What happened at last Wednesday's debate?

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2015

Our answer starts tomorrow:
What do people do with the hour they gain when we’re told to set our clocks back?

Visiting friends in the Hudson Valley, we finally got the answer! In some instances, people spend that extra hour trying to figure out how to re-set their clocks!

We don’t know if the clocks in question were really antiques, but we know they were hard to set back! The extra hour was burned away in attempts to correct the record.

For ourselves, Amtrak has arranged to return us today to our sprawling campus. Tomorrow, we’ll start examining CNBC’s journalistic performance at last Wednesday’s Republican debate.

Over the weekend, we were disappointed by the number of liberals and mainstream journalists who fell in line with a blinkered old script in which the journalistic performance just wasn’t that bad, or was perhaps even heroic. Where do such story lines come from?

To some extent, this claim may be pleasing to career journalists who are inclined to observe their guild’s code of silence. To some extent, this claim may be pleasing to tribal liberals, who pleasure themselves by repeating dog-eared claims about Republican deception and cant.

In our view, CNBC’s performance was extremely weak—and this weak performance served as a gift to the GOP and its ridiculous candidates. So does the childish liberal reaction which insists that any complaint from The Other Tribe is wrong by definition.

We liberals! With our gatekeepers largely gone, are we up to the challenge of playing this game? Do we have what it takes to struggle and win?

At bottom, we’d say the answer seems to be no. We read a lot of work this weekend which struck us as silly and less than obsessively honest—and as self-defeating.

Tomorrow, we’ll start to examine CNBC’s performance. We’ll probably start with Paul Krugman’s column from last Friday.

To read it, just click here.

Last Friday, on the train coming north, Krugman’s column struck us as odd. We’ll peruse it again on the train heading south, double-checking that reaction. For ourselves, we’d say we spent our own extra hour looking at bundles of tribal cant.

We liberals! With the gatekeepers gone, we’ve been left on our own. It sometimes seems to us that we’re eager to blow one again.

The greatest joke of all: Yesterday's chaos made us think of "Goldberg's Law," human history's greatest known joke:

"The man with one watch always knows the time. The man with two watches is never quite sure."

Often, it's better to stick with one watch. On the other hand, it can be disabling to insist on one lone narrative.

82 comments:

  1. To be more than obsessively honest, liberals are outnumbered by those who have what it takes to play the game and win now that the gatekeepers are gone. They are not up to the challenge. Liberals are lazy. They are dumb. They don't have what it takes to struggle. They cannot win.

    It is hard to say they will blow something they never could win to begin with. Tomorrow let's solve that by wallowing in bullshit a week old we can blame on all liberals even if no liberal had anything to do with it.

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    1. No, let's close our eyes to a situation we do not wish to acknowledge, my friends. We've surely got trouble.

      You are welcome to wallow in whatever you want, but I think we need to embrace good old liberal self-criticism in order to go forward with something besides the scams perpetrated by everyone who struggles to survive in a capitalist economy.

      Ask not what your country can do for you -- someone famous said that. If you were to rate each of the candidates based on their public service, what would your ranking be? Has Bernie Sanders been self-sacrificing? Has Clinton? What has Jeb Bush sacrificed for the public good, or Ted Cruz?

      It is more than fair to ask how each candidate will benefit from his or her campaign and whether there would be any public benefit to electing them. @10:43 focuses on the criticism but I think it is more appropriate to focus on the implied shift in a standard of evaluation of those putting themselves forward as candidates. How will the public good be served instead of candidate or corporate self-interest?

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    2. With a mealy-mouthed attempt at parody of the host's verbal style, our troll ultimately says... nothing.

      "It is hard to say they will blow something they never could win to begin with."

      Huh? The Dems "could never win" the 2016 Presidential election?? That is the thing under discussion, lurking behind the primary season.

      Trust a troll.

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    3. Who said anything about the Dems?

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    4. The first paragraph is about liberals. It sets the context for the pronoun at the beginning of the second paragraph establishing that "they" refers back to those liberals. That's how language works -- but Russian trolls can be excused if English is their second language.

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    5. You are a bright one! Are Russian trolls more or less trustworthy than troll-spotters who see words which aren't there?

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    6. I see -- you are incapable of participating in a conversation. So sad.

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    7. You DO see. You see words that aren't there. And you converse by calling names, then not answering a question while calling names, then by not answering a second question.

      That is why I complimented you on your intelligence.

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    8. I think @ 2:28 clearly sees us liberals not winning because we keep blowing. Which is a bottom what is to be expected given that we lack what it takes to struggle. Why fight it @ 1:53?

      Without our gatekeepers we don't even belong in the game.

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    9. To some extent, this epithet may be pleasing to tribal liberals, who pleasure themselves by repeating dog-eared retorts that to our ears do liitle to advance progressive causes.

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    10. What part of fuck off did you not understand?

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    11. Despite liberals not being up to the challenge or having what it takes to struggle and win, more people than ever before in recent years are claiming to be part of this smallest of mainstream ideology based tribes. Even so they seem eager to blow it again like whatever year it was they blew it before.

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/180452/liberals-record-trail-conservatives.aspx

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  2. Why did Krugman ignore Trump? Trump's main source of income is branding and his campaign seems largely aimed at enhancing that income stream.

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    1. Why did Somerby ignore Perlman?

      http://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-long-con

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    2. Somerby teased something he plans to write in the coming week. There are probably a bunch of similar analyses he could have included. You think he ignored this one because it refers to Steve Benen, who works for Maddow? Kind of a stretch.

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    3. I didn't mention Benen. Krugman didn't ignore Trump.

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    4. Yesterday's chaos, coming on the heels of a weekend of monsters created by the Washington Post, made it hard for a blogger to do more pleasing than teasing. When your big hand is on the clock, you can't get too wrapped around bundles of tribal cant or you'll blow your inner lone narrative.

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    5. Krugman did ignore Trump. Instead of cataloging his lies, he included him in a sentence with others. That is inappropriate given that he is either the frontrunner or second, depending on which poll you look at, and given the size of his lies. Trump's whole income is based on branding, which is a giant con. He is arguably the biggest huckster there. Benen is mentioned by Perlman. Didn't you read the article yourself?

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    6. So by Krugman's standards Perlman ignored Benen. I ignored him by all standards. I didn't mention him.

      By my standards and your admission, however, Krugman
      included Trump so therefore he did not ignore him.

      Like Russian trollers, you may have a language problem, which can be a problem although perhaps not a major source of Moscow house fires back in the Soviet days.

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    7. Why did Krugman ignore Kasich?

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    8. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha -- you are all so funny. I am dying of laughter because of the cleverness of your continuing gag that is so damned funny I want to die on the floor.

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    9. You're branding youself as stupid, petulant, and as much of an attention hog as the Donald. You cannot be ignored.

      But since you claim this bothers you allow me to answer the silly asinine question with which you began.

      If you think Krugman ignored Trump and want to know why, ask him. None of us have a clue.

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  3. People with no watches understand it is impossible to gain or lose a single second by fiddling with an hour hand.

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    1. Of course you can gain or lose seconds by fiddling with the hour hand -- you do it in increments of 60 to 3600 at a time.

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    2. Yes. And all those extra seconds gives monsters created by the Washington Post the time needed to know at the top what we'd say the answer is at the bottom. And that is scary. Salemesque even by Gatekeeper standards.

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  4. I find it striking when politicians and journalists fail to communicate clearly about numbers. I suspect that's because they don't know how to think clearly about numbers. Either Rubio or Harwood could have simply said, Under the Rubio plan, the rich get a smaller-than average percentage reduction in their income tax, but a larger than average dollar reduction. Either of them might have pointed out
    Any substantial reduction in income tax must go mostly to the rich, because the poor and lower middle class pay hardly any of the total dollars of income tax. The bottom 50% of earners pay only 3% of all federal income taxes.

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    1. I'll Tell The ChildrenNovember 2, 2015 at 12:31 PM

      The main thing, of course, done by all -- moderators, candidates, and Californian blog commentors alike -- is to forget to point out that all the commentary around these fantasy GOP tax plans is based on absurd "dynamic" scoring, having no basis in reality.

      "Let's pretend magic growth assumptions; let's pretend no immense deficit explosion!"

      Well done, well done.

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    2. Either Rubio or Harwood could have simply said, Under the Rubio plan, the rich get a smaller-than average percentage reduction in their income tax, but a larger than average dollar reduction. Either of them might have pointed out

      But that is not the question that Harwood asked.
      Harwood was comparing percentage change for the top 1% to the change for the people in the middle income range.

      It was Rubio who was changing the question and denying the facts of his own plan.



      HARWOOD: The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale.

      ....RUBIO: No, that's—you're wrong.

      HARWOOD: Senator, the Tax Foundation said after-tax income for the top 1 percent under your plan would go up 27.9 percent…And people in the middle of the income spectrum, about 15 percent.

      RUBIO: Yeah, but that—because the math is, if you—5 percent of a million is a lot more than 5 percent of a thousand. So yeah, someone who makes more money, numerically, it's gonna be higher. But the greatest gains, percentage-wise, for people, are gonna be at the lower end of our plan.

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    3. When we run a deficit and have a huge debt, why must there be any reduction in taxes at all? Why don't these candidates start by explaining that. And for the rich, why isn't profit alone enough to motivate them to continue their business activities, without sweetening it with tax reduction too?

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    4. Communicate clearly to me DinC.

      What was Carly Fiorina's income last year? What percentage of it was "earned"?

      How do conservatives communicate clearly about taxes by almost always leaving out payroll taxes when discussing how much people at differing income levels pay in federal taxes?

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    5. I'm with you, Anon 1:31. People shouldn't discuss just federal income tax. They should look at the total of federal and state income tax, investment income surtax, OASDI and Medicare assessments (both employee and employer portions), self employement tax, and city wage tax. When you do that you reach three conclusions:

      1. Total taxes on income in the US are quite high. They're not far below the level in some socialist European countries.

      2. All employees pay a not insignificant amount of tax on their income.

      3. Some fairly wealthy people are in a copmbined tax bracket whereby they could only keep around 1/3 of any additional money they earned.

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    6. If people shouldn't do it, why did you?

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    7. Anon 1:22 And for the rich, why isn't profit alone enough to motivate them to continue their business activities, without sweetening it with tax reduction too?

      From a standpoint of morality, you have a point. However, whether we like it or not, businesses will seek to maximize profits. For the big software firm my daughter works at, that means more and more operations in India and other foreign countries, because wage levels are lower. For the reinsurance business in which I worked, most US companies moved to Bremuda, because they have no corporate or personal lincome tax. New reinsurance companies are being established in Bermuda, rather than the US.

      Actually, I don't agree with Rubio. I think the tax that should be reduced or eliminated is the corporate income tax. Eliminating the corporate income tax would encourage both American and foreign firms to establish companies and subsidiaries in the US. But, imagine the furor if politicians eliminated the tax on those big, evil corporations?

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    8. most US companies moved to Bremuda, because they have no corporate or personal lincome tax. New reinsurance companies are being established in Bermuda, rather than the US.

      Tell them when they need protection from the US Military, to go calling the fucking Bermudans, fucking treasonous bastards.

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    9. Taxes are not something to be evaded. They are a legitimate cost of doing business that funds the infrastructure required to support that business. Companies that evade taxes are immoral, corrupt and most likely criminal. Their attempts to subvert the Republican agenda should be seen as a threat to our society, not part of the party platform.

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    10. Anon 2:36. "Evade" means "to escape from by trickery or cleverness". A company I worked for a long time ago (call it Company A) moved to Bermuda by means of trickery. They were prohibited from leaving the US and moving directly to Bermuda. Company A, in effect, acquired company B, based in Bermuda. Company B was nearly defunct. However, they arranged the deal so that, formally, Company B acquired Company A. So, Company A became a subsidiary of a Bermuda company. Then they re-named Company B to the same name and stock ticker symbol as Company A previously had. BTW Company A was Argonaut Group.

      BTW their stock price doubled since this move. See http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=AGII+Interactive#"useLogScale":true,"range":"5y","allowChartStacking":true} )

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    11. I cannot remember the last time we called out the Marines to rescue our precious reinsurance industry. But I am sure they would like going to Bermuda more than Granada if it were not for the very scary triangle.

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    12. So, why then are you a Republican? It sounds like you don't admire Company A or B, so why do you participate in a political party that thinks this kind of trickery is the way business should be done?

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    13. Businesses who evade taxes are not just avoiding their fair share of support for the military, but also for roads, water, schools (which educate their workforce), communities which house their workers, and so on. These companies cannot do business without the services provided by government, yet they will not pay their fair share. Those are the biggest social slackers, in my opinion, and yet conservatives worry about welfare cheats etc. That is hand-waving to distract attention from the companies that ripoff the rest of us, including responsible businesses (who pay more in taxes because these cheaters pay less), and workers who cannot go to Bermuda to evade the taxes they pay.

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    14. I hate ALL republicans.

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    15. I haven't met a single Republican who doesn't think the goal of business is to screw everybody and make as much money as possible, so I hate them all too.

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    16. If you hate you have no place in Bob Somerby's House of Love and Blog of Outreach.

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    17. You're close, 4:01 PM. The goal is business is to make as much money as possible by helping everybody. Businesses develop reputations and long-term relationships. You probably own a computer, since you're commenting here. Did you buy the most overpriced, least reliable machine with the worst features? Of course not. You bought the most economical, reliable machine that had the right features. The computer company succeeds by giving you the product you want at a price you're prepared to pay. If other companies offer a better product or a lower price, they'll take the business away.

      One needs to distinguish between and ongoing business and a one-shot deal. If some guy comes to your house and offers to repave your driveway, he might get away with doing a sh*tty job. You'll never see him again. But, if a long-term company does a sh*tty job, their reputation will suffer and new business will go to their competitors.

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    18. AnonymousNovember 2, 2015 at 3:31 PM -- both parties kowtow to busineses. Don't be fooled by what the Dems say. Watch what they do. The Dems may be even worse than the Reps.

      Look at all the sweetheart deals Obama gave companies that were supposed to be ecologically good. Many of them went bankrupt after receiving huge amounts of government money, and with executives who skipped out with big bucks. Solyndra is the best known. It cost us tax-payers half a billion dollars. But, there were many others that received less public notice.

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    19. You can fool all of the people trying to avoid evil some of the time, and some of the people trying tro avoid evil all of the time. But the lesser of two evils still leaves you with evil than you never get get with Raplh Nader or Michael Moore.

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    20. Dave 5:07 did you read The Informant? What you say is true on a main street level. At a high, high level competitors are friends and their customers, the common man, are the enemy. You are speaking about a theory. In practice we get taken and are powerless as you know. Look at your bills.

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    21. Yeah Dave in the long run Monsanto is giving us a good deal?

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    22. Anon 6:16. I know nothing of The Informant. I presume it shows some business behaving badly. Business isn't perfect by any means, but government is much worse.

      E.g., the Veterans Administration killed hundreds of patients by failing to provide treatment while covering up the fact that they weren't providing treatment. No VA employee went to prison, got fired, or even suffered financial loss for their deadly misbehavior. There no reason for a VA employee to care about the wrong done by that organization.

      The EPA created enormous pollution from a recent spill that never should have happened. Again, no EPA employee was fired or punished for this misbehavior.

      Even when government follows the law, the law is often designed to reward special interests. One I happen to be familiar with is the Federal Flood Insurance Program. It was designed to discourage building structures in flood-prone areas. It originally worked that way. But, special interests got the law revised so that it now encourages building structures in flood-prone areas, because it makes insurance available for such structures.

      I'm a Republican because, in general, I think citizens are better off if the governmet does a little less, rather than a little more.

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    23. Just to clean up some loose ends here, David.

      You agree now that Rubio didn't want to answer Harwood's question and so deflected it and misstated the premise of the question? And that your first post on this thread is unadulterated horseshit?

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    24. mm - I'm not real good at mind-reading, especially when I didn't watch the debate. I don't know what Rubio wanted.

      However, I tend to believe Hanlan's Razor. So, I would like to believe that the confused and confusing statements by Rubio and by Harwood were due to mathematical dumbness, rather than by a desire to intentionally confuse their viewers and listeners.

      That's why I like Cruz. He's the smartest of the bunch -- smarter even than Hillary, who is no dummy.

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    25. David, you're so full of shit.

      There was nothing confused or dumb about Harwood's question. Show us all what was confusing about the point Harwood was making.

      HARWOOD: The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale.



      ....RUBIO: No, that's—you're wrong.

      HARWOOD: Senator, the Tax Foundation said after-tax income for the top 1 percent under your plan would go up 27.9 percent…And people in the middle of the income spectrum, about 15 percent.

      RUBIO: Yeah, but that—because the math is, if you—5 percent of a million is a lot more than 5 percent of a thousand. So yeah, someone who makes more money, numerically, it's gonna be higher. But the greatest gains, percentage-wise, for people, are gonna be at the lower end of our plan.


      Ted Cruz. It figures

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    26. First of all, Harwood's question didn't put the thing in context. Without explaining the dollars of income and the dollars of income tax per person or per family in each of these brackets, nobody really understands the discussion. I learned this in making reports to a conglomerate called Teledyne. I'd have been fired if I justified some policy based on only percentages without providing the dollar figures.

      Harwood's first try about "twice as much of a gain" was tendentious and uniformative. How much tax the average person in each group pay? How much did the average group member earn? How big was the tax reduction for the average person in each group? Without presenting these figures, Harwood's "twice as much of a gain" was just a partisan way to make Rubio's plan look bad.

      I looked for figures to precisely match Harwood's second attempt, but I didn't find them.

      It's hard for me to believe that Harwood could be right. The current FIT has a top bracket of 39.6%. Rubio's plan has a top bracket of 35%. That's not a huge reduction.

      Consider someone in the top 1% with taxable income of $1 million. Most of his income would be in the top bracket under either plan. For simplicity, let's assume all of his income is in the top bracket. Then, under the current plan, this millionaire pays income tax or $396,000 and has after-tax income of $604,000. Under Rubio's plan, he pays $350,000 and his after-tax income is $650,000. So, his after tax income goes up by 7.6%, nowhere near 27.9%.

      I'm not positive this is right, since I didn't find the exact calculations Harwood was referencing. If you find them, mm, or if you find an error in my reasoning, please let me know.

      Of course, Harwood's confused and/or mistaken description of Rubio's plan doesn't excuse Rubio's failure to explain his plan. He should be prepared to defend his tax proposal.

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    27. Davy, you ignorant slut. The U.S. is the wealthiest goddamn nation in all of goddamn human history. And a tiny, tiny percentage of Americans own a vastly disproportionate share of that historically unprecedented wealth. Because of this unimaginable wealth, these same people are able to make the U.S. government do their bidding. (Just look at the influence the pharmaceutical industry has on it, to give one quick example among countless.) This same tiny elite also control the media. They will never know a day of want in their lives. They will have the most pampered, privileged, comfortable, secure lives ever lived. They will always have access to the best medical care, the best lawyers, the latest and greatest technology, and live in the nicest and safest areas. Their kids will go to the best schools and have every opportunity and positive life experience money can buy. And they have enough money that they can retire anytime they like. Meanwhile, less fortunate, less intelligent, less educated, less business/money savvy, and much less financially secure people will be forced to work their asses off at soul-crushing jobs until they're in their 70s, just to keep their heads above water. They struggle and worry to make ends meet. Some have to work more than one shitty job. Some will be homeless at some point in their lives. Some will go bankrupt because they can't afford health insurance (although, thanks to Obamacare, this should now be more rare). They won't be able to set aside enough money for a decent retirement. And yet you're going to argue on behalf of the wealthy?? Please. As if the wealthiest, most secure, most powerful oligarchy in all of human history need people like you coming to their defense. And you defend them in an utterly disingenuous way to boot. You cherry pick just those facts that make the wealthy seem sooooo burdened by big evil taxes, and make the poor seem like they're a bunch of free loaders. Here are some different facts you could have emphasized: Mitt Romney only paid something like a 14% effective tax rate in recent years. Warren Buffet not too many years ago paid a much smaller overall tax rate than his secretary. And when a poor person pays taxes, it hurts him/her infinitely more than it does a wealthy person, because those taxes are taken out of his/her food, rent, and/or medicine money. So when out-of-touch idiots like Ben Carson talk about implementing a 15% flat tax rate, he's talking about giving wealthy people more investment and yacht money, and taking food, rent, and medicine money away from the poor. Not to mention that asshole Republicans scream "it's the end of the world" about the deficit and debt when Democrats are in control. And yet every single one of the leading Republican candidates want massive tax cuts that would blow up both the deficit and debt. So you know they're just full of shit. Why not emphasize THOSE types of facts, instead of carrying water for the rich, powerful, and comfortable? And regardless of which group you decide to argue on behalf of, at least do so honestly. Don't leave out all the other taxes that the non-wealthy pay (which you only mentioned after someone called you out on it). And I don't know where you got this from: Under the Rubio plan, the rich get a smaller-than average percentage reduction in their income tax. That smells like bullshit to me, based on the reading I've done (see below). And then there's this whopper of lie: "I looked for figures to precisely match Harwood's second attempt, but I didn't find them. It's hard for me to believe that Harwood could be right." Bull. Shit. Just this weekend, you read and discussed FactCheck.org's factcheck of Harwood and Rubio's exchange, and here is what they said, as you well know (continued below):

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    28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    29. Top 1% - after tax income increases 27.9%


      What the fuck does your extremely tendentious response have to do with Rubio's stupid answer?

      5% of a million is more than 5% of a thousand. Gee, thanks for that math lesson Marco.

      Harwood was talking PERCENTAGE. There was no confusion.


      HARWOOD: Senator, the Tax Foundation said after-tax income for the top 1 percent under your plan would go up 27.9 percent…And people in the middle of the income spectrum, about 15 percent.


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    30. 'Rubio said CNBC’s John Harwood was “wrong” that the Tax Foundation analysis of his tax plan found “you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top 1 percent as to people in the middle of the income scale.” But that is what the Tax Foundation found.
      Rubio responded that the largest percentage gains would be for those with the lowest incomes, which is also true, according to the Tax Foundation’s analysis. But that doesn’t make Harwood’s statement wrong.
      The Tax Foundation concluded that Rubio’s plan, when scored “dynamically” to account for expected economic growth, would result in an after-tax income increase of nearly 28 percent for those in the top 1 percent, while those in the middle income deciles — 40 percent to 50 percent and 50 percent to 60 percent — would see their after-tax income rise by 15.7 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively. People with incomes in the lowest 10 percent would see the greatest percentage gains, nearly 56 percent.
      In other words, the greatest percentage income gains would be realized by those with low or high incomes, with smaller percentage gains for those in the middle. ... Looking at the plan on a “static basis,” which does not assume that tax cuts in the plan would spur economic growth, the Tax Foundation said the average gain in after-tax income would be 3.9 percent. But the biggest winners — on a percentage basis — would be those at the bottom and top of the income scale. For example, the analysis stated, the gain would be 11.4 percent for the 10 percent to 20 percent decile, 11.5 percent for the highest 1 percent, but only 1.7 percent for the 50-60 percent decile.' http://www.factcheck.org/2015/10/factchecking-the-cnbc-debates/

      And here is a nice summary of how much disingenuousness was packed into Rubio's reply to Harwood:

      'Here’s how Harwood described Rubio’s tax plan: “The Tax Foundation, which was alluded to earlier, scored your tax plan and concluded that you give nearly twice as much of a gain in after-tax income to the top one percent as to people in the middle of the income scale." This is both 100 percent correct and generous to Rubio at the same time. The Tax Foundation—an advocate for supply side tax policy—dubiously assumed the regressiveness of Rubio’s plan would be diminished by its ability to grow the economy and increase people’s pre-tax incomes, and Harwood granted them the assumption.
      Rather than defend his plan on the merits, though, Rubio simply claimed Harwood was wrong, and conservatives applauded with great fanfare.

      No, that’s—you’re wrong. In fact, the largest after-tax gains is for the people at the lower end of the tax spectrum under my plan. And there’s a bunch of things my tax plan does to help them. … [Y]ou wrote a story on it, and you had to go back and correct it.
      This answer contains a lie, an apples-oranges nonsequitur, and another lie. Harwood’s question wasn’t about the very poor. It was about why Rubio’s plan gave so much more back to the very rich than to the middle class. And he was right.' http://www.newrepublic.com/article/123280/gops-grotesque-festival-lies

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    31. "Rubio misled the Tax Foundation into concluding that his plan would help the poor, and for some reason he's never gotten around to correcting the error. In fact, he's been aggressively touting the Tax Foundation analysis to "prove" that his plan helps the poor. He even accused John Harwood of misrepresenting his plan on national TV even though he knew perfectly well that he was the one misrepresenting his plan. If I were the Tax Foundation, I'd be pissed." http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/10/are-we-allowed-say-marco-rubio-lying-about-his-tax-plan

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    32. as a child, when DinC first heard the story of David and Goliath, he rooted for Goliath

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    33. mm - I agree with your criticism of Rubio's answer. In my comment above, I criticized Rubio for failing to explain and defend his tax cut proposal.

      I think it's nice that we can agree on some points.

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    34. No, David. We do not agree. Rubio didn't fail to explain his tax cut proposal. He LIED about it and MISLEAD the audience, then attacked the moderator.

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    35. Abolishing the estate tax is the wet dream of of the right. I assume Rubio's plan calls for this; correct me if I'm wrong. It certainly is the plan of most if not all of the GOP field. Yet this rarely gets mentioned. It will have an enormous effect of shifting even more wealth into the pockets of fewer and fewer people.

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    36. One of my pet peeves is misuse of the past tense of lead. The verb is pronounced with a long e. Its past tense has a short e. The mineral lead is pronounced with a short e. But, the past tense of the verb is spelled led.

      I apologize for this petty criticism. I see this error so often that it annoys me.

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  5. A panel of competent journalists was roundly and outrageously set upon by a mob of lowlifes who would presume to be our rulers, and Howler suggests the thing to do is join the dogpile.

    No one's suggesting Pulitzer Prizes all around, but among these gumbas, outright lies were told and not a one of them, except Kasich, challenged the worst of the liars. If the panel was a little slow in producing sources, it was probably because they were caught off guard by the brazenness of the candidates' dishonesty. Maybe all journalists will know better next time.

    True, no one on the panel brought up the 2000 election, or what the candidates thought of Maureen Dowd or Chris Matthews, as Howler would have liked; but I'd sooner vote for any of them (except Soapbox Santelli) than any of those drooling on the podiums.

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    1. I disagree. While this explains what happened, the journalists involved should have been prepared with sources relevant to any question they planned to ask. They shouldn't have been caught flat-footed, especially given Fiorina's performance at the 2nd debate. It wasn't like they had no warning. Bush told big lies like this. They enabled the politicians in their lies by being unable to call them on them.

      Kasich is not a hero. Someone should have asked him why teachers don't deserve to have teacher's lounges where they can eat lunch away from students, when every other minimum wage employee has a lunch room.

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    2. The lunchroom problem is Kasich's biggest weakness, so he was asked about it. He just didn't answer.

      By the way, I don't have a lunchroom. But like teachers I am not like every other minimum wage employee. Maybe other minimum wage employees don't get summers off like teachers.

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    3. Teachers don't get paid for their summers off. They also don't get paid for working 60 hrs per week or for buying their own classroom supplies or for using the summer to improve their knowledge and skills, but they do it anyway.

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    4. When you add lunchrom deprivation to the long list it is a wonder we even get the bottom quartile of our students to join the teaching profession. If it wasn't for the cameraderie of ratty union membership, we proabably wouldn't have teachers at all any more. Then people really would see through Kasich.

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    5. You think it is funny when people work for other satisfactions besides money? I've meet teachers who are former lawyers or computer scientists, who left those professions because they want to help children have better lives. They aren't the bottom quartile of students. The ones who leave the profession within 3 years are more likely to be the low quartile performers. Kasich's remark was not about lunchrooms -- it was about lack of respect for a profession that is essential to the success of businesses in his state. You echo that lack of respect and that makes you as big an idiot as he is. What good is being in one of the upper quartiles if you cannot understand the importance of what teachers do?

      Kids relate to people with personal warmth, enthusiasm for their subject matter, empathy with young people, and stamina to deal with a group of high energy children all day long. These qualities have nothing to do with being in any quartile academically. The field is winnowed as those who cannot do the job leave voluntarily because they just cannot hack it. Denigrating those who stay is face-saving but unfair.

      Competitiveness puts college students in the top quartiles and that same quality drives them toward occupations that measure outcomes in $ instead of intangibles. You seem to equate lower quartiles with stupidity instead of different values. Again, that is face-saving but not necessarily true. Most students admitted to a college are capable of doing the work -- those who choose not to maximize their gpa are more likely doing other things than those who are chasing externally defined success.

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    6. What is the difference between teacher's lounges and the lunchrooms every other minimum wage employee has?

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    7. I think intangibiles are funny. Bitcoins break me up. I seem what I am to those who value that which seems to be.

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  6. This past week has seen Somerby perform like Hillary the week before. Awesome.

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    1. Bob has been on a roll for a while now. Nobody can count counties in Alabammy like Brother Bob. Take that Neil Young.

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  7. "What do people do with the hour they gain when we’re told to set our clocks back?"

    Aren't we just getting back the time we lost? And is time really the issue? And aren't we just really saving daylight for those dark days ahead when we will really need it, like after the intellectual culture collapses?

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    1. As Somerby learned from friends in the Hudson Valley, some people are just losers and seem determined to blow it coming and going.

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  8. "Republican senators Thom Tills (NC), Dan Coates (IN), John Cornyn (TX) and Johnny Isakson (GA) have all been outed by an Anonymous document dump that is seeking to reveal the identities of 1,000 members of the KKK and other affiliated racial hate groups."

    From Polticus: http://www.politicususa.com/2015/11/02/anonymous-outs-4-republican-senators-kkk-hate-groups.html

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    1. Way to go Anonymous. You are legend.

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  9. Many may argue obsessive honesty among the excessively literal is more of a problem than it used to be. Gotcha seems to be an acceptable excuse among careerists to hide guilt over guild enforced silence.

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  10. Does anyone think there is a 1 in 100 chance that Bob is among the 1% who believes you gain or lose an hour when the adjustment to a clock for daylight savings time is made?

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    1. It's the same chance that you are stupid and lost.

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