July 31, 2011

"What if the people who hate government are good at it and the people who love government are bad at it?"

Maureen Dowd observes that "Obama and John Boehner have been completely outplayed by the 'hobbits'":
Consider what the towel-snapping Tea Party crazies have already accomplished. They’ve changed the entire discussion. They’ve neutralized the White House. They’ve whipped their leadership into submission. They’ve taken taxes and revenues off the table. They’ve withered the stock and bond markets. They’ve made journalists speak to them as though they’re John Calhoun and Alexander Hamilton.
That term, "hobbits" (for tea partiers), comes from the Wall Street Journal and John McCain. I'm not sure what hobbits — the actual literary characters — have to do with "towel-snappin" and "whipping" anybody "into submission."

Dowd is not kind to President Obama:
As one Democratic senator complained: “The president veers between talking like a peevish professor and a scolding parent.” (Not to mention a jilted lover.) Another moaned: “We are watching him turn into Jimmy Carter right before our eyes.”

Obama’s “We must lift ourselves to a higher place” trope doesn’t work on this rough crowd. If somebody at dinner is about to kill you, you don’t worry about his table manners.
Kill you?! The hobbits?

From that Wall Street Journal article: 
The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.
Sorry, but I don't remember all that "Lord of the Rings" stuff enough to understand that. Mordor is a place, right? Yes. "Mordor was the realm of the Dark Lord Sauron. It was a terrible land of darkness and fear, inhabited by Orcs and other evil creatures." Does that make Obama the "Dark Lord"? I understand the Journal's hope that the Tea Party will go back to their modest home towns after they do whatever they think is their mission in Washington, that "terrible land of darkness and fear."

85 comments:

JOhn said...

The point of the WSJ article is that the Hobbits and the world they live in are pure fantasy, just as are a balanced budget amendment and a lot of the Tea Party's demands as long as Democrats control two-thirds of the federal government.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

People that self-identify as Tea Party members do so because they have been 'disenfranchised' by the 2 major parties, both ideologically and literally via their pocketbooks.

It is not surprising to hear both D and R members, and their apparatchik (media types) struggle to draw parallels, borrowing from fictional writings and such, to explain exactly 'who' these Tea Party people are.

They have tuned out the regular guy for so long, they (Tea Party types) are unrecognizable.

So, understandably, D's, R's, and the apparatchik that survive as parasitic beings find this phenomenon frightening because it threatens the way they 'do' business, at the cost of the 'host' American taxpayer.

Fascinating.

vet66 said...

Those that ridicule the Tea Party message are in the real land of Mordor which is their comfort zone. As for the Tea Party itself, we have just begun as the sacred monoliths erected by the short-sighted and fearful crumble before their eyes.

The more fitting analogy would be the fall of the Berlin Wall. I remember the shot of one freedom seeker hammering away with a small hammer on the concrete barrier. Is it any wonder that Dowd recoils in horror and fearful indignation at the image of a million small hammers chipping away at her "sweet spot?"

As for McCain, he has managed to outlive his political usefulness as have so many others.They have lost their way.

Johanna Lapp said...

Spoilers!

Anyone who has actually read Lord of the Rings (or even seen the movies) knows that it's the the tiny, humble hobbits who save middle earth from the evil of Too Much Power -- where powerful wizards, trolls, magical elves and arrogant-but-dissolute humans fail miserably.

Deirdre Mundy said...

SPOILERS--

Of course, then they return home to find out that their beloved shire has been taken over and enslaved while they were gone.....

traditionalguy said...

As Bonhoefer once said, " running up the aisle of a train car in the reverse direction that it is going is not what is needed. What is needed is picking the the correct train to ride."

The anti-social Tea Partiers are ready to see the Bullet Train to certain ObamaDisaster derail with them on it in the faint hope of getting onto a train going the right direction.

The missing ingredient is a clear vision expressed by a leader with a gift for words.

She had better hurry.

Joe said...

From outside the beltway, it looked like Congressional leaders could not find a way to put sufficient opportunities for graft in the budget. It looked like The Tea Party would not let them.

I'm hoping that our Congressmen and Senators don't point the finger of blame for this at the Tea Party, but at the American Voter.

At least, I hope the American Voter deserves the blame. I suspect I'm just dreaming about that.

campy said...

A lot of people who love writing opeds are bad at it.

Marshal said...

"If somebody at dinner is about to kill you, you don’t worry about his table manners."

Revealing. Increasing government control and spending is so central to leftists that they believe denying it is tantamount to killing them.

Hagar said...

I do not think Obama is Jimmy Carter redux. I think Obama comes more from the world of Bill Ayers, and possibly Bill Ayers's father.

Come to think of it; there was some pontificating on TV last night about Anders Breivik's intent being to do something so horrific it would get everyone's attention and set in train a general revolution from which a better world would emerge.

Isn't that just what the Ayers' and their Weatherman faction were trying to do back in the day?

mike said...

But the hobbits, good decent folk, won against really evil bad monsters. Yeah, that pretty much sums up the current situation.

Conserve Liberty said...

Hobbits indeed. Coastal media commentators simply do not understand the significance of individual dignity and liberty. They are forced to use weak analogies to illustrate their lack of understanding.

People who self-identify with Tea Party ideals simply want a weaker, smaller Federal government. They prefer less dependent state, county and municipal governments, where their votes have statistical significance.

They abhor the unfunded mandate and the propensity of the Federal bureaucracy to impose blanket standards that restrict individuality and freedom of choice ranging from light bulbs to health care.

Quayle said...

Let's clear up the picture a bit here:

1. The U.S. government currently needs to borrowing one of every two dollars it is spending.

Anyone here think that is a good idea?

2. The Tea Party folks want to bring the borrowing down, eventually over time to zero.

Anyone here that is a bad idea?

3. The Tea Party folks want to bring down the borrowing by cutting spending, not raising taxes?

Anyone think raising taxes is a good idea? In this recession?

4. There are two ways to get your bond rating lowered: (a) miss making the return payment, and (b) borrowing so much in total that everyone knows that you'll never be able to pay them back.

To try to fight back, the Dems are totally focusing on (a) with a very suspect - a very tenuous - argument.

They are trying to argue that just because the U.S. government won't be able to borrow more, it won't be able to pay interest on current debt.

Not really true, is it, because 50% of the money we spend comes from taxes and that cash stream isn't really at risk, is it. Interest on current debt can be serviced by revenue from taxes (and some contractors to the U.S. government can wait for payment. They're already doing it - my daughter has been waiting for her IRS acknowledged over-withholding refund from 2009 for well over a year.)

BuUt the Dems are totally ignoring the more likely scenario, which is (b).

We'll wake up some day, and China will have decided that it no longer wants to hold U.S. debt, because it doesn't want to be paid back with inflated dollars (the only way this is going to be solved - the ONLY way), and our borrowing costs will skyrocket.

One our borrowing costs skyrocket, folks, we're toast. We'll be in a tail spin that will make this economy and this leadership crisis look like a child's game.

So, who's out of touch? Tea Party? GOP? Or the Dems?

Pretty clear, isn't it?

kcom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kansas City said...

The Dowd style and general lack of substance is a very odd presence on the NY Times editorial page. I think her selection was originally affirmative action gone amuck, and now he probably has a lifetime gig.

The use of quotes here, made up or real, is just a very odd way to present your [?] thoughts in an opinion piece. This amounts to scathing criticism of Obama by a far left darling, but she is just as likely to come back next week gooing over him.

More interesting to me is the Tea Party movement. The democrats and their liberal media made every effort to destroy the movement at the outset, and they failed. The whole staged deal of black house members purposely walking through a mostly white Tea Party crowd opposing Obama Care and then falsely alleging racial slurs was a shameful and low moment for democrats. Luckily, it did not work. Perhaps it will be the turning point for the demise of such tactics, or at least the signmal that they will no longer work.

kcom said...

"Is it any wonder that Dowd recoils in horror and fearful indignation at the image of a million small hammers chipping away at her 'sweet spot?'"

I believe Maureen Dowd already has well-documented problems with her "sweet spot".

ricpic said...

In Maureen's terms the Founding Fathers hated government. Why else did they labor to limit such a good thing?

Rialby said...

So is the term "tea baggers" passé now? Someone needs to tell our favorite community college professor.

sorepaw said...

Maureen Dowd's column is an amazingly bad piece of writing.

She's all over the place, thrashing and flailing.

Tank said...

For those who keep reminding Ann that she voted for the Zero, it's interesting to note what an idiot fool John McCain has proved to be in so many situations.

Including this one.

Yep, I don't regret voted for neither.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Hobbits were the unexpected heroes of Middle Earth.

Mild and meek. They had a sweet, peaceful, pastoral existence that was disturbed by the evil that was tearing their world apart.

Reluctant heroes who lived ordinary lives, who did the extraordinary and rose above their own desires and defeated Sauron. They inspired the rest of the inhabitants of Middle Earth to also rise and create a better safer world.

The media elitists and the politicians are immersed in Mordor and have listened to the sibilant and seductive whispering of Sauron for much to long. They believe the distortions and evil of Sauron and fear the normal and the truth.

Time for us Hobbits to 'whup some ass' so we can get back to eating baked mushrooms and taking our afternoon naps in peace. Maybe even read a book by the cozy warming light of an incandescent light bulb.

(Many think that the Trilogy by Tolkin was a result of his horrific experiences during WWI and his seeing the same horrors looming on the horizon pre WWII. In this respect perhaps the WSJ is correct in using the Hobbits as an analogy for the Tea Party since we ARE on the brink of some very very bad changes throughout the world.)

Jay said...

the towel-snapping Tea Party crazies

Yes, because now having a balanced budget, something her and her ilk still fellate Clinton for, is "crazy".

It must be fun being so incoherent.

John said...

If it is getting MoDo this upset the Tea Party must be doing something right.

Do you think we would be having this discussion had McCain been elected?

No, we would be raising the debt ceiling without any discussion. We would be raising taxes without any discussion. Ds & Rs would be cuting back room deals without any public discussion.

Rather than criticizing our hostess for voting for Obama, we need to thank her, and all the others who voted for this turkey, again.

Maybe, just maybe he has woken the people and we will turn this shipwreck around.

Maybe, just maybe, we will wind up with smaller govt.

Now we need to work at getting rid of Ds & Rs in 2012 who do not fully, and I mean FULLY, support the goal of smaller govt.

Many disagree with me but it was better to have gone down with Christine O'Donnell, Sharon Angle and other believers than it would have been to have won with squishier candidates. Look at Reid. He is a dead man walking. He will have very little influence after this.

John Henry

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Anyone who has actually read Lord of the Rings (or even seen the movies) knows that it's the the tiny, humble hobbits who save middle earth from the evil of Too Much Power -- where powerful wizards, trolls, magical elves and arrogant-but-dissolute humans fail miserably.

Of course, then they return home to find out that their beloved shire has been taken over and enslaved while they were gone.....


However, having returned they have learned the skills, gained the courage and resolution to organize the residents and "Scour the Shire" ridding it of the evil and peace is restored.

:-D

DaveW said...

The hobbit analogy isn't just strained or weak. It simply isn't analogous.

Why don't they just call them Tea partiers or whatever? This is really childish. "Extremists", "tea baggers", now "hobbits"?

Titus said...

The Eastern establishment elites still don't understand us and never will.

Titus said...

The lame stream media is not setting the agenda anymore and they are furious.

Hagar said...

Raising the debt ceiling so that the Gov't can borrow more money to pay its debt, is a lot like taking out a CityBank card with which to pay the interest on your Bank of America card.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

In the elite's formulation, Hobbits = little nobodies.

Skipper50 said...

Lest we forget, Hobbits were the good guys.

Rick said...

The Tea Party has just begun to fight.

edutcher said...

I love the "how dast they?" tone MoDo takes:

"the towel-snapping Tea Party crazies "

"They’ve made journalists speak to them as though they’re John Calhoun and Alexander Hamilton"

But the best is, "They’ve withered the stock and bond markets".

No, Little Zero and the Demos apparently wanted to recreate the September '08 market swoon into stampeding the Republicans into doing it their way. This time, it hasn't worked.

And I have to agree with Hagar - partially. Zero is looking a lot like more like LBJ than Jimmy Carter. Insta's line that Ol' Bucketmouth would be a best case scenario is becoming more prescient by the hour.

Mary Beth said...

Stupid hobbitses, tricksy hobbitses, always keeping it from us... yes, my precious. We wants it!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

From that Wall Street Journal article:
The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling...

I'm not sure the point of this hypothetical, since the house has not only agreed to raise the debt ceiling, but they have passed two bills that would do so. This is two more bills than the Senate has passed, as well as two more than the President has proposed.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Okay, I lied.

I completely understand the point of the hypothetical. It is to try to place blame where it doesn't belong.

timmaguire42 said...

They have absolutely no idea how to deal with people who are actually sincere.

"They’ve withered the stock and bond markets."

Really? Not according to the stock pages of the New York Times. The market is doing just fine. And Dowd is a doddering has-been.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"They’ve withered the stock and bond markets."

Really? Not according to the stock pages of the New York Times. The market is doing just fine.

They WANT to have the markets whither and crash. The fact that it hasn't is pissing them off.

They want to manufacture a crisis so that they can take advantage of it.

The market is NOT going to whither especially if the government does not get to borrow more money. The markets (both domestic and international) will continue to do what it does because there are not many other places to put cash for investments. Buy government bonds? Puleeeze.

If the government CAN'T borrow more money and must live within its means (reduce SPENDING!!) the markets will see this as a positive development. But the useful idiots like Dowd, don't understand this and are rooting for a market collapse so that their idiot ideology can be shoved down our throats.

Hagar said...

Obama like LBJ?

Ol' Lyndon will get you for that if you should meet up in the hereafter!

fafhrd said...

I like how people, in their mad attempts to smear the "other side" with ad homimens, reached out to call them Hobbits.

It was hobbits who got the Five Armies to ally with one another and fight to retake the Misty Mountain.

It was hobbits who brought ruin to Isengard when Saruman turned on the good of Middle Earth, by awakening a righteous rage in the Ents.

It was hobbits who helped defend Minas Tirith in it's greatest moment of need, saving it's rightful Steward, Faramir, from certain destruction by his father, and helping to defeat the Lord of the Nazgul himself, the Witch King.

Hobbits also fought at the Morannon, the last battle for a free Middle Earth. They fought, and won.

And lastly, it were two unseemly hobbits who made the perilous journey to Mordor, and destroyed the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Middle Earth was freed from the darkness of Sauron by their bravery.

Oh, and then the same hobbits fought to free the Shire from Saruman.

So, in the end, by calling the Tea Party "Hobbits", they have only said one thing of worth: we want them to be like the hobbits who brought peace to Middle Earth. And make great tabac.

Mike said...

Poor Old Mo Do--problems with her "sweet spot" and all--wandering around in a column again.
Flailing and thrashing is one way to describe it. But I prefer to remember the old Ronnie Reagan story about the young man who burrowed through a room full of horse manure--because he knew he would find a pony in there. Ms. Dowd finally finds the pony at the end of her column. I don't know that the Tea Partiers are actually good at governing. But they were elected to do a particular job--and in something that's refreshing and entirely unexpected among the posturing perfumed princes on the Potomac--remembered why they were sent to Washington.

Are they terrorists? Will they end the world as Nancy Pelosi knows it? One would hope so.

The Crack Emcee said...

If they think this is ending with this deal, or Washington, they don't understand anything. Taking the White House is the beginning of Phase Two, not the end of the battle, by any means. This country is about to be transformed, just as Obama promised, but away from what he envisioned - far, far away.

Maureen Dowd will probably find herself without a job,...

Fred4Pres said...

John McCain is a dwarf. But not a good one. More like a foolish vain one who gets killed by the gremlins.

Obama is more like this character. Or maybe even like this.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Obama is Doctor Utopia

(link to a vintage video. Long but worth it)

Kirk Parker said...

"A lot of people who love writing opeds are bad at it."

Campy (and KC, too):

Yeah, but I think sometime in the dim, dark past, Dowd actually was good at it. Now, however, all she does is string cutesy phrases together in a totally incoherent fashion. I should see if "Mommy Weirdest" is online somewhere and do a reality check, I suppose.

sydney said...

I find this whole MSM meme about the craziness of the Tea Party not only disheartening, but frightening. How can it be that such a significant proportion of our population think it's OK to spend more than we make, in perpetuity? Is there any example in all of history that supports that thesis? I ask this in all sincerity. My study of world history is somewhat limited. The only examples of nations with supremely bad debt loads that come to my mind are late 18th century France and Rome c.500AD. Neither case turned out well.

Andrea said...

Johanna Lapp said:

"Anyone who has actually read Lord of the Rings (or even seen the movies) knows that it's the the tiny, humble hobbits who save middle earth from the evil of Too Much Power -- where powerful wizards, trolls, magical elves and arrogant-but-dissolute humans fail miserably."

That's a real simplistic version of the plot of Lord of the Rings. Actually, far from being useless and "fail[ing] miserably," the alliance of wizards (one wizard, actually), elves, dwarves (not "trolls," which were evil creatures of the Enemy), and humans (who were neither "arrogant" nor "dissolute") and hobbits were what made it possible for Frodo, Sam, and Gollum to sneak into Mordor and destroy the Ring -- and actually, it was Gollum, the Hobbit who had long ago been turned to the dark side, who destroyed it, involuntarily, by stealing the Ring from Frodo at the last minute and falling into the Cracks of Doom. Frodo, you see, had just succumbed to the Power of the Ring, and had no intention of destroying it after all.

Hagar said...

How about Germany?
It's above my paygrade, but I have read that Hjalmar Schacht figured he could keep the smoke and mirrors borrowing going at most through 1940, but then der Fuehrer just would have to get the ball rolling.
This was known, so Hitler beat them to it by not waiting to the last minute, and attacked in 1939.

SGT Ted said...

Yes, because wanting the government to be efficient and responsible with tax revenues and to spend within thier limits is to be a murderer and live in an unrealistic fantasy world.

You can't make that shit up.

SGT Ted said...

oh and don't foget wanting elected public servants to listen to the voters is murder and fantasy too.

caseym54 said...

Not sure the Tea Party would want to be considered another John Calhoun.

But then, Dowd probably thinks the Tea Party want to return to slavery, which Calhoun thought a positive good.

At least she's not calling us teabaggers anymore.

sydney said...

Hagar,
Yes, and Napoleon did the same for France, but both Napoleonic France and Third Reich Germany turned their economies around by plundering others. That's not the American way.

DaveW said...

One funny thing is the TEA party folks that keep getting smeared in the media and by both parties are a pretty tame, sane bunch.

They just object to the idea of out of control spending and, at least originally, the Wall Street bailouts, which the same media and pols love to call 'fat cats'.

I know 3 TEA partiers that I know of now, a black woman with a skizo son that I'd bet had never voted for a republican in her life prior to 2008, a younger white woman with 3 little kids, and a middle aged white guy that works in the oil industry. None involved in politics prior to 2 1/2 years ago.

What they care about is exploding debt and spending, loss of their health care choices and the idea of bailing out super-rich mega-banks and the like with public funds.

There's just nothing extreme about them.

Fen said...

Maureen is Shelob: "her beak drabbling a spittle of venom".

I'm certain its venom because Maureen swallows.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Mixed metaphors are a sign that a person is not thinking about what they write; merely grabbing random cliches rather than composing a sentence.

This one was used by critics of the Iraq War, and attributed falsely to Shakespeare. It begins "Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword...."

It tells you how far from true literacy we are today, when educated people can believe that Shakespeare wrote about drums whipping people into swords.

Hank Rearden_WI said...

What a country. To be a part of the Tea Party, and have hairy feet.

Curious George said...

Rubio slam dunks it

David R. Graham said...

"Hobbits" = "Country Class." Mordor = "Ruling Class."

Actually, the WSJ's metaphor doesn't work. Mordor wasn't afraid of Hobbits. Mordor wanted something a Hobbit possessed. That Hobbit's mission wasn't to destroy Mordor, it was to destroy the object of Mordor's lust (aka idolatry). A collateral effect of that destruction, or better, return to its origin in Mordor's own infernal ugliness, would be evisceration of Mordor. But the collateral effect was not the mission.

Really, it is Tolkein's metaphor that does not work. The live battery of evil is not inside evil. "Mordor" is neither self-supporting nor self-generating. Evil's live battery are the procedures of good. Evil's existence depends on what is not itself. It's a parasite generated by the existence of its host.

The "Ruling Class" always depends on the "Country Class," who rules it. Did they but know it. That WSJ opinion is screwed on backwards. Although he helped bring the magnificent Jerusalem Bible into English, and wrote compelling fiction, Tolkein was no theologian. His fiction is not realistic. Neither is that WSJ opinion.

Marshal said...

"Really, it is Tolkein's metaphor that does not work."

LOTR was not written as a metaphor for the real world.

Hagar said...

@Sydney,

However, the United States' insatiable borrowing will work because in Bernanke and Geithner we trust?

Oligonicella said...

Andrea --

"Frodo, you see, had just succumbed to the Power of the Ring, and had no intention of destroying it after all."

To continue the fanboy discussion, I have no doubt that Sam would have knocked Frodo over the edge himself, even if that required going over with him.

No. The Hobbits didn't fail. Remember, Sam willingly gave the ring back.

Sam's the actual hero in the story.

Oligonicella said...

David R. Graham --

You know why he wrote LOTR, correct?

Synova said...

Well, Dowd is the gift that keeps on giving, isn't she.

Citing "lift ourselves" and then the "kill you" thing in subsequent sentences is too precious for words. Self-awareness? In what lifetime.

I get the Mordor and Middle Earth thing, but not the Hobbit thing. Really? As all D&D geeks know... you can't use the word "Hobbit" without getting sued. But why not the human groups that went up against evil? Why not the dwarves? Why not the elves? Why Hobbits?

"The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame."

Ah, foolish, foolish! It's merely a hope, a liklihood, that the blame will fall on Obama. That it might rather fall on the Republican House (to paraphrase the first Shrek movie) is a risk the Tea Party is willing to take.

Seeing Red said...

Consider what the towel-snapping Tea Party crazies

we're frat boys & hobbits?

Hobbits were the good guys.

Seeing Red said...

Frat-boy teabagging hobbits.


Now there's an image.

Kirk Parker said...

"Frat-boy teabagging hobbits.

Now there's an image. "


Seared.... seared into my memory, I tell ya.

Writ Small said...

Ann said - "I understand the Journal's hope that the Tea Party will go back to their modest home towns after they do whatever they think is their mission. . ."

Simply not true.

The WSJ and the many other parts of the conservative movement (Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry, Laura Ingraham, Allen West, and Paul Ryan) supported Boehner's original bill. If nothing had been passed by the house, as the absolutists advocated, any economic mess resulting from a lack of a deal would have been blamed on Tea Party. Is there any doubt independents would come to see it that way if the WSJ, Weekly Standard, and National Review did?

All that said, those same conservatives including the WSJ understand that the Tea Party is the reason we've made as much progress as we have on moving the debate to control of spending and deficits. Tea Party energy and sometimes unreasonableness are why Obama and the Democrats are running scared. It's useful for the other side to think some of your guys are a little crazy. It was useful to have the Soviets believe some of our generals were possibly rogue and war-crazy during the cold war. All those self-righteous, anti-war movies about crazy generals made in the 60's and beyond were quite helpful - just not in the way the directors likely realized.

True believers are essential, and nearly all conservatives, “establishment” or otherwise, understand that. But true believers can also go too far. If have the country comes to see the Tea Party as Dr. Strangelove (or Boromir in a state of ring-lust if you prefer) in 2012, we’re screwed.

TANSTAAFL said...

Let's put it this way:

I'd much rather be a Hobbit tha a reactionary leftist orc.

TANSTAAFL said...

"Of course, then they return home to find out that their beloved shire has been taken over and enslaved while they were gone....."

My ONE nitpick with the movie is that they don't have the Scouring of the Shire atthe end of the movie.

BJM said...

@Writ Small

in 2012, we’re screwed.

We're screwed in any case, Obama or no. Unless there is a sea change in how government does business everyone will feel the sting, including the ruling elites and their media lapdogs. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of their lives.

Bill said...

'If I understand aright all that I have heard,' [Elrond] said, 'I think that this is the task appointed for you, Frodo; and that if you do not find a way, no one will. This is the hour of the Shire-folk, when they arise from their quiet fields to shake the towers and counsels of the great. Who of all the Wise could have foreseen it? Or if they are wise, why should they expect to know it, until the hour has struck?'

But anyone thinking that the Republicans won't get a disproportionate share of the blame, if the House is seen as responsible for a failure to increase the debt limit, should probably reconsider.

Carol_Herman said...

I hate to disillusion you about the stock market. But it's not the politicians, exactly. It's the fault of the banksters.

And, THIS IS THE WAY IT WAS back in the late 1930's. In 1942 someone wrote a book:

WHERE DO THE CUSTOMERS PARK THEIR YACHTS.

Yacht parking near Wall Street was something you could do if you had a yacht. (This was before you could helicopter in from the Hamptons.)

Anyhoo ... Wall Street makes money on all the hedged bets. The retail trade buys and sells. And, the salesmen make commissions on trades. Coming and going.

What's stopped?

People don't see how "investing" is a place to put their money.

Real estate suffers the same fate.

And, it is why we have DEFLATION.

All the big guys want INFLATION.

You don't get that in ZOMBIE ECONOMICS.

And, where the politicians failed? It's when the boosted up the minimum wage.

Heck, when it got boosted up to $3 an hour ... teenagers lost out on babysitting jobs. And, lawn mowing. (They also once had jobs after school bagging groceries. And, sweeping up retail stores.)

Every boost in the minimum wage did harm!

It put lots of manufacturing jobs off shore.

Didn't happen overnight.

And, by the time it happened, in spite of the long shoremen's union ... new ports were built away from them. Cranes came in to substitute for manpower.

And, you can't change this back, until wages go back down.

Carol_Herman said...

Probably, the biggest group of people who identify with belonging to the Tea Party, are people who once subscribed to the New York Times. And, watched the Networks to get their news.

It's more Internet, now, than Tea Party. Since "rallies" have been taken over by the laid back torpor trash.

And, people who buy balloons to carry as their "meet & greet" signs. Ain't a whole lot of 'em.

fdf5c032-b5fe-11e0-b34c-000bcdca4d7a said...

"oh and don't foget wanting elected public servants to listen to the voters is murder and fantasy too.”

"Listening to the voters" can be problematic. Polls say that likely voters want to raise taxes and to cut spending in a major way. Granted, they don’t want to reduce funding for Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, Education, or National Security/Military spending.

Most voters think that a healthy portion of the deficit could be eliminated by reducing foreign aid. Incorrect.

Michael said...

"Most voters think that a healthy portion of the deficit could be eliminated by reducing foreign aid. Incorrect.


Or, they believe that a higher tax on millionairesandbillionaires will fix things. Also incorrect.

fdf5c032-b5fe-11e0-b34c-000bcdca4d7a said...

"Or, they believe that a higher tax on millionairesandbillionaires will fix things. Also incorrect.”

While this is true, our tax levels are lower now than they have been during much more prosperous periods in our recent history.

Ralph L said...

There used to be many more tax shelters for the rich, and middle incomes paid at lower rates with small FICA deductions. One of the reason we lost our heavy industries was because of those high rates--no one wanted to risk the huge capital required for modernization.

Ralph L said...

The ruling class used inflation in the 60's and esp. the 70's to push the bulk of the taxpayers into higher brackets, so they thought they would collect more taxes without having to vote for tax increases. The one they did pass, the increase in the long term capital gains rate in '69, squashed new investment during the dismal 70's.

Fen said...

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of their lives.

Hey! I was just listening to that track :)

murgatroyd666 said...

Don't ya love it when the orcs make fun of the hobbits?

Consider what the towel-snapping Tea Party crazies have already accomplished.

Yeah, and when we're on our towel-snapping spree your fat flabby liberal ass is next, MoDo.

They’ve changed the entire discussion.

And this is evil because only the elite "progressive" shitheads at the New York Times are allowed to determine the terms of the debate.

They’ve neutralized the White House.

No, our creased-pants Smartest President Everrr has neutralized himself by his incompetence.

They’ve taken taxes and revenues off the table.

Maybe, just maybe, if the Democrat-controlled Congress had passed any budget at all in the past eight hundred days you wouldn't be bitching about this.

They’ve withered the stock and bond markets.

You don't think that the prospect of higher taxes, continual regulatory uncertainty, deficits of galactic proportions, a torrent of anti-business regulations, and talk of imminent financial catastrophe by the White House have had anything to do with that, do you?

They’ve made journalists speak to them as though they’re John Calhoun and Alexander Hamilton.

Yeah! Who do those fucking peasants think they are?

fdf5c032-b5fe-11e0-b34c-000bcdca4d7a said...

"One of the reason we lost our heavy industries was because of those high rates--no one wanted to risk the huge capital required for modernization.”

No doubt the presence of a minimum wage...OSHA...and a union presence played a part as well. Given record corporate profits, do you think that modernization and globalization made shrinkage in the American job market inevitable? Do you think that slightly lower corporate tax rates and larger tax shelters at the higher brackets would have had a positive impact?

Calypso Facto said...

MoDo: How dare those little people from flyover country inconvenience us in our grand East Coast castles of failed ideology?!?

Big Mike said...

The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame.

Wrong, and surprisingly so considering that it's the Journal. The Tea Party believes that the public will say "plague on both your houses" and punish Democrats and Republicans alike. But the Tea Party types mostly had real jobs they can go back to.

Seeing Red said...

--no one wanted to risk the huge capital required for modernization.

Or they change the rules like Bubba did.

Hoang Minh said...
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Hoang Minh said...
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