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So we've all seen that today, John McCain's top financial advisor, former Sen. Phil Gramm, said:

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners," he said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline" despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.

"We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today," he said. "We have benefited greatly" from the globalization of the economy in the last 30 years. ...

"Misery sells newspapers," Mr. Gramm said. "Thank God the economy is not as bad as you read in the newspaper every day."

It was a big, slow, juicy watermelon-sized fastball, and Obama smashed it out of the park.

We don't need another Dr. Phil! We need solutions! It's not just a figment of your imagination. It's not all in your head. When people are struggling to buy gas and groceries....When people are losing their homes...It's not a figment of your imagination. And it's not too much to ask for the government to step in and give you some relief. It's time to have a president who doesn't deny our problems or pretend they don't exist. It's time we had a president who takes responsibility.

Good one on the "Dr. Phil" line.

So the McCain camp reacted the way it always does -- a bit addled and confused. First, they agreed with Gramm.

[A]n initial statement published by Politico and then, seemingly, removed from its site, a McCain campaign aide actually stood by Gramm's remarks, saying the interview as a whole was merely meant as a preview of the Senator's economic agenda.

"Mr. Gramm was simply saying that we are laying out the economic plan this week," the piece quoted a "McCain official" as saying. "The plan is comprehensive, providing immediate near-term relief for Americans hurting today as well as longer-term solutions to get our economy back on track, secure our energy future and deliver jobs, prosperity and opportunity for the next generation. We're laying out that plan this week with an emphasis on the critical importance of job creation, and it's been a great success so far."

Then they realized that, oops, this wasn't looking so good. So then they decided to excommunicate Gramm (who will apparently be no longer be considered for Treasury). And not only did McCain attack his own top advisor for the comments, but is emailing reporters a YouTube clip of his stern response.

Poor Gramm. His good friend McCain has turned on him, and for saying the very same things that McCain himself had said!

On January 2008:

As far as putting additional money in taxpayers pocket, that's fine,  because a lot of it is psychological. Because I agree the fundamentals of our economy is still strong.”

Back in April 2008:

I’m very concerned about it, Neil. And obviously the way it’s been going up is just terrible. But I think psychologicallyand a lot of our problems today, as you know, are psychological — the confidence, trust, the uncertainty about our economic future, ability to keep our own home. This might give them a little psychological boost. Let’s have some straight talk, it’s not a huge amount of money.

Or June 2008:

So I don't see an immediate relief, but I do see that exploitation of existing reserves that may exist -- and in view of many experts that do exist off our coasts -- is also a way that we need to provide relief. Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have psychological impact that I think is beneficial.

At one of the Republican debates:

On the issues of rebates, fine, part of this is psychological. Part of the problem we have of course in any recession is psychological.

Heck, he's said it again and again! Take a look:

When you use that word this much, it's not a gaffe.

It's a talking point.

All Phil Gramm did wrong was follow the lead set by John McCain.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:35 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If it's all psychological... (14+ / 0-)

    It can work both ways too...

    Now that I know that our economic woes are all in our heads, I can take that "Cerebral Safari" that I've been dreaming of for so long.

    ..... the one that Bush has been on for 8 years now.

  •  Sorry David Gregory (20+ / 0-)

    this isn't a drag for McCain, this is a catastrophe.  He was already behind on the economy and now Gramm said this and then dug his heels in.

    When do we get to declare this campaign a joke?  

    •  The Media is talking about it? (6+ / 0-)

      Wow!  Are they connecting it with "hard working white people"?

    •  He will throw Gramm overboard (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, demkat620, decitect, dlh77489

      and the talking heads will refocus on the really important stuff, like what Jessie was thinking about Obama (not what he said; so far today the pundits seem to be mind readers as well as interpreters while Limbaugh's "Justice Brothers" may bring radio back to the days of "Amos 'N Andy")

      •  I doubt he will and that's the beauty of it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        all. McCain lacks the spine to ever fire anyone or be forceful with personnel. Just like with his campaign reshuffle last week, he didn't have the balls to actually  put Schmidt in charge, he just weaseled him into the head office.

        So we can expect these Gramm and Black morons to keep spewing their crap and Obama will be there to pick the rotting fruit off their tree.

        He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire ::Winston Churchill::

        by Jeremy10036 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:57:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops- Phil just went under the bus. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The good thing is that McSame did it in his same creepy, solemn way.

          A country without a memory is a country of madmen. -- George Santayana

          by bkamr on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:09:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's a foreshadowing of McCain economic policy, (0+ / 0-)

          not just a flub by a McCain campaign surrogate.

          McCain admits he doesn't know much about the economy but will listen to his "experts." Phil Gramm is his expert. If you're considering voting for McCain you should know that you'll be getting economic policy devised by Phil Gramm of Enron and UBS infamy, a crackpot who today revealed his complete contempt for ordinary working people.

          Gramm thinks the economy's fine because all his friends are still making money hand over fist. He's completely oblivous to the dire state of our economy. Gramm is a nasty little piece of work. If he's made President McCain's malevolence grise, running the show behind the scenes, I guarantee he'll make the past eight years of  Dick Cheney's hidden rule look like a day at the beach.

          The emerging Democratic attack meme of this campaign appears to be: McCain = Bush. But I think we're beginning to see that McCain will be far worse than Bush-- even dumber and more delusional, and even farther to the right.

          When Bush ran in 2000 he didn't dare reveal that his program was actually going to be farther right than Reagan's. McCain is now running openly on positions even more extreme than Bush's.

    •  Gramm just metaphorically superglued McCain's ` (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Disillusioned, kanuk, demkat620, decitect

      heels to the floor.

      "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

      by shpilk on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:58:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When we get the media to stop Limbaugh dancing. (0+ / 0-)

      When do we get to declare this campaign a joke?

      You don't understand the ways of the Washington insiders. They don't declare campaigns jokes because of repeated gaffes, except when it fits the requirments of the Conventionally Wise elites.

      Even when it's not in their corporate interest to support Republicans, the media has to bend over backwards as far as they can in hopes Rush Limbaugh won't find something to whine about in the inch their shoulders are off the floor.

      That means, no comment on McCain's repeated slipping over the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. No comment on McCain faulting Social Security for the way it has always done business. No comment about how McCain decided Phil Gramm, whose most famous moment was in hacking away at domestic spending--including law enforcement--was an expert on Economics. I read one pundit to take it so far as to dismiss his singing "Bomb Bomb Iran" as ageism for singing a Beach Boys hit--as though "Barbara Ann" or "Good Vibrations" would have been just as controversial.

      To get the media to take McCain's slips seriously, we have to let them feel the heat from both sides--something we Liberals haven't been doing in the 38 years I've been watching the Conservatives whine and whine even as they're handing their purported enemies soooooooo much ammunition.

      I'm not asking you to take the country back, I'm asking you to take it forward-Van Jones.

      by Judge Moonbox on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 06:37:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  McBush's running (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, CityLightsLover, LogicaLizE

    ...for Head Shrinker.

    Rubus Eradicandus Est.

    by Randomfactor on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:38:49 PM PDT

  •  Misery sells newspapers (8+ / 0-)

    Considering the steep decline in newspaper sales and revenues, I doubt that's true.  There's plenty of misery to report on.

    •  Ads keep their doors open (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and the megacompanies want happytalk while they finish their looting.  This is why Limbaugh is comical squawking about the mythical guy in NO looting a large screen tv (sure, he hooked it to his car battery) when you compare the looting done by EXXON.

    •  Ad revenues are plummeting (0+ / 0-)

      and they depend on circulation.  If people lose confidence in the product or no longer find it useful, they fail to buy.  Advertisers no longer advertise or only at lower rates.  Something of a chicken and egg downward spiral.

  •  When psychos discuss psychology... n/t (10+ / 0-)

    George W. Bush... wiretapping the Amish since 2001...

    by ThatSinger on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:39:47 PM PDT

  •  Senator McCentury is a Psychological Gaffe! n/t (6+ / 0-)

    "I'm a rude dude, but I'm the real deal. Lean and mean. Cocked, locked and ready to rock; rough, tough and hard to bluff." George Carlin

    by CityLightsLover on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:40:11 PM PDT

  •  Calling all YouTubers... (7+ / 0-) battle stations.

    "A person is as free as they believe themselves to be off." - Fortune cookie

    by The Termite on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:40:23 PM PDT

  •  I wrote yesterday that these weren't "gaffes" (7+ / 0-)

    Right here.



    "We in the gloam, old buddy," he said, "We definitely right in the middle of it." -Larry Brown

    by BenGoshi on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:40:31 PM PDT

  •  Since its all just mental anyway... (11+ / 0-)

    Dear Bill and Katherine:

    I know we discussed you and your family coming to stay with us in Los Angeles, but I'm sad to say that our house is in the middle of foreclosure and by the time you get here, we will likely be homeless. FORTUNATELY, as Phil Gramm of the McCain campaign has stated, this is simply a mental depression and, as such, I have gone and imagined myself a four bedroom house with a pool in Beverly Hills! Therefore, if you'd like to mentally come stay at my imaginary house... just call our brain-butler Frank and he'll feed our newly imagined unicorn, Sparkles, so he's nice and strong to give your children a flying ride!

    Also, I know I informed you that my daughter was suffering from strange seizures (after having recovered from the clearly imaginary salmonella thing) and that we couldn't ACTUALLY afford to go see a doctor because we don't ACTUALLY have health care, but I have recently MENTALLY conjured up a specialist as well as the MENTAL cash required to pay that specialist. I'm now eagerly awaiting a phone call from the MENTAL Specialist, at which time I plan to MENTALLY wish away our credit card debt so I can pay for whatever treatment little Amber requires.

    Actually, as I write this email it now occurs to me that you may not have a way of receiving it. I know your business was faltering and that you were considering closing it up, but then again, since the economy is only in trouble in our minds, you've probably MENTALLY gotten yourself a kicking small business loan to make the whole problem go away! Thank God the problems are all in our heads, huh?

    (Speaking of which, I'm sure your ACTUAL 401K is in the tank, but I've thought up some amazing stock market buys that may still allow your son Phil to go to college!)

    Look forward to seeing you! I'll grab you guys at the airport in my MENTAL electric car, since I don't have the means to ACTUALLY pay for the gas to come get you.

    Love, Al

    PS: I'm sorry to hear about Nathan in Iraq, but I know that you'll get through the pain... since your grief and suffering is just MENTAL. Maybe you can just dream up a new brother!

    David Vitter Pleasure Pants, by Huggies, sizes 1 through adult

    by JeffLieber on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:40:42 PM PDT

  •  Well, anybody who would follow (6+ / 0-)

    McCain's lead on ANYTHING deserves a smackdown.

    Republicans shaking in their shoes: Now that's a beat I can dance to!

    by writerswrite on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:41:04 PM PDT

  •  McCain knows how to use youtube? (6+ / 0-)

    Well, basically, it's a google.

    "I'm trying to believe in you but this world sold its faith for parking lots and drunk sincerity." - the ataris

    by indiemcemopants on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:41:21 PM PDT

  •  Well he was right on the oil reserves point (8+ / 0-)

    Caving on ANWR or offshore drilling, or having a gas tax holiday are purely psychological in terms of our current problems, with no real benefit.

    Now, go spread some peace, love and understanding. Use force if necessary. - Phil N DeBlanc

    by lineatus on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:41:30 PM PDT

    •  of course a portion of econ performance is (0+ / 0-)

      psychological, just talk to Bubbles Greenspan, but it's not the real driver.  Once again Rebumblicans are down playing American's concerns and pain, unless it can benefit their corporate buddies.

      Recession = psychological, whining.
      Terrorism = existential threat, reason to enrich their buddies, and erase the Bill of Rights.

    •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

      It is his idea that it's an appropriate psychological fix for a psychological problem.  And it really says it all that the Republicans are in a bind because they only deal in fantasy and right now there is no place for fantasy in the general American condition, and so they're becoming a wee bit obvious about the fact that they're good at nothing else but assessing and creating illusions.

  •  Hey didn't it work for Herbert Hoover? (8+ / 0-)

    Hoover thought the Depression was all in our minds and he did nothing about it..... wait a minute....

    ...he uses big words like 'particularly' and 'delicatessen.' -- Jack

    by cadfile on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:41:34 PM PDT

  •  It's all psychological for the media too . . . (7+ / 0-)

    they are psychologically addicted to McCain and will continue to do their best to clean-up after him.  Funny that "bitter" was resurrected yet again today, just in case we forgot.  

  •  Gramm may be crackers, but (11+ / 0-)

    McCain is absolutely nuts.

    McCain has an economic plan; marry well, even if it takes more than one try.

    Roman Catholic by birth---thoroughly confused by life.

    by alasmoses on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:41:52 PM PDT

  •  He's betraying what (6+ / 0-)

    the GOP is realy all about. They don't do ANYTHING that is designed to help the country or the people. They do things that make people THINK they are doing things for the country and people.

    Everything is psychological and nothing is actual.

  •  John McCain... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, demkat620, LogicaLizE

    The Brett Myers of politics.  Keep serving them up like that and you'll be down on the Iron Pigs too, John.

    Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society -Mark Twain

    by gooners on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:42:45 PM PDT

  •  When people can't afford to eat (10+ / 0-)

    drive, or heat their homes, they're not going to have a lot of patience for Millionaire McCain and his "it's all in your head" crap. Of course, the media probably won't be helpful in getting McCain's real talking points out there.

    The weak in courage is strong in cunning-William Blake

    by beltane on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:43:50 PM PDT

  •  so Gramm gets thrown under the bus (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, decitect, LogicaLizE, sovery

    along with the crazy white pastors, his ex-wife, and his own immigration and campaign finance bills. Nice.

  •  John McCain... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, decitect, dlh77489

    ...running for Psychiatrist-in-Chief since 2000.

    Straight Talk Express couches  provided by Dr. Jennifer Melfi.

    If John McCain can't kill the enemy, he'll write them a prescription for Xanax.

    In the time it has taken you to read this, the U.S. has spent at least $8,000 in Iraq.

    by wyvern on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:44:57 PM PDT

  •  Devastating (9+ / 0-)

    What this comment proves is people's worst fears about Republicans - that they don't care about (as Chris Matthews likes to say) working class Americans are going through.

    Gramm and McCain are talking about growth in GDP, and they are technically correct.  But who the hell cares?  Everything that really matters to Americans is looking bad:

    Gas prices - UP

    Jobs - DOWN

    Food prices - UP

    Incomes - DOWN

    Foreclosures - UP

    Wealth - DOWN

    Health care costs - UP

    Stock market - DOWN

    McCain's head - UP HIS ASS

  •  And this from Politico... (17+ / 0-)

    On Gramm speaking for McCain

    McCain said at his hastily arranged press conference this afternoon that Gramm didn't speak for him.

    But on the same day that he made that comment, Gramm happened to be, well, speaking for him at a meeting of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

    •  So, does he or doesn't he speak for the campaign? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitty, decitect, TexasLiz, dlh77489

      Par for the course - McCain getting it both ways.

      •  Gramm All Along (4+ / 0-)

        Gramm doesn't speak for McCain on this, McCain speaks for Gramm. Kos got it backwards.

        Add it up. McCain openly admits that economics aren't his strong suit. He seeks out a rabbi to explain it to him. (I believe he has admitted as much, I'll look for a quote.) More important is the central role McCain has given Gramm and his own poor judgment in delegating responsibility.

        His campaign is so mismanaged, though, that the moment one strategy fails, someone new is standing in the wings with a completely different strategy. "Downplaying the severity of the crisis isn't working, so let's go back to Reaganomics stimulus schemes!"

        McCain has no idea what he's selling, and he doesn't care. It is all about the war for him.

        •  So McCain wants Custer at Chief of Staff (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SharaiP, TexasLiz

          for the Armed Services? Gramm's economic theories did help the economy, about one Gramm's worth.  

        •  Supporting Quotes... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          decitect, entlord1

          "McCain's chief economic adviser - and perhaps his closest political friend - is the ultimate pure play in free market faith, former Texas Senator Phil Gramm."

          --Fortune, February 19

          Kudlow: Senator Gramm, it is wonderful to see you. Senator McCain said a while back, "I don’t know as much about the economy as I should." What’s he trying to tell us on that?

          Gramm: Well, first of all, he’s trying to tell us that A, he’s honest, and B, he’s humble. How many people know as much about the economy as they should? Certainly I don’t. I think you can make a strong case that of the three people that are still in the race, that John McCain’s got a lot more experience on economic matters. But one thing I think that makes him a leader that I feel confident in, is that he’s the kind of person that reaches out to people, that listens to both sides of the debate, that gathers the facts, and that tries to make the best decision he can. And I think he’ll do that on economic matters.

          --Kudlow Interview, March 6

          I don't think I've got a smoking gun, but I feel pretty confident in my instinct here. McCain doesn't have an economic position. I don't know if that is good or bad, but his judgment certainly stinks.

    •  The hoops (0+ / 0-)

      logic has to jump through for that one!

      John McCain is like Kama Sutra: How can one man take so many positions?

      by LogicaLizE on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:58:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Loved this: (15+ / 0-)

    During the fight over health care reform, Gramm said, "We have to blow up this train and the rails and the trestle and kill everyone on board." When an elderly widow in Corsicana told him that cutting Medicare would make it more difficult for her to remain independent, Gramm said, "You haven't thought about a new husband, have you?"

    from Molly Ivins

    Our economy is a house of cards. Don't breathe.

    by Youffraita on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:45:27 PM PDT

  •  Now all Obama need is 762 more.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, NogodsnomastersMary

    It was a big, slow, juicy watermelon-sized fastball, and Obama smashed it out of the park.

    And how about Obama's RBI percentage with progressives on base and ready to score ? Huh, or do you think he rights his own material..

    "Better a little late, than a little never"..Julian Winston

    by Johnny Rapture on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:45:36 PM PDT

  •  When does Gramm get fired (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from the McCain campaign?


    I could have been a soldier... I had got part of it learned; I knew more about retreating than the man that invented retreating. --Mark Twain

    by NogodsnomastersMary on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:45:46 PM PDT

  •  maybe if (5+ / 0-)

    i think positive thoughts my rent will pay itself!?

    i'm squeezing my eyes shut and focusing.....

  •  We are all crazy!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yup, it's those internets and youtubes that are making us THINK we are poor. Liarman and McCorporate told me so!

    John McCain is like Kama Sutra: How can one man take so many positions?

    by LogicaLizE on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:49:00 PM PDT

  •  Well, one problem. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, Jorge McJunk

    On the issues of rebates, fine, part of this is psychological. Part of the problem we have of course in any recession is psychological.

    The problem is that with any given market there is a portion of that is, in fact, governed purely by consumer confidence.

    Why do you think tomato producers were bitching so much after it turned out they may not have actually been the source of all the recent salmonella incidents?

    So, I'm not going to give him shit if he says (correctly) that some of the economy is based on psychology.

    Psychology is why one of the very few immutable rules of economics is you don't ever, under any circumstances, EVER, use the "D" word.


    But don't construe this as saying that they're right for saying that all our market woes are because of  waning consumer confidence.  Certainly, McCain is full of shit when he says this - it's just he's not completely full of shit.

    The true measure of a man's character lies not in how he treats his friends, but in how he treats his enemies.

    by FunkyEntropy on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:49:43 PM PDT

    •  What's the D word? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, FunkyEntropy


      •  Yep. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There's so much residual fear associated with the Great Depression that economists are loath to ever use the term again.

        That's why it was so unnerving to me to see professional economists talk about how they've actually considered using it to describe what might be in store for us.  This was on the News Hour about two months ago, and I can't really say the situation has improved much since then.

        But yeah, in case anyone felt I was defending McCain, I'm not.  He's correct when he says that one of the factors of our current economic slowdown is psychology, but to say that that's the only the only reason is a bunch of bull and he deserves to be thoroughly mocked for it.

        The true measure of a man's character lies not in how he treats his friends, but in how he treats his enemies.

        by FunkyEntropy on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:45:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The new "D" Word is the "R" word... (0+ / 0-)

        Recession was put into place when Depression was just too ugly of a word to say.

        Now that Recession is starting to sound scary to people, they just want to call it a slight downturn.

        Language in economics is bizarrely Orwellian, but you probably knew that already.

        When I crap, I always refer to it as "taking a Bush". - Underground Pirate of Crooks and Liars.

        by Disillusioned on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:52:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong! (0+ / 0-)

      There's skin, teeth and shit and nothing else.

      McCain has shit oozing from his pores on warm days.

      There are no stupid questions, but stupid people are everywhere

      by SecondComing on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:00:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Short term there is psychology (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but long term investing tries to bank against the panic mentality and when the problems arise from systemic problems is like saying Pearl Harbor was largely mental.

  •  Popcorn won't do .. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, SecondComing, Youffraita

    I'm ordering out for those really good nachos they serve at the Backroom in Manchester NH.

    {if you are ever in Manchester, the Backroom - also known as the Puritan Restaurant - has killer Backroom Nachos, and if you like baklava .. it's really good, too}

    This is getting interesting. Really interesting.

    Seems like The Maverick simply can't hold on to his staff.
    Shake up du jour for the McCain't campaign.

    "My friends, this isn't leadership we can believe in."

    "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

    by shpilk on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:49:58 PM PDT

  •  Dear Mr. Obama, (8+ / 0-)

    Whoever wrote that Dr. Phil line, you should give them all the money you have, put them in a room with whatver they want plus an endless supply of paper an ink and tell them to keep writing.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:50:20 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Markos, maybe one day... (0+ / 0-)

    I will have a grasp on writing without printing.  Until then I have your work to guide my direction.  I did read these things, and chose not to write about any of them today.

    I am so frazzled about the non-imaginary threats to our freedom that I need to stop focusing on the truth for a few days.  I read hundreds of diaries here.  I do not comment, usually, because as a gamer I am used to live chat.  I can't seem to get how people will react to mistakes or hasty posts.  I am getting it though.  It will happen.

    I appreciate your work, yo.
    Poet Presto

    "We laugh because it hurts."

    by prestochango on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:50:42 PM PDT

  •  "Albatross! Albatross!" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, LanceBoyle, JML9999

    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. -- Julius Caesar, I.ii.

    by semiot on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:51:49 PM PDT

  •  Oh My Gosh (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, shpilk, decitect, mjd in florida

    I was at that rally!!!  I was about to ask a question.  But then two people stole both of MY ideas!!!  But it was a great rally, I got Dreams From My Father signed by Obama!!!  Totally awesome.

    How come when it is a human it's an abortion, but when it's a chicken it's an omelet? -George Carlin

    by DClark4129 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:52:06 PM PDT

  •  But still the media won't touch it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, decitect

    People I work with were talking about Jesse Jackson's remark today. Nobody had heard of what Gramm said, much less knew who he was. One person mentioned McCain talking about killing Iranians with cigarettes but nobody else knew about it.

  •  McCain is the that keeps on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitty, Disillusioned, Molly M


    First Viagra, now Gramm. What a sorry excuse for a presidential candidate.

    I actually had some respect for the guy when he was active in the Senate, but now he's nothing more than a sad old joke.

    He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire ::Winston Churchill::

    by Jeremy10036 on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:53:08 PM PDT

  •  um, "watermelon"-sized fastball? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jools, mamabigdog, dlh77489



    "We've always taken care of you; why do you want to leave home?" And America's the girl taking Barack Obama's arm: "But Mom I love him!"-Mort Sahl

    by carpediva on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:53:24 PM PDT

  •  Carter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, dlh77489

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Carter had a gas shortage. But Bush/Democrats have had to bail out Bear-Stearns and are posturing to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? And "psychological" is all they got? Perhaps Rove's cell phone ain't workin on the Island he's fled to...

    RIP USA, July 9, 2008

    by plok on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:53:58 PM PDT

  •  The fundamentals of our econony are strong? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Up your fundiment, Senator Clueless.

    There are no stupid questions, but stupid people are everywhere

    by SecondComing on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:54:19 PM PDT

  •  "unamerican" meme gaining traction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, shpilk

    we need to push this phil gramm and social security and the medicare non-vote thing harder. this is the week that should have ended the mccain campaign. the media is busy covering jesse jackson and ignoring the goldmine of gaffes mccain produced in one week.

  •  Dr. Phil (0+ / 0-)

    Campaigning in Fairfax, Va., Obama seized on Gramm's comments as he tried to paint McCain as out of touch: "America already has one Dr. Phil. We don't need another one when it comes to the economy."

  •  I think McCain was repeating Gramm (5+ / 0-)

    I think this was McCain repeating what he was told by his good friend and adviser, Phil Gramm. The guy who ushered in the current financial crisis because of subprime loans that were enabled by his deregulation of the financial industry.

    There was also Enron:

    From Bob Herbert in a January 2002 column:

    Enron And the Gramms

    Mr. Gramm, a Texas Republican, is one of the top recipients of Enron largess in the Senate. And he is a demon for deregulation. In December 2000 Mr. Gramm was one of the ringleaders who engineered the stealthlike approval of a bill that exempted energy commodity trading from government regulation and public disclosure. It was a gift tied with a bright ribbon for Enron.

    And his wife was on Enron’s board. No conflict of interest there right?

    Won't it be intersting to see how the media treats this vs. "bittergate" or things that Obama's advisers have said.

    This is McCain’s economic adviser and someone whose name came up as a potential Treasury Secretary.

  •  Dear Barack: (0+ / 0-)

    No "malaise" speech, please.  We tried that once.  

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:59:14 PM PDT

  •  Click through, watch the whole video of McCain! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    His ending punch line is quite the stab in the back. Nice post overall, too, Markos. You do what I admire about Olbermann:backtrack and remind us of the history, not just the rhetoric of the day.

    Yes, we can. Seriously. Even if we have to hound our candidate on telcom immunity.

    by Jools on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 03:59:28 PM PDT

  •  McCain Has The Perfect Political Strategy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Molly M, decitect, JML9999

    He takes every possible stance on every issue.  That way voters can choice which stance they want to hear and believe.  They can match up their belief with whichever belief John McCain has provided.  And since he has multiple beliefs on the same issue and even conflicting beliefs on the same issue, voters are happy as a clam to believe the one they want to believe.  They can trust McCain.  He is a maverick.  They don't even notice his conflicting belief system.  

  •  McCain totally smacked Gramm in the butt (0+ / 0-)

    by saying openly he would not be treasure secretary but maybe be appointed to some crappy third rate dictatorial regime like Belaruss..haha nothing like a good smackdown from McCain

    "eeyeah Hi..eeyeah..Id like you to go ahead and support Obama" Bill Lumbergh-Office Space

    by girlyman on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:00:16 PM PDT

  •  Attacking McCain? I thought this was an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    anti-Obama site. Must have come to the wrong place.

  •  It wasn't the Psychological part that killed him, (3+ / 0-)

    it was calling the America a country of whiners.  When you plan on using the patriotism card, you can't name call Americans as "whiners".  The fact that it was mixed in with the psychological talking point, is what forced McCain to throw Gramm under the bus.

  •  "We have benefited greatly" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, sodalis

    from the globalization of the economy.

    It's all in how Gramm defines "We".  It isn't We the People, obviously.  

    •  The "We"? Gramm has a family doesn't he? (0+ / 0-)

      Republican loyalty goes no farther than this and frequently not this far.

    •  We being me, my wife, my children and my cronies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The only thing we have to fear is politicians using fear itself

      by Pacific Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 05:13:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sometimes we benefit, other times we don't (0+ / 0-)

      We're in a period now where the economy has suffered (though it continues to grow) from a combination of different ailments.

      One of them is 'predatory lending' - which conjures, in my mind, an image of lenders COMPELLING people to borrow money. The long and the short of it is, nobody can MAKE anyone else borrow any money - although lenders can (and did) make it look pretty sweet by offering low rate loans to people who simply were not good candidates to be loaned money. Then - surprise! - those people couldn't pay the loans back - and consequently we have home foreclosures. To insist, however, that lenders are 100% at fault is almost ludicrous - it implies that borrowers 'simply can't say no' when someone offers them a loan, and I refuse to believe that's true. People stopped using their discretion, banks stopped using their discretion, and poof the market collapsed. It happens.

      Another ailment is the high cost of energy, oil in particular. There isn't much, though, in the short term that can fix this particular problem - no matter what McCain may say. That having been said, Obama's tax increases on oil companies aren't likely  to drive prices any LOWER - especially since his proposal deals with the idea of an excess profits tax. But who defines the term excess? Obama? Congress? Joe Citizen? Nobody knows - his whole point is built on the rhetorical ideal of 'what a gallon of gas ought to sell for - ' and a gallon of gas ought to sell for whatever people are willing to pay for it. Period.

      But keep in mind, the globalization of the market has benefitted us in many other ways. There are a lot of goods, for instance, produced in China and imported here which cost FAR less than goods produced here. There's a lot of middle men in the process of bringing that stuff over here, though - and so long as we maintain a healthy global trade regimen, it's unlikely that our economy will completely tank.

      The ultimate point to remember here is that better money management on the part of both individuals and banks would have, to a large extent, prevented most of the economic dropoff we see today. But individuals and banks weren't prudent, and so we all pay the price. But that also doesn't mean the government ought to swoop in and 'save the day' - because they have rarely been effective in doing so (please see FDR's New Deal, and LBJ's Great Society programs).

      One final note - FDR recognized the capacity of individual psychology to affect the economic stability of the country. While his New Deal programs didn't really do much in terms of turning things around, it made people BELIEVE that things were being turned around. That was the whole point of his Fireside Chats. Don't be so quick to blow off McCain's understanding of the impact of psychology on economic functions - in doing so, you'd also need to chastise Obama's response!

      Not all of our economic problems are psychological. But the supposed recession still (technically) hasn't happened - and while there are many who suffer, there are also many who prosper. The key to expanding the prosperity is convincing people that they don't need to suffer - and that's why psychology is so important.

      •  About this comment: (0+ / 0-)

        "Don't be so quick to blow off McCain's understanding of the impact of psychology on economic functions"

        Just because McCain has mentioned many times that psychology affects the economy does not mean he understands it.  At all.

        Judging from your last paragraph, pardon me for saying, you live in a dream world.  You give a lot of weight to "convincing people that they don't need to suffer" as a  means to expand prosperity.  There is a degree of truth to it but it kind of gets ground down by the constant rip-offs of corporate fuckers like Big Oil, the health insurance industry and the MIC.  

        Maybe the Republicans should have considered the psychological effect of all their rich buddies ripping us whiners off.

        •  That depends in large part (0+ / 0-)

          on what you think the government's purpose happens to be. It's convenient to throw around buzz words like 'big oil' and 'health insurance' to get people into a panic, but the situation quite honeslty isn't so simple as 'oil executives are hoarding oil and driving up the price.' I mean, if we look at a percentage increase in profit, the oil companies are about AVERAGE in terms of how much their profit margins have increased. But what people tend to look at more is a DOLLAR AMOUNT - which isn't necessarily the right statistic to consider.

          I'm not entirely sure why you feel 'ripped off' by your gas station or by your health insurance company. If either one dissatisfies you, you just move on to another one - or you use your own individual ingenuity to find a new solution. It's a bit presumptive, though, to assume that EVERYONE wants the SAME solution that you do - if that were the case, then we'd all be socialists (and we clearly are not).

          Lastly, I don't give a LOT of weight to 'convincing people they don't need to suffer - ' and I don't assume that McCain completely understands the psychological effects of apparent recession (in technical terms, it isn't a real recession) on future economic growth. The reason why I wrote my post was to highlight Kos' misinterpretation of McCain's own remarks, in light of the remarks by his (former) adviser yesterday. Acknowledging the psychological impact of impending recession is certainly important - and while economic hardship is not a psychological condition (as his adviser seemed to suggest), regrouping the American psyche is an important first step towards rebuilding our economic structure. Either way, the talking points Obama gives are all designed to maximize perceived benefit - whether or not those benefits are ever actually realized. It's an FDR style strategy.

          •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)

            "I'm not entirely sure why you feel 'ripped off' by your gas station or by your health insurance company. If either one dissatisfies you, you just move on to another one - or you use your own individual ingenuity to find a new solution."

            Your parallel universe must be one where the free market is truly free!

            •  It's pretty simple actually (0+ / 0-)

              Oil companies lease (or own) land on which they drill. For the land they lease, they pay a royalty to the governing body for the oil they drill up. The oil then has to be shipped to the appropriate refinery - transportation isn't free. Then the oil has to be processed at a refinery - this also costs money. Then the oil has to be transported to the gas station - again incurring a transportation cost - at which point the gas station owner has to pay for the gasoline. Then, state, local, and federal governments all levy their array of taxes on gasoline. So when you drive up to put a few gallons in your car, you have to pay for all of that, PLUS a little bit since people tend not to just give stuff away for free. The profit that oil companies receive is their incentive for drilling the oil in the first place - they perceive a need (people want to power their stuff), and since it is lucrative to do so, they find ways to meet that need. People are willing to pay for the gas, so there's no harm done.

              Think about it this way - suppose I design a widget which makes it possible to transport yourself from one place to another instantly. Clearly, this would reduce transportation costs, alleviate traffic congestion, solve emissions outputs, etc. Do I have some sort of obligation to produce this 'at cost' - ie, does the fact that I've come up with something that a lot of people will want (and perhaps need) mean that I can't profit off of my innovation? Oil companies work the same way - and there really isn't anything wrong with that.

              But where you seem to be coming from is the supposition that you ought to be able to pay a 'fair price' for a gallon of gas, without ever really specifying what that price might actually be. It's like walking into a store to buy a loaf of bread, and demanding that the store sell you the bread for less than its advertised price simply because you don't feel you should have to pay that much for it. There's an economic principle here of value - you want a gallon of gas, but you don't believe it's worth $4.50. That's all well and good, but the gas doesn't belong to you - and you don't really have any sort of right to instruct your gas provider as to how much its true value is.

              So again, think about it this way: I make bread, and I want to sell it at $20 a loaf. You look at your money and say "Well, gee, I sure need bread, but my $20 is worth more to me than a loaf of bread. Thus, I won't spend my money on it." You can't, however, look at me and say "Your bread is not objectively worth $20, so I will pay you the $1 I think it is worth and we'll just call it fair," because you don't have any claim on the bread - you didn't grow it, you didn't ship it, and you don't own it.

              The truth here is that most people appeal to some sort of 'objective value' of commodities that doesn't actually exist. My car is worth $1 million TO ME, even though it's really worth less than $1000 in the Kelly Blue Book. Someone else might be willing to pay $3000 for it, and someone else yet might only want to pay $200 for it. The value of my car is not an absolute - it's an assessment of its use to the person who owns (or wishes to own) it. So it is also with gasoline - to the guy selling you gas, that gallon is worth $4.50. The fact that you only think it's worth $1.50 isn't really relevant to the debate.

              •  Thanks for the economics lesson! (0+ / 0-)

                I never realized these things!


                "Oil companies work the same way" is bullshit and  "- and there really isn't anything wrong with that" is a matter of opinion.

                This is not at all where I am coming from:

                But where you seem to be coming from is the supposition that you ought to be able to pay a 'fair price' for a gallon of gas, without ever really specifying what that price might actually be.

                Where I am actually coming from is the scenario where reality is factored in.  Oil companies put every effort into eliminating competition from other energy sources, mass transit, etc.  They have funded a massive propaganda campaign against efforts to reduce carbon emissions.  This fraud helped drive demand for their product and it will also cost the consumer indirectly as the effects of global warming drive food costs up.  And the WAR!  Don't forget the WAR!  Oil is responsible for the massive debt of the Iraq war!  

                Lordy, I don't remember what the original topic was!  Something about psychology and the economy and feeling ripped-off.

                Americans feel ripped-off because they are being ripped-off.

                •  Being ripped off (0+ / 0-)

                  is in the eye of the beholder. I don't like paying >$4 for a gallon of gas, but that's the price people are willing to pay for it and the gas is worth more to me in the short term than the money is (ie, I need the gas to get to work where I will earn more than the $4 I just spent, so it's ok in the short term to pay that much since I'll be making more money because of it). Now, not everyone is in that position - and while that's unfortunate, it doesn't actually change the value of a gallon of gas. That's how the market works, though - you get to pay what everyone else gets to pay, because the value of a commodity is figured on a global scale.

                  What I've never been able to figure out is why progressives, or liberals, or whatever you call yourselves, always oppose "big this" and "big that," and your solution to every problem is to inflate the size of 'big government.' Baffling.

                  But I digress. It isn't fraudulent for oil companies to lobby on their own behalf. They have businesses to run as well - profits to earn, stocks to develop (and if you have a 401k, you've probably been benefiting all along from this without even knowing it), etc. But the demand for the product has been rising, both here in the US and globally, for the last handful of years, and it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

                  So what has to happen? We either need to produce more oil, or develop some other form of energy which will relieve the total dependence on oil. Neither solution is viable as a short-term fix, though - and almost nobody understands that. The oil companies won't stop lobbying for their side - just like it's unlikely that the environmental lobby will cease their efforts. That's why we have politicians to sort it all out - but you can't call one pol corrupt for taking money from the oil lobby and laud another for taking money from an eco lobby. Lobbyists, in reality, are the most direct voice of the people. . .

                •  Also, (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't want to mislead you - I'm a mathematician, not an economist. I don't want you to quote me like I'm a professional economist, because I'm not - the information and examples I provided are my personal observations and understandings of how the US economy and commodities markets work. You'd do well to supplement (or replace) what I said with some textbook reading or a community college economics class.

                  •  About this comment (0+ / 0-)

                    "What I've never been able to figure out is why progressives, or liberals, or whatever you call yourselves, always oppose "big this" and "big that," and your solution to every problem is to inflate the size of 'big government.' Baffling."

                    As a mathematician you might pride yourself on your rational, logical thinking but statements such as this show that you have replaced mental effort with the pablum dished out by the right-wing media.

                    "Your solution"?  Generalization.

                    "to every problem"?  Hyperbole.  

                    "is to inflate the size of 'big government.'"?  Words right out of Rush Limbaugh's mouth, i.e. bullshit.

                    •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

                      I read a smattering of news from a smattering of sources (headlines from drudge, the links from which I poke around on the various news reporting services) which each side of the political spectrum has its own problem with.

                      The generalization was a necessary one, in the context of my post, in order to emphasize that I don't necessarily consider YOU personally to take up such a position. It's simply the position advanced most frequently on this, a progressive message board, and consequently an assertion that progressive solutions to problems tend to involve additional governmental involvement seems to be statistically supported.

                      The hyperbole is necessary to intensify the point. Obviously, problems like the cut on my knee or the jerk who cut me off in traffic are minuscule and don't require governmental involvement - but the context of the point seems pretty clear anyway.

                      Any increase in governmental overlordism necessarily makes government 'bigger,' and where the mental disconnect comes in is why so many people seem to think that conglomerated corporations are so dangerous while a de facto conglomerated government would solve the problems created by these corporations. Progressives tend to distrust power that is concentrated in any realm other than either the people themselves or the government - and to their credit, I would say. But the problem comes in where they simply discredit businesses as being dispassionate and unaffected by the plight of the people, and assuming that the government will not be so 'un-burdened.'

                      I spend an awful lot of time deciding where I stand on things. Some issues don't really matter much to me, and some issues strike a resonant chord in my mind. But to assert that I 'have replaced mental effort' with anything seems intellectually disingenuous. Nobody's information is 100% perfect, and I don't think for a second that the information I have is 100% perfect. But that doesn't mean I simply take it for what it is. If that were the case, I doubt I'd take the time out of my day to come here and see what the news looks like from your perspective, and discuss it with people like yourself to SEE your perspective.

                      •  Thanks for the explanation. You have (0+ / 0-)

                        convinced yourself that you aren't parroting right-wing talking points.

                        I trust that you are sincere.  Perhaps our differences result from the different versions of the "truth" we are exposed to.  This one, for instance:


                        Have a nice Sunday!

                        •  Parroting (0+ / 0-)

                          requires a deliberate attempt to reject sources of information contrary to one's own point. I don't reject any sources of information, except for those which are clearly trivial or based in something other than fact.

                          I tend to agree more with what one might consider Conservative principles, and if that means that my musings are categorized with 'right wing talking points,' so be it - but it's important to know at what point that characterization happens. There's a pretty significant intellectual difference between regurgitating the points of one side (left or right), and arriving at one's own conclusions which happen to concur with the points of one side.

                          You have to realize though that Noam Chomsky is greeted with about the same sort of antipathy and distrust by the right as Rush Limbaugh is by the left. Both men are entitled to their opinions, but it is folly to assume that either one of them speaks from the standpoint of 'total truth.' The fact that you disagree with Limbaugh, in other words, doesn't invalidate his opinions, but Limbaugh is an entertainer - not a news source.

                          •  I might have to copy that last paragraph and (0+ / 0-)

                            send it to Mr. Chomsky.  He'd probably get a kick out of being compared to Rush.  Or maybe he would just think it was bizarre.

                            Quite honestly, I don't think I have ever heard Limbaugh.  Maybe once, but his hysterical rant was irritating enough that I turned it off.  How is incendiary ranting entertaining? Personally, I prefer a calm presentation of facts by a well-informed source.    

                            Anyhoo, perhaps you weren't purely parroting with the liberal-big government line.  If you had said "grow" instead of "inflate", that would have been a truer regurgitation.

  •  With the "psychological" comments, it seems (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, decitect, Jools

    almost as if the public is being chastised for not having confidence in the administration.

    That's what lying to the people, sending them to war, squandering their money, allowing corporations to dictate policy and failing to move on carbon emissions does.

    People get a little soured when the only things an administration offers are greed and incompetence.  It's gonna happen.  

  •  Wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

    any economist worth their salt tell you that there is a psychological component to the economy?

    IMO, we are whining way too much about gas prices. We need to realize that we've been sucking up oil so that we can transport our overweight selves in out Suburbans for far too long. Just sayin.

  •  thump! thump-thump! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    < /Crooked-Talk Express going over Gramm>

  •  Good nws frm the ground in a small twn OH! (5+ / 0-)

    Good news from the ground.  Believe it or not, the Obama campaign has a good ground game going already in a SMALL town outside of Dayton, OH.  3 full-time staffers who are really on the ball.  They have ready call lists, split by age, with scripts and someone real time entering data from the calls.

    As an older broad, I got the older caller lists. Smart.  Any definite positives are being put on lists for early voting starting 9/30.  Leaning or undecided's? See next step:

    Younger callers were texting local young voters from the website sign ups.  The younger ones were being txt'd to become volunteers.  They'll be going out to their neighbors who are leaning or undecided's.

    Halfway through, I had to shudder and pinch myself.  It kinda felt like I must be in a Repub HQ.  Can't believe the Dems have a good ground game going in July!

    PLUS!  On the O web-site, they'd posted that folks could get some tickets starting a 4pm for the Town Hall in Dayton with Obama, tomorrow.  There was a line forming starting at 2:30 and it was out the door and into the parking lot by 4pm! By 3, the phone was ringing off the hook, and they even occasionally put my 12 year old on a phone to apologize, thank folks and ASK IF THEY WERE REGISTERED!  

    They didn't have enough tickets for everyone already in line, SO ... the staffers said that those who didn't get tickets would get the first dibbs on free yard signs and bumper stickers.  Can you believe it?  Folks then just happily lined up for those!  

    Since we were already there volunteering, we got 3 of the tickets to the Town Hall, tomorrow, in Dayton. :) We are one happy, and pretty amazed, family tonight!

    MOST importantly, the staffers are TRAINED!!  They know how to make volunteers FEEL welcome, important and get them to work right away.  They are organized and ready to use a volunteer in off the street the moment they come in.  They each made a point of coming over to me to personally introduce themselves, say thank you and ensure that they had my info for later.  Amazingly, one of the staffers even managed blithely corral the volunteers' kids with sheets of white butcher paper, markers and Obama stickers to have them make posters!  Parents were focused on calls and kids were sprawled on the floor making posters (the future Democratic activists at work).  The staffers are bright, energetic, positive and SMART.  They are dressed well, look neat, and there is NO drama.  (Again, I had to pinch myself.  I was a Young Dem in college, and they looked like the Young Republicans!)  Happy, cool, efficient, hip, young -- and appreciative of older folks like me coming in with my 12 year old son.  And yes!  They did tell him that they would be counting on HIM voting for Barack for his second term.  Wow.

    Sorry for the long post, but we aren't used to this sort of thing in the heart land.  It's VERY heartening.

    A country without a memory is a country of madmen. -- George Santayana

    by bkamr on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 04:47:07 PM PDT

  •  What's up w/ Politico removing the original (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    statement (which is no longer available through Google)?

    Google search: "Mr. Gramm was simply saying that we are laying out the"

  •  Hilarious and Obama is going to cream him on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I love McCain's surrogates, Carly and Phil, they're the gift that keeps on giving.  

    The only thing we have to fear is politicians using fear itself

    by Pacific Blue on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 05:11:04 PM PDT

  •  Elitism, anyone? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Are these people so out of touch that they don't grasp how elitist it sounds for people so permanently well off they'd never notice the difference between a period of extraordinary economic strength and a simmering Depression to accuse the nation of becoming "whiney?"  Reagan didn't get popular calling Americans whiners for believing in the American dream and not getting it.  He asked the nation to ask itself, "Are we better off now than we were before?"  Sounds like a whiny sort of question to ask, according to McCain's Dream Team.  You can not try and be a president bargaining the population to forget about the age-old tradition of the American dream lest they be deemed "whiners."

    So, as if it weren't bad enough that people are struggling, now McCain and Gramm also want these same people to feel bad about themselves also because they're in pain?

    Get these stooges off the set.  There's no way in hell victory is in the cards for McCain in November.

  •  Phil "I can't feel your pain" Graham (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    People like him are so far removed from working class stiffs like ourselves that they have lost touch with reality. Limbaugh does the same thing, everything is just fine, whats wrong with you people? I'm ready for the revolution, whether it be televised or not.

    •  It's so true. McCain is even worse. It's like he (0+ / 0-)

      is living in another universe. And he wants to possibly pick Romney as his VP, who sure as hell doesn't get what is going on. No, only Obama gets it, and the American people get that he gets it. That is why he will be elected in November.

      -5.25, -6.31 "Fascism is capitalism plus murder." - Upton Sinclair

      by butchergirl on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 08:00:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Gramm's are the most corrupt couple never to (4+ / 0-)

    go to federal prison.

    In shocking detail you can read about their activities here >

    Highlights would be their Gramm using $$ millions of his campaign money for person use, his 1st S&L scandal, Wendy's involvement in ENRON scandal, and now their new S&L scandal @ UBS.

    They are as corrupt as they come. And Gosh darn they are from Texas - what do ya know? Am I surprise that they are on Team McSame?


    ObamaNation 2009!..... Rebecca > (4 coveted City-At-Large Council Seat)..... Gavin Newsom Governor California 2010......

    by AustinSF on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 05:56:32 PM PDT

  •  Tough Times for Republican Economists (0+ / 0-)

    Of course, that's an oxymoron: "Republican economist".

    It's hard to claim that the fundamentals are strong when the whining you hear is the result of the economy squeezing the consumers by the nuts. You have to say that it's psychological. Otherwise, the fundamentals aren't strong, and that goes against neoRepublican theology.

    They don't have an out on this. The Bandits and their enablers sucked all the money out of the economy to featherbed their friends. Unless they are willing to put some back by, say, a tax hike on the rich, there's little they can do to stem the tide of red ink. Obama's plan to get us out of Iraq with all due speed is the most fiscally responsible thing I've heard from a politician in the last decade.

    These people have no cred on anything to do with money. But, what do you expect from the crowd that gave us "trickle down" economics?

  •  Gramm: "I'm Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For I am the ruler of all that I see!"

    Then again, from below, in the great heavy stack,
    Came a groan from that plain little turtle named Mack.
    "Your Majesty, please... I don't like to complain,
    But down here below, we are feeling great pain.
    I know, up on top you are seeing great sights,
    But down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.
    We turtles can't stand it. Our shells will all crack!
    Besides, we need food. We are starving!" groaned Mack.

    "You hush up your mouth!" howled the mighty King Yertle.
    "You've no right to talk to the world's highest turtle.
    I rule from the clouds! Over land! Over sea!
    There's nothing, no, NOTHING, that's higher than me!"

  •  Wonderful background. Thanks. NT (0+ / 0-)

    -5.25, -6.31 "Fascism is capitalism plus murder." - Upton Sinclair

    by butchergirl on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:56:59 PM PDT

  •  Obama is SO going to win this race. NT (0+ / 0-)

    -5.25, -6.31 "Fascism is capitalism plus murder." - Upton Sinclair

    by butchergirl on Thu Jul 10, 2008 at 07:58:05 PM PDT

  •  Psycological? (0+ / 0-)

    Did Phill Gramm say the current economic slump is psycological?

    Consider this.

    *  Median house prices in East Cleveland, Ohio are down 82% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in Cleveland, Ohio are down 75% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in Warrensville Heights, Ohio are down 70% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in Maple Heights, Ohio are down 67% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in Garfield Heights, Ohio are down 49% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in Euclid, Ohio are down 45% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in Cleveland Heights, Ohio are down 35% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in Bedford, Ohio are down 31% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in South Euclid, Ohio are down 31% as compared to one year ago.

    *  Median house prices in University Heights, Ohio are down 17% as compared to one year ago.

    The only communities in Cuyahoga County, Ohio where median house prices increased were Hunting Valley, Independance, Mayfield, Orange, and Rocky River.  The only other communities in Cuyahoga County, Ohio where the decline was less than 10% were Berea, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga Heights, Highland Heights, Middleburg Heights, North Olmstead, North Royalton, Oakwood, Shaker Heights, Solon, and Strongsville.

    Source:  Cleveland Plain Dealer

    And he calls the current economic crisis, "psycological."  I call that, "horribly out of touch."

  •  What he did wrong was straight talk! (0+ / 0-)

    Sure, this is McCain's talking point, and all the republicans know the code words. They understand that "pshycological" means that the poor people are whining.

    Gramm just said out loud what all of them are really thinking. When he failed to use the code words, the press could no longer pretend that the message was anything other than uncaring and dismissive of most of America and it's problems.

    Straight talk is a bad idea for McCain because his policies suck so bad.

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