Invictus here to talk a little politics and fiscal economics (which is to say there’s politics in this post and if you’re not here for an occasional dose of politics, skip this post):

On October 3, 2008, Paul Ryan took to the floor of the House to speak in favor of the EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT OF 2008. With a Republican in the White House, Representative Ryan apparently had a clear understanding of the severity of the crisis at hand (though we were actually already 10 months into recession). Emphasis mine:

Madam Speaker, over the last few days we have heard about LIBOR, commercial papers, spreads, swaps, about the credit markets. This chart shows you just how bad things are in the credit markets. But what does any of this stuff mean? What is credit? Credit is confidence, it is credibility, trustworthiness in someone’s ability to pay.

Right now, our system is plagued with fear. There is no confidence. There is no trust. Lenders don’t trust borrowers; sellers don’t trust buyers.

This bill, as flawed as it is, goes right to this issue. If it works, it stops that fear from spreading into outright panic.

Will this bill prevent a recession? No, I don’t think it will. But it will help us make sure that a recession is short and shallow, and not deep and long.

I know one thing for sure. Doing nothing is the worst thing we could do. This is one of those once-in-a-century kind of crises, and we need to act to prevent it from becoming a once-in-a-century kind of a recession. In Wisconsin, we are already beginning to see the beginning of this. We are already starting to see the job losses.

For me, this is a conscience vote. We of all people understand public opinion. We know it is not popular. But we see that gathering storm, we see it out there on the horizon. Our constituents may be outside mowing their lawns and looking up and seeing a sunny sky, but we see those storm clouds developing. And I want to know for sure that when the choice was made, I had made the decision to prevent that storm from gathering, to prevent those jobs from being lost, to protect our constituents from losing their retirement funds, from not getting that home loan, that car loan.

I want to make sure that what we do here today snaps that fear out of the market and preserves those jobs, and makes sure that the bumpy road we are going to have is not nearly as bumpy as it would otherwise be if this bill fails.

Then Obama beat McCain and everything changed (along with Rep Ryan’s “conscience,” apparently, given his subsequent record).

And now that we’ve had (still have, actually) what Representative Ryan referred to as a “once-in-a-century” kind of crisis, he’s done little but criticize or obstruct whatever efforts the Obama administration has made while simultaneously offering up budgets and “solutions” that remind me more of South Park’s Underpants Gnomes Profit Plan than actual economics – like when his 2011 budget proposal was scored by Heritage to produce a 2.8% unemployment rate by 2021, an outcome so absurd that it was literally disappeared within 24 hours.

Ryan may give the appearance of seriousness (the Romney campaign is counting on it), but even a cursory look at his proposals exposes their fraudulence.

See more here.

Those who don’t want to take my word for it (fair enough) may want to heed David Stoockman.



Inconvenient Numbers? Change ‘em.

Strawman Alert



Category: Current Affairs, Economy, Politics

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

45 Responses to “Of Magic Asterisks”

  1. Rick Caird says:

    Well, Invictus, you are shilling again.

    If you go back, you will remember on October 1, the House voted to reject this bill. After that the market dropped around 750 points and it seemed as if the whole credit system had frozen. CNBC had this vote live. Paulson was running around proclaiming the end of the financial system and the pressure on the Representatives and Senators was intense. It was coming from all sides particularly the press and CNBC, but also from the White House and Wall Street. We were all told it was a dire emergency and we had to pass that bill or the lights would go out and we would all starve.

    The bill got passed and there was this huge sigh of relief, but then Paulson changed the parameters of what he was going to do with the TARP money. It turned out the Senate had added pages of non germaine spending that was lost in the shuffle of getting the bill passed. Many of us, including me, supported this very hasty bill at the time.

    But, as time went on and we found out what was in the bill and how it was actually being used, we regretted supporting in haste what turned out to be, more than a bailout, but in some cases a reward for bad actions of financial institutions foreign and domestic.

    The net is that bill could never have passed in the light of day and Ryan, and I, and many others, have every right to regret our thoughts and positions of the time. In fact, “The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008″ is an argument against passing legislation in haste without proper review. We could say that act was the father of the monstrous “not so much” stimulus, and the unaffordable ObamaCare bills. Those two were also passed with out inspection in the dead of night.

    The lesson learned here is: “Act in haste, repent in leisure”.

  2. ilsm says:

    Rick Caird,

    Who is shilling, whom?

    Voting for Romney/Ryan the middle class will “repent in leisure”.

    Nothing from either serious tinkers reflects a change from socialized risk for the wall st and rich and devil take the hindmost for the rest.

  3. Frilton Miedman says:

    Rick Caird, I remember John Boehner literally weeping, pleading with the House to approve TARP when Bush was still in office.

    Not six months later he was ranting over how terrible Obama’s TARP was.

    The entire GOP is of the same mind, two faced rats catering to the biggest chunk of cheese.

    Ryan just happens to be a great salesman, his biggest problem is trying to sell squalor and third world lifestyles to a knowing public…no amount of sincerity is going to convince the public that the road to growth is paved with squalor, disease and economic repression.

    Romney just sealed the deal, my vote goes to Obama.

  4. blackjaquekerouac says:

    “a country divided cannot long stand.” and so it will be with this iteration of the USA. to boil it all down to one Congressman and one vote is beyond ridiculous. just slap “retard” on your head when you do it next time. there is no true “difference” this go around. the government is running everything to the maximum extent it can…but like Kafka teaches us “it just can’t hold.” the break when it comes…and i believe it is imminent actually…with be truly shocking…something that reminds everyone that 2008 really was the end of the world…and having gone well beyond merely “tempting fate”….this time “it will be real.” the USA survived 73 74….but not without guns in the streets. And so it will be this time as well.

  5. louis says:

    I guess those congressman got F upped like the rest of us. It’s not like they were forced to vote.

    ‘They will loan the money, wont they?”

    Power reveals.

  6. GuinnessFan says:

    So was Rep. Ryan acting in haste when he voted in favor of Medicare Part D during the Bush administration? Bruce Bartlett quotes estimates of that legislation adding $16 trillion to the long term deficit. I’ll take the Republicans seriously when they advocate repealing Obamacare and Bush’s Medicare Part D simultaneously.

  7. dss says:

    The entire conservative agenda has been a fraud since at least 1980. One lie after another for decades.

    Ryan’s nomination will sink Mitt’s candidacy because the conservatives don’t even bother to hide their goal of total destruction of our middle class, senior citizens, the disabled, the poor, children, students.

    The entire Ryan bill is nothing but one gigantic death panel for anyone who depends upon the government for their benefits. The trillions in cost savings go to more tax cuts for the wealthiest – not to paying down the massive debts.

    What a country we have become, where the rich white people don’t even bother to hide their greed and indifference to the plight rest of their countrymen.

    Romney and Ryan have one more thing in common, like many of our ruling class they were given position, money and power by their fathers but they propose that everyone else who had no such advantage to piss off and die.

  8. realgm says:

    Paul Ryan pretended to be conservative, while Obama is a big spender.

    Romney will reduce social spending but increase military spending while Obama will promote social spending while retain existing military spending.

    Both would very likely make things worse. Ron Paul probably has no chance since RNC has rigged the game from start to finish.

    People should really look into 3rd party and look into what Gary Johnson has to say. Although mainstream media barely talked about the libertarian party, but Gary Johnson is the only guy that makes any sense. Also, he has a good record as the governor of New Mexico that showed him to be much better than Romney’s record and 4th horrible years of Obama.

  9. algernon says:

    realgm has it right. With Romney we probably go over the cliff 6 mo. later than with the Anointed One.

  10. Hugh says:


    Is that all you’ve got?

    That’s weak.

  11. furiouschads says:

    Jeez, are IS/LM and AS/AD just parlor tricks? Is there not any meaningful difference between tax cuts given to people with no discretionary income and tax cuts for the comfortable?

    We and our country are still in bad shape, and we don’t have a real partner to help get us out of the hole. Footdraggers like Ryan and McConnell will be seen in the future as deeply unpatriotic pygmies. (Sorry, pygmies.) They could have made the right choice for their country. They instead protected the short-term interests of their party.

    And this GOP isn’t even very good at politics! They can’t even beat a black president in the middle of a deep recession, even with a huge disparity in campaign spending. I can’t wait to be shut of them. I really hope that President Obama takes the fight to them in plain and strong language, and starts running up the score.

  12. Irwin Fletcher says:

    And so the bashing officially begins.

    Frilton Miedman, we are supposed to believe you were considering voting for Romney?
    The least you could be is an “honest” partisan hack.

    Its gonna be painful having to sift through all the collectivist, partisan Romney/Ryan bashing
    while looking for good market insights.

  13. Conan says:

    Invictus – this isn’t about your current column, but I didn’t know how to send you an message in another way. I saw this article on Doug Short’s website and immediately thought of some of your earlier analysis. Actually the article is by Mike Shedlock:

  14. Rick Caird says:

    The only responses I saw to my comment were actually just a bunch of name calling. So, you guys who want to do all the name calling, do you still think TARP and the “The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008″ were the best possible responses to the credit crisis (or however you want to define it), are you happy with the result, and do you think we got full value for our $1 trillion or so?

  15. frodo1314 says:

    Invictus: thanks for this. Any examples of similar “conscience change” from the other side on any issues?

  16. frodo1314 says:

    Filton Miedman: So the right has cornered the market on being “two faced rats catering to the biggest chunk of cheese”? C’mon, they’re all the same. The choice comes down to whose ideas and approaches, in a general sense, you agree with more.

  17. PrahaPartizan says:

    No, frodo, they aren’t both the same. If they were the same, the Democrats would have refused to pass the TARP and allowed the 2nd Great Depression to start in September under a Republican administration, as the Republicans would certainly have done. We’ve seen that done for the last four years. Had we gone over the cliff in September 2008, we’d have had those massive layoffs and contraction in the last four months of 2008, with McCain’s candidacy along with Congressional Republican seats swirling down the drain. The Democrats pickup in the House and Senate would have been so massive that the Republicans wouldn’t be seeing the prospect for majorities until sometime in the 23rd century. The Democrats didn’t go for the immediate gain like some stunted child with AD/HD as the Republicans have done, so, no, we know objectively and experimentally that they are not the same

  18. Rick Caird says:

    Frodo asks if there have been any other “conscience changes”. In 2010, Obama praised the Ryan Roadmap:

    On the other hand, PrahaPartizan provides us with a little fantasy and alternative history to suit his personal belief system.

    Didn’t Barry have a post recently on prepackaged bankruptcy as an alternative to TARP? Maybe it was specific to Lehman.

    Conan, I read pretty much everything from Mish. The demographics are not going to be kind to us. It is one reason we have to look long and hard at immigration rather than a knee jerk reaction. Right now we have a birth rate which has declined from 2.1 to 1.2 due to the recession. The longer that goes on, the worse off we will be. The SS trustees released a report yesterday showing the trust fund will run out in 2033. A lot of that is due to Bernanke’s ZIRP although the trust fund itself is a myth. It will all need to come out of general revenues. I assume Medicare is running into equivalent problems.

  19. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    We have gone about as far right as a nation can. The American “left” is right of center.

    Obama and the Democrats are as much Corporatist whores as Romney/Ryan and the Republicans (the proof? I’ll go light and simply cite the recent DoJ finding of no criminality on the part of GS relating to the crash. None. Right).

    There was a time when things worked better for our country. As dss states, above, the beginning of the end of that era of prosperity began 30 years ago, as a political movement to the right.

    I can’t understand why we would use a country like India as a model for our society, or why the small government/low tax/religion-based government simply don’t relocate to the Shangri La that is Afghanistan.

    We will continue right, and we will go over the cliff.

    That’s when hell breaks loose.

    Keep an eye on the sky. Somewhere out there is a drone with little ol’ you in its sights.

  20. Chad says:

    Yep, Obama and Democrats are definitely corporatist whores just like the Republicans, but the Republicans win hands down in the batshit crazy race. Why do all Republican candidates think they have to pander to their base (Palin and Ryan)? The base is going to vote against the communist democrats anyway, so it’s not them you need to win over. It’s the middle/swing voters, and Ryan does nothing but push me away.

    I will take the devil I know and vote for Obama, as opposed to batshit crazy devils I see on the other side.

  21. BITFU Search Engine says:

    A BITFU search of “__” and paul ryan gives some results with posts and commentary on the Act as they occurred in real time.

    Here’s a link to a response by Republican House Member Mike Pence announcing opposition to the Act.

    It’s relevant to the Invictus post because adds context to Ryan’s support of this Act.

    Specifically, you’ll notice about 2/3 down that Pence states, “As I and other House conservatives have said from the beginning — inaction is not an option.” [Ryan said the same thing.]

    Then Pence follows up with “House conservatives worked tirelessly to put forth a number of different plans, ideas and legislation to remedy the crisis. On their behalf, I take great pride in the role that we played and the role our Republican House Leadership played in improving the legislation before us. Thanks to our efforts, there is greater accountability in this legislation. The insurance workout model of Mr. Eric Cantor and Mr. Paul Ryan now has an opportunity to work.”

    The takeaway:

    Yes, there were some Republicans who took a hard line and voted in opposition to the Act.

    But it appears there is more nuance to the story than the Invictus line that “Then Obama beat McCain and everything changed (along with Rep Ryan’s ‘conscience,’ apparently, given his subsequent record).”

    In fact, it appears that the House Repubs did, in fact, push for an alternative version, but didn’t have the votes. Additionally, it appears that Ryan (and others) made a deal to vote for the bill on condition that his insurance workout plan be included.

  22. Petey Wheatstraw says:



    The right is off the charts when it comes to ideology. Anti-science,-anti reason, anti-education, anti-public health, overdependent on religion as a guide to all things (when it fits), pro-child labor, intellectually dishonest (that the US is a “socialist” country due to Obama), disinterested in the benefits of good governance, and masochistic in their quest for self-disenfranchisement.

    The left is a little more suave and sophisticated (playing the feckless fool — a ruse if there ever was one). By doing so, they get the same results (did anyone actually think that the concept of the “Unitary Executive” would actually end with Bushco?), while appearing to act in the interest of the great middle class.

  23. BITFU Search Engine says:


    The search term was “EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT” and Paul Ryan.

    Sorry about that.

  24. gibbswtr says:

    Okay so all of you are such wizards from both sides of the debate and Romney is a jerk and Ryan a bozo according to you, so what is your solution to the problem? It is easy to critize and find contradictions in everyone’s public and private life, it is also cheap and silly, it is harder to propose a concrete solution that will will work, so you all are so smart what’s the solution? Or is it just the right of everyone to find fault but not answers?

  25. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    BITFU Search Engine:

    Scanned your link (will read it later). Seems to be paint a picture of a good solution having been ignored. Too much so. While there may have been alternatives proposed by the Republicans. I’d like to see what was actually proposed. Typically, when the Republicans propose something rational, there is a poison pill attached.

  26. 873450 says:

    It’s interesting how Ryan agrees with George Bush blaming “Wall Street got drunk” for crashing the global financial system. He specifically identifies “LIBOR, commercial papers, spreads, swaps… credit markets” as instigators.

    It’s interesting how Ryan does not blame future “Big Lie” crisis causes cited later – Barney Frank, GSE’s, meddling government regulators and tens-of-millions of over-borrowing Americans accepting money shoved at them by bankers hell-bent on selling them the most profitable, most toxic, low or no down payment, no income check, interest only, exploding balloon ARM loans that bankers subsequently sold, securitized into innovative engineered-to-fail debt investments bankers could simultaneously bet against and sell to the suckers they called customers.

    It’s interesting who the victims are that Ryan wants to rescue – “constituents…mowing their lawns… jobs… retirement funds… home loan… car loan” and why they need to be rescued – “fear… confidence… trust… panic.”

    It’s interesting who the victims needing rescue are that Ryan fails to mention – Wall Street bankers, TBTF, job creating 1%… and the later identified reasons why they needed to be rescued (and rewarded and protected) – faux free market capitalism, faux trickle down, faux uncertainty, Ryan’s 25-year blind devotion to the self worshiping, people hating philosophy of Ayn Rand until someone told him she hated God, too.

  27. frodo1314 says:

    Petey & Praha: we’ll just agree tro disagree. And I will pray we don’t end up like Greece which in my eyes is where we are headed.

    And Petey: Your statement that:

    “The right is off the charts when it comes to ideology. Anti-science,-anti reason, anti-education, anti-public health, overdependent on religion as a guide to all things (when it fits), pro-child labor, intellectually dishonest (that the US is a “socialist” country due to Obama), disinterested in the benefits of good governance, and masochistic in their quest for self-disenfranchisement.”

    is just intellectually lazy. But I get it, it’s conveneinet because when you boil down the right’s positions to that, who in their right mind would disagree to your opposition of it? (Please spare me the proof of some links to some far out conservative statement’s interviews, etc that back up the claims – each side has extremists).

    By the way, you left out that Romney killed that man from the steel mill’s wife…

  28. FNG says:

    BR, why do you allow invictus to post. The guy is rabidly partisan. Can’t you find an objective, rational fill-in blogger. I’ve no problem with grown-up political discussions, but this guy sounds like my mother in law…hey is that you polly


    BR: He has nude pictures of me with a sheep . . .

  29. TennesseeCPA says:

    Was it Churchill who said, “you can always count on Americans to do the right thing…after they’ve tried everything else.” Well, what has been tried isn’t working. Let’s try something else. I’ll vote for Romney & Ryan and “hope” the “change” works. Invictus can continue to imbibe the Kool-aid – at least he tells us what NY Democrats think. That must be useful for something.

  30. Petey Wheatstraw says:


    Are you denying that all of the insanity I listed is concentrated, by a very large margin, on the right?

    I might be lazy, but you are blind.

    Romney killed Jon Binet Ramsay.

    BR: From the back side, it looked like a goat.

  31. frodo1314 says:

    Here, here FNG. and hilariosu response BR. Now I must go back to work so Obama can take more of my $….

  32. whskyjack says:


    I believe the main point to Invictus’ post is that there is no real change.
    Your choice is to do as you are, vote for the ones that got us here in the first place or you can stand pat with the one who is too much of a coward to tackle the change that needs doing.

    If you are looking for change, in this election you are SOL.

  33. Molesworth says:

    Fun discussion but remember lads, unless you live in a swing state, your vote doesn’t count.
    Invictus’ NY (or CT or NJ) vote doesn’t count. TennesseeCPA’s vote doesn’t count.
    I know who I’m voting for, but my vote doesn’t count.
    Yammer all you will but your vote doesn’t count.
    Electoral college.

    Now whose vote will count? Economist writes “the archetypal swing voter is a white, married, middle-class woman between the ages of 35 and 55, who is worried about paying for a family holiday or affording college fees for her children.”
    If that is the case, wonder how the ‘let’s change the social safety net’ will go down with them? That’s the election.

    Nude sheep phots or no, I enjoy Invictus. This was not as wonky data driven as his usual posts though.

  34. whskyjack says:


    As you could bring no proof to the table, that looks like a concession on your part.

  35. Frilton Miedman says:

    Irwin Fletcher Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 7:27 am
    “And so the bashing officially begins.
    Frilton Miedman, we are supposed to believe you were considering voting for Romney?
    The least you could be is an “honest” partisan hack.
    Its gonna be painful having to sift through all the collectivist, partisan Romney/Ryan bashing
    while looking for good market insights. ”

    I look forward to years of whining from you and your kind, your mindless friends in the GOP just “Hoovered” themselves into another long-term mainstream shift to the left by going the austerity route at the EXACT wrong time.

    The time to make cuts isn’t when they’re needed most, especially not when those cuts equate to loss of life & hunger – people tend to not take misery & squalor lightly when it’s done to afford luxury for others…even if the promises of “trickle down” sound more enticing than ever.

  36. whskyjack says:


    It always comes down to that lady, which makes Romneys choice of fire breather like Ryan a real puzzle. The other thing she doen’t like is conflict.

    So far the amusing thing about this election is both sides are busy pandering to their bases and are ignoring that lady as if she doen’t count.

  37. 873450 says:

    Rick Caird Says:
    “Paulson was running around proclaiming the end of the financial system and the pressure on the Representatives and Senators was intense. It was coming from all sides particularly the press and CNBC, but also from the White House and Wall Street. We were all told it was a dire emergency and we had to pass that bill or the lights would go out and we would all starve.”

    Paulson’s propagandist fear mongering and media manipulation conjuring up support for TARP was brilliant, reminiscent of Cheney’s propagandist fear mongering and media manipulation conjuring up support for invading Iraq. Both GOP engineered disasters and aftermaths are taking trillions of dollars out of the people’s treasure and permanently lowered standards of living previously enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans. Who benefited? – Paulson’s Goldman Sachs, Cheney’s Halliburton and 1%.

  38. rj chicago says:

    Oh the noise of Politik – This is turning out to be the most divisive electoral seaosn ever so…..

    @blackjaquekerouac Says – I agree with your sentiment entirely however one correction – A house divided against itself will not stand – the scripture is very clear about this.

    Matthew 12:25
    Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

    Umm…..folks we are there – we are indeed our own worst enemy in this thing called US politics.

    And sadly – when I read these comments all I can see is all of youse bein played by a Chicago pol looking to get re-upped in an IDEOLOGICAL battle – this ain’t about the economy folks – Bummer has much bigger fish to fry than that!!! To him we are all just dogs!!!! See if this fits given this season we are living in….This from Pink Floyd’s Dogs…..

    Dogs (Waters, Gilmour) 17:06

    You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.
    You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you’re on the street,
    You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.
    And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight,
    You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.

    And after a while, you can work on points for style.
    Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
    A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.
    You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
    So that when they turn their backs on you,
    You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.

    You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.
    You know it’s going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you
    get older.
    And in the end you’ll pack up and fly down south,
    Hide your head in the sand,
    Just another sad old man,
    All alone and dying of cancer.

    And when you loose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown.
    And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone.
    And it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw
    So have a good drown, as you go down, all alone,
    Dragged down by the stone.

    I gotta admit that I’m a little bit confused.
    Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used.
    Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise.
    If I don’t stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this

    Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending
    That everyone’s expendable and no-one has a real friend.
    And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner
    And everything’s done under the sun,
    And you believe at heart, everyone’s a killer.

    Who was born in a house full of pain.
    Who was trained not to spit in the fan.
    Who was told what to do by the man.
    Who was broken by trained personnel.
    Who was fitted with collar and chain.
    Who was given a pat on the back.
    Who was breaking away from the pack.
    Who was only a stranger at home.
    Who was ground down in the end.
    Who was found dead on the phone.
    Who was dragged down by the stone.

  39. kek says:

    Sounds like a rant of an Obama apologist. The best argument is one that is made without words, so look around and see the results of Obama’s leadership.

    Barry and a goat…..damn.

  40. Northeaster says:

    Does it matter which plan fails the least/most?

    As long as we continue to monetize debt along with debt outpacing production (GDP) YoY?

    I’m not an economist or in finance, but common sense tells me as long as the two aforementioned problems exist, there is no plan.

  41. ilsm says:


    Don’t worry about invictus writing here.

    Rick Caird can answer with opposing talking points. And he sees no facts in his opponents.

    Rick Carid who says: the SSTF is going to be redeemed from general revenues. What the Randian Greenspan had in mind, it was accumulated for the boomers.

    However, the $2700B SSTF excess went to war profiteers and tax cuts, and productivity declined (did not respond properly, like Laffer aid) so that the economy is not able to generate general revenues without rate increases.

    These are antathema, capital cannot pay taxes.

    5% of GDP for war profiteering was not good in Sun Tzu’s time, it is not now.

    Note; neither party in free of unwarranted influence, so the aged, the poor and cash out of the SSTF is compromised for war, keynesian stimulus for war profiteers is the $400B too much issue.

    If you want decide which is a better measure of the social contract: the good of the few or the good of the many.

  42. ilsm says:

    rj chicago,

    New testament?

    Where would it be if Antony and Cleo had ousted Octavian and dumped Herod.

    Cleo was getting his revenues and would have done him in in 30BC.

    If the other fleet had won…………………

  43. kbwoody says:

    All of you want to know what is wrong with the USA…Cable News and Stupid Americans. Over the last 10 years they have amped up the Partisan Bullshit, and you sheep have followed the Border Collie. We used to have Moderates, now everybody thinks that the people on the other side are shitheads that are misinformed and to blame for all of the country’s ills. Grow up! Get a sack and do your own research and quit watching Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity…Quit reading Paul Krugman, Huffpost, Breitbart and Drudge. All of these Partisan hacks work for companies that sell advertising. All of these hacks profit by getting the base charged up and pissed off, not by informing the facts.

    I stopped watching and listening to all of these turds 2 years ago, and I have never been happier. I can look at a subject or a policy and decide for myself if its good for the country or not.

    The fact that most of the responses to the Invictus post claimed that the other side was filled with partisan hacks, idiots, misinformed rubes and mindless friends couldn’t have made my point any better.

    There is no question in my mind that George W. Bush and Barack Obama will go down as 2 of the worst consecutive President’s of all time. Nixon/Ford and Carter are a close second. Anybody else clamoring for the days of a split House and Senate with a rational adult in the Presidency? The solutions to all of our country’s problems could be easily solved by intelligent, bi-partisan rational adults. Know any???

  44. ilsm says:

    Take Carter off your list, he is the antithesis of Nixon-Ford. I was in the military during Carter and zero based budgeting is something should be tried today, except it would be lies as no threat demands 12 aircraft carriers, among about 40 other multi trillion military welfare programs.

    You lost me when you did not include Reagan-Bush I as the worst consecutive presidencies. Their legacy is foundation for the bubble bursting, with an assist from Clinton.

    An ancient law that goes back further in the East is “do not judge”. It makes for contentment to accept things and not ascribe a good or bad, has to do with ying and yang neither being good or bad.

    Were I to sin and judge: the last 12 years have been the pits.