Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on March 18, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Just a few months ago, it looked like 2014 would be the year of the populist, with Democrats running on economic inequality, tea party Republicans bashing banks and newly minted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledging to soak the rich with higher taxes.

That was so January. The terrain is now shifting fast as the 1 percent fights back hard and the effectiveness of the populist approach comes into question.

Fresh off a bruising loss in Florida, the Democratic playbook for the midterms appears in need of a major rewrite — and the pro-business wing of the party is ready to draw up new plans. President Barack Obama in his budget once again floated a plan to raise taxes on Wall Street, but no one took it seriously. And just days later, the president was raising money at the home of one of the wealthiest private equity executives in New York. Mayor de Blasio’s hopes to increase taxes on the wealthiest got blown out by Wall Street’s newest hero, New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. And de Blasio is facing major heat from the rich over his opposition to charter schools.

***

So it’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars — people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait. …

Or we’re told that conservatives, the Tea Party in particular, oppose handouts because they believe in personal responsibility, in a society in which people must bear the consequences of their actions. Yet it’s hard to find angry Tea Party denunciations of huge Wall Street bailouts, of huge bonuses paid to executives who were saved from disaster by government backing and guarantees. Instead, all the movement’s passion, starting with Rick Santelli’s famous rant on CNBC, has been directed against any hint of financial relief for low-income borrowers. And what is it about these borrowers that makes them such targets of ire? You know the answer.

***

Let’s for a moment concede that roughly half the country is focused on punishing the poor. Let’s say they communicate this viewpoint via thinly-veiled racist rhetoric that apparently anyone can hear. Still, is it really “difficult” to find a Tea Party denunciation of bailouts? I guess asking your intern to type the words “bailout” and “Tea Party” into a Google search is problematic for a guy who insulates himself from the opposition’s arguments. Arduous as the work can be, though, Krugman would have first found a Wikipedia page that cited all larger 2009 Tea Party protests and found around a dozen of them were partly or explicitly aimed at denunciating Wall Street bailouts. …

Actually, nearly every Tea Party-affiliated candidate had come out strongly against TARP, many of them making it the centerpiece of their runs against establishment Republicans — including Mike Lee and Marco Rubio.   Is there no editor on the Times’ opinion page editor that can email the professor and ask him whether he wants to make such a ludicrous claim?

***

It should matter that what Ryan told Bennett is true, as anyone who has spent time in America’s inner cities and working with kids there can testify. The reasons for the hardships facing those living in America’s inner cities are complicated and not simply cultural; they are economic as well. But to say that there isn’t a problematic culture that has taken root in America’s inner cities is a lie; and to attack those like Ryan who speak about it is to compound the lie. …

But as Jonathan points out, there’s something more fundamental going on here. Liberals who have complicity in the problems plaguing America’s inner cities are attempting to make an honest conversation about poverty impossible. They are signaling that they intend to try to take out Republicans who want to address some of the root causes, the behavioral causes, of poverty. …

For them the villain isn’t, say, the ruinous public school systems in Chicago, Detroit, and D.C. that are destroying the lives and future of hundreds of thousands of kids; it’s Paul Ryan, who among other things supports school choice for inner-city parents. This is what large parts of liberalism have been reduced to: the praetorian guard of corrupt, poverty-creating institutions and organizations.

***

Half a century later, with the Census Bureau reporting more than 46 million Americans still mired in poverty, these same liberals seem insistent on denying low-income children quality educational opportunities, through cruel policies that will only perpetuate the cycle of poverty.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has embarked on a systematic campaign to destroy the city’s burgeoning charter school movement. He’s diverting more than $200 million in funding marked for charter schools, and has also thrown hundreds of students out of their promised school buildings. He has also declared his intent to nullify arrangements that allow charters to locate in existing public schools rent-free. …

Worst of all, the left and teachers unions aren’t just denying the clear facts — they’re denying millions of low-income students the opportunity for a better future.

***

I am mystified. Charter schools are not private schools. They are free public schools that are open to any student, usually by lottery. Some very rich people support them, provide extra funds for special programs and, in return, get vilified for their efforts. One columnist, citing the pay package of charter-school CEOs, referred to a “gilded crusade,” another to an “all-out campaign by the elite.” You would think we’re talking about the “gilded” and “elite” getting their own kids into some fancy school. Instead, they’re helping poor children. …

When the rich insist that lower taxes would do wonders for the poor, the orphaned and the grievously widowed, I detect the faint aroma of self-interest. But when they plump for charter schools, the only ulterior motive you can find is that down the road, years from now, society will benefit and so, as night follows day, will they. I can live with that.

America has always had a love-hate relationship with its rich. But lately, there’s been more hate than love.

***

The welfare state, primarily devoted to pensions and medical care for the elderly, aggravates inequality. Young people just starting up the earnings ladder and families in the child-rearing, tuition-paying years subsidize the elderly, who have had lifetimes of accumulation. Households headed by people age 75 and older have the highest median net worth of any age group.

In this sixth year of near-zero interest rates, the government’s monetary policy breeds inequality. Low rates are intended to drive liquidity into the stock market in search of higher yields. The resulting boom in equity markets — up 30 percent last year alone — has primarily benefited the 10 percent who own 80 percent of all directly owned stocks. Charles Wolf writes in the Weekly Standard: “The financial sector’s profits rose from 18 percent of total corporate profits preceding the recession in 2007 to 23 percent in 2013.” …

The monetary base having expanded 340 percent in six years, there is abundant money for businesses. But, says Fisher, the federal government’s fiscal and regulatory policies discourage businesses from growing the economy with the mountain of money the Fed has created. This is why “the most vital organ of our nation’s economy — the middle-income worker — is being eviscerated.” And why the loudest complaints about inequality are coming from those whose policies worsen it.

***

The factor in all this that liberals have been emphasizing the most in recent months has been stagnation in the minimum wage. It is true that a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis found that a substantial increase in the minimum wage would lift 900,000 low-wage workers out of poverty. But a minimum-wage hike would be very poorly targeted if our goal were to help poor families. Specifically, the CBO found that only 19 percent of the income gains that would follow an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would go to households whose earnings fall below the poverty line. And the CBO also projects that the U.S. work force would become smaller by an amount equal to 500,000 workers as employers found large numbers of Americans unemployable at a higher wage floor. That is, a minimum-wage hike risks making the worklessness problem worse rather than better.

So what can we do about the worklessness crisis?

First, Republicans need to back macroeconomic policies that will bring us closer to full employment. David Beckworth and Ramesh Ponnuru have argued in these pages that if the Federal Reserve keeps the growth of nominal spending and nominal income on a steady path, we will see a far more robust labor-market recovery. Achieving full employment is a crucial first step, as periods of full employment are also periods during which inflation-adjusted incomes rise for all households, including those at the bottom of the ladder.


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Wasn’t that a movie? Tea with Mussolini?

Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Ha! I learn something new here every day … had never heard of it:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120857/

ShainS on March 19, 2014 at 8:04 AM

Paul Ryan is:

White

Wealthy

Young

Successful (mostly except for that 2012 thingy)

and a Republican

So he cannot obviously talk about anything but taxes and cuts for benefits for the poor because he’s a racist cracker (per the Civil “Rights” groups).

PappyD61 on March 19, 2014 at 8:21 AM

Mine is eight min, inside the beltway. And I don’t have to live in Byrdland.
Happy Nomad on March 19, 2014 at 7:06 AM

Have to admit, when I saw “Byrdland” my first thought was “Maryland Terps football fan?” Then it’s “Oh, THAT Byrd!” The deification of that reprobate is more prevalent in the southern part of the state.

Royal Fizzbin on March 19, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Sophie loves turtles and posts and buckets and hammers, but Axe not so much.

TXUS on March 19, 2014 at 12:33 AM

I just wanted to make a quick note and thank all my Hot Air friends for their compassion and concern over the unmitigated pain of the toothache which sent me to bed early, and let them know I’m fine. :)

The outcry of concern was a little humbling. As I writhed in agony, knowing I was wrapped in your love gave me strength to endure.

– So you can stop worrying. No more tears. I’m fine. It happens sometimes. No bigs. :)

I’m posting this here since this is the only Universe I clearly occupy and the only place where I have the ability to post, in hopes that it will appear in nearby, similar Universes as well where an outcry of concern ACTUALLY OCCURRED.

Meanwhile — Sophie, you don’t come out to the fence line and smooch me at some point soon, you can get by with store bought orange juice because I’m just going to go buy that instead of doing all this squeezing. Not every guy does all this squeezing. You will miss the squeezing when it’s gone, too — make no mistake. And Spark . . . Spark, we’ll talk later.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:03 AM

So he cannot obviously talk about anything but taxes and cuts for benefits for the poor because he’s a racist cracker (per the Civil “Rights” groups).

PappyD61 on March 19, 2014 at 8:21 AM

It’s weird that it wouldn’t matter what he said about anything, all that would be heard is what you just described. It’s funny how much of the reported news is made up of things that exist only journalist’s heads.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:05 AM

*journalists’

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Dentist

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Money.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Debt

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:03 AM

You have a toothache you go to the dentist.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Debt

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Sigh. :)

. . . can’t I just b!tch?

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:32 AM

I go to a dentist the way I go to get my car fixed…when something is wrong. They wanted 100 dollars just to get a cleaning done.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Sigh. :)

. . . can’t I just b!tch?

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:32 AM

It depends on whether or not that fixes it.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Most people seem to see things only superficially. The socialists understand that and use it.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Yes.

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I go to a dentist the way I go to get my car fixed…when something is wrong. They wanted 100 dollars just to get a cleaning done.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:33 AM

I was just screwing around above. :) But — I don’t have a hundred dollars. Explaining that would require an explanation I don’t want to give.

It depends on whether or not that fixes it.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:34 AM

lol — I really like you. :)

Meh. I’ve paced this cage so long it’s enough to drive a person crazy. Almost out, almost out, almost out.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:38 AM

I’m staying home today. I know there are things I have to do but I can’t think of them right now. Maybe if I wander around I’ll see something.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:42 AM

I hope Fallon had a great day! Fallon if you read this. Fingers crossed, lots of hugs! ; )

Bmore on March 18, 2014 at 11:02 PM

…the Senator she wanted for the RePubic primary is behind…no word on her status yet…she was guarding political signs… on a ‘windy’ day.

KOOLAID2 on March 18, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Thanks, guys. I won my precinct with 85% of the vote. One of the highest. (Yeah, I was unopposed but still 85% bothered to check the box for PC.)

Don’t say votes don’t count, my mentor PC won her precinct by 8 votes. Eight.

Illinois missed the boat choosing Oberweis over Truax, yesterday. Oberweis’s home county went to Truax, but now I will work my tail off to defeat Durbin this fall.

Now, off to collect the signs back up in the rain. No rest for the wicked, lol.

Fallon on March 19, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Fallon on March 19, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Yay!!! Congrats! xo

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Thanks, guys. I won my precinct with 85% of the vote. One of the highest. (Yeah, I was unopposed but still 85% bothered to check the box for PC.)

Don’t say votes don’t count, my mentor PC won her precinct by 8 votes. Eight.

Illinois missed the boat choosing Oberweis over Truax, yesterday. Oberweis’s home county went to Truax, but now I will work my tail off to defeat Durbin this fall.

Now, off to collect the signs back up in the rain. No rest for the wicked, lol.

Fallon on March 19, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Congratulations. Perfect example of grassroots politicking. Work hard and win.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:55 AM

As always the coffee is really good. Yes. I pilfered a cup. Lolz!

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 10:05 AM

As always the coffee is really good. Yes. I pilfered a cup. Lolz!

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 10:05 AM

I can’t say Maxwell House is relly good but it’s full of caffein.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Now, off to collect the signs back up in the rain. No rest for the wicked, lol.

Fallon on March 19, 2014 at 9:52 AM

How nice that you do that. In some places they leave them forever.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 10:09 AM

I go to a dentist the way I go to get my car fixed…when something is wrong. They wanted 100 dollars just to get a cleaning done.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:33 AM
I was just screwing around above. :) But — I don’t have a hundred dollars. Explaining that would require an explanation I don’t want to give.

It depends on whether or not that fixes it.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 9:34 AM
lol — I really like you. :)

Meh. I’ve paced this cage so long it’s enough to drive a person crazy. Almost out, almost out, almost out.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Axe has a toothache and comes her to complain (well I now see he did not have a toothache but anywho); I have a colonoscopy and I come here to brag. Me thinks I need to review my lot in life!

Axe, have you had a medical problem or are you working on some kind of project or something? I ask because it seems you have been away for a while and just came back or am I missing some inside joke. Also, if I need to butt out I understand.

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 10:11 AM

As always the coffee is really good. Yes. I pilfered a cup. Lolz!

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 10:05 AM

No coffee for me, but tea in the morning and beer the rest of the waking hours.

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 10:13 AM

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 10:08 AM

I’m pretty frugal. Only buy that which is on sale. Generally Folgers Black Silk or Chock Full Of Nuts Dark Satin. I am bad to stock up when on sale. Eight to twelve 26 oz cans. I know I like it, so I know I will drink it.

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Not much for hot tea. Occasionally. Mostly a sweet tea guy. No drinking alcohol through the week. Only weekends. ; ) Winter around the fire, summer on boat. With seasonal over lap of course.

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Maybe we should have a pledge drive for Axe. If each of us donated a dollar…………

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 10:36 AM

I ask because it seems you have been away for a while and just came back or am I missing some inside joke. Also, if I need to butt out I understand.

HonestLib on March 19, 2014 at 10:11 AM

*takes off mask*

It’s mostly schtick, HonestLib. Please note I didn’t actually complain about my toothache (which was real), but the running game my virtual bff SparkPlug introduced, after I bailed early, in lieu of what many humans prefer, “concern.” :) But my complaint about that wasn’t sincere. I would tell my closest HA friends to skip the funeral and throw a party should they ever lose me along the way — but I’m pretty sure that’s already the plan.

. . . I respect and admire some of these guys more than they would believe if I told them. And I’m not telling them. Heh.

re the occasional allusions the squeak out despite my best efforts, I had to deal with an issue that sat my ass firmly into the dirt for a long while. Skipping to present day, an image of me trying to kick-start a motorcycle I built from junk wouldn’t be far off. Re “being back” — it’s raining. :) Thank you for asking.

Resist We Much really is my favorite human being — I mean what I say about Sophie. . . . what else, what else . . . :) Cozmo probably wears pants more often than he says (God willing) . . .

*puts mask back on*

Freaking Island of Misfit Toys.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Maybe we should have a pledge drive for Axe. If each of us donated a dollar…………

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Thanks, Bmore. :) I’ll be fine. I’m getting it done.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM

You’re one of those surrealist thinkers aren’t you.

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 11:10 AM

I would tell my closest HA friends to skip the funeral and throw a party should they ever lose me along the way — but I’m pretty sure that’s already the plan.

Went without typing :) What true friends would do.

. . . I respect and admire some of these guys more than they would believe if I told them. And I’m not telling them. Heh.

Because you don’t have to…true friends

………

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Schadenfreude on March 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Axe is actually more of a realist than a “surrealist” thinker. He knows his aspirations/limitations.

Schadenfreude on March 19, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Maxine Waters is part of the guard that perpetuates the rot in the inner city.

From the woman who championed the filth and incompetence at King-Drew Medical Center, until the medical authorities took away its authority to operate as a hospital, we have her mau-mauing more flak catchers to protect filth and incompetence in a Head Start company in her district.

PattyJ on March 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The bashing of Ryan for alluding to the scholarly work of Charles Murray and claiming that thereby he loses credibility is particularly disgusting. Even decent liberals are disgusted by it:

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/03/14/the-smearing-of-ryan-as-a-racist/

This is the low-life tactic. When any scholar says anything on race, however well researched, that some liberals object to then the scholar is labeled a “racist” and his work distorted. Then when anyone latter uses the scholar as a reference that person is said by liberals to thereby “lose all credibility” by referencing a known “racist”, and, of course, is a racist also. Disgusting.

Chessplayer on March 19, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM

No worries. Its what friends are supposed to do. Say, it just occurred to me. What was your musical selection to be played at your funeral? For some odd reason its not on my list.

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Not that you asked, but my daughter said she’s going to play the song “Dirt” at my funeral. I’m okay with it.

Fallon on March 19, 2014 at 12:42 PM

PattyJ on March 19, 2014 at 11:55 AM

almost every major city has at least one ‘Maxine Waters’
in Detroit we have John Connors…and a few others..
elected for years and years and years with no success stories to be found at all..no jobs..no new schools .. no hospitals..nothing
Walter Williams says they were “duped”..

http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2014/03/05/black-people-duped-n1803339

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Fallon on March 19, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Congratulations!!!!

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 12:46 PM

For some odd reason its not on my list.

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 12:16 PM

I see what you did there. :)

Fantasie impromptu, Warrior’s dance, I melt with you.

^ Would cover most of it. But we both know the party will just have someone’s mix tape and no one will be paying attention anyway. :)

Because, Beer.

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Fallon on March 19, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Loz! No need to ask. I already have you down for that. ; )

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Axe on March 19, 2014 at 1:11 PM

And so it was written. On what ever it is they write it on up there. ; )

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM

And so it was written. On what ever it is they write it on up there. ; )

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM

The cloud of course. Don’t you know anything about technology?

crankyoldlady on March 19, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Fallon on March 19, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Congrats!

annoyinglittletwerp on March 19, 2014 at 1:45 PM

does anyone out there have any idea
how this plane got here?? in a rice paddy ??

https://www.google.com/maps/@5.6333674,95.4025613,83m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 2:15 PM

does anyone out there have any idea
how this plane got here?? in a rice paddy ??

https://www.google.com/maps/@5.6333674,95.4025613,83m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 2:15 PM

1. Google maps are NOT “real time”: you are looking at something which happened in the past: possibly several years in the past.

2. There is nothing in the picture which suggests the plane is on the ground: it is simply flying below the satellite…as expected.

landlines on March 19, 2014 at 3:32 PM

TO KWR:

I am saddened beyond words to hear of your loss. You have experienced more than your share of burdens recently. I add my prayers to those previously stated.

Major hugs and kisses to you and yours, dear one.

4Grace on March 19, 2014 at 3:35 PM

landlines on March 19, 2014 at 3:32 PM

I know that it is a old sat map..

and I also thought of your B answer as well
there is an airport several thousand feet right in front of it..
so I like B.. (weird photo)
my C answer was weak…. dismantle and re-assemble job..
i’ve been scanning the islands and airports
and even the shipping lanes…
for a way out of this box..
the largest gap seem to be between Cocos island
https://www.google.com/maps/@-12.1908286,96.8314716,5205m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
and the Diego Garcia islands here..
https://www.google.com/maps/@-7.3040036,72.4366533,10565m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

the Christmas islands are a short distance east..
and the Maldives north of DG…

all have airports and radar…so its a box..and a puzzler

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 3:57 PM

http://www.marinetraffic.com/
there are well over 200 ships that use these travel routes daily.
plus privateers..

a good size airport at Bonda Aceh…here
5°31’16.6″N 95°25’13.9″E

and to the north Port Blair…here
11°38’34.6″N 92°43’51.0″E

someone knows something …somewhere…

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

fox news was reporting that the Australia government
requested US Naval to search the south Indian Ocean
due west of Perth..
so im trying to figure out how 370 got there..?
maybe the Aussies know something??….
why are they searching there??

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 4:22 PM

requested US Naval SHIPS….sorry

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

21°48’59.1″S 114°09’55.5″E

this is one huge antenna in west Aussie coastland…
could be space…or defense… don’t know

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 4:41 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Communication_Station_Harold_E._Holt

Naval Station Antenna is what it is

going2mars on March 19, 2014 at 5:33 PM

4Grace on March 19, 2014 at 3:35 PM

As always, both lovely and talented.

Bmore on March 19, 2014 at 6:20 PM

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