.

"The cutting of inflation by 3/4's as well as the unemployment rates and interest rates. The 1981 tax cuts set off the economic boom we still enjoy today."

The most hilarious post yet! News flash: eight years of Democratic leadership followed in the '90s in which the economy flourished and, with the Clinton tax increases, finished with a budget surplus. In which years did Reagan approximate these achievements?

"He completely revamped the tax code cutting marginal rates from over 70% to 28%. Clinton played at the fringes."

Clinton raised taxes, to certain predictions by Reaganomics that this would tank the economy. Predictably, it didn't. Reaganomics was discredited.

". . . the dangers of big government."

heh.

The size of government grew under Reagan. It has been growing under GWB. There's a Reagan legacy for you!

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

This thread is not meaningful, since:

(1) The neighborhood trolls can only repeat the FoxNews/Limbaugh talking points they have been handed (e.g. "Democrats are angry" Puhleeze - right-wing knuckledraggers are the ones with anger management problems. Remember - It wasn't a liberal that blew up the Murrah Federal Office Bldg.)
(2) MLK would have spit in Bush's face, had he ever met the man. Two people couldn't be more diametrically opposed. Bush is the one who shamelessly expolited Coretta Scott King's funeral for political gain. Word on the street is that he plans to fill Ground Zero with sharks and jump it on a motorcycle next week, while repeating, "Terra, terra, terra...."

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 9, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

hey rdw--it must kill you, just eat you away inside, to know that Bill Clinton was just as popular as Reagan when he left office, and still is very popular today. Everywhere he goes, people cheer and praise Clinton. Everywhere. It was great to see him at that funeral, you could tell how much he and his wife were loved, while George W. Bush was a living punchline.
The government, and the deficit, and the debt, all grew under Reagan's tenure. What a legacy. Not surprising that moronic twits such as yourself admire him so much. You wouldn't know facts if they landed on your pointed little head.

Posted by: haha on February 9, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

oh, and Reagan RAISED taxes too. but don't tell rdw, I would hate to destroy his little micky mouse fantasy world.

Posted by: haha on February 9, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for that reminder, haha. Indeed, Reagan raised taxes several times in the later years of his administration, when he and his advisers realized that the supply side theory was a fraud. Too bad the Bush administration (and rdw) are ignorant of history and doomed to repeat it.

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

I'm laughing at the confused guy above, who just said "MLK would have spit in Bush's face, had he ever met the man." You can see his post, 11:26 AM.

The Democrat's Bush-hatred has now caused the Dems to demean MLK, Jr., too.

Posted by: MountainDan on February 9, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

rdw

I had occasion to be involved with a public event held for Regan in the last year of his presidency. The White House staff told us we had to speak clearly and to give him a chance to look at our name tags. The impression I got was that of a someone who was slowing down and everybody around him knew it. As I recall there were occasions durning the same period when Nancy told him how to answer reporter's questions. Not many years thereafter it was announced he had Alzeheimers. Like I said the White House had a reason to put Regan in a bubble his last years. What is Bush's excuse?

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Joel, The actual effect that any legislation has on the economy normally takes a few years to realize therefore much of the great economy of the 90's was engineered by Reagan's tax incentives in the 80's to corporations for R&D which led to the technology boom of the 90's. Clinton was much of an innocent bystander but at least he had the sense to stay out of the way.

The surplus in the 90's was PROJECTED, never fully materialized and was accomplished by Newt Gingrch's Contract With America in the 1994 overhaul of the Senate.

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

The SOTU speech now that's the place to play politics,A few well placed barbs,but nothing wrong with that.And would someone explain the Wellstone thing,After the right had Paul murdered,Mondale had,what 5 days to prepare a run for Paul's Seat.If you try to remember it was all the righties who where showing up at Wellstones funeral,And for what purpose?

Posted by: rico swava' on February 9, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"What is Bush's excuse?"

Alcohol-induced dementia.

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

No President [speaking of Reagan] have ever made such dramatic changes to the tax code and completely restructured economic theory.

Sure, if by "dramatic changes to the tax code" one means increasing the tax burden on the middle class. The first Reagan tax increase came in 1982, when Reagan's advisers and Congress realized that the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were wildly out of line. Reagan then put in place a reversal of corporate tax cuts, and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. The 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., this increase was much larger than Clintons 1993 tax increase.

And the Social Security Reform Act of 1983 increased taxes even more by raising the payroll tax for Social Security and Medicare. This tax increase reversed any gains from income tax cuts for low- and middle class families. For example, the nonpartisan CBO estimates that in 1980 middle-class families with children paid 8.2 percent of their income in income taxes, and 9.5 percent in payroll taxes. By 1988 the income tax share was down to 6.6 percent, yet the payroll tax share was up to 11.8 percent, so the combined burden was up, not down.

Posted by: Stefan on February 9, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

A few years later I was involved with a similar Clinton event. His staff people were not nearly as protective. Maybe his staff wasn't as good, but I suspect they figured Bill would be the smartest man in the room and didn't need their help.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2006 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

"The actual effect that any legislation has on the economy normally takes a few years to realize therefore much of the great economy of the 90's was engineered by Reagan's tax incentives in the 80's to corporations for R&D which led to the technology boom of the 90's."

And the recession in the Bush 1 administration was due to . . .?

I love this. The Repubs start with the premise that no economic good can ever come from a Democratic administration, then look backwards to the last Republican administration and assume a mechanism that explains all the good that comes after. Your hatred of liberalism has overcome any understanding of simple economics. Pitiful.

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

The actual effect that any legislation has on the economy normally takes a few years to realize therefore much of the great economy of the 90's was engineered by Reagan's tax incentives in the 80's to corporations for R&D which led to the technology boom of the 90's.

ah Republican economics: faith-based and unfalsifiable, all credit to Republicans, all blame away from Republicans. and their policies never fail: sometimes, they work immediately. but sometimes not. if they need to wait 10 years to work, that's fine - the faithful will know who to credit, when the appropriate time comes.

Posted by: cleek on February 9, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

I love this. The Repubs start with the premise that no economic good can ever come from a Democratic administration, then look backwards to the last Republican administration and assume a mechanism that explains all the good that comes after. Your hatred of liberalism has overcome any understanding of simple economics. Pitiful.

Republican datamining!

But Kevin doesn't mind datamining.

Posted by: lib on February 9, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Bottom line for me, and this is the last I'm going to post on this absurd topic:

The wingnuts apparently imagine that there are thousands of voters out there who saw clip from Ms. King's funeral and said to themselves, "You know, I was thinking of voting for a Democrat this year, but after what happened at that funeral, I guess I won't!"

If such a mythical creature even exists at all, I don't want his vote. He's too stupid.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 9, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

remember how every single Repub refused to vote for Clinton's tax bill, they said it would ruin the economy. Hmmm, didn't work out that way did it?

Now they're trying to credit Reagan, who was two administrations, tax increases, and a recession before Clinton, for the '90s boom. No one's buying it. The Repub congress doesn't deserve much credit either, we see what happens when they have a Republican in the WH--the biggest deficits and debt ever. Congrats!

Posted by: haha on February 9, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, the Drexel Hill Dimwit looks at a deuce and thinks it to be an ace.

US Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ)led the revamping of the tax code which lowered the rates from 71 to 28%. Perhaps New Jersey is a little too close to PA for him to notice.

Of course, he still crys in his Rolling Rock that he became a lineman for Verizon instead of a Proctologist at Walter Reade - Then he smooze and poke with Twiggie on the Twig's annual physical.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember one more word that didn't work out so good for your side last time around: WELLSTONE.

Pretty bold stuff for someone breaking the law by posting annoying material anonymously.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 9, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

stefan,

Federal taxes and payroll taxes are totally different. You are comparing apples and oranges. You are also admitting that if Reagan never cut taxes the effect would have been a large tax increase. In the real world however was a huge income tax cut in the 80's and the total realignment of marginal rates from a confiscatory system to an incentive system. That portion of federal taxes paid by the top 5% more than tripled. large portions of those at the bottom dropped off the tables and/or saw huge marginal rate cuts.

The increases in SS taxes were necessary to make the system solvent and totally separate from Federal taxes.

The record is quite stark. Reagan inherited a mess with historically high inflation, unemployment and interest rates. The only president deal a worse ecnomic hand in the last century was FDR. FDR needed WWII. Reagan did it all via the tax code.

Yesterdays WSJ had a lead editorial and chart discussing Euroscolersis. 25 years ago European per capita GDP was reasonably close. Since the 80's the USA (Reagan) and the UK (thatcher) followed radically different paths from Western Europe and the difference in results is stark. As of 2000 per capital income in France and Germany was 70% USA levels. In 20 years USA per capita income will be double France and Germany if they continue their moronic high tax policies.

This is but one of the reasons GWB has pulled so far waway from the EU. They have become an economic drag.

History will also note Reagan campaigned on an aggressive change in economic policies as the centerpiece to his Presidency. He promised and delivered radical changes. Clinton promised middle class tax cuts and then raised them. Reagan had an economic theory. Clinton had a political platform and polls. The growth we have today which has been the envy of Europe for two decades is due to Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

US Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ)led the revamping of the tax code which lowered the rates from 71 to 28%. Perhaps New Jersey is a little too close to PA for him to notice.

That's why Bill Bradley is so famous. If not for basketball it would be Bill Who?

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure the Righties would be quiet as a turd if, say some speaker at the service had said, "Just as George Bush liberated millions of Iraqi's, so did the King's help liberate Southern Blacks."

The only reason they are harping is because the service didn't make Bubble Boy Bush look good.

Posted by: Robert on February 9, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterdays WSJ had a lead editorial and chart discussing Euroscolersis. 25 years ago European per capita GDP was reasonably close. Since the 80's the USA (Reagan) and the UK (thatcher) followed radically different paths from Western Europe and the difference in results is stark. As of 2000 per capital income in France and Germany was 70% USA levels. In 20 years USA per capita income will be double France and Germany if they continue their moronic high tax policies.

You seem to think that per capita GDP -- which essentially tracks mean income -- is a uniquely meaningful measure of well-being such that policies which maximize per capita GDP, regardless of other effects, are necessarily ideal.

This is, in a word, idiocy.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterdays WSJ had a lead editorial ... In 20 years USA per capita income will be double France and Germany if they continue their moronic high tax policies

oh boy, the WSJ editorial pages. there's a reliable source of unbiased and accurate information! did ya hear that the last issue of High Times had a lead editorial about how everyone should smoke marijuana more, cause then we'd all get along ?

The growth we have today which has been the envy of Europe for two decades is due to Ronald Reagan.

prove it.

Posted by: cleek on February 9, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

rdw

Why are you so enamoured with Ronald Reagan? He was a real mixed bag as president. Remember the avings and loan debacle. That was a direct result of his tax policies. I know. I used to work for a company that was in the real estate tax shelter business. Everybody was over invested in those damn things. Reagan came in and changed the code. Killed the commercial real estate market for years. Probably a good thing in the long run, but man did it hurt at the time.

rdw, you scare me. Folks who deify politicians are nuts.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hi rdw, how are your sweet nubile daughters today? I hope you keep a good eye on them, it's only a matter of time before daddy's little girls are gobbling manseed in the back of a chevy astro.

Posted by: predator on February 9, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

As several people have noted, the comments were in support of exactly the same principle for which Coretta King fought all her life and for which her husband died.

Were these out of line? One might note that at Ronald Reagan's funeral, the Republican speakers had no problem citing the principles and policies for which Prez #40 stood.

Posted by: Rich Chamberlain on February 9, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Now they're trying to credit Reagan, who was two administrations, tax increases, and a recession before Clinton, for the '90s boom. No one's buying it

Actually it's widely accepted outside the partisan political realm. The economic shifts in th early 80's were the most dramatic since the 30's but far more successful. Long term economic charts and stock market models show a dramatic turning point with the 1981 tax cuts. The period since has been the strongest and most balanced growth in a century. We've only has two of the most mild recessions in our history. The 1st was after the longest recovery in our history and caused by tax increase and a banking crises while the 2nd mild recession came after a new record for the longest expansion in our history and as asset bubble, 9/11, accounting scandals and other imbalances.

so to summarize. After the 81 tax cuts we had the two longest expansions in our 225 year history with the two shortest and mildest recessions. Inflation, unemployment and interest rates are a fraction of what they were under Mr. Malaise. Tax rates are still 50% less and the top 5% pays a significantly higher portion of them.

You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. You will die knowing Ronald Reagan was the giant of your age.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

'I had occasion to be involved with a public event held for Regan in the last year of his presidency. The White House staff told us we had to speak clearly and to give him a chance to look at our name tags. The impression I got was that of a someone who was slowing down and everybody around him knew it. As I recall there were occasions durning the same period when Nancy told him how to answer reporter's questions. Not many years thereafter it was announced he had Alzeheimers. Like I said the White House had a reason to put Regan in a bubble his last years. What is Bush's excuse?'
-- Ron Byers


Ron,

I had a friend who worked in the White House during the late 1980s. He said Reagan was so disoriented in his second term, that he had to be led to the Oval Office, often would forget to eat and sometimes smelled like urine (i.e. he wet himself). I am not saying this to mock the man, as my mother has Alzheimers and it is clearly no laughing matter. My point is Reagan was totally out to lunch after about 1986 and should have been removed from office for medical reasons. He was medically incompetent to govern and therefore to impute any achievements to the man, economic or otherwise is utter foolishness.

Sally Quinn told a similar story about how shocked she was about his mental incompetency during an interview in 1986.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 9, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

the 2nd mild recession came after a new record for the longest expansion in our history and as asset bubble, 9/11, accounting scandals and other imbalances

The recession at issue started long before 9/11 and ended almost immediately after 9/11. It also featured the longest post-recession period without a jobs recovery on record, which suggests that, whatever the aggregate output figures are, it is the product of a system whose distributional features are badly broken.

Of course, those favored by the distributional imbalances, and the mindless dupes that support them, don't tend to mention that, focussing only on aggregate measures of output. Just as they tend to pretend that the recession that began in March of 2001 and ended that November was a produt of the terrorist attacks that occurred in September of that year, without explaining any mechanism for the required retrocausality.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, Harry Truman was the last presidental giant. Those who followed, including Ronald Reagan, were mere shadows. I don't give a damn how many airports and buildings you name for the guy I will never call him St. Ronnie.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Ron,

Give me a break. No man is perfect. FDR threw thousands of innocent Japanese citizens in jail for years and was totally suckered by Stalin. The Iron curtain would not have happened if Roosevelt wasn't such a sap. The economy was a disaster throughout the 30's and his policies were of little help. The depression didn't end until the war started. He's got a great many other flaws.

That said he was still a great President. If you want to slime Reagan you're going to have to do a lot better than the S&L scandal which occured under GHWBs watch and for which Congress bears more of the responsibility.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, it's pointless debating with these morons who don't understand capitalist economics. Reagan put into motion an economic machine that is the envy of the world and not even the Dems, and their socialist ways, can destroy although they sure love to take credit for it. BTW, revenues at the federal treasury are up $60-$80 billion more than projected due to the tax cuts. One thing they will never understand, tax cuts fuel spending which fuel economic growth which fuels tax revenues.

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: You will die knowing Ronald Reagan was the giant of your age.

Well, I'll certainly laugh my ass off this afternoon, knowing that you are a blithering idiot.

Ronald Reagan was a corrupt, lying sack of shit who was directly responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people in Central America at the hands of the brutal terrorist gangs and bloodthirsty dictatorships that his administration funded and trained in sabotage, murder and torture. He is one of the most despicable war criminals of all time.

And he's worshipped by pinhead know-nothings like you, and by no one else.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

without explaining any mechanism for the required retrocausality.

A tachyon beam aimed at the Federal Reserve?

Posted by: rdw's thinking cap on February 9, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

cm, the recession ended in Novemeber of '01? 911 sunk the economy even further into recession, which took another year to dig out from, which today has seen the creation of 4 million new jobs and the dow approaching 11,000. And secondly, there are no "distributional methods" creating a "distributional imbalance" in a capitalist economy.

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

so to summarize. After the 81 assassination attempt on Reagan, we had the two longest expansions in our 225 year history with the two shortest and mildest recessions. Inflation, unemployment and interest rates are a fraction of what they were under Mr. Malaise. Tax rates are still 50% less and the top 5% pays a significantly higher portion of them.

Cause and effect. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

lmagine the prosperity if Hinkley had been successful!

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

secular, well you do know something about pin-head know nothings as you are the king of that realm.

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Ron,

I have no argument on Harry but you are unfair to Reagan. The odd thing about Harry is his rebirth as a strong president is fairly recent and it was liberal academic historians who denigrated him.

The most recent poll I've seen of a selected group of about 80 scholars across the ideological spectrum had Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan ranked 7, 8, and 9th (or very near there between 5 and 10). Ike was another guy who was punished by academia mainly because he didn't care much for them. Harry is the guy who really has the toughest decisions and had so many of them.

As much as I admire Reagan for winning the cold war, as conservatives do in general, It's accepted fact Reagan stood on the shoulders of a long line of cold warriers and each of them stood on Trumans shoulders. Your party changed drmatically in 1968 and no two people better represent that than Truman and Carter. Harry would have found Jimmy's weakness repulsive. The 444 day hostage crises we had would not have happened with Harry.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

THE REAL TRUTH TO POWER:

98% THE CAUSE OF POVERTY IS DEBAUCHERY AND THE PROCREATION OF CHILDREN THEREFROM. AND THOSE POOR WHO ARE DEBAUCHED, GENERALLY SPEAKING, ARE NOT REPUBLICANS. FURTHER, IF AFRICAN-AMERICANS ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY POOR IN AMERICA IT IS BECAUSE AFRICAN-AMERICANS ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY DEBAUCHED. THE STATISTICS CONFIRM THIS PRECISELY.

ADVOCATES FOR THE POOR AND ADVOCATES FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS: REMOVE YOUR EVER EDACIOUS OUT-STRETCHED HAND AND PUT YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER.

THE REAL WEAPON OF MISDIRECTION IS THE NON-FACTOR SCAPEGOAT THAT IS DISCRIMINATION; IT'S EFFECT ON THE POOR IS VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on February 9, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Jay

World War II put into motion the economic machine that was the envy of the world. You might not have noticed but after WWII we emerged with the only intact economy. We had a leg up for 2 generations. We also had a generation of men and women who came of age during the war and understood more of the world than those who followed. They were the greatest generation. Reagan was just one member of that generation.

Like a lot of Republicans you give too much credit to tax policy. What amazes me is your willingness to overlook revenue short falls during the previous years.

I am far more concerned about the structure of our society, including our economy, than our tax policy. You should worry more about the ability of our children to read, write and do math than whether the richest among us don't have to pay an estate tax.

If you want to think about tax policy, think about a policy that encourages dividends and discourages excessive executive compensation. Think about a tax policy that encourages long term thinking and not short term profits.

If you really want to think of the structure of our society, think about ways of making our workers the most skilled and competative in the world.

Economics is a science. It is not a religion. The economy is a tool to help all of us enjoy a better life. It is not an end in itself. To the extent the economy is not helping all of us enjoy a better life, it is failing.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 9, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Your party changed drmatically [sic] in 1968 . . . "

Yes, it did. It had abandoned the Southern racist wing to the Republican party, where it remains today. Hence, the richly deserved repudiation of Bush and his acolytes at the funeral. Make you proud, rdw?

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Bravo, Ron!

Indeed, the '50s saw the highest marginal income tax rates in history, and it was a period marked by enviable economic growth. Yet another repudiation of Reaganomic theory.

heh.

Posted by: Joel on February 9, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK
cm, the recession ended in Novemeber of '01?

Yes. The recession started March 2001 and ended November 2001.

911 sunk the economy even further into recession,

No, "911" is what you call when your house catches fire. The terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 had very little direct effect on the recession, which is why it ended shortly after they occurred.

which took another year to dig out from, which today has seen the creation of 4 million new jobs and the dow approaching 11,000.

4 million jobs in 4 years isn't enough to keep up with the working-age population growth of just under 1% a year with a working-age population around 184 million (requiring about 1.8 million jobs add per year just to keep up with working-age population growth.)

And secondly, there are no "distributional methods" creating a "distributional imbalance" in a capitalist economy.

Yes, there are distributional methods in any economy, whether they are government mandated or not. Further, you seem to be confuse the actual US economy with an some mythical ideal laissez-faire system if you think that there are even no government-directed distributional features of the US economy. But any tax and spending regime is a distributional feature mandated by the government (and features which selectively tax labor but not provide tax advantages for capital income have clear and direct class-based distributional impacts), and regulatory regimes other than taxes have distributional effects.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Ron, I do care about our children's education but America currently spends more dollars per child in the classroom than any other industrialized nation and yet we have some of the lowest scores. Money is not the problem, the NEA and lack of quality households are the problem. Carter almost single handedly ruined the WWII economic expansion with inflation approaching nearly 20% and unemployment at an all time high. Reagan restored confidence and by encouraging corporations to expand R&D with huge tax incentives, Americans went back to work.

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK
As much as I admire Reagan for winning the cold war, as conservatives do in general,

Which is odd since he wasn't the first President to fight the cold war, wasn't President when the cold war victory was complete, and didn't fight it by any radically different strategy than his predecessors.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

rdw is fond of noting that Ronald Reagan is a "top ten" president. I assume he's referring to recent polls taken of historians, and a search of Wikipedia reveals that, yes, in fact, two recent polls do give the Gipper an overall top-ten rating (#8 in 2000, #6 in 2005).

You should note, however, that both polls were performed by The Wall Street Journal -- that is to say, by its esteemed editorial section, well-known for its intellectual probity, and backed by the Federalist Society. Color me impressed.

Wikipedia notes:

As in the 2000 survey, the [WSJ] editors sought to balance the opinions of liberals and conservatives, adjusting the results "to give Democratic- and Republican-leaning scholars equal weight." Editor James Taranto noted that Democratic-leaning scholars rated George W. Bush the sixth-worst president of all time, while Republican scholars rated him the sixth-best, giving President Bush an overall rating of "average."

Fortunately, I speak fairly fluent Wingnut, so allow me to translate the WSJ's remarks:

"We located a bunch of Heritage Foundation, AEI, and George Mason 'scholars' who think the top three presidents are Reagan, Bush, and Lincoln, in that order, and we used their opinions to push St. Ronnie into the top ten."

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 9, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Jay,

I don't expect many if any to learn but I like the discussion for a while. They all saw the funeral and know what happened. We all know he was a giant. They also know Reagan is ranked in the top 10 while Mr Malaise is bottom 10. Most of these people probably watch ABC and got to see the horror of Peter Jennings sing the praises. You know, I know and they know Peter would have preferred to rip his lips off but for $15M a year he compromised.

One of the coolest segments I ever saw in TV was an interviw with Arthur Sleshinger Jr who's father started the ranking of the Presidents in the 40's. Jr continued it. Jr is now famous for the JFK whitewash and the creation of the camelot myth. He's also famous for losing control of his daddy's poll. At one point he had JFK and Wilson in the top 5. Jr limited the poll to uber-libs. With that the WSJ and the Federalist society decided to put Jr out of that business by creating a panel to select a group of different experts across a political spectrum staying away from partisan. Thus there are many fewer ivy league historians and more professionals in the law and politics.

After this 1st poll had come out there were radical shifts. Wilson dropped 10 slots and JFK about 15. TR moved up along with Truman Eisenhower and Reagan. FDR stayed 3rd but was dropped from the great catgory with Wash and Lincoln into a near great category which I think now ends with Reagan.

So George Will visited Jr who was about 85. The last poll he did had Reagan below average and behind Carter. Even libs knew it was a joke. Will ended the interview pointing out Reagans reassessment and the brutal ranking Jr gave him. The last question was, "I'm giving you a chance to re-ate Reagan. Any comment? Never!"

It was quite obvious he'd rather have swallowed his tongue. Art is still alive. My bet is his caretaker did not allow him to watch TV during the Reagan ceremonies. He would have been devastated.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

cm, "the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 had very little effect on the recession". Right. When the center of America's financial strength loses thousands of jobs and two iconic structures housing tens of thousands of companies in a matter of a few hours, it has little effect on the economy! Again, it's pointless to debate with such a moron.
The only "distributional method" currently employed by America is the left's desire to continue to expand entitlements. That's working out well isn't it.

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton saved the 90's for everyone not just the top 5%.

Posted by: rico swava' on February 9, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

cm, "Reagan didn't fight the cold war any different than any other sitting President". Right. "Gorbachev, tear down this wall". Pretty bold I would say. cm, what planet do you live on?

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK
Ron, I do care about our children's education but America currently spends more dollars per child in the classroom than any other industrialized nation and yet we have some of the lowest scores. Money is not the problem, the NEA and lack of quality households are the problem.

The NEA is irrelevant. The lack of "quality households" is certainly a problem, in that the the principle problems that present barriers to education are socioeconomic problems resulting from the distributional features of the US economy.

Of course, these problems are exacerbated by capital friendly tax breaks that shift the tax burden disproportionately onto labor rather than capital, and further exacerbated by cuts in the real value provided by programs that help the less well off that often accompany such tax shifts.

Carter almost single handedly ruined the WWII economic expansion with inflation approaching nearly 20% and unemployment at an all time high.

How, precisely, did Carter cause either of these things?


Reagan restored confidence and by encouraging corporations to expand R&D with huge tax incentives, Americans went back to work.

With rapid rises in US income inequality producing or exacerbating many of the problems of lack of "quality households" that you complain about in education. Yes, the aggregate measures were good, but -- unlike the Clinton boom in which income inequality shrank -- the Reagan "boom" had rewards that were rather concentrated in a narrow elite; a feature the Bush Republicans have tried to restore with tax policies designed to advantage capital ownership over work even more than it previously had been.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Alek,

Do some more research. Or actually read what you looked up. No one from the WSJ or the Federalist society had a vote in the poll. No one from either organization selected a single participant. They appointed a panel of 'experts' not from either organization and that panel selected 100 or so experts in Presidential history and only those 100 had a vote.

BTW: Rating current and very recent Presidents is meaningless. The exception might be Carter who was immediately viewed as inept. a good example of why this is is Ike. The press and snob academics considered him a lightweight of little accomplishment. History has proven he was far more involved in the decision making process and a shrewd judge of people. He was the force behind the interstate highway system which few people properly credit for it's economic and social importance. As we were further away and a Presidents decisions can be reviewed over time we get a clearer and far less passionite picture.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

cm, entitlement spending (money earmarked for the disadvantaged) now totals over $380 billion and that is almost twice the amount Clinton spent. Those are for "real value" programs that are not producing the desired results. Throwing more money at entitlement programs is not the answer to helping the disadvantaged. Incentives for personal responsibility would help.
Secondly, the NEA is a HUGE problem. They continue to throw money at every political agenda they support and reward administrators with huge salaries. That money should go directly to the teachers and the classroom, not to politics.

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK
cm, "the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 had very little effect on the recession". Right. When the center of America's financial strength loses thousands of jobs and two iconic structures housing tens of thousands of companies in a matter of a few hours, it has little effect on the economy!

"The economy" involves lots of things, many of which are orthogonal to the presence or absence of a recession. It is also a very large and very complex system; while 9/11 caused major losses, it also created major immediate new demands which stimulated economic activity. There is very little reason to think it had any substantial net impact on the recession which began in March 2001 and ended in November 2001, and there is even less reason to suspect that it extended the recession.

The only "distributional method" currently employed by America is the left's desire to continue to expand entitlements.

Um, no, selective, capital friendly tax cuts are a distributional feature of the American economy directed by government. As are all instances of government directed spending. As are all targetted taxes. You are complete, blithering idiot.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

I've just realized what our talking point should have been on this. Quit the whining and take it like a man.

I mean, are we supposed to feel sorry for the president because he couldn't send his team into the funeral to keep out all of the people who disagree with him, like he usually does? He'd have had to send Coretta Scott King out of the room, as well.

If the pres wants to pay respect to a hero whose views are different from his, then he shouldn't be a crybaby about facing a little criticism --- not even personal criticism, I might add. If the pres was only there as some kind of publicity stunt to try to make himself look good to African-Americans and all Americans, then he actually deserves a lot worse criticism.

Posted by: catherineD on February 9, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

'One thing they will never understand, tax cuts fuel spending which fuel economic growth which fuels tax revenues.'
--Jay

If that were true, let's cut marginal rates to zero and have infinite tax revenue! How can people be so gullible and foolish?

To The Objective Historian:

Your Caps Lock key is stuck. It's below the Tab key. RETARD.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 9, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK
cm, "Reagan didn't fight the cold war any different than any other sitting President". Right.

If you are going to pretend to use direct quotes, maybe you should actually quote what I said.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

The righties are just Blinded by Clinton hatered.

Posted by: rico swava' on February 9, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK
cm, entitlement spending (money earmarked for the disadvantaged) now totals over $380 billion

Entitlement spending is not equivalent to "money earmarked for the disadvantaged". Many entitlement programs are not, or only weakly, means tested (SS and Medicare), and many programs that are directed at helping the disadvantaged are not entitlement programs.

Conflating the two categories is idiocy.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

cm, tax cuts are NOT distributional. That money actually belonged to the taxee, not the government. I am done with you, you are giving me a headache.

Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Unemployment is moving down at an accelerated pace. The problem over the next decade is going to be a severe labor shortage. It's already starting. We've had a healthy surge in job creation since the supply-side tax cuts with about 5.5M jobs created and a drop in unemployment near 1.5%.

Last week unemployment dropped to 4.7% and we have a surge of retirements coming unlike anything ever experienced. By November unemployment will be near 4.3%. Your party was unable to use a rate of 6.3% to your advantage. What do you think you'll do with 4.3%?

Carter did not single handidly cause inflation but he was still a disaster in every way. Reagan inherited a disaster.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen any comments to this effect, but I think some of it is that the upscale suburban Atlanta church that Bernice King pastors is socially conservative (Bernice, as has been noted, is pro-life) and Republicans have been making inroads with her church, and other socially conservative black churches.

This is the political script that W's handlers wanted to see replayed in the news, and this is what would have been facilitated had everyone kept the remarks to the homilies and shibboleths about Coretta's life that Bush did.

Instead, friends of the Kings decided to talk about their committment to social justice and peace activism.

Whoopsie.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK
cm, tax cuts are NOT distributional.

Tax policy, and changes in it, clearly have distributional impacts. This is as obvious as "water is wet".

That money actually belonged to the taxee, not the government.

Whether or not one accepts that premise, policies which tax one kind of income more than others, or policy changes which reduce taxes on one kind of income more than others, clearly have substantial distributional effects. This is true no matter who you believe should have the money (i.e., who it "belongs" to.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Jay:

> cm, tax cuts are NOT distributional. That money actually
> belonged to the taxee, not the government. I am done
> with you, you are giving me a headache.

Well of *course* you're getting a
headache, Jay -- you're a stone-ideologue.

Stone-ideologues, when confronted with basic facts (such as
the distributional mechanisms inherent in any fiscal policy
of any political stripe) tend, as a class, to get headaches.

Cognitive dissonance will do that to a person.

Tax revenue, when collected, belongs to the government.

Duh :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 9, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Or should I say Clinton Envy.Yep righties have Clinton Envy

Posted by: rico swava' on February 9, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

RDW!

My hero!

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on February 9, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

If the pres wants to pay respect to a hero whose views are different from his, then he shouldn't be a crybaby about facing a little criticism --- not even personal criticism,

You did not and will not hear GWB say a negative word. He smiled and handled it with total class. He didn't have to get over it because there was nothing to get over. He never listens to this stuff. That's the reason Jimmy is so bitter. Bill would take his phone calls. George is too busy working against everything that putz ever stood for.

To prove that point look up the rousing speech George delivered today on the NSA and terrorism. Allow me to summarize for you. Democrats are wimps!! George has his agenda and he has his bully pulpit and he was on fire this morning.

If Congress wants to stop him from wireptapping terrorist they're just going to have to get off their wimpy asses and do something about it. He is daring them. He is begging them. He owns this issue. This will be even worse than the pathetic Alito filibuster.

GWB has 2 to 1 support on this and in the Red States it's 4 to 1. Please, Please, Please lets have our Senators and representatives vote to end funding forthe program. They could stop it tomorrow. Please! Please! Please!

What we are going to see is GWB do everything he can to goad Kerry and Dean and Clinton and everyone to say they want to stop the program. Karl Rove will immediately translate that to, "ALL democrats support limiting wiretaps on Al Qaeda." If it's John Kerry pictures of John Kerry and Ben Nelson arm in arm will be on billboards all over Nebraska.

BTW: Yesterdays session was meaningless politically. It's totally out of the news by tomorrow and will not make any Sunday shows. If it is ever referred to again it'll be Jimmy Carters classless act. They won't even repeat what he said. No one cares. They'll just mention Carter is alone among ex-Presidents in his bitter criticisms. No class.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

We've had a healthy surge in job creation since the supply-side tax cuts with about 5.5M jobs created and a drop in unemployment near 1.5%.

more unfalsifiable Republican economics.

the new jobs pay less than the ones they lost when W took over. and so, to fuel the economy, people are spending more than they're making - they're spending their savings, they're taking on more debt, buying houses they can't afford. that's not trickle-down. that's borrow-and-spend.

By November unemployment will be near 4.3%.

umm. prove it.

Posted by: cleek on February 9, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK


rdw: We've had a healthy surge in job creation since the supply-side tax cuts with about 5.5M jobs created and a drop in unemployment near 1.5%.


During the past 5-years private business has added only 958,000 net new jobs to the economy, while the government sector added 1.1 million jobs. - Manufacturing & Technology News 1/16/06


rdw...hope you are on the olympic gymnastic team.....your talents could be better used there


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 9, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

How many of these jobs are goverment created.About 2 million was the number I believe.

Posted by: rico swava' on February 9, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

And more Clinton envy!

Posted by: rico swava' on February 9, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

"You did not and will not hear GWB say a negative word"

That is because we will not be allowed to hear Twiggie say "Sic-em" to his staff.


Ron Byers, I would like to add the GI Bill to your comments about the generation coming out of WW11. This educational boost generated a solid working class.

Of course, St Ronnie did learn a lot from WW11 - While making training films at Ft Roach, he learned how not to get the clap.
He and Jarvis helped to ruin one of the finest school systems in America; the California school system from K-12 through the tremendous university system - the decline started under St Ronnie - Jarvis helped drive the stake into not the system, but the library system as well. But, hey, Jarvis was funny in "Airplane" sitting in the Yellow Cab at the terminal.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Geez Louise, the wingnuts certainly have proven my earlier comment correct! Pages and pages of tripe, from the same 2 or 3 morons.

Kevin, if by some weird happenstance you get this far, I'll say it again: sooner or later you will have to do something about this.

Posted by: S Ra on February 9, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, you moron, we went over this just a few days ago. Here's the text that Kevin wrote on Reagan's so-called "boom":

The answer, of course, is that Reagan didn't grow his way out of the deficits caused by his 1981 tax cut. As the chart on the right shows (adapted from this Treasury report), he raised taxes twice in 1982, and then raised them again in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, and 1987. But even with those seven tax increases and several years of strong growth, he still didn't get rid of his deficit.

So Reagan didn't cut taxes, he INCREASED them and still managed to increase the Federal deficit.

Yeah, Reagan was a great president, for screwing things up.

I will give him one prop, that at least he isn't as incompetent as GW.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 9, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

So Reagan didn't cut taxes, he INCREASED them and still managed to increase the Federal deficit.

The conversation is about Federal Taxes not Social Security taxes. More specifically supply-side economics focuses on marginal rates. Kevin is still wrong on the facts. Marginal tax rates were much higher before RR took office than when he left. They were over 70% before he started cutting them and 28% when he left office.

The fact is Reagan is an acknowledged top ten President. I didn't rate him. That's the experts. He is an honored and revered figure. We all saw the ceremonies for his funeral and the widespread devotion.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Total number of jobs created in Bush regime: 2 Million

Total number of public sector jobs created during this time: 2.8 million

=>

Total number of private sector jobs LOST during this time: 800,000


By way of comparison, 18 million jobs were created during the same period of Clinton presidency.

Posted by: lib on February 9, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

rdw...hope you are on the olympic gymnastic team.....your talents could be better used there

They don't need me. Neither does Karl Rove. The Dems could not make use of a 6.3% unemployment rate. Are you thinking they'll do better with a 4.3% unemployment rate?

The less angst over the economy the more angst over national security and terrorism. That'll piss off hollywood. It's not fair with George scaring everyone. Very nice of Speilberg to lecture us in Munich what nice family types terrorists are. Rove won't ue that to imply Democrats are still living in a 9/10 world and are weak on terror. OK maybe he will but at least they're not worried about finding a job.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

The conversation is about Federal Taxes not Social Security taxes

actually, it's about funerals making poltical statements.

Posted by: cleek on February 9, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: Marginal tax rates were much higher before RR took office than when he left. They were over 70% before he started cutting them and 28% when he left office.

That's blatantly, screamingly, hysterically, hilariously wrong, you ignorant, bootlicking goon.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

love the story about reagan testifying before congress in the late 1950's...(ron was the head of the screen actors guild....)

he was there to say that the top rate at 90-percent on anything over 400,000-dollars...was too high....

he told those in attendance....that if the rate was at 50-percent....he wouldnt be there...

times change....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 9, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

y way of comparison, 18 million jobs were created during the same period of Clinton presidency

That is terrific. That is amazing. That is irrelevent.

Going to write in Bill Clinton on your ballot? Please do.

Please never stop fawning over Bill Clinton. Here's the plan. Get as amny people as possible to yearn for the boom years of Slick Willie when America was loved and respected throughout the world and we all made scads of money, especially the poor. There won't be enough time to change the constitution for 2008 but there will be time for another two for one deal. Nominate Hillary. It isn't like you can stop her anyway.

What is relevent is 4.3% and 6.3%. In November the unemloyment rate will be 4.3% or lower. It was near 6.3% last election. You could not make jobs an issue then. You think it'll be in issue in November?

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

S Ra wrote: Pages and pages of tripe, from the same 2 or 3 morons.

Unfortunately, that's exactly right. And that's why I am increasingly less interested in Political Animal and find it increasingly easier to remind myself that I have much more rewarding and productive things to do with my time than read these comment pages. The vast majority of the content on the comments pages is, just as you say, nothing but scripted, programmed, repetitive right-wing drivel-points, mechanically regurgitated by the same two or three stupid, ignorant, brain-dead Bush bootlickers.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw's argument is that facts dont matter....


and that's good for america how?

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 9, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: What is relevent is 4.3% and 6.3%.

What's really relevant to this discussion is your stupidity, ignorance and dishonesty. Not to mention your obvious discomfort with being a citizen of a free country and your longing to be the subject of a king that you can worship and bow down to subserviently, as you do with the mass murderer Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

actually, it's about funerals making poltical statements

No, we solved that. No harm no foul. The news cycle has moved. CSK will disappear from the news almost entirely by tomorrow except for periodic historical references. GWB already gave an aggressive speech on national security and the NSA pounding the Dems. If this affair is ever mentioned again it'll be about either Jimmy Carter being bitter or Bill Clinton joking about the next President.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

thisspaceavailable wrote: rdw's argument is that facts dont matter.... and that's good for america how?

rdw's idea is that it would be good for America to be ruled forever by a right-wing totalitarian dictatorship. He doesn't want to be a citizen of a democratic republic, he wants to be the obedience, subservient and worshipful subject of a king. That's why he cheers on the lies and corruption and blatant thievery of the Bush administration. That's why he worships Ronald Reagan, who was a corrupt, lying mass murderer and one of the most profoundly evil men of the 20th century. Indeed, if not for Gorbachev, Reagan would have incinerated the world with nuclear weapons.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 9, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

No, we solved that

actually, you didn't.

GWB already gave an aggressive speech on national security

yeah... he's been giving that same Mission Accomplished speech for four years now.

tell me, is your bedroom ceiling covered with pictures of Reagan, or of W ?

Posted by: cleek on February 9, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

When the center of America's financial strength loses thousands of jobs and two iconic structures housing tens of thousands of companies in a matter of a few hours, it has little effect on the economy! Again, it's pointless to debate with such a moron.

The World Trade Center had about 50,000 total employees total working in it, so exactly how they could have had "tens of thousands of companies" in them is rather perplexing, unless all those companies were little one and two man operations.

Nor was the WTC the "center of American financial strength." That's Midtown, and most downtown companies were east of Broadway, away from the Trade Center. There were very few top-level firms in the towers.

Man, these people get dumber every day.

Oh, and just to address the doubt about the dates of the 2001 recession, here, for example, from USA Today on 7/17/2003: '

'The committee that puts official dates on U.S. economic expansions and contractions said Thursday that the economy pulled out of recession in November 2001 and since then has been in a recovery phase. The announcement from the National Bureau of Economic Research's Business Cycle Dating Committee confirmed what many economists have believed: that the economy has resumed growing, albeit slowly."At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in November 2001," the committee said in a statement Thursday.
The committee, which consists of top academic economists, met in Cambridge, Mass., to discuss the issue.The 2001 recession began in March that year, so today's announcement makes it an eight-month downturn.'


Posted by: Stefan on February 9, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

'In November the unemloyment rate will be 4.3% or lower.'
--rdw

Those numbers are phonier than Dubya's resume.

Here are the facts:

> The five years of President Doorknob's fictitious presidency have shown the slowest job creation of any five year period since 1939.
> More people are living in poverty now than when Doorknob seized power.
> Less people have health insurance than five years ago.
> The national debt is half again as big as it was five years ago.

Not to mention that the govt. doesn't even count people as unemployed who gave up looking. Fully loaded, the unemployment rate is likely closer to 10%.

This is an economic record to run on????

Bring it on!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 9, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Under the Reaganauts, when taxes were lowered, "user fees" increased. Ronnie didn't consider user fees to be taxes per se.

And one more item, the budgets of St Ronnie were passed by the Repugs and the "Boll Weevils", i.e., the Southern Democrats who switched sides to the Repugs.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 9, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree with Prof Bainbridge. In fact, as I posted yesterday, with tongue inserted firmly in cheek ...

I can't imagine anyone of good upbringing and breeding doing something like that. Mr Antony would certainly never do such a thing at the funeral of his friend Julius.

Posted by: CurtisE on February 8, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK >>

Posted by: CurtisE on February 9, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

This is an economic record to run on????

It's better than 2004.

forget all of those stats. Rove will be tossing his stats out as well. It's all background noise. At most 3% of the population pays attention. Now the unemployment rate is the big daddy. GDP growth doesn't hurt either. Was I telling you JP Morgan last week raised their 1st Qtr forecast to 5% and 4% for the 1st half?

You had a much stronger economic hand to play in 2002 and 2004 and you still got your ass kicked.

This election will not be about the economy. We have Islam on fire all over the world, but HERE!!! This election will be on national security. One side wants to protect Americans and the other wants to protect al Qaeda's civil rights.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

yeah... he's been giving that same Mission Accomplished speech for four years now.

and winning elections afterwords.

tell me, is your bedroom ceiling covered with pictures of Reagan, or of W ?

No but my kids did buy me one of those talking dolls of each. I keep them in the original box so they stay new. I keep them on my family room shelves in full view to piss off my in-laws.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, if not for Gorbachev, Reagan would have incinerated the world with nuclear weapons.

I love how the libs will do anything to see Reagan doesn't get credit for ending the cold war. Time magazine actually gave Gorby it's man of the decade award in order to shift credit to gorby. The man was even more inept than Carter. He ran in an election in Russia and received less than 1% of the vote. Donald duck gets 2% when he makes the ballot.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

This is interesting.

CBS legend Don Hewitt hasn't been shy about criticizing Dan Rather, but the grand old man of "60 Minutes" had stopped short of publicly recommending termination for the central figure in CBS News' painful 2004 Memogate flap.

Until yesterday.

"Should Dan Rather have been fired?" Time magazine managing editor Jim Kelly asked the 83-year-old Hewitt during a Court TV journalism panel at Michael's.

"Yes," Hewitt answered. He suggested that the 74-year-old Rather - a "60 Minutes" correspondent since stepping down last March as "Evening News" anchor - was politically motivated in airing a controversial pre-election report on President Bush's National Guard service.

"I have a built-in bias against reporters who have axes to grind," Hewitt said. "I think there are reporters that allow their own bias to encroach on their journalism, and that's a crime against journalism."

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Even more interesting

Hillary Meter Slipping To New Lows

Rasmussen reports that its polling shows support for a presidential run by Hillary Clinton at its lowest point in over a year. Only 27% would "definitely" vote for the former First Lady, while 43% have no intention of ever casting a vote for her:
Among Democrats, the number who would definitely vote for Clinton dropped 11 percentage points over the past two weeks.

Eleven points in two weeks is more than a statistical anomaly -- that's quite a meltdown. Hillary has had an eventful fortnight or so in politics, however. She not only publicly opposed the Alito nomination, but she also joined in the failed filibuster. She referred to Congress as a "plantation" run by mean Republicans. Her recent speeches on religion and abortion designed to position herself to the center apparently does not stand up to her more revealing actions and rhetoric elsewhere.

It also might reflect a decline in Democratic fortunes altogether. The party embarrassed itself in its zeal to smear Justice Alito and in the performance of the specific Senators who took part in their latest in a series of Judiciary psedo-lynchings. It also miscalculated terribly on the NSA intercept program, which not only once again painted them as soft on national defense but gave George Bush an opportunity to rebound from a polling collapse of his own. With Bush now at an improved 47% approval rating, the Democrats not only missed their opportunity but reinforced their image as weak and out of touch -- an image that most seriously affects their frontrunner for 2008.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone notice "Prof. Bainbridge" lifted the wikipedia quote from one of his commenters, without giving credit? Isn't plagiarism one of the more serious sins in academia?

Posted by: anon on February 9, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Reagan is a Top Ten president!!

rdw: Reagan is a Top Ten president!!

rdw: Reagan is a Top Ten president!!

rdw: Rating current and very recent Presidents is meaningless.

Inconsistency, thy name is rdw.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 9, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK
he conversation is about Federal Taxes not Social Security taxes.

Social Security taxes are federal taxes.

Decreasing top-end income tax rates and increasing payroll tax rates had the effect of shifting the federal tax burden from the rich to the poor. This distributional shift goes a long way to explaining why the Reagan expansion also featured a sharp increase in income inequality, a feature not found in the Clinton-era expansion (which saw narrowing inequality along with rapid growth), which was not fueled by a regressive tax-shift. Which is, itself, a big factor in why Clinton left office even more popular than Reagan did -- most people did much better under Clinton's boom then under Reagan's.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

"It kills libs to know he advanced supply-side economics"
Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I observed an economics forum which analyzed and discussed "his" theory at my university. Near the end I got to ask the esteemed economists a question. I asked them if the theory they were so in love with would ever be put into practice in Washington in light of the political division that existed. At first none of them wanted to answer. Finally one of them did and had to admit it would never actually be put into practice.

Yeah, we libs shiver with fear when the name Reagan is mentioned. We feared his stupidity and disregard for commonsense regard for caution while he had his finger on the nuclear button.

Posted by: MarkH on February 9, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

"He should have been off somewhere else, raising money or cutting brush, eating birthday cake or pretending to play a gift guitar."

Or reading The Pet Goat.

I just loved the smirky, Heh Heh hug he gave Lowrey after his eulogy. Kind of a like it was a Dubya Roast.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 9, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Social Security taxes are federal taxes.


Social Security are federal taxes but they are NOT Federal income taxes designed to support Federal programs.

Social security taxes are designed to go into a trust fund to be returned to the contributer in the form of insurance and retirement payments. We finance our own senior citizen benefits. The amount one gets back is determined by the amount one pays in. The SS system is designed to be used solely for and by it's contributers. It is NOT designed to support Govt spending in ANY way. The Federal Government finances it's requirements via income taxes, exercise taxes and other collection systems.

They are two separate and distinct systems.

Decreasing marginal tax rates were designed to reverse the entire disincentive aspects of the tax codes. Marginal tax rates of 70% are bonehead stupid. Once a person gets over 50% in total taxes their focus shifts from making money and keeping their money. It results is a radical change in behavior and a surge in business for tax lawyers, accountants and lobbyists and politicians. Rather than focus on improving their product or business the focus becomes beating Uncle Sam. It is insanely stupid to punish success.

The most positive result of the shift led by Reagan is that the top tax payers paid dramatically more in taxes because they declared dramatically more in income. The portion to total taxes paid by the top 5% more than doubled. The portion to Federal income taxes paid by the bottom 50% shrunk substantially.

The latest data is from the 2002 taxes. The following incomes split levels from the IRS are (% of total individual income tax in parenthesis):

Top 1%: above $ 285,424 (33.71%)
Top 5%: above $ 126,525 (53.80%)
Top 10%: above $ 92,663 (65.73%)
Top 25%: above $ 56,401 (83.90%)
Top 50%: above $ 28,654 (96.50%)
Bottom 50%: below $ 28,654 (4.50%)

The President's Tax cuts actually increase the burden on the wealthy while providing greater relief to the bottom 50 (who are not contributing proportionally to the federal coffers).

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

"No President [speaking of Reagan] have ever made such dramatic changes to the tax code ..."

Yeah, you have Reagan to thank for the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was not indexed for inflation & so will within a few years sweep in most middle-class taxpayers, denying them deductions for state and local income taxes, home mortgages, etc.

Posted by: Cal Gal on February 9, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

cm, "Reagan didn't fight the cold war any different than any other sitting President".

"Right. "Gorbachev, tear down this wall". Pretty bold I would say. cm, what planet do you live on?"
Posted by: Jay on February 9, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK


Is that all you've got, "tear down this wall"?

Doesn't take much to impress you does it?
Tear down this wall! woooo hoooo!

Posted by: MarkH on February 9, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

I asked them if the theory they were so in love with would ever be put into practice in Washington in light of the political division that existed. At first none of them wanted to answer. Finally one of them did and had to admit it would never actually be put into practice.

You've lost me here.

At it's core supply-side economics is about reducing marginal tax rates in order to incent success. Reagan reduced marginal tax rates dramatically. At the top level rates were 70% when he was elected and 28% when he left. It's also about simplification by eliminating as much of the complexity as possible thereby letting the market rather than the govt guide investment and work activity. Reagan reduced the number of rates from 14 to 2 and greatly reduced the number of exemptions.

I am not suggesting he did it alone. We have Presidents not Kings. He worked very effectively with Congress and in 1986 Dan Rostenkowski helped push what was the most sweeping overhaul of Federal Taxes since the tax was created in 1913 thru the House.

Most supply-siders would prefer a flat tax with no exemptions or classes of income. Capital gains would be the same as wages or dividends. We'd use a post card. Is this what you mean will never happen here? It is an irony that Russia and much of Eastern Europe enacted flat taxes. If that's your point you are probably correct.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK
Social Security are federal taxes but they are NOT Federal income taxes designed to support Federal programs.

They are federal taxes.
They are taxes on income authority from which derives from the Constitutional provision allowing for taxes on income from whatever source derived.
They support federal programs, both Social Security and other programs (since, after all, the current surplus is consumed by other programs with the promise of paying it back with revenue from other sources when Social Security needs it, a promise the sitting President describes as "empty"); indeed, it was a change in policy under Reagan which produced a large SS surplus to spend on other programs, and which reduced, somewhat, the massive borrowing from outside the federal government necessitated by Reagan's combination of cuts in other taxes and orgiastic spending.

Social security taxes are designed to go into a trust fund to be returned to the contributer in the form of insurance and retirement payments. We finance our own senior citizen benefits. The amount one gets back is determined by the amount one pays in. The SS system is designed to be used solely for and by it's contributers.

No, its not. Its designed, rather explicitly since the Reagan era reforms, to fund present government operations in return for a promise of future SS subsidies from other federal revenues.


Decreasing marginal tax rates were designed to reverse the entire disincentive aspects of the tax codes.

Increasing payroll taxes increased the marginal tax rates paid by the poorest workers on each additional dollar of income. Decreasing the top marginal tax rates decreased this for the richest. The Reagan tax policy was, quite simply, a burden shift from the rich to the poor.


Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

cm, "Reagan didn't fight the cold war any different than any other sitting President".

Reagan was the exact opposite of Jimmy Carter and of the ENTIRE liberal intelligencia.

You might be correct up thru LBJ and Nixon. Carter was a total sap and Breznev played him for a total sap. Carters Presidency marked the high water mark of Soviet and Cuban adventurism. It was a low point for American foreign policy. The russians were active on every continent and especially so in Afghanistan, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. He was so weak Iranian students we able to push him around for 444 days.

When Reagan came in US foeign policy was completely reversed. Reagan came right at the Rssians and Cubans ALL over the planet. More than any other President reagan expressed his total contempt for their ideology and did so on a regular basis. He humiliated Gorby with his Russian jokes every time he saw him and make it clear from the 1st minute of their 1st meeting he meant exactly what he said.

The most interesting thing about his comments wasn't what or how hsaid it but the reaction of the left. We can look back on it now and just chuckle at how pathetic was passed as liberal intellegence actually was. Strobe Talbot, madeline Albright, Arthur Schleshinger Jr, J K Galbraith, Richard Holbrooke and every professor on every Ivy league university was trashing Reagan for not understanding the USSR had a viable system we had to learn to live with because it would be around for a long time.

This is where the internet really sucks. All of these guys made more than a few statements they'd like to take back.

Reagan was spot on. They, all of the brains, have been proven to be morons.

We can at least agree that since the 80's the term liberal intelligencia has become a certified oxymoron. The Democrats get zero value from academia these days and in fact they are a political liability. Reagan destroyed them.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Increasing payroll taxes increased the marginal tax rates paid by the poorest workers on each additional dollar of income. Decreasing the top marginal tax rates decreased this for the richest. The Reagan tax policy was, quite simply, a burden shift from the rich to the poor.

We'll just have to disagree.

As a practical matter your argument has had little political value. The attempt to combine these two taxes has never been successful and won't be anytime soon. People understand the differences between social security and federal income taxes.

I'm a flat tax fan but I've never gotten crazy about Tax rates. It's always been a perverse situation for libs and win/win for people like me. We have a small army of tax lawyers and accountants making a very, very good living making sure the top 30% have a range of options to hide or defer their income. There are always options. It's silly to think you'll outsmart these people. The reason they are so successful is because they are hard working and smart. No one at their level counts gross income. They count net income and it's net income they always work at increasing. If they need to invest in equipment and hire people to do more business toget ther that's what they'll do. If they need to hire a tax lawyer that's what they'll do.

It's really not that hard. Look at your boy Teddy. How much you think the kennedy's paid in estate taxes? If you're picking a number > Zero try again.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK
cm, "Reagan didn't fight the cold war any different than any other sitting President".

Hey, look, its the second time someone has quoted the exact same thing I never wrote and falsely attributed it to me.

If you (or Jay) lead with an obvious lie, it doesn't lend credibility to the rest of what you say.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 9, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

My apologies. I meant to find the original post and verify it was yours but apparently got distracted. My bad but it was not intentional. It was sloppy.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Increasing payroll taxes increased the marginal tax rates paid by the poorest workers on each additional dollar of income.

Many liberals seek to lump SS Tax in with Federal Income taxes but they need to be careful. The SS tax has been successful in that it's widely accepted as fair. We're all treated the fame. It is the original flat tax. It's a shared trust and each of us has the same vested interest in keeping it solvent.

It is NOT a welfare program and this is very significant. The natural extension of the liberal strategy is to fundementally change SS and make it a welfare program. This would create a hugely positive issue for the GOP and a disaster for the democratic party.

Federal income taxes are hated and as a result tax cuts have been a winnning issue for the GOP for 30 years. Why would you even think of doing the same to SS taxes?

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

We're all treated the fame. It is the original flat tax. It's a shared trust and each of us has the same vested interest in keeping it solvent.

We're hardly treated the same. And it's hardly a flat tax. A chamber made earning 20k pays a rate of 6.5% (13% if you consider the employer contribution, some of which would have ended up in the worker's paycheck). A CEO making 2 millon a year pays a rate of something like .5%. That's not flat. That's regressive.

Posted by: Dannie on February 9, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

CEO making 2 millon a year pays a rate of something like .5%. That's not flat. That's regressive.

Posted by: Dannie on February 9, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

But benefits are capped too. If you taxed a CEO on the full 2 million, you'd be taxing him on pay that can't be used to increase benefits.

Posted by: McA on February 9, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, you have Reagan to thank for the Alternative Minimum Tax which was not indexed for inflation

Not quite. The ATM was not a Reagan initiative and he is the 1st President to index marginal tax brackets for inflation.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

We're hardly treated the same. And it's hardly a flat tax. A chamber made earning 20k pays a rate of 6.5% (13% if you consider the employer contribution, some of which would have ended up in the worker's paycheck). A CEO making 2 millon a year pays a rate of something like .5%. That's not flat. That's regressive.


It's not regressive. Everyone pays the identical rate. Contributions are capped because SS payments at the other end are capped. We pay SS taxes on SS wages and SS wages are capped. A persons top salary is irrelevent. Only SS wages are relevent.

Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Think Tom has a good shot at re-election?

DeLay Lands Coveted Appropriations Spot

By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer
Wed Feb 8, 5:39 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay, forced to step down as the No. 2 Republican in the House, scored a soft landing Wednesday as GOP leaders rewarded him with a coveted seat on the Appropriations Committee.

DeLay, R-Texas, also claimed a seat on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers. The subcommittee also has responsibility over NASA a top priority for DeLay, since the Johnson Space Center is located in his Houston-area district.


Posted by: rdw on February 9, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK
Many liberals seek to lump SS Tax in with Federal Income taxes but they need to be careful.

There are two very different kinds of lumping, and you are -- deliberately I suspect -- equivocating here. Yes, there is a political difficulty with eliminating SS taxes and bundling them into the general federal income taxes because of the essentially false perception that individuals "contributions" to Social Security directly pay for that individuals benefits.

That has nothing to do with the validity of, when someone makes claims about marginal rates of "federal taxes" levied on income, actually looking at all federal taxes levied on income.

The SS tax has been successful in that it's widely accepted as fair. We're all treated the fame. It is the original flat tax. It's a shared trust and each of us has the same vested interest in keeping it solvent.

Well, no, none of those statements, except the "widely accepted" (I'd use "perceived") "as fair" are, in fact, true. People are treated very differently, its not a flat tax (some people pay a zero marginal rate, some people pay a nonzero marginal rate; a flat tax, by definition, has all marginal rates equal and, therefore, SS is not a flat tax; it is a regressive tax, as lower marginal rates are found at higher income levels), and not everyone has the same vested interest in keeping it solvent (suggesting that they do ignores, for one thing, the diminishing marginal utility of additional income.)

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush finally made a trip to a real "1st Amemdment Zone"?

Posted by: Neon on February 10, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

That has nothing to do with the validity of, when someone makes claims about marginal rates of "federal taxes" levied on income, actually looking at all federal taxes levied on income.

It has everything to do with it. SS taxes and Federal income taxes should never be part of the same discussion. They are separate and distinct taxes and programs.

Liberals love to combine them to sell their class warfare arguments, i.e., is the system regressive? It's at most a mildly effective argument chiefly because adds complexity and it confuses. It's biggest success is in manufacturing victimhood. As a political issue class warfare and victimhood have been a major loser with the best examples being Reagan in 1981 and Gingrich in 1994.

I suspect the argument grows progressively weaker as we become wealthier and the ownership society grows. There are far more haves than have nots.

Robert Reich had a furious debate with a supply-sider I can't remember a few years back on SS. RR was advocating some kind of SS tax rollback as a way of making tax cuts 'fairer'. The supply-sider warned him that it would be the equivalent of turning SS into a welfare program and could thus destroy it. RR went absolutely crazy. I happen to like him a lot. We've never agreed on a thing but he's incredibly intelligent, well spoke, quick and usually comical. This time he lost it and he lost it because he knows he can't trump that argument. He became enraged and stopped just short of saying, "don't you dare say that". Obviously this was a direct hit for the supply-sider so he came back to it repeatdly.

This is how I see that debate play out. Anytime lib make a move to change SS taxes to make it in any way fit their description of progressivity they'll be accused of turning SS into a welfare program. It is a devastating argument and will stop any movement cold.

The argument you made in the last paragraph I cannot address due to time but I think you are talking about the exceptions. Effectively I am treated exactly as my neighbor. I pay 7.xx% for every dime up until $XX,XXX. If we pay the same in we get the same out. If I pay 10% less I get 10% less out. It it this aspect that I use to suggest fairness or equality. It is thid aspect which makes SS relative popular. Make me pay someone else's bill and it's a welfare program and I want nothing to do with it.

Posted by: rdw on February 10, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Make me pay someone else's bill and it's a welfare program and I want nothing to do with it.

Then you must be opposed to Operation Iraq, since we are paying the Iraqi's bills in both blood and dollars.

So, I guess you are lying when you say you want nothing to do with welfare, because in fact you are not opposed to the war in Iraq.

But, then, we've always known you to be a liar, so your mendacity on the current issue is hardly a surprise.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: It's biggest success is in manufacturing victimhood.

Pretty much a description of conservative foreign policy, except that there are actual victims involved with conservative foreign policy.

Like the Kurds Saddam gassed.

Or the nuns raped and murdered in Central America, which Reagan and Bush 41 white-washed.

Posted by: Advocate for God on February 10, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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