Creative Destruction

To answer Kevin, the wave will crest when a crisis comes along that’s severe enough for Republicans to tweak our Democracy into something that better suits their oligarchic masters. 9/11 could have done the trick if their man Bush could make it through one whole day without tying his goddamn shoes together. Even so, they certainly did jigger around with some pretty fundamental aspects of our country. We torture now for one thing, or possibly we no longer care to deny it, and the Bill of Rights and international treaties have become even more of a loose set of guidelines (ish) than before the overwhelming threat of Jose Padilla and Quakers for Peace forced us to gently set them aside.

You might be wondering what comes next. Revolution in the mideast, hardly a bad thing in and of itself, will not improve oil prices as production either breaks down, e.g. in the case of Libya, or as the people request oil contracts that are more in line with their own interests. That would ratchet up the pressure on Saudi Arabia to pump more gas. If the pressure gets high enough the the Saudis might finally have to admit that they don’t have any spare capacity to pump, and speculative investors will love that. Higher gas prices will instantly kill off economic recovery, of course, and that will have a nasty synergistic effect if it happens during the general chaos that will erupt when John Boehner shuts down government in a couple of weeks.

At that point people who are merely desperate today will find themselves over the edge and frantic, furious, and looking for answers. For the folks who are throwing-pavement-stones angry and don’t have time or patience for milquetoast solutions from Professor Obama, do you think that the GOP will have a catchy and concise message ready? You betcha.






139 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    They’ll simply have them form a circle and stone themselves.

    Works every time.

    Scapegoat, not chicken, is America’s favorite white meat, and the GOP is the Colonel Sanders of scapegoat.

    They’re market-testing their latest product now, it’s called ‘public employee’.

  2. 2
    liberal says:

    For the folks who are throwing-pavement-stones angry and don’t have time or patience for milquetoast solutions from Professor Obama, do you think that the GOP will have a catchy and concise message ready? You betcha.

    More generally, I think history shows that countries turn the wrong way when the sh*t hits the fan.

  3. 3
    LGRooney says:

    Message? Yes. Solutions? No. Have to go to scientists for that and who has been more responsible than anyone for cutting science budgets and research programs? Who has been insistent that we turn over infrastructure upgrades to the private sector so they can profit from citizens instead of having taxpayers pay for it through taxes, i.e., we know citizens are not taxpayers for the purposes of propaganda? Who has said we don’t need new energy solutions because, well, “Drill! Baby, drill!”? Etc. Etc. While now is a better time to shout it louder, and “we” have been, we keep getting over-shouted. So, it may be good to remind people when catastrophe hits that someone is responsible for that catastrophe and there are solutions for fixing them… of course, when it’s too late, it means a long slow climb instead of being prepared.

  4. 4
    Hunter Gathers says:

    The shutdown is going to be one of the all-time political freakshows in history.

  5. 5
    agrippa says:

    The GOP does do scapegoat well. It is their main asset.

    All this is one reason that I was hoping that we would avoid a recession. The political class, and much of the general public, does not have the wit and the wisdom to deal adequately with a recession.

  6. 6
    Cat Lady says:

    The Dems need a shiny new issue to galvanize their base around, now that gay marriage is so yesterday. This may be the right time to legalize pot. Although with the price of gas, we’ll have to walk to the Taco Bell.

  7. 7
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Is it possible that Jay Carney is worse at this job than Gibbs was?

  8. 8
    Alwhite says:

    This is the sort of cheery, optimistic forecast that makes me think I’m not as much of an eyeore as I thought I was. Much more of a realist.

  9. 9
    BR says:

    That’s a dark vision of the future Tim. But unfortunately it lines up perfectly with what I see going on.

    I’m hoping that this almost certain re-tanking of the economy happens this year and not next.

  10. 10
    lacp says:

    Didn’t Trotsky say that when the middle class felt threatened with destruction, it turned to fascism? Sounds about right. Maybe we’ll get to see if it’s true.

  11. 11
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Give me a W! Give me an E! Give me an I! Give me an M! Give me an A!

    What, too Godwin?

  12. 12
    Alwhite says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    It takes a real master to polish a turd. And the Obama message has been a turd since November ’08. This is also a problem of the modern D’s. The people that actually have a message are way too left wing for this center right nation, dontcha know.

  13. 13
    Fuck U III: The Duck Fucks Back says:

    Waddle, waddle, waddle . . .

  14. 14
    Poopyman says:

    Just FYI, the shutdown will probably be March 4, only 7 days away.

  15. 15

    Higher gas prices will instantly kill off economic recovery, of course

    Gas prices have risen during many economic recoveries, without killing them off.

    Of course.

    Gas prices are just one variable in a very long equation.

  16. 16
    different church-lady says:

    –THROWS GLASS OF WATER IN TIM’S FACE–

    Okay, dude? That was a paranoid rant. We only do cynical rants here.

  17. 17
    Poopyman says:

    @fasteddie9318: Oh, absolutely. Looks and sounds like a kid way out of his depth. Maybe those were some of the requirements for the job?

  18. 18
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Alwhite:

    It takes a real master to polish a turd. And the Obama message has been a turd since November ‘08. This is also a problem of the modern D’s. The people that actually have a message are way too left wing for this center right nation, dontcha know.

    Maybe, but he’s doing just Libya right now so it’s not really about the “Obama message,” and he’s just inarticulate. I can’t believe that the administration is as dithering and uncertain about the need for Crazy Uncle Muammar to scram as Carney is making them seem.

  19. 19
    Poopyman says:

    @different church-lady: But … but … I came here for a PARANOID rant. At least, I think that’s what I paid for ….

  20. 20

    @Alwhite:

    And the Obama message has been a turd since November ‘08.

    Isn’t it amazing how people who are president during economic recessions have such awful messaging, while people who are president during expansions are Great Communicators? And then there’s people who like Reagan and Clinton, who are terrible, awful communicators when the economy is stalled, but grow into historical towers of brilliant oratory as soon as it picks up.

    I wonder how that keeps happening.

  21. 21
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Poopyman: There is a discrete and insular minority* who won’t be happy with less than Lewis Black in that job. I’m not sure it matters that much.

    *this is the footnote from Carolene Products

  22. 22
    Poopyman says:

    @Poopyman: Hey! Is it still paranoid if it’s true?

    (FYWP, and the edit function you rode in on.)

  23. 23

    @fasteddie9318:

    I can’t believe that the administration is as dithering and uncertain about the need for Crazy Uncle Muammar to scram as Carney is making them seem.

    Uncle Mo’s best hope right now is to make the uprising look like it was staged by infidel foreigners.

    No need to throw him a rope.

  24. 24
    Morbo says:

    @LGRooney: Oof, funny you should mention that; Scientific American appears to agree with you. This small business is likely to lose out on a few tens of thousands of dollars as funding gets cut.

  25. 25
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Speaking of 911 remember right afterward every politician in the country (particularly those patriotic Republicans) were lining up to kiss the ring of every firefighter and policeman they could find. The first responders were the new superstars, second only to the troops (although for a time there they were better than the troops).

    At what point did that change? I remember Rush beginning to introduce the “public sector pensions are bankrupting the States” meme I think about six months ago. Then you have the Repubs refusing to vote for their health care. Now you have the entire Republican Party basically seeing firefighters, cops and teachers as “the enemy”. What gives?

  26. 26
    Poopyman says:

    @Davis X. Machina: If you’re calling me an insular minority, well, I can’t disagree. But no one’s ever called me discrete.

  27. 27

    Y’all are depressing the shit out of me. Fortunately there are some people organizing to target corporations and demand “they pay their ‘membership fee for a civilized society.’ ”

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Speaking of 911 remember right afterward every politician in the country (particularly those patriotic Republicans) were lining up to kiss the ring of every firefighter and policeman they could find. The first responders were the new superstars, second only to the troops (although for a time there they were better than the troops).
    __
    At what point did that change?

    About the same time the police and firefighters asked politicians to *actually* make good on all their promises/rhetoric.

  29. 29
    azlib says:

    @lacp:

    Didn’t Trotsky say that when the middle class felt threatened with destruction, it turned to fascism? Sounds about right. Maybe we’ll get to see if it’s true.

    Sorry, it was already proven some 80 years ago or so.

  30. 30
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Uncle Mo’s best hope right now is to make the uprising look like it was staged by infidel foreigners

    No need to throw him a rope.

    Yeah, but there’s a way to insist on a cessation of violence without giving him much to go on in that regard (and ultimately he’s inventing that narrative anyway for all the good it’s doing him). They managed to achieve this in Egypt; admittedly it won’t matter in Libya where we have no leverage over the officer corps, but the optics matter.

    Still, I’m getting away from my original point, which was Carney. He was stammering, incoherent, and generally looking like a deer in headlights. OJT is fine for your daily presser, I guess, but it’s not good in situations like this.

  31. 31

    Heard Parker/Spitzer got cancelled. In other news, apparently there was a show on CNN called Parker/Spitzer.

  32. 32
    Maude says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    Isn’t it amazing?
    Jay Carney has just started and is probably very nervous and worried about saying something wrong. He’ll settle in and be able to handle it.
    I am so glad we don’t have Clinton as prez now. He’d be out there biting his lower lip about Libya.
    Clinton never said anything worth remembering.
    Reagan at least said facts are stupid things.

  33. 33
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @fasteddie9318: It doesn’t matter. Every story is written before the first question is asked.

  34. 34
    catclub says:

    Overlooked news of the day: Populist protesters in Iraq.

    In spite of the peeance and freeance that George W Bush brought them.

    The fact that there are, what?, 100k US citizens (25k military, plus Dept of State, plus contractors), in Iraq will make a big difference when it all goes pearshaped.

  35. 35
    jwb says:

    You didn’t even mention what’s going to happen when the states get done slashing their budgets. In any case, it’s been clear since at least last summer that 2011 was going to be a horrible, world changing year. I didn’t actually expect things to blow until this coming summer once the government shut down and the state budgets had a chance to fuck everyone over.

    On the other hand, it isn’t clear to me that this particular wave is destined to wash away the old world, much less be the force that refashions the world according to the dreams of radical Republicans.

  36. 36
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @catclub: It certainly makes the inevitable evacuation far more difficult than it otherwise has to be.

    I just hope we can still use our facilities in Bahrain and Kuwait for the bug-out.

  37. 37
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @Southern Beale:

    ahahahahhahahahhahahhahahhahahhaahah
    haahahhahahahahhahahahhahahhahahhah

    although, to paraphrase David Koch, “that Kat Parker is a piece of ass.”

  38. 38
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Parker said she’s leaving to spend more time with her reagan photo albums, and Spitzer said he’s leaving to spend more time with hookers.

  39. 39
    Dan says:

    @azlib: Didn’t Trotsky say that when the middle class felt threatened with destruction, it turned to fascism?
    Can’t we focus on who is doing the threatening?

  40. 40
    Tonal Crow says:

    Can we now go all-in on renewable energy to avoid the next oil shock, not to mention the rapidly-approaching climate (read: mass starvation) shock?

  41. 41
    ppcli says:

    There is a fundamental difference between this and 9-11. Bush and Co. may have been careless, and perhaps could have done a sharper preventative job, but basically 9-11 was something that happened to us. Others did it. The current “crisis”, to the extent it is one, was 100% created by the Republicans with precisely this aim in mind: Make raising taxes not just politically impossible, but *unmentionable*. Then spend money like a drunken sailor on wars, unneeded weapons systems manufactured by well-connected contributors, money-sponges like the prescription drug plan, and then just wait. Eventually the feds will have to cut back on money to the states, and the states to municipalities, and everybody will refrain from raising taxes, because, well, “raising taxes? what’s that?”. Eventually the various accounting tricks, seed-corn selling tactics, and down-the-road kicking options will run out for the states and municipalities. Wait until there is a Democratic president and then unleash hell. Send out your wave of sans-cullottes primed to howl about deficits, as if this had always been the worst thing in the world. In the fog, start eliminating the new deal, bring Supreme Court jurisprudence back to the Lochner days, etc.

    Obviously it wasn’t planned to the last jot and tittle. Maybe it wouldn’t have been Wisconsin, maybe it would have been Oregon. Maybe the first shot wouldn’t have been collective bargaining, maybe it would have been the minimum wage… But the basic outlines of a plan have been in place for an awfully long time.

    Jesus Murphy, David Stockton came right out and stated this both during and after the time he was Reagan’s budget director. And all the notice this got from the – ahem – liberal media was some folksy stories about how Good Ol’ Ronnie “took him behind the woodshed” for some remarks. He was describing a massive, intentional fraud carried out against the American people, which has, to all appearances been executed – with a few hiccups like the Clinton surpluses.

    I better stop ranting before I burst a blood vessel….Watching politics in this country in the 30 years since I’ve moved here has been like watching a slow-motion train wreck, where the engineers actually want the train to crash and the passengers are distracted with baubles. I hope that finally there has been a misstep – that the Republicans have made it too obvious what they are trying to do, and people won’t be distracted this time. But I’ve hoped that before.

  42. 42
    Mark S. says:

    @jwb:

    I really believe the aid to states portion of the stimulus was the only thing keeping the economy from blowing up two years ago. The federal government shutdown’s just around the corner, and who the fuck knows what’s going to happen with raising the debt ceiling.

    I may be foolishly optimistic, but I think the goopers are going to get blamed for this. I think the few Republicans with brains can see that, which is why most of them are now saying they aren’t running. At first I thought this was odd, since I don’t think Obama is that invulnerable and the economy could easily still be in the shitter (or worse) in 2012. But I think they see Boehner as a dumber version of Gingrich who won’t be able to instill any discipline in the House. Obama will be seen as the only thing standing between us and the crazies.

  43. 43
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @Maude:

    I am so glad we don’t have Clinton as prez now. He’d be out there biting his lower lip about Libya.

    Who’s Libya? Is that one of Clinton’s former bimbos?

  44. 44
    KG says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: a few years back, I vaguely remember Rush (or maybe it was a guest host of his) bitching about guys in the late-40s being retired firefighters or cops (guys who went in straight out of high school and put in their 25 years). The rant wasn’t anything other than “they weren’t even fifty and were retired and playing golf everyday.” So I think it’s always been there.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Joel says:

    Sorry, I disagree with this “prophecy”. We’re a long way from Weimar Germany, or Republican China, or Bolshevik Russia, or whatever doomsday scenario you want to dream up.

  47. 47
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @catclub:

    Iraqi military killed some of their protesters, and already the southern governor in the country has quit in the face of protests. Does the US get to avoid culpability or responsibility for the clusterfuck on that one too, or do our tens of thousands of troops still stationed there actually make that a cognitive dissonance too far?

    Because while this is all 95% the Bush administration’s fault in the first place, I do also look forward to Obama apologists swearing up and down that our withdrawal has been handled “with the utmost of competence and care” and that the future Iraqi governance is hardly a US parochial concern anymore. Self-determination and all that, obviously.

  48. 48
    Jon says:

    I will say one thing about BJ. When you play exactly to every fear I have (and a curious lack of “ok let’s everyone take a deep breath” commenters), you are able to frighten me like nothing else on the internet.

  49. 49
    LGRooney says:

    @Morbo: Of course, the point is that corporations should be taking up the funding of research. However, what has happened is that many of the energy companies have bought up smaller shops doing more forward-thinking research and then buried them into the background of their operations. There is twofold reason behind this: 1) they can bring any potentially-needed technologies that might have provided competition in-house should there be the need actually to implement something; and, 2) they can promote the idea that they are doing something about the future of energy, i.e., sustainable and renewable sources, while actively maintaining the status quo and promoting “Drill” through their PACs.

    Why do these small businesses sell out? Because the barriers to entry for potentially disruptive energy technologies are so high, thanks to those same PACs that enforce legislation killing infrastructure improvements and research funding that would support new technologies, many businesses think they’ll have a better chance inside cash-rich companies flashing big bucks and sweet promises not realizing they’re about to make a pact with their own destroyer.

  50. 50
    Woodrowfan says:

    you are able to frighten me like nothing else on the internet.

    and that’s just the Tunch posts!!!!!

  51. 51
    dollared says:

    @Dan: This. But let’s see now, who would have enough of a megaphone to point the finger? Hmmmm…..nah

  52. 52
    piratedan says:

    @Alwhite: I’m not so sure I agree with that….

    eliminating the student loan boondoggle, that’s a plus, financial stimulus versus watching us go over the cliff, definitely a plus, health care reform, better than nothing. DADT repealed, another positive, GM saved versus being tossed to the side, check. Could any of these have been improved, damn straight they could have been but that’s not on Obama. That’s on the Senate and we only got as progressive an agenda passed as would pass the Senate. I don’t believe folks like Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson were exactly in the corner rooting for more progressive legislation to be passed no matter how much bully pulpit you apply to the equation.

  53. 53
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @Jon: it’s more like Bill Murray’s rant in Ghostbusters:

    Mr. Mayor, it’s a pretty simple choice. You can believe Mr. Pecker here or you can accept the fact that this city is heading for a disaster of really Biblical proportions. Old Testament, Mr. Mayor. “Wrath of God”-type stuff. The seas could boil, fire and brimstone falling from the sky forty years of darkness, earthquakes, mass hysteria, human sacrifice!

  54. 54
    joes527 says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    … Lewis Black in that job …

    Oh man. If a presidential candidate were to run on a platform of: Lewis Black will be my Press Secretary … I would vote for him/her/it, sight unseen.

    edit: But that leaves the question – would you put Hodgman in a Secretary of Education or State?

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Tonal Crow: I don’t know. How will it affect the Q3 earnings report?

  56. 56
    Studly Pantload says:

    @different church-lady:

    I’ll say. Even for a place where I come for the unvarnished truth with a side of “Fucking snark, how does it work?”, that was a pretty harsh lunchtime read.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Arclite says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    Can we now go all-in on renewable energy to avoid the next oil shock, not to mention the rapidly-approaching climate (read: mass starvation) shock?

    For me, this is the most frustrating thing. Peak oil is at our doorstep, it takes 30 years to transition to a different energy use paradigm, and it is totally ignored. There is almost no discussion in the media. Almost no preparation has been done to mitigate this. Look around you, is there anything you lay your eyes on that was not created by oil/created by oil-mined resources/transported by oil/created from oil? There is nothing you have that oil did not play a part in bringing into your possession. There is no easy replacement for oil. Once it is gone, it is gone. You can’t grow enough crops to replace what we use. Other fuels like natural gas have vast obstacles to overcome in replacing oil in some situations, lithium battery tech is expensive, very limited, not easily scalable, and controlled by even fewer countries than oil.

  59. 59

    @Joel: Well, probably — but not definitely.

    At this point I figure government will shut down. It will cause a recession when it does.

    And I _know_ that some of the people doing the shutting are either lying or ignorant about consequences. More than one has said that (for example) social security checks and medicare will continue to be paid. Sorry, my grandparents were alive in the previous shutdown and they SCREAMED about the checks that didn’t come. (and they sometimes did, but only because there was a surplus that could be shifted while things were bad).

    If there’s a shutdown, we’ll take a negative economic shock. We’re only barely recovering, and this will cause more unemployment and more failed businesses due to loss of paying customers. Some more houses on the edge will be lost (what HAMP money – that’s government too).

    A worse case is a two-step: they run the shutdown for more than two weeks, and when it comes back they refuse to pay back-pay for everyone who was on furlough or otherwise not working (both employee and contractor). Save a lot of money? you betcha. See a lot of personal bankruptcies? you betcha. In that case I’d be unsurprised to see the unavoidable recession be deeper than the one we just came out of.

    Worse yet is if this goes more than a month. At that point nightmare scenarios are reasonable.

  60. 60
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Arclite: It’s going to be coal, oil and natural gas, and a race between the scientists and extinction, or at least TEOTWAKI.

    And all the hole cards are held by people who are sure that the water in lower Manhattan will still be a manageable thigh-deep when Jesus comes back and/or the T-bills all fall due and/or the Bangladeshi refugee armada comes ashore in Fort Lauderdale.

  61. 61
    KC says:

    Longtime since last commented here. Anyhoo, Obama and the Dems–not all, but most–in Congress just suck at messaging. It’s like the Dem PR machine only has one strategy: take a crazy Republican talking point, soften it, then regurgitate the more “reasonable” stance. That’s it. That’s all they have. That’s all Obama has.

  62. 62
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    At what point did that change? I remember Rush beginning to introduce the “public sector pensions are bankrupting the States” meme I think about six months ago.

    First time I heard the anti-unions meme applied to cops/firemen was during the Scott Brown election last year.

    I remember being a little perplexed by the switch, too, since (to my eye) it seemed as though the RW talking points switched from “cops always right!” to “cops are just another union parasite!” in an eyeblink.

  63. 63
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Meh, at this point I’m trying to stay optimistic, even though I’m not at all sure if I’m still gonna get Gi Bill payments (or, to be precise, if my spring quarter enrolment will be processed, and I’ll get paid for spring quarter). I guess that’s one of the drawbacks of being on a quarter rather than semester system right now.

    As for oil prices-in general, I’m not always sure why the market freaks out when stuff like this happens. Aren’t our Galtian Market overlords manly raw meat eating men? ISTM the markets *always* freak out over world politics. I mean, is there any actual evidence that oil pumping equipment and wells in Libya is being sabotaged or anything? Most level headed people would probably agree that in the med-long term, things will go back to normal.

  64. 64
    jl says:

    The creative destruction goes on apace.

    At the Economist View blog today (Friday Feb 25) we see that both US and UK recent GDP growth estimates revised downward.

    For the US, that means the ‘jobs recovery’ is put even further on the back burner. The UK economy is shrinking faster than previously though, in line with Keynesian theory on the effect of cuts to government services at this time.

    Further down the page, a study that shows that increasing consumption inequality has tracked increasing income inequality in the US, using national surveys on household consumption expenditure. This is consistent with aggregate data showing that the US has has had more growth in income inequality, and done less to correct that inequality than other developed countries.

    I remember typing at this blog long ago that Obama was too conventionally minded and too conventionally centrist to be anything other than a transitional figure. No, I don’t have the link, so trust me! Being a transitional figure can be a good or a bad thing. I am less and less hopeful that it is a good thing.

    And that is not meant to be a criticism of Obama, since I cannot think of another Democrat who could have won the nomination who also could have been more than a transitional figure.

  65. 65
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @JMY: the 7th seal has been broken with this appointment

  66. 66
    Svensker says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    Speaking of 911 remember right afterward every politician in the country (particularly those patriotic Republicans) were lining up to kiss the ring of every firefighter and policeman they could find. The first responders were the new superstars, second only to the troops (although for a time there they were better than the troops).
    At what point did that change?

    You have to remember (many) Repubs are sociopaths. They only value other people have is to further the sociopath’s interests. After 9/11, the sociopaths were interested in being uberpatriotic and then going to war against the Mooslims, so police and troops were good. Now they’re interested in cutting budgets so they no longer have any use for cops and sojurs, so fuck ’em.

  67. 67
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Judas Escargot: That’s the great thing about living under Ingsoc. Newspeak makes such quick switches doubleplus undifficult.

  68. 68
    Fuck U III: The Duck Fucks Back says:

    NB: Even if Federal employees recieve back pay after a shut-down, contractors will NOT be paid for lost time.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    Zifnab says:

    @LGRooney:

    many businesses think they’ll have a better chance inside cash-rich companies flashing big bucks and sweet promises not realizing they’re about to make a pact with their own destroyer.

    Or maybe these guys are just in it for the money – like every other intelligent small business man – and handing a guy $10 million on his $1 million investment now seems like a sweeter deal than competing with a $10 billion juggernaut for the next twenty years in hopes of turning a better-than-$10-million-dollar profit.

  71. 71
    Comrade Luke says:

    I don’t know if it’s what’s going on in the Middle East or what’s going on in the Midwest, but it seems like for the first time maybe ever every front-pager is energized, and for the most part pointed in the same direction. So are the commenters.

    This place has been off the hook for the last few days, and I mean that in the best way possible.

  72. 72
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Arclite:

    Add to this the fact that something like it takes 7 calories of oil (energy-wise) to produce 1 calories’ worth of food supply, and also the sensitivity of our 21st century just-in-time supply chain to oil shocks.

    Next time you’re at the supermarket, look around and know that you’re never more than 5-10 days away from a food riot.

    As energy moguls, the Kochs absolutely must know all this. So what’s their vision/end game?

    1) impoverish/destroy the middle class
    2) oil runs out
    3) ???
    3 1/2) Profit!

  73. 73

    @Fuck U III: The Duck Fucks Back:

    NB: Even if Federal employees recieve back pay after a shut-down, contractors will NOT be paid for lost time.

    True, but as I said some of the congresscritters are stupid or lying because they’re saying otherwise. At this point my money is on stupid but the effects are the same.

  74. 74
    gnomedad says:

    Revolution in the mideast, hardly a bad thing in and of itself, will not improve oil prices as production either breaks down, e.g. in the case of Libya, or as the people request oil contracts that are more in line with their own interests.

    I get the general impression that the wingers are biding their time on the Middle East lest they blame Obama prematurely for an outcome that ultimately reverses, thus making him look good. It will be interesting to see what happens to their love of democracy when democracies start acting in their citizens’ interests.

  75. 75
    ppcli says:

    @Joel: I don’t think anything like what happened before, during, and after the Nazi takeover, or the Russian or Chinese revolutions will happen here. What the side with the initiative is driving at is something more like a return to the labour climate of the U.S. in the Lochner era (to have a time frame, say: any time prior to West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish 1937) but with the addition of the Taft-Hartley act. That’s a goal that can’t be attained all at once, and I used to think it was impossible for it to be attained at all. But I’m no longer sure of that.

    Quite the contrary, I’m starting to think that without vigorous and educated opposition, the victory of the hard right wing interests is inevitable. They’ve mastered messaging, they’ve got a lot of money, and they are both relentless and patient.

  76. 76
    Old Gringo says:

    Speaking of waves cresting, with a little bit of Groundhog Day thrown in for good measure, Hunter Thompson’s famous “Wave Speech”:

    History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.
    My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheepherder’s jacket …booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) … but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that …
    There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda …. You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning ….
    And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave ….
    So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark —that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

    I suppose the moral of the story is it really depends on which side of the particular wave you are on, and someone is always riding the crest. Or maybe the die was cast and all was lost back then in 70-71. The latter is my fear, but I’m JAFO.

  77. 77

    @Judas Escargot:

    Add to this the fact that something like it takes 7 calories of oil (energy-wise) to produce 1 calories’ worth of food supply, and also the sensitivity of our 21st century just-in-time supply chain to oil shocks.

    No, it doesn’t take 7 calories of oil to produce 1 calorie of food. It takes that much to get it from planting to pantry, on average, in the US.

    A well done home garden can be very close to energy neutral. Not easily, not for most of us, as one requirement is to be using [safe] human waste composting. It’s hard, however, for the home gardener to get to 3:1 even at the most wasteful (power everytool, heavy use of fertilizer and insecticides, etc).

  78. 78
    goblue72 says:

    The late 19th century to early years of the 20th century as we transitioned from a post slavery, post-agrarian to urbanized industrial country weren’t pretty either. Vast income inequality, labor unrest, wars of imperialism, Robber Barons, the whole shebang.

    Similar to today as we transition to a world where the vast poor parts of the globe industrialize (and compete with us) while we try to figure out living in a digital, post oil age. Its frakking ugly.

  79. 79
    Old Gringo says:

    Sadly, I agree with ppcli.

    Quite the contrary, I’m starting to think that without vigorous and educated opposition, the victory of the hard right wing interests is inevitable. They’ve mastered messaging, they’ve got a lot of money, and they are both relentless and patient.

    But I’m a pessimist at heart.

  80. 80

    @Bob Loblaw:

    An excellent example of the passive-aggressive non-argument one sees so often from internet trolls who’ve been slapped around one too many times.

    Bob can’t actually make the case that the Iraqi security forcing killing protesters is Barack Obama’s fault, so he doesn’t even try.

    Rather, he uses a few favored bits of jargon he half understands “cognitive dissonance” “Obama apologists” to make the refusal to accept the argument – the one he doesn’t think he can effectively make – seem disreputable.

  81. 81
    Woodrowfan says:

    Living in northern VA I can picture what the government shutdown will do to businesses here. There will be a lot of layoffs in other businesses…

  82. 82
    Poopyman says:

    @Judas Escargot: Yesterday I made a crack to the Duck Fucker about using his shutdown time to plant his garden with staple crops. I was only half joking. It would be a good idea to look for a CSA and/or locavore groups in your areas.

    I’m thinking that our own garden is going to be about double the size it was last year.

  83. 83
    jl says:

    @Kirk Spencer: If you are still here, where to you get those stats? I’m not doubting particularly, just interested in finding info sources.

  84. 84
    Old Gringo says:

    ppcli:

    They’ve mastered messaging, they’ve got a lot of money, and they are both relentless and patient.

    You forgot unscrupulous, or sociopathic. You can all come up with your own descriptors. Without a larger megaphone, we are at a distinct disadvantage. There are some methods at our disposal to chip away at the “Mighty Wurlitzer”. Boycotts, mostly.

  85. 85
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @jl: yeah, breaking the color barrier wasn’t transformative at all. Back to the back of the bus barack, and take jackie robinson and thurgood marshall with ya. with hippies like you who needs glenn beck.

  86. 86
    Violet says:

    @Poopyman:
    I’m putting in my garden right now. I try to grow a lot of my own food, but it’s not easy.

  87. 87
    Chris Grrr™ says:

    @joes527: Me too, also.

    It would be a soaring nine or ten weeks, before Lewis had the inevitable aneurysm…

  88. 88
    HyperIon says:

    @KC:

    Longtime since last commented here.

    Hey, dude.
    i remember you!
    what’s kept you away for so long?

  89. 89
    Old Gringo says:

    @Davis X. Machina

    It certainly makes the inevitable evacuation far more difficult than it otherwise has to be.

    I just hope we can still use our facilities in Bahrain and Kuwait for the bug-out.

    Highly unlikely you will ever see that in Iraq. No Saigon style bugout. I don’t know how many A1 Abrams are still in country but there is only one way out for them. On flatbed trucks. That’s a helluva lot of expensive hardware to leave behind. Maybe in 30 or 40 years when the Abrams is no longer the main battle tank of the US military.

  90. 90
    HyperIon says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay wrote:

    I mean, is there any actual evidence that oil pumping equipment and wells in Libya is being sabotaged or anything?

    the US gets virtually no oil from Libya.
    and supposedly our reserves are healthy.
    /snark
    which is why the pump price is increasing….obviously.
    /snark off

  91. 91
    JC says:

    Quite the contrary, I’m starting to think that without vigorous and educated opposition, the victory of the hard right wing interests is inevitable. They’ve mastered messaging, they’ve got a lot of money, and they are both relentless and patient.

    What is most interesting to me, is that any type of shutdown, hurts business interests. And yet, the it’s the business interests that the Republican, in the vast majority, represent. So, as a ‘game of chicken’, I don’t quite understand it, this shutdown of the government strategy.

    Otherwise, it simply looks like an empty threat.

    Regarding massive and disciplined opposition, you are right. But it’s clear than ‘show and tell’, simply doesn’t work. Great reporting, doesn’t work, because it isn’t repeated enough, by the Corporate Media. If it was, this whole B.S. about ‘deficit reduction’, every commenter would be pouring scorn on it, for two reasons:

    a. The huge increase in the deficit, because of the Christmas tax extension reduction deal.
    b. The true ‘reduction’ that counts for the future of debt in this country, is medical bills, and revenue. Reducing the heating oil subsidy for poor people, is just a pathetic joke, completely unserious, as is the 100 billion (though not really) that the Rethugs are pretending to cut.

    Every commenter on TV should be reporting that, nonstop, anytime anything about deficit reduction comes up.

    But they don’t. They simply don’t care.

    Which means, only pain will bring a change. Only enough pain.

    I keep thinking we are looking at more of an Italian economy. More and more areas just ‘left out’ of growth. Like that Italian movie, ‘Gomorrah’.

  92. 92
    Cris says:

    @Poopyman: But … but … I came here for a PARANOID rant. At least, I think that’s what I paid for …

    Oh, I’m sorry, this is Abuse. No, you want 12-A next door.

  93. 93
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    No, it doesn’t take 7 calories of oil to produce 1 calorie of food. It takes that much to get it from planting to pantry, on average, in the US.

    Wish I were wrong, but sadly I’m not.

    Granted, the fossil fuel calorie:food calorie ratio is a squirrely thing to compute, but you’ll see a ratio of 7 coming out as the average in most recent studies. Those are production figures (farm equipment power sources, fossil fuels are the main input to fertilizer, etc.) not transport figures.

    Ratios due to transportation are even bigger, even enormous by comparison (ratios range from about 50-190 depending upon food origin and transport method: good article here).

    This is why the quip about the “3000 mile salad” and all its hidden costs has been getting popular these past few years.

    A well done home garden can be very close to energy neutral.

    It takes 3-5 (acres/person)/year to feed one person with pre-industrial farming techniques. And that’s without beef.

    Organic home farming isn’t going to save civilization: there’s just not enough arable land for pre-industrial farming techniques to feed 7 billion mouths. We, collectively, have to redesign and retool almost every system in the supply chain (from production to transport to storage and perhaps even preparation).

    And (to echo the original poster’s point), we can do all this, given enough time and will and money. Might even create more than a few jobs as a side effect. But the dead-enders are in the way: Not only do they have no solutions, but they won’t let us even have the necessary conversations about the problem(s).

  94. 94
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Let me see if I can make this clearer for you, joe, since I know you’re a bit daft.

    The failure to provide better governance for the Iraqi people is an embarrassing foreign policy failure for the Obama administration. Don’t be surprised if there’s a Friday Day of Rage in Baghdad before long, as our tens of thousands of troops (and hundreds of thousands of accompanying civilian personnel) stand paralyzed while it happens.

  95. 95
    ppcli says:

    @Old Gringo:

    ppcli:

    They’ve mastered messaging, they’ve got a lot of money, and they are both relentless and patient.
    You forgot unscrupulous, or sociopathic. You can all come up with your own descriptors. Without a larger megaphone, we are at a distinct disadvantage. There are some methods at our disposal to chip away at the “Mighty Wurlitzer”. Boycotts, mostly.

    Very true, I forgot to add those. Also I suppose I should add “and impressively well-coordinated”, though you might take that to be included in “mastered messaging”. (Rove’s thousands of disappeared emails would have been fascinating in this connection.)

    Our new Michigan governor (who’s actually less of a wingnut than any of the alternatives, but that’s a topic for a different day) gave a basically sensible and intelligent state of the state address, but sure enough: stuck in there was the newly ubiquitous rubbish about how public employees are allegedly paid some insane number of dollars more than private employees. Turned out, as anyone who troubled to look could see, he got those results by comparing public management-level jobs requiring advanced degrees with private jobs as janitors, plus he included benefits in calculating one case (guess which one) and not the other,… The usual.

    Setting aside moral evaluations, it’s really quite impressive how it the whole machine runs, like a carefully crafted clock. Rarely a false note, everyone gets the script well in advance and sticks to it.

  96. 96
    ppcli says:

    @ppcli: OK I can’t edit, so I’d like to point out that everything before “Very true” in this message should be block-quoted.

  97. 97
    Surly Duff says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    not to mention the rapidly-approaching climate (read: mass starvation) shock?

    If you had been paying attention to Glenn Beck, you would have been storing up foodstuffs in a bomb shelter in preparation. Shame on you.

  98. 98
    WyldPirate says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker):

    yeah, breaking the color barrier wasn’t transformative at all. Back to the back of the bus barack, and take jackie robinson and thurgood marshall with ya. with hippies like you who needs glenn beck..

    People don’t give a flying fuck about that horseshit when they don’t have a job, get pitched out on the street and can’t feed their families you dumbfuck.

    If you would shove aside figurative Obamas nutsack coveringm your eyes so you could see, you would realize that the whole goddamned Midwest was practically taken over by Republicans in the legislatures and the governships. These are states Obama must win to get re-elected. He won many of those states by the skin of his teeth anyway.

    It’s not going to matter much in the end even if Obama is re-elected (and I’ll concede now that he likely will be because the Rethug field is so weak). The Rethugs will take the Senate in a big way in 2012. They will keep the House, too. The only thing Obama will get done will be via giving in and dragging the country more to the right. This is something he has shown a marked propensity for waffling centrist horseshit already which was jl’s point in the first place.

  99. 99
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Old Gringo: The accountants will eventually do it, even if the Iraqi people don’t.

  100. 100
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @HyperIon:

    My bad, I’m not a Galtian MBA who thinks McMegan is an economic genius. I knew I was missing something…

  101. 101
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @WyldPirate:

    (and I’ll concede now that he likely will be because the Rethug field is so weak)

    Wow, that must have been so hard for you.

    You’re a very angry person. A very silly, angry, little person.

  102. 102
    Arclite says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    Add to this the fact that something like it takes 7 calories of oil (energy-wise) to produce 1 calories’ worth of food supply, and also the sensitivity of our 21st century just-in-time supply chain to oil shocks.

    Next time you’re at the supermarket, look around and know that you’re never more than 5-10 days away from a food riot.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. Yeah it takes 7-10 oil cals per cal of food, but there are ways to mitigate that. It takes 70 oil cals to produce 1 cal of pork, but 1 oil cal will produce 3 cals of oats. Meat is extremely oil intensive, as are processed foods. Whole grains, beans, and veggies, much less so. So a change in diet could really mitigate that.

    That, and only about 10-15% of our oil usage goes to food production. 70% is cars and trucking. So implementing a public transportation system (trains, subways, electric buses on transoms with battery backup) that runs on electricity (which can be gen’d any number of ways)is key.

    It doesn’t HAVE to be all James Howard Kunstler, but avoiding his scenarios requires planning and government encouragement.

  103. 103

    In the coming crisis, the middle class will divide itself into t-partiers; people who are as passionate as the t-partiers but sensible, only they’re too polite to rabble-rouse; and the rest like the frogs in the pot of eventually-boiling water (I know it’s not true of frogs, but the comparison works for most of us, especially Democrats.)

  104. 104

    @Old Gringo:
    In re:Hunter; that die toss was probably the big element in the GOP ability to run on economically disasterous policies for their voters (and new voters). Sure I was on that wave and thanks to the feature of hanging with co-thinkers thought something was happening that would help.

    Maybe some things did, but an economic/social split was created and we’re living with it today. Maybe today’s outcomses in gay rights are out-growths but so are the economic policies that hit a hell of a lot more people than, say DADT, and that fury is still unabated.

    I don’t scoff at the things this Amin/last Congress managed as meaningless, but despite the efforts of some our eyes were off the economic ball – and sadly I think it will get worse.

  105. 105
    Cris says:

    @JMY: The story’s headline says “Openly Gay Man–Jeremy Bernard– Is New White House Social Secretary” but the URL simply says “openly gay man is new white ho.”

  106. 106
    les says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker):

    While he’s a good solid centrist dem and a hell of a politician, surely you can’t think Obama is politically transformative? Slightly left of the DLC isn’t going to change anything fundamentally. The fact that a black man was elected is a nice sign; the shitstorm that has followed tells us a lot too. None of that speaks to significant policy change in the country.

  107. 107
    Bex says:

    @LGRooney: I went to a talk by my paleo conservative congressman yesterday and someone actually asked when we were going to start to drill baby drill. Congressman replied that he was going to vote for more drilling in Alaska and off the east coast. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  108. 108
  109. 109
    les says:

    @JC:

    I think that big biz isn’t that worried about a shutdown; they’re sitting on huge piles of cash and are in great shape to weather a storm that could wreck small biz/employees, step in and pick up the pieces. It’s all short term benefit analysis to those assholes.

  110. 110
    Elie says:

    I have been away for a while from BeeJay — work and other issues.

    That said, glad that I can come back and read the same troll comments and points of view almost without missing a beat.

    Actually, I am sorry about that, but such is life. Back to planning my garden….

  111. 111
    joes527 says:

    @Surly Duff:

    If you had been paying attention to Glenn Beck, you would have been storing up foodstuffs in a bomb shelter in preparation.

    Wait. What?

    I’ve been storing gold down there. We are going to need food TOO?

    Shit.

  112. 112
    freeulysses says:

    That was a Billmon-worthy rant.

  113. 113

    @les:
    That shit pile of cash is one of the things that is keeping the corporate raiders at bay. Those companies at their current production (?) levels are worth a lot more dismantled than in operation – ie raider targets. Any such attempt would be met by that cash pile going to stock re-purchase for voting purposes.

  114. 114
    Cris says:

    @joes527: I’ve been storing gold down there. We are going to need food TOO?

    And guns, duh

  115. 115
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @les: @WyldPirate:

    way to discount blacks. rush limbaugh is proud.

  116. 116
    WyldPirate says:

    @Bo Loblaw:

    No, it’s simply a fact.

    You want another fact? If the economy so much as twitches downward from where it is, he may not win anyway even with the crazy fucks the Rethugs that are lining up to run against him.

    and yeah, you’re goddamned right I’m angry. The country is really fucked up right now.

  117. 117
    Mike Kay (Peacemaker) says:

    @WyldPirate:

    you would realize that the whole goddamned Midwest was practically taken over by Republicans in the legislatures and the governships. These are states Obama must win to get re-elected. He won many of those states by the skin of his teeth anyway.

    you are so sad. you can’t even count.

    Obama won WI by 14%, IA by 9%, MN by 10%, MI by 17%, PA by 10%, OH by 5% and IL by 35%.

    seek help.

  118. 118
    Fuck U III: The Duck Fucks Back says:

    Poopyman: Lord love a duck, Poopster, I’m not a duck fucker per se, I am a duck who gets fucked.

    That is, if anyone is interested? I mean, once you go quack, you never go back.

  119. 119

    At this point the GOP seems to see Obama as a shoo-in, that could change. The way things are skidding around I haven’t a clue about Congress ’12. GOP seems to think it is theirs.

  120. 120
    agrippa says:

    A lot is going to take place between now and Nov 2012. It all depends upon what all these political actors do during that time. They have some decisions to make.

    Adversity is just as likely to bring out the worst in people and/or politicians as it is to bring out the best. Bringing out the worst may, in fact, be the more likely.

    Notice how poor the communication skills of ‘great communicators’ become when times are hard: Reagan, Clinton.

    So, I am guessing that most of the GOP will go into ‘full stupid’ and dissipate most of their advantage they gained in 2010.

    This advantage was gained by Democrats failing to seize the moment in Jan 2008.

    If matters go as I guess they will, based largely on the idea that the GOP is an organized fatuity, the Dems will keep the WH and get back the HoR. Then, the the Dms will get another opportunity to dither and fuss.

    I have faith that politicians will do what is right when all other alternatives have been exhausted.

  121. 121

    @agrippa:
    All this, of course, calls for more DLC…

  122. 122
    Caz says:

    Honestly, what is the point of this post? Do you not bash the GOP enough that you have to come up with a premise to post another GOP bashing blog because they haven’t done anything recently enough to bash them on?

    So basically, here’s the message: “GOP takes advantage of current events to destroy the country. There is unrest in the middle east. The GOP will be use this as an excuse to further destroy our country.”

    I guess you don’t need to wait around for the GOP to do anything, but it would be nice to see you address a factual situation where you think the GOP is wrong rather than just bash them for the sake of bashing them.

    For the record, I am not part of the GOP. I am not a republican.

  123. 123
    agrippa says:

    @Caz:

    Caz nice rant

    whatever floats your boat dude

  124. 124

    @Judas Escargot:

    It takes 3-5 (acres/person)/year to feed one person with pre-industrial farming techniques. And that’s without beef.

    I highly recommend you look up John Jeavons. Seriously. When you read about him the first impression is you’re reading organic fanboy writings. And he himself is a bit, well, fanatical. But he’s proven himself multiple times.

    The pre-industrial standard, by the way, was one family per 3-5 acres, not one person.

    No, it doesn’t take 7 calories of oil to produce 1 calorie of food. It takes that much to get it from planting to pantry, on average, in the US.

    Wish I were wrong, but sadly I’m not.

    Yes, you are. Your link footnotes to another study for its original data – Heller, Martin C., and Gregory A. Keoleian. Life Cycle-Based Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of the U.S. Food System. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan, 2000: 42. Heller and Keoleian’s study included energy requirements of processing and transporting the food. On the other hand, Horrigan, Leo, Robert S. Lawrence, and Polly Walker. “How Sustainable Agriculture Can Address the Environmental and Human Health Harms of Industrial Agriculture.” Environmental Health Perspectives 110, no. 5 (May 5, 2002) found that the rate for actual food production was (average) 3 to 1. From that report:

    “The average U.S. farm uses 3 kcal of fossil energy in producing 1 kcal of food energy (in feedlot beef production, this ratio is 35:1), and this does not include the energy used to process and transport the food.”

  125. 125
    agrippa says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Chuck, I kinda doubt it. But, Ihave been real weak on the DLC for a good while

  126. 126
    piratedan says:

    @Caz: you just play one on TV, right?

  127. 127
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Mike Kay (Peacemaker): Alright buster, back under the bridge, or it’s the pie filter for you.

  128. 128

    @agrippa:
    I’ll take that bet. Never underestimate the capacity for stupidity.

  129. 129
    Nathanlindquist says:

    Late to the party here but Tim F…..there’s not many posts I read that lay it all out in a way that I agree with every single word but…..you just had one.

    That’s how it could all go down. Not necessarily WILL go down. But if oil prices rise and Saudi is bluffing like it looks like they are, you hit it. I wish more of our pundit betters could lay it out the way you just did.

  130. 130
    PIGL says:

    @ppcli: are you a Patricia?

  131. 131
    Judas Escargot says:

    I highly recommend you look up John Jeavons. Seriously.

    I did. And 4000 sq. ft. per person per year is… a lot better.

    But could it scale?

  132. 132
    mclaren says:

    I’ve been telling everyone who would listen that the price of oil is headed upwards toward a permanent steady-state $175 a barrel, and we’d better prepare for it.

    Instead, America is doing nothing. Nada. Dick. Zip. Diddly. Squad. Bupkiss. Zilch.

    Both Democrats and Republicans should be scrambling to fund a Manhattan-project-sized effort to replace gasoline and cars, and instead the Democrats are nattering on about Glenn Beck and the Republicans are screaming about impeaching Obama.

    Waves now wash over the side of the Titanic and its bow is tilting upwards, and everyone is still haggling and squabbling and quibbling about trivia.

    Meanwhile, all the commenters on this thread continue to roar around in their SUVs.

    You’re going to get one hell of an education, people.

  133. 133

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Let me see if I can make this clearer for you, joe, since I know you’re a bit daft.

    Aren’t you aware that writing something like this to someone who is respected a great deal more than you makes you look juvenile?

    The failure to provide better governance for the Iraqi people is an embarrassing foreign policy failure for the Obama administration.

    The Obama administration doesn’t govern Iraq, Einstein.

    As a matter of fact, that development is a great, much appreciated foreign policy success.

  134. 134

    @agrippa:

    This advantage was gained by Democrats failing to seize the moment in Jan 2008.

    You mean 2009.

    The Democrats did seize the moment in 2009. They passed the most ambitious, voluminous, significant legislative agenda in over 40 years, perhaps since FDR’s first term.

    People overemphasize messaging. It’s the fundamentals that determine electoral outcomes.

  135. 135
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Aren’t you aware that writing something like this to someone who is respected a great deal more than you makes you look juvenile?

    1. Nobody cares about your e-respect, least of all me.

    2. You just appealed to your own authority. On the internet. Napoleon complex much?

    The Obama administration doesn’t govern Iraq, Einstein.

    Of course not. But the idea that the United States has no ongoing role in Iraqi reconstruction would be rather surprising news to the State department I’m sure.

    Now go ahead, get emotional, say some more stupid shit and then tell us all about how “respected” you are. Perhaps some of your legion admirers will even come to your defense. What fun.

  136. 136

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Of course not.

    Then you shouldn’t have written that the Obama administration has “responsibility” for the actions of the Iraqi government, and you shouldn’t have written that they provide “governance” there.

    But the idea that the United States has no ongoing role in Iraqi reconstruction would be rather surprising news to the State department I’m sure.

    I’m afraid I can’t keep up with your goalposts. First the Obama administration had “responsibility” for the killing of those protesters, then some vague mewling about the Obama administration “providing governance,” and now “ongoing role in reconstruction.”

    Keep crabwalking, Bob. It’s not undignified at all.

    Now go ahead, get emotional,

    Not really my style.

    say some more stupid shit

    My, you seem to be getting a tad emotional.

    and then tell us all about how “respected” you are.

    Shrug. I was trying to give you some helpful advice.

    Perhaps some of your legion admirers will even come to your defense.

    Somebody sounds a tad insecure.

  137. 137
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Then you shouldn’t have written that the Obama administration has “responsibility” for the actions of the Iraqi government, and you shouldn’t have written that they provide “governance” there.

    They have responsibility for the failed economic and industrial and human services reconstruction of that country, the failure of which is one cause of the entirely justified dissent amongst Iraqi citizens. Dissension which lead to protests, which lead to the army killing its own people. And army that only exists as the result of the US-Iraq training partnership, by the way. We do not get to wash our hands of what happens there, even though the war is “over.” Ever.

    The Iraqi people have every bit the just cause to protest the al-Maliki government as Algerians, Yemenis, Jordanians, etc. do theirs. Considering the Iraq government is our trillion dollar baby, this can only be seen as a rather humiliating failure of the joint US-Iraqi partnership and statebuilding. It is not January 2009 forever. Both administrations here and abroad have now proven their inability to ensure competent governance and deliverance of services in that country, which yes, though you stamp your little feet, is a core State department priority.

    But since you’re an overemotional dipshit who saw the word ‘apologist’ in the original post, raised your hackles, and convinced yourself that somehow I’m accusing the Obama administration of ordering foreign soldiers to murder their own people, this certainly went right over your head. As it always does.

    I wish I could say I find you amusing, the paragon of “dignity” and “respectability” you declare yourself to be. I know, I’m surprised too. But really, you’re just tedious. Maybe I’m just jaded. This blog deserves a better class of blowhards, and you’re just so mediocre I feel like you’re letting everybody down.

  138. 138
    bob h says:

    No, the wave will crest only when white people are in such a deep minority status that the Republicans can no longer run national campaigns. White Americans are irremedially stupid. The salvation depends on non-white reproduction.

  139. 139
    ppcli says:

    @PIGL: Sort of, but not really. Long story. I was a cadet in high school and I was supposed to go to RMC, but then I had an accident, and it looked as if my injuries would prevent me from fulfilling the service obligations. They probably wouldn’t have, as it turned out, but by the time this became apparent I was on a different life path. I took this pseudonym about ten years ago when I was arguing on a right wing website against people who were slagging the Canadian contributions in Afghanistan, and then once you’ve had a label for long enough, inertia sets in.

Comments are closed.