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Mr. President, Please Stop Insulting Us

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More than once in his short tenure as president, Barack Obama has been accused of insensitivity and arrogance toward the citizens (read voters) of the nation he was elected to lead. Pundits and politicians, as well as ordinary citizens have commented on his aloofness and his seeming condescension for many Americans, in particular for those who disagree with his governance, such as the Tea Party partisans, and of course, Republicans.

On Friday, August 13th Obama hosted an iftar, a ceremonial dinner in celebration of the breaking of the daily Ramadan fast, to which the White House invited a number of prominent American and foreign dignitaries, most of whom are Muslims. In his speech that evening, Obama justifiably stressed the positive contributions of Muslim-Americans throughout our history and paid tribute to what he called the “patchwork heritage” of the American people as being a principal strength of our country.

At one point in the speech, however, referring to the controversial so-called Ground Zero mosque, Obama intoned,

Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities — particularly New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground.

But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.

Understandably enough, these words were perceived by Obama’s opponents (and not a few supporters) as controversially supporting the planned construction of the mosque in relatively close proximity to Ground Zero. The furor over his remarks was instantaneous and considerable, prompting Obama to fumble about in an insulting attempt to ameliorate the import of his ill-considered remarks on Friday night. On Saturday, in an interview with CNN’s Ed Henry, Obama disingenuously allowed as how he

was not commenting on and will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country’s about and I think it’s very important that as difficult as some of these issues are, we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about.

In these two declarations we have an interesting case study of Obama’s contempt for the American people. It is nothing short of arrogance that, from one day to the next he can make such a transparent, inept and ham-handed attempt to deny what is still fresh in the minds of everyone and expect us to believe him. It is also insulting.

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About Clavos

Raised in Mexico by American parents, Clavos is proudly bi-cultural, and considers both Spanish and English as his native languages. A lifelong boating enthusiast, Clavos lives aboard his ancient trawler, Second Act, in Coconut Grove, Florida and enjoys cruising the Bahamas and Florida Keys from that base. When not dealing with the never-ending maintenance issues inherent in ancient trawlers, Clavos sells yachts to finance his boat habit, but his real love (after boating, of course) is writing and editing; a craft he has practiced at Blogcritics since 2006.
  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz Alan Kurtz

    Okay, I’ll bite. What does Lynne Truss’s book Eats, Shoots & Leaves have to do with this article?

  • Clavos

    Nothing. I just like it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    “But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right ^as everyone else in this country ^ to practice their religion.”

    Better? Net even slightly? :+)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    What does this man have say or do in order to please you?

    Can you imagine the tug of war that ensues after every word he utters, and dare let him speak off the cuff!

    Of course, when Bush went his own way he was a decider.

    I just don’t see what he did that was so insulting.

    Nite, Clavos…I’ll look in the morning for a response. :)Obama Mama

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I just don’t see what he did that was so insulting.

    For me it was that he backpedalled.

    Just a few days ago somebody on one of these threads – I can’t remember if it was you, Jeannie, or Handy – was applauding the President for taking a principled stand over this. The cynic in me perked up then, looked around at all the blood vessels that were bursting noisily everywhere, and wondered how long before he retracted. And sure enough…

    I wish that, just every once in a while, a politician – and I’m not talking about Obama only – would stick to their damn guns over a controversial opinion and not try to hide up their own arses as soon as they realise a few folks didn’t like what they said.

    I admire this president for his ability to compromise – but he’s got to realise that sometimes you can’t please everyone, nor is it honorable to try.

  • Clavos

    For me it was that he backpedalled.

    Bad enough, but worse, he tried to pretend he hadn’t.

  • Cannonshop

    #5 It’s a function of Leadership to know WHEN to compromise, and over WHAT.

    Job: “Executive”-means you’re supposed to be able to prioritize and make decisions. Chief Executives also set policy on how to execute directives from the board of directors, which isn’t far different from what a President is supposed to do in relation to congress-make decisions, refuse some directives (Veto), set priorities, and establish policy for the branch of government tasked with doing things.

    I guess I’d be more disappointed at Obama’s backpedaling if it weren’t already something I expected based on his resume, and performance thus far in office. He’s a good little Apparatchik for the Party, but without Daley telling him what he thinks every morning, he’s going to blunder like this-as he has in the past-and have to make an insincere retraction (as he has in the past.)

    You thought you had a warrior, what you got was a drone.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    I see that in this feature, links are not necessary to prove every point…
    {a href……?)

    :O ?

  • Clavos

    That the top percentiles of taxpayers pay the bulk of taxes is well known, Jeannie.

    Here

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    [The average income for a tax return in this top 0.1 percent is $7.4 million, while the average amount of income tax paid is $1.6 million, indicating an average effective individual income tax rate of 21.5 percent. This very top income group actually has a lower average effective tax rate than the rest of the top 1 percent of returns because these extremely high-income returns are more likely to have income from capital gains and dividends, which are typically taxed at lower rates.] Thank you

  • Clavos

    How many returns are in the top 0.1%, Jeannie? It says it in the article. Only 141,000 returns is the number, and as you point out, these people still paid 21.5%, considerably above all but the rest of the top 1% of taxpayers (which paid a rate of 22.5%), according to the chart (From the IRS) at the bottom of that article.

    Here’s another source, which indicates that, in 2008, not only did the top 10% of taxpayers pay 73% of all taxes paid, but also that the bottom 47% of taxpayers will pay no income taxc at all for 2009.

    In recent years, credits for low- and middle-income families have grown so much that a family of four making as much as $50,000 will owe no federal income tax for 2009, as long as there are two children younger than 17, according to a separate analysis by the consulting firm Deloitte Tax.

    Also:

    The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment.

    And:

    The number of households that don’t pay federal income taxes increased substantially in 2008, when the poor economy reduced incomes and Congress cut taxes in an attempt to help recovery.

    In 2007, about 38 percent of households paid no federal income tax, a figure that jumped to 49 percent in 2008, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center.

    The constant bashing of top earners as not paying their fair share of taxes is a favorite shibboleth of liberals, but it is simply not true in regard to the top class of wage earners as a whole.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    Are you aware that the corporations are given huge tax breaks in a lame attempt to help the economy?

    The number of households that don’t pay federal income taxes increased substantially in 2008, when the poor economy reduced incomes and Congress cut taxes in an attempt to help recovery.

    and my comment was quoted from your link.

    shibboleth ?

    If anything I’m telling the truth here!

    Pay taxes! The poor do, and the worker does before they even cut the PAYCHECKS!

    Yes, the government needs money to function…move to Cuba if you think your government here is so horrible.

    : O and don’t bitch about my punctuation, this is the comment section…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    WTF is wrong with speaking out and against this, wealth hording?

    [Obama has pushed tax cuts for low- and middle-income families and tax increases for the wealthy, arguing that wealthier taxpayers fared well in the past decade, so it’s time to pay up. The nation’s wealthiest taxpayers did get big tax breaks under Bush, with the top marginal tax rate reduced from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, and the second-highest rate reduced from 36 percent to 33 percent.] source

    Where is that Reaganomics now? It’s time for the GOP to prove this theory once and for all.

    When are you all going to trickle down on the rest of us with this invisible benevolent love and caring for those less fortunate?

    We are not all charter members of, The Lucky Sperm Club.

  • Clavos

    Pay taxes! The poor do…

    Do you not know how to read, Jeannie??? The poor DON’T pay taxes — on the contrary, the government PAYS THEM!!

    See above:

    …the bottom 47% of taxpayers will pay no income tax at all for 2009…In 2007, about 38 percent of households paid no federal income tax, a figure that jumped to 49 percent in 2008, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center.

    If you want to present the image of semi-literacy, that’s your problem.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Isn’t it partly because the poor have become poorer yet?

    What other interpretation are you going to assign to this statistic?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Yes, thank you Roger…that is exactly what I got from this statistic. Of course they are giving the individual even the poor tax breaks.

    Now, if Reaganomics had been such a great idea for this country, then we all would have the luxury of being able to pay taxes!

    Don’t go having a fit on me.

  • Clavos

    Once again:

    It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

    And:

    The top-earning 25 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $66,532) earned 68.7 percent of the nation’s income, but they paid more than four out of every five dollars collected by the federal income tax (86.6 percent). The top 1 percent of taxpayers (AGI over $410,096) earned approximately 22.8 percent of the nation’s income (as defined by AGI), yet paid 40.4 percent of all federal income taxes. That means the top 1 percent of tax returns paid more in federal individual income taxes than the bottom 95 percent of tax returns.

    And the Bush administration cut taxes for the poor as well as for the wealthy:

    The nation’s wealthiest taxpayers did get big tax breaks under Bush, with the top marginal tax rate reduced from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, and the second-highest rate reduced from 36 percent to 33 percent.

    But income tax rates were lowered at every income level. The changes made it relatively easy for families of four making $50,000 to eliminate their income tax liability.

    All quotes are from the sources previously cited.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    “America, STFU and pay your taxes!”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    : ) I’ll be back, Clavos…

    I have to go to the store. I will buy products and pay taxes attached to them. Ironically, the companies I am buying these products will pay very little tax.

    sweet!

  • Doug Hunter

    Clavos, you’re arguing with people whose ideology is rooted in class envy and hatred, who need to believe that every success is the result of ‘luck’ or government, and wealth can only be stolen from someone else, not created. The wealth that America created is trickling down, alot of it just ends up in India or China or Mexico to people who want it more than we do. If only it weren’t under the guise of capitalism these wealth redistributors would absolutely love it (or maybe as I’ve long suspected people only support redistibution if they believe they’ll be the distributee rather than the distributor). Now suddenly, they’re the ones becoming all nationalistic and supporting our hoarding of global resources…. now that’s the spirit!!!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typapad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Clavos keeps on repeating the same old point like a broken record, but refuses to connect the dots: the poor did get poorer over the period in question, yet that little “factoid” is lost on him.

    How convenient to be dealing with the superficial when one’s ideology prevents one from saying the obvious.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    And tell us, Doug Hunter…what did you and your family create? more like stole, pillaged and plundered if you are (forgive me Doc and Chris),ENGLISH.

  • Baronius

    Clavos, for the life of me I can’t follow this thread. Where did comment #9 come from?

    Also, a formal event at the White House is called an affair, not an “iftar”. Come on, you’re usually better at spelling.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Live near the Gulf? I bet if you did, Doug then you were screaming with the rest of the people, “Where is Obama! Where is my government help!”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    You can only follow this thread if you enter the twilight zone, where we all close our eyes and say that we don’t see anything wrong…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    G-d forgive me, this is fun!

  • Doug Hunter

    #15 Roger, the poor have remained basically the same. The government and safety net have grown greatly yet they pay less taxes so I’d say it’s pretty much a wash. It’s not bad in a world economy where it takes the salary of 3 upper middle class foreigners to equal that of 1 poor American. It’s barely sustainable for people to make $40-60K per year doing menial tasks when foreigners are cutting their kids limbs off so that they can beg for and support their family for $500/year.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Comment section or not! Where the hell did that last sentence come from?

    It’s barely sustainable for people to make $40-60K per year doing menial tasks when foreigners are cutting their kids limbs off so that they can beg for and support their family for $500/year.

    stay way from them foreigners…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I better take a break from this computer, before everyone hates me. : ( bye, bye

  • Doug Hunter

    #22

    Stole, pillaged, and plundered? I’m not going speak for my personal family but the US has kicked ass since the industrial revolution. In the last 50 years we pretty much dominated healthcare advances (we pay out the nose for it while others copy it for free), computers and technological advances, and played a large role in the ‘green revolution’ which enables the world to feed its 7 billion people. The only stolen argument to be made is by native Americans, but by the same token their tribe ‘stole’ it from a previous tribe who ‘stole’ it from someone else who ‘stole’ it from nature making it a fairly pointless exercise.

  • Jordan Richardson

    played a large role in the ‘green revolution’ which enables the world to feed its 7 billion people

    Wow, Doug. I hate no idea that the United States has solved the global hunger crisis. Why is nobody else aware of this?

  • Jordan Richardson

    *had

  • Doug Hunter

    #24

    No, but your assumption does provide insight as to how you think. (i.e. the government should be responsible for success or in this case failure)

    Except for my military time I’ve been either self employed and later a business owner. There is no safety net in either of those situations, no one else to pay healthcare or provide 2 years unemployment, no union rep or even a guaranteed paycheck (the government doesn’t bail out small businesses like it does the big boys either). Frankly, I love it. I know how to be a good employee and could do it in a pinch, but I’d work twice as hard to stay in business for myself if need be. (if times got tough I could probably even cut out BC)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    This is ideology…and you beleive the lie.

    The wealth that America created is trickling down, alot of it just ends up in India or China or Mexico to people who want it more than we do.

  • Doug Hunter

    #31

    The information is freely available. Here’s the wikipedia page: The Green Revolution

    Note: I said this enables the world to support and feed 7 billion, not distribute, educate, etc. If you send in food aid and nothing else to starving people in 20 years you’ll just end up with twice as many starving people.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    All taxes are not income taxes. The poor still pay sales tax, payroll tax, gasoline tax, etc., all of which can take a painful bite out of a low income.

    The rich should pay more because they can afford to pay more. [If the Bush tax cuts expire, the rates would revert to the Clinton-era levels. Rich folks did just fine during Clinton’s presidency.]

    And most of them agree with that principle. Obama actually carried the “millionaire vote” in 2008.

  • Clavos

    Ironically, the companies I am buying these products will pay very little tax.

    Companies don’t pay taxes, Jeannie, their customers pay them. If my company makes a widget for $8 and the government taxes the company at a rate, say, of $2 per widget, then I will sell you the widget for $10. Similarly, suppose I have a rental property, I will build the property taxes on my rental property into the rent I charge my tenants, thus my tenants are paying the taxes, not I — I merely collect them for the government and then pass them on to it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Smoke and mirrors, Clavos. Multibillion-dollar corporations should not be able to loophole their way out of tax liability.

    And there are more factors at work in determining prices than taxes. In a very competitive industry, customers might not see the correlation in taxes and prices you simplistically describe.

  • Doug Hunter

    #36 Correct Handy, most everyone agrees the rich should pay more, even the ‘father’ of capitalism, Adam Smith. The question centers around how large a role the government should play in the first place.

    That $13-14 trillion millstone we’ve tied to our kids necks is a good sign that none of us have been paying enough taxes or that government is too big (IMO a combination of both).

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Green revolution? The GOP refuses to admit that global warming exists. if it’s proven, then Al Gore will make money!

    as far as food goes…stop with the pesticides and GMO’s

  • Clavos

    Wow, Doug. I hate no idea that the United States has solved the global hunger crisis…

    In point of fact, one American, Dr. Norman Borlaug (whom I had the privilege of knowing personally when I was a youngster — I briefly dated his daughter) IS credited with doing more than any other single human in history to alleviate world hunger. Working in Mexico in the 50s, 60s and 70s, Dr. Borlaug developed a very high-yielding strain of wheat (it doubled the yield of previous strains), for which accomplishment he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typapad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You must be kidding, Hunter. Ten million people have joined the unemployment rolls, many have lost their houses through foreclosures, yet that’s not enough of a dip for you.

  • Clavos

    Smoke and mirrors, Clavos.

    No Handy, corporations pass the taxes they are charged through to their customers — basic economics; if they didn’t do so, they would soon go broke. Fact.

  • Doug Hunter

    #40 Jeannie, good idea let’s stop with the pesticides and GMO’s, and since non traditional non-modified crops with pests yield about 1/3 of what current crops do maybe we can just let the rest of the people starve. I’m talking of the green revolution that saves lives, not the doomsaying nitwits that have battled technological progress for the last 100 years. Global warming is very real and extremely minor in context. Doomsayers will be doomsayers because it sells stories, gets grants, and motivates people to act, I’m not going to live my life in fear.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    I am trying to see your reasoning here, but please help me out with this, OK?

    How does that work out for us?

    The companies are able to pay little to no tax by shifting any tax burden on to the consumer. sounds like a reasonable idea…until you look at it.

    Without any regulations in place , where does the widget company come up with their price? and what’s to stop them from price gouging? absolutely nothing.

  • John Wilson

    The Green Revolution was a University and Government project, not private industry. Borlag was a college professor, not a businessman.

  • Doug Hunter

    #42 I wish everyone the best, I don’t support any dip and am working my damndest to provide jobs and stimulate the economy in my own neck of the woods. That said, I’ve got to be real about how entitled we as Americans are considering several billion people in the world live on $1-2 per day. We can maintain our dignity and still allow a free system that enables them to pull themselves up, but it will require redoubling our efforts when instead we seem ready to kick back and enjoy the fruits of our forefathers labor (and blow our kids future on debt to boot).

  • Clavos

    Borlag was a college professor, not a businessman.

    Who said he was a businessman? I never did. He was an agronomist, not a teacher; all his life he was engaged in practical field research, not teaching, which is probably why he was so spectacularly successful

    Actually, at the time he developed the wheat, he worked for the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations (from whence came his funding) and the Mexican government.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Everyone,

    “Genetically engineered foods are the biggest threat in history to the safety and integrity of our food chain. Yet there is a good chance you just ate them for breakfast.

    Genetically manipulated ingredients are turning up, unlabelled, in everyday items such as bread, cornflakes and margarine, despite every indicator of public opinion showing that we don’t want them.” Joanna Blythman

    Not trying to diss your Doc, Clavos

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Doug,

    ???

    #36 Correct Handy, most everyone agrees the rich should pay more, even the ‘father’ of capitalism, Adam Smith.

    double standard…I say the wealthiest Americans should pay a larger amount of tax and it’s envy and a socialist plot you redistributer of wealth.

    Which is it going to be?

  • Doug Hunter

    #45

    Jeannie, thank you for succinctly demonstrating the fundamental misunderstanding of free market economics shared by almost all on your end of the spectrum. The free market is not just about workers competing for jobs, it is also about business owners competing for prices on widgets. One bloated businessman making a $10 million per year should invite other less bloated businessmen willing to sell the product cheaper and only cash five million and then someone else comes in for even less and so on.

    Corporations are some of the largest opponents to free market principles within a nation, they just love government sanctioned monopolies, favors, and burying the competition in red tape and regulations. It’s an ugly charade that is put on for us. The politicians act like they’re helping the people, the corporations write the bills so that they guarantee their profits and make life difficult for their competitors, and then ‘progressives’ come in and trumpet what a fine job we’ve done of regulating.

  • Clavos

    I don’t see how one “disses” an individual who is credited with saving a billion people from starvation?

    Such a man is “diss”-proof.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Doug,

    Everyone is trying to figure out why capitalism, when left to run wild…runs all over us.

    It’s not a liberal or conservative thought.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    A note on the poor and who pays what taxes: I was looking at the chart in the pdf…something seems strange about the statement that 47% of the lowest earners are non-taxpaying…(perhaps it is an assumption that it is only the poorest who pay zero tax…I see, for example that 2% of tax units with incomes over 1,000,000 pay zero tax)…and of ‘the poor’ one has to have less than 10,000 income as a single person to reliably pay no tax…(according to the chart).

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    Was the food genetically engineered?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Great point, Cindy,

    So to qualify as a poor non-tax payer…one would have to live soo poorly that (BIG DEAL!) they don’t have to pay income tax…on a side note, did they eat lately?

  • Doug Hunter

    #52

    Jeannie, you’ll find that we fundamentally agree on lots of stuff it’s just the way some issues are framed, I find it sometimes divisive, almost angry… an us versus them, rich versus poor, black versus white mentality. In reality, it’s all us. There is no ‘them’, ‘them’ is a shoddily thrown together caricature and a strawman designed to dehumanize and embody our fears.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Doug,

    You have been talking us verses them as I have from the beginning…it is us verses them…I just realized that you are not them!

    : O I am envious…I want my family to enjoy their lives.

  • Doug Hunter

    #61

    True, I’ve been working on it though.

    It’s hard to make progress, even after you realize that most people see at lest part of the problem that the corporate/government alliance has created… probably even the very politicians and corporate leaders making these backroom deals (they’d probably say it’s necessary since everyone else is doing it and how else would they fund their campaign/profit margin). Change is difficult, changing for the better even moreso.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Wow, now there is a comment I can relate to.

    It isn’t all big business and it’s not all government, it is their relationship to each-other that is the problem.

    : )Thanks, Doug Hunter.

  • Baronius

    Clavos – Not quite true. The man who initiated the revolution in agriculture was Fritz Haber, who developed a method for producing ammonia from nitrogen in the atmosphere. Ammonia is essential for manufacturing fertilizer.

    Haber was also a big fan of, and developer of, nerve gas. So yeah, you can feed a billion people and still be diss-able.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    57 – Correction: 2% of single people who earn 1,000,000 or more pay zero taxes.

    And just for fun, I’ll add that 2.6% of single people earning between 500,000-1,000,000 pay no taxes, 3% who earn between 200-500,000 pay zero, and 4% of singles with income of 100-200,000 pay nothing, etc. You have to get all the way down to that 10,000 mark to find nearly 100% paying no taxes. B
    but it’s not actually 100% because a small percentage (.001) of those with incomes under 10,000 do pay taxes. And though that seems like an insignificant %, I bet it isn’t a small number. I would guess that the number of people earning under 10k and still having to pay taxes is in the 100s of thousands.

    I wonder what that would look like if we charted all that in such a way as to show how much wealth is owned by those top earners who pay nothing as compared to how many who own nothing still pay through the nose.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    …corporations pass the taxes they are charged through to their customers — basic economics; if they didn’t do so, they would soon go broke. Fact.

    Nope. Ideologicial distortion through oversimplification. Sometimes profits are so healthy that extra costs can be absorbed; and sometimes a particular market is so price-sensitive and competitive that price increases are not a good option.

    Some Econ 101 from Wikipedia:

    Imagine a $1 tax on every barrel of apples an apple farmer produces.

    If the product (apples) is price inelastic to the consumer (where if price rose, a small demand loss will be accounted for by the extra revenue), the farmer is able to pass the entire tax on to consumers of apples by raising the price by $1: consumers are bearing the entire burden of the tax; the tax incidence is falling on consumers.

    On the other hand, if the apple farmer can’t raise prices, because the product is price elastic (if prices rise, more demand will be lost than the extra revenue made) the farmer will have to bear the burden of the tax or face decreased revenues: the tax incidence is falling on the farmer.

    If the apple farmer can raise prices only $0.50, then they are sharing the tax burden. When the tax incidence falls on the farmer, this burden will flow back to owners of the relevant factors of production, including agricultural land and employee wages.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And Cindy, I’ll repeat my point that other, non-income taxes take on greater significance when you are poor.

    A 7% sales tax may be a nuisance to a well-off person, but it can cut into the basic needs of a poor person.

    And Social Security and Medicare taxes are taken out of the checks of the working poor, even if they pay no net income tax.

    Well-off conservatives always ignore this and continue to disparage the working poor who “pay no taxes.” It’s a disgusting lie.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    67 Thanks for repeating those excellent points handy.

  • Baronius

    If the price is inelastic and the farmer can’t make a profit under the tax, no more apples.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    I love the fact that you are proficient in economics.

    I’ll admit it, I don’t have a clue when it comes to mathematics, but I do know and understand the results of those statistics.

    : ) alright!My PPG!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    What about farm subsidies? Do you take this into account?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Sorry, Handyguy,

    What about farm subsidies? Do you take this into account?

    :)opps!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Exactly why a flat tax system would be wrong.

    A 7% sales tax may be a nuisance to a well-off person, but it can cut into the basic needs of a poor person.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Those are hypothetical apples, Jeannie. They could be widgets or gloves or whatever.

    But farm subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare are pernicious and should be reformed. Unfortunately, senators and congressmen/women from farm states always seem to find some way to extend them.

  • Clavos

    Well-off conservatives always ignore this and continue to disparage the working poor who “pay no taxes.” It’s a disgusting lie.

    Just for the record, this “well-off conservative” was NOT “disparaging the working poor,” rather, I was defending the wealthy, who pay the vast majority of the income taxes and yet are constantly disparaged by the liberals as “not paying their fair share.”

    And, as far as the working poor paying taxes, the IRS itself publishes the figures I quoted above. It’s a FACT that fully 47% of Americans pay no income taxes at all, and the majority of these (by a wide margin) are low income people, NOT wealthy taxpayers.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Handyguy,

    George Washington was a farmer. I was taught at an early age that this fact was one of the major reasons that we have farm subsides. Also, people who own farm land, whether actively farmed or not, continue to receive subsides! grandfathered in like grapevines in western NY

  • Clavos

    i>If the price is inelastic and the farmer can’t make a profit under the tax, no more apples.

    The flaw in your thinking, Baronius, is that, inelastic pricing or no, the vast majority of farmers and/or manufacturers ARE passing on their taxes as a cost of doing business, and thus that part of their playing field is fairly level.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I’m liberal and I’m disparaging the wealthy and the Tea Party and whoever else thinks that we should not collect TAXES!

    : ) Cindy proved that statistic, incorrect.

  • Clavos

    Haber was also a big fan of, and developer of, nerve gas. So yeah, you can feed a billion people and still be diss-able.

    Apples to oranges, Baronius. Haber is not credited with feeding a billion people, Borlaug is, and Borlaug has no shady doings like Haber’s in his past.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    What about corporate loopholes (like these which allow the wealthiest to avoid state taxes), subsidies (like these where the wealthiest farmers still grab billions.

    Here’s a nice example: “From its gated headquarters in the suburbs here, the Britz family runs a farming behemoth with arms that stretch across the vast middle of California. It is a multimillion-dollar empire that includes a petrochemical company, packinghouses, a cotton gin and tens of thousands of acres of irrigated cropland. But the Britzes–whose houses sit amid country clubs and not cotton fields–also get a big helping hand from Uncle Sam. Their 14 separate farming entities have collected $4.6 million in federal crop subsidies over the last six years.”

    Of course, these are just the tip of a giant iceberg, whereby the rich are in a position to extract the most from everyone else with trickle up economics.

    And who knew this? The good ol’ US is keeping the poorest nations poor, then giving them charity that doesn’t amount to what they would have been able to earn as income had the US not fucked with the game in the first place. How heroic.

    DEVELOPING COUNTRIES PAY FOR THE SUBSIDIES OF WEALTHY NATIONS (pdf)

    (more info on the main site)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    We have,roads,bridges,schools,hospitals ,and post offices to maintain. There are countless other schemes and entities that we support in this country without a peep from anyone.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    70 Jeannie,

    I love the fact that you are proficient in economics.

    bwahahaha.

    (ppgs! :-)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    That’s exactly what I’m talking about…farmers who don’t farm.
    : O @#$!^&*((!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Oh sugar!

  • Clavos

    Cindy proved that statistic, incorrect.

    Not quite. Cindy failed to mention just how many individuals comprise 2% of singles earning $500K to $1M, or how many comprise 3% of singles earning $200K to $500K, or how many people are 4% of singles earning $100K to $200K. Nor did she present a verifiable number for how many individuals comprise .001% of those earning under $10K. “Hundreds of thousands” sounds like a gross over estimate.

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

    In consideration of where this discourse began, I did not see Obama’s 2nd statement regarding the Mosque as backpeddling. His 1st statement was clearly in regards to what RIGHTS should prevail in this issue. The muslim group has a perfect right constitutionally to build whatever the hell they want on land they own privately within any limits as regards zoning, land use, etc, as stipulated by the City of New York. From a strictly legal standpoint, they have every right to build the community center/prayer room facility.

    What Obama said in his latter statement was that he had not and would not comment on “the wisdom” of the group building their facility in its currenly proposed location. (BTW – everyone seems to overlook the fact that this muslim group has owned and operated a center on this same piece of property for over 20 years. It’s not like they just popped in out of the blue.)

    Personally, I think their expansion plans for this facility are in poor taste, and I certainly have no love for anything connected to ANY religion. But, when it comes down to it, it appears there is no legal precedent with which the center’s development can be blocked.

    The hoopla over Obama’s comments is just that – hoopla. It serves as nothing more than a distraction and an opportunity for those who hate the very air Obama breathes to jab away at him.

    Many of Obama’s detractors do not exactly represent this country’s intelligensia: Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Sharon Angle, Rand Paul, etc. Consider how many people still maintain that Obama is NOT a US citizen. How many still believe him to be a muslim. Oddly, some of these same people also still believe that 9/11 was an inside job, and that aliens are living at Area 51 in New Mexico. (Hey, those aliens better not step foot into Arizona, if they know what’s good for them. It’s a hell of a trip back to Alpha Centauri.)

  • Baronius

    “Was the food genetically engineered?”

    If the wheat feeds a billion people, does it matter if it’s engineered or bred? If the wheat poisons the environment, does it matter if it’s engineered or bred?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baritone,

    There you are! The voice of sanity…and spunky as ever!

    B. BTW, I posted that, little girl poet poem, to Bob Loyd’s last thread. I gave clear reference to the author and the source.

    : )

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Baronius,

    What do you think?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    POOR PEOPLE COMBINE THEIR PENNIES, BUY CONGRESSMAN

    The homeless have joined together to collect enough money to buy their very own representative who is on the side of the poor (at least until elected, when the homeless are expected to run out of leverage).

    No? How about this then. It does look like some corporations pay the taxes they pay right on to the consumer. And the graft they pack, as well.:

    SWEETS FOR THE SWEET -HOW THE SUGAR INDUSTRY PROTECTS ITSELF (pdf)

    The sugar industry is unashamed of its purchasing power. “The U.S. sugar program is the most efficient tax we have,” said James Kempner, CEO of Imperial Sugar, “It comes directly from consumers and goes directly to the growers, who turn around and give some of the money to the politicians. It never goes through Washington at all.”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Sugar made them fat! pun intended

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I can’t find the number I used to estimate that 100s of thousands figure. It does seem wrong now that I am trying to reproduce it.

    I wish I could get actual numbers, I’m not sure where to find them and am having no luck.

    Still, I would like to reiterate my

    main point

    which is to prevent the presumption that the 47% of people who don’t pay taxes are all poor people. Quite a large percentage of them are not only not poor but are rich.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    90 – ugh, correction:

    “It does look like some corporations [pass] the taxes they pay right on to the consumer. And the graft they [pay], as well.”

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    go to IRS dot org?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Don’t mention me! I’m poor and don’t pay taxes…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    only some?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Okay maybe I have it now (not sure though–despite my being an “economics wizard” ;-)

    I took the number of people making 10k or less from this chart.

    The number of people making under 10k is 19.75%. 19.75% * 211,832,000 = 41,836,820 and 41,836,820 * .001 = 41,837 people estimated to have paid taxes even though they made less than 10k in 2008.

    The number of people making over 100k is 6.24%. 6.24% * 211,832,000 = 13,218,316.8. 13,218,316.8 * .116 (11.6 % of people from Clav’s pdf chart made over 100,000 and didn’t pay taxes) = 1,533,324 people who made over 100k and didn’t pay taxes.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    So, you are right? Right?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Those figures seem to demonstrate clearly that the wealthy are at great advantage. 41,000 of the poorest people, those making under 10k, were still unable to avoid paying taxes. Yet 1.5 million of the US highest income earners were able to do so. That says it all.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Money has it’s privileges and damn fine accountants!

  • Clavos

    The number of people making under 10k is 19.75%. 19.75% * 211,832,000 = 41,836,820 and 41,836,820 *

    Cindy, go back and look at the Wiki chart YOU cited. It clearly states that the number of people making $12,499 or less (which would obviously be more than those who make $10,000 or less, since they are included in the larger income) is only 12,874,000, NOT the more than 41 million you calculated.

    Your math is way off, and it’s skewing your conclusions.

    And, in the final analysis, no matter how many scattered individuals you can find among the wealthy who pay no taxes, the fact remains that the IRS says that, as a group, the top 10% of incomes pay almost 80% of ALL the taxes.

  • Doug Hunter

    #80

    Cindy, glad you could finally see that light that government subsidies often have negative unintended consequences. It’s not so much an evil conspiracy though, they were enacted to help our people not to impoverish the 3rd world even if that is what has happened. If we end subsidies prices go up, other farmers are helped, but poor people not tied to agriculture have it even worse.

    Essentially what you’re arguing is we allow the same thing that happened to the manufacturing base to happen to our farmers. I wonder why people are often on one side when it comes to farming and another when it comes to manufacturing. Perhaps it’s because the former are more likely to be rural, republican voters while the latter exist in the cities and are more likely to be part of the union democrat base.

    It appears it’s upside down world today on Blogcritics. Cindy is for free trade and an end to government subsidies while Roger and Jeannie are arguing against wealth redistribution (through the same free trade mechanism) and for nationalism. I don’t know what’s up and down anymore much less right or left.

  • Clavos

    Cindy, YOUR chart DOES indicate how many individuals make $10K or less: It’s 11,496,000.

  • Baronius

    Nope, Clavos. You’re reading the table wrong. It’s not cumulative. It may not prove Cindy’s point, but she’s reading it correctly.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Doug,

    Farm subsidies for farm land that is no longer farmed. How would cutting these out increase the price of food?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Doug,

    That’s not wealth distribution.

    Subsidies, whether farm or manufacturing are nothing but backroom deals that whisk public monies off to people who are stealing.

    If a worker steals from a company, is it tolerated without words or action?

  • Doug Hunter

    “Farm subsidies for farm land that is no longer farmed. How would cutting these out increase the price of food?”

    It might, or might not. The theory of the folks Cindy linked to is that subsidies decrease food prices therefore making it hard on foreign farmers. To help those farmers the price would need to go up as I indicated.

    Who knows what would happen in the real world? Perhaps all the farmers faced with no subsidy payments would maximize production in a panic thereby raising supply and lowering prices even further. These things are hard for anyone to estimate.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And repeat after me, please:

    Income taxes are not “all taxes”!

    The poor who don’t pay income tax still pay taxes. That was my point.

  • Clavos

    @104:

    Oops, Baronius, you (and Cindy) are right about the numbers, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the highest earners pay the disproportionate share of income taxes, as they should.

    My original point referred to the incessant (and erroneously undeserved) bashing of the wealthy by the left, saying they don’t pay their fair share. They do — and then some.

  • Doug Hunter

    #106

    We’re back in upside down land again. So subsidizing hard working blue collar manufacturing workers and farmers who want to support their family and provide the food/goods we all eat and consume is theft, but I suppose subsidizing joblessness, single motherhood, etc is good? Treating transfer payments as theft is usually considered a right wing thing.

    Really, if you’re going to subsidize things at all you should probably consider picking things you want more of, not less.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Doug,

    There are individuals who own formerly farmed properties that haven’t been farms for decades Yet, because of grandfather clauses, these people are collecting government subsidies. Does this sound right to you?

    Even The Heritage Foundation finds fault.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Handyguy is right! After all of you repeat, “All Income taxes are not all taxes”, then please say, “All taxes are not bad.”

    : )

  • Clavos

    All taxes are not bad.”

    Jeannie, you keep repeating that. No one on this thread has said they are.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    #110,

    No Doug, we’re not in upside down land. If you would read the link in #111, then you will see the poor farmers that are collecting.

    Huge corporation farms that gobbled up mom and pop farms thirty years ago are not individuals. but then again, don’t ask Chief Justice Roberts to weigh in on that.

    And, just like lobbies and taxes, not all subsidies are bad or unnecessary.

  • Doug Hunter

    #111

    No need to tell me that government program are inefficient and get abused, I’m supposed to be telling you. I’m for an end to the subsidies and property tax breaks that go to rich estate owners who put a couple of horse on there and call it a ‘farm’. They’re holding land worth millions or tens of millions and paying less taxes than a guy with a decent trailer home around here.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    What? You have been arguing against taxes since I met you!

    : ) Get da boots…

  • Mark

    All taxes are bad. There, I said it!

  • John Wilson

    Clavos displays some astonishing naivete about business: “37 – Clavos …
    Companies don’t pay taxes, Jeannie, their customers pay them. If my company makes a widget for $8 and the government taxes the company at a rate, say, of $2 per widget, then I will sell you the widget for $10.”

    And I, the chairman of your board of directors will fire your ass out the door for undercharging customers all these years and depriving us of our full profit! We’re not running a charity here, why have you been giving $2 a widget to customers? Why haven’t you been charging the full $10, or even $20? Are you getting a kickback?

  • Arch Conservative

    “We have,roads,bridges,schools,hospitals ,and post offices to maintain.”

    Yes and for every dollar spent on those endeavors how many do you think are spent paying back special interests for political favors or otherwise wasted?

    10? 50? 100?

    Most that advocate for lower taxes generally do not have a problem with paying taxes. The problem is that the government tries to nickle and dime all of us to death to spend on things that not do not in any way benefit the general public.

    So sing you song about the roads and bridges Jeannie………..

    It’s not true.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t ever accuse Clavos of naivete, John. If anything, he’s devil’s advocate, and a darn good one if memory serves.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Arch,

    I agreed with parts of your comment, just not the parts you want me to agree on. :(

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    And Arch, next time your on a bridge, make it to the other side quick!before it collapses. Apparently, infra-structure is on the back burner behind all of those special interest groups and the Military Industrial Complex.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    the government tries to nickle and dime all of us to death to spend on things that not do not in any way benefit the general public.

    Oh boy, the angry fratboy is back.

    But this time I agree with him. Let’s cut 250 billion dollars from the defense budget.

  • Arch Conservative

    Which is it jeannie?

    Are you aware of the fact that the federal government is negligently wasting your money and you’re OK with it?

    or

    Are you that dumb that you actually believe the federal government makes good use of the money they take from the American people in the form of taxes?

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    #121. Awesome, it’s the angry, drunken fratboy version of “Have you stopped beating your wife”.

    Pass the paddle.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    bad energy…not sure who or what is speaking to me and I usually ignore the lunatic fringe…

    go away and come back when you can be civil.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    oh…booze, that explains the personality change.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    : ) nite BC

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    Jeannie, the A/C A/CS exchanges make EVERYONE’s head spin. Not to worry. See ya ;)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    I’m sorry. Clavos, Doug, Cindy, Baronius, Jeannie, et al. 125 comments of fiscal erudition, obliterated by a friendly good-bye.

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

    As we all consider ourselves writers at some level or other, just thought I’d mention – totally off topic – that my son was just announced as a winner of the Ruth Lilly Prize for Poetry given by The Poetry Foundation and “Poetry Magazine.” In poetry circles, it’s kind of a big wup. Some of the poems he submitted will be published in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

    I know, I know – I have no shame. But woohoo! anyhow.

  • Zedd

    Clav,

    Unless you can provide the question the the President was answering, it’s you that is disingenuous.

    Also, I think its you and Dave that have been accused of parsing and certainly being disenginuous, FOR YEARS. I’ll admit that you have improved in the past couple of years.

  • Zedd

    Does anyone remember this?

    ” Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

    In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment”

    Does anyone remember how the reply to questions about it were targeted towards that banner and how and how it was wrong and yada yada.

    Clav, you quickly forget. What you are complaining about is NOTHING compared to what we experienced over the Bush administration. They started a war based on nothing and actually tried to talk their way passed it. They declared the war over, then talked their way out of the fact that they said so.

    The entire time you were being defensive and supportive of the ridiculousness that was going on. You were being clearly lied to, to your face and you were fine with it. Now you are the disingenuous police. How disingenuous.

  • Zedd

    Congrats proud Papa!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is this the super human kid that lives in Germany?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    He’s a poet and he sure do know it. Congratulations, Baritone!

  • Zedd

    Baritone ^

    Sorry forgot to reference the last post.

    Congrats again Dad!!!! Producing and creating a poet has to be a potent thing.

  • Clavos

    The entire time you were being defensive and supportive of the ridiculousness that was going on. You were being clearly lied to, to your face and you were fine with it…

    Examples? Links?

    I disliked the Bush administration for being spendthrifts (Medicare Part D anyone?), and for waging war stupidly and in a cowardly manner.

  • Clavos

    Obama: “King’s X! I didn’t mean it!”

    Meh.

    Fuckin’ politician. Child molesters are higher on my social scale than pols.

  • Zedd

    Clav,

    Im not new to BC and i know better than to go down the rabbit hole with you, Ruvy or Dave. Ruvy is passionate but massively wackadoodles and its almost cruel to make him display is affliction in public by engaging with him. Dave is dishonest and and you enjoy minutia and always water the discussion down with tiny needlings and I never have a meaningful dialogue with you. You just throw in irrelevant jabs and you never own up to your previous positions. I am not providing a link for something that you were present for.

    I found it interesting that in this article you used the two words that I have accused you of doing from the time I landed on BC.

    Whats funny is that this article is one big PARSING. You didn’t provide the question that was being asked of Obama. You just threw in a statement without context and simply because it relates to the same topic you think (or try to suggest) that there is a form a deceit involved because it doesn’t address the issue from the same angle? You people want DUMB. You want people to treat you like kids and be plain spoken. All issues are complex. There are always different angles . Sad really that you dont know that AND appreciate that as a man your age. It’s those types of awareness that makes growing up more savory. Understanding nuance is part of what makes aging so sweet and poetic. Its what makes us so much less in a tizzy.

    I have to parrot what the President said. I am vehemently supportive of their right to build that building and I don’t think that anyone has a say about that. However, I am not sure if it was wise or not for them to attempt to do so. CLEARLY the uproar suggests that doing so is controversial and does upset a lot of people, and that it will cause them a lot of flack, however ridiculous their reason is.

    Why the existence of these two views simultaneously about this one issue would be confusing for you baffles me.

    Doc, ^

    I am surprised that you couldn’t see it either

  • Zedd

    correction:

    “however ridiculous their reason is for being offended”.

  • Ruvy

    On Friday, August 13th Obama hosted an iftar, a ceremonial dinner in celebration of the breaking of the daily Ramadan fast, to which the White House invited a number of prominent American and foreign dignitaries, most of whom are Muslims.

    Baronius, comment #23: a formal event at the White House is called an affair, not an “iftar”. Come on, you’re usually better at spelling.

    Maybe, you should learn a language other than Latin, Baronius. iftár is Arabic, and is a cognate of the Hebrew words niftár – passed away, quit living – and hitpatér – to resign. The Semitic root “p(f)-t-r” is the root of the name “Peter”.

    Maybe you need to put that book filled with Vulgate down for a while, buddy.

  • Clavos

    It was a joke, Ruvy.

  • Zedd

    Iftar (Arabic: ??????), refers to the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

    No need to infuse the Jews into the definition.

    Wakadoodles!!!

  • Clavos

    You people…

    Hmm. I wonder what your reaction would be if I were to begin a statement to you, an African, with that phrase?

    You’re so full of yourself.

    I am not now and ever have been impressed by you, you have all your neat little preconceptions lined up in a row like so many dominoes, but you have no concept of what the real world is like.

    Go play with someone who gives a damn.

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

    Iftar – Isn’t that the title of that awful movie with Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, only spoken with a lisp?

    BTW – Thanks for the congrats.

    Zedd – No. I have 2 sons. The award winner lives in Brooklyn. My son in Germany is a tenor working in Wurzburg.

  • Mark

    Clavos, I can’t for the life of me find a conflict between Obama’s two comments indicating arrogance, ham handedness, contempt, etc. or even backtracking. In fact, where’s the contradiction at all? Are you seriously claiming that we should interpret statement 1 as some kind of advocacy for the project?

    What is it about Obama reminding the country that religious freedom is a fundamental right in the US that offends you?

    This piece comes across as partisan hackery.

  • Clavos

    Are you seriously claiming that we should interpret statement 1 as some kind of advocacy for the project?

    Uh huh. Literally millions of people (me included, obviously) see it exactly that way.

    This piece comes across as partisan hackery.

    Not surprising, since I am unabashedly partisan against this guy. From my perspective, he’s much too intent on expanding government power and control, so as long as he’s in office I will not pass up any opportunity to criticize him and point out what I perceive to be his flaws and shortcomings.

  • Baronius

    I’m just glad that you got the joke, Clav. I ended up arguing against you a couple of times yesterday, and that left me worrying that you thought I was going after you hysterically (we’ve all seen people do that).

    Besides, everyone knows that iftar is a corruption of the Persian word “pooftar”, referring to the tradition of gay beach parties in Iran.

  • Clavos

    Besides, everyone knows that iftar is a corruption of the Persian word “pooftar”, referring to the tradition of gay beach parties in Iran.

    I literally ROFL’d on that one, Baronius!

    Props!

  • Clavos

    Clavos likes #128.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    B.

    This is a late congrats to you and your son!

    : )

  • Mark

    So what exactly indicates advocacy in statement 1, Clavos?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    #99 – Doug,

    glad you could finally see that light that government subsidies often have negative unintended consequences

    Did you take me to ever have supported gov’t subsidies? I wonder if you understand my pov at all?

    It’s not so much an evil conspiracy though

    I am not a conspiracy theorist. From what I see those with the might have over time (1000s of years) developed cultures where they defend using power to hoard and confiscate. This is antisocial behavior and is not in the best interest of social animals. Because this has happened the world is a shit hole full of sad people who often harm each other, many of whom are the living half-lives and attending to the most superficial idiocy whilst there time on this precious planet ticks away.

    they were enacted to help our people not to impoverish the 3rd world even if that is what has happened. If we end subsidies prices go up, other farmers are helped, but poor people not tied to agriculture have it even worse.

    You need to read this pdf.

    Essentially what you’re arguing is we allow the same thing that happened to the manufacturing base to happen to our farmers. I wonder why people are often on one side when it comes to farming and another when it comes to manufacturing. Perhaps it’s because the former are more likely to be rural, republican voters while the latter exist in the cities and are more likely to be part of the union democrat base.

    I am not interested in being on one side or the other of the system you are describing. I think the system needs to be scrapped entirely.

    It appears it’s upside down world today on Blogcritics. Cindy is for free trade and an end to government subsidies…

    I believe you are missing my point. I am not for ‘free trade’ or gov’t subsidies. Maybe you’ll come to understand that. Thanks for the well wishes.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    128 Very cool B, congrats to him (and to you).

    :-)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I am unabashedly partisan against this guy

    Giving the rest of us good reason to discount the significance of your every comment on the matter. Listened to any good Sarah Palin speeches lately?

  • Clavos

    Giving the rest of us good reason to discount the significance of your every comment on the matter.

    Discount to your heart’s content, handy, it doesn’t change anything either way.

    Listened to any good Sarah Palin speeches lately?

    Of course.

  • doug m

    After reading the comments, a better tagline might be Clavos insults BlogCritics readers with his parsing.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Doug (Hunter) –

    Correction to #150. I gave you the wrong pdf. Here‘s the one.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Clavos, I suspect you’re too smart not to be put off by the half-term-ex-gov’s I’m-proud-to-be-a-semi-literate-loudmouth routine. She’s not just “an idiot,” in Olbermann’s shrill mantra, she’s a dishonest demagogue who wastes no opportunity to fire off an inaccurate cheap shot.

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

    Baritone is happy that #147 likes #128. :)

  • John Wilson

    Gee, I guess roger is as naive as clavos if he supports undercharging $2 for every widget until he’s forced to to pay a tax.

  • Clavos

    After reading the comments, a better tagline might be Clavos insults BlogCritics readers with his parsing.

    I like that…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena Irene Athena

    I never met a dangling participles that didn’t make me laugh. My own grammatical errors are just plain old boring.

  • STM

    Election night here Clav, exit polls are predicting a cliffhanger and counting underway shows a swing to the conservatives..

    Could be a message for Obama in that.

  • STM

    That would be a one-term Labor government … only the second time in Australian history a government will have been booted after a single term, if it happens.

  • STM

    And yes Irene, there are some classic danglers.

    Driving her new car, Irene switches to the dvorak keyboard.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    STM,

    I usually admire and agree with your comments, but not #161.

    Our Conservatives and Republicans don’t have a clue…who the hell would we vote for?

  • STM

    Jeannie #164

    I’m speaking politically, Jeannie, not personally. What I’m saying is that voters have turned on a bungling, spendthrift Labor government and have again backed the conservatives, and simply suggesting there might be a message in that for Obama (or the Republicans for that matter, as the conservative coalition also won’t have won enough seats in parliament to govern in its own right).

    We are tonight in this country facing our first ever hung parliament, with no clear winner, which means Labor might have to form a minority government with the support of one Greens MP and one, possibly two, independent MPs in the House of Representatives known to have Labor leanings.

    It is really bizarre to be sitting here watching it … this whole nation being so divided that they can’t elect a government to govern this country in their own right.

    And it’s a huge setback for Labor, which swept to power with a massive swing against the conservatives in 2007. The backlash looks to be a protest too, as many voters voted for the Greens. However, under our preferential run-off system, after the initial count, voter preferences are handed out and most Greens voters will have put Labor as their second preference. That is all that is likely to save this Government.

    We are still awaiting the House of Representatives results from Western Australia, where polling closed later … and the results in the Senate might well see the Greens holding the balance of power there too.

    It is going to be an interesting time, that’s for sure. We may end up at some stage going down the same path as Canada did recently.

  • STM

    This is too weird. Unbelievable, really.

    I’ve never seen an election like this.

    You have to remember, too, that because of Australia’s wealth and prudential regulation aimed at the banking industry, we never went into recession during the GFC. In fact, the economy grew, employment stayed about the same and our standard of living is higher than that of the US and most parts of Europe.

    Labor threw billions of our taxpayer dollars at dud stimulus schemes, and down the track, economists are now saying that our economy was so strong, it wasn’t needed. In fact, the stimulus schemes led to it heating up, and the first interest-rate rises in the developed world which has subsequently impacted on ordinary families trying to pay their mortgages. Spending is now down as a result, so is consumer confidence, and retailers are being affected by that.

    I’m stuck at work with the nose to the grindstone but if you’re interested in seeing the kind of thing that could easily happen in the US at the next election over your side of the big pond, this is probably the best site for the latest, very bizarre Aussie election coverage right here

  • Clavos

    G’day, matThanks for the updates, Stan! It’s very cool to have our own journo giving us the skinny “live.”

    How’s the missus and daughter mate?

  • Clavos

    mate

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #165

    I’d rather think, Stan, that hung parliament isn’t such a bad think. It seems to working just find in the UK. It does allow for the coalition to form and provides the opportunity to iron out the wrinkles. Anyway, that’s my take on it.

  • STM

    G’day Clav … thanks. Been a fun night here. I’ve never seen anything like it. I predict more of the same kind of thing over your neck of the woods soon. It comes from people being so divided in their views, which is at least very democratic.

    On the homefront: The missus is as mad as a cut snake (as usual) and my daughter’s playing up deluxe. Apart from that, everything’s good :) Hope you’re well and sailing.

    Rog, it’s a bit different here because there aren’t three separate main parties like the UK. Separate being the key word.

    Tonight, the conservative coalition (Liberal Party and National Party, but in some states they’ve now amalgamated anyway into one party) appears to have 72 seats, and the Labor Party has 72.

    Which means there are half a dozen seats to be decided and everything will likely hang on a Greens MP and a handful of independents.

    It’s quite bizarre, much more so than the UK result.

    It’s like, “Australia decides … Oh, hang on, we didn’t”.

    We might not know for weeks.

  • Clavos

    Who runs the government while it’s all being sorted out, Stan?

    The old regime?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    STM,

    How exciting!

    “A handful of independents are set to decide Australia’s political future after an inconclusive election delivered what seems certain to be the country’s first hung parliament since World War II.

    In a history-making day for Australia, a national primary vote swing of more than 5 per cent against Labor left Julia Gillard fighting to hold onto the prime ministership she took over just two months ago from Kevin Rudd.” Voters wake to turmoil

    This, 5% swing doesn’t sound like a drastic shift away from Labor.

  • Quondam Amicus

    Barack Obama uses the Constitution much in the same way some men will take a friend’s wife as their lover. It’s held in the highest respect publicly, and prostituted at every opportunity behind closed doors. What we are actually witnessing is a breach of fidelity between the “ruling class”, and “We the People”.

  • Clavos

    Heh.

    Well said, QA.