CFAH

“U.S. stocks sank the most in a month, longer-term Treasuries declined and gold gained after Standard & Poor’s cut the nation’s credit outlook to negative….The S&P 500 tumbled 1.5 percent to 1,299.95 at 10:41 a.m. in New York and the yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 3.43 percent, erasing an earlier decline.”
Standard & Poor’s Puts ‘Negative’ Outlook on U.S. AAA [Bloomberg]
Stocks, 10-Year Treasuries Slide as S&P Lowers U.S. Outlook [Bloomberg]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by lol

    I think WS is playing chicken with Obama. WS (and the GOP) have never seen a tax cut they didn’t love, and the one proposed by the GOP would be great for big earners, therefore WS. Plus Obama wants to cancel some of the Bush tax cuts by bundling the feature with some of the spending cuts that the GOP wants.
    By hinting at a downgrade of the debt, WS sends a message that Obama has to accept compromise ASAP or else… Which means giving in to the GOP program.
    The deficit didn’t seem to matter when Bush put the war, the bailouts, the tax cuts on the US Credit Card. Now that Obama actually succeeds in creating seed growth, they want to kill it so that they can pin the second dip on him in 2012.

  2. Posted by rabbits

    Obama has to accept GOP tax cuts which will further deteriorate our budget situation… in order to fix the budget situation? I don’t think so.
    This is simple math – our gov’t will spend $1.6 trillion more than it takes in this year, and that number was roughly the same in the previous 3 years. Doesn’t matter who is to blame, and it is certainly not Obama’s problem alone. That number needs to be reduced, or our credit is at risk.

  3. Posted by lol

    2 options:
    1 – Cut spending with the “hope” it will also cut the deficit like in 1937, plunging the US into the second leg of the recession (and doing nothing to the deficit)
    2 – Induce growth. Education, research, infrastructure. Things that pay off in the future.
    The BRICS economies do not depend 100% on us anymore for their growth like 10 years ago. The question is do we have the guts to do what it takes to stay at the top of the game.
    All I see in the GOP agenda is self-dealings. The cuts and the results are fantasy projections. The meat of the Ryan plan is cuts of benefits on the bottom, and cuts in taxes on the top. Trickle-down snake oil as always.
    The last time we had a balanced budget was under Clinton 2, at the end of his moderately progressive presidency. We grew out of the early 90s dip.

  4. Posted by tipster

    Ben can print faster than the stock market can drop, so what’s the problem?

  5. Posted by rabbits

    History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.
    Clinton ran into problems with the bond market in his first term too, and had to move to “triangulating” the GOP on issues like welfare reform. He did end up getting the budget under control, though “balanced” is subject to debate (someone GAAP-certified would have to weigh in on entitlement IOU’s). Your 2nd point contains a lot of nice platitudes about things that may pay off in a couple of decades. Looks as though S&P would like to see progress in about 18 months. Good luck.
    The GOP is always serving the same narrow interests. Who could expect otherwise from them at this point? The great failing of Obama has been the lack of a coherent alternative vision aside from Clintonomics, which will not work with the fiscal mess we’re in now.

  6. Posted by A.T.

    One has to credit the brilliance of the GOP. The top 1% of the population (or really, top 0.1%) who significantly benefits from the “no new taxes” mantra could never carry the voting day with that alone. So they came up with “wait, we also hate brown people” to secure the votes of those who profit from the government largesse but will now vote against their personal interests anyway in the name of a grander (lower) purpose. (Of course, it is not this transparent, but “colored” with lots of phrases like “deficit reduction” and “states’ rights” and “freedom from socialist health care” etc.)
    Depresses me, but I guess I get the consolation prize of benefiting financially from this silliness. Until they bring us all down with them, of course.

  7. Posted by lol

    A.T.
    Very true. Demographics in the US are changing, which means minorities will become more prominent in elections. This leads to the following battles:
    – Preventing as many minorities from voting (for instance by preventing blanket legalization and stopping all immigration).
    – Preventing the education of the flyover whites by making school unaffordable to their lower incomes. To be extra sure this will work: cut Medicare and SS which will cause these same people to have to help the elderly before they can help their own kids.
    – Spread the hate speech using Faux News and CrazyTalk Radio, targeting the same flyover whites that spend their time driving going to work 3 jobs (gotta help granny).
    A very well-oiled machine. Except new generations of minorities will inevitably become US citizens.
    Wait, they’re trying to prevent that too.

  8. Posted by lyqwyd

    I usually vote Democrat, and have never voted Republican, but Democrats are no better than republicans. As far as I’m concerned both sides are only concerned with their own power, and keeping their immediate constituancies happy (unions & those in poverty on the Democrat side; the wealthy and religious fanatics on the Republican side).
    They appear to be using a divide and conquer strategy, get people who lean your way to hate the other side more than so they are afraid to vote 3rd party.
    The reality is that nothing of any consequence changes when one or the other is in office. How many wars have we gotten out of since Obama took office? Has Guantanamo been shut down? Have the too big to fail banks been rained in? Any of the people responsible for the massive mortgage fraud which brought down the economy been put in jail, or even investigated? Obama signed the $700 billion dollar tax cut for the rich. How is this any different than what the Republicans would do?
    I voted for Obama for president, and I actually believed what he campaigned on. But now that he’s turned his back on just about everything he said he would do, I feel like a fool.
    I’m voting 3rd party from now on.

  9. Posted by Willow

    And of course S&P is such a credible organization given what has unfolded over the past 3-4 years…

  10. Posted by ex SF-er

    it’s all theater.
    In theory, QE2 is soon to end, and the large majority of the technical recovery since last summer is/was due to QE2. There was very little true “organic” economic growth. Once QE2 ends = no more recovery.
    The Fed and Wall St are in a quandry. If they continue telling us how good the economy is, then they can’t progress to QE3. (no reason to do it). but without QE3 the market is toast.
    Thus, float these stories and tank the market a few times, and then the Fed has cover for QE3
    it’s been obvious for a few months now that we’d have a correction this spring for the above reasons, although I’m not sure that this 2% move will be part of it or not. we may well recover and then have the true correction when QE2 is set to expire in a few weeks/months. Hard to time this because everybody and their grandmother has been riding the QE2 train with the idea of jumping off as soon as things get rocky. but it’s hard when everybody wants to run for the exits at once.
    the Fed IS the Treasury market right now.
    Through the Primary Dealers and Fed operations, the Fed IS ALSO a huge part of the equities market
    The Govt IS the housing market. (Fannie Freddie FHA, etc)
    When you initiate quantitative easing and combine it with “Fed puts” and start guaranteeing speculators in most assets “no losses!” you get an economy overly concentrated in financial wizardry and speculation. such is what we have.
    I spoke of this some time ago when the Fed looked to be foolish enough to try QE. There is no exit strategy. this is the reason why it is rarely if ever attempted. How long ago did some of us say that the Japan example might be the BEST case scenario????
    The economy will not and can not heal until the Zombie banks are dealt with. However, instead of dealing with them, we are ENCOURAGING them to speculate more! hahaha. (crying inside).
    The economy will not and can not heal until the Govt/Fed get serious about employment and the “little people”. this CANNOT be accomplished through the traditional transmission mechanisms because we have zombie banks with limitless losses hidden on their books, and exploitative CEO’s who are looting the company from within. All money/credit that goes to the zombies dies within or is extracted from it in terms of executive bonuses.
    We will continue to be doomed until the bad seeds are taken out into the woodshed and shot. But this will not happen because they are all powerful and donate heavily to BOTH parties.
    thus the financial parasites will continue to suck us all dry as their executives get more and more bloated all while they continue to pressure the taxpayers to “sacrifice”. This by the way is the POINT… it is not a side effect. Serfdom for the common man. Riches for the elite connected parasites.
    Expect more intermittent shock and awe until QE3 is initiated.
    anyway, not to be too gloomy, but we are still only year 3 or 4 into our Balance Sheet Recession. As I’ve said for years, credit crises take MANY YEARS and sometimes decades to resolve. This one will be no different. a pity are leaders have learned nothing in the last 3-4 years.

  11. Posted by rabbits

    Couldn’t agree with lyqwyd more if I had written it myself. Every time I think of how terrible a Palin/Bachmann administration would be, I then think of how Obama has betrayed every ‘hope’ people like me put in him. More wars, more corporate welfare (that’s what Obamacare is really), more tax cuts for the top, and on and on. What is the difference, really?
    So frustrated.

  12. Posted by Brahma (incensed renter)

    I was thinking if and when the budget proposal promulgated by Rep. Paul Ryan becomes law, it would have a long-term depressing effect on real estate prices; in economic terms it’d constitute a large negative demand shock.
    Because everyone would know that there’d be either no or drastically reduced Medicare to serve as a safety net in old age, rational economic actors would have to adopt Chinese worker-level of savings in order to prepare for the almost-certain event or events late-in-life that would require very expensive long-term care.
    I’m sure Libertarians and Objectivists like Ryan would love it, but since almost everyone not currently retired would have to save up lots and lots more money for post-retirement health care expenses, and for the overwhelming majority of Americans real wages are declining in real terms, that means a lot less funds will be available to pay for real estate. Which implies that either we’ll be turning again into a nation of renters or home prices will have to come down significantly.

  13. Posted by lol

    The difference between Dems and Reps: Dems self-destruct at the sign of Rep strength. It’s time to grow some cojones, people.
    Had Clinton been voted out in 1996 we’d have never known how great his presidency was.
    Vote 3rd party in 2000? I think Nader voters from 2K overwhelmingly regret their votes. 8 years of Bush that have undermined 70 years of progress.
    At the least let’s give Obama another 4 years as well as the means to do what he was elected for: full control of Congress and the House.

  14. Posted by sfrenegade

    “Which implies that either we’ll be turning again into a nation of renters or home prices will have to come down significantly.”
    Sure, but that would be a good thing. One thing preventing people from getting new jobs is that they can’t move to where the jobs are because of their brilliant investment in real estate. Renters create a more mobile job market.
    Second, why should more money go to housing? Less money going to housing is a good thing. I’d rather have people know they are saving money for retirement and medical expenses, than tricking people into doing so by convincing them that home ownership is virtuous and a good investment, even though it largely functions as forced savings.
    I’m not saying Ryan’s proposal is good or better than any other proposal, but rather pointing out that Brahma’s stated consequences of his plan are good rather than bad.

  15. Posted by lol

    Ryan’s plan is
    1 – Mortgage granny
    2 – Sacrifice the kids
    3 – Give the savings to the Masters
    4 – Enjoy ever-lasting prosperity riding unicorns into the horizon
    Nothing serious about this plan apart from its toxicity.

  16. Posted by Mikey

    Democrats are no better than republicans…
    I’m voting 3rd party from now on.

    This sentiment galls me to no end. Really? You’re unable to understand the difference between a Samuel Alito and a Sonia Sotomayor? While I am not 100% happy with Obama’s list of accomplishments or lack thereof, I do understand that he is not King, either.
    I only wish that all of the knuckleheads in FL that shared your view in voting for Nader in 2000 when it was clear the race was very close had been a bit less pig-headed in their views.
    So, by all means, feel free to throw away your vote. Just don’t do it in OH, PA, or FL.

  17. Posted by lol

    Don’t believe people posting they’ll vote 3rd party on a Message Board. I learned that in the late 90s.
    At the time, the GOP had some of its own going and pretending to be liberals disappointed by the Clinton years and saying out loud “I’ll vote 3rd party”. The same line was used over and over again on Faux News. Nader was a special guest there. Always welcome, bashed but presented as a viable alternative.
    Because if you cannot convince a core liberal to vote Republican, you can easily neuter him by throwing away his vote.

  18. Posted by lyqwyd

    @lol
    Obama had 2 years of Dem control of congress with large majorities, and massive popularity, and he got very little of value done, only health care, and that was massively watered down and at this point seems to be a better deal for the health insurers than anybody. Dems still control the senate today, and both houses were still in Dem control when he signed the $700 billion tax cut for the rich (as the newly elected members had not yet been sworn in). He did nothing to curb wall street excesses, allowed too big to fail banks to get even bigger, has participated in transferring hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of taxpayer money to wall street, signed the permanent detention order… and the list goes on. Why would I give Obama more time to do what he had all the opportunity in the world to do, after he has done almost the exact opposite of what he campaigned on?
    Gore didn’t lose because of Nader, Gore lost because he wouldn’t let Clinton campaign for him.
    I’ll vote 3rd party, and I’ll be proud to do it, anything else would be throwing away my vote.

  19. Posted by lol

    lyqwyd,
    You seem to forget the stonewalling, heckling, insulting, hate-speech from Faux News that happened during the health care debate. All GOP’s doing. You want those fools to run the country into the ground? I much prefer Obama just like I prefer lemon juice to poison. Plus a second mandate will not be hampered with the need to compromise that the need of a second mandate puts on a prez. Obama.2 will be much more true-to-the-letter than Obama.1.
    By the way, a lot of the scaling back of the Health Care reform had to do with Dems that didn’t stick together. Exactly the “cave in when confronted” attitude that we do not need today.
    This is the last stand, man. If the TP is elected, good luck on taking over the power from their gun-toting hands. Plus elections will be a daunting task. They have even less shame than the Bush team in their agenda. Plus the media will be reined in. No more NPR. No more net neutrality. Faux News will be the only sustainable business model for “News” for 80% of the population. Free grub like the Examiner, subsidized by a political party’s supporters.
    Good luck on brushing the TP off like we did with Bush #1 and #2.

  20. Posted by lyqwyd

    @lol, you’ve figured out my secret, I’ve been posting on socketsite for years because I’m a secret Republican plant who knew that Obama would become president that that the only way to beat his re-election would be to convince socketsiters to vote 3rd party.
    There are also 3rd parties that are conservative, and I believe they are actually bigger than the liberal 3rd parties (according to wikipedia), although there seem to be a higher quantity of liberal 3rd parties, but there’s plenty to choose from on both sides.
    To me the teaparty doesn’t count as a 3rd party since all their candidates run as republicans, I just think the tea party is the typical Republican strategy to divert the attention of the crazy faction of republicans that they are being used and abused by the tiny wealthy republican leadership. If the 95% of the republican party ever realized they are being completely screwed by the leadership, they would flee.
    Try evaluating Obama objectively as to what he is doing for this country, rather than as a foil against republicans. Neither party is doing anything good for the middle class, and is actively.

  21. Posted by lyqwyd

    Last sentence should have been:
    “Neither party is doing anything good for the middle class, and both are actively harming the middle class”

  22. Posted by lol

    Giving up that easily, lyqwyd?
    If the crazies take your SS, your Medicare, your kids education, will you’ll comfort yourself by deluding yourself Obama was no better?
    lol. The TP is full of crazies, but at least they can’t help themselves. We have a choice.

  23. Posted by lyqwyd

    I have no faith that either SS or Medicare will still be around by the time I am able to take advantage. But even if I expected the programs to live that long, the Dems aren’t protecting that, if they really were, they’d be addressing the funding issues related to both, instead of pretending there isn’t a problem.
    It used to be that when Dems were in control, deficit spending was reasonably under control, while ever since Reagan the Reps have spent money like it’s water, but Obama has blown all the records with deficit spending, and most of the money has gone directly to the wealthy through bailouts and tax cuts.
    The Reps weren’t even asking for lowering the estate tax, Obama just gave that to them. Obama signed the indefinite detention bill all on his own. When somebody does exactly the opposite of what I believe, there’s no way I’m going to vote for them.
    I notice that you continue to frame it as if Dems vs. Republicans are the only options (lemon juice vs. poison) while the reality is there are many options.
    I’ve always found the “lesser of two evils” argument weak, and I will no longer fall for it.
    Who cares if a Republican wins? It just goes back and forth every few years, while the middle class gets screwed on both ends.

  24. Posted by SFwatcher

    Wow. Turned into political platform from markets. I guess you can’t separate those two anyway.
    I think having no party controlling all 3 is good for our country. I hate Republicans as much as Democrats. Atleast, now they need to compromise. That’s Democracy I guess. You hope that they don’t compromise to worst policies of both parties.
    As far as the Ryan’s plan vs Obama’s plan. Both are unrealistic and with no specifics. It’s just a plan to get elected in 2012.
    If 50% of people don’t pay taxes, and 1% of people control all the wealth. What do you expect?
    I liked lyqwyd’s last sentence. Middle class is screwed, no matter what, as they don’t stand up for themselves.

  25. Posted by Legacy Dude

    Not sure how/why this thread got so political. We spend more money than we make, and we can’t do it forever. It’s that simple. There are no easy cuts to make, no choices without consequences, regardless of party.
    Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.

  26. Posted by A.T.

    ^ It is true that a large percentage of people do not pay INCOME taxes, but it is not true that a large percentage of people do not pay taxes. After payroll and sales taxes and the various “fees” and other non-income taxes that fund the government, combined with favorable capital gains rates and numerous loopholes for the well-heeled (e.g. I shelter about 20% of my income from income taxes by putting it into deferred retirement plans), the U.S. lower and middle classes pay just about the same tax rates as the wealthy.

  27. Posted by anon

    Even if taxes on teh top 1% of earners were raised to 100% (yeah right) we would still have an annual budget deficit of $700 billion.
    It’s not a tax revenue problem, it is a spending problem, and both parties are to blame.

  28. Posted by lol

    Who cares if a Republican wins? It just goes back and forth every few years, while the middle class gets screwed on both ends.
    The GOP thanks you in advance for your vote.
    Seriously, if we get 8 years of GOP followed by 4 years of DNC in which 1/2 is crippled by defeatism (except if the Dems find their cojones in the mean time), you only get what you deserve.
    But your “it’s going down the drain anyways” brand of defeatism is not constructive. Think 1940 France: “Sure Germans are invading, but what difference does it make?”
    A 2-party system is what we have to work with. All real democratic systems end up with a 52/48 2-party system, because parties readjust their agendas to capture people in the middle otherwise they get slaughtered by their own moderates.
    With so much defeatism from some liberals, our big chance is that the TP will have alienated so many moderate Reps that it will rebalance the Munich Dems that will make their points heard by casting a useless vote.
    Let’s not keep our eyes from the ball there.

  29. Posted by Rillion

    “Obama had 2 years of Dem control of congress with large majorities”
    And he had 60 votes in the Senate, the number required to overcome Republican filabusters, for less then six months and two of those months would have required wheeling in a dying Ted Kennedy. Al Fraken took his seat in early July 09, Kennedy died at the end of August 09, his replacement was seated in the end of Sept 09, and Scott Brown took over in January 10.

  30. Posted by lol

    ^^^
    Very very true. Since when does a majority mean 60%? The GOP will always play it all the way. Dems were moderate and didn’t block all the GOP agenda under some of Bush’s presidency. Anyway, the GOP is a block that rewards the loyal and punishes the others.
    Somewhere where Obama dropped the ball is the tax cuts on the top earners in December. This is 50% of what the GOP is fighting for after all. They’d throw granny under the bus for a tax cut. Obama could have gotten so much more from the GOP, but he was weakened by the losses in November.
    This is the moment our kids will remember from us. When the going gets tough, the tough get going as they say. But it looks like a few Dems are caving in. Obama is no FDR, but he’s a smart guy who will do what we want from him if he sees he has enough support to do so. If he’s torn between his base and the Munich Dems, all bets are off.

  31. Posted by lyqwyd

    sorry lol, but your theory that a vote that isn’t for a Democrat is automatically for the GOP doesn’t hold any water.
    “A 2-party system is what we have to work with”
    my response is that all things change with time.
    “All real democratic systems end up with a 52/48 2-party”
    That’s completely absurd, look at most european democracies. Very rarely does any party come anywhere near 50% majority, so they form coalition governments formed of 2 or more different parties, even small parties get a certain amount of influence.
    If I was a defeatist I wouldn’t vote at all. I think there’s no real difference between Dems & Reps, so if there’s no way the system can be improved then there’s no point in voting. But I think it can be improved, which is why I will vote 3rd party. And I’ll really do it case by case, I will probably vote for Jerry Brown again, as I believe he’s trying to do what he said he’ll do. I certainly won’t be voting for Obama, as he’s doing the opposite of what he claimed.
    I think you are the defeatist. you seem to believe the broken system we have is the only one we ever can have, and it’s only a matter of voting for the lesser evil. You haven’t even attempted to defend Obama other than saying “just wait until he doesn’t have to run again, THEN he’ll really do what he said he will” maybe that’s the hope and change he was talking about, we get to hope that if he’s re-elected he’ll change into the president he said he will be.
    If you think people should vote for Obama say why, not why people should vote against Republicans. I don’t need to be told why not to vote Republican, I already have plenty of reminders every day. But I also have plenty of reminders why I shouldn’t vote for Obama:
    Too big to fail banks are bigger than every.
    Hundreds of billions given to the biggest banks and corporations while small banks and businesses are allowed to fail left and right.
    Little improvement in jobs, and what is reported is highly debatable (most of the improvement is because people have stopped looking, not that people are being hired)
    Entering into a 3rd oil war.
    Banking regulation that was so weak as to be worthless, when the obvious fix was just to re-enact Glass-Steagall, which worked well for decades.
    Clear lack of leadership: failing to get much of anything done with massive majorities in both houses of congress.
    $700 Billion in tax cuts for the wealthy.
    Guantanamo still open.
    Indefinite detention (that was the last straw for me, I gave him the benefit of the doubt for a long time, but when he signed such a terrible law, that was it).
    Healthcare seems to be his only success, and even that took way too long it gave republicans, was so watered down as to be almost useless, and the small good parts are quite likely to be repealed. He even caved on the public option, which was more popular than the overall of healthcare bill.
    You want people to vote for Obama then tell us why we should, not why we should vote against Republicans. It didn’t work for Kerry and it won’t work now.

  32. Posted by lol

    I think there’s no real difference between Dems & Reps
    I stopped reading right there. I am wasting my time obviously.

  33. Posted by Fishchum

    I don’t think there are any Russians
    And there ‘aint no Yanks
    Just corporate criminals
    Playing with tanks
    – The Call

  34. Posted by lyqwyd

    @lol
    “I stopped reading right there. I am wasting my time obviously.”
    I don’t really care if you are close minded. Others will read and whether they agree with me or not, maybe they will gain something.

  35. Posted by lol

    learn what?
    We learned everything from this type of opinion in 1938. “All corrupt. All the same. What could be worse?”
    There’s a difference between constructive criticism and reckless nihilism.

  36. Posted by lyqwyd

    I’ve pointed out lots of concrete, and I consider constructive, criticisms. You have consistently ignored them and persist in the completely empty argument that any vote not for a Democrat is a vote for a Republican, but at the same time, the only apparent reason to vote for a Democrat is that they are not a Republican.
    You attack me personally because I disagree with your opinion, but provide no argument as to why the only two options are Democrat or Republican, or even why Democrats are fundamentally a superior choice.
    I also didn’t say “learn”, I said “gain”.

  37. Posted by rabbits

    lol … you may want to look up Godwin’s Law.

  38. Posted by lol

    Yup, lesser evil. If you do not want Obama to represent you, just join the DNC and push for another candidate during the primaries.

  39. Posted by lol

    Godwin’s law?
    Sure. I didn’t call lyqwyd a Nazy. But you have to see what’s on the other side:
    http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2011/04/racist_orange_county_republica.php
    That’s what you get if you let them win in 2012.

  40. Posted by lyqwyd

    Do you honestly think there is any more likelihood that Obama will not win the primary than that a 3rd party candidate will win the 2012 Presidential election?
    Why would I want to join part of what I consider to be a broken system? Another option is to not join the DNC, and vote for a 3rd party candidate. I know they will not win the election, but the only way 3rd parties can grow (which I believe is absolutely necessary for the US to return to a path where the government operates for the benefit of the population) is for people to vote for them. It’s a long term view where of course my candidate will not win, but perhaps someday a 3rd party candidate will win. They’ve already one smaller elections, so it’s certainly possible they can win bigger ones in the future.
    Why do you persist in saying that is the only option is to vote Dem or Republican. As I’ve said, the Dems are just as bad.
    Nice link, how about responding to some of my critiques of Obama, rather than continually pointing at the Republicans as the boogeyman?
    You do know Obama signed a bill allowing for indefinite detention of “enemy combatants” without trial right? As far as I’m concerned that’s about as un-American (and un-liberal) as it gets.

  41. Posted by lol

    Support for Nader shrunk after the 2000 elections. It’s easy. His talk of Dems = Reps proved to be total BS. We saw the difference. Year. After. Year.
    More GOP will mean widespread teaching of intelligent design, then creationism. It means privatizing all aspects of Government. It means even less regulation, with robber barons getting fatter and fatter. It means people who will have access to knowledge and people who have not, killing the American Dream of social mobility. It means a de-facto return to society based mostly on race or upbringing.
    The surge of the Tea Party proved us one thing: A movement within a movement can gain enough momentum to redefine the agenda. They saw the Bush team as too compromising (!) and acted accordingly. They have no brain but they have guts. On the Dem side if we become factious and will prove to be the exact opposite.

  42. Posted by lyqwyd

    “Support for Nader shrunk after the 2000 elections.”
    by that argument, and since support for Obama has shrunk, we should all vote republican. Like I said, people blame Nader, when it was really Gore’s decision not to use Clinton to campaign. If he had, he would have won.
    “More GOP will mean …”
    more fear mongering, especially when robber barons have been getting so fat they are soon going to burst under Obama.
    again, Tea Party is 100% republican, it’s their attempt to keep a true 3rd party from growing. Tea Partiers fools as they are not getting anything they are asking for, just being used by the Republican leadership. It’s the same thing as the moral majority that was going on during Bush’s time, in fact it’s the same tactics the Dems used during Obama’s election, get the base riled up, win an election, then abandon them and go back to pleasing the important people: large corporate leadership and unions, while throwing a few moral/social/environmental scraps to the masses.
    Since you persist in ignoring my critiques of Obama (and the Dems) I’ll post it again:
    Here’s just some of what they’ve done wrong:
    Too big to fail banks are bigger than every.
    Hundreds of billions given to the biggest banks and corporations while small banks and businesses are allowed to fail left and right.
    Little improvement in jobs, and what is reported is highly debatable (most of the improvement is because people have stopped looking, not that people are being hired)
    Entering into a 3rd oil war (while ignoring the same atrocities they claim to be preventing that are happening in other countries).
    Banking regulation that was so weak as to be worthless, when the obvious fix was just to re-enact Glass-Steagall, which worked well for decades.
    Clear lack of leadership: failing to get much of anything done with massive majorities in both houses of congress.
    $700 Billion in tax cuts for the wealthy.
    Guantanamo still open.
    Indefinite detention
    I still haven’t heard anything from you except “vote against Republicans”.

  43. Posted by lol

    Sure, I am as frustrated as you over the fact that either things have been changing way too slowly, or even going the other direction. Bailouts: he had a sword over his head to proceed with the Bush bailouts. It’s tough to close down Gitmo, remember the US does not function in the void and that radical islamism is growing, not shrinking. Iraq: we messed it up, we own it, but the troops are being wound down nethertheless. Afghanistan: it’s a different fight, with a real coalition. Libya: The French started it, what do you want to do about it? The original goal was to help people free themselves (instead of invading them physically). I am not sure how it’s going to turn out. Hopefully no troops on the ground.
    Still, unemployment is down. The economy is growing. Reps will question the numbers and broadcast it widely, obviously…
    There are explanations, excuses and what-have-you for Obama’s shortcomings, but most of it has to do with Obama’s deeply political nature, preferring to compromise then fight later. The lack of a supermajority and waffling of people who elected him in Nov’ 2010 has a lot to do with this. But he’s fighting hard. How else would you explain the extension of the Bush tax cuts that he is now bringing back on the table? Maybe he’s throwing us a bone, or he’s being genuine. I think the latter is true.

  44. Posted by A.T.

    I wholeheartedly agree with lyqwyd on the laundry list of Obama disappointments. I would add:
    Wrist-slap for BP
    No serious criminal prosecutions for the financial crisis
    Adopting the TP/repub errors on taxes, deficits and spending, and thus taking away any leverage on these issues
    Very weak efforts to fill federal court vacancies.
    I do, however, disagree with lyqwyd on the 3rd-party issue. As disappointed as I am in Obama/dems, things would be far worse under the repubs. I’m not going to cast a symbolic vote for a 3rd-party and risk having the dems lose because of it. If (a very big if) a 3rd-party emerged with enough support such that a vote would not be purely symbolic, then I would reconsider.

  45. Posted by lol

    A.T.
    Yes, if there were a big enough 3rd party, it might have the DNC changing its ways and try and absorb its base. But if history repeats itself, a 3rd party would need to have a leader distinct enough to thrive. Nader for instance was on Faux News all the time in 2000, felt he was a king but was actually a peon, which caused him to cut all bridges with the DNC with the result we witness today. The TP is the model to follow if we want to keep the upper hand.

  46. Posted by jim

    This is the tipping point:
    There is no intention to repay our debts.
    The US Dollar (Fiat Currency) will soon become worthless (intentionally).
    Gold (& possibly silver, metals) will continue to climb and remain a safe haven.
    Repub/Dems/GOP/Obama/Fed Reserve/ will keep lying, or making us believe, they pull the stick out of the tailspin.

  47. Posted by Rillion

    Unfortunately I have yet to find a party that embraces maximum personal liberty for individuals while recognizing that business entities are not people and therefore do not enjoy the same rights and should be regulated. Dems are currently closest to it though.

  48. Posted by EH

    Rabbit: you should look up Godwin’s Law as well, it doesn’t mean what you appear to think it means.
    As for the third-party stuff, it’s simplistic to chalk it up to Nader/Perot junk. It’s going to take a movement among people of both parties to make it happen. Just one or two elections where people vote for their own values rather than “My Team,” which over the past 10 years we’ve seen burn voters of both parties. That is, lots of conservatives didn’t like Bush the same way some on the left today (perhaps a similar portion) deride Obama.

  49. Posted by lyqwyd

    @lol, it’s not that things are moving too slowly under Obama, it’s that they are moving the opposite from what he promised.
    Again, Indefinite Detention (which as I mentioned before was the last straw for me) is the exact opposite of closing Gitmo.
    Going to war in Libya is the exact opposite of getting us out of oil wars.
    Giving hundreds of billions in free money to the biggest banks and wealthiest people is the exact opposite of fixing the economic problems we are experiencing.
    Job growth is still less than is needed just to account for population growth, not to mention recovering from all the job losses that happened, not to mention that most of the new jobs are crappy (McDonald’s is hiring 50,000, whoopee!).
    What little economic improvement that is happening right now is just based on another credit bubble, the same thing that ended in the dot-com bust and the mortgage meltdown, and it will end the same, probably worse than the last one.
    @A.T., I don’t agree that things would be materially worse under the Repubs, given all the crap that has happened under the Dems. I also don’t believe that a 3rd party vote is symbolic, how will the 3rd party grow to the level you require without people voting for it?
    When I say I’m voting 3rd party that doesn’t mean I won’t vote for any Democrats. As I said I will probably vote for Jerry Brown, I will also probably vote for Nancy Pelosi, I will definitely vote 3rd party for president, as I am so terribly disappointed in him, although I don’t know what 3rd party it will be, it will depend on the candidates that each one puts up. I don’t know about Feinstein yet, I’ll have to look at how she has voted the last couple years.
    I will probably register as a 3rd party for the coming election, but don’t know which one yet.
    @Rillion, I definitely agree that there’s no ideal 3rd party that embraces my ideals, but I disagree that Dems are particularly interested in personal liberty, nor are they particularly interested in reigning in corporations. The DMCA happened under Clinton’s watch, which is very restrictive of personal liberty with regard to media, and highly in favor of corporate interests. While they talk about undoing the Citizen’s United ruling, they haven’t really done anything, even though the ruling is massively unpopular in the electorate.

  50. Posted by tipster

    You’re afraid of “throwing your vote away?”
    Wake up, you’ve been throwing your vote away for years.
    As a politician, the way to stay in office is to raise lots of money, get free organizing help from the unions or from the NRA/religious right, and take very good care of the people who are giving you money or organizing help. Because without both of those things, you’re one election away from being unemployed.
    The rest of the people can go f*ck themselves, they are too stupid to notice that you haven’t done a single thing for them. Every gay person not married when Gavin came into office is not married now, but they all think Gavin’s a great guy and “on their side”. All he actually did was to take the license fee and give them a useless piece of paper. The harder work that might have accomplished anything, well, he didn’t do any of that now did he?
    Your one vote isn’t worth crap to them. But the day that a third party candidate comes even remotely close to winning will be the day that attitude changes. Until then, consider your vote to be thrown away. The only way they will ever pay attention to you is if the races are closer than they are now. Voting TP brings that day closer.

  51. Posted by lol

    “There’s a way to solve this deficit problem in an intelligent way that is fair and shares sacrifices so that we can share opportunity all across America… But I can’t do that if your voices are not heard. There are powerful voices in Washington; there are powerful lobbies and special interests in Washington. And they’re going to want to reduce the deficit on your backs.”
    Yup, that’s Obama speaking today at Northern Virginia Community College.
    That’s what I was saying earlier. Why need a 3rd party? we’ve got a president on our side. What he needs is us voicing our opinion. He’s only as strong as the support we give him.

  52. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Yeah, nice speech from Obama today. Now back up those words with some real down-in-the-dirt fighting for the little guy! Then he’ll have my vote in 2012.
    Otherwise I’m going to vote for the Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachmann dynamic duo.

  53. Posted by lyqwyd

    Sure, Obama’s on the campaign trail now, and it’s really easy to say stuff like this, but I prefer to judge by actions. The actions above that he’s taken speak far more loudly to me than a vague speach.
    You know what would have gone a good way towards improving our deficit problem from where it was today? Not giving $700 Billion in tax cuts to the wealthy.
    He already increased the deficit on our backs, when he clearly didn’t need to. To me it’s a complete load of crap to talk about reducing the deficit when you just needlessly raised it by $70 billion a year a couple months ago, purely to the benefit of the wealthy.
    I believe I’m voicing my opinion quite clearly, and it’s that Obama is not on our side. He talks a good game, but when it comes down to getting things done he does the opposite, as I’ve clearly shown above.

  54. Posted by A.T.

    lyqwyd, the Citizen’s United decision was based on rights under the First Amendment. Nothing anybody can do to undo that one other than amend the Constitution (or wait for a new Supreme Court) – can’t fault Obama on that one. That was Bush’s successful driving of the court to the extreme right. Hence, my disgust with Obama’s lack of a counterattack in filling federal court vacancies.
    On the issue of third parties, the only way one would stick would be if it were based on capturing the broad middle, a la Ross Perot (nut that he was). But the trend is for them to spring up on the fringes where they have no chance.

  55. Posted by dub dub

    Your time is better spent diversifying and shoring up your business or career for the next big rule change(s).

  56. Posted by SFwatcher

    Politicians tell what you want to hear. They only execute policies that are good for them (not us).If you fall in the trap of listening to them, you are doomed for ever. Doesn’t matter which party to choose.
    I would vote for any third party (White – Red is taken by Republicans, Blue is taken by Dems) that is socially liberal and fiscally responsible and has no association with corporate clowns. If we want to save our country, we should stop voting for the same people who don’t deliver on promises.

  57. Posted by Rillion

    Tipster: “Every gay person not married when Gavin came into office is not married now, but they all think Gavin’s a great guy and “on their side”. All he actually did was to take the license fee and give them a useless piece of paper.”
    Way to show your ignorance there tipster. People whose marriages were invalidated by the court in 2004 could send a simple request to the City and get their fee refunded. Also the City filed suit afterwards and contributed to the case that got the California marriage law overturned so that 18,000 same-sex couples were legally married, including my husband and I. And we were not married when Gavin came into office and we are married now.

  58. Posted by lol

    The day the TP becomes its own party, I’ll go for an alternate option than the official DNC. But as has been proven the TP though created by grass-root activists has become just another piece of the very powerful and coherent GOP machine. Our luck is that their ideas are full of holes, their reps are totally incoherent, and the party lacks a true candidate. But anger knows no reason.
    There are many reasons to be angry at Obama. But we’re only 2 years into the presidency, for chrissake. Better Jimmy Carter than the cowboy clown Ronald Reagan. Better Obama than the next GOP idiot they throw at us.

  59. Posted by A.T.

    Yep, I’m squarely with lol on this one. The least bad (dems) is not ideal but it’s, well, way less bad than the only viable alternative (evolution-denying nuts). At least I’m fortunate to have a high enough income to get a valuable consolation prize from the crazy Washington mindset. I think I’d be severely depressed if I were a median income working stiff and didn’t even get that.

  60. Posted by A.T.

    Hey, and things are looking up on one front! We finally have a conviction in federal court for at least one financial crisis criminal:
    http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/finally_a_big_fish_jury_convicts_mortgage_co._owner_farkas_in_3b_fraud/

  61. Posted by lol

    One down, thousands to go.
    Do you think the GOP would have prosecuted this guy? Nope. He’d have been hired by the Heritage Foundation or another Ayn Rand BS drinking think-tank.

  62. Posted by lyqwyd

    @A.T.
    The Citizens United was a clear over-reach by the Supreme Court, and obviously contrary to the intent of the constitution, the founders, and the first amendment.
    I’m not faulting Obama or the Dems for the ruling, I’m faulting them for having taken no real steps to correct it, the ruling is well over a year old.
    Regarding 3rd party “stickiness” I disagree. Look at Europe, there are many parties, some liberal some conservative, some moderate with all kinds of sizes.

  63. Posted by lyqwyd

    @lol
    “One down, thousands to go.”
    so at that rate it should take the dems about 10 thousand years to get through all the prosecutions…
    In my opinion this guy is a small fry, $3B is a lot to us, but not to the finance industry. MERS alone is responsible for possibly $trillions of mortgage fraud. When a CEO of a major bank goes down, then I’ll be interested.

  64. Posted by tc_sf

    “We finally have a conviction in federal court for at least one financial crisis criminal:”
    There have actually been scores of people convicted and sentenced for real estate related crimes since the crisis.
    The mortgage fraud blog has a litany of cases that you can look at.
    One recent interesting one involved a charge of wire fraud related to attempting to mislead people as to the value of investment property. Partly by using basement sqft to inflate an appraisal:
    http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/west_viriginia_woman_sentenced_for_inflating_values/

  65. Posted by A.T.

    lyqwyd, I agree that Citizens United was a shameful over-reach by the Supreme Court. But there is nothing Obama or Congress can do about it because the decision was based on 1st amendment rights. You can’t pass a statute that trumps the Constitution.
    On 3rd parties, I agree that a 3rd party could rise (it has happened in the past) but none has in a very long time, and recent in-roads have been at the extreme left or extreme right, which is why they never found traction.

  66. Posted by A.T.

    tc_sf, thanks for the link. Good to see that people who swindled a few thousand or a few million are getting convicted. My point above was that those who stole billions have generally gotten off scot-free.

  67. Posted by lyqwyd

    @A.T.
    There’s plenty of things they can try to do, pass laws at least tightening up on what can be done, they’d have to go through courts again, but it’s an attempt.
    They could be pushing hard for a constitutional amendment in congress. Since they are a huge party they could also be pushing hard to create a constitutional amendment at the state level.
    It’s certainly not the easiest thing they could tackle, but it’s extremely important.
    But even if I gave you Citizens United, (which I’m only saying hypothetically) what about all the other garbage (already posted, but here it is again):
    Too big to fail banks are bigger than every.
    Hundreds of billions (possibly trillions) given to the biggest banks and corporations.
    Little improvement in jobs.
    Entering into a 3rd oil war.
    Failed banking regulation.
    Failing to get much of anything done with massive majorities in both houses of congress.
    $700 Billion in tax cuts for the wealthy.
    Guantanamo still open.
    Indefinite detention.
    These are all things they (Obama + Dems) actively did, which are pretty big issues, and the opposite of what I believe should be done. No excuses for any of them.
    At this point the only way I would even contemplate voting for Obama again if all those things were reversed, and he followed through on a couple more of his original campaign promises. I’m not going to overlook all these major issues.

  68. Posted by A.T.

    Yep, I’m 100% with you on that whole laundry list of disappointments. If I vote for Obama (and I likely will) it will be while holding my nose.

  69. Posted by lyqwyd

    I certainly understand that, and even voting 3rd party I’ll be doing a certain amount of the same. As far as I can tell there’s not a single party that embraces everything that I believe in, so it is likely that there will be something that I disagree with, no matter who I vote for.

  70. Posted by lol

    lyqwyd, a good start would be to join a network, like Credo Action. http://www.workingforchange.com/
    Maybe you already do.
    Your laundry list is very close to theirs (and mine). They submit petitions with 10s, sometimes 100s of 1000s of signatures.

  71. Posted by lyqwyd

    Thanks, I took a quick look and that seems like an interesting site, I’ll check into it in more detail.

  72. Posted by ex SF-er

    lyqwyd,
    well stated arguments.
    the problem obviously is that a 2 party system does not work. we need at minimum of 4 parties.
    -fiscally liberal, socially liberal. This is the Dems.
    -fiscally liberal, socially conservative. This is the Repubs.
    -fiscally conservative, socially liberal. There is no party such as this. the only politician IMO who fits this is Dennis Kucinich. This is where I would be.
    -fiscally conservative, fiscally conservative. This is where the Tea Party is, and also the Libertarian movement (although I’d argue the Libertarians SHOULD be socially liberal, in general they are not). Ron Paul is here.
    although I see lol’s point, the end problem is that voting for the Democrats lends them legitimacy. Voting for a 3rd party risks putting the “more hated” candidate on the platform.
    As for me, I usually vote for Dennis Kucinich, even though I don’t live anywhere near Ohio. Trying to change the party from within.

  73. Posted by ex SF-er

    on a side note,
    I hope nobody is really thinking Obama will “change” his second term (if elected). there is no precedent in his life for that world view, and much evidence to the contrary imo. He is a political strategist through and through…
    When elected, he had a VERY CLEAR mandate from America and also most of the entire world to CHANGE things.
    He immediately elected Clintonistas and continued almost every one of Bush’s policies, as lyqwyd so eloquently stated above.
    He wavers and caves throwing the liberals under the bus at EVERY opportunity. Even when he has a slam dunk hand, he loses it through compromise. He has delivered worse than nothing, he has delivered negative results.
    This is of course by design. He has said many times (but the left/right won’t listen) that he is a moderate. And he is. A corporotist to the 10th degree.
    One must simply look at his future likely actions using political calculus. it’s easy.
    1) The far left fears a Republican president more than anything on Earth. as lol so eloquently states, s/he will vote for Obama no matter what, because the repubs will be worse.
    Thus: Obama needs not please anybody on the Left. He will get 100% of their vote no matter what he does.
    Thus: why bother to please the left? it won’t increase his votes.
    2) the far right fears Obama more than life itself. they will NEVER EVER vote for him. He will get 0% of their vote. However, if he even appears to drift to the left the right will turn out in force against him. (this is what happened in many respects when McCain put Palin on the ticket).
    3) this leaves the moderates, swing voters, and independents. He can in theory win some of these. in order to do this he must move to the center. Because people see him as “left” (Ridiculous in the extreme) he will have to go center right so that people see him as center. Thus center-right policies is where the action is at.
    4) and the biggest thing of all: he has a $1 BILLION war chest to build. That money isn’t coming from the far left.
    so the math is simple:
    $1 Billion = he will move to the right and stay there.
    ======
    After he is elected, sure he’s a lame duck.
    but his Democratic congress isn’t.
    thus, he will continue policies to help Pelosi et al get re-elected.
    Bush did not suddenly move right after elected for second term. Neither will Obama.
    =======
    lastly, I do think there are differences between Repubs/Dems.
    With Repubs, the vast majority of Americans will be debt-serfs with their wealth extracted in “flood-up economics”, and there will be severe curtailment in personal rights.
    with Dems, the vast majority of Americans will be debt-serfs with their wealth extracted in “flood-up economics”, and there will be only mild curtailment in personal rights.
    good cop/bad cop routine.

  74. Posted by lol

    ex SF-er,
    That’s a very pessimistic view. Then again, you’re pretty much always in the perma-bears RE-wise.
    Obama is fighting against a Tsunami of cash, both against him and… for him.
    The original grassroot movement that brought him to becoming the DNC candidate was a 20-to-50 bucks viral campaign. Now the corporate world did what it did best: sprinkle cash where it matters with a 1-to-100 ROI.
    And the liberal grassroot supporters are waffling, as they often do under duress.
    That’s the difference with Reps: when in difficulty, Reps go even crazier. Liberals just waive the white flag.

Comments are closed.

Recent Articles