“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The GOP should stand its ground -- and fix bayonets.

An Establishment in Panic

By Pat Buchanan
By refusing to accept tax increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, Republicans are behaving like "fanatics," writes David Brooks of The New York Times.
Anti-tax Republicans "have no sense of moral decency," he adds.
They are "willing to stain their nation's honor" to "worship their idol." If this "deal of the century" goes down, as he calls the Barack Obama offer, "Republican fanaticism" will be the cause.
"The GOP has become a cult" that has replaced reason with "feverish" and "cockamamie beliefs," writes Richard Cohen of The Washington Post. The Republican "presidential field (is) a virtual political Jonestown," the Guyana site where more than 900 followers of the Peoples Temple drank the Kool-Aid that Rev. Jim Jones mixed for them.
Does anyone think this an appropriate description of such mild-mannered men as Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman?
"The GOP's Hezbollah Wing Is Now Fully in Control," screams The New Republic over a recent lead editorial.
Other columnists charge the GOP with holding America "hostage" by refusing to accept tax hikes to avert a default on the debt.
What to make of this hysteria?
The Establishment is in a panic. It has been jolted awake to the realization that the GOP House, if it can summon the courage to use it, is holding a weapon that could enable it to bridle forever the federal monster that consumes 25 percent of gross domestic product.
To bully and blackmail the GOP into surrendering the weapon and betraying its principles and signing on to new taxes, that establishment has unleashed rhetoric more befitting a war on terror than a political dispute.
For how, exactly, are Republicans threatening the republic?
The House has not said it will not raise the debt ceiling. It must and will. It has not said it will not accept budget cuts. It has indicated a willingness to accept the budget cuts agreed to in the Biden negotiations.
Where the GOP has stood its ground is on tax increases.
Is fanaticism behind this stance? Does this manifest insanity? How does this imperil the nation's honor and future?
Behind the GOP opposition to tax hikes is the party's word given to the country that elected it in 2010, its political principles, its traditional view of what not to do when the nation is in a slump, and party history.
Fully 235 Republican House members signed a 2010 pledge not to raise taxes. And by giving their word they were rewarded with victory.
Should they now dishonor that pledge, what would differentiate them from George H.W. Bush, who famously promised in 1988: "Read my lips! No new taxes!" then went back on his word and took the party down to defeat with him?
Second, the GOP is the party of small government and low taxes.
Why would it agree to raise taxes on the private productive sector when federal spending, now at a peacetime record of 25 percent of GDP, is the problem?
Third, America is in a slump, with 9 percent of the workforce unemployed, another 7 percent underemployed and the economy growing at a tepid 1.8 percent.
What school of economic thought -- Keynesian, supply-side or monetarist -- says raising taxes in a slumping economy is the recipe for a return to prosperity? There is no such school.
Why, when the whole country is talking about the need to create jobs, would Congress raise taxes on a private productive sector that employs six in seven Americans and is the creator of real jobs?
In 1982, President Reagan agreed to the same deal being offered the party today: three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases to which he assented. As he ruefully told this writer more than once, he was lied to. He got one dollar in spending cuts for every three in tax increases.
What of the charge that the Republican House is holding America hostage, blackmailing the nation with a suicidal threat to throw us all into national default if it does not get its way?
This smear is the precise opposite of the truth.
The Republican Party has not said it will refuse to raise the debt ceiling. It has an obligation to do so, and will.
The House has simply said it will not accept new taxes on a nation whose fiscal crisis comes from overspending.
If the GOP keeps its word, raises the debt ceiling and accepts budget cuts agreed to in the Biden negotiations, the only people who can prevent the debt ceiling's being raised are Senate Democrats or Obama, in which case, they, not the GOP, will have thrown the nation into default.
It is the establishment that is resorting to extortion, saying, in effect, to the House GOP: Give us the new taxes we demand, or Obama will veto the debt ceiling and we will all blame you for the default.
They're bluffing.
The GOP should stand its ground -- and fix bayonets.



    so says morning paper


    Let's go awolfing



  2. The Republican Party has not said it will refuse to raise the debt ceiling

    No, but the leading candidate for the GOP nomination that has a vote on the matter has said she will not vote for the debt increase, under any circumstance.

    even though she has an obligation to do so.

    Mrs Bachmann speaks for the Republican Party, much more so than Mr Buchanan does.

    nuff said.

  3. While Ron Paul has an innovative approach to the debt ceiling delemia.

    the Texas congressman has spent the last week touting his own solution to the government’s money woes: Forgive the debt the U.S. Treasury owes the Federal Reserve and chop $1.7 trillion from the nation’s sizable $14.4 trillion debt.

    “It’s not the ultimate reform that’s needed, but it’s a start,” Paul told The Des Moines Register. “What we have is a situation where we essentially have a debt to ourselves. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it is counted in our deficit.”

  4. The Democrats are not bluffing, Mr Obama will invoke the 14th Amendment and by-pass the "obstructionists" in the House of Representatives.

    It would paint the Republicans into a political corner.

    They'd go wild eyed and behave radically on the television. Playing their part, perfectly.

  5. The 9/11 truth is out on the internet.
    This is the truth: The WTC was destroyed by 3 underground thermo-nuclear explosions. They were detonated by the US government which used this as an excuse to lead the US and its allies into invading Afghanistan and Iraq. All these wars and deaths were based on a lie.

    Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

    Will you help to tell the truth to the world?
    Be sure to watch the 26 part video there.
    #4 is on the built-in nuclear demolition scheme of the WTC
    #14 in on Building 7, which collapsed even though no plane hit it.
    #24/25 is on the chronic radiation sickness of the WTC responders

  6. That's what happens: you put up a video with Pat Buchanan, and within minutes you have "Truthers" on your site.

  7. Why not have Treasury issue currency for specific infrastructure and capital projects which will all be fee for service? The contractors on the project would be paid in the currency and as fees are collected in excess of operating costs, the specific currency could be withdrawn from circulation. That would require no additional borrowing. The completed projects could be privatized after completion.

  8. Deuce, when you're in/heading into a severe recession, Anything is a good idea that gets people moving around/working, and spending.

    The problem you always have when things get tough is the Republicans getting religion (ie trying to hold onto the money they've already scammed out of the system.)

    You'll notice, these are, invariably, the same republicans that got drunk and blew the inheritance Before the recession.

  9. We are, truthfully, on the verge of another Great Depression. Our only saving circumstance is: this time we have some safety nets in place, and the local banks haven't failed. FDIC might be the most valuable government progam ever passed.

    The parallels between our situation today, and the situation that landed us in Great Depression I are overwhelming.

    The only thing that's saved us so far is we didn't have two years of Hoover before we went to the polls.

  10. Our Exports have held up. No Smoot-Hawley. That's a Savior.

    Saved the Banks (whether the bastards deserved it is another story,) that's Incredibly important.

    Social Security, and other social programs are keeping some money in motion.

    BUT, we have a huge underskilled workforce that's not trained for 21st Century Jobs.

    And, a type of life that is based on a fossil fuel that is becoming more in demand, but not more plentiful. Thus, getting Expensive.

  11. .

    The Democrats are not bluffing, Mr Obama will invoke the 14th Amendment and by-pass the "obstructionists" in the House of Representatives.

    Where it only so.

    As they say in investing, past results are no guarantee of future performance; however, since the GOP has taken over the House, Obama has shown a willingness to fold like a cheap suit when it comes to the big stuff.

    I fear what will happen is we will end up with some interim deal that kicks the can down the road a few months.

    Hopefully, I am wrong


  12. Just wait till those letters go out to all those Social Security recipients that their checks might not be in the mail, Quirk.

    You ain't never seen a "ball game" like the one that will come after that.

  13. There'll be "tea partiers" hanging from every light pole.

  14. There'll be 435 new House Members, 100 new senators, and a new prez.

  15. If you ever wanted to run for congress, that'll be the time. Just don't call yourself a "tea partier."

  16. .


    The rubes continue to wallow in their rubedom.

    Spurred on by the commercial interests of the sport outfitters and other local tourist traps, the local farmers, neer-do-wells, and other yokels, pick up their pitch forks and venture forth into the woods in search of the 'children of the night'.

    Later, bone-weary and slightly hung over the mob exits the woods with the chant, "We'll get em tomarrow."

    Sitting on the porch with a heady brewski buzz, Bob turns to Walt and says, "maybe we'll go awolfing with them tomarrow. That's if I get around to cleaning the rust off my gun. Hey, pass me another beer."


  17. The way I figure it is this: When gasoline starts to cost more than $0.15/mile we start to get into trouble.

    When it gets close to $0.20 we're toast.

  18. I saw on telebision, yesterday, that there is a 122 day inventory of pickemup trucks on Dealers' lots. The only pickup that's selling is the Turbo Six-Cylinder Flexfuel from Ford.

    There are only about 15 days supply of Chevy Cruze, and Ford Focus vehicles on the lots.

  19. State law authorizes the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) “to pay claims for damages to crops caused by wild deer or elk in an amount of up to ten thousand dollars per claim” (RCW 77.36.040). For the purposes of paying claims for crop damage, state law defines a “crop” as “a commercially raised horticultural and/or agricultural product and includes growing or harvested product but does not include livestock. For the purposes of this chapter all parts of horticultural trees shall be considered a crop and shall be eligible for claims.” (RCW 77.36.010 (1)).

    Crop damages payable under RCW 77.36 are limited to the value of such commercially raised horticultural or agricultural crops, whether growing or harvested, and will be paid only to the owner of the crop at the time of damage, without assignment. Damage to other real or personal property including other vegetation or animals, damages caused by animals other than wild deer or elk, lost profits, consequential damages, or any other damages whatsoever are not covered under RCW 77.36. Crop loss covered by other insurance for wildlife damage will not be eligible for State compensation.

    Wild elk are found in northwest Minnesota and while relatively rare, they sometimes cause considerable crop damage in this area. To help reduce the impact on area farmers the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has a program to compensate farmers for crops damaged by elk. This helps reduce complaints due to elk damage and allows the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to manage elk in a way that will insure they remain part of northwest Minnesota for years to come.

    Farmers and ranchers seeking compensation need to follow specific reporting procedures to be eligible for state reimbursement. A DNR conservation officer or county extension educator will investigate and verify the elk damage for compensation. Farmers complete an application for state compensation and the report is sent to the county extension office for a market value determination. The request is then sent to the MDA for payment.

    Claim forms are available from University of Minnesota Extension offices in the counties where elk occur.

  20. You would thgink real farmers would welcome the wolf, of course unless it cuts into their government elk welfare checks.

  21. I bet they don't pay out much. :)

    I'd love to see last year's figure.

  22. They're "relatively rare" up there for a reason. :)

  23. Not so, some state funds are running out because of the farmer-welfare elk scam

  24. Save a welfare check - kill a wolf! God Bless America.

  25. :)

    Deuce, they're talking about $75 thousand. And, she doesn't know if they'll run out, or not.

    I gots my doubts.

  26. .

    In 1982, President Reagan agreed to the same deal being offered the party today: three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax increases to which he assented. As he ruefully told this writer more than once, he was lied to. He got one dollar in spending cuts for every three in tax increases.

    Buchanan is a Putz.

    Like most Republicans, neocons, paleo, or Tea Party, they cite Ronald Reagan as the end-all and be-all of successful supply-side economics. Yet, they forget or ignore the whole Reagan story on taxes, spending, deficits, and the size of government.

    In fact, it can be argued that Reagan was the one that changed our government from one of ‘tax and spend’ to one of ‘barrow and spend’.

    While Reagan didn’t face many of the problems we do today, the similarities and political fights were striking. Reagan came into office during a time of recession, huge deficits (for the times), and a sharp political divide over the size of government and the role of taxes. In 1981, true to his philosophy of lower taxes and smaller government, he pushed through a huge tax cut, a 23% reduction spread over three years. He also had the rates indexed for inflation to avoid bracket keep. The reductions included more generous cuts for business. In 1986, he instituted even more tax reductions.

    This is the only part of the Reagan legacy that the GOP remembers or talks about. However, there is another side.

    While Reagan was wedded to his supply-side philosophy of smaller government and lower taxes, he was also a pragmatist. He knew that you can’t just keep on spending forever without having to pay for those bills. In five years under Reagan, the budget deficit went from $1 trillion to $2 trillion. In the 12 years of Reagan/Bush I, the deficit moved from $1 trillion to $4 trillion.

    Reagan’s solution? In 1983, based on recommendations from a commission headed by Alan Greenspan (one of the architects of our current problems), Reagan pushed through “the fix” for Social Security. Not only did it increase the FICA tax significantly, it also allowed for the FICA funds to go directly into the general fund. Thus, Reagan created a giant slush fund that could be used to help finance his increased spending. Quite a hit to the poor and middle classes.

    However, Reagan wasn’t done. In 1984, Reagan pushed through the biggest tax hike the nation had seen other than in wartime. It hit the rich hard. The act eliminated many significant tax breaks and loopholes and lead to base-broadening in the tax systems. As you can imagine, this didn’t win him many friends within his own party. Between Social Security reform and the 1984 tax increase it pretty much offset the results of the two tax reductions he implemented.

    It is ironic that those who throw up Reagan’s name in discussions on the debt ceiling and taxes ignore the fact that Reagan did exactly what the Dems are asking the GOP to agree to, cut loopholes and tax breaks to the rich.


  27. I'm not sure she wouldn't be the best choice.

  28. The establishment pubs hate her; the dems hate her; exxon hates her.

    what's not to like?

  29. 'sides, I got a soft spot for any governor that sells the "company jet." :)

    Especially in times of 'surplus.'

  30. Of course, she's made statements that the republicans shouldn't let Obama raise the debt ceiling. and, of course, that's insane. Question: does she really believe that?

    Uncomfortable answer: she does seem to believe most everything she says.

  31. .

    Who needs a company jet when you have speaker contracts that read:

    “The private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger (as defined by interior cabin space) for West Coast Events; or, a Hawker 800 or Larger (as defined by interior cabin space for) East Coast Events, and both are subject to the Speaker’s approval. The Speaker Reserves the right to change the flight plans at any time,” the contract states.



  32. Of course, she's not stupid. And, at this point, everyone has to have their "negotiating" stance.

    At some point you just have to make a judgement about the "person."

    And, I kinda like her. :)

  33. The Taxpayers aren't paying for That plane, Q. I don't see any similarity.

  34. At least she gives'em a break on "West Coast" events. :)

  35. The cynical bastrads manipulate a nation of fat-ass morons. Joseph Goebbels would be impressed.

    AMHERST, N.H. — Aaron Fielding quietly stalks his prey — Republicans — with his video camera, patiently waiting for a political moment worthy of YouTube.

    Aaron Fielding recording Mitt Romney during an Independence Day parade in Amherst, N.H.
    At 27, he is a full-time “tracker” for American Bridge 21st Century, a new Democratic organization that aims to record every handshake, every utterance by Republican candidates in 2011 and 2012, looking for gotcha moments that could derail political ambitions or provide fodder for television advertisements by liberal groups next year.

    The organization has hired a dozen professional trackers like Mr. Fielding, outfitted them with the latest high-tech cameras and computers and positioned them in key states where Republican candidates are busy chattering away to voters. If all works as planned, incriminating moments captured by American Bridge will quickly become part of the political bloodstream.

  36. .

    At least she gives'em a break on "West Coast" events. :)

    I will give her this, unlike Pelosi she does it on someone else's dime, not that of the American public.

    It would be interesting to see how Boehner travels.


  37. I believe I read that he flies commercial. maybe.

  38. Tapis Crude selling for $125.00/bbl. Tapis is, basically, the same grade as WTI, which is selling for $96.00/bbl.

    $29.00 More

    It's good to have your oil wells close to China (until it isn't.) :)

  39. That SPR oil sold for $107.00, I believe. It was Louisian Light Sweet (which means it can be delivered ONTO YOUR TANKER.

    Who wants to bet some (all?) of that doesn't end up in China?

  40. Uncommented upon, on right wing blogs, it seems, is the $17 Billion Increase in the Defense Appropriations Bill passed by congress.

    Tea Partiers voted "Aye."

    Lester Crown overjoyed.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. Lester is getting just what he paid for, rufus.

    General Dynamics has never done better. While the cancellation of the F-22 must have been sweet revenge that was well aged and served chilled.

  43. $17 Billion is a lot of enchiladas. Do you suppose we really need that many more enchiladas for the military.

    That doesn't include the "War" funding, btw.

    649 Billion Enchiladas for "non-war," non-"not war" funding.

    I wonder what Gramps is going to think about that when he gets that letter in the mail. The one telling him that the Republicans have canceled his Social Security check.

  44. I'll tell you what's going to happen. Gramps is going to have a stroke.

    But, Grandma is going to get on the phone; and She's going to give a congressman, and a senator a stroke.

  45. I just read where that vaunted efficient, sugar cane ethanol is selling for $6.30/gal in Brazil.


    Makes that $2.70/gal on the CBOT look politively cheap, don't it?

  46. No limit on the wolves, except you have to get the first one, first.

  47. .

    Derek Jeter gets his 3000th hit on 5 for 5 day on a home run.

    That's doing it in style.


  48. Speed limit enforced by aircraft.

    What exactly does this effing mean?

  49. .

    Watch those white marks on the road.

    Someone up there is.


  50. I didn't see any white marks on the road.

  51. Who is watching me and from where? I need to know.

  52. .

    Who is watching me and from where? I need to know.

    You're starting to sound a little paronoid Mel.



  53. It's creepy. It's just one of those things that doesn't sit well with me.

  54. .

    Well, you should't be blogging while you are driving.


  55. .

    Then you have nothing to worry about.

    They used to place markers on the road and time how long it took you to go a mile. If you were speeding, they would call to the cop sitting behind that billboard for Coke and he would pick you up.

    These days, the planes probably have more sophisticated means of tracking your speed.

    Consider yourself lucky you weren't being tracked by an unmanned drone.


  56. I am a one way motorway
    I'm the one that drives away
    then follows you back home
    I am a street light shining
    I'm a wild light blinding bright
    burning off alone

  57. .


    maybe with all the cutbacks these days, putting up a sign that says "Speed limit enforced by aircraft" is a cheaper traffic enforcement tool than actally hiribg a cop or a pilot.


  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. Unless, you think of it as one of those hot spots that cuts your cell phone connection for two annoying seconds, but if you drive really fast you can make it through it without any annoyance.

  60. .

    Looking at that "road trip" version of I'm a Passenger gave me a headache.

    This version is chorographed a little better.

    I'm a Passenger

    Iggy Pop ain't bad.


  61. I-81 south

    I think you can see one of those signs.

  62. Goddamn I missed him. Took a little leaway on the opening date.

    He was going over the north ridge and I hit a little low and to the right.

    one dead wolf still arunning


  63. email from mat

    dead wolf still standing

  64. Boehner ends his bid for a 'big deal'

    He instead backed Biden's midsize package to cut debt. The speaker had sought huge cuts, a new tax code.

    Washington Post

  65. Mexican officials blamed turf wars between some of the country's most brutal drug cartels for a wave of violence across the nation that killed more than 40 people in three attacks, including 21 people massacred in a night club in the northern business capital of Monterrey,...

    Read more:

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. This fellow, Mark Geisenheyner
    went on a spree, in Douglass Toenship, PA.

    Geisenheyner, a 51-year-old career criminal whose adult life consisted of one arrest and prison term after another, was determined things would end differently this time.

    As he would repeatedly tell others in the hours that followed: "I'm going to die tonight."

    ... his revenge extended beyond its original target. Shay's wife, Monica, his nephew Joseph, 43, and a 2-year-old child have died. Paul Shay and Kathryn Erdmann - the boy's mother and Joseph's girlfriend - remain hospitalized.

    Another dirty white boy, he died in a shootout, with the police.

  68. BOSTON (MarketWatch) — The last financial crisis isn’t over, but we might as well start getting ready for the next one.

    Sorry to be gloomy, but there it is.

    Why? Here are 10 reasons.

    1. We are learning the wrong lessons from the last one.
    Was the housing bubble really caused by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, Barney Frank, Bill Clinton, “liberals” and so on? That’s what a growing army of people now claim. There’s just one problem. If so, then how come there was a gigantic housing bubble in Spain as well? Did Barney Frank cause that, too (and while in the minority in Congress, no less!)? If so, how? And what about the giant housing bubbles in Ireland, the U.K. and Australia? All Barney Frank? And the ones across Eastern Europe, and elsewhere? I’d laugh, but tens of millions are being suckered into this piece of spin, which is being pushed in order to provide cover so the real culprits can get away. And it’s working

  69. .

    1. We are learning the wrong lessons from the last one...

    No. We are not learning the wrong lessons.

    The author merely points out additional contributing factors while ignoring many of the problems that have been highlighted in the press lately.