A Financial Collapse Primer

Why you should read this: It explains the financial crisis and how it relates to this election cycle. It is fair and well researched and can be used in discussions and debate.

One of PinkHat’s and my dearest friends sent us an email this morning, containing an argument asserting that it was Democrats who caused the financial meltdown, not the Republicans and how we must really make sure that this doesn’t happen again with an Obama Presidency.

At the core of the argument, is an inaccurate, but compelling assertion that Republicans tried to tighten the rules around the housing industry and it was the Democrats that loosened everything up and created the problems.

Setting aside, for just a moment, the fact that Republicans are the party of deregulation and continually assault the Democrats for wanting more government “intervention” in the form of regulation – does this argument have any basis in fact at all?

So what I decided to do was outline exactly what did happen. My opinion is at the bottom. This next section is research conducted by myself with an unbiased eye – since I now own mortgage houses, insurance companies and banking institutions with a lot of you, I decided to do a little due diligence on exactly what’s going on. Any good lie is constructed of some truth, so I thought I’d pass on what I found. (BTW, I’m not going to provide links to all my sources, but this is all REALLY easily Googled). This is perhaps my longest post ever, but I implore you to take a moment to read it – I think it will be very worth your time for next time when someone you talk to is confused about “how we got here.”

In the beginning…
In 1933, a new law called the Glass-Steigal act built a wall between investment organizations and commercial banking operations to avoid and head off the problems that had originally caused the Great Depression.

In the late 90s, Clinton was under enormous pressure to relax the restrictions on the banking and investment community. The primary dike in their way was Glass-Steigal. Part of the impetus here, was that Alan Greenspan had, for so long now (at that time) been simply lowering interest rates to continue goosing the economy – but the when we hit about zero % as the prime rate, there was no where else to go and something had to be done to keep the money merry-go-round spinning.

The Camel and the Straw
So Senator Phil Grahm and his supporters authored the Grahm-Leach-Bliley act (GLBA), which essentially dismantled the Glass-Steigal. In 1999, under pressure by a majority Republican Congress and (to a certain extent) left powerless by the Monica Lewinsky fiasco, a neutered President Clinton allowed the passage of Senator Grahm’s legislation. As an aside, Clinton has now claimed that he does not think passage of the act contributed in a major way to the current crisis, and, ironically, the legislation allowed for a component of the bailout (the purchase of Merril Lynch by BofA) that would have been considerably more difficult, if possible at all, while Glass-Steigal was in effect. It remains, however, a keystone point (if wonky and difficult to understand) that this deregulation was the genesis of the dance that commenced thereafter.

A Perfect Blend
Another interesting parallel problem was that mortgage rules and restrictions had been eliminated in a host of minor deregulatory moves where, it seems, no one anticipated the “perfect storm” they would create when the whole became greater than the sum of the parts. Two of the most damaging issues were the rise and mass sale of reverse-mortgage loans with teaser rates (pay only 1% for the first year!) combined with No-Doc loans (No Document, meaning that you could simply say, “I make [x]” and not have to prove it) – meaning that people who could not afford a traditional mortgage could now purchase a big house on the assumption that the value would go up, they’d be able to sell in a couple years at a big profit and they didn’t even need to prove that they could afford the entry rate. (A reverse mortgage has the interesting effect that it is still at the real interest level of the loan, but since you only pay the teaser rate of 1% for a year, the 5.5% unpaid interest gets lumped back into your capital investment hence the “reverse” part of the mortgage).

So now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which do not actually directly lend money, but in fact back up people that do, were now being forced to accept mortgages that were considerably less secure than before. They, along with other organizations that purchased mortgages were beginning to have lots of tiny pinholes in their portfolio that didn’t look very good.

The Genesis of a Monster
So came the creation of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are a direct result of the GLBA. These huge and confusing packages were essentially lots and lots of mortgages (think dozens of thousands) into a single package that could now be sold to investment firms as a security, rather than a retail mortgage, again, normally controlled and restricted to the commercial banking industry.

Here’s where it started to get interesting: houses that bought these securities would dismantle them and reconstruct them into new securities – using complicated and utterly incomprehensible mathematics created by academics, mathematicians and physicists (Really! Even Physicists!) the mortgages and security bundles were recombined into packages that were sold yet again, and again. Obviously, along the way the effort was to eliminate the risk inherent in such securities from MY firm and pass them on to others. Unfortunately, the mechanisms were so pervasive and ubiquitous that while I was selling one out my front door, the investment people on the back side of my operation are buying some from other vendors. The net result was a convoluted web of bad mortgages spread not just across our banking, investment and insurance companies, but in fact around the world.

Then it got really bad.
The next problem was that people started to catch on that these were crappy securities, so how to sell them and get them off the books? Well, insure them of course! Sell them with insurance that will “guarantee” to another investor that they’ll get the assets in the investment as well as insurance that they won’t lose value! But how to do this? Insurance is regulated like crazy, so a new mechanism was necessary.

The Placebo
Enter, Credit Default Swaps (CDS). This essentially allowed investment houses to “swap” money for risk against a security – since they used the word “swap” it is not insurance, but the action is the same. So now there’s people betting on the come, that these MBS would not fail and they’d walk away with the insurance/swap money paid.

Disease Strikes
Next problem: the housing bubble that kept driving prices up, up, up was now beginning to deflate and houses were not being sold at the rate or value initially hoped. And the adjustable rate mortgages and reverse mortgages that people had purchased were now adjusting – in some cases people’s monthly note went up as much as 200% in a single month. No longer able to pay the rate but unable to sell the home, they began to default. And default they did, to the tune of about 1.5 million homes by the beginning of this year.

Now banks that held these mortgages were suddenly in a crunch: there were no longer receiving the income from mortgages, but still needed to have lots of cash on hand for the swing loans and credit lines that a VAST number of American businesses rely on to operate. As the MBSs failed, they started to call in the CDSs, putting insurance holders into a bad place, because they never thought there’d be such an amount of failure. As they failed and were unable to pay the MBS holders the MBS holders began to fail.

Finally it was like a house of cards that no longer had any support – as critical banking and investment first started failing they caused the failure of others… which began to infect the entire rest of the world, which meant that international credit started to dry up furthering the tailspin.

Net Results
The financial “Bail Out” package that is so confusing to everyone is essentially a mechanism to try and stop the tailspin. By lending money to investment and banking institutions, then can continue to support businesses with their credit lines and swing loans, keeping people in business – because the next step in this maelstrom is that businesses start going out of business en masse – meaning more unemployment, meaning more mortgage defaults… meaning more failed securities, meaning more credit default swap failures, meaning more failed financial institutions, meaning less available money and trust, meaning more tightening of the financial system, meaning more businesses going out of business… it’s pretty ugly.

My Opinion
If you made it this far I’m impressed and grateful. There was a lot of research that went into that. Note that at virtually every turn in this fiasco, it was the lack of regulation that allowed something to slip outside of a safe band. Republicans can argue all day long that it’s regulation that inhibits business growth, but in this case, we can see that the lack of regulation allowed businesses to essentially eat themselves. The argument is made that “Banks know and understand risk better than the government, so we should allow them to do what they think is best.” Well, it just doesn’t seem so in this case, now does it?

At the core of all this is a greed-based ponzi scheme – or a sort of pyramid party where the first people into the MBSs made out like frigging bandits, and the people that came to the pyramid party late got left holding the bag.

Ironically, it is the Republicans that say We The People suffer greater taxes because regulation inhibits industry. I submit that we’re paying WAY more now because the lack of regulation allowed the shark that is rampant, unrestricted capitalism to eat itself.

John McCain is a deregulator – he’s been a proud supporter of that position since his earliest days in Congress. Barack Obama is in favor of much more stringent regulation. While you watch your IRA and 401(k) sink, consider hard which you think is a better policy. Those that would evangelize an unrestrained free-market economy probably live on Wall Street and have the knowing to get into the pyramid party before you and I. They are wrong and we’re the ones paying for it.

Vote for Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress on November 4th.


  1. braindonkey says:

    Good overview perk and well laid out.

    I’m sure a few points can be argued, but the essence matches what I have read from assorted economists.

    The big issue with regulation is that it is perceived as big government. And I suppose it can be at times. But, regulation can be very simple and small. To use a simple regulation, it is illegal to pee in public. The end. Thats not big government. Of course, financial rules will be quite a bit more difficult, but as long as the loopholes don’t exist, they can’t get too complicated.

    It’s part of the reason I wish we could just scrap the entire tax code and just do a straight progressive tax, lets say from 5% to 25%. 4 deductions (education, medical, charity, retirement) capped somehow, and that is it. Never will happen, but a boy can dream. I am someone who benefits GREATLY from business deductions and my mortgage, and frankly, I would be thrilled if it all went away for a 1 sheet IRS filing.

  2. Edgar says:

    This is a long post so I will comment more later, but this caught my eye.

    “In 1999, under pressure by a majority Republican Congress and (to a certain extent) left powerless by the Monica Lewinsky fiasco, a neutered President Clinton allowed the passage of Senator Grahm’s legislation.”

    Brilliant link between the Blow Job scandal and Bills dubious judgment regarding the passing of that bill.

    I’m going to point that out next time a liberal tells me what clinton did in his private life (at the white house) is HIS OWN business! Next time a lib says, “As long as it didn’t effect his job then it’s nobody’s business” I’m going to point this out.

    Thanks Perk! :D

  3. perkiset says:

    It just wouldn’t be you, Edgar, if you didn’t try to find a nugget of happiness in all that nasty truth I laid out. Interesting, that only sex and a sneaky way to try to twist such a gigantic, impactful scenario intrigued you about my article. You’re sounding more neocon every time we talk ;)

    For the record, Bill’s impotence (pun intended) had to do with being shamed in the white house, not his personal behavior. I could care less and it’s neither mine or anyone else’s business what he does in his private life. The witch hunt executed by Newt & Co. was equally responsible for that issue – and to this day it kills me that one of our greatest contemporary presidents was impeached for lying about a blow job, yet a galactically stupid imperialist with a evangelical blood lust who’s take us into a war on a lie still sits in his chair unimpeded. :P

  4. perkiset says:

    @ Nuts – thanks man, and thanks for taking the time to read it. Nasty long one there… ;)

  5. Edgar says:

    “It just wouldn’t be you, Edgar, if you didn’t try to find a nugget of happiness in all that nasty truth I laid out.”

    Relax perk, I didn’t read the whole article yet. I will though and I’ll respond to the real issue you are illuminating.

    “For the record, Bill’s impotence (pun intended) had to do with being shamed in the white house, not his personal behavior.”

    Isn’t his personal behavior the reason for his shame? The fact that he lied to the American people, “I did NOT have sexual relations with that woman!”

    and LMAO!!! “It all depends on what your definition of the word IS is”


    His personal behavior shamed him in the white house. You can’t have it BOTH ways. Perk, I’ll read the whole thing and comment on the real point you are making later.

    By the way did you hear the good news??

    It seems the left, uh, I mean the media isn’t reporting the news coming out of Iraq in a balanced way. I took care of it though.

  6. perkiset says:

    My point, Edgar, is that even Reagan was rumored to have had a mistress, even with the iron hand of Nancy close by. That sort of personal activity has been going on forever and the fact that the Repubs chose to make it such an issue so as to shame him was, essentially, as disgraceful as his getting caught for it.

  7. Edgar says:

    Perk be for real man. The man was getting a blow job on the job! Hello?? Then HE lied to the American people and made it worse for himself. Don’t feel bad for a liar getting caught.

    Everybody agrees that if you get caught getting a BJ at work you are going to get canned.

    @ Financial crisis

    Did you leave this out or did I miss it? I’m not sure but in september 2003 Bush launched a measure to bring freddie and fannie under more strict regulatory control. This was after an independent investigation had determined that fannie had overstated its earnings and wasn’t doing much to hedge against risks.

    Bush once again sees around the corner…and his detractors call him a dummy.

    But Barney Frank and the other liberals blocked Bushes proposal at every turn. The dems were deep in the pockets of Rains and received quite a bit of money from fannie lobbyists.

    Frank made this statement immediately after the Bush proposal, “The more people exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness [at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae], the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially.”

    Looks like George was right and Barney Super Liberal Frank was wrong.

    Then while Frank was having fun calling Bush an idiot, Maxine Water decided to jump on the bandwagon and criticized Bushes proposal too. Maxine Walters, said: “There were nearly a dozen hearings where we were trying to fix something that wasn’t broke. Mr Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac and particularly at Fannie Mae under the outstanding leadership of Mr Franklin Raines.”

    What wonderful insight she has!! LMAO!!!

    Then, while the party was raging, Mel Watts chimed in with, “I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,”

    The liberal democrats have been in bed (pun intended) with fannie and freddie for years. Then they shamelessly buy out voters by pretending to be Robin Hood.

    Basically the liberals tried to make George Bush look like a mean old rich guy trying to make it hard for the poor folks to buy a home.

    Did you forget to add this to your research? Or were not simply not aware of these facts?

  8. Edgar says:
  9. perkiset says:

    Hey Edgar -

    First, @ Blowjob: the real problem is the hyper-puritanical elements of our body politic. I agree that Clinton abused his position, but I disagree that he is either an anomaly or that really, provided he gets the job done, it’s any of my business. The reason he was impeached for it was because he said he didn’t do it under oath. Jeez, a guy gets caught being unfaithful and lies about it? What an exception. No, the problem was really that Newt and the Congressional Republicans so despised him that they worked hard to trap him in his lie and disgrace him. The amount of money and time spent on that fiasco was embarrassing and a completely waste.

    @ Bush, FMae and FMac: I did not even talk about that stuff because it was neither causal, germane or effective. He didn’t do anything about it. For someone who has pretty much gotten his way with anything he’s wanted in the white house, for him to not have succeeded at this says more about his lack of focus on it than anything else. And the point of my article was the elements of collapse – there’ve been many people along the way that have either tried to change things or light up the warning lights, but they are not germane either.

    The essence of the point is the deregulation caused the problem, simple and clean. You can look for distraction elements to try to take away from that, but it does not change the fact that this was caused by GLBA removing the restrictions of the GSA, which allowed the cross-pollination (such as it was) of the investments houses and commercial banking.

    Essentially, this is a non-partisan analysis: there is no party associated with law. However, since the Republicans fight continually for deregulation, and this is twice in our history that we’ve done almost the exactly same thing because of deregulation, you’d think we’d smarten up. I’m tired of giving Wall Street smarties all my money. I’m tired of logging in to my Charles Schwab account and seeing how I’ve dropped by about 40% in value (I am aggressively placed).

    The free market capitalists – the deregulators – they just want an easier target area to scrape their money. Since their greed has destroyed an unimaginable amount of wealth around the globe, it’s about time we start to reassess that ideology, just as Greenspan has.

  10. Edgar says:

    “The essence of the point is the deregulation caused the problem, simple and clean.”

    Yes that was the problem. But you ignore that fact that Bush recognized that as far back as 2003 and proposed a measure that would have prevented this whole crisis.

    He saw that freddie and fanny were in danger of collapse and wanted to put in place strict REGULATIONS to prevent a meltdown. Do you disagree with this fact?

  11. perkiset says:

    Bush was among many, for about 10 years that had their eye on that segment of the industry. However, he accomplished nothing. Note also that he had a Republican controlled (and at that time) rubber stamp Congress with which he could have done anything he wanted. (Natch, he crowbarred us into a war.)

    Again, however, that is simply not germane to the timeline – first because Bush did nothing, but second because the pivotal pieces of the puzzle were already in place. And no, I don’t give Bush any credit at all for being able to “see around corners” because, again, there were many that foresaw problems, but in the final analysis he who had the power to actually do something – did nothing. Note, also, that the proposed fixes restricted FMae and FMac from extending loans, but did nothing about the the larger problem of sub-prime mortgage backed securities, and their sale to investment firms.

    I won’t argue at all that there weren’t Dems as well that were big problems in this fiasco, this is not a partisan piece nearly so much as it is an example of the difference between certain components of regulation and the effects of deregulation. There’s no point arguing Bush’s feeble attempt at financial worry when the essence of the problem is the fundamental ideology that he subscribed to all the way up to the point that he had to acquiesce and nationalize vast chunks of Wall Street.

    In 2003, Freddie Mac got into real hot water when they restated their income to the tune of about USD$5BB – at that time, the largest restatement in history. 2 years later, it wasn’t George Bush but Chuck Hagel (R) who proposed more regulation against Freddie Mac, which hired the Republican firm DCI to lobby Republicans that were looking for more regulation – interestingly, when the bill came up for vote it was split perfectly on party lines – all Dems voted against it, all Republicans voted for it. In this peculiar twist, Republicans were all lefty and Dems were all righty, for which I do not have an answer why, except that the majority of executives at FMac and FMae were Dems, so a certain amount of cronyism is clearly present. Also, not having the text of the bill nor the Congressional ramification opinions handy, it seems clear that there was more to it than meets the eye.

    So once again- this is less about partisanship and more about Liberal versus Conservative, since Liberals want more regulation, Conservatives perpetually fight for less. John McCain is a deregulator. He’s made that abundantly clear for almost his entire political history. How the argument can be made that the answer is less regulation is the last remains of a bankrupt Libertarian argument, and quite beyond me.

  12. Edgar says:

    “Bush was among many, for about 10 years that had their eye on that segment of the industry.”

    Big of you to concede that point.

    “However, he accomplished nothing. Note also that he had a Republican controlled (and at that time) rubber stamp Congress with which he could have done anything he wanted.”

    Too bad the other republicans and democrats in congress didn’t see it Bush’s way. Was it a filibuster proof majority?

    Or did the dems cockblock everything the president tried to do?

    You didn’t address what frank, watts, and walters said either.

    @”Republicans were all lefty and Dems were all righty, for which I do not have an answer why, except that the majority of executives at FMac and FMae were Dems, so a certain amount of cronyism is clearly present”

    Rebublicans went left because at that point in time it was the right thing to do.

    The dems went ‘right’ because they were deep in the pockets of lobbyists. Not to mention the liberals were simply out to prevent Bush from passing a successful measure. They want him to look bad even at the cost of the American people.

    So the conservatives compromised their principles in order to pass needed legislation while the liberals compromised their principles out of hatred for Bush.

    @Bush did nothing about it

    Bush did what he was allowed to do according to the constitution. He proposed a measure to reign in F&F.

    Look perk, it could have gone two ways. One, Bush could have proposed a measure that would have deregulated the economy.

    Or Two, Bush could have introduced a measure to increase regulation.

    He did the latter. It’s history. You can cover your ears and eyes if you want but history is history.

    History will also show that Frank, Walters and Watts saw a fundamentally sound entity in F&F and they were wrong.

  13. perkiset says:

    Edgar what do you hope to accomplish with this? To try, desperately, to agree with the remaining dolts that think less regulation is the answer?

    For all the ideology and partisan spew that takes place, it seems pretty clear that after the Conservative yahoos have made their cash from a flawed situation, the only way to get the government and the country back online is to use government regulation. At times, to their credit, Republicans have acquiesced or even lead the charge… but this does not eliminate their fundamental motivation: to remove regulation, not increase it.

    You are trying really hard to paint Bush with a brush that is neither his color or temperament. Why is that? You seem desperate to see some brilliance in a man that has proven himself to be, time and time again, doltish, stubborn and ill informed. He deserves the mantle of being the most reviled president in history.

  14. SFNathan says:

    Hey Perk,

    just wanted to say that I found this post very informative. It was well researched and I learned a lot. Great work!

  15. Edgar says:

    @Shitting On Bush

    That’s fine by me perk. I don’t give a rats ass about what people think about Bush. I didn’t agree with some of the decisions he made either. For instance, I think he’s done a terrible job of securing the border. So no love lost there.

    All I’m trying to do is fill in the blanks and give credit where credit is due.

    Be intellectually honest and tell the whole story and I wouldn’t feel compelled to set the record straight. You know, when you leave gaping holes in the outline the beg to be filled.

    The points I made were made before and argued about before. I myself argued with liberal bloggers about bushes proposal way back in 2003. I watched it unfold on cspan.

    While your post was entertaining and informative (and I did enjoy it btw) it was simply not balanced and didn’t tell the whole story. You need to learn to be objective.

  16. perkiset says:

    Thanks SFNate – I appreciate it!

  17. perkiset says:

    “You need to learn to be objective” WOW is that funny Edgar, coming from a guy that has never exhibited the tiniest quantum of balance or objectivity in a single post at your blog or comment here.

    In fact, all you are doing here is trying to distract from the acknowledged facts of how the crisis came about. Re-read my post and you’ll notice that there is zero opinion in it (or very close to zero) until the clearly marked, “My Opinion” section. There a great many contributing factors to the crisis, as well as a great many efforts along the way by good people on both sides to try and stem the tide – but I don’t cover ANY of them. Even Greenspan didn’t mention this effort when he described the crisis – when he described what happened it’s almost as if he read my blog post. So give it up FFS.

    Your real effort here is to discredit the facts with single action moments to distract from the primary thesis, which is that deregulation of corporate entities that can affect our entire nation is a bad thing. Read my latest post about the difference between Government and Corporations and you’ll get a better sense for what’s really going on.

  18. Edgar says:


    It may seem I exhibit a lack of balance but that’s just because I’m presenting an opposing view. It’s supposed to be one sided. You already covered the other side right? Why should I rehash what you said in a comment?

    Those interested in learning will always humbly consider the opposing view without prejudice.

    Perk, I dig your post man, I really do! And no, I’m not trying to take away from the nice build up and clear explanation.

    However lets bear in mind the purpose of the post. You tied it into the election regarding the candidates viewpoints concerning regulation vs deregulation. I get it.

    What I disagree with is the way you try to merge the economic philosophy of deregulation with both the financial crisis and the republican party, namely the mccain campaign.

    It’s too broad. First of all the republicans are not blindly pro deregulation. After all you stated yourself that the repubs leaned left while the dems leaned right on this occassion.

    So I think it a hasty conclusion to just say that we are in a crisis due to deregulation and since the repubs believe philosophically in deregulation, then this is the conservative republicans fault.

    There were more nuances at play and it’s not that simple.

    Taken further it could be true that this whole crisis began because the dems deemed F&Fmac fundamentally sound when it wasn’t.

    This was due to either incompetence or corruption. That’s a very real possibility. I mean, if George Bush could see the problem SURELY others could see it to!?

    So I just think that it’s a bit hasty to draw the conclusion you outlined here. I think there’s more meat on the bone than that and there’s no point in glossing over important sublteties.

  19. perkiset says:

    A fair point, and of course there are nuances that are left out and influencing factors that I’ve not added – I tried to get to the highest level I could to make it easier to understand. This mess makes a plate of spaghetti look like steel beams.

    But to make it out that today’s Republicans are in any way pro-regulation is just wishful thinking. McCain is a perfect example of free market conservatives that just run rampant in the Republican party – hell, the essence of the party is built on such philosophies. I think if you look back in history, the Repubs have only gone with regulation when there was some kind of gun to their head. IMV it is not a fair judgement to assign some kind of benevolent middle of the road omniscience to them because they have fought tooth and nail for the very structures and lack-of-regulations that have brought us to where we are today.

    This is really not about party man – it’s about philosophy. And in this case, virtually everyone involved, from politicians to business people were greedy, blind and irresponsible. But extending that to this election, it’s clear that one of the guys running has made deregulation and the notion that the free market is a cure all is the wrong choice for America today.

    And since there’s only two guys to choose from, makes my point pretty easy to make ;)

  20. WillyP says:

    Edgar, you must be very young. Of course at my age, everyone is very young! This trust of the marketplace is so child-like; a belief in the tooth fairy, if you will. Any business that has more than a carnivorous view of profit knows that regulation by a third party is essential to keep equilibrium and an opening for new opportunity in the marketplace. The problem, as I see it, is that the Reps. have long demonstrated the philosophy of “I’ve got mine, now screw you!” Unfortunately, the “free market” ideology rears its nasty head about every 30 years and a new generation of greed heads buys it and fouls up the system again.

    My hope is that this time, under an Obama administration, the country repudiates the foolishness of Reaganomics and institutes a truly responsible governmental relationship with the people. I want to see our civil rights restored, the business motif returned to its proper place (in the midst of our culture and not in front), a renewal of a culture of arts and ethics over economics (money feeds our bodies, but the arts and ethical behaviors feed our souls), the end to military adventures that are designed to protect the path of “our oil” from under “their sand,” and the expansion of Medicare to cover all people and end this health care mess we have created.

    Perkiset, you have done a very thorough job of reviewing the facts of this wart on our national butt. Keep it up. Your dad must be very proud of you.

  21. perkiset says:

    Thanks WP, I believe he is ;)

    The largest challenge to your argument about a return to balance (inc. arts et al) is that it seems Republicans understand the price of everything, but the value of nothing. They enjoy the bridges and roads that they use to get to work, but want nothing to do with paying for them. They received a decent education, but are unwilling to finance the next generation just as the previous one did them. (Side note, perhaps that’s why it’s called the Greatest Generation -not only did they give their blood and pain for WWII, they gave back to society in a way that created the world’s largest middle class). The selfish shortsightedness of their perspective is breathtaking and incredibly dangerous to our future.

    WP we need more voices like yours in the public square. I hope we hear from you more :)

  22. Edgar says:

    What is this an age game? The oldest guy is always right? Are you older then Reagan? Maybe you are! lol.

    Just so you all know, I’m 35 but I look 21. LMAO!!

  23. perkiset says:

    Youth is wasted on the young. And with time comes understanding.

    It is significant that someone who has actually seen and lived through different times weighs in. Knowing WP I’d wager that it’s not just his age that brings understanding, but his education, worldly knowledge and hard-earned experience. He is a man of profound understanding and extraordinarily gifted AND schooled.

    He is one to listen to, Edgar.

  24. Trent says:

    Hey perk….

    “It is significant that someone who has actually seen and lived through different times weighs in. Knowing WP I’d wager that it’s not just his age that brings understanding, but his education, worldly knowledge and hard-earned experience. He is a man of profound understanding and extraordinarily gifted AND schooled.”

    I read through this real quick and missed the “wp” and thought you were talking about Mcain. LOL

  25. Trent says:

    The United States Senate, May 25, 2006

    Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]: “Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

    The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac. …

    For Years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs— and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.”

    Democrats blocked reform twice. I guess even if Mcain IS for deregulation, he also has a great abunance of common sense.

    “In the summer of 2005, a bill emerged from the Senate Banking Committee that considerably tightened regulations on Fannie and Freddie, including controls over their capital and their ability to hold portfolios of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. All the Republicans voted for the bill in committee; all the Democrats voted against it. To get the bill to a vote in the Senate, a few Democratic votes were necessary to limit debate. This was a time for the leadership Sen. Obama says he can offer, but neither he nor any other Democrat stepped forward.

    Instead, by his own account, Mr. Obama wrote a letter to the Treasury Secretary, allegedly putting himself on record that subprime loans were dangerous and had to be dealt with. This is revealing; if true, it indicates Sen. Obama knew there was a problem with subprime lending — but was unwilling to confront his own party by pressing for legislation to control it. As a demonstration of character and leadership capacity, it bears a strong resemblance to something else in Sen. Obama’s past: voting present.” Peter Wallaison (WSJ)

    Enough said!!!

  26. Edgar says:

    Brilliant Trent and very convincing! It’s hard to argue with facts. This whole financial blip was caused by liberal democrats who basically sabotaged the economy by taking part in irresponsible deregulation.

    If they had just listened to Bush we would have been just fine. Sadly, the liberals first priority seems to be to make GWB look bad no matter what, even at the expense of the country. As long as they can fool the people into thinking it was GWB fault then all is well.

  27. Trent says:

    It certainly seems that way doesnt it. I really think once the smoke clears, GWB will go down in history as one of our best presidents. Just look at Reagan. It took his death, for everyone to REALLY look at how brilliant he was. It was the same shrill liberal cries, heard during his time in office, as we are hearing now. Time will reveal all. All that will be left is a pattern of poor misguided judgment from the socialist Democrats who want to make a “New” america, instead of embracing the same loving country we’ve had for years. “Change” isn’t always a good thing.

  28. Trent says:

    I was making note of how age, expierience, and wisdom can only seem to benifit, if you are part of the liberal agenda. Unless Perk is agreeing that John Mcain is better qualified to be president?

  29. braindonkey says:

    change isn’t always a good thing is not a valid argument to NOT change. I HATE when people do that. I will give you an example where NOT changing is the worst choice you can make.

    Go stand in the middle of a highway. Now… DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING.

    Change can be bad of course. But when things are broken, and causing grief, to not try something different is just as bad as intentionally picking something harmful.

    If you has a chair that you sat in every day, and it was hurting your back, badly, would you not try another chair, maybe one that promises to make things better? Or are you going to lie to me and say you’ll keep sitting on your torture device?

    If you had a rock in your shoe, irritating the hell out of you, hurting your foot. Would you not stop, take your shoe off, and remove the rock?

    And if you don’t think you have a rock in your shoe currently, or a chair that is hurting your back, in the President we currently have, please send me the drugs you take, because I need some.

    each is a valid point of view.

  30. Edgar says:

    You’re brainwashed by the main stream media Donkey! Totally brainwashed. Despite what the ‘news’ would have you think, Americans are not unhappy with the course our country is on. The are also not so unhappy about Bush. He’s kept us from getting attacked again and that’s the most important point to remember.

    The only thing that’s not going so good right now is the economy, and that was not Bushes fault. The executive is not the only branch.

    The main stream media has been on a 7 year smear campaign but ‘real’ people in America are happy with GWB.

    Liberals always want to change everything as often as possible and according to as many ideas as can present themselves. You want change? Ok, let’s put a Marxist in office hangs with genuine haters (Ayers, Wright, Flager) and who has ZERP experience. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea LMAO!!!!

  31. perkiset says:
    • This whole financial blip was caused by liberal democrats who basically sabotaged the economy by taking part in irresponsible deregulation.
    • GWB will go down in history as one of our best presidents.
    • Just look at Reagan. It took his death, for everyone to REALLY look at how brilliant he was.
    • Despite what the ‘news’ would have you think, Americans are not unhappy with the course our country is on. The are also not so unhappy about Bush.
    • The main stream media has been on a 7 year smear campaign but ‘real’ people in America are happy with GWB.
    • Ok, let’s put a Marxist in office hangs with genuine haters (Ayers, Wright, Flager) and who has ZERP experience. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea LMAO!!!!

    Holy smokes. The ignorance and incorrect meter has just PEGGED the needle.

    I can’t even take all of that seriously, it’s so blatantly wrong and based on supposition, not facts.

    Really – the public is happy with GWB? You’re really going to stand on that? Upon what are you basing that assertion?
    The fact that even Fox News has Bush at a 22% approval rating? That he is commonly known to be the most reviled president in modern history?
    The fact that McCain does EVERYTHING HE CAN to distance himself from Bush and the Bush Administration? Unfortunately, this sort of statement
    makes virtually anything else you say unbelievable. You’ve completed the decent from thinking debater to Republican water carrier.

    And the public things that things are good in the US? FFS you don’t really read anything at all, do you? There’s not a single news source
    ANYWHERE in the political spectrum that I can find which agrees with you. This of course requires the simple test of accountability and some
    semblance of respectability. I can certainly find demagogues and screamers that will agree with you, but who cares?

    @ Reagan: Trent he is not seen as brilliant, people swoon historically at the memory of him. Republicans particularly wish they had a man
    either in office or running for the office that, at the very least, had the political sense and savvy he did. He did no favors for our economy either,
    and in fact, we are still paying for his folly in the form of star wars and massive debt.

    You right wingers are sure looking desperate. That’s OK, I understand. Not only are you about to lose control, but the entire so-called conservative movement is
    about to complete its disintegration and implode. Your party will be doing a lot of soul searching and reinvention over the next decade.

  32. Edgar says:

    “the entire so-called conservative movement is
    about to complete its disintegration and implode. Your party will be doing a lot of soul searching and reinvention over the next decade.”

    Same thing was said to Burke and Later to Russell Kirk. Then 40 years later conservatives win 52 seats in congress.

    Perk do you ever get out of the house? I do and I talk to other people. That’s where you can get a feel for what real Americans think about GWB and the country as a whole. Not from MSNBC dude.
    Ignorant? Ignorant of what? Because I’m not a bleeding heart liberal metrosexual I’m ignorant.

    Bush won the war in Iraq which is good for America but bad for the liberals. They said it was ‘unwinnable’ The far left divisive leaders of France and Germany have been kicked to the curb and replaced with PRO AMERICAN types. Now they are all buddy buddy with Bush and America again.

    Those arrogant european liberals were really intolerant and divisive. Now with Sarkozy and Merkel in charge relations are great!

    So Bush is leaving office with America in favorable view in europe, a win in Iraq,prevented terrorist attacks on the home land, the Taliban on their way out, freedom in Afghanistan, success with north korea (without war)and a record of reaching across the isle. He even displayed penetrating insight with regards to the inevitable financial crisis that started with clinton and was helped along by barney frank…

    Bush is a courageous, determined and principled leader who lead America successfully through one of it’s darkest and most challenging periods, despite that fact that every liberal yahoo in america was desperately trying to cock-block everything he did. He outsmarted all of you liberals.

    You can’t believe everything you see on tv.

  33. perkiset says:
    Ignorant? Ignorant of what? Because I’m not a bleeding heart liberal metrosexual I’m ignorant.

    No Edgar, you are ignorant in this case because you think the public is still plenty happy with GWB, thinks the country is going the right way, that the way in Iraq has been “Won,” that Bush IN ANY WAY had something to do with Europe having a “better view of us” (say, do you think it might be that they are hopeful we’ll elect a real statesman like Obama instead?) and that Bush is a “Courageous, Determined and Principled Leader.”

    None of which is true, demonstrable or based on any sort of fact from this plane of existence. Your assertions are based upon your own supposition and have no connection to reality.

    Do I ever get out of the house? Do I ever talk to other people? No, Edgar, I am actually Eliza. I am a bot that is designed simply to assist you electronically during the difficult time you are beginning to sense you will need to endure. Have a nice day!


  34. Edgar says:

    Perk, you and I could be looking at a triangle and I will say, “it’s a triangle” and you would say, “Your assertions are based upon your own supposition and have no connection to reality”

    It’s a fact that Bush prevented terrorist attacks on the home land.

    It’s a fact that Bush is courageous as he made tough and unpopular decisions. He is principled because of that. Those are facts.

    He was labeled the most hated president ever etc etc etc yet got elected again in 2004. The news showed kerry ahead in the polls yet bush won despite the liberal media campaign. Those are facts.

    That is true and demonstrable and not based on my opinion. You can call a triangle a square and tell me that the media is not liberal but you’d be the only one to say that.

    After all of this noise making goes fades into history, a new generation will come up and look back and ask, “Who brought freedom to the afghanistan and iraq” and GWB will be the answer. He’ll be remembered with respect.

  35. braindonkey says:

    Edgar. fear got Bush re-elected in 2004. People have gotten over their fear, or have replaced it with a new one called the economy.

    Bush won the war? Why are we still there getting killed?

    Favorable view in Europe? Are you completely off your fucking rocker? Pretty much most of Europe thinks we are a bunch of pompous fuckwits who are danger to the rest of the world.

    You get out of the house and talk to people. Lol, who? your neighbors? I’m going to assume you live a GOP state, and if not, you must live in a GOP county. I live in a conservative state, AZ, and I can tell you, most of my friends are repubs who wish bush whould just go away already. See, polls try to get a feel from a large and diverse sample. Yes they may have what is called a “house lean” left or right, but that lean cannot explain 22%… The worst poll out there for pres currently has a 3-4% house lean.

  36. perkiset says:

    @ BD – Thanks for the shore up on the European perspective – forgot to add that to my post. Having just been there for 2 weeks I should have been more verbose. When was the last time you spent any time at all in Europe Edgar?

    @ True and Demonstrable: Again, just hilarious. No Edgar, I will not simply assert that you know dick about what you are saying, I will rely on information rather than your spouting.

    Here is the polling report on Bush’s approval rating. Currently he enjoys a slightly elevated 24% average among polls taken in the last 6 weeks, however if you’d like to see a whole lot of DATA rather than supposition, consult here:
    http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm Unless you would call virtually every reputable news organization in the country Elite Liberal News Media you’ll have a hard time discounting that one.

    Here is his presidential favorability ratings:

    Here is a nice set of data from PEW on Europe’s falling perception of us, unfortunately is only extends to 2006:

    Here is an article from June 2007 – it is only the International Herald, but it is supported by information gathered by PEW again amongst others, the title, “Global poll shows wide distrust of United States”
    or here’s one from the Desert News, a Salt Lake City newspaper quoting the work of the New York Times New Services:

    Bush took us to war on a lie. Many of our countrymen and women have died because not only did he lie, he miscalculated and obstinately did not listen to the voices of a lot of people that knew better than he, a Crusade in the middle east was a bad plan. You may romanticize the “war” and hold Bush in high esteem, but that does not make him principled, the war right or your supposition an accurate assessment of the US population. He is a spectacular failure who has sent on us a fools errand that has been breathtakingly expensive and disturbingly ignorant.

  37. perkiset says:

    Sorry, forgot one more thing, the “People are happy with the direction the country is going in” WAY wrong. Here the contemporary average is about 84.6% of people think we’re going the wrong way, with a deviation of only a few points. Pretty damning, all in all:

  38. Trent says:

    Is it a fact that GWB, and the republicans tried to pass regulation on F+F in 2005(Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act), while the democrats lied to cover up the trouble F+F was in, and put all their efforts into blocking said regulation.

    Is it a fact that the presidents first priorty above all else is safety to the country and it’s citizens.

    Is it a fact that GWB has protected america with every bit of power he has.

    Is it a fact that he did such a good job that america voted him in a second time.

    Is it a fact that we HAVE won the war in iraq.
    Yes. (we a currently in the painfull process of rebuilding, like we always do after a war. Or perk do you think we should just resort to unethical methods of war, and just blow every one up and walk away?)

    Is it a fact that GWB has enacted large tax cuts. 1.35 trillion dollars, one of the biggest tax cuts in the history os the us(Bush argued that unspent government funds should be returned to taxpayers, saying “the surplus is not the government’s money. The surplus is the people’s money.” (that MONSTER)

    Is it a fact that GWB declared the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a national monument, creating the largest marine reserve to date. (84 Million acres. He must be one of you crazy liberals deep down roflmao: )

    Is it a fact that GWB holds the highest approval rating in the history of presidents….ever! (92%)

  39. Trent says:

    I love FACTS!!!

  40. Edgar says:

    WOW Trent! You have proven there are always two sides to a story. Well done!

    @Donkey, last month ZERO soldiers were killed in combat! Zero. None. We won the war like Bush said we would. I KNOW it kills you to be wrong but just be glad for the country.

    “Pretty much most of Europe thinks we are a bunch of pompous fuckwits who are danger to the rest of the world.”

    Donkey, that’s your anti american opinion and NOT a fact. You’re just projecting your anti americanism on to the europeans. I converse with many european bloggers on a daily basis. Some hate Bush, some don’t.

    I live in Massachusetts, home of Kennedy and Kerry.

    @Perk “No Edgar, I will not simply assert that you know dick about what you are saying, I will rely on information rather than your spouting.”

    Getting emotional perk? Liberals are prone to emotional outbursts. That’s why liberals are liberals anyhow, they reason emotionally. Like woman.

    Your “information” is selective. You only hear the information you want to hear. I’ve never been polled and neither has anyone else I know. Do you know who has been polled and by who? Pollsters have an agenda. Money makes the world go around.

    “Bush took us to war on a lie.” Yeah OK. Far left bullshit. That’s the kind of thing that only CODE PINK is still hanging on to. All your european buddies came to the same conclusion as Bush!

    Was it a lie that Saddam was in violation of his ass saving treaty? Too many people into the pencil sharpeners and karma came back to bite him in the ass. It’s a fact that Sadddam was in clear violation for 12 years including shooting at NATO planes etc…

    That’s a FACT perk. It’s history and it’s FACT. Deny it if it makes you feel better.


    Does your use of this strange word have anything to do with hating christians and trying to lump old Georgie in with the right wing christians? Are you really against this war because you view it as a Christian Crusade? Twisted man.

    You deny facts perk. Poll results are not facts, they indicate possibilities.

  41. Trent says:

    Lets not forget that the liberal media is not a source for facts. On the contrary, they more often provide biased opinion with implication that they are facts. That is why reasonable conservitives dont invoke such things, like “Fox news said” and other such foundationless nonsense. And yes Edgar good point. Polls are simply reflections of possibilities. Sheer truth. Something most liberals cannont stand.

  42. vsloathe says:

    Not my original material, Maddox said it first:

    “Whiny, bitching, cry-baby conservatives love to prattle on and on about the “liberal media.” To be fair, except for FOX News (Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, John Gibson, Neil Cavuto, Steve Doocy, E.D. Hill, Brian Kilmeade, Brit Hume), Clear Channel, Laura Ingraham, Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, Ann Coulter, Newsmax, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, Michael Savage, The New York Post, Sinclair Broadcast Group (WLOS13, Fox 45, WTTO21, WB49, KGAN, WICD, WICS, WCHS, WVAH, WTAT, WSTR, WSYX, WTTE, WKEF, WRGT, KDSM, WSMH, WXLV, WURN, KVWB, KFBT, WDKY, WMSN, WVTV, WEAR, WZTV, KOTH, WYZZ, WPGH, WGME, WLFL, WRLH, WUHF, KABB, WGGB, WSYT, WTTA), David Horowitz, Rupert Murdoch, PAX, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, they’re right.”

  43. braindonkey says:

    Holy crap. Do i see dancing pink elephants? This must be Fantasia.

    @won war.
    I do not think that not being there = win. I do think that control = win. We do not have control. We have SOME control. A war is not won with SOME control. There are still large areas we do not go, because it is TOO DANGEROUS. That is not a won war.

    @europe opinion.
    I have traveled Europe. I speak with a few Europeans here and there. My mother and father spend the summers in europe and always end up talking about Politics. I have friends here, who have family in Europe or are themselves in Europ. When I say that Europe thinks we are just a bunch of pompous fuckwits, i am not just spouting a made up opinion like you two seem to be doing. This is what the majority of Europeans think. They feel we have an inept president, who is dangerous, on a crusade, putting the rest of the world at risk. They do think that he is doing what HE thinks is right, but of course they disagree with it. They are surprised to meet and speak with an American who understands that there IS a WORLD VIEW. Of course you can find some who don’t hold this view, but that number is dwindling fast. It is understood when you speak of a very large social group that you are speaking in generalities, unless you specify an amount. Europe thinks we are morons = Most of Europe thinks we are morons.

    @Massachusetts. Ah… so it’s backlash ignorance then. got it :P

  44. perkiset says:

    Incredible! I provide links to polls and research from virtually all major news sources in the United States clearly, CLEARLY backing up my point. Trent comes back and says that GWB has the highest approval rating of any president (92%), not backed up by anything at all (and, patently false). Edgar comes back and says that Trent has PROVEN THE POINT!

    My god you two are amazing. This is absolutely silly. Bring some data, not your talking points or opinions. Just because you both capitalize and repeat “FACT” does not make it so, unless you just want it to be so. You’ve now demonstrated that you are absolutely immune to facts, data, or even reality. No wonder our country is in such trouble.

    @ BD – Dancing pink elephants… did you intend that to be a pretty damn funny sideswipe at the Republican mascot? Nicely done LOL

    @VSloathe There’s the problem. You come up with incomplete, unsupported lists like that and all they have to do is say, “Nu-uh!” and you’re wrong. You must also simply believe the Liberal Media Elite in this country. Watch! Here it comes!

    Trent: You’re a repeater of blather and want to sound like you know something, but you’re pseudo-logic does not change reality. Edgar, having agreed with Trent’s unsupported opinions with such vigor makes it clear you are swayed by propaganda easily rather than being at all curious and figuring things out for yourself. My god, boys – you both really enjoy your hate and anger, huh?

  45. vsloathe says:

    I will always laugh every time I hear someone talk about “The Liberal Media”. LOL

    What a bogeyman.

  46. Edgar says:

    Just proves my point when you can list every non liberal person in the media in one paragraph.

    Donkey in response to me saying that we won the war you said, “Bush won the war? Why are we still there getting killed?”

    My response was a fact that zero soldiers were killed LAST MONTH. Now you switch to control.

    Perk, I did bring data when I presented the facts. Read what I wrote. Don’t just gloss over it and tell me I didn’t present facts ie Iraq+Resolutions etc.

    It’s a fact that Bush proposed a measure to reign in F+F and the libs (Frank, Maxine and Mell Watts)flushed it and the economy down the toilet.

    It’s a matter of record. You’re deflecting reality.

  47. perkiset says:

    @ “every non-liberal person in the media in one paragraph” – that’s his point man. That’s a HUGE list of extremely non-liberal stations and personalities. Where is your “Liberal Media Elite?”

    “Deflecting Reality”

    No, you’re cherry picking, then coloring the cherries. Also avoiding anything that I present. You’re here trying to make a global point from pin points. You’re desperate to create bogeymen to support your antiquated and incorrect thesis because neither facts, conventional wisdom or popular opinion back you up.

  48. vsloathe says:

    Rupert Murdoch just about owns it all, man. And he’s a conservative. Mind you, I’m sure he’s an *actual* Goldwater fiscal conservative, and not a neocon.

    If there are any “liberal” media outlets, it’s just for ratings. Plain and simple. It’s all entertainment these days, and none of it is worth your attention or especially mine.

    Read a book or two.

  49. braindonkey says:

    @pink elephants. yep, a double entendre as it were.

    @dead soldiers and winning the war.
    Ok, fine then. Where in the fuck are you getting no US soldiers died last month?
    It was one of the lowest, yes, but NOT ZERO.

    So thankfully all YOU did was prove perks point that you are just spouting bullshit.

  50. perkiset says:

    To people that want to make a point NBs, the lives of 13 soldiers is really meaningless and an unfortunately non-corroborative fact. They will dress that in something else quickly, just you watch.

  51. braindonkey says:

    meh whatever. 5 died due to non hostile. 8 died hostile. Aside from that, the wound stats are not out yet.

  52. Trent says:



    8th page. 10/09/2001

    But I would have guessed through all your research you would have come across this and would have known. But I guess if you have tunnel vision, then you probably only find what your looking for.

    Wether or not you can see through your own liberal rage, doesnt change THE FACTS! Take the blinders off Perk!

    Brain Donkey
    Where do I begin…
    I beleive what your implying is that the “few” european people you talk to are so ignorant, or self indulgent in the own supposed brilliance, that they cant fathom the fact that they do not have any better world view just simply because they are not americans. This is the same old USA hating that underlines most “Liberal” arguments. Constantly trying to make the country better and different. Never satisfied, until we all hold hands and sing koom ba ya by the fire after playing a great game of dodge ball where “everybody wins”.

    Thats nonsense,opinional,liberal jargen with NO FACTS!!

    If they dont like our country we should change it to make THEM happy??!!

    You sound like one of those guys who carries his girlfreinds purse for her everywhere you go.

  53. Trent says:

    I just now looked back at what I wrote, and i meant to write held not holds. My apologies.

  54. Edgar says:


    “If there are any “liberal” media outlets, it’s just for ratings. Plain and simple. It’s all entertainment these days, and none of it is worth your attention or especially mine.”

    So basically you’re saying that all of the news outlets are junk, and I agree with you.


    Your link says 8 soldiers died in combat, and I found another that said 7 in combat. So I guess there were combat deaths last month, however I got that info from cnn when it was breaking news. Now it’s been clarified. So thank for pointing that out as every soldier counts!

    However it does not crush my point that the war if over. More US citized died in car accidents last month than died ‘in the war’

    The war is over and the enemy defeated thanks to McCain and Bushes surge.

  55. perkiset says:

    LOL @ Trent and that link: so, what you’re corroborating is that people are unhappy with the direction of the war, cannot trust Bush with resolution of it and the Democrats now fall into that boat as well? Did you even read and look at all the charts on the page or simply see the highlights that look like Dems in congress are disliked as much as Bush?

    @ Trent @ Donkey: You’re really going to assert that Europeans are ignorant, or self indulgent, or “Hating Liberals” ? You’re really going to do that? What, I’ll bet you live in some backwards ass Red state and probably don’t even have a passport. And do they have an English class at the high school you’re attending or did you manage to skip it for auto shop? “Carries his girfriend’s purse around?” You’ve just GOT to be a plant. You can’t be for real.

    @ Edgar on “The war is over” – the fact that more Americans died in auto collisions last month than the war is your logical way of saying it’s over? The enemy is defeated?

    The problem is that you’ve been supported by about 8 years of lies from the Bush administration, you don’t know or even seem to care if your assertions are accurate or based on reality. You are continually asserting your opinions and do not offer anything that actually supports a position.

    In fact, I couldn’t be more supported in my position than by people simply reading yours.

  56. braindonkey says:

    and there are more US citizens than there are soldiers. You have a 1 in 85000 chance of being killed in the US in a car accident each month (300mil people, 42800 deaths/year). Soldiers in Iraq have a 1 in 25000 chance of being killed by hostiles last month (used 200k soldiers and 8 deaths). I’ll drive thanks.

    Look. I do not believe that we should just pack up and leave. Never said that. I do think we need a plan to leave, with a timeline. Not a “we will leave when it’s done” plan.

    @trent. I got lost in your blizzard of words there, but I will muddle through.
    I did NOT say Europeans hate liberals, or are ignorant. Matter of fact, I think typical europeans have a much better understanding of world politics than the typical US person does. They do not hate the USA, but they do think we have lost our way and become pompous, arrogant, assholes. They see hope in Obama, that they may see the return of the great world leader they once had. Whether of not it happens is irrelevant, but they see the hope.

    If you are so ignorant as to not understand why it does matter what the world thinks of us, you are just putting yourself in a separationist category. You are being that stereo typical american who blasts their lenerd skynerd chucking their beer cans in the swimming pool, wearing the wife beater with pizza stains on it, sporting a mullet. If the world does not like us, they do not come here to vacation, flowing money in to us instead of out. If leaders do not like us, we pay higher trade tariffs. We are less likely to gain sway in affecting those terrorist nations you are so afraid of as well. We need friends, not people that our leader refers to as “those guys”.

    @purse. And you probably that cock in the store that makes the woman carry everything. Did mommie not love you enough?

    @dodgeball. Seriously? you don’t want that? I’m gonna play the nerd card here… You don’t want the Star Trek future? Because currently we have the Star Wars future we are heading to.

  57. perkiset says:

    @ Trek vs Wars: roflmao: well played BD

  58. braindonkey says:

    Thank you. I’m here all week.

  59. jairez says:

    Great read … lots of good info on all sides. You want facts? Here you go.

    Congress told Pres. Junior “if you want to go to war, you need to tell us why in writing.” So, he lied to them claiming Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

    “.. acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”


    FACT: We won the war.
    The President said so on May 1st, 2003 aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln


    But we’re losing the OCCUPATION. In fact, no one’s been successful in modern times with occupying a foreign land – especially one with the supply-line challenges of being a world away.

    Europeans are much more familiar with struggles our young country has never experienced. Invasions, 2 World Wars, imperialistic policies of past leaders/regimes … I wouldn’t be so cavalier as to discount their views as “opinions” If they were technologists their experience would qualify them as Subject Matter Experts.

    @Bush’s 92% approval ratings
    I don’t believe it was THAT high, but Pres. Junior did indeed enjoy the benefit of some of the highest approval ratings of any President immediately following 9/11. However, to try and trot that out NOW is absolutely disingenuous because it’s demonstrably untrue given today’s challenges and political environment. Can anyone say “red herring.”

    Smoking causes a repeat of 9/11 deaths EVERY DAY. Where’s the anger at the tobacco companies? Shouldn’t we go after them? Or are they somehow exempted because they’re the devil we know (and make $$ from)?

    Lastly, I would caution any reliance on Iraq war casualty figures coming from the Pentagon. It’s been long known that while KIA in the field are counted, if a soldier dies outside the theater of battle (e.g. on a plane to Germany or in a hospital outside Iraq), they are most likely NOT included in the casualty counts.

    Arizona conservative, radio personality, and Bush-Blair apologist Paul Harvey publicly warned in 2005 that the casualty counts presented by the Pentagon simply don’t jive with reports from other reputable sources. His counts put us at 4,076 in July, 2005.


    – ja


  60. perkiset says:

    Wow JA, nice to have you back! Excellent post and very well backed up. I like the parallel of the smoking deaths particularly.

    This is really going to be interesting. One of my younger brothers (the political operative in San Francisco) made an interesting comment yesterday about the blather we are seeing here and all over the place. He opined that the right wing has been able to pretty much dominate the political narrative, and attitude, for so long that they have forgotten (or simply don’t understand) that facts and reality are required reading. Additionally, a real political argument is aided if you have a set of real core values, and balance natural self-centeredness with an empathy for society. Neither of which quality seem to exhibit themselves in the body politic of the right wing.

    @ Won the War: I completely get your sarcasm and reference to the occupation – but I also wonder if the entire notion of “war” has changed. Certainly, capital W War will never change or disappear, but the way we engage conflict (or are engaged) is very different today than in was circa 1940. I’d argue that we were never “At War” this time – especially in the classic sense – we were simply invading another country and now, as you point out, are occupying it. So if we wrap the entire notion of “Country Conversion” into “War” (as seems we have) then I’d again assert that we have not won, because you cannot disentangle the occupation from the initial military efforts.

    Of course, this would make GWB a liar. And who wants to assert that?


  61. jairez says:

    Also, I meant to add that “accidental deaths” are also not counted as “casualties of war.” So traffic accidents, suicides, overdoses and electrocutions are not counted – which makes no sense to me. Would those people have been in Iraq were it not for war? Would they have taken their own lives if not for their experiences in Iraq? If the answer is no, then guess what? … casualty of war.

    I suspect the Pentagon doesn’t count them for 2 reasons – and this is totally my opinion.

    1. Lower counts keep the civilian support alive.
    2. Having to possibly remunerate a family with death benefits makes this war MUCH more costly and less palatable to the civilians in point 1.

    I read this story in the Arizona Republic and it broke my heart – this is DEFINITELY a casualty of war, but won’t be counted as such.


  62. Edgar says:

    “Look. I do not believe that we should just pack up and leave. Never said that. I do think we need a plan to leave, with a timeline. Not a “we will leave when it’s done” plan.”

    So you are saying we should leave before it’s done?

    @perk and the war

    Perk, until a year ago the war was the top voting issue and top political debating issue as well. Now it’s subsided to the point that it’s a complete non issue in this election. Why is that? Because it’s over. It’s not going to take a hero to bring the boys back home at this point.

    12 out of 18 provinces under Iraqi control, lowest death toll since the war started and the country is getting quite back to normal minues the rape rooms and human pencil sharpeners.

    @Bush Lied

    Bush had the same info that everybody else in the world had, even the europeans and we know they are never wrong. WMD were just one of the reasons we went to war so don’t forget that.


    The masters of mediocrity. The euros don’t have a better understanding of world opinion than anybody else. It doesn’t matter that those countries have been through lots of governing systems because it’s all history.

    The only thing that europeans have figured out is that socialism hasn’t been working out so well hence they are rolling back quite a few of those socialist policies.

    Other than that, europeans know what they read in their school books and that’s it, just like america. Let’s not forget that those cock suckers in europe have been responsible for more death than anyone or anywhere else in the history of the world. They can never get it right, they are always fighting and you can’t even take a good shit over there because they haven’t figured out modern plumbing yet.

    Truth is America is the most successful country ever and the system used to achieve that success should be studied and replicated by the rest of the world.

    Let me make this analogy perk and NB:

    it’s like seo. The world is the niche and the USA is in position one in Google, yahoo and msn. Europe is on page 2. Who’s backlinks and seo should you try to learn from? From position one or position 12?

    Position one right? It’s common sense that if you are going to make a blueprint you should copy the winners not the losers.

    I was waiting to vote today and there was this young girl next to me. We started talking about who we are voting for and she told me Obama. I asked her why and she said because we need change. I asked her what exactly she had in mind and she had no answer. Then she finally told me her mother was voting for Obama because she’s on welfare and thinks she has the system beat!

    I told her I was voting for McCain because he was closer to the middle than obama. Surprisingly she found my answer to be a good one and she changed her vote to McCain! LMAO!!!!

    I think she just wanted to make her mommy mad. LMAO!!!! You just gotta love these younger voters.


  63. braindonkey says:

    Yep jairez about the counts. Thats why, my numbers have even more impact against the car crash point.

    why are they on page 2? because you say so? That’s an idiotic supposition and analogy. We are on page 3 for an assload of things. like infant mortality to pick one off the top of my head. Your generic supposition that we are #1 and they are on page 2 holds no water except in military might.

  64. perkiset says:

    “Now it’s subsided to the point that it’s a complete non issue in this election. Why is that? Because it’s over. It’s not going to take a hero to bring the boys back home at this point.”
    No, it’s because people are more worried about their own checkbooks than they are Iraq. They can no longer be swayed by fear of bad guys in a foreign land when they are scared enough that they will not be able to retire. It’s a pretty standard Maslow’s hierarchy model. Is the war in Afghanistan over? Big no. But it is utterly forgotten in the US. The US’ memory has nothing to do with the status of our wars.

    @ Bush Lied: “Bush had the same data as everyone else.”
    Immaterial. The world community nearly begged him to sit down, shut up and let the various monitoring entities finish their work. If he hadn’t shot his wad early, we’d not be in a war because we would know that there were no WMDs. It is pretty clearly outlined that he was looking for a way to link 9-11 to Iraq within hours of the attack and without a shred of evidence. The fact that we’ve changed the reason for staying about half a dozen times should be evidence enough.

    @ Europeans and Socialism: Actually, they have discovered that many aspects of socialism work much better than a straight capitalist model. Hence, the health structures of the western European countries. The blather about “Europe tried those Socialist things and are rolling them back” is cherry picking and does not address the overarching political climate.

    “Let’s not forget that those cock suckers in Europe have been responsible for more death than anyone else or anywhere else in the history of the world”
    Perhaps in aggregate, over close to 2000 years of history. However, you’d be hard pressed to find a European country that has managed to create more death than us in our short, couple hundred year history – barring Germany, of course. But the Third Reich can hardly be called representative of “Europe.”

    @ Young Voter: Ah, stupidity in voters. You right wingers have been relying on that for so long I have no doubt you smell it. Obviously, if someone can be swayed by as stupid and incorrect a statement as “McCain is closer to the middle than Obama” then I have a wristwatch I’d like to sell her. However I’d wager she simply acquiesced because she wanted you to stop talking to her.

    Probably still pulled the lever for Obama while in the booth :P

  65. jairez says:

    @”I told her I was voting for McCain because he was closer to the middle than obama.”

    The problem here is that ever since Reagan (and rapidly accelerating into today), the line has shifted so far to the right that even moderate positions appear so far removed they’re considered radically liberal.

    Want to know the ORIGINAL definition of “liberal?”

    “What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label ‘Liberal?’ If by ‘Liberal’ they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer’s dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of ‘Liberal.’ But if by a ‘Liberal’ they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a ‘Liberal,’ then I’m proud to say I’m a ‘Liberal.’” – JFK, 9/14/1960

    As am I … proud to say I am a Liberal.


    (damn I’m old :( )

  66. jairez says:

    @Liberal – I forgot to point out. THAT liberal came within 5 minutes of nuking the Soviet Union.

    (I know … pussy, huh?) roflmao:

  67. perkiset says:

    That’s a beautiful quote JA and I’m all behind it – but the real original definition was from the prototype Liberal, John Locke at the turn of the 17th century LOL.

    That makes you REALLY old. roflmao:

  68. jairez says:

    eh?!? …. what’s that sonny?!?!?


  69. Trent says:

    WHOA! The razor sharp blade of the surgucal knife of truth has cut deep and struck a liberal nerve, causing massive waves of liberal hysteria!!

    And i really wish you wouldnt invoke poor ol’ JFK into ‘modern liberalism’
    After all… accoring to his sister he would have was against abortion.

    Although Hitler WAS for abortion…hmmmm!
    isn’t that a coincidence! :?


    He (JFK) was also a member of the N.R.A.

    In 1962 JFK gave a speech at Rice University. In this speech he outlined the goals for putting a man on the moon, and he said,

    “No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space.”

    I suppose by “leader of other nations” he couldnt possibly mean ‘if other nations dont like us… then we should change until they do”

    And your right. He was ready to nuke Russia!

    I guess the modern day liberals would have picketed and protested at this awful monster for propagading massive amounts of innocent deaths! roflmao:

    Bush lied, Bush lied, Bush lied!!

    Wow I read this alot, and I still havnt seen any of you narrow minded liberals point out the amount of times your hero Obama has lied !!



    How can your liberal hatred blind you you so much, that you’ve become so narrow minded and ignorant. The liberal strategy is easy.

    1. Tollerance: Demand tollerance! scream, cry, whine, picket, and throw liberal tantrums until tollerence is achieved. (it’s the gateway drug)

    2. Acceptance: same as 1. but much easier beacuse your already a third of the way there.

    3. Dominance: Now try to convince your pray that they are dumb, and weak. Confuse them until they agree with you.
    Then… assimulate them!!!

  70. vsloathe says:

    Well there weren’t WMDs if you don’t count the 112 some odd manufacturing plants that Reagan and Maggie gave Saddam all the materiel to build.

    But we ignored those when we went in, and in 2006 1 in 8 trucks crossing the Syrian border scanned radioactive.


    …the shit you can find out from reading books freely available from the Library of Congress will make you unable to sleep at night, guys.

  71. perkiset says:

    “Liberal hatred blind you so much”
    “Narrow minded liberals”

    :sigh: I guess the fact that when Obama was named at McCain’s concession speech last night there was booing, yet when McCain was mentioned at Obama’s speech there was a reverent applause really does demonstrate who the haters are.

    Last night we saw what real leadership looks like. You can rant all you want, be we all saw it. Obama will be the spearhead on a massive change in the way we (the US) operates and is perceived by the world.

    BTW: Liberals BY DEFINITION are open minded. Liberalism created the United States Constitution and the notion of self governance.

    Trent you’re no better than Billo the Clown or any other right wing water carriers. And you’re so very worried about the right-wing losing control that you’ll use anything that even looks like an argument to try and sway people.

  72. jairez says:

    @Liberalism created the United States Constitution and the notion of self governance.

    This is something often lost on (frankly) MOST Americans. The fact is the conservatives in the then Colonies were solidly against the American Revolution because many (if not most) had investments both here and in England that would be forfeited if they supported the war. In fact, a great number of them communicated regularly with the British against our Continental Army in an effort to show the King they were loyal to the empire and, hopefully, not lose their valued posessions. So history shows us the conservatives have traditionally been about me/mine first and everything else (country included?) have to come afterward.

    That’s not my opinion, nor is it revisionist history. That’s simply the way it was and with a little bit of modification, still remains today.

    @ “I guess the modern day liberals would have picketed and protested ”

    Trent – you’re right, but only if the cause were not justified. And liberals will do so against ANY governmental injustice regardless of party (see 1969 – 72 for proof). The outward appearance of conservatives is they will (for the most part) blindly follow the conservatives in charge almost no matter how wrong their leaders are. While protest is not the sole property of the liberals it is indeed most often practiced by them.

  73. braindonkey says:

    trent. that blog you point to is the biggest piece of propaganda shit i have ever seen. Is it against the GOP mindset to not make things ugly? sheesh. I read of few random entries, and frankly again its all cherry picking to make a truth that does not actually exist. But you believe what you want. the country spoke, not just winning by electorate, but also by majority, unlike Bush.

  74. Trent says:

    “Liberalism created the United States Constitution and the notion of self governance.”

    True. The difference between modern liberalism and the Liberalism your speaking of is this…

    Back then, liberals thought the United States and it’s policies were the answer to the worlds problems. NOW… liberals think are polies are flawed so badley that we are the cause of the worlds problems.

    Liberals (since the 60′s) have been championing the causes of what ever underdog will give them more attention.
    If this were not the case, then why havnt the ‘liberals’ championed the causes 100 years ago. I mean… homosexuality was around then wasnt it?
    Why didnt they champion the cause of womans rights?
    Woman have been around a while…right!?
    What about those whales? where was the soap box when they were being hunted (from the 11th century to the 20th century)?
    Now I’m not going to lead you to believe that everything liberals fight for is bad, but if you throw 100 darts your bound to hit the board once in a while. This doesnt mean the reasoning is correct.
    I beleive they(modern liberals..aka ML) justify, entirely to much, to allow themselves to feel better about the racy lifestyles they lead.
    Now before you go off in a tizzy, I am speaking about the majority, not the excepiton to the rule. (so that one guy you know, whos a freind of a freinds, freind doesnt count here!)

  75. edgar says:

    @Donkey said,

    “why are they on page 2? because you say so? That’s an idiotic supposition and analogy. We are on page 3 for an assload of things. like infant mortality to pick one off the top of my head. Your generic supposition that we are #1 and they are on page 2 holds no water except in military might.”

    Why are they on page 2? We have more power than anyone else politically, militarily and economically. We lead the world in the industrial revolution too.

    Infant mortality…perfect! Who needs another baby in this “over-populated” world of ours? Evolution is a bitch eh?

    Donkey are you saying that we are not number one in the world? Then who is?

    @Liberalism old and modern

    The old libs were almost libertarian in their thought and approach. Liberalism has changed so much that you can’t compare old school with new school.

    As trent rightly pointed out above the difference between old school libs and new school libs is that Jefferson, FDR and JFK thought America was the answer to the worlds problems and not the cause.

  76. perkiset says:

    @ Trent: Why didn’t Liberals fight for gay rights 100 years ago? You mean during the time that women and liberals were simply fighting for their right to vote and we had only recently dispensed with the idea that Blacks are only 3/5s of a person? You mean back then?

    “Back then liberals thought the US and it’s policies were the answer the world’s problems, now liberals think our policies are so flawed that we are the cause of world problems [sic]”
    Well, if the shoe fits man. Here’s the deal: Liberals are not “stuck” like you are into a single paradigm. Back then, the US was a beacon of hope and, to a large extent, acted responsibly (or at least more responsibly) in a largely un-globalized world.

    Today, we still do extraordinarily great things around the world, and we also do extraordinarily awful things around the world. It is BECAUSE we have the potential and capability to be great that we must be, and must cast a light upon things about us which are wrong.

    @Edgar: “Who needs another baby? Evolution is a bitch?” Did you actually just type those words? You’re even worse than I’d imagined. Your lack of understanding, empathy and compassion make clear your other arguments. Wouldn’t wanna be in your shoes when Karma comes a’callin…

  77. braindonkey says:

    Who is #1 you ask? how the hell do you actually measure that? money? death age? birth rate? See, thats the point, there is no number 1, but it is obviously so freaking important to the simpletons that someone is. It’s hard for simple people to understand you can be the best at something and still be a loser.

    Case in point. World of Warcraft, I am sure has someone that plays it that is by ALL accounts, #1, and they are a loser.

    we are horrible for so many metrics that we lyingly proclaim leadership in. Workplace standards, healthcare, education, just to name a few.

  78. Trent says:

    “Well, if the shoe fits man. Here’s the deal: Liberals are not “stuck” like you are into a single paradigm. Back then, the US was a beacon of hope and, to a large extent, acted responsibly (or at least more responsibly) in a largely un-globalized world. ”

    “You mean during the time that women and liberals were simply fighting for their right to vote and we had only recently dispensed with the idea that Blacks are only 3/5s of a person? You mean back then?”

    very contradicting to imply how we were primitive to call a black person 3/5 of a person, during a time we were acting more responsibly… isn’t it?

    “we are horrible for so many metrics that we lyingly proclaim leadership in. Workplace standards, healthcare, education, just to name a few.”

    Really!! Then who is?