Open Thread: Because Us Simple Peasants Know the Smell of Manure?

(John Backderf via GoComics.com — click link for full-sized image)
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Dave Weigel at Slate asks the un-musical question “Why Has Pete Peterson’s Expensive Campaigna Against the Deficit Failed?“:

… For 20 years, a coalition of wealthy people—Pete Peterson chief among them—has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build public support for austerity. They have held annual summits, then semiannual summits. They’ve written books. They’ve started up coalitions. They’ve partnered with MTV. It’s been five weeks since Barack Obama was re-elected, and there’ve been two gatherings in downtown D.C., put on by Peterson-tied organizations, asking politicians to do something about that debt.

But do what, exactly? Here’s the current problem with Peterson-ism: As scary as it seems to liberals, as clear as it may be that Peterson wants to build momentum for entitlement cuts, the actual work of these groups has moved us no closer to those said cuts…

Not that the professional courtiers of the Media Village aren’t working hard for Peterson’s estimated $458million largesse. Here’s Charlie Pierce at Esquire on the most fragrant recent effort:

One of my primary criticisms of Tiger Beat On The Potomac has been that the entire enterprise has been dedicated totally to gossip, triviality, and Drudge-baiting to the exclusion of what’s actually going on in the country to the people these politics are supposed to serve. Alas, today, the two presiding intellects of the publication put their watery heads together to discuss “bold” policy choices. I hereby take back everything I wrote in the former vein. If this is their idea of discussing policy, I wish to the god that gave me breath that they’d go back to who’s zooming whom at some lobbying shop.

In short, Messrs. VandeHei and Allen have decided that the way to a “rocket-propelled” economy is to cut corporate tax rates to almost nothing, close a bunch of loopholes that will reopen under new rubric in approximately 11 seconds, and essentially do away with the American middle class, or at least impoverish its dwindling membership to the point at which nobody can afford to buy anything anyway…

Jon Chait at NYMag‘s Daily Intel adds a professional critique:

Politico editors Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen today have published what may be the most revealing piece I have ever read about the Washington power elite. The value of the piece is almost entirely anthropological. That is to say, read at face value, it tells the reader almost nothing new. But examined as a cultural specimen, it offers profound insight. The piece reads as if it were written by Upton Sinclair, if he were taken prisoner and trying to smuggle messages out to the world past a particularly literal-minded group of censors…

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Apart from correctly labelling the hand-held implements of agricultural utility, what’s on the agenda for Twelve-Twelve-Twelve?

107 replies
  1. 1
    PeakVT says:

    the actual work of these groups has moved us no closer to those said cuts…

    I’ll disagree with Weigel on that. The fact that we’re discussing cuts to SS and Medicare means we are a lot closer to making them than if we were discussing something constructive, such as high speed rail or more support for vocational education. Or whatever. It’s not like the Austerians failed on their own. There was plenty of pushback from the public and from the much smaller array of liberal noisemakers, which gave enough spine to centrist Democratic politicians for them to oppose cuts. I’ve come to hate the phrase Overton window, but it’s useful, and in this case I don’t see how one can argue that the Peterson proganda project has failed to move it to the right.

  2. 2
    Raven says:

    Mornin Joe just said he’s “pro union”!!!

  3. 3
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven:

    Talk, like Joe, is cheap.

    OTOH here is a cartoon about cats & dogs
    http://www.gocomics.com/ten-cats/2012/12/12

  4. 4
    MattF says:

    ‘Jobs’ are for the little people.

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    @Schlemizel: He’s so fucking full of shit it’s amazing.

  6. 6
    PeakVT says:

    FP (of all places) has a good retrospective of Oscar Niemeyer. Shorter: Niemeyer never allowed the functionality of his buildings to interfere with how they looked from a distance.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    waynski says:

    @Raven: he doesn’t want to get stabbed in the face by his production crew (union). That’s all that is. So he can Tsk tsk a little fisticuffs outside the statehouse. This will get worse for a lot of people. Blatently political move by the Koch bros. Will someone not rid us of them?

  9. 9
    Raritansailor says:

    I’m SO sick of hearing debt, debt, debt!!!
    I want to hear stimulus, Jobs, jobs, jobs!!!
    We should all start tweeting, facebooking, emailing, and blogging this theme to everyone who will listen 24×7, and simply out-shout the idiot-BS-corporate media, and the “villagers”.

    Maybe that will change the debt, cut, austerity, conversation? ….Maybe???

  10. 10
    Amir Khalid says:

    Test comment, to see if using a new ISP gets moi in moderation.

    Gee, Anne Laurie, that cartoon looks huge!

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Anne Laurie @ Top:

    … what’s on the agenda for Twelve-Twelve-Twelve?

    Only 9 shopping days left till the end of the world.\

    .

  12. 12
    Central Planning says:

    Seems that the “balloon-jeus ex machina” is slow. I’m pretty sure it’s not me.

    Anyone else seeing issues/

  13. 13
    Raven says:

    @Central Planning: Not here in Georgia.

  14. 14
    JGabriel says:

    Help! Help! I been modereratered!

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Gee, Anne Laurie, that cartoon looks huge!

    Didja notice the name of the cartoonist?

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Anne Laurie, you seem to be the only front-pager around. I think the last three threads have all been yours. This is in no wise a complaint, just a slightly perplexed observation.

  17. 17
    gene108 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    With what Cole pays these guys, this lack of productivity is unacceptable!

  18. 18
    debbie says:

    These tiny cartoons are a total PITA.

  19. 19
    jibeaux says:

    Dave Weigel at Slate asks the un-musical question “Why Has Pete Peterson’s Expensive Campaigna Against the Deficit Failed?“:

    Well, it’s slightly more musical when called a “Campaigna”….

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Don’t worry – a bunch of the others will pop up & post 6 threads in the same half hour span. They have done it before.

    Ya know, ya’s gets whats ya’s pays fer here

  21. 21

    Fragrant? As in “it stinks” perhaps?

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    Starting here, starting now:

    Do not use the word “entitlements.” And politely correct others on the term when they rabbit on about “we need to cut entitlements.”

    The proper word is “earned benefits.”

    Sadly, the concept of entitlements — that human beings are entitled to human dignity and that each (post-fetal) human life has value — was discarded once FDR’s New Deal came under fullscale attack.

    The vast number of Americans have worked to share the cost of the benefits they (and their survivors/dependents) receive. And yes, since we’re an advanced society with medical care for our aged (if not for enough others), most are getting back more than they paid in. It’s called the social compact.

    It underlies civil society. Which seems under attack, for pecuniary reasons badly disguised as “philosophical differences.”

  23. 23
    Elizabelle says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    Hello there. Have you been away on an adventure? It seems you have been missing.

  24. 24
    Mark S. says:

    I knew Pete Peterson was old, but I didn’t know he looked like the crypt keeper.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Do you think that maybe it’s bloggers taking time to exhale?

    And bored to tears with watching the kabuki of the (oh noes!) fiscal cliff?

    Maybe it’s not so bad to dial back and concentrate on the life offline.

    Although boring for us with too few new threads, agreed.

  26. 26
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Morning Ho is “pro-union” in the sense that unions can be “clubs” that have no actual power to negotiate with capital. He likes the matching shirts they wear. Like a frat.

    Fuck him. And fuck the Politiho lead assholes.

  27. 27
    liberal says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    This is in no wise a complaint, just a slightly perplexed observation.

    I thought everything slowed down between Thanksgiving and Xmas.

  28. 28
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @liberal: Everything grinds to a halt between Christmas and New Years, except endless lists of “best/worst of the year”

  29. 29
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Elizabelle: I understand what you are trying to do, but where does Medicaid and SNAP for the children of poor parents fit in to “earned benefits”? Do we really want to separate those programs that are needed by some from those that are earned? And how does Medicare, where the amount of money someone put into it does not currently match how much they get out, fit under “earned benefits”? Should it be cut off when a person’s contribution limit has been reached? (And I know the answer to the last one is no if you read the question by itself.)

  30. 30

    @Elizabelle:

    Hello there. I have been very lax. A few personal crises, some blogger’s ennui, and post election burn out. I’ll be back soon – someone at the Corner will say something particularly dumb and that will inspire me.

  31. 31
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Elizabelle: If they were bored with “watching the kabuki” this blog would not exist. Heck, they contribute to it.

  32. 32
    handsmile says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Could it be a work stoppage/slowdown in solidarity with Michigan’s union workers? Would that mean that Anne Laurie is a scab? Is this a “right-to-write” shop?

    Actually I do wonder what FPers here are union members. Three or four might be members of AAUP (American Association of University Professors), but academic unions have a distinctive labor-management relationship.

  33. 33
    shortstop says:

    Clearly the other front pagers are secret Mayans. It was going to come out sooner or later.

  34. 34
    raven says:

    We don need no stinkin front pagers. Just talk about anything that crosses your mind, I do. My colony of flesh eating beetles is progressing well. How’s that for a starter?

  35. 35
    liberal says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    Yeah, of course—that’s real downtime!

    My impression is that early autumn OTOH is pretty busy.

  36. 36
    Maude says:

    @raven:
    I’m bring a film camera and filming this. Those bugs are a movie.

  37. 37
    Punchy says:

    Choo to the Reds, ‘Juns get quality pitching, and Zona takes it in the kiester. Really, Tony Sipp? The best player in the trade for the BOBers sounds like a gay porn star?

  38. 38
    raven says:

    @Maude: It’s going to take at least 3 months to get a hot colony so they can do their deed.

  39. 39
    handsmile says:

    89 years to the next repeating calendrical date (in the event that the Mayans are wrong).

    I wonder if Peak Wingnut will have been reached by then (to say nothing of Peak Oil). Will years spent in a cryogenic chamber alter one’s political views? I look forward to reading comments here on January 1, 2101.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    there are a lot of logical people out there.

    logic screams that what Peterson is shilling is utter bullshyt

  41. 41
    Maude says:

    @raven:
    Not a problem. I’m thinking big screen. Bugs 12 feet high. It’s a go.

  42. 42
    Downpuppy says:

    @handsmile: I’m on Voluntary Layoff from a union job. Think about reapplying every now & then. After 17 years, though, they might not want me back.

    News has been pretty dead, except for Chronicle of Higher Education publishing a survey of college president salaries. That’s more a Crooked Timber/LGM kind of thing, though.

  43. 43
    raven says:

    @Maude: OOO, sounds like a plan!

  44. 44
    mary says:

    @waynski: waynski, that was exactly what I thought when Joe Scarborough said he was pro-union. Talk about a hostile work environment. Also, did you see Mika’s face when he said that?

  45. 45

    Today’s anti-abortion WTF moment. Another opportunity to ask the eternal question: stupid, evil, or both?

  46. 46
    MattF says:

    @handsmile: There’s actually a possibility that the wingnut event horizon has already been crossed– we’d never actually know when that happens, because once they’ve passed the horizon, information from Wingnuttia wouldn’t be able to get out into reality.

  47. 47
    hep kitty says:

    Wow. Just finished the Charlie Pierce article. Too bad I’m at work. I need a cigarette.

  48. 48
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @raven: Did I miss something? Are we planning homicide and body disposal here. (And I know this comment says more about me than anything else).

  49. 49
    The Red Pen says:

    Speaking of unions, the wingnut outrage of the day is that some union guy punched some wingnut douchebag in the face when protesters clashed with wingnuts in Michigan.

    This is, apparently, the worst thing that’s ever happened in the history of ever. Now you can say, “Oh yeah, I heard about that. I hope he punched the guy really hard,” instead of, “Huh?”

  50. 50
    Bulworth says:

    Chait on Politico:

    The authors begin by describing the consensus as the opinions of the CEO-Beltway class but never bother to mention dissenting opinions.

    Dissent? They’re writing for Politico, for pete’s sake.

  51. 51
    quannlace says:

    ’m SO sick of hearing debt, debt, debt

    And specifically, from Lindsey “Obama needs to man up” Graham. I’ve always thought he looks like he should be living under a bridge, harassing billy goats gruff.

  52. 52
    japa21 says:

    Morning Joe is not pro-union. He is in favor of “right to Work for Less” legislation. But he basically laughed at Snyder when Snyder said the legislation is actually good for unions.

  53. 53
    steveday says:

    @Elizabelle: “entitlements”, as JJ might sing, is just another word for nothin’ left to lose.
    The gummint owes you money? Good luck collecting.

  54. 54
    raven says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Nah, I caught a gigantic redfish and I’n going to skeletonize the skull. I researched it a demisted beetles is the preferred method but I have to raise a colony> I got a starter kit from a science equipment outfit. Meanwhile I have some big filets for some blackened redfish!

  55. 55
    some guy says:

    Pierce is a national treasure, but as PeakVT has correctly pointed out, the debtdebtdebtMONSTERdebtdebtdebt talk drowns out much else. This is how the corporate whores shift the window, by ceaselessly shilling for an agenda that screws over the people so the rich can have some more scraps.

  56. 56
    handsmile says:

    @Downpuppy:

    That CHE survey is always startling. The better half of the handsmile household will now be withholding her year-end gift to her alma mater (New School University) upon learning that Bob Kerrey was the highest paid university president, “earning” a $3million salary, including a $1.2million “retention bonus” to smooth the transition for his successor. A grifter to the end, that Bob.

    His carpet-bagging effort (unsuccessful) to seek a US Senate seat from Nebraska this year was the very thing one would expect from him.

  57. 57

    Shocker! Paul Ryan-style “voucher” system for Medicaid is a big flop in Minnesota!

    Nyholm, who [earns approximately $19,000 per year] from Social Security benefits and [a] part-time job, said the health insurance available to her is either too expensive or inadequate. She said one option that mirrored her $30 monthly premium for MinnesotaCare would have required her to pay a $10,000 deductible before insurance kicked in.
    __
    […]
    __
    Another option was a $5,000 deductible that required Nyholm to pay $261 a month. Nyholm said that deductable is also too high, so she decided to pass on the voucher and go without health insurance.

    Hoooooocodanode?!

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    someone at the Corner will say something particularly dumb

    Going way out on a limb, are you?

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @Downpuppy:

    News has been pretty dead, except for Chronicle of Higher Education publishing a survey of college president salaries.

    Link? Pretty please?

  60. 60
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @raven: I don’t think I’ve ever had redfish. My fish experience is limited. Though my brother introduced me to fresh caught grouper and it was a hit.

    EDIT to add, I’m hoping we’ll see pictures of the whole process. It sounds fascinating. Though I’m a little disappointed….

  61. 61
    liberal says:

    @PeakVT:

    I’ve come to hate the phrase Overton window, but it’s useful, and in this case I don’t see how one can argue that the Peterson proganda project has failed to move it to the right.

    I think the best example is how young people think there will be no SS for them, as opposed to “at least 75/80% of current benefit levels, with no tweaking.”

  62. 62
    liberal says:

    @Bulworth:
    I know all the O-bots here hate GG, but he had a really funny tweat once. Something like Politico needs a separate gossip page as much as the Washington Post needs a separate neocon page.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    Downpuppy says:

    @Roger Moore: The table view of the CHE survey is fun – you can search by state, affiliation, etc of the college.

    No real pattern , other than New Yorkers seem to make more.

  65. 65
    EconWatcher says:

    @raven:

    I’ve noticed that you seem to be a regular viewer of Morning Joe. Just curious: Are you a glutton for punishment? Or do you just have a thing for Mika (as I do, though I don’t watch the show). http://img.gawkerassets.com/im.....iginal.jpg

  66. 66
    raven says:

    @EconWatcher: Nah, I just get up really early and I flip it on. Used to watch Imus too. I like to know what they are up to.

  67. 67
    becca says:

    @Southern Beale: that iconic picture of the Dustbowl mother and her children slays me.

    In all that misery, that mom kept her children’s hair trimmed. Wrenching hopefulness.

  68. 68
    muddy says:

    @raven: After your colony gets good and does its job, you could rent out your bugs to people that don’t want to go through a 3 month growing process.

  69. 69
    terran says:

    The CEO of my company, Honeywell, has been running around deficit-hawking on the TV shows and even has sent company-wide emails asking us to contact our legislators to “fix the debt.”

    I wish I had the gumption to call him out during one of the live “town hall” meetings that he holds, acting like a rock star with rock music and camera work, and ask him exactly why he and his friends need more tax cuts at the expense of the poor, and what he plans on investing in when they raid the social security money. It’s just so distasteful.

  70. 70
    Bulworth says:

    That whole Weigel piece is just brutal. Love this especially:

    In Facing Up, a 1993 Concord Coalition manifesto, Peterson argued for raising the full-retirement age to 67, for an “affluence test” to make the wealthy pay more for Medicare, for higher Medicare premiums, and for more taxes on benefits. He argued for a bunch of programs that Democrats would like, too, but honed in on entitlements because, clearly, there could be no future if they survived intact. “The Clinton plan doesn’t come close to balancing the budget, even in the near term,” wrote Peterson. “Inevitably, Clinton’s deficit path will mean a much larger public debt.”

    Five years later, Clinton was presiding over a balanced budget and a smaller public debt. The professional deficit hawks responded by switching up their messaging—instead of an immediate fix to a current crisis, they wanted a fix to a looming crisis.

  71. 71
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    that Politico piece read like a transcript of a Romney stump speech. The stenographers authors only lacked a reference to the forty seven percent.

  72. 72
    Bulworth says:

    I admit to being unaware how dangerously close to a David Walker presidency we came:

    In 2011 and 2012, the former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker—a Peterson ally and former Peterson Foundation head—almost became a real presidential candidate. He offered his services to the theoretical supporters of Americans Elect, a $35 million effort to re-create the Perot magic by putting a third party on the ballot.

  73. 73
    Maude says:

    @muddy:
    Nope. Raven has them under contract. You should see what I have to pay them. The amount is confidential.
    The fish gets top billing.

    @handsmile:
    55, This.

  74. 74
    Tone in DC says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    I too am looking forward to your inspired return (if not the Corner’s newest weapons grade stupidity).

  75. 75
    Roger Moore says:

    @Downpuppy:

    No real pattern , other than New Yorkers seem to make more.

    Thanks. It also looks as if the places that are offering huge benefits relative to base salary are mostly low prestige schools. If Harvard wants to pay its president big bucks, nobody will bat an eye at a million dollar salary, but if Podunk Bible College wants to pay the same they have to keep the base salary low and make the rest up with other forms of compensation.

  76. 76

    What amazes me is that the Serious People™ can’t understand why their lessers might not be on board with their brilliant, insightful proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare and suck up to the Rmoneys among us.

    Those people… Those people, they’re so blinkered and small-minded, all they think about is, “Oh, man, I don’t know how I’m going to feed my children beyond next week.” Or they whine that, “Damn, my boss tells me I have to work longer days for less money or I’ll be out on the street; that seems unfair.” They just have no understanding of the bigger picture. I mean, yeah, sure, I guess it might be a tragedy–if only a minor one–if their children starve, but in the long run, well, my children will be better off, and it isn’t like their children will ever amount to anything anyway, so why are they so pissed off?

    After all, poor people are useless. No poor kid ever grew up to do anything worthwhile, right? Abraham Lincoln’s father was a millionaire, right? and Benjamin Franklin’s family was the richest in America, am I right? I’m pretty sure that George Bush never went to Yale or Harvard, no, he came from some no ‘count background with no clout at all, that’s why he turned out to be so disastrous a president, at least that’s my recollection. So, pretty much, we have to make life easier for people like me and harder for everybody else. That’s what’s going to help everybody in the long run. And as somebody said once: You only eat in the long run. Am I right?

  77. 77
    JPL says:

    @raven: Where does one keep it’s flesh eating beetle colony?

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    I still have the flu, and today it is making me cranky.

  79. 79
    Cacti says:

    The problem is, the 1% have the most success when they get one group of the plebes to attack another group.

    Saying “I’m going to screw you all” is a little too obvious.

  80. 80
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Console yourself with the prospect of yet another barrage of Stanwyck pictures on TCM, starting at 8:00 (EST) tonight. Remember the Night (1940), an odd but affecting Christmas movie with Fred MacMurray, at 9:30, followed by The Lady Eve and Ball of Fire, an awesome one-two punch. This and that overnight, then a big pre-Code finish with Shopworn at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, followed by Illicit.

  81. 81
    Honus says:

    Peterson spent 458 million. Sheldon Adelson spent what, 100 million last election. But they refuse to pay a fraction of that in tax.

  82. 82
    bemused says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Yay! I wanted to see Balls of Fire. Good to know. Thanks!

  83. 83
    bemused says:

    Whoa, what’s up with my comments?

  84. 84
    Steeplejack says:

    @bemused:

    FYWP went funky there for a minute. I saw it too.

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Is Remember the Night the Mitchell Leisen movie? I think that guy drove more writers to being writer/directors than anyone else in Hollywood. I know that both Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder were so pissed off about what he did with the scripts they wrote that they became directors so it would never happen again.

  86. 86
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @handsmile: CHE survey is not that shocking really, it just shows that academia is not that different from the corporate world. College Presidents make out like bandits while paying worker bees (grad students, post-docs and most of the faculty) a pittance comparatively speaking.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    I suspect some work is being done under the B-J hood. Someone needs to hand DougJ that wrench over there.

  88. 88
    Roger Moore says:

    @Honus:
    Actually, part of what’s really scary about the situation is that trying to buy elections probably makes sense financially. Adelson is worth something like $20 billion, so keeping capital gains rates at 15% instead of 20% would save him around $1 billion if/when he decides to cash in. Eliminating the estate tax would save his estate many billions of dollars when he dies. It makes perfect sense for him to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to buy an election if it gets him lower taxes.

  89. 89
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, directed by Leisen, written by Sturges. Allegedly this is the project where Sturges and Stanwyck became friends, and he put her in The Lady Eve the next year.

    I first saw the movie last year, and it was fascinating. It’s a weird combination of homespun Christmas kitsch and this weird sexual subtext between Stanwyck and MacMurray. A big, hot mess, and yet I can’t turn away.

  90. 90
    Ben Franklin says:

    Hmmmm. http://www.oregonlive.com/mape.....oliti.html

    A new Gallup Poll says that 64 percent of Americans think the federal government shouldn’t use federal anti-drug laws to prevent states like Washington and Colorado from proceeding with marijuana legalization.

    Of course rhe Populist must consider the LAW, first. Polls be damned.

  91. 91
    Ben Franklin says:

    Dang. I knew Obummer’s cognitive dissonance was too much for WordPress.

  92. 92
    Ben Franklin says:

    Dang. I knew Obummer’s cognitive dissonance was too much for WordPress.

  93. 93
    Ben Franklin says:

    Dang. I knew Obummer’s cognitive dissonance was too much for WordPress.

  94. 94
    Ben Franklin says:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/mape.....oliti.html

    A new Gallup Poll says that 64 percent of Americans think the federal government shouldn’t use federal anti-drug laws to prevent states like Washington and Colorado from proceeding with marijuana legalization.

    Tryin’ again.

  95. 95
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S.:

    What amazes me is that the Serious People™ can’t understand why their lessers might not be on board with their brilliant, insightful proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare and suck up to the Rmoneys among us.

    Because unlike back in the late 19th Cen, nobody is throwing bombs into their well appointed carriages and turning Serious People into Serious Corpses. Yet. This is a fixable problem.

  96. 96
    karen marie says:

    @PeakVT: This. Also, too, that there is no discussion of the real danger of the fiscal cliff — retraction of government spending instead of stimulus — is an indication of who’s controlling the conversation.

  97. 97
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @raven: I remember that picture.

    I have a blog with lots of space if you want to document it.

    I’ve been wanting to something unusual of late. Been refraining from making the Thursday recipe exchange all about bugs, since I seem to have 3 or 4 bug recipes.

  98. 98
    liberal says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Eliminating the estate tax would save his estate many billions of dollars when he dies.

    I thought that the truly filthy rich pay very little estate tax because there are various dodges available, such as “wrapping” it in insurance.

  99. 99
    danimal says:

    @terran: Honeywell, eh? I’ll bet his deficit concerns stop, as you indicate, at increasing taxes on the wealthy. But for some real fun, talk about keeping the sequester cuts for defense spending intact, and watch the sputtering rage erupt.

    These people are no more serious about deficit reduction than my dog is about dieting when a piece of meat falls to the floor. They want their scraps, and yours, too. End of story.

  100. 100
    handsmile says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Fully agree with your observation on the salary discrepancies between the castes of laborers in the groves of academe.

    Part of my incredulous reaction to the CHE survey is that presidents of institutions of higher learning such as Birmingham-Southern College, Wilmington, Pacific Lutheran or Wingate Universities can command salaries/compensation that match or exceed those awarded to the “CEOs” of say, Vanderbilt, Chicago or Johns Hopkins.

    But as you know, a contemporary college presidency is a largely corporate position: one evaluated, however, not on shareholder-return but on fund-raising prowess.

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    Raven says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Oh, ok. Let’s see how it goes.

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    Xenos says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: It is a bit of a weird contrast between the anarchist attacks in the 19th century and the vulnerabilities of modern elites. There is so much more transparency now that a determined terrorist network could find overlapping board memberships, key people on K Street, and the wingnut welfare system and could really make an impact. Contrast that to the sort of scenario (as in the fictional Regtime) where the anarchists attack the Morgan Library because as far as they know, that is where he lives.

    At the same time any sort of conspiracy that is more than two people communicating by semaphore is going to leave electronic paths behind itself that the national security state can quickly sniff out. I wouldn’t be surprised if this blog comment does not end up in an NSA archive somewhere.

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    Downpuppy says:

    @Xenos: Sure, they’ll record it, but until you get stopped for a traffic violation with a vanload of grenades & LSD, you can go on plotting.

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    Xenos says:

    @Downpuppy: You are giving me ideas… if I can get a few sheets of acid, could someone direct me to the ALEC Christmas party?

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    DFH no.6 says:

    @liberal:

    I think the best example is how young people think there will be no SS for them, as opposed to “at least 75/80% of current benefit levels, with no tweaking.”

    This has been the case for generations, now.

    At least back to some time in the 60s, polling of “young people” has consistently shown that the never-ending fascist attack on SS made a majority of said young people believe that although SS was fine for the old ones of their day, it was doubtful (at least) that it would be around for their own retirement.

    Ironic that millions of these once-young SS doubters are now receiving their full SS benefits.

    Today’s 18-39 year olds are no different (likely even higher percentages today believe the “SS is s Ponzi scheme, it won’t be there for me” bullshit).

    In the “message wars” on this, and on the debt/deficit/austerity front, Peterson and his ilk (they are legion, and have been with us always) have definitely been winning.

    They lost big-time on the policy front in ’05 with SS, but they won a partial victory at least with too little stimulus for our current depression, and will likely win again partially with whatever deals come of the absurd “fiscal cliff”.

    Obamacare, despite emo-progger/firebagger complaints, was also a policy defeat for the Austerians.

    Win some/lose some, we are at least holding the line so far.

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    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Xenos:

    It is a bit of a weird contrast between the anarchist attacks in the 19th century and the vulnerabilities of modern elites

    I think the answer is pretty simple: with very few exceptions people today just aren’t desperate enough to resort to violence from below, because despite the best efforts made by the Right to dismantle it, we still enjoy a social safety net which would have been the wonder and envy of the 19th Cen (at least anywhere outside of Bismark’s Germany). Which is why I find the continuing efforts of our elites to inflict more damage to that safety net appalling and horrifying. They have no clue as to the kind of awful shitstorm which would result if they actually were to succeed in tearing down the legacy of the New Deal. They want to go back to the 1890s without thinking for a moment as to what that would actually entail in all its gory (in the most literal sense possible) detai.

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