Joplin Globe Doubles Down On Dumb And Endorses Romney

Just as I suspected it would, the Joplin Globe has endorsed Mitt Romney.

Thus will end my association with the paper, as I will soon cancel my subscription.

I don’t do so lightly, as I have always known the paper’s Republican leanings, even when I was receiving beer money from the Globe for blogging. But the utter phoniness of the editorial endorsing Romney, along with its complete incoherence, compels me to react in the only rational way I know how: say goodbye to an old friend who has not only disappointed, but who has disappointed in a way that is irreparable.

And I can now spend the $15 a month on a digital subscription to The New York Times.

The Globe lost some subscribers four years ago for its daring endorsement of Barack Obama. It will lose me for its stunning lack of faith in its original endorsement. It is clear that Globe management was not prepared to make the mistake of endorsing the locally unpopular president, despite his two visits here and despite his administration’s enormous efforts to help Joplin recover from last year’s tornado. Instead, the paper has invented ridiculous reasons for endorsing Romney, including this one:

But in regard to the issue that is front and center for Americans — jobs and economic recovery — this nation remains stalled.

Stalled? Don’t the members of the editorial board read their own paper? Huh? The nation is not stalled. GDP is in fact growing and has been growing for 13 straight quarters. The quarter before Mr. Obama took office the economy was shrinking at a pace of almost minus 9 percent. MINUS BLEEPING NINE PERCENT. And during the first quarter of his presidency the economy was shrinking at a rate of  minus 5.3 percent, a situation he had absolutely nothing to do with, since he was still trying to find his way around the White’s House at that time.

The most recent GDP numbers indicate we are now growing at 2 percent, which is nothing to brag about, but:

given the utter hole we were in,

given the obstruction presented by the Republican Party in terms of filibustering Obama’s additional economic efforts to get us out of that hole,

given the fact that Republicans created the so-called “fiscal cliff” that has businesses worried about the rules of the game next year,

given the fact that, according to an article in the Globe itself, “slower global growth has cut demand for American exports,”

given the effect this year’s expansive drought had on agriculture inventories,

2 percent ain’t all that bad.

It’s certainly a helluva lot better than the minus 9 percent growth Obama inherited, from an administration that was acting according to the exact same philosophy that Mr. Romney, to the extent you can believe a goddamn word he says, plans to act on, should voters take the Globe’s advice and put him in the White’s House.

And other economic indicators are improving, including housing, which has been the main drag on the economy. The private sector has added more than 5 million jobs over the last 31 consecutive months of job growth. And if it weren’t for the shedding of state and local government jobs—which the President has tried to get Republicans in Congress to help stop—the overall job numbers would be even better.

But perhaps the most nauseating part of the Globe’s endorsement, besides completely ignoring Romney’s many, many lies and his penchant for secrecy, was this:

Obama’s mistake was that he favored short-term, targeted solutions.

Are you kidding me? Of course he favored short-term, targeted solutions. You bet he did. You know why? Because the goddamned economy was in the toilet. Millions of American jobs were being flushed into the abyss of Republican economics. That’s why he “favored short-term, targeted solutions.” And so did almost every other economist this side of Rush Limbaugh.

And so did the Joplin Globe in 2008.

As I noted, the paper endorsed Barack Obama four years ago. You know what the paper said then? Here’s what:

Following the market collapse and the recent Wall Street bailout, we believe that the nation needs a new economic plan.

Obama’s plan to provide tax cuts for middle-income Americans is a welcome one, as is his plan to eliminate capital-gains taxes for small businesses and provide cuts for businesses that create and keep jobs in the United States.

If tax cuts for middle-income Americans and tax cuts for businesses aren’t “short-term, targeted solutions,” then what the bleep is? The Globe was calling for, in 2008, short-term, targeted solutions that it now opposes. What hubris. What hypocrisy.

Obama did the things the Globe asked in 2008. He cut taxes for middle-income Americans. He also cut taxes, including capital-gains taxes, for small businesses. Here is a list of those tax cuts from Politifact:

From the Recovery Act, HIRE Acts, and Affordable Care Act:   

1. A new small business health care tax credit   
2. A new tax credit for hiring unemployed workers   
3. Bonus depreciation tax incentives to support new investment   
4. 75 percent exclusion of small business capital gains   
5. Expansion of limits on small business expensing   
6. Five-year carryback of net operating losses   
7. Reduction of the built-in gains holding period for small businesses from 10 to 7 years to allow small business greater flexibility in their investments   8. Temporary small business estimated tax payment relief to allow small businesses to keep needed cash on hand
   
From the Small Business Jobs Act:
   
9. Zero capital gains taxes on key investments in small businesses   
10. Raising the small business expensing to $500,000   
11. An extension of 50 percent bonus depreciation   
12. A new deduction for health care expenses for the self-employed   
13. Tax relief and simplification for cell phone deductions   
14. An increase in the deduction for entrepreneurs’ start-up expenses   
15. A five-year carryback of general business credits   
16. Limitations on penalties for errors in tax reporting that disproportionately affect small business   

From the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act:
   
17. 100 percent expensing

That’s an impressive small-business tax-cutting list, don’t you think? Yet, despite the Globe advocating for those things four short years ago, now suddenly the paper says, “long-range, core change is needed.” Yeah, that’s what a “stalled” America needs alright. Let’s austerity ourselves into prosperity. It’s working so well for the Europeans who have tried it.

The 2008 Globe endorsement of Obama also included this:

With the war in Iraq well into its fifth year, Obama has said that it is time for the Iraqi government to begin stepping up to take on financial responsibility for its country at a time when our country is spending billions of dollars (not to mention the human cost) each month in our efforts there.

And we agree that beginning a responsible drawdown of American forces will also require Iraq to begin taking more military control of its country, and allow our troops to place more emphasis on al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and bringing 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden to justice.

Needless to say, Obama ended the war in Iraq. It’s over. Done. Finished. Just like the Globe suggested was necessary. He also put “more emphasis on al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan.” And about bringing that “9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden to justice,” perhaps the Globe editorial board hasn’t heard the goddamned news yet: The sonofabitch is bottom-feeding in the North Arabian Sea, thanks to a courageous SEAL Team Six and their Globe-endorsed Commander-in-Chief.

End the war in Iraq? Check. Put more emphasis on the bad guys in Afghanistan? Check. Bring bin Laden to justice? Check. Joplin Globe endorsement? Uh, well, no. All those checks and plenty more, yet President Obama is not worthy of another term says the Joplin Globe.

Moving on from the paper’s moving goal posts, the Globe additionally argues,

Romney won’t raise any new taxes to reduce the deficit. Period….It’s true that the nation’s wealthiest 2 percent — individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000 — can pay more, but why should they?

Yeah, why should they? Let’s balance the budget by getting the money from the poor, the elderly, the disabled. Or maybe we could rob the piggy banks of the countless kids getting free or reduced price lunches here in Southwest Missouri.

Or let’s just let the moochers and their mooching kids in Romney’s “47%” starve to death here in our lovely Joplin community, a community propped up by a lot of government money after the tornado paid us a visit. Now that houses and businesses are going up all over the place, now that there is plenty of money floating around this FEMA-blessed area, to hell with everyone else.

Yeah, why should the rich pay more? Under Bill Clinton they were suffering mightily under those confiscatory 39.6 percent tax rates, weren’t they? God, how did they get by? How did they survive? And how did the economy create those 22 million jobs, given such a drain on those overburdened “job creators”?

The Globe continues:

Romney’s plan is to roll back individual income tax rates for all income groups by 20 percent, and cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent, while at the same time reducing personal and corporate deductions.

This gets us closer to the kind of overhaul that is needed.

Oh, Allah. Help me. How many times must this stuff be debunked? One can go all over the Internet and get various versions of the debunkery, so I won’t go into it here. Suffice it to say that the Globe repeats the Romney line that he will reduce personal and corporate deductions sufficiently to make his plan work. Oh, yeah? Which ones? Tell us, Joplin Globe. Tell us which tax deductions Romney will “reduce.”  He won’t tell us, so why don’t you? And if you can’t tell us, then you don’t know what the hell you are talking about by saying,

This gets us closer to the kind of overhaul that is needed.

Finally, I recently wrote a piece titled, “The Joplin Globe’s Dumbest Editorial Of All Time,” based on its assertion that Romney’s plan to cut the chump change used to fund public broadcasting was part of “a serious conversation about the proper role and reach of the federal government.” Boy, was I a little premature with that one. In its Romney-endorsing editorial, the Globe doubled-down on dumb with this remarkable ending passage:

When it comes to systemic problems, think Big Bird. Recent posturing over that “Sesame Street” character is telling.

During the first debate, Romney bluntly warned moderator Jim Lehrer that he would cut off funds for public broadcasting if the nation was having to borrow money from China to pay for it. If true, it’s the kind of thing a debtor nation must do.

The Obama campaign attacked Romney on that point.

Sure, funding for public broadcasting is an insignificant part of the budget, but if Obama isn’t even willing to cut one one-hundreth of 1 percent of federal spending for something that is non-vital to America, then the president is not serious about reducing spending at all.

If Obama is not serious about that, he is the wrong person for the job.

Mitt Romney should be the next president.

Yes, Mitt Romney should be the next president because he courageously promised to save American taxpayers one dollar and thirty-five cents a year by cutting off funding for public broadcasting, even though he would have exactly no power to do so without a willing Congress. That is real courage, real commitment, real change.

Maybe he can go on from there and cut the federal subsidy for the goddamned Joplin airport. Next he can tackle those free lunches that the greedy freeloading kids around here eat at school. Then, after he is energized by such “serious” budget cutting, he can cut Medicaid, so Joplin’s poor and elderly can unceremoniously croak in our streets.

Yes, why should the rich, the Romneys of the world, pay more? When there are so many better alternatives?

Now, I can truly say, without fear of future contradiction, that I have indeed read the Joplin Globe’s dumbest editorial of all time.

64 Comments

  1. Wow. You leave me little to say, Duane, because you said it all and every word is true. The Globe editorial board (who is that, anyway?) has in its substance essentially duplicated Romney’s Boca Raton private-dinner speech about the 47%, and most especially in its words about the obligation of the wealthy to help the country recover from the Bush Great Recession, words that ought to be engraved over the Globe’s front door:

    It’s true that the nation’s wealthiest 2 percent — individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000 — can pay more, but why should they?

    Bah. Humbug.

    Like

    • Jim,

      Thanks for mentioning that the editorial did mimic that Boca Raton speech, that speech before fat cats, that speech in which the real Romney was revealed for all to see.

      It just amazes me that there are so many people, particularly people around here, who love that real Romney.

      Duane

      Like

  2. RDG,
    The quality of content has been on a slow steady decline for the past decade. The paper has downsized the practice of journalism and replaced it with fluffy local features better suited for vanity publications that specialize in displaying hometown business “celebrities.” The Globe is turning into little more than The Big Nickel with obituaries.

    Last year, the advertising department approached me and asked if I would be interested in renewing my subscription. I told them the truth: the content was not worth what they were charging. Looking back on it, I should have said that if the paper can afford to hire semi-literate crackpots as editorial writers, they sure as hell do not need my patronage.
    I am no longer sure the paper has enough journalistic integrity left to feel embarrassment for endorsing Mitt Romney.

    Like

    • John,

      When you wrote, “semi-literate crackpots as editorial writers,” I had no idea who you were talking about! Thankfully, Anson, in his 808 word reply below cleared that up.

      Duane

      Like

  3. ansonburlingame

     /  October 28, 2012

    I begin by assuring all of you that this “semi-literate crackpot” writer had nothing to do with the Globe’s endorsement of Romney, nothing whatsoever. So any shots at the Globe should be directed at the Globe Editorial Board as well as the two main leaders at the Globe, the editor and publisher.

    I also note the reaction stated herein to cancel one’s subscription to the Globe. Fine as that is your choice. But it also seems to be playing ostrich by refusing to even read opinion and editorial positions that counter your own. I also wonder if by canceling his subscription that also means that we will NEVER see ANOTHER guest column in the Globe from Graham or even Wheeler for that matter.

    I KNOW you guys fight a very uphill battle against this area’s strong conservative views. I also understand your frustration when your views do not prevail despite your attempts to make arguments to the contrary.

    BUT GUESS HOW I FEEL when I comment on this blog site. Wheeler and Graham have become the “public” defenders of all things Obama and for that reason I read and participate in the discussions. By doing so I assume I get the public criticism of being a “semi-literate crackpot”. For sure I have been called worse in this blog and Wheeler’s as well in the comment sections.

    I have only seen one routine writer in the Globe that meets McKnight’s crap and that is our mutual “friend” Rita Crowell (spl?). She is the epitome of public writing to support “teavangelicals” of the religious type by and large. I am also sure that McKnight could list others that meet his criteria as well but I won’t try to make a list of them.

    But I also point out the obvious attempt by the Globe to publish many from the left, Dr. Cox comes to mind for sure as well as many other leftist leaning professional columnists. I have found over the last four years an obvious effort on the part of the Globe to publish as wide a variety of opinion as possible in a very “red area” newspaper. I wonder how many teavangelicals will cancel their subscriptions over such matters, like all the Akin supporters around here.

    Finally, Graham outright BANNED Geoff Caldwell from this blog and most of the time ignores me. Every now and then some left wing commenter in here takes shots at me, like the persistent and stupid (my view) JanesReaction.

    My point is simple in this regard. This blog site goes ballistic when someone disagrees with the sentiments herein and refuses to engage, constructively, in anything like a reasonable debate on matters of substance. That is exactly like Obama’s attempts at “small ball” in the last debate in my view.

    Scowl, glower, cuss, express polemical disdain all you like and you are free to do so just as I am free to come back for more of that crap as well. And Yes, in comments herein I will occasionally stoop to the standards of expression used by Graham as well. Rarely do I do so on my own blog however or at least I make an honest effort not to do so.

    For sure I am not always correct in what I write as well. But I never try to scream my way to correctness with the polemics you see herein calling for “crush’em like a cockroach” or other glaring “headlines” showing nothing but utter disdain for all things conservative. But of course THAT is the whole purpose of his blog site, is it not to counter every argument ever made by conservatives??

    Finally, it is for sure not clear to me who is going to become the next president. But I am certain of this point. If Romney does win I wonder if Graham will “cancel his subscription” to remain in America? I doubt it but as well can only imagine the blogs we will read on day one after we find out who the winner might be.

    Whether Obama or Romney wins, I suspect Graham will just xerox old blogs and repost them condemning anything and everything that comes from the conservative side of American politics. And of course in doing so he will perpetuate the current and very destructive political divide in America. HIs only hope is for enough of a demographics swing to put me and others like me “out to pasture” or in a “hole”, never to be seen or heard again,

    However it is impossible for him to “cancel enough subsrciptions” to make that happen in America and land of free speech. As well and having said all of the above, I find THIS blog to be the “dumbest one yet”, written by the EC!!! Running away from a fight by ignoring those fighting against you is ……!!!

    Anson

    Like

    • Burlingame, (I like the way you have started using my last name. Much more distant, more, uh, Romney like.)

      1. You have been a conservative all of your life. I have been a very committed conservative part of my life, the other and latter part a very committed liberal. And I have been every where in between. Thus, I won’t worry too much about your accusation that I am “playing ostrich by refusing to even read opinion and editorial positions that counter your own.” I don’t need a lecture on open-mindedness from a man whose thinking is basically the same as it was when he was a boy growing up in segregated Kentucky.

      2. You wrote that most of the time I “ignore” you. I’m about to make that a full time job. You claim I am “running away from a fight by ignoring those fighting against you.” I spent three years or more knocking heads with you. And honestly it wasn’t much of a fight the last couple of years. You chose to get in bed with Geoff Caldwell, wrap him in your loving arms, and bless his sophomoric insults hurled at me and my readers. Good for you. You two make a good couple. A match made in conservative heaven. But don’t expect anyone to take you seriously after you swap spit with someone who thinks calling 14-year-old girls ugly is high-caliber commentary. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with, uh, Nonny Mooses.

      3. Finally, let me give you yet another quick reason why I don’t bother to respond to you, Burlingame (God, I like using your last name. Thanks for starting that.) You wrote,

      But I never try to scream my way to correctness with the polemics you see herein calling for “crush’em like a cockroach” or other glaring “headlines” showing nothing but utter disdain for all things conservative.

      I have corrected you on this, I think, at least two times. And I will do so again because there may be a couple of new readers who have plodded through your prose here and wonder why it is I do ignore you most of the time.

      Your accusation above is the perfect example of why discussion with you is a complete waste of time. The post you reference was indeed titled, “Squash ‘Em Like A Cockroach!” But far from me calling for crushing conservatives like bugs, the title came from a homophobic pastor in North Carolina who said people should squash their little boys’ “girlish” behavior “like a cockroach.” Thus, you have misrepresented me and the point of that post more than once, and even after correction you persist in misrepresenting what I wrote.

      I do not want to spend my time, which is getting more precious every day, correcting your false statements and misrepresentations, and, yes, lies.  And the only reason I continue to even let your comments get posted is because I think it is instructive for my non-local readers to get a taste of what it’s like living around here, and let them meet the kind of people who write official editorials for our local newspaper.

      Duane  Graham

      Like

  4. Duane, thanks for your response to the Globe. You have done well to expose the Globe’s inconsistency and selective citations. My comments at the editorial are, intentionally, an expansion of your very telling points.

    Like

    • Jim,

      I have read your and Julia’s comments on the Globe site and I appreciate very much your attempts to counter the nonsense. But have you noticed something about the comments? With only a couple of exceptions, most of them disagree with the paper. Very few, besides the usual suspects, have stepped up to defend the paper.

      By the way, I find it passing strange that a local Obama-hater, who is using his comments to the Globe endorsement to trash ObamaCare, can’t wait to rush to the polls on November 6 and vote for the self-admitted “grandfather” of ObamaCare, Mittens Romney. That stuff you just can’t make up.

      Duane

      Like

  5. Bob Samuels

     /  October 28, 2012

    You will enjoy your NYT subscription, as I have for the past year. Real journalism is something that needs our support in this county if we wish for it to continue. I can’t expect the Globe to have the same caliber of journalism as the Times but, I can expect them to display a little common sense once in a while. This endorsement is on par with what I’ve come expect from the Globe over the years.

    Like

    • Bob,

      I get the Sunday Times on my e-reader. Nothing like it. Especially for 99 cents. Sometimes I look at all that content and think, how do they do that? Amazing.

      Duane

      Like

  6. Kabe

     /  October 28, 2012

    To say that Romney will not raise taxes is not correct in my book. Any working, middle class family best be ware to support Romney. Romney said he will limit deductions to twenty five thousand dollars per family. However, the first item I suspect will eliminated be the home mortgage deduction. This is perhaps the largest deduction for middle class families. I wonder if this would be done with a grandfather clause or not. Many have made decisions, including myself, based on this deduction. Over all I think it would hurt home values if all start to sell homes to avoid this new “tax”.
    Next, I wonder how many families are aware that another idea floating around is to count your employees share of your health care as earned income . Again, this would be a tax.
    Lastly, the child deduction. I doubt that would be touched, but who knows. I cannot see a party that wants to eliminate contraception and abortion to eliminate this, but who knows, he will not say specifically.
    Right here is several thousands in news taxes.

    Kabe

    Like

    • Kabe, it is virtually assured that Romney would raise taxes. First, note the history of such pledges by Republicans – none have ever done so. Second, note that Romney has scrupulously used the word ‘taxes’ during this campaign to refer specifically to income tax rates. He has not promised to not raise net taxes paid, as can be by screwing up deductions as you describe. He also regards user fees, etc. as another category than taxes.

      Many proposals, over many years, for revision of the tax code suffer from the same problem: they are not incremental. Their effect (even if they had the specificity which Romney/Ryan avoid) cannot be accurately determined beforehand. Uncertainty is worse even than the criticisms many have offered about what is known about the effects of Romney/Ryan proposals. Their formulation is typically incompatible with incremental implementation from a very different tax code.

      Like

    • ansonburlingame

       /  October 29, 2012

      Kabe, You make a reasonable point, to a degree. But to understand what Romney WANTS to do, we must agree on terms or words, at least in my view.

      Romney’s first and foremost goal is to reignite American economic growth period. When growth, measured in GDP goes up, good things happen like increasing federal revenues with no changes in tax rates, deductions, etc. Economists use the term “certeris paribus” meaning “hold all other variables constant”. Grow GDP and good things happen, again being the point.

      But then things get more difficult for sure. How high must federal revenues ultimately go to adequately fund the federal government becomes the big issue. Just how much money in federal revenues, discounting inflation, is needed (economists call that REAL GDP) to sustain the demands for federal expenditures over long periods of time. It becomes a two pronged problem. How high must taxes go to provide the revenue to adequately fund the federal government.

      Thus enters the hated Lafner Curve, hated by liberals. At some point an increase in taxes RETARDS growth in GDP. For sure if the federal government receives no tax revenues, it receives no money to run the government. But what happens if it receives 100% tax revenues. How do people live if they pay 100% of their earnings (of any sort) in taxes.

      Those two points on the curve 0 and 100% are pretty clear, logically it seems to me. The argument is what happens inbetween the two extremes.

      Now add in Keynes. Good things happen in bad times in government spending goes up. You get no argument from me on such a solution. If the private sector cannot grow GDP alone in bad times then government spending in huge amounts can turn things around, maybe. For sure it did in WWII but we had to kill a lot of people to get the benefit economically of such a huge increase in government spending as well.

      The problem as I see it with Keynesian economics is what to do AFTER huge government spending reignites growth in GDP. Our economic history over the last 50 years reveals that flaw in Keynesian economics. Huge increase in government spending, huge increase in debt and then what to do with the debt. By and large our American and European answer is to ignore the debt and keep on spending. We have done exactly that since WWII and the chickens are roosting on our collective heads now.

      Finally, I readily admit that Romney will have to pull off a “hat trick”. He WANTS to lower tax rates on everyone, eliminate deductions to at least sustain revenues, MAYBE even lower tax rates on the poor and middle class (at least income tax rates) then reduce federal spending to reach a sustainable level spending, a balanced budget, over time.

      But whatever Romney WANTS to do is subject to American politics just as Obama found out.

      So argue if you like about Romney’s ‘wants to do” but balance such with what he CAN do, politically. Obviously his only hope is compromise. Obama COULD have compromised by simpy making Bush tax cuts permanent in 2009 and then coming back after a real recovery to increase federal revenues. He refused to do so for sure and here we are today. One the other hand the GOP could have “given him” higher taxes on the rich in 2009, or 2010 or 2011 or even 2012. But they refused to do so as well.

      And here we are today both sides seemingly ready to “take to the streets’ if the other side wins the WH!!!

      Anson

      Like

    • Kabe,Jim

      I have a different take on Romney and tax increases. First, if he gets elected, he will do so with a Republican House, still controlled by teapartiers. No way taxes will go up. They will attempt to do what Romney claims he wants to do, cut tax rates and drastically cut spending. We will then see the real Mittens. Teapartiers will call Romney’s bluff, not Democrats, at least on that issue, especially if Democrats lose control of the Senate. These folks, even if they Romney wins by one vote, will claim a “mandate” to transport America back to the 1920s.

      What will happen largely depends on what happens immediately after the election, in terms of the sequestration and Bush tax cuts. There’s also looming after the first of the year the debt ceiling. Will Republicans in the House vote to raise it under Romney? You bet they will. Thus, in some ways, things will go on like they are now until we find out if Romney is the budget-slashing, tax-cutting man he promised teapartiers he would be, or a man seeking a second term as president.

      As for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, if the Democrats keep control of the Senate, even if Romney wins the Democrats will have the upper hand on that issue, providing they don’t deal it away in the lame-duck session. They can let the tax cuts expire for all, then propose to restore them for middle-class taxpayers and force Republicans to oppose those tax cuts in the name of the wealthiest taxpayers.

      Duane

      Like

  7. Jane Reaction

     /  October 28, 2012

    We subscribed to the Globe for decades, and quit when we learned they were screwing over our independent carrier.
    We did not miss the steady diet of crony guest editorials either.
    BTW the Springfield fishwrapper endorsed Ozark Billy Long. Small minds think alike.

    Like

    • The News-Leader’s endorsement was shocking, absolutely shocking! How many advertisers would have abandoned them if they had pulled the lever for Jim Evans? For regional papers, it’s all about the $$$$$$$$$.

      Like

  8. writer89

     /  October 28, 2012

    As a resident of the Detroit area, I am lucky enough to live in a town with two major newspapers, only one of which has a knee-jerk right wing editorial policy. You have my condolences. Great article, as always.

    Like

    • Thanks, writer89. You are lucky to have two papers. I have fantasies that the right-wing Detroit News, given what Romney has done on the Jeep issue, will rescind its endorsement. Yeah, I know. I fantasize too much.

      Duane

      Like

  9. Anson,
    I apologize to semi-literate crackpots. I should have written illiterate crackpot when describing your missed connection with the written word. Good lord, man, why should we believe you know the difference between Keynesian economics and key lime pie if you cannot locate the spell check app?

    It was noble of you to defend Editorial Board colleagues with the “blame them” defense. I think we can scratch you off the list for Team Player of the Month.

    Admittedly, you do on occasion contribute tongue-in-cheek humor: “This site goes ballistic when someone disagrees with the sentiments herein and refuses to debate, constructively, in anything like a reasonable debate on matters of substance.” This sentence coming from someone who has made a strange hobby of foisting fallacy-laden, disingenuous, and often incoherent bluster against bright observations is material suitable for an episode of “Arrested Development.” I can only imagine the frustration you must feel when liberals view attempts to cattle prod “matters of substance” with hairy eyeballs. Perhaps had I treated Glenn Beck’s “Muslim/Marxist European Invasion” theory with perplexing naiveté, we might have sprouted an ongoing, “constructive” dialogue leading to God knows where. Although campy historical fiction is not typical reading material, I did enjoy “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

    I do believe that you spoiled an otherwise peevish display of fabrica indignatio when blaming Duane for perpetuating “the current and very destructive political divide in America.” Granted, Duane is a force of nature. However, even the most spurious retired postal worker pales in comparison to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. As much as I admire Duane’s daily un-American missives, he still has tanning bed work to do before achieving Scary Negro status, the summa of Fox News abomination.

    Here is some free advice: Untwist vestri pardus quod spiritus.

    Like

    • John,

      I’ll have you know I stay away from tanning beds. That’s so, uh, so 1990ish. I have adopted Romney’s spray-tanning technique that he reportedly uses before big speeches and events. (He pays for it himself so as not to have it show up on campaign expense reports. That guy thinks of everything. If only John Edwards was that smart.) Before I sit down to write a blog post, I have to decide what shade I want while pecking out my “fart-in-a-hurricane” nonsense. “What would Jimmy Coco do?” I ask myself.

      Duane

      Like

  10. ansonburlingame

     /  October 29, 2012

    McKnight,

    A sham apology is ridiculous and a real one is beyond your comprehension.

    But only two points in rebutal as well.

    Graham is as much a “force of nature” as a fart in a hurricane in this area. I remain the only conservative that even tries to refute his polemics. The rest of conservatives around here either outright ignore him or laugh at him. And like it or not that is about 70% or so of the voting public around are, all of whom are “illiterate, stupid, outright crazy, etc. etc.” according to Graham or you.

    Second point is simple. Anytime you want to debate something economically, feel free to give it a shot with me now. No I am not a PhD in such matters or even close to such knowledge level or ability to articulate such things. However my goal is learning some really basic things, economically, has been successful in my recent efforts to STUDY the issues and not just engage in polemics with partisan jerks, from either side.

    In that regard, I offer again a simple problem. Make Medicare alone sustainable. Go ahead. Give it a shot and I will be awaiting your attempts to do so. I will also suggest that you best attempt will be to start with we don’t need to make Medicare sustainable. Then I will just laugh, again, when I read your reply.

    Anson

    Like

  11. Anson,
    I have found you of particular interest in ongoing research into what I call Ideological Autism. One of the traits consistently demonstrated is cognitive dissonance or “adaptive preference formation.” Another is an inability to understand the difference between a declarative statement and observational humor. For instance, when I referred to Duane as a “force of nature” you read this as a declarative statement, prompting rather smelly condemnation. I should have called Duane “a living god among men.” Incapable of discerning intent, your reaction might have been much more fun to read than just another serving of sour grapes.

    On occasion you will accidently tell the truth, such as providing a percentage to the number of local voters who are “illiterate, stupid, outright crazy, etc., etc.” Billy Long’s likely reelection is concrete proof of this undisputable fact.

    I am sorry that your Ideological Autism prohibits me from schooling you on basic economic principles. A previous attempt failed to provide a breakthrough. Besides, I feel uneasy punching below my weight class. There is no satisfaction in winning an argument with someone with scant exposure to the fundamentals of macroeconomics, a situation compounded by your compulsion to pound square blocks into round holes. I believe this discussion is counterproductive and not therapeutic.

    However, your participation in this exercise could produce positive results. One of the symptoms of Ideological Autism is a compulsion to escape untenable positions by asking unrelated questions, otherwise known as changing the subject. The exercise is simple. I ask, “Do you agree or disagree with Wilkerson that the GOP is full of racists?” You answer the question. I will then education you on the sustainability of Medicare. Assuming we can make progress with the question and answer drill, the next step is resolving false analogy disorders.

    Should you fail to understand this comment, I can repost my Epistle Lesson taken from Mathew 7:6 delivered last June to Repent America’s Demolition Derby for Romney fundraiser as supplemental clarification.

    Like

    • ansonburlingame

       /  October 30, 2012

      Simple answer. The Gop is NOT “full” of racists.

      Are there racists in any political movement. You bet there are. Are their any racists in the Democratic Party? Of course there are.

      So I suppose we can gather up a few million people and start giving quizzes or psych exams to determine their proclivities.

      Anson

      Like

    • Forthwith, I am forwarding your new diagnosis, “Ideological Autism,” to the American Psychiatric Association, which is set to publish the DSM-5 next year. I think there’s still time to get the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Work Group to add your discovery to the manual.

      I fear, though, that a symptom you mention, to wit, “an inability to understand the difference between a declarative statement and observational humor,” may not have wide application. I think it only applies to a couple of local conservatives. But I’ll let them decide.

      Duane

      Like

  12. scott eastman

     /  October 29, 2012

    scathing… spot on, Duane. thank you. I posted it (the link) to my Facebook.. I hope you don’t mind that and will gladly remove it if you want.. I just wanted people to see it… and to see what an intelligent and cogent piece of op/ed even looks like. it may drive some people to your blog..hopefully.

    Like

  13. Kim Lee

     /  October 29, 2012

    Duane, you make a lot of Great points that i agree with 100%. However, i wish you would calm down on the language so i could try to convert some of my church friends over to our way of thinking…..

    Like

    • Thanks, Kim.

      Look, I realize sometimes, but not that often, the language gets a little rough. And I realize that some folks don’t see language, particularly profanity, the same way I see it, as a tool of emphasis. Words, especially some words, are used as intensifiers to convey some emotion, some passion. That was the reason I chose to use the one word I did in this piece. It was meant to say, “This is outrageous and ridiculous beyond words!”

      For your church friends, I applaud your efforts to convert them to our side. You might mention to them that the father of modern conservatism, William F. Buckley, was rather fond of the word I used in this piece. In fact, he wrote a book with the title, “Cancel Your Own G*****M Subscription.” He was a very religious man, too religious for my tastes, and did not see that word as anything other than an intensifier, useful on certain occasions.

      I will, though, take under advisement your heart-felt plea. In order to change minds, sometimes we do need to make some concessions in life and that might be one of them. Thanks again for your efforts and your contribution.

      Duane

      Like

  14. henrygmorgan

     /  October 30, 2012

    Duane: I have read these blogs for years now, and I enjoy the give and take of contending points of view. In fact, I have even joined in occasionally. But I must make an observation: If brevity is the soul of wit, where does this leave Anson Burlingame? We can spot his contributions by their length even before we learn who wrote it If there is a brief and efficient way to say something, we can be certain that Anson will avoid it. And finally, are there any sweeter words than when Anson finally says “finally?” Henry

    Like

    • Henry,

      Hmm. “If brevity is the soul of wit, where does this leave Anson Burlingame?

      I know I don’t have to remind you that Polonius, the source of your proverb, wasn’t exactly brief or witty. In fact, the irony both then and now, in terms of Anson Burlingame, is delicious. In so many ways, Anson is Polonius.

      And by the way, Henry, you need to chime in more often. I enjoyed your little back-and-forth in the paper with that gal who thinks that citing far-right conservative news opinion is the equivalent of stating facts.

      Duane

      Like

  15. ansonburlingame

     /  October 30, 2012

    Henry,

    You are correct. My comments herein are too long for normal comments. But this if far from a normal blog on politics. It is over the top in my view.

    I suppose I could be like JanesReaction and simply write “this blog sucks” but then you already knew my opinion on that matter and I am compelled to say WHY I feel that way.

    I do recall your recent public comments on a local writer that failed in your view to back up her “facts” or opinions. Well…….?

    Anson

    Like

  16. henrygmorgan

     /  October 30, 2012

    Anson:

    Contrary to your charge, I never asked anyone to defend their opinions, no matter how absurd or stupid I considered them to be (my opinion), only their passing off those opinions as fact. Do you have an objection to that practice? By the way, I appreciate your keeping your last comments brief.

    Henry

    Like

  17. ansonburlingame

     /  October 30, 2012

    I can read well enough to understand opinions and facts stated by most people. So can you I am sure. Someone just posted above that “the GOP is full of racists”. Sure sounds like an opinionated “fact” to me. I also don’t need ten paragraphs of names and actions from such a blittering idiot. I just read on until challenged!!

    Anson

    Like

  18. N.Michael Barrows

     /  October 30, 2012

    “Romney’s first and foremost goal is to reignite American economic growth period. When growth, measured in GDP goes up, good things happen…” –From Ansonburlingame

    I would agree that when GDP goes up, good things happen. But what I want to know Anson, is HOW Mittens is planning on doing this? Not just that he wants to do it. Without a plan of action, this is nothing more than a factual statement. It would be like saying “When crops have water, they grow.” The water can come from many different sources, Anson. Rain, irrigation, farmers walking through fields with gardening buckets; all of these bring the needed water to the crops. So again, HOW does Mittens plan on growing the economy? Or is this just a “hope for the best and forget the rest” plan?

    And there is this: ” He WANTS to lower tax rates on everyone… MAYBE even lower tax rates on the poor and middle class…”

    So nice to see that the poor and the middle class MIGHT be considered to as part of “everyone.”

    Like

    • Michael,

      Let me remind you that Mrs. Mittens said that merely the prospect of a President Romney will work wonders:

      Just his election itself is going to instantly turn up the gas and get people more optimistic…

      And Mr. Mittens said,

      …my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back and we’ll see—without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.

      Without actually doing anything.” So, you can see what the pillow talk is in the Mittens’ bedroom. That’s why they only have five kids.

      But seriously, that is truly his economic plan. That’s what he’s counting on. He won’t have to do anything and his bidness buddies will start throwing capital into the economy and shazam, off we go! The other stuff, the stuff about the 20% cuts, is just bullshit to get people like Burlingame’s vote.

      Duane

       

      Like

  19. ansonburlingame

     /  October 30, 2012

    N. Micheal,

    You can argue over how he choses to grow GDP, but I find it hard to think you don’t believe that is his goal, his primary goal. He has been saying so for 18 months. GDP grows as a result of increases in private spending (consumption), private investment, government purchases or increasing our exports while holding imports down. That is it. Do them all or do them one at a time or some combination of the four.

    I admit his plan on taxes is a “hat trick”. Possible to do but we will have to seen. Step one and two (must be together) lower all tax rates and modify deductions (reduce them) to hold total tax revenues constant. But none of that will happen unless he gets bipartisan agreement, for sure. No approving votes on one side and all plus votes on the other side will work. The filibuster alone will ensure that happens.

    That process will be a huge fight for sure. But if successful we end up with lower tax rates and more important STEADY and predictable tax rates for the future. No more guessing.

    Do that on the revenue side and Romney is betting that private spending and investment will take off like a rocket. If it fails to do so then he is a failure for sure.

    Obama and progressives in general took the different approach. Condemn the fat cats, do little to encourage investment and spend like there was no concern at all about debt. Obviously HE failed in that attempt, go deep into debt in order to spur government spending and raise taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit.

    Want to raise taxes on the rich to provide more federal revenue to support social or defense programs. Fine if you can do it politically but DON”T raise taxes in a recession or staggering recovery. Even Keynes, I think, would agree with that point. As well he would probably today have unkind words related to our national debt that has been accumulated for 50 years using his name and theories, a purpose never intended, probably, by Keynes.

    Anson

    Like

  20. ansonburlingame

     /  October 30, 2012

    To all for sure,

    Richard Cohen is decidedly liberal in his columns. Go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-obama-the-president-who-seems-not-to-care/2012/10/29/a52246a0-21e2-11e2-ac85-e669876c6a24_story.html?hpid=z5

    A President that does not care!!! I’m not sure, are you? Maybe he cares but has not the slightest idea how to lead people to the right solutions!!!

    Anson

    Like

  21. henrygmorgan

     /  October 30, 2012

    Anson:

    I’ll leave your “opinionated fact-ers” to you to track down. I’m busy enough with Marilyn Beasley, Dianne Slater, Leland Brown, et al. It’s all I can do to keep up with demand.

    Henry

    Like

  22. RDG,
    In hindsight, I would exchange the tongue-in-cheek description of you as “a force of nature” for “the true Christ of the Ozarks.” Burlingame’s knee-jerk response to this shocking display of liberal blasphemy could have surpassed Samuel Johnson’s description of a particularly gamy banquet entrée: “the cod which passeth all understanding.”

    I am still formulating the various psychological disorders associated with Ideological Autism. Obsessive-Compulsive behavior is an obvious trait, as is a trace of Tourette’s. The excessive use of unnecessary capitalization and exclamation points share striking similarity to crude, uncontrollable shouting.

    So far, I have been unable to give Ideological Autism a more definitive name. Initial attempts could be titles of Robert Ludlum parodies, even though I have grown fond of The Burlingame Debacle. Actually, The Burlingame Debacle is apropos for describing the awkward situation that arises when newspapers invite whacky fruitcakes to write editorials.

    Like

    • John,

      Look, “the true Christ of the Ozarks” is a “force of nature,” so, in my humble opinion, either description fits, but the former does have the advantage that “Ozarks” brings me closer to the locals. And, come to think of it, the way that glistening figure in Arkansas towers over the rabble does sort of remind me of, uh, me.

      As for your continuing work on Id-Aut, which, I’m sure, the guys in white coats will soon be calling it, I suggest you consider as a symptom the creation of strange-looking straw men and the subsequent heroic vanquishing of same by their creator.

      Duane

      Like

  23. Marty

     /  October 30, 2012

    Here’s a link to an article talking about all the federal aid Joplin got after the tornado.
    As of this article, in June 2012, they had received approximately $250 million. Everybody, including Roy Blunt, seemed happy. They have a lot of nerve talking about the deficit. Shame on the Globe.

    Like

    • Thanks for reminding us about that link, Marty, and especially this sentence:

      McCaskill said Joplin should be at the top or near the top of the list of cities that have received disaster aid in the past year. “It is a long list of federal programs that have come to the aid of Joplin, and I’m proud we’ve all worked together on this on a bipartisan basis to make these things happen,” she said.

      It confirms my sense that Joplin has probably received more federal aid per capita than any other city in the past year. Considering its imbedded anti-federalist meme, the irony is almost too much for the mind to bear.

      Like

    • Marty,

      You make a great and timely point, one which we have made in the past but is particularly appropriate in the context of the Romney endorsement. Blunt and Long and other local Republicans are glad to stand at press conferences and take credit for the federal dollars spent around here, even while going back to Jeff City or D.C. and voting against them. They get away with that stuff partly because local reporters, TV and print, fail to hold them accountable through aggressively questioning them when they are in town. Shame, indeed.

      Duane

      Like

  24. Duane,

    Damn. I leave the country for a few days and what happens? The EC goes a little berserk. WTF?

    Now this is your blog so you can run it any way you choose, and post anything you want to post, and respond to comments and commenters in any manner you deem appropriate. But (you heard that “but” coming, didn’t you?) I am troubled with the “shoot the messenger” attacks you have launched in this particular post. First, it’s cancelling your subscription to the Globe, and then it’s threatening to cut off Anson like you cut off Geoff.

    As to the Globe, or “Glob” as we affectionately call it, your criticism herein of its endorsement of Romney is entirely appropriate and, IMHO, right on point. I agree fully with your assessment, your arguments, and your keen analysis of the blatant hypocrisy between the Glob’s 2008 and 2012 endorsements for president. But it strikes me as a bit extreme to put on the blinders and ignore what’s going on around you. It’s that kind of stubborn close-mindedness that we, you and I, have accused the extreme right wing, Tea Party, American Taliban of doing. I would hate to see you take on that kind of mind set.

    As to Anson, well, I’ve known him personally for many years now, and I consider him a friend. Aside from that, I respect his effort to educate himself in the field of economics, besides which he reads much more about politics and history than I would ever care to do. I will certainly give him an A for effort. But I too have had some difficulty in both understanding some of his points and in getting through to him with some of my own. But Anson is no Geoff Caldwell!!! So, while his comments are sometimes off the mark, if not confusing, that in itself, again IMHO, is not sufficient cause for censorship.

    My Joplin family, all of them, are devoted, loyal, hard working Republicans. Suffice to say, they are Romney-ites all the way. Unfortunately, their heads are about to explode when it comes down to the dilemma of voting for Akin or McCaskill. Other than that, our discussions about politics are better spent comparing MU and OU football statistics.

    I mention this only to point out that when I write Op-Eds for the Glob, I try to minimize the party politics for the sake of making a larger point. That is to say, I’m writing for a specific audience. But even then, the Glob editors sometimes get in the way. This was especially true in my piece about the “sanitizing” of Huckleberry Finn by removing the N-word. I had included a direct quote from the book and it was removed because it had the N-word. If it was me using it, I’d be Ok with it. But, when somebody, especially a newspaper editor, starts censoring an acknowledged masterpiece of American literature, well, that is purely unacceptable.

    Nonetheless, I have continued to submit Op-Ed pieces and the Glob has continued to publish them – pretty much intact. And I continue to read the on-line version of the paper because Joplin is my hometown and I’m always interested in the goings on there, editorials notwithstanding. More importantly, I support local newspapers even as they are dying off at a faily rapid rate.

    In any case, I hope you will continue your subscription to the Joplin Globe. But even if you don’t, please be careful about shooting the messenger(s).

    Herb

    Like

    • Herb,

      Good to have you back, tanned and relaxed I’m guessing. I’m going to spend some considerable time and take your points in order, because I respect you as a thinker and value your opinion.

      1) I did not threaten to “cut off Anson.” Nor did I say I was going to censor him. Did you pick up Anson’s reading habits down yonder? I merely told him I would stop ignoring him part time and make it a full time job. Surely you don’t insist that I read his very word and respond to it? I’ll let you have that job, part time or full time. He remains free to post all he wants, as long as he doesn’t slip into Nonny Moose mode. (I made that very clear in the last paragraph of my response.)

      2) Just as Anson did, you made my cancelling my Globe subscription tantamount to, in your words, putting “on the blinders” and ignoring “what’s going on around” me or “shooting the messenger (s).” Then you added,

      It’s that kind of stubborn close-mindedness that we, you and I, have accused the extreme right wing, Tea Party, American Taliban of doing. I would hate to see you take on that kind of mind set.

      Let me get this straight, my friend. Refusing to give the Globe fifteen bucks of my hard-earned retirement money every month is the same as “stubborn close-mindedness.” Hmm. Let me think about that for a minute. Well, I’m done thinking. Here’s what I think: I don’t give the Springfield News-Leader any of my money. Nor do I subscribe to the Pittsburg Sun. Or the Tulsa World. Or the Kansas City Star. Or The Wall Street Journal. Or, at least not yet, to The New York Times. Does that make me close-minded and stubborn? Huh?

      Or is it that because having had a subscription to the Globe, I am never, never free to not have one? No matter what the paper says, no matter what it prints, no matter how I judge the quality of its product, I am never allowed to unhitch myself from its news wagon for fear of folks thinking I’m close-minded?

      Can’t go there with you, Herb.

      A mark of open-mindedness is a consideration of all points of view. That I have always done and will always continue to do. You don’t become an “erstwhile” conservative any other way. It’s just that the point of view the Globe brings to my table, for fifteen smackers a month, I can get in other places, and in a much higher-quality form, to be quite blunt. Have you read the quality of its in-house editorials? Yes, I want to support my local paper, but at some point my local paper has to stop making a fool out of itself and its non-conservative readers.

      Let’s face it. The Joplin Globe, a small regional paper, takes conservative editorial positions because a) the publisher is a conservative, b) the readership and advertisers are conservative, or c) all of the above.  It matters not that the editor of the paper may not be a conservative, or that the reporters may not be conservatives; what matters is what the boss is, either the actual boss or the consumer boss, or both.

      That Romney endorsement was decisive for me not just because I found it disheartening as an Obama supporter (that in itself wouldn’t have been enough for me to sever my ties), but I found the reasoning given crass and, well, unworthy of a quality newspaper editorial of such importance.

      And, truthfully, it sounded like the publisher wrote it, a publisher more worried about circulation than ratiocination. In short, the paper broke trust with me that it takes its editorial positions on politics seriously enough to put some real thought into them, some real political thought, not commercial thought.

      As I perceived it, if the Globe was worried about selling papers and advertising so much that it abandoned its own reasoning in support of Barack Obama four years ago, I was free to consider the money I invest every month in the paper. If the Globe is free to make editorial decisions based on finances, Herb, so am I.

      So, we just have a fundamental disagreement about this one.

      3) I agree with you, though, that Anson (uh, “Burlingame” now, I suppose) is no Geoff Caldwell, in terms of tone or willingness to hurl unsophisticated insults. My main problem with him is that he has on occasion tried to be like Caldwell and often encourages him in what I consider to be foolish and childish behavior. And likewise, Caldwell encourages him back. He has, in my opinion, soiled his integrity as a debater. And Anson, under encouragement from Caldwell and some other juvy commenter, writes about me very differently on his blog than he does on this one.

      I sparred with Anson for more than three years and I believe, if you were to take about a month and go back over the tens of thousands of words he and I exchanged, you would see how patient I was, how seriously I debated Anson, and how shabbily I was treated in the end. I have gone over that stuff before and won’t do so here, but I will say that when one passes 50, one is more careful to allocate time resources.

      4) As for discussing politics with Republicans, family or otherwise, I can assure you I have had lots of practice. My local union comprises about 60% or so right-wingers. If you don’t think I’ve had to deal with some dissension, then you don’t know what union gatherings can be like.

      5) Let me take issue with something else you wrote:

      I mention this only to point out that when I write Op-Eds for the Glob, I try to minimize the party politics for the sake of making a larger point.

      You know, I remember the piece you wrote on the  dysfunction in Congress. It seems to me you wrote a whole column without actually mentioning what was the cause of that dysfunction, namely Republican obstruction. I wondered at the time how adept you were at criticizing a paralytic Congress without actually mentioning the cause of the disease! Now, if that’s what you mean by minimizing “party politics for the sake of making a larger point,” I’m afraid I can’t go there with you either. People need to know the truth, they need to know what is really going on. And what is really going on is party politics.

      Herb, I am a proud Democrat, despite the party’s flaws. I am a proud Democrat because, at least for now, the party represents in the main the things I believe in. That may change in the future; I may change in the future. But I see my “audience” here as one largely interested in politics, which inevitably means party politics.

      Now, don’t you wish you were still on a beach sucking down a piña colada?

      Duane

      Like

      • Duane,

        I don’t want to beat this thing to death, but from your response I think a few points of clarification are in order. First, I really don’t care whether you cancel your subscription to the Globe or not. That’s entirely up to you. But my reaction to your declaration to do so, upon reading your original post, was one that I often get when I mention the New York Times to a Republican fundamentalist and see their eyes start to glaze over in disdain. That’s what provoked my comment about putting on the blinders and stubborn close-mindedness. Surely you understand that these days it’s the owners of the news media and not the journalists who set editorial policy and define content. Sadly, the ghost of Edward R. Murrow has long since left the building.

        Still, I think you might agree that the Globe has some useful information about the goings-on in your community that may be of interest to you. If you lived in Springfield or Pittsburg or Kansas City or Tulsa, then I suspect you might be a subscriber to their newspaper for that very reason. Opinions of its editors are simply that – opinions. It is from that perspective that I launched my “don’t shoot the messenger” comment. But, again, you don’t owe me are anyone else any further explanation as to your decision to unsubscribe to any particular publication for any particular reason or reasons.

        As to Anson, I did, in fact, misread your response to him as a kind of censorship. But what you actually said was that he can huff and puff all he wants, but he can’t blow your house down. And, you will most likely ignore him or give him minimal attention for his efforts. So, I apologize for having misunderstood your point on that point. But, hey, I just spent 30 hours traveling from Papeete, Tahiti to Tulsa, Oklahoma, so please cut me a little slack.

        Then you write, “You know, I remember the piece you wrote on the dysfunction in Congress. It seems to me you wrote a whole column without actually mentioning what was the cause of that dysfunction, namely Republican obstruction. I wondered at the time how adept you were at criticizing a paralytic Congress without actually mentioning the cause of the disease! Now, if that’s what you mean by minimizing “party politics for the sake of making a larger point,” I’m afraid I can’t go there with you either. People need to know the truth, they need to know what is really going on. And what is really going on is party politics.”

        First, when anybody says they know the “truth,” I run as fast as I can. Had I said the cause of a dysfunctional Congress was Republican obstructionism, those likely to follow Op-Ed pieces in a conservative town such as Joplin would have immediately stopped reading. Or they would have responded by pointing to the equally bad acts of the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. (With which I would agree, by the way.) They would have indeed shot the messenger, and the message, as I said, would be lost.

        We can always agree to disagree. And as long as the tit for tat remains civil, then there is no harm, no foul. Now, I’m going to go mix myself a Bloody Mary and make a toast to French Polynesia.

        Herb

        Like

        • @ Herb & Duane,

          I think you know that I like and respect the both of you, and I have been following your correspondence with interest. But a point Herb brought up prompts me to chime in here. He appears to pose the question, “what is the purpose of political blogging?” His point seems to be that tact and civility are in order because the implied motive is to change opinions, and that ad hominem attacks aren’t going to accomplish that. I would have agreed with that when I first started blogging, but I am less sanguine now because the only political bent I seem to have affected in the last two years is my own. And that is in spite of my generally attempting to avoid ad hominem attacks.

          A secondary motive of political blogging might be to rally enthusiasm among others of like mind to become more politically active and be more likely to vote. But, gazing into my navel here, I think I simply find satisfaction in occasionally discovering an inquiring mind and making contact with it. That does change me, but the change I think is subtle and slow-acting. Must be a social thing, maybe even tribal. Huh.

          Here’s to us,
          And those like us.
          Damn few and they’re probably dead.
          Cheers! – (from a web site for toasts)

          Like

          • Jim,

            Again, the shadow of George Bernard Shaw falls upon me with his damnable, “the greatest fallacy in communication is to assume that you have!” You wrote, “[Herb] appears to pose the question, “what is the purpose of political blogging?” His point seems to be that tact and civility are in order because the implied motive is to change opinions, and that ad hominem attacks aren’t going to accomplish that.”

            My intended target for those comments was not the blogesphere, it was the opinion pages of local newspapers. As far as I’m concerned, bloggers can write anything they are of a mind to. And that includes ending a sentence with a preposition. All seriousness aside, bloggers tend to preach to the choir. You can see that here for example most commentors are in support of Duane, while those opposed are subject to his wrath. (But he is such a good writer that it’s more of a scolding than a rant. And, in any case, it’s always well reasoned.)

            No, I was just trying to say that guests who want to get some free space in a newspaper to express an opinion should do so, as they taught me in my writing and public speaking classes a million years ago, with the target audience in mind. Not only is that necessary to get pass the editors, but it’s doubly important if you want the piece to be read and to make, as I said, a bigger point.

            Political bloggers can do and say whatever they wish. Newspaper editors can also opine as they choose, but with the knowledge that sometimes the subject matter may piss off a few subscribers, some of whom might even stop subscribing. But a guest Op-Ed writer, who is getting a free column or two in a newspaper, would be wise to temper the commentary with a little humility. It’s one thing to stir the pot, but quite another thing to ask why the pot needs stirring in the first place. IMHO.

            Herb

            Like

        • Herb,

          Somehow I missed this comment you posted earlier. Sorry about that. You wrote,

          Surely you understand that these days it’s the owners of the news media and not the journalists who set editorial policy and define content.

          Don’t call me Shirley!

          Finally, you wrote,

          First, when anybody says they know the “truth,” I run as fast as I can.

          Oh, don’t run. You can’t outrun the truth anyway. It will eventually catch you, and because it is only messing around, it will then set you free.

          For the record, I don’t disagree with you if we are talking about capital-T Truth. But I wasn’t. If you can’t discuss knowing “the truth” about what happened without wading into metaphysics, then I suppose you will never be able to fill out a police report!

          Man, I’d hate to be the first responder at your accident.

          Affectionately,

          Shirley, uh, Duane

          Like

  25. henrygmorgan

     /  October 30, 2012

    Duane: Your allusion to Polonius brought back an old memory. In Act III, scene 4, Polonius, in Gertrude’s bedroom, hears Hamlet coming and hides behind the arras. Hamlet, thinking it is the King, stabs him. The stage direction reads “Stabs Polonius through the arras.” My students always thought that was outrageously funny, and the rest of the class period was lost in gales of laughter. On the other hand, It is interesting how many of Polonius’ tired, cliche-riddled platitudes have been taken as wisdom and used as the text for Sunday sermons and Rotary Club speeches. “To thine own self be true . . .. Henry

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    • I don’t speak for Duane, obviously, but I do appreciate your wit, wisdom and contributions to these blogs, Bud. (And to the Glob.) I wish I had had you for a teacher. Hell, if you were still teaching I would attend now! Bless you. 🙂

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    • Very good! When I first read Hamlet I was struck by how many phrases I recognized from common usage. And, by the way, the Hamlet I remember the best was from, uh, Gilligan’s Island. The castaways sang the song,

      Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
      Do not forget: Stay out of debt;
      Think twice, and take this good advice from me,
      Guard that old solvency.
      There’s just one other thing you ought to do,
      To thine own self be true.

      Ah, the memories.

      Duane

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  26. henrygmorgan

     /  October 31, 2012

    Jim: Thank you for your very flattering remarks. High praise indeed! One more step in our ever-growing Mutual Admiration Society. Bud

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  27. ansonburlingame

     /  October 31, 2012

    Thanks, Herb, but I don’t need your “help” herein as well.

    A little history if you will for anyone interested. Duane and I met about 4 years ago first over coffee as Globe bloggers, hosted by Carol. Geoff, Duane, Jessica (an MSSU student and blogger at the time) and I met for about an hour. It was a rather pleasant meeting. Duane and I then met again at a local Tea Party rally and “joked around” for a while. Both of us saw and did not like various things at that rally, one particular sign for sure. One last time Duane and I met and “debated” at the invitation of Woods at the Globe on a taped radio show. Three times as best I recall have Duane and I interacted, personally and all three were “OK” at least with me.

    We then began a 2 + year exchange in blogs, opposing blogs for sure and as well commented back and forth on both blogs. We became as stalemated in those earlier blogs as our Congress is today.

    During that time Geoff joined the fray as well, on both blogs as did Wheeler later on. Soon we had two on two going back and forth, politically. Then it became very personal over time particuarly between Geoff and Duane. Firm separation appeared between Jim and me as well.

    And here we are today on both a personal level and a “blog level” as well.

    I am NOT Geoff any more than JIm is Duane by the way. I agree with Geoff, policially far more than I do Duane, for sure just as Jim agrees with Duane far more than he does with me, politically. THAT separation will never change, politically between the four of us as well in my view.

    I will say however that I am sick and tired of the personal crap floating around here today. Duane has now painted me or tried to paint me as some kind of southern segregationist, Tea Party bomb thrower, etc with absolutely no compassion for much of anything. Well that is NOT ME and Herb, as a mutual friend indicated above.

    Conservative, yes, for sure in many areas. Politically, believe it or not I am an independent as well. I don’t even know who is running against Billy Long this election but will vote for that Dem next week. I will also vote for Claire and have a sign supportering her in my front yard.

    Are my comments too long and even perhaps confusing or poorly written herein. Yes, I agree that might be the case and defer to Henry in his judgment as such. He has been grading papers for a lifetime. But my defense of conservative principles the goal herein, whether I hit a stone wall of disdain, arrogance and outright stupidy (I am writting directly to JanesReaction and John McKnight) or not is an attempt to defend those principles, good principles in my view and terrible ones for some of you.

    But this has gotten far too personal for far too long now in this blog. I will still read it to gain more understanding of progessive views. But comments, well only if I support a particular blog herein from now on.

    Absent a comment from me just let it be known that my view will be “this blog sucks” hereafter.

    Anson

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  28. Duane,

    If you’ll permit me a footnote here, the Tulsa World in today’s paper (Nov. 4th) has endorsed Mitt Romney. In 2008, like the Glob, they went for Obama. Here are a few pertinent quotes from the World’s Romney endorsement that stuck out (to me anyway):

    “A vote for Romney is a logical continuation of the conservative Republican momentum and philosophy that has captured the state and placed two U.S. senators, four out of five congressmen, the governor and all secondary state officeholders in office.” (So, the editors here are preaching to the choir just as the Glob did.)

    “Romney, with cooperation from Congress, has the best chance of getting America past the impending crisis of massive tax hikes and devastating and indiscriminate spending cuts – the fiscal cliff that imperils both our national and personal economies.” (Seriously? The World apparently believes in magic and that loud and frantic clapping will bring Tinker Bell back to life.)

    “A Romney presidency would be better for Oklahoma, which depends on its energy industry for the lion’s share of its revenues. His support of small businesses, upon whose success Oklahomans rely, would give that sector the confidence to invest and grow. Greater job growth would reduce the high rate of poverty. . . “ (This would be the choir — and the rationale for this endorsement.)

    And they end by saying, “Mitt Romney has the better compass.” (You can add your own catty comment here.)

    Now, I’m not going to cancel my subscription because of this one editorial. I know a few of the folks on the editorial board and, of course, am familiar with their editorial bent. On that basis, I don’t see a lot of passion, much less sincerity, in this endorsement. So, I’ll cut ‘em some slack and just hope they can sell enough papers to stay in business.

    Herb

    p.s., Back in the day, Tulsa had two papers – the Tulsa Tribune, which was the paper for the right wing, and Tulsa World, which was owned and run by Democrats. The Tribune was shuttered in 1992. So, the World has had to move to the center. But sometimes, as with this endorsement, the right of center.

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    • King Beauregard

       /  November 4, 2012

      I don’t know, insincerity in an endorsement doesn’t exactly make me want to subscribe to the Joplin Globe.

      Like

    • They may as well have said, “Mitt Romney has the better ass.” It would have made much more sense.

      You know, Herb, the one thing that strikes me about this editorial and so many others, is that the authors are actually rewarding Republican obstruction. That line,

      Romney, with cooperation from Congress, has the best chance of getting America past the impending crisis of massive tax hikes and devastating and indiscriminate spending cuts – the fiscal cliff that imperils both our national and personal economies

      is ridiculous. What that means is that if Obama gets back in, Republicans will continue to sabotage the economy and cause trouble, so, by God, let’s put a Republican in charge!

      And that, by God, is why if Romney wins, Democrats had better be prepared to undermine his presidency, lest Republicans think that every time a Democrat is in the White’s House, they can win by sabotage.

      Damn, that makes me mad.

      Duane

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  1. Is The Joplin Globe Rising From The Dumb? | The Erstwhile Conservative: A Blog of Repentance
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