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Friday Talking Points [239] -- Talking About The Deal

[ Posted Friday, January 4th, 2013 – 17:32 PST ]

So, did we all have fun over the holidays?

The fiscal cliff fight went right up to the last minute, then we all momentarily Thelma-and-Louised over the cliff, and then Congress actually voted on a federal holiday. This last bit was so stunning, Congress is now going to take a two-week vacation just to recover (you know, from actually having to do their jobs). We missed commenting on most of this because we were busy doing our two-part year-end awards show (while also taking time to note that your constitutional right to flip the bird to a police officer has just been reaffirmed).

If we had a "best quote" awards category, we'd certainly have to nominate what outgoing House Republican Steven La Tourette had to say about the whole situation, after the Senate had voted 89-8 to approve the fiscal cliff avoidance deal: "We should not take a package put together by a bunch of sleep-deprived octogenarians on New Year's Eve." Now that's funny!

Humor aside, though the deal went through and immediately a contest erupted between Left and Right to see who could denounce the deal in highest dudgeon possible. We are not going to join in this flagellatory orgy, however, and are going to use our Friday Talking Points this week to point out why this deal is not just a pretty darn good one, but actually downright historic.

For those who may not agree with the previous statement, here's something we can all agree upon, in the spirit of entering the new year cheerfully -- Congress is now one-hundred-percent Lieberman-free! Woo hoo! Not so sorry to see you go, Joe. Now please get off my teevee screen on Sunday mornings, OK?

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

While Democrats in general were showing a surprising amount of backbone in the entire fiscal cliff negotiation process, including folks like Harry Reid and Barack Obama, the one man being given credit for actually cutting the deal is the one who deserves this week's award.

Vice President Joe Biden is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week, for hashing things out with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Speaker of the House John Boehner pretty much threw up his hands and took himself out of the deal-making process when his own House Republicans wouldn't back him up, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was likewise sidelined when McConnell got frustrated with him and called up Biden instead.

Biden, you'll recall, used to be in the Senate. He knows how the chamber operates, and he knows how to bargain. He also knows the value of an actual deal, as opposed to the value of partisan posturing for the base or the media. So he broke the logjam and cut a deal with McConnell that sailed through the Senate (a vote of 89-8 is pretty rare on substantive issues, these days), and was then rammed through John Boehner's House -- forcing him to break the "Hastert Rule" (which is a pretty silly "rule" to begin with).

Was the deal perfect? Well, no. Could it have been better? Yes. Could it have been more progressive? Oh, certainly. Nonetheless, it passed. What you and I might consider the "perfect" bill likely would not have made it through Congress.

Which is the whole point. Joe Biden got what he could, gave where he had to, and still produced a deal which passed into law. There's even now a petition to "authorize the production of a recurring television show featuring Joe Biden" up on the White House website (which you can vote for yourself, if this sort of thing would interest you).

For achieving an agreement with the congressional Republicans which avoided the fiscal cliff (if you don't count the few hours we walked off the cliff in true Wile E. Coyote fashion, looked around, looked down in shock, and then ran back to solid ground before falling), for sealing a deal when all other Democrats had failed, and for the possibility we'll be seeing him in a reality show soon (heh), Vice President Joe Biden is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

[Congratulate Vice President Joe Biden on his White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

The news today that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just inserted a few House members into a group photo who didn't actually show up on time for the photo shoot is a little disturbing, we have to admit, but doesn't even rise to the level of a (Dis-)Honorable Mention, sorry.

The fiscal cliff deal itself was disappointing in a number of ways, not least of which was the failure to extend the payroll tax holiday for another year (or, at the very least, step it back up only one percent more a year). This is going to be shocking news to many Americans as they listened to Democratic politicians and the media tell them that the deal "would not raise taxes on middle class Americans" -- even though it will do precisely that. Whether or not there's a backlash from this realization will take a few weeks to play out. And that's just one of the disappointments in the whole deal.

But our real Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week is none other than President Barack Obama. While Obama is riding a huge wave of positivity in the job-approval polls at the moment, and while he's got a pretty favorable schedule to look forward to this month (what with his second inauguration and the upcoming State Of The Union address), we still have to single him out this week for some very quiet caving on national security issues.

Lost in the fiscal cliff media frenzy was something else Congress put on Obama's desk recently: the reauthorization of the Pentagon's budget, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (or "NDAA"). As usual, Congress included several things in this year's NDAA which Obama does not support, such as restrictions on closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Also included was the authorization to indefinitely detain American citizens, which is truly extra-constitutional tyranny of the first order. Obama had issued a veto threat to Congress on the NDAA, but he went ahead and signed it anyway. Obama also approved the massive continuation of warrantless wiretapping, another civil liberties fiasco.

Now, we realize that the Pentagon needs a budget and all of that, so we understand Obama was in a pinch with the bill Congress sent him. We are also (as are many, it's worth pointing out) feeling rather jaded on the entire subject of Obama seemingly channelling his inner George W. Bush on national security and civil liberties issues. It's not that we've given up on the issue, but we do see it as being firmly in the "beating a deceased equine" category, at this point. Obama doesn't seem willing to muster the political backbone to fight on any of these issues, and hasn't since his first days in office, so we're not expecting him to change any time soon.

But beyond this defeatism, we are awarding Obama the MDDOTW award this week not so much for signing a bill with bad things in it, but for issuing a toothless veto threat in the first place. The veto threat is arguably the president's strongest legislative weapon. It is only rarely used, and only rarely even threatened. But the rule of thumb should be that any time a president threatens a veto, he should be absolutely willing to follow through on that threat -- or else he loses respect and leverage with Congress for the future. Every time a president threatens a veto and then does not follow through, he is seen as weaker by his congressional opponents. It's just a fact of political life in Washington.

Which is why President Obama is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week. Don't make threats you aren't going to follow through on, Mister President. You just weaken yourself by doing so. If you're going to cave in the end, then refrain from making the veto threat in the first place -- it's that simple.

[Contact President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 239 (1/4/13)

All week long, the punditocracy has been fulminating over the fiscal cliff deal. From the Left and from the Right, there has been much garment-rending and gnashing of teeth. But you know what? This isn't such a bad deal, when you put it into proper perspective.

Our talking points this week are all in support of the deal, so be warned. Politically, it is hard to see how this is anything but damaging for Republicans, since their factional civil war in the House broke out into the open for all to gawk at. In the end, the Tea Partiers and Norquistians very publicly lost the battle. Perhaps this will reduce their influence in future debates, who knows? Even if it doesn't, the Left should be basking in the schadenfreude right about now, while casting their eyes over the wreckage of what used to be the lockstep-Republican House, and their now-weakened leader John Boehner.

Sure, the Left didn't get everything it wanted. But it could have been one whale of a lot worse. Consider all the things that didn't make it into this deal, in other words. Oh, sure, things like slashing Social Security and Medicare will be fought over again inside of the next two months, but none of it happened in this deal. That's a political victory, right there. Obama -- before the deal was even finalized -- appeared in one of the most cheerful official announcements he's ever gotten, and tossed down the gauntlet for the next round of negotiations. Obama will be looking for more tax revenue in the next deal, and he (so he says) will not be held hostage by the debt ceiling battle. He may, in fact, have a trillion-dollar platinum coin or two up his sleeve in that fight.

But let's look at what happened, as we'll have plenty of time later to pick apart the next deal, when it comes down the pike. Here are some suggestions for Democrats to use in explaining why the fiscal cliff deal wasn't just a pretty good one, it was downright historic.

 

1
   The first time in a generation

This is the main thing which truly puts the deal just cut into proper perspective.

"You know, you can pick nits all you want about the deal, but let's look at the larger picture instead. This deal is the first time in a generation that Congress has raised marginal tax rates. The last time Congress did so was in 1993 -- twenty years ago. The last time a tax hike passed with any Republican support at all was even further back -- a full twenty-three years ago. There are House members who have served ten full terms in office who have never seen this happen before, to put it in perspective. Did Democrats get everything they wanted? No, they did not. But they did manage to break the power of Grover Norquist and get an astounding number of Republicans on board with raising income tax rates on the wealthy. This was, in fact, a monumental achievement. Just look at the last two decades to see why."

 

2
   Washington ends a Big Lie in the budget

I have to admit, I called this one wrong. To me, this was the most stunning part of the deal, although the media didn't really stress it at all (due to most in the media being absolutely incapable of performing basic math).

"I am encouraged that Congress showed some real honesty in this deal, by permanently fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax. For years, Congress has played 'make-believe' with the AMT numbers, even though every single one of them knew that it was nothing more than a Big Lie in the budget projections. Each and every year, Congress pretended that they were only going to 'fix' the AMT for a single year, and that for the nine years after, it would remain unfixed. But everyone knew that was nonsense, because the AMT was 'fixed' every single year, like clockwork. Nobody wanted to see the real numbers. But when you hear the scoring on the fiscal cliff deal that was just signed into law, please remember that almost two trillion dollars of the costs of this bill are nothing more than finally admitting that that two trillion was nothing more than smoke and mirrors in the first place; money that was never actually going to appear in the federal government's coffers. I applaud Congress for finally biting this bullet and getting back to some honest accounting rather than including make-believe and fairy dust in the ten-year budget projections. It took political courage, and it deserves a lot more attention than the media has been giving it."

 

3
   Thirty-nine-point-six percent

This is an important aspect of the deal that has been overlooked by the legion of critical voices out there.

"Yes, I would have preferred Obama had realized his campaign promise to raise tax rates on those making above $250,000 a year, but you never get everything you want in any particular bill. What Obama did hold firm on was another figure that had been rumored to be on the negotiating table. A few weeks before the deal was cut, the conventional wisdom in Washington was that the Republicans were going to get Obama to lower the highest tax rate from 39.6 percent to only 37 percent. I know it's tough for pundits to remember back that far, but this was indeed what everyone was saying inside the Beltway a few short weeks ago. The final deal that was cut did not lower this rate -- Obama got the full 39.6 percent for the upper tax bracket. So while he had to move on the $250K limit, he didn't budge on the tax rate itself -- something not many people have given him credit for."

 

4
   Cutting loopholes for the wealthy

This is where Obama could indeed gain further concessions in the next round of budgetary deal-making, but again, it's been given short shrift so far by the talking heads.

"Another thing few have noticed is that Obama did indeed raise taxes on those making a quarter of a million dollars per year. Deductions and exemptions and other loopholes will be limited for taxpayers above this threshold. This is something I expect Obama to revisit in the next round of budget negotiations, now that the tax rates themselves have been raised. Cutting loopholes for wealthy taxpayers should be very much on the table next time around -- but any agreement should preserve tax benefits for the middle class below the $250K line, as the fiscal cliff deal does."

 

5
   A step towards solving the Buffett problem

Lefties are complaining about the deal's treatment of capital gains and dividends, but once again, this should be seen as a step forward toward an ultimate goal.

"The fiscal cliff deal moves the tax system one step towards fairly treating all income the same, and solving the problem of Warren Buffett paying a lower tax rate than his secretary. Capital gains and dividends for upper-income taxpayers will now be taxed at a base rate of 20 percent rather than 15 percent. That's a rate hike of one-third, but it doesn't go nearly far enough. Remember, the Paul Ryan budget wanted to move this tax rate to zero, folks. So while Buffett may now pay only slightly more than half the rate than he would if it was regular income, this is still a big step in the right direction."

 

6
   Estate tax hike

Once again, this is an area being widely criticized, but again, let's put it into some perspective.

"The fiscal cliff deal raises the estate tax from 35 to 40 percent on the wealth passed from generation to generation. Now, while I would have liked to see the rate even higher than that and the exemption limit lower, I still have to score this one as a minor victory for Democrats. Remember, the original Bush tax cuts reduced this tax rate to zero. So where we are today is a big step down the road to where we should be. And please don't bring up the mythical family farmer. Republicans have been searching high and low for a family farmer who lost his land due to having to pay the estate tax -- searching for over a decade -- and yet they've never managed to find a poster-child family farmer to trot out in front of the cameras. It's a myth -- the way the tax is structured allows family farmers to cope with it when passing their land on to their children, so please, let's not even go there. The estate tax not only survived the fiscal cliff deal, but it has been increased. I'd like to see it changed even further, but it's hard to see how that's a bad outcome, for now."

 

7
   Ask an unemployed person

This one is for all those who aver that going over the fiscal cliff would somehow have been better than cutting a deal to avert the worst consequences of doing so.

"I know many Democrats were urging President Obama and congressional Democrats to just go over the cliff and be done with it. Obama, from new reports on the negotiations, actually used the threat of doing so quite effectively in the bargaining. But Obama doesn't have the luxury of treating the situation like a parlor game. Going over the cliff would have had some real-world consequences that were impossible for him to just ignore. So, to any Democrats grumbling that we should have Thelma-and-Louised right off the fiscal cliff, I have one thing to say: ask an unemployed person whose benefits were about to run out if they agree with you or not. Ask them whether they would have cheered Obama on while facing their own economic ruin. There were harsh realities involved in going over the cliff that have now been averted. While the deal certainly isn't what I would call perfect, it did save a lot of folks a lot of very real harm. Obama should be commended for his leadership in not allowing that to happen."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

45 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [239] -- Talking About The Deal”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    The news today that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just inserted a few House members into a group photo who didn't actually show up on time for the photo shoot is a little disturbing, we have to admit, but doesn't even rise to the level of a (Dis-)Honorable Mention, sorry.

    Really?? Honestly, I thought it was much ado about nothing..

    So Pelosi photoshopped a few people in that were late for the shoot.. BFD..

    On issues to slap down Pelosi about, this ranks way WAY down on the list...

    This is going to be shocking news to many Americans as they listened to Democratic politicians and the media tell them that the deal "would not raise taxes on middle class Americans" -- even though it will do precisely that.

    HA!!!

    Hypocrites and Liars, thy name is Democrats..

    Someone remind me again how Democrats are "better" than Republicans?? :D

    Which is why President Obama is our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week. Don't make threats you aren't going to follow through on, Mister President. You just weaken yourself by doing so. If you're going to cave in the end, then refrain from making the veto threat in the first place -- it's that simple.

    Awwwwwww.. I had actually been ready to give ya a kewpie for finally coming down hard on Obama for being more Bush than Bush.. A topic that is nearly verboten around here...

    But then ya had to go and spoil it by pivoting onto the VETO issue..

    Don't get me wrong, I agree with you completely. If you make a VETO threat, you better follow through or you are going to look weak.. While I don't think the lack of balls rises to the level of an MDDOTW award, it is definitely noteworthy..

    I DO have to give you half a kewpie though for at least articulating how badly Obama has totally destroyed the Democrats "moral outrage" mirage on the issue of torture, rendition, unparallelled domestic surveillance and the like. Obama has aptly proven beyond ANY doubt that Democrats opposition to Bush's CT and NS Policies were based on NOTHING but partisan agenda at the risk of this country's security.

    For shame, Democrats. For shame...

    Personally, I would have gone for the dishonorable mention of the limp-dicked VETO threat and awarded Obama the MDDOTW award for his blatant, ongoing and increasing violations of some of the Democratic Party's most basic and (apparently NOT) revered platforms..

    But that's why yer the Big Cheese and I am just a prolific peon.. :D

    As to your TPs, I really only have a problem with the last one..

    How long are unemployment benefits now?? Two years??? THREE Years!!???

    My gods, are we REALLY paying people THAT long to not work!!???

    Anyone who can't find a job in TWO years is NOT looking..

    Anyone who can't find a job in TWO years is a lazy bum... PERIOD...

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama also deserves the MDDOTW award for this as well

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/04/sandy-victim-needs-more-than-hugs-to-rebuild-business-along-new-jersey-shore/

    This is becoming a disturbing pattern with Obama..

    Singling people out for assistance to milk the PR benefits and then just hanging them out to dry..

    Whatta prick....

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Now, we realize that the Pentagon needs a budget and all of that, so we understand Obama was in a pinch with the bill Congress sent him.

    Hmmm. The Pentagon needs a budget ...

    That means pressure from the military lobby. What I would have recommended is to send this back to Congress and let them deal with the military lobby.

    If you want a budget so badly, here's what I won't pass and put it back on the House. Then let the House deal with the military lobby.

    On the positive front, kudos for not buckling on the estate tax and upper rate for the wealthy!!!

    -David

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    That means pressure from the military lobby.

    Not, that means just common sense..

    We don't live in the Leftist KoomByeYa world..

    "Ya'all live in your own little world, don't you?"
    "Yes we do, Professor. We don't have the luxury of living in yours."

    -The Manhattan Project

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    michty6 wrote:

    CW,

    I'd like to hear your thoughts on the trillion dollar coin idea...?

    I thought it was pretty stupid but a lot of people are making the (sensible) point that it is a lot less stupid than not paying your bills and collapsing the entire worldwide economy...

  6. [6] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Singling people out for assistance to milk the PR benefits and then just hanging them out to dry..

    Whatta prick....

    Lol did you actually read the story? Or because it's on Fox you just assume that it means Obama is the bad guy?

    I wonder what you expected Obama to do - intervene and force the insurance company to pay out her insurance claim??? I can only imagine the headlines on Fox about the upcoming socialist takeover of America if he actually went ahead and did this lol.

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    I thought it was pretty stupid but a lot of people are making the (sensible) point that it is a lot less stupid than not paying your bills and collapsing the entire worldwide economy...

    Except that, during the Bush years, it wasn't "stupid" not to raise the debt ceiling and/or not pay the bills.

    It is EXACTLY what the Left advocated.

    And, if I had a better handle on the search engines, I could prove it..

    But the facts are clear.

    I can even put it in BASIC format for you.

    10 IF POTUS=-D GOTO 30
    20 IF POTUS=-R GOTO 40
    30 +DebtCeiling=+Debt=RTTD
    40 +DebtCeiling=+Debt=WTTD
    50 RTTD=AWESOMEpotus
    60 WTTD=EvilWarCriminalHitlerPOTUS
    70 END

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lol did you actually read the story? Or because it's on Fox you just assume that it means Obama is the bad guy?

    Yes, I actually read the story..

    I wonder what you expected Obama to do

    I expected him to abide by his promise to eliminate beuracratic red tape and get aid to those people.

    If he couldn't do it, as you indicate, he shouldn't promise it..

    Just like the lady he promised to help her husband find a job. It was a great PR sound bite.. But when the cameras were off and the lady followed up, Obama basically told her to get lost...

    Like I said. It's a disturbing pattern..

    But I don't expect you to concede it...

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I'm actually quite surprised - I'd have thought that you would be absolutely skewering this lady for expecting a "Government hand-out" or Gov help. Where has your right-wing mentality gone??

    I will write a non-basic BASIC version too:
    Obama gives hand-out = Obama is an evil socialist who wants people relying on Government
    Obama doesn't give hand-out = Obama evil for failing to help people
    Obama does anything = Obama is evil.
    Obama = Evil.

    Might as well just jump to the last point and cut out all the crap ;)

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    I expected him to abide by his promise to eliminate beuracratic red tape and get aid to those people.

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/11/04/the-post-sandy-fema-clusterfark/

    When you account for the severity of Katrina over Sandy, Bush was a damn hero in his response to Katrina compared to Obama's lack of response to Sandy.

    Oh sure, the Leftist MSM sure played up Obama's response.. But that's just the Leftist MSM...

    When you talk to the people on the ground in Staten Island???

    Well, that lady linked above is a typical example.

    Obama used those people to get re-elected and then, when he won the election and they were no longer useful, he discarded them. Ignored them.

    Like I said. A real prick..

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    When you account for the severity of Katrina over Sandy, Bush was a damn hero in his response to Katrina compared to Obama's lack of response to Sandy.

    Bush rammed aid thru Congress for Katrina within 9 days. Another package was pushed thru Congress 6 days later.. Bush waved the Jones Act and invoked the Stafford Act to funnel aid to Katrina faster...

    It's been THREE MONTHS since Sandy and there hasn't been an aid package put thru Congress..

    Yea, I know, I know.. It's all the Republicans fault..

    But funny thing is, Obama still had time for a Hawaiian vacation...

    Imagine if Bush had took time off in Crawford after NOT getting an aid package to Katrina three months later..

    The Left would have crucified him, screamed hysterically for his impeachment..

    But, Obama gets a pass. Once again, the power of the almighty '-D'...

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Meant to add this to the comment above..

    http://yawper.org/2013/01/03/sandy-and-katrina-aid-a-contrast-in-leadership/

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    michty6 wrote:

    When you account for the severity of Katrina over Sandy, Bush was a damn hero in his response to Katrina compared to Obama's lack of response to Sandy.

    I had to quote this because it is so amazing.

    Thank you.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm actually quite surprised - I'd have thought that you would be absolutely skewering this lady for expecting a "Government hand-out" or Gov help. Where has your right-wing mentality gone??

    At Katrina, the Left, including Weigantians, had readily established beyond ANY doubt that disaster relief is solely and completely a federal responsibility...

    But, I guess that's only true if the POTUS has an '-R' after his name... :^/

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    I had to quote this because it is so amazing.

    Glad to see you acknowledge the validity of the facts..

    You may not be as far gone as I thought. And you DID admit to Obama's incompetence in the economy..

    So, kudos... :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Imagine if Bush had took time off in Crawford after NOT getting an aid package to Katrina three months later..

    Actually Bush was on vacation when Katrina hit. And after it hit he stayed on vacation. But in the words of Obama on this subject "please proceed"

    Because your posts are entertaining :)

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Where has your right-wing mentality gone??

    I have no "right wing" mentality..

    My mentality is "common sense"..

    It just LOOKS like a right-wing mentality from the far Left...

    Michale

  18. [18] 
    michty6 wrote:

    At Katrina, the Left, including Weigantians, had readily established beyond ANY doubt that disaster relief is solely and completely a federal responsibility...

    Absolutely. Hence the FEMA dollars that arrived the DAY SANDY HIT. Right as Romney and Republicans were going through an election arguing that FEMA should be privitized as disaster relief shouldn't be a Government thing.

    But again "please proceed" as your 'facts' on this are quite amazing :)

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually Bush was on vacation when Katrina hit. And after it hit he stayed on vacation.

    And then cut it short to go do what needed to be done..

    You are comparing apples and alligators..

    Obama went on vacation AFTER Sandy and BEFORE any federal aid packages were approved..

    No matter how you try to spin it, Obama's a prick. Period...

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Absolutely. Hence the FEMA dollars that arrived the DAY SANDY HIT.

    Once again, your facts are non-existent.

    There has been NO dollars sent to Sandy relief, FEMA or other wise.

    Hell, there has barely been a FEMA presence in Sandy hit areas...

    NO AID PACKAGE has been sent to Sandy-hit areas.

    Period..

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is really no sense in arguing it.

    I deal in reality.

    You deal in Obama-Love...

    There is no common frame of reference between us..

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    michty6 wrote:

    There has been NO dollars sent to Sandy relief, FEMA or other wise.

    Hell, there has barely been a FEMA presence in Sandy hit areas...

    NO AID PACKAGE has been sent to Sandy-hit areas.

    Completely 10000% wrong. I mean seriously you cannot be this ignorant? What planet do you live on? (Michale-world?)

    FEMA has been providing funds ever since Obama immediately declared a federal State of Emergency in NY and NJ States (which is required for FEMA (federal) funds to be released). It took Bush DAYS to do this for Katrina; Obama had it done in MINUTES (he literally signed this in the early hours of the morning).

    The recent Sandy packages are TOP-UP packages because the funding that FEMA has is about to run out (their disaster relief fund is almost dried up).

    I mean seriously man. You need to examine your news sources if you are not aware of these simple facts.

    And yes debating this is pointless because whatever sources you use for news and info are about as useful as getting your news and info from a monkey on a typewriter... Get a grip on reality.

  23. [23] 
    michty6 wrote:

    In other news:

    "In two terms in the Senate, Chuck has earned the respect of his colleagues and risen to national prominence as a clear voice on foreign policy and national security."
    - Mitch McConnell

    Something tells me Mr McConnell's opinion of Mr Hagel might be doing a 360 today...

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    In other news:

    Possibly THE most boneheaded "Gun Control" measure in the history of boneheaded gun control measures..

    The Hysterical Left is advocating legislation that will publicize who owns guns and who does not..

    While they have a high and mighty name for it, let's just call it what it is..

    The Road Map For Criminals So They Can Target Homes That Don't Have Any Defense legislation...

    Of course, NO ONE is going to want to NOT be on that list.. Why would ANYONE want to advertise their weak??

    So, naturally, those people will go out and buy a gun so as not to be on the Road Map For Criminals So They Can Target Homes That Don't Have Any Defense list...

    Let me ask the Hysterical Left a very serious question.

    Do they actually THINK thru being stoopid?? Or just jump in with both feet, logic be damned and let their emotions make the calls???

    I sincerely am curious....

    As I have said before (and NO ONE has successfully refuted) if Gun Control is the right way to go, why don't the Gun Control fanatics make their case on it's own merits??

    With logic and reason??

    Why do they need a bunch of kids to be gunned down to make their case??

    That alone should be a HUGE clue to everyone as to the "merits" (or lack thereof) of the Gun Control fanatics' agenda.

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Keeping a database of gun owners sounds like a sensible and logical thing to do; publishing it is just stupid.

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Hysterical Left is advocating legislation that will publicize who owns guns and who does not..

    Bit of a clarification. The legislation being proposed would publicize who owns guns.

    Those who do not own guns would be identified by omission.

    Now, if the Hysterical Left wants legislation that will BOOST gun sales... That piece of hilarity would just about fit the bill.. :D

    Keeping a database of gun owners sounds like a sensible and logical thing to do;

    Yea, it went over big in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and all sorts of fun places and societies to emulate..

    publishing it is just stupid.

    Glad to see you haven't COMPLETELY abandoned logic.. :D

    Got to hand it to your Democrats.. They come up with some real "winners", don't they?? :D

    Michale

  27. [27] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yea, it went over big in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and all sorts of fun places and societies to emulate..

    It does no harm in many modern Western democracies, including my current hosts your neighbours to the north...

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    It does no harm in many modern Western democracies, including my current hosts your neighbours to the north...

    Yea, that's what they said in Germany and Russia.

    It does no harm..

    Until it does some harm..

    There is absolutely NO reason to maintain a firearm ownership database except as a precursor to eventual confiscation..

    We already have an NCIC network that covers firearms used in crimes.

    Your idea is simply profiling gun owners based on NOTHING but hysteria and fear-mongering...

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yeh tbh it's a difficult situation. You know what my views are on guns. Everything else that is trying to 'control' it in my book will always have problems because your trying to mitigate a risk that has a very simple and easier method of mitigating: ban them.

    But I understand reality and you're a long, long way from this in American. But (especially in America) there is no better way to deal with any risk than using the full power of capitalism and economic theory (i.e. what would happen to prices/availability of guns during a ban) to reduce gun risk...

    Hmmm perhaps some sort of massive gun tax or bullet tax might be a good method of gun control?

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yeh tbh it's a difficult situation. You know what my views are on guns. Everything else that is trying to 'control' it in my book will always have problems because your trying to mitigate a risk that has a very simple and easier method of mitigating: ban them.

    I appreciate your honestly and am heartened to see your reaction is not the normal knee-jerk GunsAreEvil ThinkOfTheChildren that permeates the hysteria of the Left on this issue.

    Here are some interesting stats.

    People kill more with hammers than they do with rifles.

    People kill more with clubs/bats than they do with rifles.

    People kill more with their feet than they do with rifles.

    People kill more with their hands than they do with rifles.

    Now, what's the common denominator in all those stats??

    People...

    You can take away the tool and these people who kill will simply find another tool..

    Surely, it's more logical to address the problem rather than just take away one tool...

    Especially since that tool SAVES more lives than it takes..

    As I indicate time and time again..

    It's an emotional topic, but the only emotionalism comes from the Gun Control crowd..

    If they could make their case w/o emotionalism, then they deserve to have their case heard..

    If they can't, then they don't..

    It's really that simple...

    Hmmm perhaps some sort of massive gun tax or bullet tax might be a good method of gun control?

    But then only the 1% would have guns.. And the 99% would be even MORE at their mercy than they financial advantage gives them...

    If you can, catch STAR TREK TOS episode A PRIVATE LITTLE WAR..

    THAT's the logical solution to gun violence..

    Since we ALL agree it's impossible to take the guns away from the bad guys, the ONLY logical solution is to make sure the good guys can arm themselves..

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    Something tells me Mr McConnell's opinion of Mr Hagel might be doing a 360 today...

    Funny thing about the Hagel Nomination..

    Both the Left **AND** the Right don't like him...

    I am amazed that Obama would pick this fight.. Especially after Rice tanked...

    Michale

  32. [32] 
    michty6 wrote:

    People kill more with hammers than they do with rifles.

    People kill more with clubs/bats than they do with rifles.

    People kill more with their feet than they do with rifles.

    People kill more with their hands than they do with rifles.

    I assume by rifles you mean rifles and not guns? Because otherwise every single one of these is wrong (at least in America, where TWICE the number of people are murdered by guns than any other weapon)... And even if you do mean rifles then you're basically picking a particular gun to try and prove that guns aren't bad. It'd be like saying 'more people are killed with hands than Walther PPKs'. Sure but it doesn't mean much...

    PS. This is literally the only gun type I know, I'm sure you know why ;)

  33. [33] 
    michty6 wrote:

    CW,

    I'd like to hear your thoughts on the trillion dollar coin idea...?

    I thought it was pretty stupid but a lot of people are making the (sensible) point that it is a lot less stupid than not paying your bills and collapsing the entire worldwide economy...

    To add to this, my first thoughts were that creating a trillion dollar bill would obviously lead to inflation. But I was wrong and stupidly made the mistake many Republicans (and others) are making by equating the debt ceiling to debt. That is, printing a $1 bill TO PAY DEBT THAT ALREADY EXISTS would have no inflationary affects are you're not creating more debt. In effect, you are simply just raising the debt ceiling through back-door method...

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    And even if you do mean rifles then you're basically picking a particular gun to try and prove that guns aren't bad. It'd be like saying 'more people are killed with hands than Walther PPKs'. Sure but it doesn't mean much...

    And yet, it's the RIFLES that the Hysterical Left is going after..

    Sure, they would like to ban ALL guns. But they know that, if they tried that, there would be a full blown revolution in this country.

    And only ONE side would be armed..

    That's my entire point.. The current discussions of legislation being bandied about are nothing but placebos that will have absolutely NO effect..

    How do I know?? Because we (The US) have already tried it.. Every time the US has tried some type of Gun Control, it had absolutely NO EFFECT on gun crime or gun violence..

    We tried a ban in '68.. Gun violence actually increased.

    Another ban was tried in '94. MORE guns actually hit the market..

    Discussions of a ban in the here and now have prompted gun sales and ammunition sales that have exploded and gone thru the roof..

    All of this is evidence that GUNS are not the problem..

    The people who misuse them are the problem...

    Do you know how I know that guns are not the problem??

    Because, here in the US, if people have a problem with a person with a gun..... They call ANOTHER person with a gun...

    Where is the logic in doing that, if guns are the problem??

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Because, here in the US, if people have a problem with a person with a gun..... They call ANOTHER person with a gun...

    Where is the logic in doing that, if guns are the problem??

    Lolololol this actually made me laugh a lot. I don't think you intended it as a joke though ;)

    But then only the 1% would have guns.. And the 99% would be even MORE at their mercy than they financial advantage gives them...

    Going back to this point this isn't true at all. The vast majority of violent crimes are committed by poorer people or people with a poor socio-economic history.

    And the best method of gun control is decreasing the number of guns in circulation so that idiots can't get their hands on them - this is a good method to achieve this using the power of capitalism (although not as good as just banning guns ;))

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    Lolololol this actually made me laugh a lot. I don't think you intended it as a joke though ;)

    Not really, but I am happy I can make ya laugh.. :D

    "Who doesn't appreciate a man that can make them laugh!!"
    -Genie, ALLADIN

    After yer done giggling, maybe you can indulge me and explain the logic... :D

    Going back to this point this isn't true at all. The vast majority of violent crimes are committed by poorer people or people with a poor socio-economic history.

    Yes, with emphasis on "CRIMES".. If a criminal wants a gun, he will likely get one. Even if he has to steal it from a 1%'er..

    Since you can't GURANTEE that bad guys will NOT get guns, the ONLY thing a ban will do is prevent law-abiding people from defending themselves..

    And the best method of gun control is decreasing the number of guns in circulation so that idiots can't get their hands on them -

    Yet, idiots will STILL find a way...

    While you may be right that more laws = less gun violence (the stats don't show this, but let's run with it) do you think a family killed by a home invader will be thankful that, even though THEY were brutally butchered, at least gun deaths are down across the country..

    Do you think THAT would matter to the people killed and the families and friends of the people killed?? People who would otherwise have been alive if they had had the means to defend themselves??

    Even if you are 1000% dead on ballz accurate, bad guys will STILL get guns.. People will STILL be killed by bad guys with guns..

    Do YOU want to explain to a little girl whose father was gunned down by a mugger that, while it's a shame her father was brutally murdered, at least gun deaths are lower.

    Do YOU want to try to sell her on how good that is??

    Do you?? Because I sure as hell wouldn't want to..

    Michale

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have 2 things left on my bucket list.

    One is to bear witness to First Contact..

    The other is to see Al Gore exposed for the money-hungry con man charlatan that he is..

    http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/current_situation_XLE3W50v6I9Gbyqe6Z4pFP

    {rustle of papers} CHECK!

    Gods, it's tough being right so often... :D

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20947686

    Some third world tinpot dictator using free phones to buy votes!!

    And then there is the guy in Nigeria...

    :D hehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    “Absolutely, I mean you can’t even send them to school now. Now my kids have police in front of their school. I mean you wonder how far it’s going to go.”
    -Woman's Rant For Gun Control

    Interesting..

    This woman is afraid about a bad guy using a gun for violence at her kid's school but feels better when there is a good guy with a gun at the school..

    So, apparently, GUNS are not the problem....

    This is why Gun Control fanatics are so moronic. Their position is based on hysteria and fear. Not an ounce of logic or reason in the mix whatsoever..

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    This one's for you, David. Since you asked the EXACT question... :D

    Here's Why Someone Would Need To Own An 'Assault' Rifle
    Consider that, according to FBI data, in 2007, there were 453 homicides by rifle in the U.S. Yes, that's too many. But compare that number to a few other methods of homicide employed that year.

    In 2007, there were 1,817 homicides committed with "knives or cutting instruments"; "blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)" killed 674; while "personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)" were the choices in 869 homicides.

    The number of rifle homicides has fallen steadily since then to 323 last year, as have the other three weapon classes, though each still remains a more common choice than the rifle.

    In fact, when added together, knives, blunt instruments and the human body were responsible for more than nine times as many homicides as rifles in 2011.

    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/122812-638766-more-killed-by-knives-hammers-fists-than-with-rifles.htm?ven=OutBrainCP

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a completely unrelated note (as I am wont to do on Friday FTPs :D)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/9788827/Humanoid-robot-pictured-on-International-Space-Station.html

    We now have humanoid robots working in outer space.

    Can flying cars be far behind?? :D

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well......

    http://sjfm.us/temp/drudgeheadline.jpg

    THERE is a Drudge headline I never thought I would EVER see....

    I have to admit, I was wrong..

    I thought Democrats would run in fear from Gun Control..

    Looks like they are going off the deep end in their mis-guided attempts to totally shred the US Constitution...

    This is going to get REALLY ugly...

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Interesting statistic.

    Ya know.. Statistics.. They thing ya'all claim to love..

    Each of the following countries have a higher murder per capita rate than the US...

    Honduras 91.6
    El Salvador 69.2
    Cote d'lvoire 56.9
    Jamaica 52.2
    Venezuela 45.1
    Belize 41.4
    US Virgin Islands 39.2
    Guatemala 38.5
    Saint Kits and Nevis 38.2
    Zambia 38.0
    Uganda 36.3
    Malawi 36.0
    Lesotho 35.2
    Trinidad and Tobago 35.2
    Colombia 33.4
    South Africa 31.8
    Congo 30.8
    Central African Republic 29.3
    Bahamas 27.4
    Puerto Rico 26.2
    Saint Lucia 25.2
    Dominican Republic 25.0
    Tanzania 24.5
    Sudan 24.2
    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 22.9
    Ethiopia 22.5
    Guinea 22.5
    Dominica 22.1
    Burundi 21.7
    Democratic Republic of the Congo 21.7
    Panama 21.6
    Brazil 21.0
    Equatorial Guinea 20.7
    Guinea-Bissau 20.2
    Kenya 20.1
    Kyrgyzstan 20.1
    Cameroon 19.7
    Montserrat 19.7
    Greenland 19.2
    Angola 19.0
    Guyana 18.6
    Burkina Faso 18.0
    Eritrea 17.8
    Namibia 17.2
    Rwanda 17.1
    Mexico 16.9
    Chad 15.8
    Ghana 15.7
    Ecuador 15.2
    North Korea 15.2
    Benin 15.1
    Sierra Leone 14.9
    Mauritania 14.7
    Botswana 14.5
    Zimbabwe 14.3
    Gabon 13.8
    Nicaragua 13.6
    French Guiana 13.3
    Papua New Guinea 13.0
    Swaziland 12.9
    Bermuda 12.3
    Comoros 12.2
    Nigeria 12.2
    Cape Verde 11.6
    Grenada 11.5
    Paraguay 11.5
    Barbados 11.3
    Togo 10.9
    Gambia 10.8
    Peru 10.8
    Myanmar 10.2
    Russia 10.2
    Liberia 10.1
    Costa Rica 10.0
    Nauru 9.8
    Bolivia 8.9
    Mozambique 8.8
    Kazakhstan 8.8
    Senegal 8.7
    Turks and Caicos Islands 8.7
    Mongolia 8.7
    British Virgin Islands 8.6
    Cayman Islands 8.4
    Seychelles 8.3
    Madagascar 8.1
    Indonesia 8.1
    Mali 8.0
    Pakistan 7.8
    Moldova 7.5
    Kiribati 7.3
    Guadeloupe 7.0
    Haiti 6.9
    Timor-Leste 6.9
    Anguilla 6.8
    Antigua and Barbuda 6.8
    Lithuania 6.6
    Uruguay 5.9
    Philippines 5.4
    Ukraine 5.2
    Estonia 5.2
    Cuba 5.0
    Belarus 4.9
    Thailand 4.8
    Suriname 4.6
    Laos 4.6
    Georgia 4.3
    Martinique 4.3

    The US's murder per capita rate is 4.2

    Do you know what else all those countries have in common??

    They all have a complete gun ban in place..

    Once again, the stats show that gun bans != safe.

    Michale

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all have to ask yourselves.

    Why are gun sales going thru the roof all over the country??

    Because the vast majority of Americans are AGAINST the Democrats and their visions of a gun-free America...

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    Since this topic is probably done for now, let me leave ya'all with one final thought..

    'THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED'

    That ends ANY discussion..

    Michale

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