Why Economists Have Zero Credibility (Plus My New Hero)

The big news today was that the National Bureau of Economic Research said that the recession ended in June of last year.  Could have fooled me! Ok I know this is the ignorant response to the headline. A recession has a particular definition and by that definition the NBER made its assessment. But when definitions don’t serve reality, what good are they? To be honest, when you look at the facts “on the ground”, why even bother to report a finding like that? It is meaningless. It does nothing so ease the pain of those facing harsh economic realities right now. On the contrary, it just increases the rage of those who feel Washington and the economists upon whom they rely are totally out of touch.

As long as economists make pronouncements like the one made today, I tend to have a Tea Party reaction to them: throw the bums out!

My New Hero (For Now)

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=donald+trump&iid=9642322″ src=”http://view.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9642322/donald-trump-visits-david/donald-trump-visits-david.jpg?size=500&imageId=9642322″ width=”234″ height=”322″ /]

On The Rutherford Lawson Show each week we name a Twerp of the Week. On the September 12 edition, I chose Donald Trump for his ham-fisted interference in the “Ground Zero Mosque” fiasco. However, last Thursday night The Donald redeemed himself somewhat in my eyes.

For the past few season’s of Donald’s “reality show” The Apprentice, he has been using celebrities competing for charity. This season he has returned to his original premise and is using real people vying for a temporary position within Trump’s company. On the season premiere, we learned the twist for this latest edition: all of the contestants have been effected in one way or another by the recent economic downturn. One person in particular, David, has a particularly devastating story to tell in that losing his job also lost him his wife (I’m assuming separation not divorce). He has five kids to support. He was flying high until he got laid off. As we watch David dial into the automated unemployment program to qualify for his benefits the voice over details his humiliation and desperation. My regular readers know that I have been surviving through my own layoff triggered financial struggles. This season premiere of “The Apprentice” hit me right in the gut.

Trump gets points from me not only for presenting the reality of what this economic downturn is doing to people’s lives … to people’s self-esteem but also for offering them help. Each and every one of them. If the entire season follows the pattern of the premiere, each winning Project Manager will get a one-on-one with the CEO of a major company. Each contestant eliminated will also get set up for a job interview with someone of Trump’s choosing. And of course, the winner of the entire competition will get to work for Trump for at least a short period of time. Is Trump a publicity whore? Absolutely. But here Trump uses his influence to give folks a hand-up, not a handout.

Trump is proving my biggest theory about our current downturn. Private industry needs to stop hiding behind their “uncertainty” about the future, blamed on Obama of course, and start doing the right thing and hiring when they need to hire. We all agree that public sector jobs alone will not get America working again. We need more Trumps to step up and get these millions of talented folks off the street and back on their feet.


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77 thoughts on “Why Economists Have Zero Credibility (Plus My New Hero)

  1. Trump is proving my biggest theory about our current downturn. Private industry needs to stop hiding behind their “uncertainty” about the future, blamed on Obama of course, and start doing the right thing and hiring when they need to hire.” – R

    R, Trump is hiring one person, who is going to win a competition on television that will make Trump millions of dollars. Thousands and millions of people coming back into the economy will cost more than just a salary. The problem is, no one knows just how much that will be.

  2. Rutherford,

    You and I are going to have to recreate ourselves. 🙂 Isn’t what they tell us? I laugh out loud when somebody tells me that anymore. I always answer, “what’s that? Medical school at 48 wasn’t ‘recreated’ enough?” Perhaps it’s not people that need to recreate themselves but the system itself. That’s why I hated corporate America. In the 19 years I was in it, it appeared to me that most of it was based on (1) connections, (2) cronyism, (3) nepotism; (4) grandfathered positions, and (5) opportunity – or lack thereof. Most people I worked with were not given enough of the latter.

    Now I am sure that people will say, “That’s just excuse making; sour grapes; work harder; work smarter.” But like I told you about my last hurrah off the board, “The results couldn’t have been any better. It exceeded every expectation. Management raved and rewarded. And as soon as the company was sold, it was all forgotten and I got same as the old boss.” Screw that…

    Having said that, and giving you a credible excuse for your predicament which I feel I can understand more than most, I find you terribly inconsistent in your criticism, application and expectations.

    What standards do you hold government to? Seems to me that you’re perfectly wiling to accept waste, corruption, graft. cronyism (at its worst). Corporate America is a model of efficiency compared to our federal government. At least they’re accountable to someone called the shareholders.

    I think your application about not blaming Obama, or more specifically the government, is unfair and dishonest. You can’t blame American corporations for caution in hiring when having to operate in a hostile environment being bullied day in and day out, the 2nd highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world, costly and poorly written regulations penned by attorneys who can’t find their butt cheeks with both hands, union goons, threats of escalating FICA, exponential health care costs, and yes uncertainty from a fickle and feckless gov’t who never misses a chance to parade let’s “soak the rich” or criticize “big business.”

    When are you going to hold Obama to the same standards and understand the man is absolutely and completely clueless about free enterprise?

  3. Well, since it works so well for Oprah maybe it will work just as well for Trump.

    Cynic that I am, I think that Trump has simply crafted the latest iteration of his “reality” show to mesh with what is on everyone’s mind. It’s all about the ratings (and the money) for this particular publicity whore.

    On the “zero credibility” of economists, might we distinguish for a moment between macro and micro? As long as MY business, or MY employment and employment prospects still suck, I know damn well that the recession isn’t over! Rutherford, that is why you insist on believing your lying eyes that tell you that the economy STILL sucks instead of believing those goofy ivory-tower economists.

    But how about reading past the headline?

    The news media (as usual) got this story all wrong, and you seem to have bought into their narrative. A macroeconomic recession begins when the economy as a whole, in total, starts shrinking. That recession ends when the economy starts growing again. With full benefit of hindsight, economists have now determined that the Great Recession began (i.e. the economy started shrinking) in December 2007. It started growing again in June of 2009. Obviously that does NOT mean that we got back to where we were in 2007. We aren’t even close to being there yet. But the economy IS growing, and has been for over a year. Does it feel like it to you and me? Not so much.

    So why aren’t employers hiring yet? There is still a lot of fear and uncertainty out there for one thing. That’s a fact. The Great Recession was the worst and longest one since the 1930’s For another, it’s a simple economic calculus. They won’t hire until they have to, and they haven’t reached that point yet. Corporate profits and the stock market are performing admirably right now, largely at the expense of the labor force. Employers won’t hire (ever) because it’s a nice or responsible thing to do. It’s all about profits.

    And when did The Donald ever do the “right thing” instead of what is best for his bottom line? He’s in no position to lecture businessmen on doing the “right thing.” What a hypocrite!

  4. Rutherford,

    Far be it from me to agree with Graychin about anything, but are you familiar with Trump’s real story?

    Hypocrite is right.

    The guy is a pure sleazebag – from his numerous wives to his corporate bankruptcies. Trump is a media whore – worse, he’s the caricature of what he supposedly fights against.

    I lost count of how many times the Donald’s casinos filed for Chapter 11.

  5. By the time you read this, I will have corrected the post, but I’m surprised no one ribbed me for my reference in the last paragraph to “the pubic sector”. I must have been thinking about the porno industry when I wrote it. 😆

  6. He’s in no position to lecture businessmen on doing the “right thing.”

    Gray and Tex, you’re ascribing motives to Trump that are my opinion not his. Trump has never said big business should stop whining and start hiring. That’s me talking, not Trump.

    Actually, Trump is keeping any claims of altruism pretty understated.

    And yes …. I know in the grand scheme of things, he’s a scumbag. That’s how he wound up my Twerp of the Week. 🙂

  7. Interesting comment from one of Tex’s least favorite people this morning on MSNBC. Robert Reich noted that during one of the biggest economic booms in this country, corp tax rates were up around 60%. Why weren’t they whining then? The notion that if you tax the rich, you hurt the economy is just so much BS.

    I think what has happened is the corporation has found a nice little extortion racket. Keep our taxes low or we won’t hire Americans. (We’ll hire busloads of cheap labor from elsewhere, just not Americans.)

    I personally hope that every company in this country that outsources overseas when millions are out of work here, goes chapter 11 …. the sooner the better. I can’t think of a fate too gory for them. 👿

  8. You know what I really wish for Rutherford? I wish for just one minute, we could all put our party hats aside and admit that the real problem with our country was insatiable greed. That is what is wrong with our economy – it was oversold, as was the market.

    You and Hippie think I’m not fair? That I’m harsh on Barack Obama? Well, that is true. I am pissed at the way George Bush was treated for his two terms, the unfairness, untruths and unreasonable nature of the opposition’s argument, the nastiness of the tone, the things said about our military and I am giving all of you a taste of your own medicine. But…

    Besides the “I saw in Putin’s soul”, the dumbest thing that I ever heard George Bush ever say was, “go out and spend.” That wasn’t the problem – we were already spending more than we made. The problem was we had and still have too many people living on credit.

    What I blame our government for is the pandering policies put in place to buy votes, and there isn’t one party whose hands are completely clean. While I don’t blame Bush for the SEC fiasco, he was the one in charge when the house of cards folded so he shares part of the blame. A committee that should have been composed of accountants, auditors, and financial wizards made up of mostly lawyers? Criminal.

    But what really led up to the collapse of our economy had been in the works for years. Homes escalating in price at twice inflation? No equity down, refinancing every year? Suburban sprawl where the average home was 5,000 sq ft? This was the housing version of the internet bubble. Fundamentals meant nothing – common sense thrown to the wind.

    It’s been my experience a home is no appreciable asset. My Lord, they’ve been oversold for years. Like my deceased grandfather-in-law used to be fond of saying, “A man’s home is his castle hassle…” And being a home owner for 25 years, that is the truth. They’re a place to hang your hat and be comfortable – but nothing else.

    It is time for you guys to admit from the Left that Obama was tied at the hip with some really corrupt SOBs. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Criminal. Most unions? Corrupt and inept. Public pensions? A racket. You can’t demonize private corporations large and small and expect them to react positively in return.

    And it is time for many Republicans to admit that nobody needs to make millions of dollars off the sale of stock options; doesn’t matter if it is legal – what matters is it appropriate? We all would be healthier if wealth were shared – but gov’t can force the sharing. That’s criminal. It’s got to voluntarily be done, and understood that is what makes the economy go – when the masses have more disposable income 😉

    I admit there is a huge danger to this country where we are quickly becoming a country of haves and have nots.

  9. Rutherford, about 60% corporate tax rates? Stop and think for a minute. That argument is a farce, and you are smarter than that.

    Is the world the same now as then? I have no idea of corporations were whining then, and neither does Robert Reich. He’s talking out his ass.

    But I do know that we are already paying the 2nd highest corporate tax rates in the world. Hard to be competitive when you initially start out at a 10-20% deficit before you make your first widget.

    I will never understand two things about you Rutherford – especially being you were a math major. First, how you refuse to understand a tax on a corporation is a tax on every individual. Every tax is a personal tax short of a consumption tax or lottery. Second, how a guy smart enough to graduate from one of America’s leading universities in a difficult major, refuses to admit that we are now in a global economy and no longer capable of dominating productivity.

    Your mentality puts American corporations at a huge disadvantage. Robert Reich is simply ignorant – I don’t care his supposed credentials. Listening to The Donald would do you better than listening to some self-serving pol like Reich.

  10. Rutherford, about 60% corporate tax rates? Stop and think for a minute. That argument is a farce, and you are smarter than that.

    And what’s more onerous is that in the case of a C-corp…which is what most big corporations are, it is a double tax, because the earnings are taxed in the corporation’s hands, and then again in the hands of the shareholders.

    Reich is, and has been for a long time, an idiot.

  11. BiC,

    Dimocrat thinking is so ass backwards, it is both ridiculous and illogical. I’ve come to the conclusion they can’t be this stupid (I know for a fact Rutherford isn’t), so it must be some masochistic tendency.

    They now grudgingly admit private business is the only way to truly revive the economy, and then go out of their way to penalize both corporation (large and small) and shareholder.

    Men like Reich are immune to tax increases. Between clever attorneys and accountants, his earnings are sheltered. He could lose millions and not feel the pinch. If Rutherford would pause for a moment and put politics aside, he might realize that it is men like Reich that are causing a large part of his own problem.

  12. Yeah, I can identify with Rutherford’s angst.

    However, somebody tell the guy that companies don’t exist to give us jobs.

    Utopian lamenting of a teenager.

    And while the Rabbit hates the dehumanizing effect of big corporations, the Rabbit loathes the mother of all bureaucracy even more, big government. Why a guy like Rutherford gets warm and tingly over big government getting their hands on other motherfuckers’ money is beyond me.

    I do have to come clean and admit that my flea infested rabbit ears perk up when R does address one issue. Losing jobs overseas. I’m sick of Chinese cheap shit and I’m sick of the chinks not playing by the rules.

    I’m not smart enough to talk tariffs with economic authority. But give me a few beers and I will start talking tariffs with the emotional gusto of an utopian teenager myself.

    Adam Smith seems to me shitty when the whole fucking world is invited to his party.

  13. Corporations collect taxes, they don’t pay them

    Another extention of the “We all pay for the uninsured” argument that the true believers use to justify the insurance mandate of ObamaReidPelosicare? I see what you did there, but in this case, it still comes down to competitive advantages. Yeah, my foreign-made widget may look a little different than the domestic-made one, but if production and shipping amount to half of the cost of the domestic one, I know which one will be cheaper.

  14. BiC, I was really agreeing with you. The juvenile “stick it to the man” approach to taxes is a farce — particularly when it comes to capital gains and corporate rates. Libs will never understand that.

  15. I’m sick of Chinese cheap shit and I’m sick of the chinks not playing by the rules.

    😆 😆 😆

    Rabbit, that’s why I love you man. You/’re a refreshing breath of air in this politically correct world. Give me John Wayne types over Alan Alda and Phil Donuhue any day.

    If they nominate Tex as economic czar, they’ll be one simple rule for the Chinese. Whatever rules they demand from the U.S., they shall also comply by the same set of rules. No excuses.

  16. Corporate income is only double-taxed if and when it is distributed as dividends. Some profitable corporations pay dividends. Many do not, or pay only minimal dividends.

    And now dividends are taxed at capital gains rates, which greatly softens the blow of the alleged “double” tax.

    Why does it make sense to tax capital gains at lower rates than wages? I know that it’s an article of “conservative” faith that capital gains are somehow sacred and should be taxed lightly if at all. But why?

  17. For what it’s worth, any capital gains that you realize inside a 401(k) or IRA will ultimately be taxed at ordinary income rates when the money is withdrawn from the retirement account. Capital gains are only taxed at more favorable rates if you own your stock outside a retirement account.

    I have no idea what percentage of corporate stock is held within retirement accounts (or within mutual funds inside retirement accounts), but I’ll bet it’s substantial. I think that the favored treatment of capital gains winds up benefiting only an “elite” few.

  18. G-chin, I don’t think he even said it, and was probably referring to marginal rates if her were.

    As for capital gains rates, it is beyond statistical doubt that increased capital gains rates decrease overall government revenue. Don’t you remember Obama getting all effed-up over that in the debates? All he could do was talk about those fat cat Wall Street types and corporation when it has the greatest effect on investing wage earners. (BTW, the idea of capital gains for non-security trading and non-real estate invested corporations is laugh out loud).

    Yeah. Here’s our economic genius in action:

  19. Why does it make sense to tax capital gains at lower rates than wages? I know that it’s an article of “conservative” faith that capital gains are somehow sacred and should be taxed lightly if at all. But why?

    Maybe because it is passive income, and generally taxes investment capital?

  20. Why does it make sense to tax capital gains at lower rates than wages? I know that it’s an article of “conservative” faith that capital gains are somehow sacred and should be taxed lightly if at all. But why?

    Because it’s the earnings derived from venture capital as ownership in a company. There’s a higher degree of risk associated with those earnings than simple earned income which carries no risk (unless you lose your job). It provides an incentive for more investment, providing the necessary capital for growth of the private sector.

    Though not a trained accountant like you, if I’m not mistaken, there is no tax charged upon the appreciation of the sale of your 1st principal residence, is there? Bet you paid no taxes for appreciation of your primary residence in Tulsa, probably helping to pay for a portion of your existing residence.

    The question I would pose in return is why are capital gains and dividends taxed period?

    And I don’t believe your 401k comparison is a fair one. That’s a tax deferment with no withholding until withdrawal. Purchasing a stock is an investment from income that you’ve already paid taxes. It’s really no different than an asset you hold which appreciates in value.

    Since over 50% of American families now own equities in some form, I hardly think that qualifies as benefiting only the “elite” few.

  21. Let’s see…

    Taxing capital gains decreases (!) government revenue.

    Capital gains shouldn’t be taxed because they are “passive” income.

    Capital gains should get favored treatment because they involve risk? OPERATING a small business doesn’t involve risk? Do we want entrepreneurs to run profitable businesses, or do we encourage venture capitalists to flip them? There is already a CG for “qualified small business” stock. (Sec 1244 – google it.)

    But thanks, guys. It’s all perfectly clear now.

  22. 1. We want to foster investment in public companies so that more people have “skin in the game”, and “own a piece of America”.

    2. Often times, investment capital is available to companies that are considered too risky for conventional lending. This is also worth favoring, as we want that kind of as it tends to grow the economy.

    3. If you tax it at the same rate as other income, you remove the incentive for such invesment.

  23. 1. We want to foster investment in public companies so that more people have “skin in the game”, and “own a piece of America”.

    I thought conservatives were opposed to social engineering? Or is that only when it is to benefit the poor, the sick, the environment?

  24. Graychin, you’re too much of a pompous ass to understand why most here and at the Tulsa World disdained you, and why your blog is a dismal failure (who the hell would want to associate with a prick like you but an idiot like Yellow Dawg?), but speaking only for myself, the content of your last answer is exactly why you will garner not one iota of civil conversation from me. You received several civil answers in response to your question and have to be a turd in return. So spare us your horseshit about wanting to debate Conservatives in a civil matter. You are a liar.


    For 20 months we’ve tried it your way of benevolent Barack and his big daddy government with record spending and a health care plan 2/3 of the country didn’t want. It has been an epic failure by every measure. Spin it anyway you wish Mr. Pragmatic, but your time for control is over with in 42 days pal. And I’m going to rub your nose in your claims two years ago of Republicans going the way of the Whigs. Make sure you stick around for your just desserts.

    Taxing capital gains decreases (!) government revenue.

    A concept libs apparently fail to understand, though as recently as the late 90s and mid 2000s , this is exactly what drove the increased revenues of the Fed coffers – ironically, the only thing Dims have to brag about the last 40 years, when under Clinton the capital gains rate was lowered, and then under force from a Republican Congress.

    Raising the capital gains/dividend rate takes away the incentive to reinvest. Corporations will simply defer earnings.

    Capital gains should get favored treatment because they involve risk?

    I didn’t know rate of return on investment is beyond our resident accounting expert, but risk always demands a higher rate of return on investment. That why equities historically have demanded a higher rates of return, because they are considered a riskier investment. No different here Mr. Pragmatic. I’m not sure why the greater incentive of nominal return escapes you.

    OPERATING a small business doesn’t involve risk?

    Irrelevant to the conversation at hand. We aren’t running the business – we’re providing the capital to operate it.

  25. I thought conservatives were opposed to social engineering? Or is that only when it is to benefit the poor, the sick, the environment?

    Contrary to faux Christians who believe taking a fish from one and giving another a fish will solve all his problems, real Christians realize teaching each man to fish is far more productive.

    If this is your idea of social engineering, I think you’re woefully confused. But then, I already knew that.

  26. We want to foster investment in public companies so that more people have “skin in the game”, and “own a piece of America”.

    This is an interesting statement. First, I think this is a relatively recent phenomenon. For decades the stock market was the venue of the already rich. I’d estimate it’s only in the past 30 years or so that the average Joe started investing …. and the consequence of this is Jim Cramer (whom I’ve always liked) giving advice to ignoramuses who end up losing all their money.

    I would argue that so long as the stock market is sensitive to so many variables beyond simply the health of the company, that it is deceptive to encourage millions of folks to invest. This is why I oppose basically turning Social Security into a 401K. Everyone’s retirement ends up on the roulette wheel at the casino.

  27. Tex, I agree with your comment about greed. For so many corporations, no profit margin is big enough. I understand Rabbit’s point that companies are not in existence to employ people. They are in business to make money. One can make money lots of ways. I simply say, make money employing your own and stop shipping the jobs overseas.

    I think I have a slightly unique perspective because the company at which I spent the better part of my adulthood had an explicit value system to which it adhered … until the 1990’s. Now, this company never discusses these values internally anymore. I’ve seen what greed does to a company. It’s not pretty.

  28. OK …. my apologies (especially to Tigre) … I misunderstood Reich.

    Upon replaying the video, I believe he was saying that during the best 30 post-war years in this country, 70% to 90% of taxes came from the top earners (not as I thought that the tax rate itself was 70%).

    So while I got his argument wrong, the point is still that the economy can run very strong with the brunt of the tax burden being on the very rich. Letting the Bush tax cuts on the rich expire will not break our economy but on the contrary will save us $700 billion.

  29. Rutherford, my bestest lib pal? Why do you support these dumbasses? You make fun of Sarah Palin for her ‘lack’ of education, and whatever the gal’s name is from Delaware (O’Donnell?), but consider this statement from Stony Hoyer:

    The happiness was short-lived, because Hoyer was soon answering questions about the party’s “death knell.” To defend the Democrats, the majority leader had to employ some inventive math. At one point, he erroneously added up quarterly growth rates, asserting that GDP had seen “almost a 25 percent turnaround from negative to positive.” At another point, he made the impossible claim that from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, “you lost 250 percent of the value of your stock portfolio.”

    Losing 250% of your portfolio, hey? “R”, these people are some of the dumbest zeroes on earth. And these are your leaders. If you’re going to insist on being a lib, at least run for an office so that I know we’ve got people in place that understand basic percentiles.

  30. If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a TelePrompTer installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

    If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan’s holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

    If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia , would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the nonexistent “Austrian language,” would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

    If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had stated that there were 57 states in the United States , would you have said that he is clueless.

    If George W. Bush would have flown all the way to Denmark to make a five minute speech about how the Olympics would benefit him walking out his front door in Texas , would you have thought he was a self important, conceited, egotistical jerk.

    If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

    If George W. Bush had misspelled the word “advice” would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoes as proof of what a dunce he is?

    If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he’s a hypocrite?

    If George W. Bush’s administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

    If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans , would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

    If George W. Bush had created the position of 32 Czars who report directly to him, bypassing the House and Senate on much of what is happening in America, would you have approved.

    If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

    So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can’t think of anything? Don’t worry. He’s done all this in 15 months — so you’ll have two years and nine months to come up with an answer.

  31. G, to avoid being pedantic, I won’t address each of your thousand points. Suffice it to say, if Bush had done some of these things, I would’ve had no problem with it.

    I started blogging very late in the Bush administration so I have no record of dissing him on silly matters (like improperly formatted DVD’s). I think I summarized my opinion of his intellect in a post I wrote some years back suggesting with all sincerity that he might be dyslexic.

    My Dad’s been an English teacher and writing instructor for most of his 82 years and he’s been busting on Obama’s grammar from day one. So if you wanna say Obama’s no genius … fine.

  32. Good Lawd,

    My Dad’s been an English teacher and writing instructor for most of his 82 years and he’s been busting on Obama’s grammar from day one. So if you wanna say Obama’s no genius … fine.

    I pray you’re not letting your father read my screed. Men like your father (throw in my own mother from the old school too) would read my comments and consider me illiterate.

    I practically ignore rules of grammar anymore. 😳

    I bet I heard a thousand times in my life the following:

    Tex: Me and Rutherford are going out to get a Coke.

    Tex’s Mom: Rutherford is mean?

  33. LOL yeah the “me and Rutherford are” is still a very common mistake. The problem lies in “I and Rutherford” sounding so damn awkward. The way to get out of it is to not be so damn selfish and put the first person second — “Rutherford and I are going”. Sounds better and works grammatically.

    Interestingly, and I don’t remember where I read this, the old business about ending a sentence with a preposition is now passe. It’s considered ok nowadays to say “the country I come from” as opposed to “the country from which I come”.

    Which reminds me of an old joke. Two guys are standing at a bus stop.

    Guy 1: Do you know where this bus goes to?
    Guy 2: Yes, I do and you should not end a sentence with a preposition.

    Guy 1: Oh I’m sorry. Do you know where this bus goes to, assh*le?

  34. Man, this new Government report on Al Queda almost seems panicked. They are citing the Fort Hood gunmen as merely one of many other Al Queda operatives that are home grown and on the loose.

    Do you guys remember the spin Obama put on that dude? The refusal to associate radical Islam? The total bull shit about PTSD BEFORE he went to Iraq? The spin about being late on his mortgage?

    Rutherford, dare I go back and find your comments mirroring the admin’s spin?

    My bet is you will reply to this claiming the administration never framed it this way.

    And don’t even get me started on the Christmas Day bomber…

    We can only hope that Obama has done a 180 when it comes to his naïve, politically correct views.

    Maybe Rutherford has done a 180?

  35. Maybe Rutherford has done a 180?

    Rabbit, for every Obama under-estimation of the terrorist threat we get a Newt Gingrich “Sharia law is coming to a city near you any day now.”

    It almost makes me long for the good old days under Bush when the worst we had to deal with were silly color coded alerts and people weren’t constantly ginning up the domestic threat for political gain. Of course, they ginned up the international threat and kept us in an unpaid-for useless war but that’s another story.

    There’s a really good Islamaphobic political ad out now by some lady running for something. I’ll have to see if I can find it on YouTube and post it here. It’s pretty vile but it would warm the cockles of Elric’s heart. 🙂

  36. A couple of comments on G’s video.

    First … yeah really stupid to being ranking on Vietnamese Americans. But that’s the Sneetches for you. Even minorities fight among themselves to gain advantage. Humans are a rancorous sort.

    Second, it’s interesting how much more civil Sanchez is when she speaks English. I saw her on TV a few days ago and it’s hard to believe this is the same woman. In this video she even looks meaner and angrier. Perhaps this video gives insight into Hispanic bigotry when they talk amongst themselves? And yes …. I acknowledge it happens among Blacks too,

  37. The family respectfully asked in lieu of flowers that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society or to the campaign of whoever is running against President Barack Obama in 2012.


    Now Tex … there’s a man after your own heart. An Obama-hater till the bitter end! 😆

  38. An Obama-hater till the bitter end!

    Bitter to the end? The man was obviously seeing heaven! 🙂

    A message from the angels – Satan’s assistant Barack Obama and his imminent demise. Ahhhhhhhhh….

  39. Perhaps this video gives insight into Hispanic bigotry when they talk amongst themselves.

    I didn’t think Hispanics could be bigots? That wielding power thing, and all? Or does that built in advantage only apply to the black minority? 🙂

    I can already guess the answer: so…I’ll save you the problem “R”.

    BIGOT – a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

    RACISM – a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

    Ummm…those sound eerily similar. 😈

    Come on “R”. Give me some more of those semantic games you libs like to play.

  40. No games needed Tex … you fell upon your own petard. The key words that appeared in your definition of racism that did not appear in your definition of bigotry was “inherent superiority”.

    Therein lies the key difference …. that superiority complex emboldens the racist to exert POWER over the disenfranchised.

    Racism = Prejudice (bigotry) + Power.

    Tex —you get it … you finally get it! 😀

    P.S. Sanchez isn’t exerting power over the Vietnamese-American … she is just whining about them in what feels like a bigoted way.

  41. Therein lies the key difference …. that superiority complex emboldens the racist to exert POWER over the disenfranchised.

    Oh, I see. Ms. Sanchez isn’t exerting power over the Vietnamese-American, even though she’s their elected representative. Clear as mud. 🙂

    So back to this power thing. Did you ever answer my question of how the Klan or Aryan Brothers could be racist then? They have no power or influence, outside a prison wall so I guess they are just bigots but not racists, right?

    Would black gangs be racist? How about Jeremiah Wright or Louie Farrakhan? They seem to exert a measure of power. 🙂

    Rutherford, I know you’re not this thick. Don’ t give me your baloney about ‘petard’. Did I ever tell you that there are three words I hate, though I’ve used them all (1) meme, (2) paradigm and (3) petard.

  42. Pathetic. Even Congressmen, who get their entitled corrupt asses kissed every where they go, can’t have “power” because of skin color.

    What a joke.

    Permanent victim class.
    Permanent oppressor class.

    Makes me want to take the racist Rutherford up on his offer and start crackin’ until my white ass is too tired.

    Unfortunately, I can’t do people wrong like that.

    Hey dumbfuck, Washington insiders have power. So do 14 year old hoppers with a loaded snub nose. Wake up and quit chewing the stale bubble gum of others.

  43. On a serious note, can somebody please explain to me why we are so passive and allow Iranian bullying? We should have ripped them a new asshole 30 years ago, yet here we are after the Midget helped kidnap hostages and hold them for 444 days.

    At the very least, let’s launch some laser guided thermobaric bombs with a picture of Mahmoud’s smiling face on the casing into the palaces and tell them we had discovered it was inside job.

    These mofos have killed our soldiers in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and we still sit here with our thumb up our asses.

    I don’t get it! 👿 When are we going to figure out the only way to deal with POS is to attempt to kill him. Kill him at the U.N. building and claimed he robbed a bank – I don’t give a damn. We’ll worry about the consequences later.

  44. You know why I love you man? Because short of the Hipster, your predictions are the worst I’ve seen. 😆

    Great moments in Rutherford Lawson blog history…

    Republicans Today, Whigs Tomorrow

    October 22, 2009

    It’s kind of a shame. I’m a nice liberal. I feel for my conservative brethren and I’ve warned them repeatedly that their behavior will get them nowhere fast. Yet they persist in childish obstructionism, total lack of original thought and at times downright nasty rhetoric. The Whigs managed to get two Presidents elected in the mid 19th century. They actually got four for their trouble since both elected Presidents (Harrison and Taylor) died in office leaving two VP’s to step into the Oval Office. When Millard Fillmore finished his term, that was the last we heard of the Whigs. In 1860, the Republicans got their first electoral victory and a fine victory it was too, none other than Abraham Lincoln. The Republican track record has been considerably better than the Whigs. Alas, I think the show is almost over. Look what happens, conservative ladies and gentlemen when you ignore my advice.

    My old friend, that’s less than a year ago. GUFFAW! 😈

  45. Because short of the Hipster, your predictions are the worst I’ve seen.

    Ahhh, Tex you need to get around more in the blogosphere. How about this nugget which I posted in a comment over at Alfie’s place a few days ago:

    The old days of my declaring the GOP today’s Whigs and predicting self destruction are over. I think I underestimated the anger (combined with the stupidity) of the American people. When folks are cornered and they want simple solutions they look to leaders with simple answers. The latest crop of far right candidates provide these simple solutions and provide catharsis for a scared and angry nation.

    I can’t predict the longevity of the current mood of the nation but I no longer dismiss it. Dem’s mock the far right at their own risk. (And to make matters more complicated, the so called “GOP elite” cannot afford to mock either.) — from comments at Alfie’s blog

  46. OK … let me repeat what I’ve said in prior blog threads. The old racism = prejudice + power as it applies to blacks does not carry the “ummph” that it once did. That is largely because of the things you gentlemen mention — a black Pres, a black AG, black SCOTUS justices, etc. etc.

    Now of course, the notion that a black Pres signifies the end of racism in America is ridiculous but I will agree that blacks have attained enough powerful positions in society to no longer be as able to play the victim card as they might once have. Personally, I’d like to see a few more black CEO’s but much progress has been made.

  47. “R”, 😆

    Oh Rutherford, even your retorts tickle me.

    I was just gigging you to throw a fuel bomb into the room. It’s what I do. You know I like you about 98% of the time.

    Was this response from above supposed to impress me, or am I to assume this is your version of groveling?

    The old days of my declaring the GOP today’s Whigs and predicting self destruction are over. I think I underestimated the anger (combined with the stupidity) of the American people. When folks are cornered and they want simple solutions they look to leaders with simple answers. The latest crop of far right candidates provide these simple solutions and provide catharsis for a scared and angry nation.

    This is no admission you were wrong. This is blaming the other party for anger and stupidity. We’re not smart enough to understand what Obama is doing; we’re too angry to see the grand plan. And what you fail to understand is that it’s Obama who is angry. For the first time in the man’s adult life, he is being held accountable. Obama is being asked to perform on a level playing field. And he’s not capable of doing so – his basic tenets are ass backwards and the man has few scruples. He was cooked the minute his feet hit the porch of the new digs.

    You just can’t quite bring yourself to admit that while anger may be playing a role, stupidity was Nov. 2008. This man leading the country at present is a sham. And I told you so at Chen’s place many moons ago. See Rutherford, liberalism has always failed because it’s dependent upon failure, elite ineptness and victimhood. What I can’t quite put my finger on is why I can’t get you to see just how arrogant these people you vote for are. They’re no different than the corrupt execs in business. Lord knows I’ve tried. Well okay, I have rubbed your nose in once or twice but still.. 😐

    BIC and Gorilla are of course right in their summation. Short of my alma mater in football, I’ve never seen a team more capable of blowing a huge lead – fumbling two yards short of the end zone. Republicans choke. It could change.

    Still Rutherford, you’re a smart guy in most capacities. Even you have to admit liberalism, while it may pull at your heart strings under the guise of social justice or some other fluff, is self-defeating. Liberalism misunderstands what makes us tick – what brings out the best in us.

    One thing is for sure Rutherford. There ain’t a chance in hell Conservatives are going away anytime soon – lest the Tribulation set in. 😉

  48. My little boy broke his leg going down a slide on his Mom’s lap.

    I have to take him in for a cast in the morning.

    I went off on the old lady, blaming her.

    Jesus’ Golden Rule doesn’t work for me. When I fuck up, I want my ass kicked. And if my wish is not fulfilled I torment myself with guilt. Come to find out others don’t like this treatment.

    Climax of the evening? Me standing the little guy on his broken leg 4 times in a row, too stupid as to get why he keeps collapsing in pain.

    Wife in tears and not talking to me as the baby sleeps with a fractured leg. Welcome to the Rabbit family, folks.

  49. Sorry D.R. That is awful.

    However, you’ll be glad to know that bone structure is still developing even into kindergarten. And boy’s bones develop slower than girl’s bones. Where the leg was broken, if set properly, will actually be stronger. Unless there is severe internal bleeding, a broken bone will heal much faster than a torn ligament or tendon.


    Tell you what. For the first time in 10 years, I’m having to take antibiotics this week. I undoubtedly was bitten by a brown recluse sometime Sunday evening or night and woke up Monday morning with my right knee so swollen, I couldn’t bend it. It was inflamed from my shin to my thigh. I went to minor emergency, and they scolded me for not coming in sooner.

    Got some corticosteroid shot for cellulitis, and some potent ABs for the infection. Today is the first day I haven’t had the shakes, and I about vomited while mowing the lawn this afternoon.

    I didn’t know this, but a recluse has more potent venom than a rattlesnake – it just isn’t large enough to usually cause death. I think I stirred up every venomous bug putting in these wood floors.

  50. Tex, they told us he can heal within 5 weeks. I hope you’re right.

    Wow. A Brown Recluse. That is no joke. I am horrified of those things. Is the bite turning black?

  51. Sorry to hear it, DR.

    It sucks when we can’t help our kids when they are sick or in pain.

    My oldest was only a few months old when he got a fever we could not get under control, and we had to take him in to the hospital. New Years Eve, 1999. Happiness is NOT holding your three month old down and still so the doc can get a spinal tap done.


    Tex, I went to the Doc two weeks ago for a pin cushion session, got a flu shot in my left shoulder and they took blood from my left hand. Ever since I have had an ebbing and flowing numbness in the outside of my left hand and ring finger/ pinky. I’m wondering if they nicked a nerve or something.

  52. It must be the full moon.

    I was with my 4 year old daughter at the emergency room for several hours last night. She fell several feet at the playground and landed square on top her mellon. An hour later she was dizzy, white as a sheet, and throwing up. As Tex knows, she had a concussion. She’ll be fine, but I hate that feeling when my little knuckleheads get hurt, especially when you might be partly at fault.

  53. Wow. A Brown Recluse. That is no joke. I am horrified of those things. Is the bite turning black?

    Classic – necrosis spot where bit, surrounded by very painful, bright red nodule. I see these little spiders all the time, and generally just leave them alone. They in turn leave me alone.

    Fortunately recluse are pretty meek. I had to have put my knee on the little snot because they don’t go looking for trouble.

  54. BiC,

    What were they taking blood out of your hand for? Have you hit your “funny bone” recently?

    Sounds to me like they may have “nicked” the ulnar nerve. It’s one of the three large nerves of the upper extremities and the one that is most prone to pain and numbness because of where it runs in conjunction to the olecranon (elbow).

  55. Diabetic? Type II?

    Take a statin myself – 20mg Lipitor. Afraid heart disease is the killer in my family. Also get to take a medication to keep my impulses in line, followed by 81mg baby aspirin.

    Depending where they took the blood, possibly the thenar eminence (fatty pad of the hand), they could have hit the ulnar nerve, but more likely that would be your median nerve. I’m guessing that will go away.

    Hands are a bitch to dissect and incredibly complicated on an anatomy test, as I found out the hard way. 😉

  56. Sorry to hear about all the medical issues, particularly with the kids Tigre and Rabbit.

    It is true that there is nothing worse for a parent than to have a sick kid whom they can’t make better instantly. Especially since most of our kids view us as fixers and then they find out the hard way that we’re only human and there are some things we can’t fix. Fortunately these same kids are awfully forgiving.

    Rabbit, eat some humble pie with the Mrs. for the next few days and things should return to normal.

  57. Also get to take a medication to keep my impulses in line

    Well, after reading that, you’ll never again see me say “Tex must be off his meds.” 🙂 Sometimes, we deal a low blow out of total ignorance.

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