The Morning Grumpy – July 7th

7 Jul

Yesterday, I wrote that I would give a more in-depth analysis of the Buffalo ReUse story that ran in Tuesday’s edition of The Buffalo News. Well, I didn’t have time to get to it. So, I’ll put it off another day. I need to set aside the time to get properly and righteously indignant before writing the story and I was just too damn busy yesterday to do it. So, see you tomorrow. How’s that for a cliffhanger? I’m sure you all give a shit…

On to the news for your morning grumpy. Fair warning, I’m in full angry liberal mode today, so the following should reflect my mood.

1. Fired Up! Ready To Go! Hope and Change! Yesterday, President Obama put Social Security cuts on the table in negotiations with the GOP over the debt ceiling. Calling Obama a liberal is like calling me thin. Still no real progress on repealing those Bush tax cuts, raising marginal tax rates on the wealthiest 1% of American to Clinton era rates, closing overseas tax loopholes for corporations or, ya know, fighting for anything that would resemble a progressive liberal economic agenda. President Obama is the absolute worst negotiator in recent memory.

Rinse. Repeat.

2. Here’s a few charts that underscore the economic debate in this country and why the overwhelming majority of people in this country don’t know enough about it to have an opinion.


3. We’re 23rd! We’re 23rd! America, Fuck Yeah! USA! USA! USA! Let’s keep focusing on building up Afghani and Iraqi infrastructure.

4. Questions about the new same-sex marriage law in New York State? Well, the NYCLU has all the answers in their guide to the new law.

5. Would you like to know what your internet history tells Google about you? How your content preferences influence what ads they present to you and the order in which they present search results? Would you like to opt-out of letting Google in on this information? If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, click here. BTW, I have it on good authority that Mike In WNY is a fanatic for topless Ayn Rand photos.

6. Somebody woke up Bill Clinton and it turns out he’s pissed. Showing our current President how to handle the Republicans, he said, “The Republicans who control the House and have a lot of pull in the Senate have now decided, having quadrupled the debt in 12 years before I took office and doubled it after I left, that it’s all of a sudden the biggest problem in the world.”

7. Taxes are low, interest rates are low, corporations are sitting on $2 trillion in cash – but nothing “trickles down.”.  So, clearly, the answer is more tax cuts.

8. Eliot Spitzer was fired by CNN yesterday. What’s next for Client 9? Will he run for Mayor of New York City?

Have a day!

13 Responses to “The Morning Grumpy – July 7th”

  1. RaChaCha July 7, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    Now that he’s a free agent, will you be signing Spitzer–?

  2. Ethan July 7, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    #2: I hear the gap doesn’t matter and we’re all going to be rich someday and anyway, taxation is theft.  So what’s the problem?

  3. Brian Castner July 7, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    If everyone is rich no one is rich, and then who would you have to kick around?

    Alt question: do some people have to be rich for the general standard of living of everyone to improve? I’d love to read a study on that.

  4. Mike In WNY July 7, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Sorry to disappoint you Chris, but google is not show any ad preferences based on my history

    “Nothing trickles down” due to the uncertainty over possible changes to the tax rates.

    • Alan Bedenko July 7, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      Mike, just about everything you write is unsupported by facts or reason.

  5. Mike In WNY July 7, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    My statement is based on human behavior.

    • Alan Bedenko July 7, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      Ah, anthropological libertarian theory. No one’s favorite!

  6. Christopher Smith July 7, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Right, anecdotal, experiential evidence. Thanks for admitting it’s not based on facts or reason.

  7. Ethan July 7, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    “If everyone is rich no one is rich, and then who would you have to kick around?”

    Your tongue-in-cheek question assumes that the motivation for pointing this out is to have someone to kick around.  Since it was/is a rhetorical question, I don’t really need to address it, but really… it’s not about trying to find someone to kick around.  

    Beyond that, if the alternative to to write about “teh poors,” and to go on about their lack of work ethic and inability to assume personal responsibility absent a larger sociological, economic, historical and political context, then I’d argue there’s plenty of kicking around going on in both directions, anyway.

    (NB: I am not claiming that you personally have made any or all of these arguments, Brian; but all of them have been made, on this site even.)

    “Alt question: do some people have to be rich for the general standard of living of everyone to improve? I’d love to read a study on that.”

    I don’t know if that makes any sense… more than that, I am sure there are too many variables to quantify, nowhere near enough agreement on how any of them would be operationalized, and most especially: it can’t be done experimentally, so it would be very hard to interpret causal relationships between variables.  

    You are obsessed with the standard of living of the poor, it’s the core of your argument against caring about The Gap that today’s poverty is in some way “better” than yesterday’s, but I think that is a red herring.  The more relevant issue is whether widening political and financial inequality is really commensurate with our purported Democratic ideals.  

    Capitalism and Democracy make strange bedfellows.

  8. Tracy Diina July 7, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Ignoring the other comments (despite my Libertarianism and friendship with Mike in WNY), I really want to know what happened to Buffalo ReUse–and want to see if I can help in any way.

  9. Brian Castner July 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    @ Ethan – well, it was tongue-in-cheek, so I’ll leave the first part alone, but to the second, I think it is pretty relevant. The question is – is the profit motive (and the ability to be rich) required to drive innovation and technological development that ultimately benefits all? Understanding that more drives personal ambition than profit, I still think you could compare rates of technoligical innovation in more capitalistic societies and more communistic ones. You would not get a black and white answer, but I bet there is a trend. Or maybe not? That’s why you do the research. In the cold war, soviet cars were famously bad, and US comparatively great, but I’d like a little more evidence than I can find in a Tom Clancy novel.

    Also, this: The standard of living is a red herring if you consider the primary issue to be the comparative political power of the rich and poor. However, if like me, you consider the primary issue to be the actual concrete day to day life of the poor, and not their abstracted political power, then your beloved Gap is the herring. The political power may affect the standard of living, but for the one billion living on a dollar a day, I bet access to clean water, clean air, sanitation, quality food, etc is a bit more pressing than the weight of their vote in a presidential primary. Your hierarchy of needs is out of whack – the self-actualization can come after we raise the general standard of living.

  10. Ethan July 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Political power is self-actualization?  That’s news to me.  I’m not even sure Maslow has it totally right in the first place, but that is a different argument.

    Moreover, the comparative political power of various stakeholders (in a Democracy, especially) has a direct impact on their well-being.  Let’s privatize water and sanitation and see how those who can’t afford it fare.  Or, lets privatize health care and see how healthy the poor are… oh, wait: done.  Needless to say, if political power were egalitarian in this country, privatizing those resources wouldn’t be politically feasible, and we’d probably also have a health care system much more like every other 1st world country on the planet.

    So no, not a red herring.  1 billion people wouldn’t live on 1 dollar a day if they had the political power to change it.  Look at the distribution of where the most impoverished in the world are- not in healthy Democracies, that’s sure.

  11. Mike In WNY July 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Reasoning is deriving the cause for an action. A logical conclusion is often based on empirical evidence, which is a result of direct observation, experimentation or experience.

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