Republicans are refusing to pass most legislation in the House


By iwog   Follow   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 8:12am   11,622 views   98 comments
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Even bipartisan legislation. Even the necessary federal highway bill that passed in the Senate by 74 votes.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/wonkbook-congress-fails-on-infrastructure-again/2012/04/02/gIQARwrcqS_blog.html

Republicans are total failures at running government. How long until the approximately 50% of American voters who are holding this country hostage realize this?

Actually Republicans do have a plan to move the bill forward: Speaker John Boehner wants to start allowing earmarks again. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.

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  1. socal2


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    59   1:32pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    tatupu70 says

    Cloud-
    Are you under the impression that Wall St. bankers vote Democrat?

    I can't speak for Cloud.

    But Obama certainly got more Wall Street money than any other politician over the past 20 years.

    http://news.yahoo.com/obama-attacks-banks-while-raking-wall-street-dough-044804642.html

    "Despite his rhetorical attacks on Wall Street, a study by the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Project shows that President Barack Obama has received more money from Wall Street than any other politician over the past 20 years, including former President George W. Bush.

    In 2008, Wall Street’s largesse accounted for 20 percent of Obama’s total take, according to Reuters."

  2. tatupu70


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    60   1:50pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    I can't speak for Cloud.

    You also didn't answer the question.

  3. leo707


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    61   1:53pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    I can't speak for Cloud.

    But Obama certainly got more Wall Street money than any other politician over the past 20 years.

    Isn't that a good sign though? With Obama's high level of integrity it took more money to buy him out. Not like all the others who would compromise their morals and obligations to the public for some loose change.

  4. leo707


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    62   1:58pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CaptainShuddup says

    No I said the right word, you guys are the ones with the comprehension problem. Here I'll go real slow you can parse it. I-can-care-a-less-what-motive-people-have-for-being-a-pain-in-the-ass-wetspot.

    Um, no you didn't the right word is "syllables" not "cyllables".

    Also, "wetspot" is two words, one syllable each. "Motive", "people", and "being" are all two syllable words.

    I hope this clears things up for you pal!

  5. freak80


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    63   2:03pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    But Obama certainly got more Wall Street money than any other politician over the past 20 years.

    I don't doubt it. And shame on him and every other politician (of both parties) that takes money from special interests. Then again, how else to they fund their campaigns?

    The solution is to increase taxes on the ultra-rich so that this kind of thing is less likely. Didn't Obama try to do that? Wasn't it the Republicans who blocked it?

    Again: I have no delusions that Obama is some kind of messianic savior of America. I'm rather indifferent toward him. But the far-right has gone nuts.

  6. socal2


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    64   2:22pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    tatupu70 says

    socal2 says



    I can't speak for Cloud.


    You also didn't answer the question.

    I think it is self evident.

    If Wall Street bankers are willing to shower Obama with more money than any other politician of the past 20 years. It ain't that big of a leap to believe they also voted for him.

    Is this really in contention?

  7. socal2


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    65   2:26pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    Again: I have no delusions that Obama is some kind of messianic savior of America. I'm rather indifferent toward him. But the far-right has gone nuts.

    Gone nuts? Like the new Ryan Plan that still adds trillions to our deficit, albeit at a much slower and smaller pace compared to the Obama budget?

    Is it nutty to try and reign in public sector unions that have destroyed so many big Blue States with crushing debt and benefits that no one can afford?

    Take away all of the dopey cultural issues that the Democrats are trying to gin up to scare folks away from voting Republicans (War on women, war on contraception, war on minorities etc.) and I think you will find that the latest crop of Republicans in Congress have sobered up from their big spending days of "Compassionate Conservatism" and are willing to try and get a handle on our out of control government spending.

  8. tatupu70


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    66   2:35pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    Is this really in contention?

    Yes. My guess is Wall Streeters vote 80/20 for Reps.

    Wall St. gives money to who they think will win. And that was Obama in 2008.

  9. tatupu70


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    67   2:37pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    I think you will find that the latest crop of Republicans in Congress have sobered up from their big spending days of "Compassionate Conservatism" and are willing to try and get a handle on our out of control government spending

    Good. So they are willing to slash the defense budget then? Or find a way to reduce Medicare costs (really healthcare costs in general)?

    Could you post their ideas for defense and healthcare?

  10. iwog


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    68   2:41pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    Gone nuts? Like the new Ryan Plan that still adds trillions to our deficit, albeit at a much slower and smaller pace compared to the Obama budget?

    I wish all Republicans could experience the Ryan plan first hand without dragging the Democratic citizens down with them.

    You Republican drones have no fucking clue how much pain you're in for if Republicans ever capture the White House and Senate. The 2012 campaign is one of pure ignorance and self-destruction on the right.

  11. EBGuy


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    69   2:47pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    It's going to be utter chaos after the elections. All roads lead to Simpson-Bowles.
    “We have been viciously attacked from the left and the right, and when you know you have a good deal is when the left and the right are pounding the snot out of you,” LaTourette said on the House floor.

  12. iwog


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    70   2:50pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Simpson-Bowles was beheaded on the House floor.

    I see zero chance of it ever being resurrected. It might be a good idea, but that doesn't matter much these days.

  13. socal2


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    71   2:54pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    tatupu70 says

    socal2 says



    Is this really in contention?


    Yes. My guess is Wall Streeters vote 80/20 for Reps.


    Wall St. gives money to who they think will win. And that was Obama in 2008.

    Your guess? I at least provided some data showing where they spend their money. People typically put their money where their mouth is. Most uber-rich people I know in California can afford to be Democrats and tend to have a guilt complex over their wealth and vote for Democrats accordingly (i.e. Hollywood, Wall Street, Media....)

  14. EBGuy


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    72   2:59pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I see zero chance of it ever being resurrected.
    December is armageddon. The Tea Party obstructed last July/August and gave us the mini Republican recession (when companies held the line on purchasing because of the uncertainty). Something has to give this December as Bush tax cuts expire, and slash and burn kicks in. The only question is which party will obstruct.

  15. iwog


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    73   3:00pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    Most uber-rich people I know in California can afford to be Democrats and tend to have a guilt complex over their wealth and vote for Democrats accordingly

    Not one single Democrat in America has a guilt complex over their wealth and votes for Democrats accordingly.

    That's just what you were programmed to believe. You can't prove it, you can't even support it, you just blindly believe it.

  16. socal2


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    74   3:00pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    I wish all Republicans could experience the Ryan plan first hand without dragging the Democratic citizens down with them.
    You Republican drones have no fucking clue how much pain you're in for

    Iwog - is it your view that our Federal Government is spending our money well? Do you think California is spending our money well too?

    Do you really think we just have a "revenue problem" and only need to raise taxes in California to fix our staggering deficits and government pension funds? If so, do you think more businesses will come back to California when we raise taxes, or will businesses continue to flee as they are doing now?

  17. CaptainShuddup


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    75   3:14pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (4)  

    leoj707 says

    I hope this clears things up for you pal!

    Shirley you just?

  18. tatupu70


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    76   3:57pm Wed 4 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  
  19. iwog


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    77   8:02am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Cloud says

    Muppets want a rigged game.

  20. iwog


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    78   8:28am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    Iwog - is it your view that our Federal Government is spending our money well? Do you think California is spending our money well too?

    Do you really think we just have a "revenue problem" and only need to raise taxes in California to fix our staggering deficits and government pension funds? If so, do you think more businesses will come back to California when we raise taxes, or will businesses continue to flee as they are doing now?

    Jobs are not fleeing California. People are laid off in a recession and rehired during a recovery. California is about average in terms of jobs leaving and jobs coming in. I have proof.

    http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/report/R_910JKR.pdf

    Now to answer your other question. Governments spend money. That's their job. In a large complex country like this one, it takes a much larger percentage of each citizen's wealth to administer that government.

    You personally may disagree with where the money is going, but I doubt it. Here's the huge bulk of government spending:

    "Defense"
    Federal pensions
    Unemployment insurance
    Medicare
    Medicaid
    Social Security
    Interest on the debt

    What's left is miniscule. Now which one of these budget items are you willing to trash in order to get your fiscal responsibility? Do governments spend money well? Probably not, however ALL spending benefits the economy. Even wasteful spending benefits the economy. The most wasteful program in the United States is far more beneficial to Americans than every single dollar sent abroad.

    Your focus is all wrong. If you want to fix America, fix the trade deficit. National debt owed to Americans is a wash. National debt owed to foreigners is absolutely necessary.

    Why? I have a question for you. What happens to the trade deficit if we are no longer printing federal bonds to get our money back with? This question is far more important to your understanding of economics than an entire year of Fox Business.

  21. freak80


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    79   9:42am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    socal2 says

    Gone nuts? Like the new Ryan Plan that still adds trillions to our deficit, albeit at a much slower and smaller pace compared to the Obama budget?
    Is it nutty to try and reign in public sector unions that have destroyed so many big Blue States with crushing debt and benefits that no one can afford?

    I wasn't referring to "average" fiscal conservatives that want to reign in spending. I was talking about the *far-right* lunatics like the birthers, teabaggers, and theocrats (like Palin, Bachmann, Perry, and to some extent Santorum). That's what's nutty.

  22. freak80


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    80   9:46am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    Even wasteful spending benefits the economy.

    I can't agree with you there. That sounds an awful lot like the "broken window fallacy."

    Shall we burn down buildings to create construction jobs? If so, arsonists should be paid to do their work rather than put in prison.

  23. iwog


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    81   10:33am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    I can't agree with you there. That sounds an awful lot like the "broken window fallacy."

    Shall we burn down buildings to create construction jobs? If so, arsonists should be paid to do their work rather than put in prison.

    In World War II we paid millions of Americans to go destroy stuff and kill people. They call came home, bought cars and homes, and created a boom economy for decades.

    Money is very much misunderstood in the context of supply and demand. In a fictional micro-economy where there is a builder, a food producer, and a bureaucrat, you can have a viable economy as long as everyone needs their house rebuilt every year.

    However if the builder makes the homes too well, he's marginalized and must either rely on charity or starve.

    Planned obsolescence actually proves the broken window fallacy isn't a fallacy. Corporations intentionally lower the quality of certain products to encourage consumption. In other words, they make windows easier to break.

    So why don't we burn down homes to create jobs? Because generally someone either needs to live in that home or collect rent from it. However if Warren Buffett used a teeny tiny fraction of his wealth to build and burn down an entire village every single year, he could support an entire economy and probably turn a profit on the reality show rights.

    This is why a progressive tax system is so critical. It's also why fiscal responsibility during these times is so dangerous.

  24. freak80


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    82   10:54am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    In World War II we paid millions of Americans to go destroy stuff and kill people.

    True. Foreign stuff and foreign people. How'd that economic "stimulus" plan (blowing shit up) work out for Germany and Japan? Not so well. We had to spend billions to rebuild those countries (the Marshall Plan).

    Are you in favor of the wars in Iraq and Afganistan since they act as an economic stimulus?

    iwog says

    However if the builder makes the homes too well, he's marginalized and must either rely on charity or starve.

    Only if he remains a builder forever. He can do something else for society if there are more builders than needed.
    iwog says

    Corporations intentionally lower the quality of certain products to encourage consumption. In other words, they make windows easier to break.

    True. And it's insane. But then again, consumers don't know any better and don't buy stuff that's "built to last". Those values died with our grandparents and we're all worse off because of it.

    iwog says

    So why don't we burn down homes to create jobs? Because generally someone either needs to live in that home or collect rent from it.

    Then why do you imply that war is good for the economy? That's what war is: killing people and breaking things. And burning down homes.

    Iwog I probably agree with 95% of what you say on Patnet. But I can't agree with you here. Society is better off if we destroy stuff just to build it again? How's that an effective use of scarce resources? It's crazy talk.

  25. iwog


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    83   11:07am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    Then why do you imply that war is good for the economy? That's what war is: killing people and breaking things. And burning down homes.

    You have to view "the economy" in a very narrow window. You can't say "war is bad for the economy because people die" or "war is bad for the economy because people lose all their money rebuilding".

    Strictly speaking, the economy is ONLY economic activity. It's people earning money and spending money. That's it.

    Therefore war was very good to the economy of the United States, but it was also very good for the economy of Japan and the economy of Germany. This is totally counter-intuitive because both of these nations were bombed into the stone age, but economically speaking this ensured that whoever wanted to work had a job for decades. It also forced all industries to adopt modern techniques instead of clinging to the past.

    So if destruction and creation are good for an economy, what is bad for an economy? Stagnation and hoarding. If everyone had an indestructible car, that would be the end of the auto industry. If everyone had a magic plant that could grow all the food you needed every year, that would be the end of the agriculture industry.

    Speaking of food, no one worries about food being constantly created and destroyed. It's the natural equivalent of burning down a house and rebuilding it over and over again yet no one stresses over the fact they have to buy food over and over and over again.

    You might also take note of how war takes the largest toll on rich people. If you drop a bomb on a city, it's going to destroy capital assets owned by the rich and the poor. However while the bread-maker might lose an oven, the industrialist will lose a factory worth 1000 times as much.

    In the United States it was the same way, however wealth was drained from the rich in the form of war bonds instead of bombs. You've gotta move the money around. Capitalism is a dead end game without it. It's simply Monopoly with real buildings.

  26. freak80


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    84   11:45am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    Therefore war was very good to the economy of the United States, but it was also very good for the economy of Japan and the economy of Germany. This is totally counter-intuitive because both of these nations were bombed into the stone age, but economically speaking this ensured that whoever wanted to work had a job for decades.

    That's crazy talk.

    Think of it this way: in a perfect economy, there would be *no* jobs.

    Gasp! No jobs?

    Correct. No jobs. Nobody would need to work in a perfect economy.

    What people need are not "jobs", but goods and services.
    Of course, production of these goods and services requires human effot (i.e. jobs). But much less so than in the past, thanks to mechanization.

    Let's take this line of reasoning further. If all goods and services magically produced themselves, nobody would need to work. Isn't that the dream of more than a few science-fiction works? And old tv shows like The Jetsons? Isn't the elimination of ALL "jobs" the ultimate endgame?

    That doesn't mean we'd all sit around doing nothing. Some of us would. But we could do things we WANT to do rather than "jobs." We'd play sports, create art, do hobbies, go to rock concerts, travel the world, go hiking, etc etc. We'd play! And all of our needs would be met by totally automated systems in this hypothetical fantasy economy.

    Now I don't think we'll ever completely eliminate the need for human inputs. I'm not sure that's possible. But who really knows the future?

    iwog says

    Speaking of food, no one worries about food being constantly created and destroyed. It's the natural equivalent of burning down a house and rebuilding it over and over again yet no one stresses over the fact they have to buy food over and over and over again.

    Tell that to millions of people around the world that barely have enough food to survive! It's the dream of humanity to escape mere subsistence. Remember the Garden of Eden story in the Bible? You don't think millions would love to get their "daily bread" for free rather than toiling in the fields all day? Spend a day working in the fields with the undocumented immigrants if you don't get what I mean.

    I really don't see how we can "destroy" our way to prosperity. That's insane. If we're worried about wealth concentration, go back to high top-marginal tax rates like we had in the 50's and 60's. Transfer of wealth is one thing. Destruction is another!

  27. iwog


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    85   11:57am Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    Think of it this way: in a perfect economy, there would be *no* jobs.

    If you're talking about a society where all goods and service are created by robots, you're correct.

    However you're missing part of the equation. What you're talking about is a communist paradise, not a capitalist one.

    In a capitalist system, one person eventually owns everything. There is LITERALLY no reason for anyone else to exist in a society with no jobs. There is no reason to feed them, clothe them, or house them.

    Capitalism is the reason you need destruction. A Monopoly game ends unless you take away all the properties, burn down all the little plastic houses, and start over.

    The reason people are starving is not because there isn't enough food in the world, but because there isn't any motivation to feed them. Rich people (first world citizens) have all the money and all the capital assets. You can't make water flow uphill.

  28. freak80


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    86   12:16pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    iwog says

    If you're talking about a society where all goods and service are created by robots, you're correct.

    Correct. That was my hypothetical "no jobs" economy/society.

    iwog says

    However you're missing part of the equation. What you're talking about is a communist paradise, not a capitalist one.

    I get what you're saying, yes. Fascinating. Maybe the term "techno-communism" would be fitting. :)

    iwog says

    In a capitalist system, one person eventually owns everything. There is LITERALLY no reason for anyone else to exist in a society with no jobs. There is no reason to feed them, clothe them, or house them.
    Capitalism is the reason you need destruction. A Monopoly game ends unless you take away all the properties, burn down all the little plastic houses, and start over.

    Agree. Pure capitalism leads to aristocracy. The Monopoly game shows that well.

    You make a compelling case that destruction can actually be necessary due to capitalism itself.

    My argument: rather than take the wealth of the aristocracy and destroy it, why not give some of it to the very poor? I'm thinking it's better to have a european-style socialist democracy than more wars. We taxed the hell out of the rich to pay for WW2 and the Marshall Plan. If we're going to tax the hell out of the rich again, why not give the money to the poor instead of using it to blow stuff up?

    Or am I scoffing at a straw man at this point?

  29. iwog


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    87   1:17pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    My argument: rather than take the wealth of the aristocracy and destroy it, why not give some of it to the very poor? I'm thinking it's better to have a european-style socialist democracy than more wars.

    That would work great, however now you've got billions of dollars of money from the aristocracy being put to work convincing approximately half of all Americans that this isn't necessary and in fact taxes are still too high for rich people.

    Basically today 2012.

    War works pretty good because it scares the shit out of the very class that has the most to lose: The rich. Bombing works because it destroys assets primarily owned by the rich. The Great Depression was such a shock to the system that a clear majority finally supported a strongly progressive tax system and in 1946 we had a top tax rate of 90% on the rich.

    So I guess I'll modify my statement. Breaking a window is an effective way to stimulate the economy as long as the person paying for the construction and labor can afford it without a corresponding loss to other spending. It's far more beneficial to simply install new windows for the poor, but there is no incentive to do so.

    Therefore the main benefit of destruction economics is incentive to move money. Any other system that forces rich people to move money will also be effective.

  30. iwog


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    88   1:21pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    Or am I scoffing at a straw man at this point?

    I'd certainly favor a national work program paid by progressive taxes to create new infrastructure over paying people to blow things up, but we're still missing an incentive. We need more Warren Buffetts giving away all their money and fewer billionaires moving to Dubai.

  31. freak80


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    89   1:36pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    That would work great, however now you've got billions of dollars of money from the aristocracy being put to work convincing approximately half of all Americans that this isn't necessary and in fact taxes are still too high for rich people.
    Basically today 2012.

    Pretty much yes.

    As I heard someone say once "politics is the art of the possible." Humans are driven by greed and fear. Greed = Capitalism, Fear = War. Maybe that's just how history has to work: cycles of greed and fear, creation and destruction.

  32. freak80


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    90   1:38pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    We need more Warren Buffetts giving away all their money and fewer billionaires moving to Dubai.

    Eventually Dubai will be overrun with dirt-poor suicide bombers.

  33. iwog


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    91   1:50pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    As I heard someone say once "politics is the art of the possible." Humans are driven by greed and fear. Greed = Capitalism, Fear = War. Maybe that's just how history has to work: cycles of greed and fear, creation and destruction.

    Bingo. That's why I think we're headed for dictatorship. It might take a decade or 50 years or longer, but eventually enough rage over the aristocracy will be generated that the people will demand it.

    The odd thing about American politics is that rage over actions of the aristocracy is being carefully molded by propaganda into rage against the government. It's the wolf convincing the sheep to get rid of the sheepdog.

  34. EBGuy


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    92   1:50pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Creative destruction versus actual destruction. I'm not sure you've convinced me ducky. I certainly enjoyed the back and forth, though.

  35. leo707


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    93   2:10pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    iwog says

    The odd thing about American politics is that rage over actions of the aristocracy is being carefully molded by propaganda into rage against the government. It's the wolf convincing the sheep to get rid of the sheepdog.

    Holding the reigns of the Teaparty is one of the smartest things that the aristocracy has done to preserve their position.

  36. marcus


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    94   2:30pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Thanks professor Iwog.

  37. freak80


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    95   3:49pm Thu 5 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    leoj707 says

    Holding the reigns of the Teaparty is one of the smartest things that the aristocracy has done to preserve their position.

    And holding onto the Federal Reserve.

  38. thunderlips11


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    96   7:30pm Fri 6 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    What a great thread.

  39. marcus


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    97   11:47pm Fri 6 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    wthrfrk80 says

    And holding onto the Federal Reserve

    This is independent of one party or the other and is somewhat independent of the aristocracy as well. Also it is not in my opinion something that will be done away with any time soon.

  40. APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch


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    98   12:32am Sat 7 Apr 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Just introduce a helicopter hunting bill for the rich to shoot the poor from the sky with indemnity and it will pass the House in minutes.

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