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Open Thread for Night Owls
At the Center for Economic Policy and Research, Dean Baker explains why a reporter who asks "Are the American people better off than they were four years ago?" is incompetent:
The reason we know that the questioners are incompetent reporters is that this is a pointless question. Suppose your house is on fire and the firefighters race to the scene. They set up their hoses and start spraying water on the blaze as quickly as possible. After the fire is put out, the courageous news reporter on the scene asks the chief firefighter, "is the house in better shape than when you got here?"

Yes, that would be a really ridiculous question. Hence George Stephanopoulos was being absurd when he posed this question to David Plouffe, a top political adviser to President Obama on ABC's This Week. Bob Schieffer was being equally silly when he asked Martin O’Malley, the Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, the same question on CBS's Face the Nation.

A serious reporter asks the fire chief if he had brought a large enough crew, if they enough hoses, if the water pressure was sufficient. That might require some minimal knowledge of how to put out fires.

Similarly, serious reporters would ask whether the stimulus was large enough, was it well-designed, and were there other measures that could have been taken like promoting shorter workweeks, as Germany has done. That would of course require some knowledge of economics, but it sure makes more sense than asking if a house is better off after it was nearly burnt to the ground.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008:

If there was any doubt left among voters, pundits, and politicos alike that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin was based purely on politics, tonight's speech should lay to rest any notion that Republicans chose their candidate based on anything other than a shallow political calculus.

With her snarky, amateurish, almost Student Council-like speech, Palin proved today that she can attack like a candidate for vice-president.  And she demonstrated that she can support the top of the ticket like a candidate for vice-president.

But nowhere in her speech did she demonstrate that she can be vice-president. She's still the former Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, who didn't even know what the vice-president did until a couple weeks ago, who admitted that she doesn't pay attention to Iraq, who's stonewalling investigations into her alleged misconduct, and who took advantage of the very earmark process she claims to be against.

In sum, she demonstrated that while she can serve as the second person on a ticket, she is unquestionably not ready to serve as the second most powerful person in the world.


Tweet of the Day:

40-hr work week, minimum wage, family leave, health ins., Soc. Security, Medicare, retirement plans. Thanx, Union Thugs.
@JohnFugelsang via web



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Comment Preferences

  •  526,059 registered users on dKos now. (22+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not all spammers.)

    callumcollin512
    rollinterman616
    vanniallison25
    pearlbeyer717
    bertkilgore12
    snickers413
    bobrowscionsteab
    chaunceymcca12
    xynebudbasi283
    costmolep38


    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #524,700: mariewinters519
    #524,800: neilhvidberg1127 (spammer)
    #524,900: tedtrevino614 (spammer)
    #525,000: fritzbroch717 (spammer)
    #525,100: uVuw54
    #525,200: jamaalhaastr614
    #525,300: saulmead919
    #525,400: tybecker819
    #525,500: aissaholst716 (spammer)
    #525,600: hovaqytvivu770
    #525,700: marvinryan24
    #525,800: thatboyjames78
    #525,900: melhead11
    #526,000: Gendisgrow

    We've added 1,428 more users in just the last 24 hours.  This is a continuation going back to May where we've been absolutely flooded with new users.  I'm pretty sure almost all of these new users are spammers or bots.  Notice how they all have a number at the end.  And the rate is getting faster, people.  Unlike most of us, these spammers didn't take Labor Day off.  What are they planning?


    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, in honor of Labor Day, here's Huey Lewis & the News' "Workin' for a Livin'".

    And is this going to be posted at 9pm from now on until Election Day?

  •  Everyone should watch... (7+ / 0-)

    the Nat Geo show Seconds from Disaster, which carefully details major disasters in recent world history, and the chain of events that went horribly wrong that led to disaster.  With manmade things, there's almost always some regulation that a corporation wanted to skip to reduce costs, and lack of oversight from that evil government the Republicans and libertarians always want to cut back on.

    Well, folks, this is what happens without regulations, when you let private industry dictate the rules.  Here's the entire episode about the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster.

    Many of the episodes are available in full on YouTube.  Watch them while thinking about what could have been done to prevent those disasters from happening, and in almost every case, it's government that could've mandated some extra check or regulation to stop the disaster.  And usually, they DID end up stepping in, but only after the disaster happened and hundreds of people died.

    And despite the fact that NatGeo is ultimately owned by News Corp., like I said the other day, I'm still going to promote this show, simply because it's a damn good show that explicitly shows the need for strong government oversight.  Don't want to watch it on their channel?  At least watch the episodes that have been uploaded to YouTube.  And share them with your conservative anti-government friends, and ask them if they feel comfortable about leaving their safety in the hands of a private corporation without ANY government oversight.

  •  Someone's been watching The Newsroom (13+ / 0-)

    With all the talk about what Chris Matthews has done in recent weeks, like calling out Reince Priebus for those bullshit welfare ads that play the race card, didn't anybody realize that of all the journalists out there, Matthews was almost certainly watching HBO's The Newsroom every weekend, because HIS SON IS ON THE SHOW?

    Again, here's the excellent clip where they expose how Nancy Grace operates.  The producer who comments that it's like watching instant replay is Chris's son in real life.  :-)

    Also, the woman playing the producer Tess wasn't a professional actress, but did the same role in real life as a producer for Countdown with Keith Olbermann.  :-)

  •  Charlotte (15+ / 0-)

    this afternoon during Carolinafest

    2012-09-03_17-37-37_384

    Drinking Liberally will be at:
    Dandelion Market
    118 West 5th Street

  •  Tuesday Schedule for Convention released... (16+ / 0-)

    http://www.demconvention.com/...

    Here is the network portion -

    The Honorable Martin O’Malley

    Governor of Maryland

    Introduction of Keynote Speaker Julián Castro

    Joaquin Castro

    Brother of Mayor Julián Castro

    Candidate for the US House of Representatives, Texas

    Keynote Address

    The Honorable Julián Castro

    Mayor of San Antonio, Texas

    Michelle Obama Video and Remarks

    Elaine Brye

    Remarks

    Michelle Obama

    First Lady of the United States

    Benediction

    Jena Lee Nardella

    Elaine Brye is a mother with four of her children in the military, all having done at least one tour overseas during the current conflicts.  

    We have a greed with which we have agreed. -Eddie Vedder "Society"

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:04:00 PM PDT

  •  So my Ron Paul friend... (14+ / 0-)

    after saying he was going to support Gary Johnson, suddenly has reservations and says he probably won't support Gary Johnson after reading this about Johnson's views on Israel.  (Remember, this guy is from Iran.)

    Then he cites this old Daily Caller piece about how Obama is using executive actions to bypass a Tea Party Congress to get shit done as a warning that he's obviously trying to install a dictatorship.

    Sigh.

  •  The Democrat Convention will be much slicker. (11+ / 0-)

    And why? One reason is because our Hollywood knows what the hell they're doing.
    Bite it, chair!

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:06:40 PM PDT

  •  Sorry. Not. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, JekyllnHyde, Aunt Pat, deep

    They have to be able to answer the fucking question.

    I just paid $50 to get a little flyer of What BO has done.

    So I know what to say when I call all those I'm going to call.

    Get On The Page.  Morans.

    •  I don't know why they can't......4 years ago at (6+ / 0-)

      this time Lehman was on the ropes and we were two weeks away from it going under and starting the cascade into the abyss.  I think I would look at them and say have you taken leave of your senses.  The United States has the best economy of all it's partners except maybe Canada and China.  We are adding jobs. the stock market has completely recovered and the housing market has stabilized.  The biggest issue we have is that BO did not fix the banks and they and the insane assholes in the House are an enormous drag on the stability of the economy,  

    •  I don't understand how that's supposed to... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper, CarolinNJ, Owlet

      work out for individual Americans, who have continued to see wage cuts, layoffs and foreclosures. I get that the macro situation is in somewhat less of a crisis mode. And I get that the President has done stuff. But the question is meant to apply to individual voters, who continue to struggle, many with no real relief. HCR hasn't kicked in for most people in a visible way; the stimulus was half tax cuts, and its spending was not big enough to be felt by many individuals; Wal Mart has paved the way for getting around Lily Ledbetter; HAMP hasn't (wasn't meant to) done jack for the majority of distressed homeowners.

      •  Agreed. The Laundry List is not meaningful (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, DRo, johanus, 2020adam

        necessarily if asked of an individual, as opposed to asked about the nation as a whole.

        Here's what I wrote in a different thread today:

        Tens of millions of Americans are NOT better off than they were four years ago, and that's just a fact.

        But, it's a stupid fucking question.

        Ask a person who was diagnosed with late stage cancer four years ago if s/he's better off today. Likely, the simple answer would be "no." The real question, the only question that elicits a meaningful response is, what would that individual's condition be today without diagnosis and aggressive treatment?

        I'm not better off than I was four years ago. I'm finding less work. The work I do find pays less. Food prices are higher. The condition of the infrastructure in my community and state has deteriorated.

        Ask me if I'm better off today than I was four years ago. The simple-minded answer is no. Ask me if I'm better off than I would have been had the Bush administration policies continued unchecked, the resounding answer is, "God Damned Right I Am. Are you freaking nuts?"

        Don't ask if I'm better off now than four years ago. Ask if I'm better off than I would have been under four years of McCain.

        by WisePiper on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:15:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am far more hopeful than I was under GW Bush. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WisePiper, 2020adam

          I still have my vintage 2007 "Got Hope?" bumper sticker on my car. There's a really snotty bumper sticker that I've seen a lot: "How's that hopey/changey thing working out for ya?"

          Well, we personally are not doing as well as we were before W crashed the economy. But under Bush, I really did feel hopeless, like we were on a train and the conductor had no idea where the brakes were as we were heading over a cliff: not just economically, but on the war front, the way he manipulated American's fear of terorism, his inability to work with our allies, everything.

          Now, I know there is someone smart, capable and willing to listen to his smart and experienced advisors in charge.

          So yes, I have hope. And being better off that I was four years ago is more than just an economic question. It's an existential question.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:46:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Okay, but in a political campaign, (0+ / 0-)

            CBS isn't attempting to ask an existential question. And pointing to how hopeless everything was under Bush, with no personal economic factors to point to, simply plays into Rmoney's otherwise silly claim that we're stuck in 'Blame Bush' mode.

            We just have to admit that this is a bad question. Both for how to understand the political environment and for how to get the President re elected. I have yet to read a comment in this thread explaining how anyone here is materially better off than they were four years ago.

      •  I am far worse off now than I was then. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2020adam

        Acceleration is a thrill, but velocity gets you there

        by CarolinNJ on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:33:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Most people interpret 'better off' as meaning (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        2020adam

        that their financial situation has improved.  As you say, that isn't the case for most Americans.  The fireman analogy used by Dean Baker (whom I greatly admire) is a false one.  It would be better if he had used the idea of the house damaged by fire and the insurance agent handing the homeowner a check which would restore the home, maybe even make it a little better.  A lot of folks see the Obama Administration as the insurance company that didn't pay the claim.  They don't fault him for starting the fire, and some even give him credit for putting it out, but they are still looking at a badly damaged house. Rightly or wrongly, that's the perception.

        "Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive" is not much comfort for someone who is earning less (if at all) and paying more for life's essentials that she was four years ago.

        Where are the leaders who think big thoughts? Where are the men and women who dare to dream, to change our world, to look at our planet, our solar system, our universe and see possibility and discovery?

        It seems a narrow world these days- a world of accountants with green eye-shades who spend their days counting dollars and make their living killing dreams. It seems to be a world of timid leaders who think of the future in terms of weeks and months instead of decades and generations.

        Death of the Big Idea
        •  I think they both work well. (0+ / 0-)

          There's been a failure both to completely eradicate the fire and to rebuild what's been lost. On the GDP front, the fire is out but little has been done to fireproof the house, and while we've got a beautiful top floor, the basement and ground floor remain hollowed out, charred and waterlogged. On the housing front, there is still a raging fire. Foreclosures have continued - a significant number of them fraudulent. Banks have done little to create a more transparent balance sheet. We are still living in the midst of a housing crisis.

  •  The slow speed chase of the 21st Century (7+ / 0-)

    As per Maddow.

    Romney camp told Romney press pool nothing to see here
    then got called back only to cover(Film) Romney pulling away from the dock a 1 mph on a speed boat.

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:10:37 PM PDT

  •  For those with an interest in Slavoj Žižek, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, MTmofo, 2020adam

    this piece by Adam Kotsko has been getting a lot of positive buzz: How to Read Žižek.  Obviously not everyone's cup of tea...

    (Obligatory note: Kotsko teaches at Shimer, Chicago's tiny Great Books college.)

  •  Again, who™? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, nellgwen

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:15:34 PM PDT

  •  Am I better off than I was 4 years ago? (13+ / 0-)

    I'm still trying to figure out how fucked up my life became after Duh took over in 2000.

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:16:01 PM PDT

    •  Yes. But I don't need to (0+ / 0-)

      divulge my $$/email to get that answer.  Should I??

      Because maybe I don't have the money to do that.  

      Oh dear. Why is OFA making everything that we could quote to help Americans and Obama's re-election

      For Sale?

  •  The "are you better off now" argument (12+ / 0-)

    can fairly easily be destroyed for any thinking person by simply providing them with a video from exactly four years ago this month:

    Indeed, the "are you better off now" question seems to be a miscalculation by Republicans. Absent that question, they might be able to make a persuasive argument that Bush should be left out of it. But the fact of their questioning is more than ample justification for Obama supporters to remind voters about the good old days of George W. Bush. And this, in answer to the very question that Republicans themselves have posed.

    Follow me on Twitter: @denverunionguy

    by Richard Myers on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:16:41 PM PDT

  •  Plus-The Nuns for Benediction. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, deep

    From their Bus.

    Enough with the old pedophiles in drag.

    Betty White Introduces the Nuns for Benediction.

    F--n aye    

  •  Chris Hayes, Van Jones & other guests discuss.. (7+ / 0-)

    ..unions, workers and where we stand right now:  high unemployment  & stagnating wages and big banks with record breaking profits –the new  normal?

    This question should help define why voting Democratic is the only choice for working folk - the 99% and those 1%ers that also believe in this country’s future

    Chris Hayes asks this question and it needs answering imo:
     Is this the new and permanent equilibrium that high finance has sought and are they right, that it is sustainable? (sorry about the commercial) ..not if we can stop it - together
     This is just a short clip (1:29), but Sundays 2 hour discussion centers around unions their vital supporting role for the Democratic party.

    What is missing is solid enduring support for unions (eg.:Employee free choice act) by the Democratic party (not the populace,  but the people in charge) - neglect that is costing the Democratic party more the longer it continues – but is already costing the American people/worker far more.

    It doesn’t have to be this way though: Dean Baker discusses Canada as proof that union decline is NOT inevitable (with a video: Fault Lines - The decline of labour unions in the US) http://www.aljazeera.com/...
    Up with Chris Hayes - Sunday September 2 2012

  •  It's a legitimate question. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    franklyn, shopkeeper, nellgwen, JeffW
    The reason we know that the questioners are incompetent reporters is that this is a pointless question. Suppose your house is on fire and the firefighters race to the scene.
    Fallacy alert. The question is a cultural one, established in US politics in the 1980s (and at that, borrowing from way earlier campaigns: see 1930s).

    The question refers to the state of the country, though it also asks whether you, as an individual, are better off. It is a pointed question. ARE we better off? Well, sure. In 2007 we were in the crapper. Anyone remember the Bush years? The Right does not. Short-term memory. You know what I was doing in 2007 before Obama rolled into town? Gasping for air. Now? Some light.

    The only reason why the question is wrong is if you assign culpability. How much of today's crappiness (which is less than four years' ago) is due o the administration's actions or lack thereof? Shades of gray do not fit on a bumper sticker.

  •  Just finished Electric Ladyland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen

    ..and finally i just don't care.

    That canine/human spine curvature thing? Yeah kids, it works. Job Creator. Knoffler works in a pinch.

    I have a talented guitarist living in the garage.

    How funky is that?

    Sent him to get me a 40. Flamico on Labor day.

    Mitt Romney is to Successful Businessman as Serial Rapist is to Successful Ladies Man

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:31:47 PM PDT

    •  What do you mean (0+ / 0-)

      finished Electric Ladyland? Listening to it or playing it?
      One of my favorite Hendrix songs is on that album.
      Voodoo Child, the long bluesy version.

      "Is that your vegetarian leather jacket?" George Harrison

      by nellgwen on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:54:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Well, sure. In 2007 we were in the crapper." (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, bluicebank, GreenMother, JeffW

    Yes, and the crapper was on fire.

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:42:14 PM PDT

  •  It's relative. 4 years ago, the primary bread- (8+ / 0-)

    winner's company downsized by alarming numbers. We weren't sure we would have a job. The hours were cut which meant a dramatic drop in pay. And if the republicons had their way, my husband would be working for peanuts, his military retirement and VA benefits slashed to boot, while raising our taxes and simultaneously calling us deadbeats.

    Things have evened out a bit, stabilized if you will. We aren't making what we were, but hell we still got a job. We still have the *BENEFITS that we earned while active duty in spite of the GOPer's best efforts.

    So we aren't where we should be, but we know where our bread was buttered on the hill and it sure as hell wasn't on the right side of the aisle.

    Those shitbirds would turn this place into a fascist feudalistic nightmare if we let them.

    There are things that need improving on the left side of the aisle, but things are so bad, so out of control on the right, that I just don't have time to address it.

    So all efforts right now are just to maintain, to push back and maintain some space between us and the loony wingnuts.

    Every time they proclaim how much they love women, I throw up a little in my mouth, and even my husband does a spit take. If it were that alone I would be a single issue voter, but at this point, there are so many things they do catastrophically wrong I could just throw a rock and hit an agenda and it would be proof of their ineptitude, and their mean spirited greed.

    I am sure even Anton LaVey rolls in his grave at the thought of their ideological connections. GOPer's make grifters look generous and kind by comparison.

  •  The latest Hendrix album came out under Obama (0+ / 0-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Fuck you , Republicans. Jimi died and yet, and also, another black man.

    Any kinda shit like Jimi coming back from the grave after gawdawful legal shit has got to be a sign from the Mayans, bitches. I should probably remember that come November.

  •  Am I better off? Well....yah! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    It's not great.  I'd like it to be better. More customers would help...but, yah.  Things are better.  

    My kids are doing great in their businesses (which they both started after Obama got elected).  One may even do very well if an app that he invented hits it big.  Who knows?

    But, yah.  Things are fine.  I wish I could say the same for all of my friends.

  •  I am only better off now because I have a job. (0+ / 0-)

    I spent most of his early days looking for work.  Obama has shown that he is far more interested in making sure that the 1% stay on top, than he has in reforming our society to make the lives of workers better.  I am absolutely disgusted by the fact that the only choice I have, if I want to keep a fascist like Romney out of office, is voting for this piece of shit.  I am disgusted by the fact that our system forces me to vote for someone I hold in contempt, rather than vote for an actual progressive, who shares my views, but did not sell his/her soul to get a major-party nomination.

    I'll stop wanting to see Obama tried for crimes against humanity the day Bradly Manning walks free.  I gave up hope of ever seeing Bush before such a court the day Obama realized he could not try Bush for crimes he planned to commit.

    Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

    by rhonan on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 10:19:56 PM PDT

  •  The stimulus - even the proposed one - wasn't... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    big enough. It was too weighted toward tax cuts. Measures to stabilize the housing market were only effective at stabilizing bank balance sheets, which seems to have been the purpose. Continued bank bailouts have only succeeded in returning us to a profiteer-led economy. HCR has the vague potential to help the economy, though not yet in any significant way. Dodd-Frank mostly left the hard work to captured regulators.

    The general plan seems to have been to avert immediate crisis, then let the long slow decline continue, a bit faster and from a lower starting point.

  •  Are you better off now? Who wasn't invited to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    RNC?

    We don't need no stinking bushes?

    Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

    by 88kathy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 10:51:39 PM PDT

  •  just watched the cspan video of president obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, grover, flumptytail

    in laplace, la today.

    what stood out and what struck me about the video wasn't just the speech - but before and afterward, the number of people who embraced - physically embraced - the president!  from the sheriff of laplace to individuals - all kept reaching to hug, touch, physically make contact with this man - this president.

    and i was struck by the difference with ryan and romney - aloof and distant from the people.  i've yet to see video of them within the public sphere where people WANT to touch them or WANT to make physical contact with them.

    the difference between president obama and the republican twofers is stark.  the president is accessible, he actually LISTENS when people speak with him, to him - and he actually ANSWERS them,  romney/ryan evade, hide, obfuscate, lie and run away from individuals.

    how can there be ANY question of who stands for the people in this nation!  HOW?

    i watched the video of ryan at the labor day parade where he snidely dismissed several people who wanted to ask him about jobs, wages, labor - his wife was sickly saccharine and rude and smarmy to the individuals who tried to ask ryan (THEIR representative) questions.  

    we can NOT let the twofers get anywhere near the white house - or any position of power again.  it isn't enough to defeat romney/ryan, but ryan also needs to be ousted from congress.  if this exposure doesn't do it, we are in real trouble in america!

  •  Question is - do we expect to be better of with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe

    Mitt Romney

    and the answer is a resounding

    HELL NO!


    Mitt Romney was CEO of Bain until Aug 2001. Proof of Bain & Romney Fraud

    by laserhaas on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 10:54:23 PM PDT

  •  If a bush is sitting on a chair, is anyone there? (0+ / 0-)

    RNC the sound of 2 bushes missing.

    Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

    by 88kathy on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 11:03:54 PM PDT

  •  A Visualization of the Better Off Question (0+ / 0-)

    Visualize Bill Clinton rolling the ball (unemployment) on the floor. Along comes George Bush scooping up the rolling ball. George picks it up from the ground, begins to lift it above his waist, raises it to his chest, and then thrusts it in the beginning of an upward arc, much like a basketball player's release of the ball towards a basket.  The ball continues its path towards the peak of the arc, but along comes Barack Obama who gracefully leaps and snags the ball as it is moving up the arc, timing his jump to coincide with snagging the ball at the pinnacle, at which time he begins to glide slowly back down, in a controllable manner, which takes us to where we are today, observing the controlled execution of the reversal of the arc.  The continuation of that trend is for Barack to maintain control of the ball, glide his feet the rest of the way to the ground, completing a full reversal of the arched handoff, taking it back below the waist, finally replacing the ball on the floor. Romney and Ryan want you to believe that it is important to stop the snag and reversal midstream. Who they kiddin'.

  •  Damn right we are better off now than in 2009 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight

    In 2009 the nation was headed full throttle ahead toward a complete economic cataclysm, a Depression with a capital D, due to the dimwit policies of Team Bush, policies Team Rummydummy intends to double down upon.

    Despite the incessant efforts by the GOP ever since to tank the economy in order to Make The White House White Again, Obama has achieved a partial stabilization.

    Of course it is not nearly enough but anybody who has any problems can go cry to the GOP as they continue to sabotage and sandbag the economy.

    The burning-down-the-house metaphor is perfect. The GOP is a bunch of drunk MFkers who set the house on fire, flee out the front door as the house is engulfed in flames, call the fire department, then bitch out the fire chief because the furniture has smoke damage.

    KICK OUT THE ARSONISTS.

  •  The National Review pays tribute to Stalinism... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Mitt Romney treats people like things. And he treats things - corporations - like people.

    by richardak on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:17:52 AM PDT

  •  The REAL ? is-Where are your tax returns-willard & (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    What are your 'Bold Plans' if you are elected rove willard and lyin' Ryan, oh you'll show us after you are elected.

    I've heard that before-I live in Wi and we heard the same crap from walker and johnson during the 2010 election disaster. We all know how well that worked out :-(

    As for the 'better off' meme--bugger off pukes.

  •  Are you better off? (4+ / 0-)
  •  National Review cover - for the win!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aarrgghh

    Really?  Kinda looks like:

    I think an artist at NR suspects the management/or at least the readers, have no clue.

    h/t http://www.balloon-juice.com/...

    "There's been a little complication with my complication"

    by dash888 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 02:15:45 AM PDT

  •  Q: Are You Willing To Risk It All (0+ / 0-)

    With Willard Romney and see how much worse things could get with another 3rd rate Republican president?

    You can hold an opinion, or a grudge, or a stock, or a picket sign. But the time really to be at your best Is when you hold the hand of a trusting child.

    by renzo capetti on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 02:16:31 AM PDT

  •  great analogy (0+ / 0-)

    "...asking if a house is better off after it was nearly burnt to the ground."    Comparing groceries to medicare was another good one.  

    They set it on fire.   Obama put the fire out before it burnt to the ground and is rebuilding it with carpenters refusing to use tools and demanding the matches back.   Hope Obama/Biden pick up on this.

    "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

    by dkmich on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 03:09:54 AM PDT

  •  The reporters are not incompetent, they are vile (0+ / 0-)

    because they know the answer, in the overall sense.  The administration, however, appears to be utterly incompetent with its response to this baiting. Listening to them trying to parse and add nuance while answering a loaded question gave me Kerry/Gore flashbacks.

    Hint to Administration: Don't address, and refuse to respond to, ANYTHING dealing with the unemployment rate for 2008 vs 2012 because it is a fact that the unemployment rate is worse today! Instead, juxtapose monthly job LOSSES in 2008 to monthly job GAINS today. If the question deals with the unemployment rate, your answer is to be in terms of job losses. Do we understand one another?

    Christ people, this isn't the first time you've done this...

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 03:23:52 AM PDT

  •  Any Ubuntu gurus wanna help a noob? (0+ / 0-)

    I can not find a way two do 2 steps with any program I have.
    Step 1: Search for a file when I know its name but  have no idea which (sub) directory it's in and
    Step 2: Find out  which folder it's in once it's found. I have forgotten which progam will do the search, but once found I couldn't locate it!

    I hate Windows, but this was easy in Explorer (if it didn't crash every 2 minutes).

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 03:31:13 AM PDT

  •  it's a stupid question but you better have (0+ / 0-)

    an answer. And the answer can't be that it's a stupid question.  That's the way this crappy game works.  What truly sucks is that the media just acts like the GOP's megaphone.  The GOP feeds them the bullshit story and they repeat it.  

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 03:41:02 AM PDT

  •  Mrs. Greenspan, on Morning Joe, is concerned (0+ / 0-)

    that President Obama must get policy specific on a way forward. Says it can't just be rhetoric.

    It's funny that I don't remember her expressing this concern last week.

  •  I like O'Malley,but he made a rookie mistake... (0+ / 0-)

    ...when he answered "no".  

  •  it's the question for callers this morning (0+ / 0-)

    on c-span's washington journal.

  •  Rebuilding the house (0+ / 0-)

    The real question, given the burning house metaphor, should be to ask, given the Republican platform, "The previous administration burnt your house down half-way and this administration has only half re-built it.  Do you want to vote for the administration whose platform promises to burn it down totally (of course they will let you single-handedly rebuild it again "You built it yourself") or do you want to vote for someone who helped put out the fire and whose platform promises to work on building it all the way up again?"

  •  Are you better off now than TWO years ago? (0+ / 0-)

    That's my question.

    In 2009-2010 we had a stimulus program and things were turning around from the disaster that Bush left Obama with.  

    Then in 2010 we got this damned do-nothing, gridlocking Tea Party congress which done everything it can to sabotage economic recovery.

    The solution is obvious.

    sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

    by stivo on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:09:42 AM PDT

  •  Yes, We're Better Off (0+ / 0-)

    Four years ago, George W. Bush was in office.

  •  YES, I'm better off than when Obama took office (0+ / 0-)

    Just for starts:

    We're slowly pulling out of the Bush depression, and that makes me feel better for all the poor bastards around me who took it in the shorts.

    My community benefited nicely from stimulus jobs, business grants, and infrastructure improvements.

    My 401K began rebounding in 2009 and continues to grow.

    My health insurance plan now includes the preventive care tests mandated by the ACA.

    The holding company that owns the company I work for has earned record profits for the past 2 years, and after stiffing the worker bees last year out of even a cost-of-living adjustment, finally deigned to give some of us 1-3% raises this year. Yes, they are standard-issue greedy fucking parasites.

    No more war in Iraq.

    No war -- so far -- with Iran or Syria.

    No more bin Laden and major AQ bad guys.

    Long-needed pushback against the moral and fiscal failures of Reaganomics/neoconservatism.

    In fact, the only hindrances to my being even BETTER off have been caused mainly by Republicans (yes, some corporatist Democrats, too), almost exclusively due to the failure of neoconservatism and the extremes to which neoconservatives have willing to go to maintain political power and maximize corporate profits.

    To wit:

    >> The world banking collapse
    >> A stimulus package that was too modest
    >> Their refusal to tax our top 2% at Clinton-era tax rates
    >> The damage they've done to business planning by forcing us to the brink of default
    >> Their unbending intent to keep workers from earning a living wage and living out a decent retirement
    >> Their battle to annihilate public education
    >> The damage they have purposely inflicted on science education to suppress the truth about human-caused global warming
    >> The moral and social decay they have caused by inciting hatred, bigotry, lies, violence, and injustice
    >> And on and on and on and on...

    And I'll continue to be better off as long as we can keep the neoconservatives out of the White House.

    Say it loud and say it proud: YES I AM BETTER OFF BECAUSE OF OBAMA!

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