VIEWS: 141 PAGES: 8 POSTED ON: 6/22/2010
Robert A. Hall is the actor who plays the coroner on CSI if you Comment [e1]: No. Not even close. Comment [e2]: From my job as MA state senator, or watch that show. director of a number of associations after that. Comment [e3]: Except that he’s most likely very upper middle class or wealthy. But he’s sure like you to think that he’s a work-a-day stiff, just like you, because you’re easier to manipulate that way. "I'm 63 and I'm Tired" Comment [e4]: Who’s telling him this? Joe the plumber? Is by Robert A. Hall a tax-cut for the middle class what he’s referring to? Because for about 90% of Americans, that’s what we got. Perhaps he’s referring to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Comment [e5]: Inflammatory crap. There’s no such thing as debtors’ prison since about 1770. But he does know his audience really well—all you folks holed up in Montana watch out for the gub’ment man and keep stocking that ammo and voting Republican. Comment [e6]: Quite a leap. I’d be interested to see if *anyone* could dig up a direct quote from somebody who’s a lawmaker who said that. Comment [e7]: Well Holy Smokes, all those days working I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were and not taking a break for sick leave has really fried the old boy’s brain. scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job- The Real Deal hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite So who is to blame? There's plenty of blame to go around, and it some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't doesn't fasten only on one party or even mainly on what Washington did or didn't do. As The Economist magazine noted recently, the problem is one of "layered irresponsibility ... called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I with hard-working homeowners and billionaire villains each playing a role." Here's a partial list of those alleged to be at didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I fault: ·The Federal Reserve, which slashed interest rates after the am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm dot-com bubble burst, making credit cheap. ·Home buyers, who took advantage of easy credit to bid up tired. Very tired. the prices of homes excessively. ·Congress, which continues to support a mortgage tax deduction that gives consumers a tax incentive to buy more expensive houses. I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to ·Real estate agents, most of whom work for the sellers rather than the buyers and who earned higher commissions from people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the selling more expensive homes. ·The Clinton administration, which pushed for less stringent government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, credit and downpayment requirements for working- and middle-class families. and give it to people too lazy to earn it. ·Mortgage brokers, who offered less-credit-worthy home buyers subprime, adjustable rate loans with low initial payments, but exploding interest rates. ·Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who in I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep 2004, near the peak of the housing bubble, encouraged Americans to take out adjustable rate mortgages. people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, ·Wall Street firms, who paid too little attention to the quality of the risky loans that they bundled into Mortgage Backed I'm willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three Securities (MBS), and issued bonds using those securities as collateral. times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of ·The Bush administration, which failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage- backed securities market. my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed ·An obscure accounting rule called mark-to-market, which can have the paradoxical result of making assets be worth Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that less on paper than they are in reality during times of panic. ·Collective delusion, or a belief on the part of all parties that created the bubble help them with their own money. home prices would keep rising forever, no matter how high or how fast they had already gone up. ...  I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United Comment [e8]: I’m tired of hearing how somehow it’s only “liberal millionaires” who aren’t to be trusted, and somehow millionaire bottom-feeders like Murdoch, Limbaugh, Hannity, States will have the economy of Zimbabwe , the freedom of the and Newt Gingrich are patriots and saints for the cause. Legends in their own minds. press of China , the crime and violence of Mexico , the tolerance for Christian people of Iran , and the freedom of speech of Venezuela . I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims Comment [e9]: Islam is to terrorism what Christianity is to the KKK or the IRA. murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to. I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post- Comment [e10]: I’m pretty sure nobody of color would say this. racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois. Comment [e11]: I’m sure being Editor of the Harvard Law review and being a professor of Constitutional Law was just Barry eating chicken and picking his Jheri curl all day. I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a Comment [e12]: Translation: “I just wish it were a darkie black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln who agreed with me. What does an upper class white guy from Massachusetts have to do to get minorities to see it my way?” wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black Should I somehow do something to make it so that they had president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in more opportunities to actually see my perspectives on things, what with incentives to get out of their fatherless, violent ghettos and come to the schools where my children are, and freedom and the individual and less arrogantly of an all-knowing have some assistance to go to the colleges where my children go? government. Nah. Bootstrap-it; everything will work out because my ideology says that everything will work out. Comment [e13]: Apples vs Orchards: Comparing Inauguration Costs I'm tired of a news media that thinks Bush's fundraising and Category: bad math Posted on: January 20, 2009 4:16 PM, by Mark C. Chu-Carroll inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama's, at People keep sending me links to this, so I'll make a short post about it. triple the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily In the hubbub surrounding the Obama inauguration, there've been all sorts of incredulous press pieces discussing the was a waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great supposed outrageousness of the costs of this inauguration compared to others. I've personally heard this reported on the BBC world service, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. In these reports, example for the public to control weight and stress; that picked the cost of the Obama inauguration is generally reported as between 150 and 160 million dollars. When they provide a over every line of Bush's military records, but never demanded contrast, they talk about how Bush's second inauguration cost $40 million. that Kerry release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as The problem is, this is a metric error. They're comparing apples to orchards. governor, for being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama When they cite the Bush inauguration cost as $40 million, they're talking about the cost of the inauguration parties - that is, the cost of the festivities themselves. That cost does not include with three years as senator as potentially the best president ever. security. It does not include the cost of paying police to shut down the city streets. It doesn't include the cost of cleaning up Wonder why people are dropping their subscriptions or after the crowds. It's just the cost of the parties. The Obama figure of $150-$160 million includes everything - switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I didn't vote for Bush in police, security, setup, and cleanup. A fair comparison? If you exclude the security costs, Bush's second inauguration cost $42 million; Obama's is expected to 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his camp in 2004. cost around $45 million. If you include the security costs, Bush's second inauguration cost somewhere around $155 million. (The exact figures are still not public knowledge; Bush ...  I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" Comment [e14]: And the fact that Sarah Palin is a certifiable boob and her nomination (why not Olympia Snowe?) we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques was a transparent attempt to peel Hillary voters off the Dem ticket. I’m not sure which is sadder; that McCain (or rather, his and mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while strategists), picked an unvetted rube who fills a pantsuit and spouts Republican mad-lib bromides, or the fact that people no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or actually voted for him after that. religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance. Comment [e15]: Something to think about. This is the cost of cheap oil. Just like the war on drugs, we fund both sides of it. Comment [e16]: “Lower his living standard?” Wasn’t he I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to just griping about people and their “McMansions?” fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My And of course, we can debate global warming. I’ll bring all the scientific data amassed over the last 50 years, and the wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together overwhelming consensus of the community who devotes their lives to studying this phenomena, and expert testimony from five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo climatologists, seismologists, weather experts, and the work that spans all Western countries’ accepted science, and you where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon bring your opinion and your folksy sayings. At the end, we’ll have mooseburgers. footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Comment [e17]: Because it’s about taking pot-shots at Al Gore and not being “responsible for your own actions.” Gore, you're green enough. I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think Comment [e18]: This must be an unpopular point for his more ardent supporters. druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never Comment [e19]: ? tried marijuana. I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, Comment [e20]: Citation? Or do they just live next-door to his imaginary welfare queen? "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against They’re probably called undocumented workers because they come here illegally and we hire the hell out of them—else they Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few probably wouldn’t bother making the trip. hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic person, who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military.... Those are the Comment [e21]: Already in place. citizens we need. I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear Comment [e22]: Just one and the same. Nothing to see here, workaday folks. the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement- Comment [e23]: There has been *no* military backlash about our current two fronts on the seemingly neverending handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our military. “war on terror.” No Dem OR Republican would do this as it would be political suicide. On the other hand, keeping these They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split- wars out of the spotlight has made sure that they have now gone on longer than Vietnam, and nobody is truly conscious of second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad what military family members are going through. mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in Nobody in the military that I know would think of themselves as “better than anyone else.” war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Also, the people that I know in the Marine Corps and Navy also Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our gladly acknowledge that you can be a patriot and love your country without putting on a helmet and pulling a trigger. Lots of people do this by being good citizens. enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close. So here's the deal. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let themselves be subject to Comment [e24]: Because they were all terrorists and we threw out Habeas Corpus because we needed to torture and kill sometimes those terrorists for information that would get captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Osama Bin Laden and end this “War On Terror” more quickly. Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Except that neither of those things have happened, and now instead of the world thinking of us as the *one* place *in the Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims world* where we treat even our enemies with fairness under the rule of law as now being just the “Great Satan” that they who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops always knew we were, and now they can show films of Gitmo and other torture facilities and increase their ranks in orders of found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of magnitude they wouldn’t have dreamed of if we’d been playing chess all along instead of checkers. schoolgirls in Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we'll compare notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from in fear. I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the "Illinois Combine" of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet. Comment [e25]: Yeah, bums are bipartisan—but it’s mostly Democrats! Impeccable logic. I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor. Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air- Comment [e26]: The who and the what now? I think we conditioned homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The can all agree that a trailer, a cabinet TV, and two Hondas do not the Rockefellers make. majority of Americans didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't But by that same logic, is anyone who doesn’t have all of those know we were "poor." The poverty pimps have to keep things *actually* poor? Is anyone who has more than that “rich”? changing the definition of poor to keep the dollars flowing. Does my third Honda come with a cummerbund and a monacle? I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their Comment [e27]: If you’re a writer, you should learn to spell. Unless, that is, you’re adopting a folksy mask to herd your workaday sheep to the ballot box. lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems. Comment [e28]: I’m tired of hearing wealthy Republicans blame poor people for being poor. Yes, I'm tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm Comment [e29]: You mean fellow citizens who overwhelmingly repudiated your ideology and your ability to lead the country forward in the last election, as dictated by the just sorry for my granddaughter constitution of the United States, the same one you upheld to serve and protect when you wore her uniform? Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five You don’t like the process when it doesn’t go your way? Shocking. terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. There is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of Comment [e30]: Translation: “Because it doesn’t really bear out any facts at all, it’s just the ramblings of a guy who’s uber-right and likes to share his malformed opinions.” us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference. Page 1:  Comment [e7] eXPerience 6/22/2010 16:28:00 Well Holy Smokes, all those days working and not taking a break for sick leave has really fried the old boy’s brain. The Real Deal So who is to blame? There's plenty of blame to go around, and it doesn't fasten only on one party or even mainly on what Washington did or didn't do. As The Economist magazine noted recently, the problem is one of "layered irresponsibility ... with hard-working homeowners and billionaire villains each playing a role." Here's a partial list of those alleged to be at fault: · The Federal Reserve, which slashed interest rates after the dot-com bubble burst, making credit cheap. · Home buyers, who took advantage of easy credit to bid up the prices of homes excessively. · Congress, which continues to support a mortgage tax deduction that gives consumers a tax incentive to buy more expensive houses. · Real estate agents, most of whom work for the sellers rather than the buyers and who earned higher commissions from selling more expensive homes. · The Clinton administration, which pushed for less stringent credit and downpayment requirements for working- and middle-class families. · Mortgage brokers, who offered less-credit-worthy home buyers subprime, adjustable rate loans with low initial payments, but exploding interest rates. · Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who in 2004, near the peak of the housing bubble, encouraged Americans to take out adjustable rate mortgages. · Wall Street firms, who paid too little attention to the quality of the risky loans that they bundled into Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), and issued bonds using those securities as collateral. · The Bush administration, which failed to provide needed government oversight of the increasingly dicey mortgage-backed securities market. · An obscure accounting rule called mark-to-market, which can have the paradoxical result of making assets be worth less on paper than they are in reality during times of panic. · Collective delusion, or a belief on the part of all parties that home prices would keep rising forever, no matter how high or how fast they had already gone up. just political grandstanding. We have no advice to offer on how best to solve the financial crisis. But these sorts of partisan caricatures can only make the task more difficult. Page 3:  Comment [e13] eXPerience 6/22/2010 16:41:00 Apples vs Orchards: Comparing Inauguration Costs Category: bad math Posted on: January 20, 2009 4:16 PM, by Mark C. Chu-Carroll People keep sending me links to this, so I'll make a short post about it. In the hubbub surrounding the Obama inauguration, there've been all sorts of incredulous press pieces discussing the supposed outrageousness of the costs of this inauguration compared to others. I've personally heard this reported on the BBC world service, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. In these reports, the cost of the Obama inauguration is generally reported as between 150 and 160 million dollars. When they provide a contrast, they talk about how Bush's second inauguration cost $40 million. The problem is, this is a metric error. They're comparing apples to orchards. When they cite the Bush inauguration cost as $40 million, they're talking about the cost of the inauguration parties - that is, the cost of the festivities themselves. That cost does not include security. It does not include the cost of paying police to shut down the city streets. It doesn't include the cost of cleaning up after the crowds. It's just the cost of the parties. The Obama figure of $150-$160 million includes everything - police, security, setup, and cleanup. A fair comparison? If you exclude the security costs, Bush's second inauguration cost $42 million; Obama's is expected to cost around $45 million. If you include the security costs, Bush's second inauguration cost somewhere around $155 million. (The exact figures are still not public knowledge; Bush and company treated it as a "national security matter" which did not need to be disclosed.) Yet another fake controversy brought to you by the supposedly liberal-biased media.
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