The Oregonian Shows A Little Conscience and a Splash of Humor

Steve Novick

The Oregonian editorial board has now changed -in the on-line version of the paper - the sentence I called out yesterday, incorrectly saying that Oregon has one of the highest corporate profits tax rates in the country. I hope they apologize for the error in print tomorrow, but at least they fixed the sentence online. (Alas, they have not backed down from endorsing John MCain's "Joe the Plumber" argument that taxing rich people is an attack on "small business owners.")

Meanwhile, whoever at the paper writes the little box summarizing the "letters to the editor" news of the week deserves a hat tip for this:

"The Oregonian itself generated a significant minority of the letters, with many writers commenting on the sale of the newspaper's advertising wrapper, or spadea, to critics of the measures. We would like to say that every single letter writer was supportive of the newspaper's decision to do so.

"We would really like to say that."  

I am working for the 'Vote yes' campaign, and found that little tidbit hilarious.

Comments

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    Steve, I take it that the folks here think you're a pretty smart guy, in fact, I bet you go to bed at night thinking the same.

    Most certified smart guys that I know have a place they live, eat food, enjoy a little entertainment and, drive a car or take some other form of transportation. All of these activities typically cost these smart people money do they not? That money pays the freight on the expense of these activities and sometimes (but now more infrequently) leaves a little bit for profit.

    Now, typically, your landlord, your grocer, your entertainment provider, your gas station etc ... wont be directly effected by the increase in taxes BUT, their suppliers will. These suppliers MAY have some profit they'd be willing to shed to keep the doors open and folks employed but, there are limits and, some of that cost is going to get passed down to your landlord, your grocer, your entertainment provider, your gas station, etc ... who in turn, MAY have some profit they'd be willing to shed but, will pass a percentage of the cost on to you. If all the above is true, the tax effects us all but, your side has cloaked it cynically as a tax on the "Rich".

    What is it you guys say, "An Injustice Anywhere is an Injustice Everywhere"?

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Geoffrey Ludt has no idea what is in Measures 66 & 67.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Pedro -- I know exactly what the measures say ... my explanation is of how costs are distributed through society ... go back to school son.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Pedro -- in other words, inflation can be thought of as an indirect tax, we don't notice it while it's happening but, look at the value of the dollar since the Wilson administration, there's a reason folks used to be able to support a family on one income and now, it takes two ...

  • ThinkOregon (unverified)
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    Hi Steve... hang in there, it will all be over soon.

    I saw you on OPB debating Pat. Friends who watched the program with us called him "bulletproof."

    Can you help me with something? I'm fascinated by the attention BO is giving The Oregonian's multiple "Vote No" opinions and advertising decisions. It really has to be spiking their online traffic. Reading the comments for and against... looks like there is a groundswell of opposition to the two measures. Good for the Vote No campaign... which is why I still can't figure out BO's obsession... oh well.

    In any event, take care.

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    TO-- You should know that BlueO's contributors - all 30+ of them - can write whatever they want, whenever they want. There's no master plan, no editorial calendar. We don't assign topics or set deadlines. If there's lots of stuff about one topic, that's because lots of our folks care a lot about it. No more complicated than that.

  • Garrett in SE (unverified)
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    @Geoffrey Ludt

    A simple web search puts your tea bagging experience on display for all to see. Thanks for chiming in. Unfortunately I realize the value of taxes and proportionate taxation and Oregon is completely screwed up as far as fair taxation goes. You're a libertarian anyway so you don't actually believe in taxes or social programs. Whatevs.

    On another note Ron Paul delivered my sister. True story. So I guess we have that in common...kind of.

  • ThinkOregon (unverified)
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    Kari ... I wasn't suggesting a master plan. I was making an observation about the possible unintended side effects of over exposure and the groundswell of opposition. No more. No less. Cheers, T.O.

  • Darth Spadea (unverified)
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    Wow Garrett, way to demonstrate your exceptional Google prowess. Did you think he was trying to be stealth or something?

    Those of us who weren't in a coma last year are already familiar with the great Geoff Ludt.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Garrett -- I don't hide my experiences, in fact if you hover over my name above you'll see the link displayed at the bottom of your browser is to

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    ... oregonteaparty.com

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @darth spadea -- I found out what a spadea is

  • Darth Spadea (unverified)
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    @ Geoff: Isn't it the thing you flip your eggs with? All I know is that people lose their minds around here every time you mention the word.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @darth spadea -- it's the advertisement page that the Oregonian folds over the cover of the paper.

  • Darth Spadea (unverified)
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    @ Geoff: That's pretty cool. I wonder how expensive it is. The Yes campaign should consider getting one.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Darth Spadea -- The Oregonian wouldn't carry it ;o)

  • Ricky (unverified)
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    @Steve

    How many times have people posted your recent, sappy, pro-Oregonian posts and watched others rip them apart in your name, while you sat back and refused to comment?

    Let's review your efforts. You did your best to influence the Oregonian to endorse YES. They didn't.

    You whined ever since almost daily and NOW you are sending signals that you are trying to make peace with them again?

    Going to renew your subscription, Steve?

    I owe you a beer. You owe me my past $150 contribution to your former campaign.

    And when we pass both measures, you are going to post what you believe is a reflection on the entire Oregonian history on these measures, justifying your position, and urging us to respect the Oregonian's integrity. It is to laugh at.

    At least I was honest and tried to use facts when I gave my own opinions on my personal struggle which way to vote on this issue. Only to be ridiculed for it for only considering and commenting on both sides pros and cons.

    Thank God I have a tough skin. You have shown yours is rather thin.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    How many times have people posted your recent, sappy, pro-Oregonian posts and watched others rip them apart in your name, while you sat back and refused to comment?

    No, it's not refused. There are a minority of BO contributors that decide a priori that they are correct, and, by definition we have nothing to add. I call it "post and run". Like another poster said, that fine, close the post to comments. Leaving it open, then never reading them, is a kind of fraud. At best it's a patronizing, "we'll let the kids play a bit". The sentiment, in all its arrogance was best summed up by Carla and Kristin, writing on Carla's FB wall.

    Kristin Teigen oh, yeah that -- agreed. I'm beginning to like the strategy of just posting something and then letting it go...realizing that the comments aren't going to make or break an idea...

    This was from a thread where they were complaining about the volume of whining that day (Dec. 19), that we are too sensitive, and that obviously most of us don't have enough to occupy our time with. To be sure, only about 4 contributers feel that way, but to debate with them is just a waste of time. Just like evangelicals. Don't have to listen because they know, bottom line, that they are justified.

    I shouldn't complain. I get plenty of attention. I particularly like being singled out in public as a whiner on my 50th b-day. I'll admit to being more than slightly age conscious. It would be interesting to see how sensitive those individuals are when they cross the great divide. I have one consolation. I know I looked better doing it than they will.

  • Lil Wayne Quotes (unverified)
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    I love it when they write something a bit tongue in cheek like this.

  • Bob Wiggins (unverified)
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    Steve, since we're focused on facts, I'm embarrassed by my laziness, but I finally did a bit of a fact-check on something you've said a number of times throughout the campaign about CapitalOne being an example of a company that pays only the $10 minimum tax. Their Oregon return is not a matter of public record of course, but according to their 2008 financials (2009 are not out yet), their total "income tax expense" in 2008 was $497 million. See http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=COF&annual. (Seems high, but that's what they reported to the SEC.) Obviously not all of that went to Oregon. Nevertheless, it would seem very unlikely (particularly since Oregon has single-factor apportionment, which in this case should increase Oregon's share of CapitalOne's world-wide income) that Capital One was a $10 filer in Oregon. Bob Wiggins

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    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Geoffrey Ludt has no idea what is in Measures 66 & 67.

    Exactly.

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    geoff...

    -sigh -

    I repeat, the lowest earning Oregonians, both at this point and after a 66-67 passage, pay a greater proportion of their income in state and local taxes (8.7%) than do the top salary folk.

    The highest earning bracket puts in about 6-6.1%

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    KC,

    You're wasting your time. You could put it on a repeating loop forever and Geoff will never get it.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @KC HANSON -- Beautiful! Are you therefore advocating a Flat Tax based on income?

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    Look, the bigger question for the Tea Party movement is why they side with the wealthy over the middle class, and why they're essentially serving as running dogs for the big banks by lining up with the Republicans to block legislation to hold Wall Street accountable for the economic disaster they landed us. While even the authors of free market fundamentalism have abandoned their now discredited theories, the Tea Party crew want to double down on that bet - that's the crazy part.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Carla -- don't you have some puppies to kick somewhere?

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    Geoffrey--naw. You'll do. :)

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    While even the authors of free market fundamentalism have abandoned their now discredited theories, the Tea Party crew want to double down on that bet - that's the crazy part.

    Yup. Doing the same failed thing over and over again and expecting different results is in fact the definition of crazy.

    You hit it on the head, Dan.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Carla -- btw, why do you even lend your talent to this site? It's pretty clear by the sheer volume of comments to your posts that you carry a greater portion of the water on this blog. I've seen documented cases where the editors have thrown you under the bus here. I'm certain you could write with a publication where you'd be better regarded.

  • socialjustice (unverified)
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    KC Hanson writes

    "the lowest earning Oregonians, both at this point and after a 66-67 passage, pay a greater proportion of their income in state and local taxes (8.7%) than do the top salary folk. The highest earning bracket puts in about 6-6.1%"

    Assuming this is correct, can someone explain mathamatically how this happens? It seems like the higher ones income is the closer they would get to their marginal tax rate of 9% as all exemptions and deductions would become a smaller portion of their AGI.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Dan Petergorsky -- Dude, we totally get that. The banking system has perpetrated a vast fraud. I think you might consider that the fraud is bi-partisan -- after all, the D's have controlled Congress since 2006 and, had a super-majority since 2008 -- this of course means that D's haven't had problems with R's in uncovering this fraud but, rather, have not been able to get the D's in line right? This issue however is SO BIG that both you and I should consider looking at it with fresh eyes and try not to politicize it.

    Just sayin'

    Geoff

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    @Carla -- btw, why do you even lend your talent to this site? It's pretty clear by the sheer volume of comments to your posts that you carry a greater portion of the water on this blog. I've seen documented cases where the editors have thrown you under the bus here. I'm certain you could write with a publication where you'd be better regarded.

    LOL..yes, I'm sure you'd much prefer I were blogging elsewhere.

  • LT (unverified)
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    GL--personal attacks on Carla? Exactly what does that accomplish other than to look mean spirited?

    Carla and I do not always agree, but I don't see what being nasty accomplishes.

    Democrats have controlled CONGRESS since 2006, yet you hold them responsible for the actions of Pres. Bush?

    2 books you need to read to be better informed:

    New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward (Hardcover) ~ Bruce Bartlett (Author)

    Bartlett worked for Reagan and the first Pres. Bush.

    Too Big To Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin, NY Times reporter covering Wall Street.

    Unless, of course, you think you accomplish anything here just by being angry.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @LT -- re: Carla, I shoulda put a little ;0) on it, I wasn't serious.

    I see your two books and I raise you:

    The US Constitution

    &

    The Federalist Papers

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    Bob - The basis for my belief that Capital One would not have paid more than $10 in Oregon taxes this past year is that I read that they officially reported a yearly loss for the year 2008, which I assume means that they owed no taxes on profits that year. Doesn't the 2008 SEC report reflect taxes PAID to state and local governments that year, which would include payment on the prior year's liabilities?

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @LT -- re: Carla, I shoulda put a little ;0) on it, I wasn't serious.

    I see your two books and I raise you:

    The US Constitution

    &

    The Federalist Papers

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @LT --

    Bush sucked.

    The D's in Congress had a majority since 2006. Until Scott Brown, they had a SUPER-majority. A SUPER-majority means that EVERY R could line up against them and they could still pass their legislation. Clearly then, the fact that they've failed on "much needed" Health Reform, Cap And Trade, and Immigration is because they could not get enough members of their own caucus on board. The Republican's have been irrelevant.

    Geoff

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @LT -- personal attack on Carla, I just lavished her with praise and adoration, what are you talking about?

  • LT (unverified)
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    GL--mess with a history major and you may wish you hadn't.

    Obviously you think Will Rogers was wrong when he said "I belong to no organized party, I am a Democrat".

    You are making fun of Democrats because you have listed an agenda they did not pass. So what does that have to do with your book suggestions (or with you and your friends winning any election)?

    Brown's voting record may be interesting. What if he turns out to be more Snowe/Collins and less McConnell/Kyl?

    What if he revives the New England moderate wing of the party?

    I have read the Federalist papers--which one was it you believe appropriate?

    GL, in order to pass 8th grade I had to memorize this:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    I have my own copy of the Constitution.

    Exactly where in it does it say you are absolutely right and I am absolutely wrong?

    And I do mean Article number and Section number.

    Yes, I am calling your bluff to see if you can engage in intelligent debate or only name calling.

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    Geoffrey, your "concern trolling" is noted. We'll take all your helpful suggestions under advisement. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to complete a post wherein I chastise Steve for posting too much on one of the most critical ballot measures of the decade while simultaneously throwing Carla under the bus.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @LT You recommended a couple books ... I recommended a couple back to you. I wasn't making a judgment about you. With regards to the Federalist Papers, I recommend reading every single last one of them, they will give you a background as to what the founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution. You'll understand for example why it's not "life, liberty, and property" [slavery].

    My comments regarding the un-passed agenda highlight how the D's problem wasn't the R's, it was other D's. The book suggestion has nothing to do with that -- two separate conversations.

    Brown is only important in that he allows a conversation to happen.

    BTW -- I got my first degree in History as well.

    Geoff

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    Geoff - yes, Ds absolutely helped get us into this mess. Tell me, though: why is it that every single Republican - including Ron Paul - opposed the financial reform legislation in the House? And why isn't the Tea Party supporting that legislation, or actually working to make it stronger? I welcome your assertion that this shouldn't be a partisan issue - but that would mean more if I saw any evidence that you're actually working to hold Wall Street accountable, instead of just using the issue to bash the pols who voted in favor of the bailout.

    Just as an example: are you in favor of a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency? Much of the rhetoric I've seen from your side of the fence trashes it, citing such purported horrors at the Environmental Protection Agency and then trailing off down the climate change denial path.

  • Patrick Story (unverified)
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    Steve,

    Love your comment on the weasel-wording Oregonian.

    How did it trigger all the blather here from libertarians? (Whatever they're supposed to stand for in the emerging showdown between the democratic state and the global corporate oligarchy). You're doing great work--I hope to buy you a root beer sometime soon.

  • Bob Wiggins (unverified)
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    Steve, the 2008 report should reflect accruals of taxes arising in 2008 (regardless of when actually paid). They did have a small after-tax loss in 2008, which explains why you assumed they paid no income taxes that year, but it appears they did. As to 2009, we'll see when they report. Bob Wiggins

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Dan Petergorsky -- Like I said, R's haven't had the votes to be relevant, I don't know why they oppose it -- it probably varies by representative.

    I believe the first step we need to make is auditing the Federal Reserve bank, we need to know that what they are asserting is borne out by the record. I'd also like to know if they've loaned money to foreign governments, if any money has gone to the CIA, Basically, I want to turn every rock. As far as the bailout goes, Bush started that and it was the MOST egregious, overt, display of crony capitalism I have ever witnessed ... not going to be getting over that one, it isn't "bashing" if they were wrong.

    Geoff

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    Like I said, R's haven't had the votes to be relevant

    That's a real cop out; of course they could be relevant. If you and they were serious about reining in the big banks, then some Rs could join with Ds who are working for financial reform in opposing the hundreds of millions of dollars the financial industry is pouring in to defeat the bills. That would make the Blue Dogs irrelevant, and we might actually get somewhere.

    Re. the Fed, maybe you can clear up something for me: while I understand your attacks on the Fed institutionally, it seems to me your economic philosophy is really pretty close to what Alan Greenspan's was when he headed up the Fed, but before he finally acknowledged that market's can't actually police themselves. Do you actually believe the market is self-correcting?

  • Ritchy (unverified)
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    Thanks for going on an setting Lars "Great White Dope" Larson straight on the issue of Measure 66 & 67. I just love when you debate Lars. He always gets so mad. I wonder if he gets frustrated at the fact that he lacks in intellect?

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    Do I understand right that the Oregonian corrected the article, but without a formal acknowledgment that they had published something erroneous?

    Holy transparency travesty, Batman!

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Dan Petergorsky are you saying that because the D's can't get the Blue Dogs, it's incumbent on the R's to reach out?

    Alan Greenspan ... I don't understand him at all ... I do know there are mountains of legislation regulating the market and it still doesn't work ... I don't believe the answer is more regulation ... Seems to me most regulation is just a fix to establish the rights/dominance of some sort of oligarchy. Look at the current Health Care debacle, how does that regulation NOT benefit the demonized Health Insurers and set up a Health Care Oligarchy?

  • rw (unverified)
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    Gosh, and here I was thinking Spadea had some connection with the unfortunate outcome of heedless onanism. It's wonderful what you can learn on a blog... really grand.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Geo, I do have to say that no matter WHAT way our reigning fools go, the health insurance bloc will benefit. No matter which choice of those currently-proffered.

    That's not about D/R polarity: it's about something else entirely.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    "I do know there are mountains of legislation regulating the market and it still doesn't work."

    A real student of history, eh there Geoff?

    Greenspan, long considered the icon of free market capitalism (Ayn Rand ring a bell? Nevermind), testified before the House Oversight Committee in 2008 on the causes of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. At the end of the day, Greenspan finally admitted to the flaws of absolutist Free-Market capitalism clap-trap and the irresponsible deregulation of the financial system.

    Al noted that he had made a mistake (and that is being generous) in believing that banks would be rationally compelled, through self-interest, to protect their institutions and shareholders. This belief is a key foundation of free-market capitalist ideology -- that individuals will act rationally to pursue their own self interest and that financial institutions would magnify this rational thought to result in long-term economic growth and increasing general prosperity. What ended up happening, instead, is that both individuals and institutions ignored severe risk in order to pursue massive short-term gains. In this sense, rational self interest rapidly turned into irrational greed. While a few individuals who had gained access and control of key institutions were enriching themselves, the rest of the economic system was isolated, neglected, and suffered increasingly severe strains and failures. Furthermore, private-backed predatory lending exploited the vehicle of sub-prime mortgages and rapidly toxified a massive segment of the international financial system.

    At the end of the hearing Greenspan described these failures as resulting from "a flaw in the model... that defines how the world works."

    So Geoff, do us all a favor and lay off the post button for awhile while you bone up on that whole deregulation theory of yours.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    And to bring this back on topic, I won't be able to enjoy the Oregonian's wicked sense of humor.

    I cancelled my subscription this morning.

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    @Geoff - I won't go over the turf Scott has plowed already, but I do want to respond to this:

    "@Dan Petergorsky are you saying that because the D's can't get the Blue Dogs, it's incumbent on the R's to reach out?"

    No. I'm saying that you (or anyone else) who comes at this advocating for real accountability on behalf of Main Street and who claims not to be acting as a party hack can't just give every single Republican a pass on their outrageous votes.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Right on, Dan. I am sick and tired of hearing that Democrats are responsible for what went wrong when Republicans controlled everything, and when Democrats were in majority, because Republicans are infallible and unaccountable.

    Not the GOP I grew up in--Grandpa was an elected official who DID expect to be held accountable, and explained his actions. Is that attitude passe these days?

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    It does gall me to hear self styled "populists" saying shit like, "most regulation is just a fix to establish the rights/dominance of some sort of oligarchy."

    Yeah, right - like the oligarchy of parents who don't like to have their kids drinking contaminated milk or meat? (Damn the dominance of those food inspection regimes!) Or drinking contaminated water? (Damn the EPA!).

    Or us oligarchs who don't want to be killed in accidents because of defective cars? Or who don't want to lose their homes 'cause some sleazy mortgage broker tricked them into loans with exploding payments so they could get higher fees? Or who have a problem with credit card rates being tripled at whim? How dare we think we have any "rights" to expect basic honesty and fairness, or that crooks who rip us off in the marketplace will be held accountable.

    It really is like the "Joe the Plumber" masquerade.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    @Dan Petergorsky -- meanwhile, our "populist" in chief protects the banking oligarchy and stands firm on Bernanke.

    How's this for Hope and Change?

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    Well, Geoff, I'm not sure who you think you're arguing with, since no one here has defended Bernanke. You're evidently unwilling to distance yourself from the Republicans you don't want to be seen fronting for, or to explain how your rants against the Federal Reserve translate into policies that will actually benefit working people.

  • Sports Betting (unverified)
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    They should really apologize for the error in print. Words have tremendous power that it is just and fair to make people who make error with words apologize.

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