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Congress: Stupid, Arrogant and Dangerous

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As the so-called stimulus bill passes the House of Representatives and is sent on to the Senate, the media is making a big fuss over a new Rasmussen poll which seems to suggest an increase in acceptance for the stimulus bill linked to a slight increase in support for President Obama after his recent multi-state speaking campaign. However, they are missing an underlying current of anger and dissatisfaction directed at legislators and at the stimulus package which shows up clearly in other polls.

The Rasmussen Poll which came out Thursday shows a seven-point increase in support for the stimulus bill, up to 44% which still means that 56% don’t actively support the bill, but it is at least better than numbers which had been declining since the beginning of the month, sliding as low as 32% support.

But that poll which is getting so much press is just one poll and others tell us something very different and much less positive about public attitudes towards the stimulus bill.

For example, people are very skeptical that the bill will even work. Opinion Dynamics shows 55% unsure that the bill will do anything positive and Gallup has 78% of those they polled somewhat concerned or very concerned that the stimulus will not work. On another key question, 79% of those polled by CBS News do not believe that the bill will significantly shorten the recession at all. Overall people are skeptical and lack confidence in the stimulus, with Gallup showing 53% believing that the bill will either not improve conditions for their family or make them worse. A RealClearPolitics aggregate of all the major polls shows 60% of the population believing that the country as a whole is heading in the wrong direction.

Polls also show that people across the nation have specific issues with the stimulus bill. CBS News shows very strong opposition to the makeup of the stimulus. In their poll only 22% prefer government spending to tax cuts for businesses and only 16% prefer government spending to tax cuts in general. Gallup has 54% wanting the bill either substantially revised to include more tax cuts or rejected altogether. A Diageo/Hotline poll asked people to rank what was most important in the bill and tax cuts for businesses came in highest at 27%, 10 points ahead of the next most popular choice with more money for unemployment and infrastructure coming in last and second to last. In the CBS poll 81% thought that the stimulus should only pass with bipartisan support, which has not been the case except for a few rogue Republicans. Ironically on that same poll, even though it wasn’t a listed option, 3% of respondents wrote in that they’d rather not have the bill passed at all.

So all of this raises the question of what is going through the heads of our representatives in Congress. Are they so blinded by greed and self-importance that they can ignore every sign of what a bad idea massive spending for ineffective stimulus is? The American people can see it. The polls clearly show that they don’t trust the stimulus, don’t trust the Congress and despite the constant claims that they are too simple to have an opinion, they clearly understand that tax cuts for businesses do more good than handouts and spending to generate short term, low wage jobs. Most Americans have the common sense to realize that you can’t spend your way out of debt.

Plus it’s not just some whim of the people. economists from the Federal Reserve and hundreds more from major think tanks have studied the history of recessions and of government responses to them and concluded that massive spending just makes recessions longer and more destructive. The historical evidence agrees with the gut instinct of the people that out of control spending will only worsen the current economic crisis.

The problem is that the people who are making this decision are not listening to the experts or the people. They aren’t even reading the bill they’re voting on. They’re listening to special interests and political operatives and lobbyists. That’s no way to make policy when the welfare of 300 million people is at stake. Congress has ceased to serve the people and no longer even tries to make decisions in their best interests. They are like a dog which has turned on its master and needs to be put down in the interest of public safety.

When this plan passes against good sense and the will of the people and when it fails and drives the economy into depression, the people must remember and they must demand a harsh reckoning for the politicians who ignored and betrayed them.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Dave, I’m pretty sure we kept saying over the last many years that opinion polls are not good indicators of correctness. Actually … are the people ever right? Maybe that’s the problem. They’re the ones voting. Maybe they just need to be more educa…

    … actually, screw the masses. I want to start an oligarchy. I’m pretty sure I know better than anyone else. Who’s with me?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Since you know better than anyone else, Matthew, you should be philosopher-king. Screw the oligarchy.

  • Arch Conservative

    Kudos to Judd Gregg from my home state for saying no thanks to Obama.

    After Barry tried to tip the balance of power in the Senate futher in his party’s favor by asking Greeg to be the Commerce secretary and then yanking the census job away from him so that Himmler, oops I mean Rahm Emannuelle could fix the the census in 2010 he had the deceny to lie about Gregg when he said it was Gregg who approached them asking for the job.

    Yet all the Barry cultists are decrying Gregg’s self centeredness and refusal to engage in bipartisianship with the messiah.

    Then there’s the administrations supposed commitment to transparency yet Congress renegs on a promise to make the spending bill public so that we can actually see what’s going on.

    If Barry is getting frustrated now because the minority Republicans aren’t goosestepping to his every whim then we can only imagine the enourmous entertainment value to be provided once they become the majority in Congess in 2010. Watching Barry have to deal the reality that he is not in fact the messiah, he’s not even a very poor Lincoln wannabe is going to be more fun than a plethora of pinatas.

    It just sucks that the American people are going to have suffer to prove the point that this man is a complete and utter fraud as the economy is going to go from bad to worse during the next 2 years.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    I post this metaphor without comment.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I suppose the hidden implication is that we should try to impeach Obama.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I guess we can always be thankful that we don’t live in Venezuela.

    Dave

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I think it is interesting how Dave and others here find such great efficacy in the polls he cites above, yet whenever the numbers don’t support his(their) views they automatically consider them bogus and meaningless.

    No doubt that in 4 to 8 years you guys will get your turn at bat again. And we can all look forward to that owing to the absolutely stellar job your crew managed over the past 8 years. – Oh, that’s right. You’ve all disowned those years, haven’t you? They were simply an anomaly, Poor old Georgie and that sweetheart Dickie were just misunderstood in any case.

    B

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    The “hidden implication” is simply that we should look where we are leaping, lest we someday do live in a Venezuela type country.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Mark Ed(en)

    The notion that the US government can cure the disease of capitalism is stupid, arrogant and dangerous.

  • Clavos

    I wish MR were still around, so I could say “I told you so” to her…

  • Cindy

    lol Roger…haha that is too funny!

  • Clavos

    The notion that the US government can cure the disease of capitalism anything is stupid, arrogant and dangerous.

  • Cindy

    yes, moon should come back…if only for Clav’s sake! :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    In that case, perhaps we should move to Venezuela.

  • Cindy

    LOL Roger! You do have a sense of humor :-)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    B-tone, some of us rejected the policies of the Bush administration and the Fed under his administration at that time. Your mistake has always been in assuming that these people were “my crew” when they most assuredly were not.

    As for polls, they are what they are. Sometimes they are useful for gauging the mood of the public. Frequently they are skewed by the kinds of questions which are asked. That’s why I cite multiple polls for each of my points in the article.

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    Btone……..yes we haved disowned W. He may have had an R next to his name but he had a lot more in common with Barack Obama than he does with Ronald Reagan or myself.

    It gets a little old hearing people claim that Bush is proof that conservatism does not work.

    Fuck Bush, Obama and McCain. Do you know who I voted in the last presidential election Btone? You can probably guess it wasn’t Obama but it wasn’t McCain either. I have not only diasvowed the past 8 years (it was really six because the commies have had control of Congress for the paast two years) but I have also punished the party I called home in as much as one citizen alone can inflict punishment, by not giving them mmy vote.

    That’s right, I looked at the choices both major parties were offering and realized that if I wanted to express how much each candidate sucked in some mathematical form using intergers I would need a calculator capable of doing exponents. So I told my own party that sucking slightly less than the other party was not going to be enough to earn my support and I voted for the Constitution party candidate, Chuck Baldwin.

    Now we have this corrupt turd up there who nominates tax cheats and tries to rig the census and who meets with the other party members but then does what he wants anyway while saying “I won” and I am supposed to fall out of my seat with appreciation for how bipartisan an open minded he is and be in awe of his leadership?

    It appears that this man and those around him really do believe that he’s god’s gift to this world. This got old so very long ago. Now it’s downright dangerous. It appears our only hope may be real divine intervention to save us from this false god.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Like watching rats deserting a sinking ship isn’t it?

  • Mar(k E)den

    Clavos #12 agreed…maybe if we ignore it it will go away.

  • Clavos

    Mark,

    I wish. But, the trend is just the opposite. We really really need to stop re-electing those clowns.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I must’ve missed a memo somewhere, can someone explain the rather strange and bizarre use of parentheses to break up names in odd ways and places lately?

    (Jet-Gard)ne(r)*

  • Clavos

    Nonetheless, you seem to have the hang of it, Jet…

    Clav(os)

  • Mar(k E)den

    Jet, it all started with Parenthetical Dan AKA Danama – it is a plot to foil Asskissmet which has gone somewhat mad lately blocking names as spam.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Out of curiousity/respect Clavos, is the S on the end of your name silent? There’s an infamous character on CSI Miami whose name was pronounced “Clavo”. I’ve always wondered but couldn’t figure out a way to ask until you put the (os) on the end of your name above.

    (Je)tgar(dner)*

  • Cindy

    He’s plural.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    In that case you might like -M a r k – E d e n- better, it spreads it out and makes it look classy.

  • Cindy

    Yes, good idea. We can have a cocktail party right here. Mark can use that classy name. :-)

  • Clavos

    No, it’s not, Jet. There are no silent letters in Spanish, it’s a phonetic language.

    My moniker means “Nails” (plural) and is a childhood nickname bestowed on me by my kid friends in Mexico.

    The name of the character in CSI Miami translates to “Nail,” singular.

  • Ma(rk Ede)n

    Clavos, I think that the problem goes deeper than our choice of candidates. Perhaps we could learn something from the Zapatistas who propose (in theory and practice) that representatives should be paid directly by their constituents at a rate that doesn’t exceed the average of those constituents.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ ~ J e t – G a r d n e r ~

    Thanks Clavos, being unfamiliar with Spanish I’ve always wonder how to ask without embarrassing myself.

  • Clavos

    OK. Sounds good on that point. How do the Z’s select their reps?

  • Cindy

    See, I wouldn’t steer you wrong Jet.

    So what does Gardner come from? An occupation? Or a noisy (alarming) weapon?

  • Mar(k E)de n

    Great idea Jet. I’ll factor in spaces post haste.

  • Cindy

    Jet! That does look classy. We’d better wait til 5 for the cocktails though.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ ~ J e t – G a r d n e r ~

    Mark, sounds like the idea that no CEO should pull in a salary higher than the POTUS @ $400,000

  • Cindy

    Clav, remember when you said (Sub)Comandante Marcos and his people. It should be the other way around. It is the people and he is merely a voice for what they say.

  • Ma (rk Ede)n

    Clavos, my understanding is the communities shoot for consensus in their choices. Kinda like representation by invitation. Perhaps Cindy has looked at this more closely than I…?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’ve always liked the idea that legislators should not be paid at all, thereby insuring that only those who are wealthy and represent the interests of business and the ruling class will run for office.

    Dave

  • Cindy

    Here is a pretty good description.

    On the ground we now understand how the decision making process works in the Zapatista communities. And here I believe in terms of the civilian decision making structure we see a practise compatible with anarchism.

    The Zapatista communities hold weekly assemblies at which each and every issue in that community is debated. These assemblies are conduced in one of the five local languages which makes understanding the exact nature of debate difficult but having seen several reports on them and talking to people who have sat in on them a few observations can be made. Firstly everyone has the right to speak and vote, including the children, this is extremely significant in what is traditionally a very pathrical society where women are voiceless. Secondly there is a real effort to make decisions by consensus where possible. Thirdly these meetings send a delegate to the CCGI, the delegates have been observed sitting through these meetings making copious notes on everything that is being said, unfortunately I have not succeeded in finding out how delegates are selected and how recall functions. The general impression people have is that the delegates fulfil an administrative role and not a decision making one, recall mechanisms have been referred to in interviews with Zapatista combatants.

    Marcos refers to this process in the interview in the pamphlet we hope to publish soon when he says

    “In any moment, if you hold a position in the community (first, the community has to have appointed you independent of your political affiliation), the community can remove you. There isn’t a fixed term that you have to complete. The moment that the community begins to see that you are failing in your duties, that you are having problems, they sit you down in front of the community and they begin to tell you what you have done wrong. You defend yourself and finally the community, the collective, the majority decides what they are going to do with you. Eventually, you will have to leave your position and another will take up your responsibilities”

  • M(ark E) den

    Dave, that would be a more honest approach than our present bullshit festival.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Plus, Subcomandante Marcos sells his groceries at the most competitive prices with double coupons on Fridays.

    Dave

  • Mark Eden

    Thanks,Cindy.

  • Cindy

    Basically, this is how I read they do it. delegates that represent a community, when meeting with other delegates, are permitted to speak only on issues the community has decided. If new issues arise the delegate returns to the community and the process begins again for community decision.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ ~ J e t – G a r d n e r ~

    Okay Cindy, here goes

    My great grandmother on my father’s side was an Iroquois Indian, she married a freed slave named Gardener-which was common in those days to take either the name of your occupation or of your favorite white president. (which explains all the black Jeffersons and Washingtons)

    Their son John Gardner, who appeared black, fled the country for Canada. After ten years he returned to the U.S. and decided (rather foolishly) to marry a white woman and produced a son (my father) in the state of Kentucky in the late 1920s-which landed him in jail.

    My grandmother took my father who appeared white, and fled to Ohio, changing both their names to Davidson (her maiden). He later separated himself from the family in the 1940s and shortened and changed his last name back to Gardner.

    Deciding that our family would have a better chance as “white” he married my mother in Wheeling and went off to fight the war becoming a decorated Air Force 40-year veteran.

    Along the way he decided to teach his children race-hatred (which took a long time to unlearn)hoping to keep our family “white”, but he was foiled again when his oldest son turned out to be gay, and his only other son joined the Navy and married (are you ready for this) a Philipene woman moving the next generation to oriental.

    what’s next is anyone’s guess.

    My mother’s maiden name is Spencer and she’s related back two generations to the British Spencers of which Diana was one.

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    sure thing

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ ~ J e t – G a r d n e r ~

    Sorry great grandfather’s name was also Gardener

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    Wow, Jet that is an incredible story!

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    My great grandmother (grandfather’s mother) on my mother’s side was a full blooded Indian.

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    Dave,

    LOL!!

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    That looks much better Mark

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    You are like the archetype for the marginalized Jet.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    We better quit before Suss accuses us of trying to run up Dave’s Comments numbers.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I did some thorough genealogical research only to discover that all of my ancestors are dead. What’s up with that?

    About half come from my mother’s side and the other half come from my dad’s. It’s odd how that works.

    I also figured that if my ancestors were still alive that they’d all be older than I am. Boy, this is some crazy world!

    Oh, and Dave sez: “Sometimes they [polls] are useful for gauging the mood of the public.”

    In other words: polls are “useful” when you agree with the results.

    B

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Ma(rk Ede)n says, representatives should be paid directly by their constituents at a rate that doesn’t exceed the average of those constituents. But but but I thought that was the way it already works.

    I guess it all depends on what you mean by “constituents.” Question, though: when calculating the average paid to the constituents, do deferred compensation and bonuses count?

    Dan(Miller)

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    B,

    That is how I found out that eating carrots is bad for your health. Every one of my ancestors who ate them died.

  • Catey

    These useless and overwrought comments remind me of the useless overpaid workers at my job.

  • Clavos

    Dave #38:

    Good (and funny!) point.

    However, perhaps a system limiting pay for service as rep could still be viable if:

    1 The pay were competitive (with comparable levels of industry or academic work).
    2 Not paid until successful conclusion of the representation.
    3 To sustain the reps while in service, govt. pays their expenses for living/working in DC (with receipts or as a flat sum per diem), which is deducted from above pay being held.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    (asked with a forrowed brow) Dave, whatever happened to publishing my editorial? I have yet to understand the BC policy of not publishing articles based on a comment made on these pages.

    I seriously doubt that there’s a single writer on this website that hasn’t written an article inspired/based on a comment they posted that at the last moment thought it’d make a better independant article, so what’s the problem?

    As for Google/Yahoo, since the comment was made here, it’d seem logical that the “search” results would lead the searcher back here whether it was a comment or a full-blown article?

    This is why I like the BC Forum better, if you mispell something in a comment over there you can go back and correct it, and you can write up a topic of discussion on almost anything without this page’s rather strict publishing policies.

    You can even update or expand an already published topic at will over there!

  • Mark E den

    Dan (and Jet), I don’t think that the Zapatistas have had a lot of opportunity to work out how rich white guys fit in.

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    LOL

  • Clavos

    Mark and Cindy,

    The main problem I see with the Zs system is that it would be impossibly unwieldy for a society of 300+ million functioning at world leadership level.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    I’m sorry, but I still maintain that no CEO should make more than the President of the United States.

    …but of course that’s only my opinion!

    Jet

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    But Jet — How about entertainers — sports figures, singers and other celebs?

    Dan(Miller)

  • Clavos

    Especially ones like Brittany Spears and A-Roid…

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    Clav,

    I would have to study that and see what ideas people have suggested. Federations is something I read about. But not enough to say anything meaningful.

  • Clavos

    Britney (Obviously, her parents were deficient spellers)

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Dan if they made what they’re actually worth, we might actually be able to go to concerts, buy CDs and go to sports events again.

    you silly…

    but of course that’s only my opinion!

    Jet

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Clavos, how about we pay them on a commission basis, say 10% of how much they are personally responsible for utting off of the federal budget.

    And what the Zapatistas are practicisn is consensual government, which is popular with anarchists and works great in tribal societies at a relatively local level. As someone pointed out, it is impractical on a larger scale.

    Dave

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    Mark,

    Sort of related to Clav’s point. I have something interesting for you. I am taking the Parecon course since it will be easier to talk to people on the site if I understand that.

    But, here is a piece that is critical of Parecon. I don’t have any way of judging it until I take the course though.

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    Milton..er..Dave,

    Let’s wait and understand first shall we?

  • Clavos

    As someone pointed out, it is impractical on a larger scale.

    Yeah. That was me.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I skimmed that Parecon article. I find it bizarre that Anarchists would come up with such a convoluted and structured system of government when just following the natural impetus towards capitalism and contract-based government is so much easier and more equitable.

    Dave

  • ~:;C i n d y;:~

    I say don’t throw the baby out before you give it a bath.

  • Clavos

    Dave,

    I like the 10% commission idea though. It’s a great incentive for me to “git ‘er done” in my line of work, especially when the boat is priced at a mil or more.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    (asked with a forrowed brow) Dave, whatever happened to publishing my editorial? I have yet to understand the BC policy of not publishing articles based on a comment made on these pages.

    I haven’t seen this article. Was it submitted?

    I seriously doubt that there’s a single writer on this website that hasn’t written an article inspired/based on a comment they posted that at the last moment thought it’d make a better independant article, so what’s the problem?

    I don’t have a problem with it. I’ve done it myself. But the article does need to be substantially developed beyond the comment and ideally somewhat reworded. It also needs to be self-contained and not require reference to another article to make sense.

    Dave

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Evolution
    Revolution
    Birth control
    Sound of soul

    Shooting rockets to the moon
    kids growin’ up too soon

    Politicians say more taxes will solve everything

    and the band played on…

  • Mark E den

    Cindy, I’ve done a preliminary run through Albert’s participatory ‘stuff’, and it remains opaque to me — practically speaking.

    Clavos, if one accepts the concept that you have to follow in order to lead then the nature of ‘national’ and ‘world leadership’ changes.

    oh wait:

    As someone pointed out, it is impractical on a larger scale.

    Dave has spoken…never mind.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Dave check your e-mail, I posted it last night and sent you a link…

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    Jet asks: (asked with a forrowed brow) Dave, whatever happened to publishing my editorial? I have yet to understand the BC policy of not publishing articles based on a comment made on these pages.

    I seriously doubt that there’s a single writer on this website that hasn’t written an article inspired/based on a comment they posted that at the last moment thought it’d make a better independant article, so what’s the problem?

    Hey Jet, first of all, let me add my voice to those who have already said that it’s great to see you back in action.

    I’d like to address this comment. There’s nothing at all wrong with writing an article that has been inspired by a comment. As Dave pointed out, it would need to be substantially elaborated on/reworked. I don’t normally discuss individual editorial decisions in the comments section, but since you brought it up, I would like to note that the one article you submitted that was rejected on that basis was a verbatim repetition of a comment you had made. There is literally no point in having identical material posted in two places on the site.

    So the bottom line is that if you’d like to expand upon a point you’ve made in a comment enough to turn it into a fully-fleshed article, feel free. If you’d like to publish whatever you like without any editorial interference or standards to meet, then the forum or your own site are clearly better venues.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Thanks Lisa

  • Clavos

    I say don’t throw the baby out before you give it a bath.

    Quoted for Truth.*

    *One should never throw out a dirty baby — this is one of the principal causes of Global Warming.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Cindy, your pretty name looks all cluttered now. I thought the “D” was a big smile?

  • (-: i n d y

    lol @ Clav!

    Jet cluttered? Not decorative? Not classy?

    hrmmmm…

    A big smile! I like that.

  • Cindy

    New York City became a dictatorship in October! I missed that.

    Council Votes, 29 to 22, to Extend Term Limits

    And look at these opinions they allowed in the NYT that appear to support totalitarian government:

    The Limits of Term Limits

    The bedrock of American democracy is the voters’ right to choose. Though well intentioned, New York City’s term limits law severely limits that right, which is why this page has opposed term limits from the outset.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Isn’t one of the things which voters can choose with their right to choose term limits?

    Dave

  • Cindy

    Isn’t one of the things which voters can choose with their right to choose term limits?

    That depends.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet

    The election losers of either party always scream term limits in the aftermath. Yeah, right after the line item veto is passed.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    All the dizzying statistics thrown around in your article seem mostly to indicate that the public is not all of one mind, Dave.

    “Tax cuts and to be left the hell alone” are no doubt what you want. I’m not at all convinced that’s an accurate statement for the public as a whole.

    At any rate, the stimulus bill will be law by Wednesday morning, and I hope we can talk about something else around here by then. An extraordinary amount of hot air, possibly enough to contribute to global warming, has been emitted by both sides.