Tarry for the Nonce

January 9, 2006

Ted “Who Will Do My Homework?” Kennedy

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 6:37 pm

Thanks to Best of the Web, I am beginning to understand a root cause of Bush-bashing: ignorance.

The ignorance of Sen. Ted Kennedy: “This nominee was influenced by the Goldwater presidency.” (Um, senator . . . ?)

The ignorance of columnist Robert Kuttner: “[T]he Democrats have 45 senators (counting independent Bernie Sanders).” (Sanders is a member of the House, not the Senate, Bob.)

The ignorance of the New York Times: “[T]he Senate has been under Republican control for Mr. Bush’s entire five years in office.” (Heck, even I remember this one without Google. The Democrats won a majority in May 2001 when Jeffords went Independent. They held on to the majority until the following November 2002 elections.)

Acquaint them with the rampant misinformation of Barbra Streisand or Sean Penn, and we shall have enough ninnies to keep the rest of us entertained for years.

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32 Comments

  1. Actually, Kennedy might be more “entertaining” than Streisand and Penn combined, no?

    Comment by Matt C. Abbott — January 10, 2006 @ 2:05 am

  2. He just might be…but then again, looks arin’t everything.

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 10, 2006 @ 10:22 am

  3. If only all these Bush-bashers could be as eloquent and well-informed as the man they criticize.

    Comment by Kevin — January 10, 2006 @ 11:38 am

  4. Kevin, are you saying you find Bush to be eloquent and well-informed?

    Or was that meant as some sort of ultra-insult aimed at those who would criticize Bush?

    On another note, I hope this country is able to someday recover from the damage done to it during The Bush Presidency.

    Comment by Howard R — January 10, 2006 @ 2:18 pm

  5. Kevin’s comment made me chuckle.

    I like to think that my personal Bush-bashing is not motivated by ignorance, but by one critical, objective fact: Bu$h went AWOL and ppl died!!!!

    🙂

    Comment by Troy — January 10, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

  6. I hope this country is able to someday recover from the damage done to it during The Bush Presidency.

    I wouldn’t hold out much hope. The country is still recovering from FDR’s New Deal.

    Comment by laura — January 10, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

  7. On another note, I hope this country is able to someday recover from the damage done to it during The Bush Presidency.

    Someone at this blog has a marvelous sense of the ridiculous.

    I hope this country is able to recover someday from the damage done to it by the US Congress since the sixties and Johnson’s War on Poverty.

    I hope this country is able to recover someday from the damage done to it by the passing of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913.

    I hope this country is able to recover someday from the damage done to it by the passing of the 18th amendment in 1920.

    The country is still recovering from FDR’s New Deal.

    What ‘recovering’?????

    The country is still embroiled in the mess therein created!

    Actually, Kennedy might be more “entertaining” than Streisand and Penn combined, no?

    …..but you must throw in Alec Baldwin in order to make the weight equivalent.

    Comment by auntlori — January 10, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

  8. Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

    Comment by El — January 10, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

  9. On another note, I hope this country is able to someday recover from the damage done to it during The Bush Presidency.

    Just wait until we try to recover from the damage done during the Carter Administration…

    Comment by Andrew P. — January 11, 2006 @ 3:11 am

  10. Well, if you don’t mind roughly one dollar of every seven you pay in taxes going to nothing but the interest payments on Republican debt, more power to you.

    If you don’t mind tax laws being written so that my wife and I pay no SSI on over 2/3 of our income, that’s great.

    If you believe that Bush will leave office with fewer terrorists in the world than when he started, I think you’re wrong but I truly hope that it’s me that’s wrong.

    People in their twenties who voted for Bush, I truly hope you don’t live to regret your decision.

    Comment by Howard R — January 11, 2006 @ 8:08 am

  11. Well, if you don’t mind roughly one dollar of every seven you pay in taxes going to nothing but the interest payments on Republican debt, more power to you.

    If you don’t mind tax laws being written so that my wife and I pay no SSI on over 2/3 of our income, that’s great.-Howard R

    I hope this country is able to recover someday from the damage done to it by the passing of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913.-auntlori

    Thank you, Howard R, for proving my point.

    If you believe that Bush will leave office with fewer terrorists in the world than when he started, I think you’re wrong but I truly hope that it’s me that’s wrong.

    Actually, I don’t believe the world will ever be able to rid itself of either madmen who want to rule the world or madmen who want to destroy any culture that will not submit to them.

    It is arguable what will happen in the mideast in the near or distant future. Everything just has to play out. Patience (a valuable commodity in the US) is necessary.

    That said, however, enabling cultures to choose their own governments assists our nation in several ways. The most important one being that it will enhance our military and military capabilites — a military whose job (see:Constitution) is to preserve and protect and defend our nation against enemies both foreign and domestic.

    Secondary to that is the idea that free democractically-based nations do not attack other nations. The more of those that exist in the world, the safer our own will be.

    Thirdly, we live in a world where economies, cultures, value systems are irrevocably intertwined — an intermingling of nations (I would argue) that has never existed in the world before. I doubt this will change in the life of the world. It is in our best interests to ensure, in that case, that we are well able to preserve, protect and defend our national heritage – by building up our military, maintaining a free market economy, continuing in our pursuit of technological advances, and encouraging fledgling democracies and free market economic systems anywhere we are able to do so.

    Comment by auntlori — January 11, 2006 @ 9:21 am

  12. I hope this country is able to recover someday from the damage done to it by the passing of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913.-auntlori

    A viable tax base is needed for a country to be viable. What sort simplistic solution would you suggest to replace the income tax? Or should we just do away with it and simply borrow and borrow and borrow and borrow the money we need?

    Invading and rebuilding Iraq has cost, what, $100,000,000,000? How much intelligence gathering capability could be have bought for that? Just like 9/11 has been a rallying point for military requirement, so has the invasion of Iraq been for terrorist groups. Aren’t we there to fight terrorism? Or it is to free the Iraqi people? I know the whole WMD should be forgotten about and that these aren’t the droids I’m looking for, but I would have sworn this wasn’t what we went in for in the first place.

    Patience (a valuable commodity in the US) is necessary.
    Would this be the same sort of patience Bush had before invading Iraq? Or is this something different?

    Secondary to that is the idea that free democractically-based nations do not attack other nations.
    You know, you would think that, wouldn’t you? Nevertheless, here we are.

    The more of those that exist in the world, the safer our own will be.

    I guess the question becomes at what cost do we “encourage” democracies to be established? And how “safe” is a indebted nation not able to meet the needs of its own citizens?

    Comment by Howard — January 11, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

  13. As an aside, I didn’t know that the terrorists belonged to any particular nation.

    Comment by Howard — January 11, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

  14. Howard – I was being sarcastic.

    Alas for the impoverished medium of cyberspace. Look what damage it’s done. All that silly arguing and no chance that anyone will be persuaded. I gave up on that a long time ago. Hence the sarcastic comment.

    Comment by Kevin — January 11, 2006 @ 7:35 pm

  15. Kevin, the sad thing is that on this blog, I really wasn’t sure if you were joking or not.

    Comment by Howard — January 11, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

  16. A viable tax base is needed for a country to be viable. What sort simplistic solution would you suggest to replace the income tax? Or should we just do away with it and simply borrow and borrow and borrow and borrow the money we need?

    Before the passing of the 16th amendment, when debt was incurred (as it had been significantly in the American Revolution and in the Civil War), taxes were collected each time for a specified length of time — in order to pay back the debt (specifically for military support) to the American people. The income tax — the viable tax base that you tout — does not now exist for the payment of war debt or military debt. The income tax became a method of paying for social programs (administered by the Federal Government who then received the proceeds of this generous endeavor), not, as you may think, for a standing military.

    Before the ‘need’ arose (Laura’s reference to FDR’s New Deal is particularly appropriate to recall at this point) for social programs and the financial support thereof, communities provided most of the services through the donations of private individuals and private organizations. Of course, believing as I do in a small federal government and local control of many things, in particular monies — I believe that private organizations are much more efficient at the spending of monies for the needs of individual communities, not the glutted, bloated federal government — an entity far removed from and with no compassion for local concerns and needs.

    As to the reasons for the war — we went to war to defend our nation and all it stands for. The men who attacked our nation on Sept 11 did not do so because they were out for a joy ride. They did so because they want to destroy everything that we are — taking away all rights for all peoples everywhere, and subjugate them under the laws that they believe everyone should be required to follow. These people (who have been termed terrorists, not because of their beliefs but because of their method of fighting) — as you point out — are not allied with any one nation. Any nation, however, that gives support and succour to our enemies, thereby becomes our enemy as well. I repeat, if we want to defend our national heritage, we have to engage the enemy wherever we find him.

    The patience to which I referred is the patience to await the results of this war. Funny. We are continuing to see the results of the American Revolution play out, we are continuing to see the results of the Civil War play out, we are continuing to see the results of WWII play out. But a modern war, ongoing, we expect all the results to play out at once — we want to know the end result NOW.

    As far as the President’s patience — we will have to agree to disagree on this one. Obviously, you consider that he had none. Just as obviously, I consider that he showed tremendous restraint.

    Secondary to that is the idea that free democractically-based nations do not attack other nations.
    You know, you would think that, wouldn’t you? Nevertheless, here we are.

    We did not attack. We responded to an attack – to defend our nation and all it stands for. Different ball game.

    I guess the question becomes at what cost do we “encourage” democracies to be established? And how “safe” is a indebted nation not able to meet the needs of its own citizens?

    So far, the cost has been slight (by comparison to the cost of many other wars — including the ‘War on Poverty’) we have fought. The debt that we have incurred as a nation comes from (again, kudos to Laura) debt incurred through massive socialization, not from this war. Reduce the funding of social programs, and Voila! The debt reduces too!

    I would also argue that the ‘cost’ of encouraging democracies is very low — especially if weighed against the cost of allowing totalitarian regimes to flourish. But then, the former is a measurable quantity and the latter is not — which always tends to reduce the value of the immeasurable.

    Comment by auntlori — January 12, 2006 @ 2:53 am

  17. As to the reasons for the war — we went to war to defend our nation and all it stands for. The men who attacked our nation on Sept 11 did not do so because they were out for a joy ride. They did so because they want to destroy everything that we are — taking away all rights for all peoples everywhere, and subjugate them under the laws that they believe everyone should be required to follow. These people (who have been termed terrorists, not because of their beliefs but because of their method of fighting) — as you point out — are not allied with any one nation. Any nation, however, that gives support and succour to our enemies, thereby becomes our enemy as well. I repeat, if we want to defend our national heritage, we have to engage the enemy wherever we find him.

    Auntlori, I don’t want to badger you about this, but do you honestly believe that this is true?

    Comment by Troy — January 12, 2006 @ 9:35 am

  18. Auntlori, I don’t want to badger you about this, but do you honestly believe that this is true?

    I am certain that it will open a can of worms (ie: the US succoured Iraq in its war against Iran)

    but, yes, I honestly believe it is true.

    Now, go ahead, Troy, tell me how much the US has assisted other nations who, ultimately turned on us and how, then, we are now culpable in the war and are, ourselves, our own enemies.

    It does not change the fact that these people desire to destroy our nation and we have to defend ourselves against that destruction in whatever place we find them. Right now the battlefield is Iraq. Who knows where the next will be.

    Comment by auntlori — January 12, 2006 @ 10:36 am

  19. auntlori:

    I really don’t want to get into a pointless argument about all that. I do think that your position is wrong, but I simply thought that perhaps I might be calling your bluff, like you did for me elsewhere in this blog (i.e. about Bush being the worst president ever).

    😉

    Troy

    Comment by Troy — January 12, 2006 @ 11:40 am

  20. 😉

    Troy

    hey! Troy, are you a liberal with a sense of humor?!

    I thought those were non-existent!

    😀

    Comment by auntlori — January 12, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  21. I am disappointed, though, that absolutely no one took the bait on the 18th amendment in my original posted comment!

    wouldn’t THAT have been a fun topic?!

    Comment by auntlori — January 12, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

  22. hey! Troy, are you a liberal with a sense of humor?!
    i>

    This is 56.7% true; 20% false; and 23.2% in an ambiguous, relative grey area. The remaining 0.1% is my little secret.

    I am disappointed, though, that absolutely no one took the bait on the 18th amendment in my original posted comment!

    Sounds like a trap to me…

    Comment by Troy — January 12, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

  23. I am disappointed, though, that absolutely no one took the bait on the 18th amendment in my original posted comment!

    Is that the amendment that legalized abortion?

    *ducks and pulls out pocket Constitution*

    Comment by Troy — January 12, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

  24. I miss everything!

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 12, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  25. The income tax became a method of paying for social programs

    Do you object to social programs, per se, or just the way they’re being run? in any case, while I find improperly regulated social programs as objectionable as anyone, the world is a very different place than it was before the income tax was put into place.

    Some things are better left to the states, somethings require (or at least work better) with federal coordination. Let’s take education funding for example: If education was strictly funded locally, poor states would be developing little more than a permanent underclass. Another example is that it does little good to have one state using one set of pollution standards and another state using a different one (air and water don’t observe state borders) Roads, space exploration, student loan programs, etc.., etc. are things better suited nationally.

    Lest you think I’m some born-too-late sucking-at-the-government-tit hippie, my wife and I paid more in income taxes last year than the average household grosses. Do we like paying the tax? Nope. Are we grateful to making enough money to have to pay that tax? You bet. While, sure, I’d like lower taxes, I don’t want that money from the pockets of the truly needy or the saving accounts of future generations.

    Comment by Howard — January 13, 2006 @ 3:49 pm

  26. I don’t want that money from the pockets of the truly needy or the saving accounts of future generations.

    too late

    Comment by Alistair A. — January 13, 2006 @ 5:22 pm

  27. That’s part of the reason I’m not complaining about my tax burden.

    Comment by Howard — January 13, 2006 @ 6:54 pm

  28. I don’t like social programs being in the hands of the federal government. I believe that local communities are much more capable of defining the specific needs of the community than does a removed central government. Once the needs are defined, the community itself is a more efficient administrator of the solutions devised.

    Some things are better left to the states, somethings require (or at least work better) with federal coordination. Let’s take education funding for example: If education….

    Case in point — education does not belong in the hands of the federal government but in the hands of local communities (obviously my opinion).

    I would argue that the founding fathers had it quite right in being very, very specific as to what the federal government should be allowed to do and retaining everything else in the hands of the states (ie: local communities).

    The federal government, of course, had no desire for that state of being to continue ad infinitum and now has become very bloated and overbearing.

    The world is of course a very different place — and will continue to be, in succeeding generations, different from what it was before. That is not an excuse for the federal government to assume powers and priveleges to itself that it was not assigned in the Constitution – resulting in the reduction of personal freedoms each American possesses.

    my wife and I paid more in income taxes last year than the average household grosses. Do we like paying the tax? Nope. Are we grateful to making enough money to have to pay that tax?

    While you don’t mind terribly giving the government moneys that it has no right to, I do. I especially don’t like the idea (which you seem to endorse by your views on education, that the federal government can do a better job at identifying the needs of local communities and fixing the problems therein.

    Education is one case in point.

    I would argue that centuries of education controlled by local communities belie your assertion that a central authority can do a better job in the education of ‘the masses.’ If locally funded poor states would absolutely only be capable of developing little more than a permanent underclass — how in heaven’s name have we managed to move from a hunter-gatherer civilization to such an advanced technological state?

    That’s part of the reason I’m not complaining about my tax burden.

    because it has reached such a gross state that you have no control over it? coercion wins the day.

    Comment by auntlori — January 14, 2006 @ 11:26 am

  29. AuntLori, while am no fan of The No Child Left Behind Act, I see nothing wrong with helping poor states improve the literacy of their children with redistributed funding. If the children get a good education and a well-paying job because of it, the tax money spent will be repaid multiple times over.

    While I know some communities struggle with some issues more than other ones, isn’t there a unified goal nationwide in education to make our kids functionally literate and competent?

    I believe the framers of the constitution understood that they would not be able to anticipate the changing needs as time advanced. I also believe that they did an amazing job on a framework that has lasted as long as it has.

    how in heaven’s name have we managed to move from a hunter-gatherer civilization to such an advanced technological state?

    Agriculture. People were able to move away from having to gather enough food to sustain oneself and onto advancing society. I would put it to you that there are rural poor who are little more than sustenance farmers. I would also put it to you that there are urban poor, functionally illiterate, wholly dependent on taxpayer assistance.

    because it has reached such a gross state that you have no control over it

    That’s why I’m voting against my pocketbook and for a political party that I believe will return fiscal responsibility to government.

    Comment by Howard — January 14, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

  30. how in heaven’s name have we managed to move from a hunter-gatherer civilization to such an advanced technological state?

    Agriculture. People were able to move away from having to gather enough food to sustain oneself and onto advancing society. I would put it to you that there are rural poor who are little more than sustenance farmers. I would also put it to you that there are urban poor, functionally illiterate, wholly dependent on taxpayer assistance.

    The question was mostly rhetorical – the point being that for centuries, education has been locally-controlled. It is only since about the 1950’s (in the US) that education has become federally controlled. Up until the 1950’s, local control over education had been overwhelmingly successful — ie: we have moved from a hunter-gatherer society to the advanced technological state that currently exists.

    ergo:the success of local control over education seems to be borne out by history.

    Comment by auntlori — January 14, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

  31. I would put it to you that there are rural poor who are little more than sustenance farmers. I would also put it to you that there are urban poor, functionally illiterate, wholly dependent on taxpayer assistance.

    And I would argue that the state of dependency would not be as great in number if the assistance that people need was administered on a local level and not with federal mandates and regulations.

    That’s why I’m voting against my pocketbook and for a political party that I believe will return fiscal responsibility to government.

    From all I can tell, neither of the two major political parties has any interest at all in returning government to any semblance of fiscal responsibility. There are individuals within the government who have that goal but, as a body, without term limits (one of my pet peeves), in my opinion, the government will only grow bigger and more irresponsible. With my money.

    Comment by auntlori — January 14, 2006 @ 6:41 pm

  32. And I would argue that the state of dependency would not be as great in number if the assistance that people need was administered on a local level and not with federal mandates and regulations.

    Interesting thought. I thought state officials, to a degree, did determine “welfare” benefits (thus different states have different amounts that they’ll pay). We’ll see what happens as people who were put onto time limits during The Clinton Era are now cut off from Welfare.

    neither of the two major political parties has any interest at all in returning government to any semblance of fiscal responsibility.

    I’m going to assume the Democrats will rescind the upper-bracket tax cuts and estate taxes. Cutting spending is going to damn tough with Iraq and Medicare Part D, but bringing revenues into line with expenses is a start.

    With my money.

    If it was really just our money, that’d be one thing. We’re beholden to foreign interests that control our debt, much in the same way a business is beholden to a bank that holds its loan.

    I don’t envy people in congress. Voters say they want fiscal responsibility but no one wants their taxes raised or programs that effect them cut or military bases in their state closed. Sorry people, but the money has to come from somewhere.

    IMHO, if things continue in this manner, it’s only a matter of time before we have to start rationing government-paid health care.

    Comment by Howard — January 15, 2006 @ 5:12 pm


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