Thursday, 2/3/11, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

31 responses to “Thursday, 2/3/11, Public Square

  1. “…regarding Congress’ Commerce power, “what is this power? It is the power to regulate. That is–to proscribe the rule by which commerce is governed.” To my mind, that is the end of the story of the constitutional basis for the mandate.” – Charles Fried

  2. AIG CEO: Liberals are deadbeats
    The head of the government-owned insurance company claims “culture” explains why business is better in red states

    According to Benmosche, cultural reasons explain why AIG’s mortgage insurance subsidiary is doing better in red states than blue states

    “All of the states where we’re a leader, where we’re the No. 1 insurer, are red states, all of the states where we’re at the bottom are blue states,”Benmosche, 66, said yesterday at a conference in Washington. “Part of what we found out is that our model is about culture and it’s about the attitude in the public. And what we find is where there’s more of a tendency for people to be more liberal, more that the government is responsible for what happens to me.”

    In other words, liberals are deadbeats. They’re not buying mortgage insurance because they’ll be happy to walk away from their loans, no doubt whistling “This Land is Your Land” while they shred their mortgage statements.

    I am unaware of any hard numbers breaking down the political affiliations of homeowners who have gone into default on their mortgages. Of the states with the biggest housing busts, California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona, only California is firmly in the blue category. (Florida flips back and forth, but judging by the most recent state election results, is now definitely in the red.) So it’s hard to generalize from that data.

    What I do know is that red states notoriously consume more federal dollars than they pay in taxes, for the very simple reason that red states tend to be poorer than blue states, and thus consume more than their fair share of such government benefits as Medicaid. So it might be prudent to exercise restraint when speculating about personal responsibility and the government dole according to which way electoral votes tend to fall.

    And what’s absolutely indisputable is that AIG is the poster child for the entire category of “irresponsible company that had to be bailed out by the government.” AIG’s credit swap salesmen were ground zero for the financial crisis, and in order to prevent their recklessness from taking down the entire banking systme with them, the federal government poured as much as $180 billion into the company. The U.S. Treasury now owns 92 percent of the company.

    That isn’t Benmosche’s fault, as he joined the circus long after the big tent had already gone up in flames, but you’d still think he could be a little more sensitive. The government, after all, is responsible for his company having the opportunity to make any profits whatsoever.

    • fragotwofortwo

      “That isn’t Benmosche’s fault, as he joined the circus long after the big tent had already gone up in flames, but you’d still think he could be a little more sensitive. The government, after all, is responsible for his company having the opportunity to make any profits whatsoever.”

      AIG should not even exist. When AIG was bailed out it was then the peoples company. To make the taxpayers whole again the company should have been broken up and sold off to pay for the bailout. The parties that profited from illegal activities {corporate officers}should be stripped of all assets, and become unemployable at any company that does business or is regulated by the government.

      As far as the red state versus blue state nonsense, you can get away with a little more fraud in the red states. At the very least please explain why this happens and provide evidence and examples written in language that the man on the street can understand.

      Lastly if everything is going to be politicized along ideological lines, expect an Egyptian style backlash. Cut social services and spending to the unemployed and desperate then expect it very soon.

  3. The cartoon on this thread header could describe the GOP on every issue. They have NO new ideas, or solutions.

    On health care: Although the Republican pledge is to “repeal and replace” the health care law, there has been no significant replacement plan offered. Republican leaders have said they plan to come up with an alternative plan but have offered no specifics.

    On cutting the deficit: gradually turning Medicare into a voucher program, curbing Social Security benefits, and allowing younger workers to divert Social Security taxes into private accounts. Cutting spending on education — in fact eliminate the departments of both education and transportation.

    Here’s how ‘specific’ Paul Ryan, House Budget Committee chairman gets in his ‘ideas and solutions’:

    “We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations, and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity.’’

    Don’t they ever stop and wonder when any of what Ryan said needs to be reclaimed ever happened under GOP leadership in the first place? When was the last time the GOP was in charge that we were “blessed with unprecedented prosperity”?

    • wicked

      I would’ve thought the near total collapse of Wall Street, banks, and securities would be enough to scare thinking people away from putting SS taxes into private accounts. It was a bad idea when BushCo came up with it, it’s an even worse idea now. If it hadn’t been for the “government” stepping in with our tax money to keep these financial institutions afloat, how many people would have lost their entire savings? I know people who lost money, but are slowly recovering most of it.

      Short term memory? Maybe next time we let it all fail. Let the country crumble into a pile of nothing. Then let’s see how many are crying for help.

    • It could be short-term memory problems as you suggest. Whatever it is, we know the GOP constituency not only approve but cheer on their congress critters and their lack of ideas.

    • indypendent

      From what I’ve seen and heard from Republican Tea Partiers is the same old mantra that has worked for many years for them – all for me and none for thee.

      Even the founding fathers allowed slavery to continue while writing the words all men are created equal – and why do you think these men did that?

      It really had nothing to do with white men hating black men. Bottom line it was the economics of the white wealthy men making MONEY off the black men’s labor. And money wins out each and every time if that is the only true thing one worships.

      And isn’t the Tea Party Republicans basically saying the same thing now – all for me and none for thee?

      BTW – that mantra can also be used by – rules for thee but not for me. This particular mantra goes hand in hand with the Religioius Right Republicans. These are the folks that like to preach down to everyone else but they seem to be able to do whatever they please and it is okay.

    • indypendent

      Look at today’s Republican Party pandering to these corporations when they outsource jobs, or their desire to get rid of unions, or to not raise the minimum wage, or to not provide access to health care insurance for all Americans.

      Today we don’t have slavery like the Founding Fathers did – but we do have corporations and a political party that still think it is their God-given right to use people in any way they like to make money for THEM.

      But what is really sad and pathetic is how so many so-called Christian Social Conservative Republicans support this behavior and mindset.

  4. indypendent

    Lastly if everything is going to be politicized along ideological lines, expect an Egyptian style backlash. Cut social services and spending to the unemployed and desperate then expect it very soon

    fragot – you bring up an excellent point. I’ve heard several people say that an uprising like we’ve been witnessing in Egypt could never happen here.

    WTF? The issues of the protesters are basically three-fold:
    1) high unemployment
    2) lack of government representation
    3) lack of government services for every day life.

    If the Tea Party Republicans think all their budget cutting just to the social programs is going to satisfy those Americans currently receiving them – they will be shown the door.

    If the Tea Party Republicans think they can run roughshod over everyone else in the political world – again, they will be shown the door.

    If the Tea Party Republicans want to repeal health care reform and not replace it with anything – again, they will be shown the door.

    The lesson from Egypt should be this – government officials should never take anything for granted. And perhaps those wearing the biggest 3-corner hat with tea bags stapled to them should also heed this lesson.

    Tunisia was first in protesting. Now it is Egypt. Next is Yemen. Where to next?

    • indypendent

      I forgot one issue – high unemployment.

      I remember House Speaker John Boehner stating that Republicans are the ones that know how to create jobs.

      So, where are the jobs????

  5. indypendent

    Looks like those Republicans who wanted to redefine rape have had a change of heart – or do they just know when to give up the political ghost because of the writing on the wall?

    • Probably someone explained to them that women are more than half the adult population. I doubt they actually realize how violently they were attacking women’s rights, since they’ve never shown me an indication they have any regard for women holding any rights.

      Doesn’t Boehner have a wife and two daughters? He was instrumental in wanting to redefine rape — shows how little regard he holds for women.

      There’s a rumor going around about him and some extra-martial affairs. If proven valid it would be further proof he thinks of women only as sex toys for men.

    • indypendent

      I truly wonder if most of these Republicans even think before they speak.

      Seriously, I am not trying to be funny. They say some of the stupidest things and then all their Repub-bots sit and applaud.

      I just don’t get all that blind loyalty jazz.

    • wicked

      Many of these men believe women who are raped asked for it, so of course their women couldn’t be raped. Their women would never appear to be asking for it.

  6. indypendent

    Journalists are now being rounded up, beaten and detailed in Egypt. According to this article, the Egyptian Prime Minister stated there was a blatant mistake made when pro-Mubarak supporters showed up in the midst of the protesters.

    But a Cabinet spokesman is blaming others – certainly not the government.

    I heard on MSNBC this morning that the radical Islam Brotherhood is being blamed for sending in their thugs. Which could be possible – but there have also been reports that these violent thugs were bused in and were govenrment employees.

    But would it really be a shocker to find out if a dictator allowed a radical group to come into what has been a peaceful protest and turn it violent? Ah, what a convenience to have a whipping boy whenever we need one.

    • indypendent

      detailed = detained…

    • wicked

      I read the other day that the army would not move against the anti crowd. It doesn’t appear they are now, either. They’re doing their best to act as a buffer between the two groups.

      Any idea of what kind of people the pro group consists of?

    • Some of the anti government people held one from the pro group down while they took the police ID out of his pocket. They are Mubarak’s thugs. Some have admitted to being paid.

  7. indypendent

    fnord – how’s your mom doing?

    • She’s doing really well! I think feeling housebound. I took her to PT (where she is a star) yesterday but for the most part she doesn’t get out. We’ll have some better weather soon, I hope. 😉

      We go to PT again tomorrow.

    • 6176746f6c6c65

      I thought she would be a star at PT; just the way she struck me. Good for her; it will benefit her (and you) if she continues like this.

  8. indypendent

    I really like Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ husband. He sounds like a great person. I especially liked what he said about people praying.

    One interesting thing to note in this article is the fact that President Obama spoke to the same National Prayer Breakfast.

    Remember the stink the Social Conservative Christian Republicans have made in years past about Obama not even being willing to have the Prayer Breakfast or somehow snubbing the Social Conservative Christians?

    That bit about praying was spot-on Mr. Giffords. And I do think that something good will come from the tragedy in Tucson.

    • wicked

      I would imagine if you’ve been floating around in space, you actually begin to understand the enormity of things, and how other things, like churches, mosques, etc. are but specks, when it comes right down to it. Can you imagine someone on one of the spacecrafts throwing a fit because there isn’t a church where they can stop and pray?

    • indypendent

      I never thought about that particular problem – wicked.

      Thanks for the laugh……this has been a long day,….

  9. indypendent

    here we go folks…….Paul Ryan – the Royal Republican with the Axe – has announced his intentions.. Notice he has promised more to come…….

    Did you notice his increase of $8 billion in defense? I wonder which defense contractor has bankrolled a certain Congress Critter?

    Also – the Tea Party claim they want the defense budget cut also – how is this $8 billion increase going to sit with them?

    Pay extra attention to the little sentence in there about how their proposal also included tax cuts that are not paid for.

    What, you say…….color me shocked?

    I am safe to assume all these proposed budget cuts in this huge bill has been fact-checked by the Constitution – as was promised by the House Republicans.

    Or did that promise slip their minds?

    • I also noticed the prediction of how many jobs this would kill.

      I predict —

      If jobs are lost the GOP will blame it on President Obama, and bear none of the responsibility themselves. Just like they wouldn’t have accepted the responsibility for the costs to repeal health care. They will continue to deflect responsibility.

      They will however, out of the other side of their mouths, continue to blame congress and not bush the lesser for the economic collapse during his last two years as president. It didn’t start decades earlier, in fact it didn’t start until the democrats were the majority party in congress!

      Just to make it perfectly clear — it will be the president’s fault if he is a democrat, it will be the fault of congress if the democrats are in the majority. Never shall the GOP be at fault, they are perfect!

    • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm employment (the standard measure of jobs) declined by nearly 8.4 million between its most recent peak in December 2007 and when the job slump bottomed out two years later, in December 2009. Of those lost jobs, 4.4 million disappeared while Bush was president, and just under 4 million vanished during Obama’s first year.

    • wicked

      We can thank outsourcing for the majority of that. The rest can be attributed to the fall of Wall Street.

  10. wicked

    Saw the cover of Life–or a special edition of it–celebrating Reagan at 100!

    And I thought to myself that a dead Reagan at 100 is about the same as a the living Reagan was as president.

  11. fragotwofortwo

    Democrats and Allies Missing the Big Picture on “Rape Redefinition” Bill

    The conservatives understand the art of negotiation and I think they have put this provision in there for the express purpose of creating a firestorm, drawing the attention of the pro-choice groups and then “reluctantly” giving it up in exchange for the Democrats giving in on all the other, less sexy, changes they really want. Changes which will restrict abortion for far more people throughout the country than this rape redefinition ever would.

    The fight to extend the Hyde Amendment and make the permanent law of the land has been going on for more than 30 years. It has been a hard fought battle, with the forces for women losing in increments, over and over and over again, mostly due to the fact that they’ve been used as bargaining chips in “more important” battles […]

    So now we are dealing with a new congress that is determined to pick up where the health care bill left off. And it appears that the Democrats are getting distracted by the bright shiny object and failing to engage on the real issue the Republicans are targeting, which is a further restriction on abortion rights and the final codification of Hyde. And as usual, I have to wonder if they can possibly be this dumb or if they are preparing to cave as part of their ongoing quixotic strategy to find “common ground” going into 2012. Indeed, considering the president’s comments about “tradition” I have to think he would be more than willing to entertain a bipartisan agreement on this issue. There is no reason to believe that he won’t sign the bill. (Of course, he and the Democrats can heroically take credit for ensuring that there was no “rape” provision, so we’ll all be asked to cheer our team for the good work they are doing on our behalf.)