That Is The Only Lesson You Could Learn

Via the comments, this:

The last election cycle demonstrated that even if you allow Wall Street and the corporations dictate a large portion of the policy, they will still fund campaigns to destroy you because they don’t want their share or ten times their share, they want it all, all the time.

They are never going to stop going after social security. They want every single dollar of the education budgets. They do not want to pay any taxes for anything. They do not want any regulation that ties their hands with respect to their workers, the environment, or any other external costs imposed upon the public by their business activities. Oh yeah, and if they screw up and take the economy down, they want the government to bail them out.

They got everything they wanted the last couple of years, the stock market has rebounded, bonuses are hitting records, corporate profits are at an all time high, no one went to jail for their obvious crimes, and they still aren’t happy and think Obama, who has been business friendly to a fault, is “hostile” to them.

At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.






124 replies
  1. 1
    Bella Q says:

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    I thought that was obvious already. They are notoriously difficult to deal with successfully, absent total capitulation.

  2. 2
    Nick says:

    Oh no John, they’re perfectly rational. They’re just “focusing on core business” and “cutting costs during a recession”

  3. 3
    JGabriel says:

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    At some point we have to realize they are engaged in a class war against the government and the rest of us.

    .

  4. 4
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    Oh, dude. That is just so totally class warfare of you.

    That said, we could just eat ’em.

  5. 5
    Davis X. Machina says:

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    Enabled by a people that never dreams, but when it does succeed in dreaming, dreams only of supplanting or emulating those same sociopaths….

  6. 6
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    “They got everything they wanted the last couple of years”

    Really? Everything?

    They got tax cuts and deregulation?

    I thought this was a reality based blog.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    Remember—it’s not enough to cede everything to the oligarchs, we’re also expected to feel guilty for being in the way.

  8. 8
    cleek says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    They got tax cuts and deregulation?

    they got tax cuts, bailouts, rescued from oblivion, tarrifs, protection from prosecution from their shitty handling of investors’ money, etc., etc.

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    @cleek:

    Dude, they have no Qur’an!

    Nor no pony.

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    Quaker in a Basement:

    That said, we could just eat ‘em.

    Filed under: A Modest Proposal for Dealing With and Disposing Of the Executives of the Finance, Insurance and Banking Industries.

    .

  11. 11
    BR says:

    This comment from a week back by priscianus jr explains why we can’t fix this problem in the usual way:

    One of the most peculiar things about our country today, and one of its truly biggest problems, is that it is practically impossible for anyone to be discredited. Have you noticed that? Just in the last few years, there are scores of examples. Think about it—it’s really weird. We lack the social mechanisms to truly shut people down, and the sociopaths are well aware of that and developing new and ever more brazen techniques to ignore their own absurdity The Roves the Palins, the David Irvings, the Swiftboaters, the Limbaughs, the Becks, the Orly Taitzes, and on and on … you get the idea. Freedom of speech is one thing, but these people make their living by being full of shit, and no one seems to be able to do anything about it. For one thing, the media dote on such people, because they create “news.” America has become a playground for sociopaths and I’m not sure the problem has even been defined as such, or if it has, I don’t know that any ameliorations have been proposed let alone established.

  12. 12
    sturunner says:

    If this a declaration of real political warfare, I’m wid’ ya. (And I work for the Democratic Establisment. For now. . . Oh, & my Congress ‘Critter WASN’T defeated.

  13. 13
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @cleek: what tax cuts?

    wasn’t tarp paid back?

    tariffs? what trade deal during the last 2 years?

    sure they were rescued, the same way a fire department puts out a fire when some asswipe blows up the meth lab in his garage, not because the drugie deserves the help, but because they don’t want the fire to spread and burn down block.

    Dare I say it, even the sainted paul krugman supported the bailouts.

    etc., etc.

  14. 14
    Mike E says:

    And don’t appear in public after getting “accidentally” shot in the face, unless you’re totally apologizing for getting in the way of fire and for causing such icky feelings about how your hamburgered face looks. Because you are an inconsiderate jerk. Also, too.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    jl says:

    Sociopaths? All of them?

    I am sure that is true for some. I have met some who have seemed to be sociopaths, though IANAMD. I have met more that seemed to be psychotic maladjusted adolescents.

    But most seemed to be from the normal range of human frailty, who have been brainwashed by a failed ideology, or resigned to living in a failed system which they rationalize to themselves.

    On a previous post I commented that I had been in meetings with medical directors of large healthcare organizations. Most of them were decent people, most of them wanted to provide what they thought what was an adequate standard of care. But the system would not allow them to do that. They said the system was bad, but since they had mortgages, and families and kids who wanted to go to college, and the system gave them the needed money, they were not going to rock the boat. They told themselves that they were the ones who were struggling to make the best of a bad system.

    A bad system, justified by a debased social philosophy that is related to failed empirical science, can produce people who act badly, and say outrageous things to justify themselves.

    I admit that the money guys running healthcare providers and insurerance corporations in the executive stratosphere (whom I have seldom met) are orders of magnitude worse than the medical directors and actuaries that I have met with. And the finance titans are probably worse still.

    But I view most of them as deluded and severely confused people, with only rudimentary coping skills.

    I guess I am saying don’t hate the players (at least most of them) hate the game.

    And speaking of games, who is going to explain what this ‘game up, servers down’ stuff is all about? I have no clue.

  17. 17
    IrishGirl says:

    Who was it that wrote a book about corporations being sociopaths? I can’t remember but John you are correct. I honestly think any time you have people acting in aggregate with a single minded purpose (in this case making a profit), the aggregate will behave amoral or immoral unless they are regulated.

  18. 18
    eemom says:

    OT, but apropos of sociopaths, George Will is Salon’s #11, and I must say they DO do him justice.

    George Will is a sanctimonious moralist, a pretentious hypocrite, a congenital liar and a boring pundit, to boot. In these days of red-faced screaming weirdos like Glenn Beck and obvious dolts like Sean Hannity, Will can seem like a harmless throwback to a calmer era in political discourse, but don’t let his demeanor fool you: The guy’s as utterly amoral as the loudest talk radio shouter, and he’s a living example of the truth that there’s never any punishment for bad behavior in punditland.
    Ever since he stole Jimmy Carter’s briefing book, used it to coach Ronald Reagan before a debate, and then appeared on ABC to pronounce Reagan the winner of the debate, Will’s been a consummate hack.
    He expressed his revulsion at those hick Clintons: “Having vulgarians like the Clintons conspicuous in government must further coarsen American life.” Meanwhile he stepped out on his wife back in the ’80s, and she responded by throwing all his stuff on the lawn with a note reading, “Take it somewhere else, buster.”

    Last but not least, they assure me that “his baseball writing is so bad as to defy parody.” I’ve always wondered about that, being, as I am, an equal opportunity sports-tard.

    I have great hopes for the top 10.

  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    they will still fund campaigns to destroy you

    Clearly the best strategy in 2012 will be for the Democrats to move to the center. /pundit

    Joking aside, I think Citizens United has tipped the playing field strongly in favor of Republicans. But Democratic politicians and consultants will try to campaign in basically the same way for a couple of cycles. It will be futile. Progressives are going to have to force changes on the party if we want to control the federal government again.

  20. 20
    Restrung says:

    @BR:
    keeper

  21. 21
    beltane says:

    @eemom: We will have to wait until tomorrow to learn the top 10. We still have Tom Friedman and David Broder left in the running.

  22. 22
    Bnut says:

    @eemom:

    Last but not least, they assure me that “his baseball writing is so bad as to defy parody.” I’ve always wondered about that, being, as I am, an equal opportunity sports-tard.

    It’s pretty terrible. He’s a Nationals fan.

  23. 23
    trollhattan says:

    @JGabriel:

    Hmm, I must sit corrected. But to paraphrase Betty Cracker, they don’t have a pony that shits fillet mignon and pisses eighteen-year-old scotch. And that’s a crime.

  24. 24
    jl says:

    @BR:

    “it is practically impossible for anyone to be discredited.”

    That is true if you are a Very Serious Centrist Person who goes with, or makes up, the CW. It is also true of the reactionaries and wingnuts and rightwing smear merchants and hate mongers.

    Come to think of it, it is also true of the progressives, liberals, and inconoclasts of all ideological stripes. Because in our current society, they can never be credited in the first place, no matter what they say or how often they are righter than the rest.

    I think only the lesser people can be discredited. They had credit to begin with when the Very Serious People had some use for giving them some credit. But they are discredited as soon as some one needs their money, or no longer needs or can rely on their votes. Hispanics and working class and middle class people caught up in the mortgage crisis are recent examples.

  25. 25
    Teak111 says:

    Get it through you heads people, corporations are global entities. 10% UE is the new econ. The idea of a company being loyal to the US (hiring US Engs instead of Indians, say) is completely gone. US workers (SW HW Engs) are no longer competitive in the global employment market place. Yet we as a country bend over backwards and then some, to kiss the corporate ring. Corps have left Amer and her problems behind.

  26. 26
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @eemom: that was funny. Will was banging wapo publisher Kay Graham’s daughter, lally weymouth. All the adultery at wapo (sally quinn/bradley, etc.) and they had the nerve to wag their finger at clinton.

  27. 27
    Rhoda says:

    I think everyone knows.

    “Here’s the problem,” Mr. Obama said, “It’s almost like they’ve got — they’ve got a bomb strapped to them and they’ve got their hand on the trigger. You don’t want them to blow up. But you’ve got to kind of talk them, ease that finger off the trigger.”

    The problem is how to deal with the mother fuckers when they’re willing to take us down too. And they can take us down. Governments wouldn’t be bending to these motherfuckers if they weren’t in a hostage situation.

  28. 28
    Restrung says:

    @PeakVT:
    remember– Money Party v. People Party
    People are badly outnumbered. For now.
    dollars to donuts. What the hell does that mean?

  29. 29
    beltane says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century): If Clinton had only had the decency to have an affair with Sally Quinn, none of that unpleasant impeachment business would have happened. By failing to perform his duties to the beltway elite, Clinton let it be known that Washington wasn’t his place.

  30. 30
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    No, Mike, just the tax cuts. Unless you’re focused exclusively on income taxation levels for whatever reason, you would notice that this administration has been more than fair to business concerns on other tax policies by and large. Not a month goes by without them dredging up another new “small business tax cut” or seven to earn Ben Nelson’s vote in the Senate.

    The Obama administration has made sure that Big Business got to eat first at the table every step of the way, because they thought it was reasonable, doable, technocratic policy. They’re often wrong there, I think, but because their policies don’t come from a place of slavish devotion to plutocracy, they’ve become politically expendable. That’s kind of the point. By allowing business interests to set the agenda so that a carefully narrowed list of options are even allowed on the table no matter what’s going on, those interests end up winning either way.

  31. 31
    trizzlor says:

    I would actually be quite happy with a president who does the sweet-talk tongue job to the investor class and then brings in the heavy artillery via policy. In fact, Warren Buffet seems to be exactly on point with this – yes our sharp-faced captains of industry are the life-blood of America … and that’s why the need to pay even more taxes!

    Basically the complete opposite of what Obama does now.

  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    It’s not so much this, or just this.

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    It’s that there are neither impediments nor restrictions to prevent them from pursuing their sociopathy.

    And when it isn’t preventable, it’s inevitable.

  33. 33
    Ruckus says:

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    Some of us already have.

  34. 34
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @Bob Loblaw: okay, name the big business tax cuts.

  35. 35
    JWL says:

    “At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths”.

    You surely meant to add the Treason of the 2003 Big Lie War notwithstanding.

    If not? Well, better late than never.

  36. 36
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    If only “we” included President Obama.
    .
    .

  37. 37
    Ned Ludd says:

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    This will always be a problem when companies are structured to maximize profit regardless of the consequences. When you criticize a company for acting unethically, people will say that the corporation has to act in the interests of its shareholders, even if that means refusing to replace defective batteries in laptops, pushing unneeded medical procedures to vulnerable patients, or encouraging people who qualify for fixed-rate mortgages to instead apply for risky Option ARMs. In our culture, it’s accepted that corporations should be unethical as long as they make money and as long as they can find their way around the law. And the laws are written by corporate lobbyists, passed by politicians that corporations finance and then give jobs to after they leave office, and implemented by regulators that are captured by the industries that they are suppose to regulate.

  38. 38
    DonkeyKong says:

    Please replace the misleading term “class warfare” with the correct term “class massacre.”

    Warfare is both sides shooting at each other and clearly that ain’t happening.

  39. 39

    @eemom:

    Last but not least, they assure me that “his baseball writing is so bad as to defy parody.” I’ve always wondered about that, being, as I am, an equal opportunity sports-tard.

    I think it would be more fair to say that he pontificates as badly when writing about baseball as he does when writing about politics. His writing about baseball never talks about his feelings; instead, what he things is couched as being an absolute truth. Try this article, which I dredged up more or less at random using Google, as an example.

  40. 40
    Ned Ludd says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: Obama knows you get rich by giving the corporations what they want.

  41. 41
    DFer says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Boy, you can turn that populism on and off like a fucking switch, can’t you?

  42. 42
    Ned Ludd says:

    I think my last comment is in moderation. It included three links. I remember too many links used to trigger a message that the comment was awaiting approval, but now it seems it just doesn’t appear. Is this normal?

  43. 43
    DFer says:

    @Rhoda: Why won’t Obama use the bully pulpit?

  44. 44
    Nick says:

    @DFer: lol you beat me to it.

  45. 45
    geg6 says:

    @eemom:

    That one really was a thing of true beauty. The top ten have to Be epic after that takedown of Will. This really has been a lot of fun that Salon has provided. Wonder if it’s a parting gift from Joan? She’s stepping down to write a book and just blog sometimes. Whoever cooked the list up, kudos. Most fun in ages.

  46. 46
    Ned Ludd says:

    @IrishGirl: I think that’s from the movie The Corporation.

  47. 47
    Ailuridae says:

    Let’s look at two explanations for why “Wall Street and the corporations” would be angry with the Obama Administration.

    First Option: Wall Street and The Corporations were given everything they wanted by the Obama Administration and, out of spite, are aggressively backing the GOP who by definition can’t provide anything Obama hasn’t already or won’t in the future (that’s what everything means)

    Second Option: While Obama has been business friendly he has actually signed into law some restrictions on the most egregious practices of Wall Street (FinReg) and limiting the largest corporate tax dodge in all of the government (that is what the excise tax does in the health care bill). I have no interest in listing all the other shit.

    Left with these two option it is painfully clear to me why “Wall Street and The Corporations” would back the GOP in the midterms if the second option were correct. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they would have backed the GOP in 10 if the First Option were correct. Are they all secretly creationists? No. They are acting in their own self-interest (and yes against the interests of America as a whole)

    We have two choices in elections in this county: a center-right political party many of whose members are adherents to the disproven ideology of supply side economics and self-correcting markets and are undeniably allied with powerful special interests working against the country as a whole whether it be the defense industry, doctors and hospitals, health “insurance” companies of investment and commercial banking. The other option, the GOP, contains members who only belong to those groups.

    If you’re Wall Street and are faced with a choice of whom to back in an election cycle and you have one party, the GOP, who will again allow you to do whatever you deem wise regardless of the impact on the larger economy and the other party which has passed legislation to rein in your most egregious (and often profitable practices) who the fuck are you going to side with?

    But this nonsense that they “got everything they wanted”; that’s just stupid. Just, Fucking, Stupid.

  48. 48
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @Ailuridae:

    But this nonsense that they “got everything they wanted”; that’s just stupid. Just, Fucking, Stupid.

    This.

    Yeah, Cole, you should really apologize.

  49. 49
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    Dude, the R&D stuff this administration’s passed alone should shut your case down in a second. And that’s one single policy. Your laboring under the delusion that any coordination between business and government is somehow evil. The two should, in a better world, work together when applicable, and within reason and an overriding sense of fairness over all.

    I’m not advocating Cole’s rant as truth, it isn’t. Business didn’t get “everything they wanted” these last two years. They’ve gotten a hell of a lot though, and they’ve done pretty well for themselves compared to the social utility they’ve often provided.

    The Obama administration aren’t slaves to the wealthy, nor are they fearless champions of the working class. They’re halfhearted plutocrats with a wealth of bad policy choices in front of them, some of which are a result of malfeasance or incompetence on their part and some entirely out of their control, that genuinely want to improve consumer-side reforms in this country and “smooth out the rough edges of capitalism” or whatever. They’re a marked improvement over their predecessors, but in all likelihood, not up to the task of correcting the systemic imbalances that plague this country without broader and deeper external public support.

  50. 50
    Ned Ludd says:

    @Rhoda: Throw the scofflaws in jail instead of trying to make nice with them.

    According to some of its records, between 1990 and 1995 no less than 1,852 S&L officials were prosecuted, and 1,072 placed behind bars. Another 2,558 bankers were also jailed, often for offenses which were S&L-linked too…

    [I]f there is no retribution against financiers, it will be very difficult to force a real change in behaviour. After all, no amount of twiddling with Basel rules or pious statements about bonuses will ever scare a financier as much as the thought of jail.

  51. 51
    Ned Ludd says:

    @Ned Ludd: Arghh. The last paragraph in my comment above was supposed to be part of the blockquote. It is also from the Financial Times article I linked to.

  52. 52
    Nick says:

    @Ailuridae:

    But this nonsense that they “got everything they wanted”; that’s just stupid. Just, Fucking, Stupid.

    I’ve become convinced that some on the left are also infected with that disease where they create their own narrative, spin reality to fit it and nothing anyone else says, no matter how provable, can change their minds.

    I think a section of the left wants to believe that Obama and Congress would sell them out, so they spun everything to that narrative and ignored whatever doesn’t fit it. Like all the time Obama, Pelosi, or Reid actually DID fight for something.

  53. 53
    Cain says:

    @BR:

    This comment from a week back by priscianus jr explains why we can’t fix this problem in the usual way:

    One way to stop it is to stop watching TV. If nobody watches they will have to have something else brought on the screen that will attract us as the usual stuff like the Palins won’t be good enough anymore.

    The war is easy to win, turn the goddam tv off and let them survive on the 30% who does watch.

    cain

  54. 54
    Mike G says:

    It’s working the refs.

    The “unfriendly to business” bullshit is the executive suite version of teatards screaming that Obama, a conciliatory center-right establishment-cozy politician, is a radical Black Panther/terrist/Mooslim/Kenyan/soshulist.

    They want to pressure him to move right as a defensive move against their bullshit accusations.

    Knowing Obama’s seeming compulsion to split the difference between sane and batshit sides in the name of Holy Compromise, and half the country Scared Stupid and proud of it, it’s probably going to work.

  55. 55
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @Bob Loblaw: extending the R&D tax credit was offset by closing corporate deductions.

    your populist-fu is weak tea, grasshopper. But this is to be expected, populist rags don’t deal with data and logic, they peddle emotion and outrage.

  56. 56
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @Mike G: what kind of deals has he made in the name of holy compromise?

  57. 57
    jl says:

    @JWL:

    “You surely meant to add the Treason of the 2003 Big Lie War notwithstanding.”

    OK, yes, those people are sociopaths, at best.

  58. 58
    Cacti says:

    There’s always been a class war.

    For the last 30 years it’s just been unapologetically top down.

  59. 59
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    1. That’s pathetic goalpost moving there. You never said that tax cuts had to apply to every single sector of the economy equally, nor that they had to be deficit financed. You simply asked for an example of an administration tax policy favorable to corporate growth and profitability. I gave you one.

    The administration has been undeniably harder on financial firms than other business interests. I’m thinking there might just be a reason for that. They were also a party to massive accounting fraud meant to keep those firms pretend solvent in 2009. What does any of this have to do with the President using tax cuts and credits to spur growth?

    2. I said the exact same thing Ailuridae said. For some reason, you agreed with one post and trashed the other, so let’s be frank on just who’s being irreparably biased here.

    3. People are called ‘rags’ as an insult now? When the fuck did that start? Or did I become a periodical and just didn’t realize it?

  60. 60
    tkogrumpy says:

    Welcome aboard, John, welcome aboard.

  61. 61
    Seanly says:

    I read the last sentence as:

    “At some point, we are going to have to deal with these sociopaths.”

    I was going to say, “Let’s get started now.”

  62. 62
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @Bob Loblaw: my question was clear, what big business tax cuts? you replied with one that already existed since 1981, but NOW, after 29 years, is being paid for. When you go from losing revenue to a tax neutral position, Obama has actually increase corporate taxes.

    this is the danger in stepping out of the reality based community, working without facts is like working without a net.

    rags refer to populist blogs = empty calories.

    now, bow humbly before your intellectual superior.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    I think the corporate suits who are not sociopaths are pissed that Obama’s initiatives (most of which I think are either mild or fatally compromised on substantive grounds), threaten to reduce their influence (Edit: I meant ‘control’ not ‘influence’)

    When Theodore Roosevelt was dealing with JP Morgan during the Panic of 1907, at one point Morgan said something like “OK, something needs to be done, I’ll send my man to talk with your man and will see what they hash out.”

    And TR told Morgan to eff off, more or less.

    That is what the corporate suits don’t like, in addition to any threat to their profits. They might make a deal to sacrifice current profits if they can rely on being the BMOC on future decisions (that is, they retain control).

    The problem may go beyond anything Obama does or says, since the real threat was the mass support, and nature of the support for Obama. Millions of small time contributions making a difference, why, that is mob rule.

    Because of that Obama was suspect from the beginning. And I would guess he was not ‘cooperative’ enough when the corporations suggested the their people talk with his people and hash things out. From my perspective there was far too much closed door bargaining, but from their perspective, probably far too little, and it was done with insufficient respect.

    I sometimes wonder what is going in inside Obama’s head. He spent enough time as an technocratic insider to maybe feel like he could function on those terms after the election.

    I think the nature of his support and his campaign rendered that impossible, regardless of what Obama does from now on. The iron door has been closed by the big boys.

  64. 64
    junebug says:

    I still remain hopeful. I think that is key.

    Listening to talk radio gives you a clue. They don’t have anything but the TSA. They are vilifying TSA workers much like the have teachers and much like some of the commenters here trashed professors.

    Nothing this administration does or doesn’t do is going to be good enough. It’s a double down — PWB and PWD.

    There is a way to fight it and it starts right at home. Emgage your wingnut radio types on the AM dial — not the national ones, but the local ones.

    Demand that they stand accountable for their words. Force them to talk about food and local attractions.

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    @DonkeyKong:

    Please replace the misleading term “class warfare” with the correct term “class massacre.”

    Noted.

    .

  66. 66
    jl says:

    @junebug: Good point. Now the wingers and reactionaries and corporate nutjobs are throwing non union near minimum wage, relatively poorly educated national security workers out of the boat. When, from what I have seen from polls, unbelievably, over 80% of the population is OK with the new TSA procedures.

    A significant number of those TSA people are, umm.. not be indelicate, but they are white people.

    BTW, I have to say that I cannot get that upset about the pat downs, or (assuming they are safe) the porn scanners. I do not care of whit of there is some fuzzy pix of the outline of what may possibly be my junk wandering around. Or if some TSA workers pats my damn sack.

    What bothers me is the arbitrary authoritarian attitude of the TSA, the seeming incompetence (they didn’t see prosthetic breast, or ostomy bags coming? Come on, how dumb are they?), and seeming lawlessness of their protocols.

    In substantive terms, I have thought the awful and absurd way the no fly list has been handled is far worse. That threatens my freedom of movement, and demonstrably without due process. But the US population was mostly OK with it.

  67. 67
    Mike in NC says:

    George Will is Salon’s #11, and I must say they DO do him justice.

    Will’s a sanctimonious piece of shit, for sure. I always thought his low point came after the coup against Gorbachev, when the next day his column basically called for declaring World War III against the Evil Commies.

    Of course Gorby came out on top in about 48 hours and Will never retracted the bullshit he spewed.

  68. 68
    Martin says:

    Rational self-interest means never having to say ‘thank you’. It means that no matter what Santa brought you for Christmas, you won’t feel the slightest bit of guilt demanding he bring you more.

  69. 69
    ItAintEazy says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    RE: Business tax cuts, refer to stimulus bill. Whether $75 billion counts as “big” might be subject to individual interpretation.

    Here’s Obama signing a bill to ease tariffs.

    The number of banks missing their TARP payments have actually increased. But even if the banks do eventually pay back the money, the TARP program was simply one huge moral hazard, with practically nothing done to prevent another financial crisis to hit us again.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    “Of course Gorby came out on top in about 48 hours and Will never retracted the irresponsible and murderous bullshit he spewed.”

    Fixed.

  71. 71
    Suffern ace says:

    @Teak111: Yep. We saddle the kids with debt so they need high paying Entry level jobs that don’t exist to get started and then think that those jobs should stay here and be like middle class entry level jobs in the past when I can hire an Indian for the cost of their insurance premiums and two more for the cost of their salary.

  72. 72
    junebug says:

    @jl:

    Perhaps you have never made a mistake in your professional life.

    What if your one mistake was broadcast to the nation?

    I would be embarrassed if mine had.

    Would you like to be the guy that was just doing his job and got photographed and then used for others enjoyment/gratification?

    This is yet just another way to make government workers — they are almost all black don’t you know ;) — into the enemy. Teachers have been taking the hit for a while.

    Let’s just turn all of it over to the market, and then no one will fly, unless they pay the price.

  73. 73
    James E. Powell says:

    @jl:

    I guess I am saying don’t hate the players (at least most of them) hate the game.

    But there is no game without the players. There is no bad system without people who promote and support it. And a debased social philosophy would be merely a matter for study if there weren’t so many people who live by it.

  74. 74
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    The R&D credit isn’t just extended, it’s increased by 20%, or by $3B/yr in real terms, so yeah, actually it does meet your original criteria and not the one you keep making up on the fly. That was one of the key features of the policy change. So you can take your net and cram it up your ass on that one. And while it’s there, see if you can’t fit the home buyer tax cut and the repeal of cap gains taxes for small businesses up there for good measure.

    Although it does seem weird to me that you wanted me to provide a list of all the tax hikes and loophole closings on overseas income and offshoring as an answer to a question about tax cuts. If you wanted to ask whether or not the Obama administration has on the whole raised or lowered business taxes, you should have just asked instead of trying to force your desired answer on a question that was far too open ended to make it happen. Because, yeah, Obama has also raised corporate taxes from time to time. It’s almost as though they raise when they consider it appropriate and lower when they see it appropriate, how fucking weird.

    I guess I should have just described the administration as “business friendly” and “center right” instead to avoid any provocation, like Ailuridae did.

    rags refer to populist blogs = empty calories.
    __
    now, bow humbly before your intellectual superior.

    Those lines look fucking ridiculous next to each other because, and I hate to break this to you, I’m not a blog. Nor have I quoted or linked to any. So there’s that.

  75. 75
    junebug says:

    Because if the airlines fail, the government will be there to catch them.

    DougJ, let’s all say it together, “MARKETS RULE!”

    Gas prices are up. Why? You are going to be driving.

    It’s all a game, says your ombudsman.

    It’s all good, I guess.

  76. 76
    RosiesDad says:

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    I read the following in the comments to Bobo’s Op-Ed in Tuesday’s Times (from commenter gglec):

    There is NOTHING written in stone that says the United States has to exist tomorrow. It will only exist IF the citizens require it; if they participate together to assure that there IS an “e pluribus unum,” or it becomes another Rome, Egypt, Mayan, Inca, Greek, (add your own list here) failed empires.

    The U.S. WAS a good idea. But, the Founders were WARNED by Ben Franklin who said, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

    The Corporatists on Wall Street have realized how easy it is to manipulate the U.S. Constitution; the elections by subversion of the Constitution using the Supreme Court to give “individual status” to corporations; and to control the U.S. Government and its military, to be used to exploit other nations.

    Take a step back and ask yourself: IS THIS the United States of America that YOU want for you and our family?

    If it is, welcome to the Plutocracy.

    If it isn’t, prepare for a true revolution in a high-tech and nuclear age. Because it will take FORCE by the citizens to regain the control of the government. OR, as the song says, “this is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper…” IN CHINESE!

    End times could be near.

  77. 77
    Belvoir says:

    I love how we’re talking about the sociopaths who want everything, and there are actually people above in this thread acting as if Obama is indeed barbarically hard on business interests.

    That he’s a fanatical over-regulator and taxer , as if the Bush tax cuts weren’t enough- and as if he abolished them. As if the low capital-gains tax on millions and billions was revoked or raised without anyone knowing. You know who you are, and you’re fucking shameless. Thanks for underscoring the point.

  78. 78
    Jeffro says:

    I’m not sure why this is so complicated…let them GO FOR IT and then tax the snot out of them (personally, corporately, whatever)…harness their greed and then reap the benefits for the greater good.

    Eisenhower-era rates? Sign me (and them) UP!

  79. 79
    Fargus says:

    Jesus, it’s trolly in here.

    It seems perfectly clear what Cole means. I hate to have to spell it out, but here goes:

    They got everything they wanted could reasonably have expected given the shitshow they made of the economy over the last couple of years, and then some

    Got it?

  80. 80
    fasteddie9318 says:

    I think the better way to put it is that corporate America got more than it deserved, but it’s apoplectic that it didn’t get everything and that somebody else somewhere might still have something.

    It’s like me and my buddy big business sat down in a soda shop and each ordered a milkshake, but somehow big business wound up drinking both of them. Too bad for me, I guess. The problem is, a few drops of my milkshake fell on the table, and now big business wants to hoover up those, plus make me pay for both shakes, plus get a few billion more milkshakes that I also pay for, plus take whatever other money is in my wallet, plus use me for its own sexual gratification before harvesting my organs just in case some CEO needs them and then grinding my lifeless carcass into kibble for its hounds. Only the soda shop owner won’t let big business do all that other stuff, so it’s royally pissed at him. I should be walking around with my buddy big business’ head on a pike, but instead I’m trying to negotiate out the unwanted sex and get it to agree to only take a lung and a kidney instead of all my organs. But man, it doesn’t like that at all.

  81. 81
    MNPundit says:

    So once again, the DFH’s were right.

  82. 82
    RosiesDad says:

    @fasteddie9318: Nicely done.

  83. 83
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @Bob Loblaw:
    heel boy, heel

    that’s right, kiss my ring.

  84. 84
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    ZOMG dude, you like totally won teh internets!

  85. 85
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    @fasteddie9318: is it hard typing with a straight jacket — do you use your toes or nose?

  86. 86
    Jrod the Cookie Thief says:

    Yes, it’s just lovely to see a debate regarding the heavy question of whether the business and financial sectors reeeaaaaally got everything they wanted. For fuck’s sake, what they want is every last scrap of wealth in the country. They want a huge number of desperately poor people throughout the country. They want suffering people to trample on, as befits the better sort of man.

    They want slaves.

    I don’t think anyone should be holding it against Obama that he didn’t give them every last goddam thing they wanted, least of all people who are making record profits during this so-called recession.

  87. 87
    RobertB says:

    And speaking of games, who is going to explain what this ‘game up, servers down’ stuff is all about? I have no clue.

    World of Warcraft. Big patch today.

  88. 88
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    What’s sad is that he was actually trying to argue there for a while before completely falling apart in the end with his 1337 skillz. Bad showing.

    I should be walking around with my buddy big business’ head on a pike, but instead I’m trying to negotiate out the unwanted sex and get it to agree to only take a lung and a kidney instead of all my organs. But man, it doesn’t like that at all.

    Well, sure. You can survive with only one kidney or one lung. And you might think that’s a workable compromise. But they’ll try to trick you and get you to sign over both instead. And then where will you be? Make sure your lawyer reads the fine print. Don’t think they won’t stoop to necrophilia in the quest for cheaper dog kibble and black market sex slaves/organ farms.

  89. 89
    Ailuridae says:

    @junebug:

    This is a separate interesting (to me at least) point). Besides Southwest are there any private, long-term profitable airlines in the world? Most of the big flagship airlines in foreign countries have large government involvement/subsidization and obviously the history of airlines in the US besides Southwest is one of near never ending bankruptcies and an occasional bailout. In 2009 of the major carriers only four posted profits if I remember correctly: SWA, Air Tran, Alaska, and JBLU. The major US carriers – the ones bailed out after 9/11- all lost money.

    I understand the RYAAY is profitable but I don’t know much about their model.

  90. 90
    Kat says:

    To hell with them all — and the sooner the better.

    With a Swagger, Wallets Out, Wall Street Dares to Celebrate

    Fed lowers economic expectations for 2011
    […]

    Even as conditions are likely to remain miserable for job seekers for years to come, an extraordinary bounce-back is underway in the nation’s corporate sector, with profits rebounding 28 percent over the past year to an all-time high in the third quarter.

    I’m confused.

    Those of us who are working haven’t had a real raise in 30 years; official unemployment, under-employment, and given-up-on-looking-for-a-job unemployment are all sky high; a record number of people are on food stamps; millions have lost their homes to foreclosure; upside-down house values (if nothing else) have put an end to people using their home-equity for credit; people are paying down their credit cards; and hardly anyone is spending any money they don’t absolutely have to spend. And the rest of the world is in about the same shape. So where the hell is all this money for record corporate profits coming from?

  91. 91
    Suck It Up! says:

    I recall the left telling me that I should follow the money. That I should watch who big business attacks and who they support. Well, right now I see big business sending most of their money to Republicans and I see them spending ridiculous amounts of money to defeat Obama and other Democrats. but here is the left telling me that Wall Street got all they want and that Obama is a corporatist sell out. Its the same with HCR. The left says it was written by the industry and not in any way progressive, but why did they spend tens of millions of dollars to defeat it and the candidates that supported it?

    Am I wrong to conclude that Obama and the Democrats did not in fact give them all of what they wanted? That’s the only logical conclusion I see here.

  92. 92
    Jack says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    Wow. That’s like a movie, where a slightly unhinged character seems to be keeping up a facade of sanity, and then one lie gets called and boom, a screaming, frothing-at-the-mouth rant happens.

  93. 93
    Ruckus says:

    @Kat:
    So where the hell is all this money for record corporate profits coming from?
    It’s coming from the way MBA’s have been taught to work. Cut costs no matter what. What is usually the largest cost for a company? You guessed it, employees. If you want to cut costs you cut employees. Very simple. You cut, you squeeze, you don’t give planned raises, you cut bonuses, you cut health care benefits. You don’t have to cut capital costs, buildings, production machinery because fewer people can run them. I know because I’ve done this. I didn’t do it intentionally to cut costs but it sure worked out that way. I owned a business with 6 employees. I sold the property that the business was located on and moved 40 miles away. I was 25 miles closer to home and now driving against traffic. But none of my employees wanted to make the move so I figured out how to run the business without them. My costs dropped by over 50% but my gross only dropped about 12%. That was not insubstantial. I would still have that business but nature intervened and destroyed it. That’s how you get increased profits with decreased costs. It’s not long term sustainable. You can’t grow without people to do the work and if you beat them up by overwork and demoralize them by not rewarding them with proper pay at some point they turn on you, unless you make their world a company town. Then you own them unless they can leave for something better.
    I’ll let you think about what this country is coming to for you but for me this is becoming a company town. It’s not one company but look around, only the big companies survive. TBTF. Once they own everything you won’t be able to shit without asking permission. Plutocracy my ass. That word does not began to define living in a company town with 300 million citizens.

  94. 94
    BR says:

    @Ruckus:

    Peak oil can’t come soon enough.

  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    @BR:
    I’m not sure that will make a lot of difference to the upper crust. At least not in the next 25-50 years. They can afford gas at 8-9-10 per gal.
    There are 2 gas stations about 200 yards apart down the street from me. One is almost always the most expensive in the county. The other is part of a supermarket. Today the supermarket price was 50 cents a gallon cheaper, but the other station was full both times I went by. A lot of people here just don’t care about purchasing the cheapest stuff, but then I live in one of the richest counties in the country. Not that any of that lucre is rubbing off into my pockets mind you. And yes now that you ask I fill up at the supermarket.

  96. 96
    Kat says:

    @BR
    Peak oil can’t come soon enough.

    Peak oil was in 2006, according to the latest annual report of the International Energy Agency.

    Amazing, isn’t it, how little mainstream media coverage this news has garnered?

  97. 97
    Kat says:

    @Ruckus
    If you want to cut costs you cut employees. … It’s not long term sustainable.

    I’ll say, it’s not sustainable! Who will they sell to after they’ve put everyone out — into tent cities, and on food stamps?

    Thanks for the reply, Ruckus.

  98. 98
    Ruckus says:

    @Kat:
    Whatever shriveled up, broken down bi-peds are left. But you are assuming that they think that far ahead. They don’t. Yea they have their 3 year projections, and their 10 year plans. But all they give a shit about is next quarter. They’ll worry about next year after the next quarter. The only time they worry about farther out than the next quarter is when they are thinking about their year end bonus. Think new coke. Was it better? NFW. Did anyone like it? Hardly. But I’ll bet it was cheaper to make. Maybe only a hundredth of a cent per 12oz, but cheaper. They thought, no one will notice that it tastes like crap when we tell them it’s better and, mucho profit. Your question begs the answer that they aren’t thinking. Because they aren’t doing a logical, long term, reflective, worse case possibilities, cognitive process. That has been short circuited by greed and disrespect for the customer.

  99. 99
    NobodySpecial says:

    Now that you’ve all determined that we’re doomed forever, can you adjust your wills to leave me all your stuff when you finally take the gas pipe escape? That way at least one of us will become a Galtian overlord.

  100. 100
    Rhoda says:

    @Ned Ludd: It’s apparently not illegal to do what was done; thanks to the bipartisan reform in the 90s that ended Glass-Stegall and the like.

  101. 101
    cleek says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    what tax cuts?

    these

    wasn’t tarp paid back?

    mostly, but so what?

    tariffs? what trade deal during the last 2 years?

    it’s called the “The Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010”

  102. 102
    Michael says:

    @Ned Ludd:

    If there is no retribution against financiers, it will be very difficult to force a real change in behaviour. After all, no amount of twiddling with Basel rules or pious statements about bonuses will ever scare a financier as much as the thought of jail.

    In the absence of jail for our fearless Galtian overlords, there’s always the option of left populist justice – violent protest, molotov cocktails, carbombs and kidnappings.

    Where the hell are the Weathermen when we really, really need them, as the Masters of the Universe obviously fear no government restraint….

  103. 103
    13th Generation says:

    @Fargus: I was also thinking that it’s gotten awful contrarian around here lately..

  104. 104
    Powdermonkey says:

    My grandmother used to say that her father hated FDR with a blind passion… He thought FDR was one of those dirty “socialists” who ruined the country. But he always ended the argument with “but his Socialism saved us from Communism, and for that I thank him.”

    I think that in 10 to 20 years the vast majority of the “Business community” will be kicking themselves for not working with BHO. Mostly because he may tax them higher, and place some regulations on them. But that beats the poor, starving villagers with torches and pitchforks breaking down the gates to steal everything, kill you, your kids and trophy wife, and eat your pets.

  105. 105
    The Raven says:

    So where the hell is all this money for record corporate profits coming from?

    Good question. Part of it is from redistribution upwards. That part of the profit is not sustainable. But I think a lot of it is from China and India, which are developing.

    It is not enough, seemingly, to be rich and powerful beyond the wildest dreams of any wealthy class in previous history: the new aristocrats must reduce all who are not members of their class to abject poverty.

    Croak!

  106. 106
    someofparts says:

    When I wonder why there is such tolerance for the reign of sociopaths, I think that maybe gangster would be a better way to describe these folks. It would explain why people who know better don’t expose them.

  107. 107
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Michael:
    Jail? Now that Congress has become an extension of the financial services industry it will happily, retroactively legitimatize any of the industry’s shenanigans.

    Look at MERS; it is accused of cheating county property record offices out of billions in mortgage registration fees and of assuming standing that it didn’t have in an unknown number of foreclosures. Instead of investigating, there are rumors that Congress will consider a bill to retroactively legitimatize MERS’ actions. Why? Because the banks that own MERS would be liable for billions in fees and penalties if it is found to have skipped paying for mortgage registration. IF MERS is found not to have standing in foreclosures then the whole process grinds to a halt while it’s determined who does have standing. We can’t have that now, can we?

    The bill isn’t a certainty. The fact that the passage of such a bill is even conceivable shows just how far we’ve sunk.

  108. 108
    Rhoda says:

    @DFer: He has been.

  109. 109
    Paul in KY says:

    @Fargus: Thank you, Fargus, for cutting through the BS. IMO, alot of those financial titans should have been swinging from lamp posts.

  110. 110
    ChrisS says:

    See, the thing is, history didn’t start anew two years ago, or four years ago. Corporatists are always pushing for greater freedom to be free of constraint and responsibility to anything or anyone other than the bottom line. Frankly, they’ve been kicking ass an’ taking names for the last thirty-odd years.

    Their lackeys in the house and senate, while not given free reign, have been pretty well-compensated when crafting legislation. Obama and the Congress, while not letting them craft the agenda or write the policy, have given them quite a bit. Every piece of legislation passed has had to have been blessed by the minority party and corporate democrats. All of which has included plenty of shit that otherwise didn’t need to be in there. I wouldn’t say that they got everything they wanted the last two years, but the last 10 years they got a fucking boatload more than the common man and during the last thirty, they’ve received even more. But they’re acting like Obama and the democrats nationalized industry and replaced the Constitution with Workers Weekly.

    It’s a zero-sum game with these clowns.

  111. 111
    liberal says:

    @BR: You quoted:

    One of the most peculiar things about our country today, and one of its truly biggest problems, is that it is practically impossible for anyone to be discredited. Have you noticed that? Just in the last few years, there are scores of examples. Think about it—it’s really weird. We lack the social mechanisms to truly shut people down, and the sociopaths are well aware of that and developing new and ever more brazen techniques to ignore their own absurdity The Roves the Palins, the David Irvings, the Swiftboaters, the Limbaughs, the Becks, the Orly Taitzes, and on and on … you get the idea.

    Surely the best example of someone who in a rational and just world would be discredited is Alan Greenspan, who IMHO is more responsible for the bubble than anyone else. Yet people still listen to him.

    The fact that he hasn’t committed suicide speaks very ill for our species.

  112. 112
    liberal says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):
    You’re back? Yuck…

    wasn’t tarp paid back?

    If you actually knew anything about the bailout, which you clearly don’t, you’d know that TARP was only one piece of many.

  113. 113
    liberal says:

    @Fargus:
    Exactly. They got 99% of what they wanted, when in fact they should have had their balls cut off.

    The fact that they turned against Obama is because they’re greedy sociopaths who want 110% of what they asked for.

  114. 114
    liberal says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    I think the better way to put it is that corporate America got more than it deserved, but it’s apoplectic that it didn’t get everything and that somebody else somewhere might still have something.

    Yeah.

  115. 115
    liberal says:

    @Kat:

    So where the hell is all this money for record corporate profits coming from?

    Very interesting question. I’d like to know, too.

    I assume it has to be broken down by sector. For the non-financial sector, I would assume it might have something to do with low cost of debt financing. Labor prices are presumably coming down, but those prices are stickier than interest rates.

  116. 116
    liberal says:

    @Suck It Up!:

    Am I wrong to conclude that Obama and the Democrats did not in fact give them all of what they wanted? That’s the only logical conclusion I see here.

    Yes, but all that means is that the Republicans are willing to give them more. It doesn’t mean the Democrats/Obama didn’t give them more than they deserve.

  117. 117
    liberal says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Instead of investigating, there are rumors that Congress will consider a bill to retroactively legitimatize MERS’ actions…

    They can’t do it because too much of real estate law is the province of states and localities. The only thing reason it would survive a constitutional challenge is the whores like Roberts on the USSC.

  118. 118
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    Really. Since we have been saying that for six years on these pages, when do you think realization will set in?

    Or is this kind of like The Fugitive, where we just keep looking for the one-armed killer, forever?

  119. 119
    Triassic Sands says:

    At some point, we are going to have to realize we are dealing with sociopaths.

    And of all the people who make up the “we” in that sentence, who is the single most important person who doesn’t seem to get this, who needs to?

  120. 120
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    You, sir, are a philosopher. Though I wish I didn’t agree with you, I am afraid you are right. That said, I’m going to try to forget all about it for a couple of days and enjoy my family time.

  121. 121
    PWL says:

    “…dealing with sociopaths…”

    That’s one of the points the film “Inside Job” was trying to make. As Charles Ferguson, the director, said, the big question for him about the events of 2008 was “why isn’t anybody in jail yet?”

    Well, ’cause these folks can afford to buy themselves lots and lots of justice. And if all else fails, there’s a reason you fork over campaign contributions to your friendly elected officials…

    (Hell, the elected officials ain’t even bothering to be subtle about it anymore. Look at Joe Barton (R-Big Oil) kissing BP’s ass during the Gulf oil spill…)

  122. 122

    and they still aren’t happy and think Obama, who has been business friendly to a fault

    Firebagger!!11!1 !! ! 1

  123. 123
    xian says:

    @fasteddie9318: you win the internet

  124. 124
    JR in WV says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    Hi Mike,

    Why don’t you just go to Google, type “recent business tax cuts”, hit enter, and see for yourself. Don’t take my word for it, but you will get over 21 million hits.

    The first hit discusses the 2011 budget, and the first item they discuss is “extending tax cuts for business…” So suck for air, there are a ton of recent business tax cuts, AND middle-class tax cuts, even though lying Repugnant pundits continue to claim President Obama has raised taxes, which is not true in any way. Lying hypocrite pundits, actually.

    So sorry, you lose to the facts.

    JR in WV, where we look up the data before we leap into the fray.

Comments are closed.