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Old 08-01-2011, 05:24 AM   #91
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or, we realize that politics is the art of the possible and is all compromise and negotiation, and the present president has to deal with a party that is controlled by suicide cult fanatics who were, yes, elected in droves in 2010 and control one of the two houses of congress. the Tea Partiers are insane but that doesn't mean that they can be ignored.
Obama should have been wandering the streets of Washington every night with a shotgun and a megaphone, just scaring the shit out of people.

The Tea Party's historic level of stupidity can't be ignored, but it should be far, far, far more forcefully condemned and mocked. It shouldn't be accommodated and legitimised. I know their base will never understand that, because they are the stupid, but they're never going to come around to anything intelligent and reasonable anyway, so let 'em go. They all - elected and base - can and should be completely discredited and marginalised, no? Republicans need to grow a pair, and Obama needs to recognise when it's a good time to be all calm and reasonable, and when he needs to be all Clinton drinking from the well of Cheney or something.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:53 AM   #92
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a vast percentage of US debt is to China
the Chinese have already stated they deem the US is guilty of irresponsible behaviour over the way this has been handled
the damage has been done and the interest rate the US will have to pay over their debt will increase

I don't much understand much about US politics, but I do understand a fair bit about economics
and the US is playing an incredibly dangerous game
if they haven't lost the game already
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:32 AM   #93
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Just imagine if the Tea Party ever got their hands on foreign policy.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:46 AM   #94
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Just imagine if the Tea Party ever got their hands on foreign policy.
get Australia ready for more whining and a pervasive sense of victimization
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:52 AM   #95
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June 24, 2013, Parliament House, Canberra. "So, President Palin just rang, it seems to be all about something she saw on YouTube, but I think she's serious. So an awkward decision here guys: do we gear our military up to fight the Chinese, or gear our military up to fight with the Chinese. "
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:05 AM   #96
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"I did try and explain that those dragons are just men in costume."
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:07 AM   #97
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The Tea Party's historic level of stupidity can't be ignored, but it should be far, far, far more forcefully condemned and mocked. It shouldn't be accommodated and legitimised. I know their base will never understand that, because they are the stupid, but they're never going to come around to anything intelligent and reasonable anyway, so let 'em go. They all - elected and base - can and should be completely discredited and marginalised, no? Republicans need to grow a pair, and Obama needs to recognise when it's a good time to be all calm and reasonable, and when he needs to be all Clinton drinking from the well of Cheney or something.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:12 AM   #98
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Psssh President Palin is so 2000 and late, Michele Bachmann is the new bogeyman. She's the only one seriously competing for Iowa (the first state) in the GOP Presidential race so the idea is she picks up momentum and flattens the rest of the field.

I will say it looks like she's actually a true believer rather than an obnoxiously patronizing latch-on like Palin. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a terrible thing.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:38 AM   #99
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So it was basically all for nothing?
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:40 AM   #100
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nah... it's only just begun.
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:56 AM   #101
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Editor's note: David Frum writes a weekly column for CNN.com. A special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002, he is the author of six books, including "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again," and is the editor of FrumForum.

(CNN) -- I'm a Republican. Always have been. I believe in free markets, low taxes, reasonable regulation and limited government. But as I look back at the weeks of rancor leading up to Sunday night's last-minute budget deal, I see some things I don't believe in:

Forcing the United States to the verge of default.

Shrugging off the needs and concerns of millions of unemployed.

Protecting every single loophole, giveaway and boondoggle in the tax code as a matter of fundamental conservative principle.

Massive government budget cuts in the midst of the worst recession since World War II.

I am not alone.

Only about one-third of Republicans agree that cutting government spending should be the country's top priority. Only about one-quarter of Republicans insist the budget be balanced without any tax increases.

Yet that one-third and that one-quarter have come to dominate my party. That one-third and that one-quarter forced a debt standoff that could have ended in default and a second Great Recession. That one-third and that one-quarter have effectively written the "no new taxes pledge" into national law.

There was another way. There still is.

Give me a hammer and a church-house door, and I'd post these theses for modern Republicans:

1) Unemployment is a more urgent problem than debt.

The U.S. can borrow money for 10 years at less than 3%. It can borrow money for two years at less than one-half a percent. Yes, the burden of debt is worrying. Yet lenders seem undaunted by those worries.

Meanwhile, more than 14 million Americans are out of work, more than 6 million for longer than six months. The United States has not seen so many people out of work for so long since the 1930s.

2) The deficit is a symptom of America's economic problems, not a cause.

When the economy slumps, government revenues decline and government spending surges.

Federal revenues have collapsed since 2007, down from more than 18% of national income to a little more than 14%. To put that in perspective: That's the equivalent of losing enough revenue to support the entire defense budget.

Federal spending has jumped to pay for unemployment insurance, food stamps and Medicaid benefits.

Fix the economy first, and the deficit will improve on its own.

Cut the deficit first, and the economy will get even sicker.

3) The time to cut is after the economy recovers.

Businesses are hoarding cash. Consumers are repaying debt. State and local governments are slashing jobs. (Since 2009, the number of Americans working for government has shrunk by half a million, the biggest reduction in civilian government employment since the Great Depression.) Right now, there's only one big customer out there: the federal government. How does it help anybody if the feds suddenly stop buying things and paying people?

4) The place to cut is health care, not assistance to the unemployed and poor.

The United States provides less assistance to the unemployed and the poor than almost any other democracy. It spends 60% more per person on health care than almost any other democracy -- and gets worse results. The problem is not that Americans use too much medicine. People in other countries use more. The problem is that Americans pay too much for the medicine they use. Go where the money is, cut where the waste is grossest.

5) We can collect more revenue without raising tax rates.

Republicans stand for low taxes to encourage people to work, save and invest. But how would it discourage work if we reduced the mortgage-interest deduction again? Did it hurt the economy when we reduced the maximum eligible loan to $1 million back in 1986? Do Canadians and Brits -- who lack the deduction -- work less hard than Americans?

Why are state and local taxes deductible from federally taxable income? Wouldn't higher taxes on energy encourage conservation? Who decided to allow inflation to corrode federal alcohol taxes by 80% over the past 50 years?

6) Passion does not substitute for judgment.

Republicans and conservatives have worked themselves into a frenzy of rage and contempt for President Barack Obama. House Speaker John Boehner's post-deal PowerPoint for Republican House members was actually labeled "Two Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable" (PDF) -- as if the supreme goal of policy in this time of economic hardship were to fix the blame for all problems on the president ( ISN'T IT? ~ me ). This exercise in finger-pointing satisfies the emotions of the Republican base. It does not accurately explain the causes of the crisis or offer plausible remedies.

7) You can't save the system by destroying the system.

In their passion, Republicans convinced themselves that the constitutional republic and the free-enterprise system were threatened as never before. Their response? To threaten to blow up the free-enterprise system and wreck the republic unless they gained their point.

Republicans have become so gripped by pessimism and panic that they feel they have nothing to lose by rushing into a catastrophe now. But there is a lot to lose, and in these past weeks America nearly lost it. Let's hope that as America steps back from the brink, Republicans remember that it's their job to protect the system, not to smash the system in hopes of building something better from the ruins.

That's how student radicals think -- not conservatives.



The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:00 PM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earnie Shavers View Post
Obama should have been wandering the streets of Washington every night with a shotgun and a megaphone, just scaring the shit out of people.

The Tea Party's historic level of stupidity can't be ignored, but it should be far, far, far more forcefully condemned and mocked. It shouldn't be accommodated and legitimised. I know their base will never understand that, because they are the stupid, but they're never going to come around to anything intelligent and reasonable anyway, so let 'em go. They all - elected and base - can and should be completely discredited and marginalised, no? Republicans need to grow a pair, and Obama needs to recognise when it's a good time to be all calm and reasonable, and when he needs to be all Clinton drinking from the well of Cheney or something.

the thing is, this is a democracy. and elected leaders are held accountable to their constituents, and these people were voted into office on the coattails of the worst economic climate since the 1930s. the Tea Party folks absolutely were willing to risk default rather than negotiate on principle, and the larger Republican party actually has signed a blood oath to never, ever vote to raise taxes (and this oath has been around since the 1980s).

we can all sit here and talk about what Obama and the few sane Republicans can do -- and have, McCain had a moment where he referred to the Tea Party folks as "hobbits," which was nice -- but the Tea Party is large enough, and their influence quantified enough by the 2010 midterms, that they are able to hold a gun to the head of the GOP, and the GOP does control one of the two houses of congress.

i blame the American people, quite honestly.

i look around at our crumbling infrastructure and note that it hasn't changed much since the 1980s, while at the same time China speeds into the 21st century on high speed trains. i look at our millions without health insurance (and also the millions who stay in jobs they hate and are unable to release their talents because the fear losing said insurance) and compare them to the modern European welfare state with it's happier, healthier citizens and longer lifespans. i look at the Republican party and see the most anti-gay mainstream political party in the developed world. i see a minority of citizens who think our debt comes from welfare and spending on transportation, rather than from endless war and entitlements for the elderly. i see the elderly who vote in their own self-interests, as we'd expect. i see a public who re-elected possibly the worst president in our history and believed that Saddam Hussein needed to pay for 9-11.

i see a group of people who wish to live in the 20th century and fear modernity.

i also see a President doing his best to govern an increasingly ungovernable country where cultural divides between urban and exurban/rural grow daily, fueled by the insanity blaring out of talk radio as people commute hours through strip mall landscapes to precarious jobs they hate.

i also see that Obama did get cuts in defense spending to be part of the conversation.

right now, i'm blaming America first.

or at least Republican primary voters -- a small, angry percentage not just of the GOP itself, but of the American electorate as a whole -- who are organized enough to take out a GOP candidate in the primaries. THEY are who really scares Republican members of Congress.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:51 PM   #103
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Editor's note: David Frum
Some sanity on the right.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:38 PM   #104
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Some sanity on the right.
But does it balance out the other 97.6%?
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:11 PM   #105
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the thing is, this is a democracy. and elected leaders are held accountable to their constituents, and these people were voted into office on the coattails of the worst economic climate since the 1930s. the Tea Party folks absolutely were willing to risk default rather than negotiate on principle, and the larger Republican party actually has signed a blood oath to never, ever vote to raise taxes (and this oath has been around since the 1980s).

we can all sit here and talk about what Obama and the few sane Republicans can do -- and have, McCain had a moment where he referred to the Tea Party folks as "hobbits," which was nice -- but the Tea Party is large enough, and their influence quantified enough by the 2010 midterms, that they are able to hold a gun to the head of the GOP, and the GOP does control one of the two houses of congress.

i blame the American people, quite honestly.

i look around at our crumbling infrastructure and note that it hasn't changed much since the 1980s, while at the same time China speeds into the 21st century on high speed trains. i look at our millions without health insurance (and also the millions who stay in jobs they hate and are unable to release their talents because the fear losing said insurance) and compare them to the modern European welfare state with it's happier, healthier citizens and longer lifespans. i look at the Republican party and see the most anti-gay mainstream political party in the developed world. i see a minority of citizens who think our debt comes from welfare and spending on transportation, rather than from endless war and entitlements for the elderly. i see the elderly who vote in their own self-interests, as we'd expect. i see a public who re-elected possibly the worst president in our history and believed that Saddam Hussein needed to pay for 9-11.

i see a group of people who wish to live in the 20th century and fear modernity.

i also see a President doing his best to govern an increasingly ungovernable country where cultural divides between urban and exurban/rural grow daily, fueled by the insanity blaring out of talk radio as people commute hours through strip mall landscapes to precarious jobs they hate.

i also see that Obama did get cuts in defense spending to be part of the conversation.

right now, i'm blaming America first.

or at least Republican primary voters -- a small, angry percentage not just of the GOP itself, but of the American electorate as a whole -- who are organized enough to take out a GOP candidate in the primaries. THEY are who really scares Republican members of Congress.
Interesting and thought-provoking post. I have seen surveys suggesting the US electorate is much less right wing than the politicians that seem to represent them. This leads me to ask, are these problems you've identified the fault of a corporatist takover of the political system, rather than the electorate?
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