Tuesday, July 21, 2009


A few months ago, after Obama became president, my rightwing friends who comment on this blog, and the rightwing media spokespeople they parrot, were all pointing to the declining stock market as an indicator not that the previous administration had screwed up royally on the economy, but that somehow Obama was a failure because the stock market hadn't turned around in a month or two.

Then the stock market stopped declining and eventually started climbing. But no connection between that and Obama's policies has been noted by the same rightwing critics, they just shift the goalposts. Now it's the deficit, which their Republican leaders grew from the Clinton administration surplus. Back then, when Clinton defenders would point out the great prosperity that led to the great surplus, rightwing critics would shift the goalposts to marital fidelity and in fact spent more money on investigating Clinton's private life than on regulating the economy leading to...

Now of course when critics question the morality and hypocrisy of white male Republican Senators who have extramarital sex and/or talk down to women Supreme Court nominees, they shift the goalposts again, to health care reform and pass memos (the Republican National Committee for one) about how they need to defeat any Health Care Reform, but refuse to offer alternatives.

Republican Chairman Michael Steele actually answered a policy question from a reporter at a news conference Steele called to ciriticize the health care reform proposals of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress, Steel said he wasn't there to discuss health care policy when challenged to suggest alternatives! Because he and his party have no alternative suggestions, except more of the same or back to the future.

And now there's TV ads showcasing a supposed Canadian citizen who claims she would have died under the Canadian health care system and had to come to the USA to get the treatment she needed and warns us about adopting the Canadian health care system for the USA like, it is implied, Obama and the Democrats are trying to do. Only that's not true, on almost any level (as I've said before my daughter-in-law's family is Canadian and they wouldn't trade their system for ours ever, nor would most Canadians), including that THE DEMOCRATS AREN'T PROPOSING ANYTHING LIKE THAT!

But it is good to see "Harry & Louise" back on the air, the ads that the corporate and rightwing opponents to health care reform under Clinton ran with a white couple worrying that the government was going to get between them and their doctor and "control" their medical options. I was friends in L.A. with the actor who played "Harry" and I'm happy to see him working again in the new commercial and even happier it's FOR health reform this time.

Sunday's NY Times had some great articles on the Op-Ed page relating to a lot of the above, check them out: Frank Rich here, and Maureen Dowd here, and an unrelated—but not entirely—and very entertaining take on the decline of our space program by Tom Wolfe here.


JIm said...

It is nice to see a little life in the stock market. I am even willing to call it the Obama market if the stock gods will look kindly. However, relative to other stock markets including China and Europe the US stock market seems to be held hostage to the high tax and anti business policies of Obamanomics listed below:

-Out of control Federal Spending illustrated by the Stimulus bill, and a 1.8 trillion deficit
-The possible passage of the Cap and Tax bill increasing energy costs for everyone
-Possible passage of Government takeover of health care with substantially higher overall costs according to the Congressional Budget Office, rationing and elimination of personal choice like the Canadian Socialist debacle
- US corporate tax rates of an average of 40% are the second highest in the world and will be above 50% if Obama’s proposals pass

World markets have significantly outperformed the US through the second quarter. The International Monetary Fund projections for the US economic recovery is projected to be weak with little job recovery compared to the rest the world.

Obamanomics is a pox on our economy!

PS - NYT Rich – There was no fire works because Sotomayor lied about being a strict constructionalist and a judge who favor certain groups over others in her rulings. She denied she really meant all that wise Latina stuff in her speeches. The Senators of the Democrat persuasion helped perpetrate her fraud.

The lovely Maureen belabors Republican sexual shenanigans but does not mention the Democrats fraud, bribery, tax evasion a’la Rangel, Dodd, Jefferson, Murtha etc., etc.

JIm said...

US Economic Recovery with a huge surge in employment-"So easy even a cave man can do it"!

Reduce the cost of doing business in the US by:

1-Cutting or eliminating Corporate Taxes
2-Cut or eliminate dividend and capital gains taxes
3-Eliminate or reduce the minimum wage (this has resulted huge cut in opportunities that were available to teenagers)
4-Cancel the Stimulus Bill

The above should be followed by an across the board cut in govenment spending, possibly exempting the military.

JIm said...

Morning Bell: Obama Admits He’s “Not Familiar” With House Bill

During the call, a blogger from Maine said he kept running into an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” President Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.”
This is a truly disturbing admission by the President, especially considering that later in the call, Obama promises yet again: “If you have health insurance, and you like it, and you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.” How can Obama keep making this promise if he is not familiar with the health legislation that is being written in Congress? Details matter.

Butch in Waukegan said...

By claiming it’s a positive development that Harry and Louise are now on the side of health reform you’ve unwittingly exposed the contradictions of claiming that Obama is on the people’s side.

Dig a little deeper. “Harry and Louise” ads are a product of Phrma, an industry lobbying group.  Check out the their website:


First of all, any group that has Montel Williams as a spokesman has got to be suspicious.  But it gets better (worse). The head of this group is Billy Tauzin.

Remember Sicko?  From Michael Moore’s web site:

Fourteen Congressional aides went to work for the industry; Billy Tauzin left Congress to become CEO of PhRMA for a $2 million annual salary.

See, e.g., The Medicare Drug War: An Army of Nearly 1,000 Lobbyists Pushes a Medicare Law that Puts Drug Company and HMO Profits Ahead of Patients and Taxpayers, Public Citizen Congress Watch, June 2004, 

"Retiring Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., who stepped down earlier this year as chairman of the House committee that regulates the pharmaceutical industry, will become the new president and CEO of the drug industry's top lobbying group…Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, called Tauzin's hiring 'yet another example of how public service is leading to private riches.' Tauzin gets a pay package reportedly worth at least $2 million a year, making him one of the highest-paid lobbyists in Washington." "Tauzin switches sides from drug industry overseer to lobbyist," USA Today, December 15, 2004


The AMA and big pharma are supporting Obama's health care reform.  The question now becomes in whose interests are these reforms? Have the insurance, financial and pharmaceutical corporations suddenly lost the desire to maximize their profits?

Or is Obama just another huckster peddling snake oil?

harryn said...

thank God the majority of our country's collective consciousness spoke out on election day and that a few politicians are still heeding the message of the democratic process ...
as far as the business as usual, beltway, opposition politics that relies on misinformation and goalpost repositioning - seems like so much of their behavior is born of fear of obsolescence - which is the inevitable outcome of the change the voters wanted ...

JIm said...

There is a whiff of Tea in the air.

Californians voted down tax increases in the spring. Liberal Republican Arnold, found a backbone and fiscal sanity. He listened to the voters and opposed the liberal Democrats on any new taxes. A tentative agreement has been reached with no new taxes. Government is being cut. Municipalities are being forced to loan money to the state. It is fragile and not ideal, but is a start. There is even talk of drilling off Santa Barbara. The California tax commission is expected to report in August with a recommendation of a tax cut from a graduated rate up to 12% to flat rate of 6.5%, which they hope will stem the exodus from California. Maybe Toyota will cancel their plans to exit.

California has been a trend setter for America. Obamanomics is showing signs of being in trouble. Canadian style socialized medicine may not happen in the US. Medical stocks are rallying in response. Cap and Trade and Tax may be dead. There is still the problem of the tax rise coming with the expiration of the 2003 tax cuts, but maybe even that can be reversed if the innate wisdom of the American people and the spirit of the Tea Parties prevail.

Winston Churchill said, "Americans always do the right thing after they try everything else". It could be we have looked at "Everything Else" in California and decide to choose sanity.

JIm said...

Global Warming update from Al Gore's Tenn.

Coolest July 21 recorded in Nashville as cool wave continues in Tenn.
By Associated Press
7:59 AM CDT, July 21, 2009

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Cool weather has broken a previous low temperature for July 21 in Nashville that was set when Rutherford B. Hayes was president.

When the temperature at the National Weather Service station dipped to 58 degrees at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, it wiped out the previous record low for the date of 60 degrees, which was set in 1877.

NWS forecaster Bobby Boyd noted it was the third consecutive morning when Nashville either tied or broke a daily low temperature record.

Temperatures were cool, but did not break records at several Tennessee cities.

Knoxville dropped to 59 degrees Tuesday morning, Chattanooga had 60 degrees, Tri-Cities recorded 58 degrees and Memphis was 69 degrees.

Ed Baker said...

I invested exactly $10,000
directly into 7 companies
bought directly and got the certificates so I could do my own without a broker

and did the DRIPs with all

at one time ALL worth was (on paper) about
$ 250,000

now everything total the value is about $70,000

a pretty shitty string of investmenting considering this is over 27 years!

but, I'll take it!

have yet to sell a single thing though Pan Am and NIRTS went "belly-up"
ATT (((before the break-up (when I kept T and turned all else into Bell Atlantic (now Verizon)))),
Mobil, Giant Food (which I did sell when that Holland company bought

them out) and WGL and


so if I do sell

by the time I pay taxes and via inflation
my $10,000 investment which was worth $250,000

will net me $8,500!

just enough for this 68 year old to, maybe buy a
27 year old mail-order Asin "bride"!

what a crock we've become what a crock we've always been!

not bad, EH?

JIm said...

Ed Baker,
The US is at a competitive disadvantage because of high corporate and capital gains/dividend tax rates. An average of 40% and going higher vs. China's 15-20% corporate rate and zero percent cap. gains rate does not make for a level playing field. I suspect your stocks might have done better in a different tax environment.

RJ Eskow said...

Love the Tom Wolfe piece. Thanks for pointing it out. Very interesting take ...

Hamster said...

Billy Tauzin epitomizes the worst example of politicians who sell their votes for monetary gain.
While in Congress Tauzin represented the drug lobby and pushed through the Bush senior drug plan.
Seniors, hammered by high drug prices were crying bloody murder.
So Tauzin worked out a deal. The drug companies wouldn’t give an inch. Instead, Bush would send the seniors bills to the American taxpayer.
It was a win for seniors…it was a win for the drug companies…it was a big loss for American taxpayers.

Not surprisingly Tauzin left his job in congress to go to work for…you guessed it…the drug company.

His million dollars plus salary is payback for all the goodies he delivered to the drug lobby for all those years in congress.

Nowadays lobbyist don’t wrap money in paper sacks and shove it under the Congressman’s door. They wait till he leaves office and then hands him the sack in the guise of a “salary”.

The American system of government is so corrupt, America ranks #17 on the corruption index…