Who is in the 47 percent?

I had a long day, and have spent my blogging time tonight watching Rachel Maddow explicate the Romney fundraiser tapes. What do we think of those? Honestly, they made me sad more than anything. I don’t see anything good coming out of a place where a presidential candidate can state that nearly half the country is dependent on government and doesn’t want to take responsibility for themselves, and the audience doesn’t start jeering.

But that’s just me.

On the up side, we live in a country where a stupid magazine cover like this is responded to with the #muslimrage Twitter party, which turned the afternoon into a happier place:

I’m having such a good hair day. No one even knows. #MuslimRage

Lost nephew at the airport but cant yell for him because his name is Jihad. #MuslimRage

I emailed my former Muslim student Mariam, whose last Facebook update was about being SO PISSED about the NHL. If that doesn’t count, I don’t know what is.

I guess what I’m saying is, I’m pretty beat. Carry on amongst yourselves.

Almost forgot: I have a package on Rx drug abuse, medical marijuana and other mind-altering substances running in Bridge. Links will go live after 8 a.m. Hit ’em and keep me employed.

Posted at 12:04 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

76 responses to “Who is in the 47 percent?”

  1. Linda said on September 18, 2012 at 12:36 am

    I know why the audience didn’t start jeering. I worked with a guy–since retired–who believed exactly that. Every single word. He gets all his news from Fox, NewsMax and the Drudge Report, and believes nothing else, since it’s all Liberal Bias. When I asked if he read the local daily paper, he actually told me, “I read the (right wing local weekly), and listen to (right wing local station). Nobody needs to read other sources.”

    What blows my mind is the obtuseness. Pro team owners whose stadiums are built with taxpayer’s money don’t see themselves as moochers. Mitt with a dancing-horse deduction that’s bigger than my annual salary doesn’t see himself as a moocher, either. And he really thinks he didn’t get anything from being a rich guy’s kid because he gave a lot of money away. Really? Did he work his way through Cranbrook Academy as a kid? When he and his wife lived on the sale of stocks through his schooling? Does he think everybody’s parents give the kids stock to sell? The whole thing is a sachertorte of cluelessness.

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  2. Catherine said on September 18, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Before this whole thing broke, I was starting to feel sad at the failure of imagination and empathy exemplified by the GOP and its candidates. My darling grandmother would not recognize the party to which she belonged her whole life (and I have her rhinestone I LIKE IKE button to prove it). But for now, ima just enjoy the twitter frenzy and a little schadenfreude. When the whole campaign starts to seem like a parody video, let’s just go along for the ride, yes?

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  3. MaryRC said on September 18, 2012 at 12:56 am

    The funniest thing about #MuslimRage is that Newsweek set up the hashtag themselves to attract more publicity for this edition. I love that people decided to hijack it.

    My favorites: The 72 virgins turn out to be all males #MuslimRage and the photo of the camel tucked into a car with the tweet My camel won’t wear his seat belt #MuslimRage

    I gather that the author of the article, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is married to Niall Ferguson, who wrote the Newsweek cover story Obama’s Gotta Go. Quite the mom-and-pop operation they have there.

    Linda, I know what you mean, I’ve seen this expressed over and over. It’s always Those People who are the moochers.

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  4. MaryRC said on September 18, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Nancy, is Mariam the young woman who had her picture taken with her fiance on the steps of the Joe Louis arena? What a cute couple they were (still are, I hope).

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  5. Jakash said on September 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Even though it’s essentially a variation of one of Brian’s comments from yesterday’s thread, I think this is a good observation about the Romney fundraiser video from a reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog:

    “Here’s what strikes me: For the first time in years, Romney sounds like he actually means what he is saying. The traits that we’re used to seeing and hearing – the plastered-on smile, the patently insincere “gee whiz” persona, the illogical disconnects, that creepy nervous laugh – they’re all gone. Instead he’s clear, and tough, and emphatic, laying it out like the tough businessman he claims to be. Maybe for once we’re seeing the real Romney. And it’s a Romney who drips with contempt for the people he would serve.”

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  6. alex said on September 18, 2012 at 3:08 am

    I’m having one of those sleepless nights. Sinus headache. Unquiet mind. Fun schadenfreude on the web.

    So the new Republican rule of thumb is apparently that if you say something dumb, you double down on it until it fails to shock anymore and at length becomes lost in the cacaphony of objectively false claims that is the campaign itself. Voila! Medicare and Social Security aren’t the third rail of American politics. They might as well be roadkill on the tracks as far as half the country is concerned, so powerful is Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    Republicans are shocked, shocked that fully half the country doesn’t recognize the grotesque caricature of Obama and his record that they’ve created. Too bad most won’t make good on their promises to decamp for Canada if Obama wins. Our little piece of the world would be better for it.

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  7. Sherri said on September 18, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Well, Alex, Mitt did title his book “No Apology”.

    I guess in Romney’s world, there are the moochers, who are Obama’s base, and the looters, who are his base, and he’s trying to win the suckers who are undecided. He’ll tell them the moochers are the only thing keeping them from becoming the looters they deserve to be, so vote for him and become a looter!


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  8. Kaye said on September 18, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Indiana folks: what are your thoughts on the Senate race between Joe Donnelly(D) and Richard Mourdock(Crazy)? Read Lugar isn’t supporting Mourdock, and polls seem close. Do you think Donnelly can win?

    Sue – I encourage you to see Obama in Milwaukee on Saturday. That’s your part of the world, yes? I hope Clinton visits central Ohio, I would love to see him in person.

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  9. Deborah said on September 18, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I saw Clinton in person when he was running for office the first time, he was jogging in little shorts and his legs were all pink and pudgy. I still voted for him. Both times.

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  10. Suzanne said on September 18, 2012 at 7:10 am

    I sure hope Donnelly can win. I can’t bear the thought of Mourdock in office. People already think us Hoosiers a bunch of red necked doofusii and his election would only confirm it.

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  11. David C. said on September 18, 2012 at 7:15 am

    The Obama/Romney race reminds me of the 2006 Granholm/DeVos campaign in Michigan. I wasn’t too fond of Granholm, she didn’t (couldn’t) do much because she was saddled with a Republican legislature who were determined to be dicks. Dickey DeVos was a clueless, gaffe-prone, poor little rich boy with a sense of entitlement and a bitchy wife. Granholm made him look small and clueless in the debates and cleaned his clock something like 58%-42% in a really not too good economy. I don’t think Romney will do well at all in the debates either. He is too used to his purchased deference and he doesn’t seem to think well on his feet. A couple of verbal socks in the jaw from Obama will put him off his game and make him look like a clueless fool – which he is.

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  12. Dave said on September 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I have to paraphrase but there are Mourdock ads airing now that push how he is willing to cooperate with the other party to get things done. Of course, this is far different than what he was saying when Lugar was his opponent and other issues he is on record discussing. I fear he will win and continue down his earlier paths. I keep hoping he will say something outrageously stupid.

    I think Donnelly may win, however. I fear the same is not true for the governor’s race, I’m sure Pence is going to be our next governor, which will mean more wrecking of the schools and ignorance of infrastructure. Ugh.

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  13. James said on September 18, 2012 at 8:04 am

    So, according to Mittins, since I’m an Obama supporter, I’m some dependent welfare queen.

    That part of it shocked me so much, i forgot to drop by for my government check on the way to the post office to pay my estimated taxes.


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  14. coozledad said on September 18, 2012 at 8:09 am

    The audience for Romney’s whitebread shuffle just ain’t like us. They’re the kind of folks who don’t mind lolling in a swimming pool full of jizz.
    If Romney has a chance to implement his policies, they won’t have to go all the way to Russia to get their hookers.
    Before I read the piece about Leder, I was thinking just how much the Republicans have come to resemble the White Russians- people who happen to be too wealthy at the moment to take up their natural inclination to whore, or pimp, or hire themselves out as money launderers or torturers to some other flailing despotism, after people chase them out of this country with bayonets.

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  15. alex said on September 18, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Kaye, I’m sure you’ve heard that if Lugar had won the primary the seat wouldn’t even be in play. I was fully expecting that Mourdock would be a national laughingstock like Sharron Angle or Christine O’Donnell. But lately Mourdock’s camp has been attempting to tack back to the middle and likes to pretend he never said any of the ludicrous things he’s so famous for having said. Oh now he’s willing to work across the aisle. Social Security isn’t communism, it’s American as motherhood and apple pie and we need to save it from Obama who plans on taking it away from you, along with your guns.

    Alas, I think people in this state are so gullible and Mourdock’s such a dastardly manipulator that it’s his race to lose. Please tell me I’m wrong. I can’t see why anyone would vote for that pinched-faced cretin even if they’d never heard a word out of his mealy mouth. He exudes such a spirit of negativity and vileness that I’m surprised he has ever managed to hold any elected office whatsoever. Our only hope is that Donnelley cleans his clock at the debates—providing anyone bothers to watch. Otherwise the superPACs are busy cranking out ads making out Mourdock to be Mister Nice Guy and demonizing Donnelley.

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  16. beb said on September 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

    There are no bigger whiners than the very rich when they don’t get the deference that they feel they deserve.

    Mitt’s comments at that fundraiser was bad enough but recent reporting indicates that the funder was held by Marc Leder. Here’s what the NY Post has to say about Leder

    I am kind of amazed that 47% of American pay no Federal Income Tax. I often wonder if that can be true. Of course they still pay state and local taxes, gas taxes, sales tax and numerous utility taxes. Still the thought should be that these people pay no federal income tax because they’re too poor. Should the concern be what’s wrong with America where 47% of the population is too poor to pay Federal income tax?

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  17. devtob said on September 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Typo in the second sentence of the pot article, an extra “die.”

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    • nancy said on September 18, 2012 at 8:35 am

      Thanks, yes, I just saw that. Fixed.

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  18. brian stouder said on September 18, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Well, and – who’s to say that Mitt Romney isn’t in that 47% that pays no Federal income tax, at least some years?

    Surely, the whole point of investments in the Cayman Islands is avoidance of paying Federal income tax, yes?

    And indeed, paying the absolute least you can, when you’re a glass-tower guy (rather than a ditch digger) is the goal of the game, yes?

    Mitt oughta be expressing admiration at the folks who actually achieve the very thing he always, always strives for – paying the absolute least amount of taxes

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  19. beb said on September 18, 2012 at 8:55 am

    A couple of news notes. Amanda Bynes, this year’s entry in the Lindsay Lohan train-wreck category has had her car impounded by the LA police because she continued to driev it after having her license revoked. I feel sad about Bynes’ crash-and-burn because I remember her fondly as the talented lead in Nickelodeon’s “The Amanda Show.” The news article implies that Bynes has been smoking something that’s making her act all crazy. Is she auditioning for a part as a victim of Walter White Crystal Blue meth?

    The other fascinating / disturbing piece isi about Justice Antonin Scalia. He’s accused Judge Richard Posner of lying about Scalia’s recent book on the law.


    It’s one thing to disagree with a negative review of one’s book but to accuse the critic of lying? That is decidedly intemperate. It, along with some of his other court rulings makes one wonder if he has the sanity, let alone the gravitas to remain a Supreme Court Justice.

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  20. nancy said on September 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Beb, you can find the facts on multiple sites today, but in a nutshell, the 47 percent figure is a little misleading. It’s true that many don’t pay *income* taxes, but that’s for a variety of reasons, most boiling down to the fact they’re too poor to owe more than their exemptions shield them from. But all working poor pay payroll taxes, i.e. FICA, etc., as well as the usual sales, gas, excise, etc.

    What this message boils down to is: Soak the poor.

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  21. Deggjr said on September 18, 2012 at 9:07 am

    It’s not just the poor who don’t pay income tax. Perhaps Mitt is only after the people at the top of this table: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/28/who-doesnt-pay-federal-income-taxes-legally/

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  22. Sue said on September 18, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Kaye, as far as I know, Obama’s in MKE for a fundraiser only. I heard about this last week and haven’t been able to find any public events scheduled. If you know where he might be appearing publicly, please let me know.
    My guess would be that he has read the area’s mood correctly and doesn’t want to look at all the signs with some variation on “Where the hell ya been, man?” on them.
    I don’t have the minimum $250 it would take to see him.

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  23. coozledad said on September 18, 2012 at 9:20 am


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  24. Bob said on September 18, 2012 at 9:35 am

    With you on being sad about Romney Unplugged. Compare Mitt with the also-rans — Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum — and he still looks like the best of the lot. Just turns out that they’re all a sorry damned lot to make the case for trimming entitlements and raising taxes to work down the deficit over time. Conservatives of a responsible 21st-century sort have no champion in anyone like Mitt who trades in malignant caricatures of half the people he aspires to govern.

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  25. Prospero said on September 18, 2012 at 9:38 am

    People that worked three or four decades and are retired on what they paid into SSI and Medicare aren’t paying any federal income tax. Does the elitist asshole think those are moochers. I can prove with my tax returns I’ve paid at least 10% more of my income in federal income tax than Willard claims to have paid of his. Of course, that’s right and just, since his capital is clearly more beneficial to American social economy than my wages for labor, and I have no mortgage nor child dependents. I can also guarantee that I’ve paid at least as much as Willard into SSI and Medicare over that same decade. That one, I’m not so sure of a facile explanation. The POS should STFU, but I certainly hope he doesn’t. Now more than ever, it’s difficult to understand how a retirement age American voter could pick this dickhead, short of full-blown Alzheimers.

    It’s also undeniable even by Ananais RMoney that the 47% number will recede to the middle 30s within two years if the current tax code is not altered by pandering GOPers.

    Mary RC, interesting you mentioned Niall Ferguson. His infamous attack on Obama was big on all those people that don’t pay federal income tax, and the buffoon actually attempts to argue that that is, somehow, something for which Obama is responsible. Of course Ferguson is full of shinola:


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  26. Charlotte said on September 18, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Some random dispatches from last weekend’s visit to the land of the 1%.
    I drove in from the airport listening to the convention, and then walked into dinner where the only black man I knew growing up, Lloyd-the-bartender, was serving dinner, wearing a festive red livery (which is what he always wears). It was just Lloyd, and Maria in the kitchen who cooked, for our lovely older friends who really, Bonnie is too frail to do a dinner party anymore, and to everyone’s credit — both Lloyd and Maria get paid well, but it was very very weird.
    Then, a couple of nights later, there was the blond, 40-something, Ann Romney lookalike across the room from us at the Onwentsia Club (my mother’s lovely, now-elderly friends were our hosts). “The problem with the student loan program,” she was telling her table mates, emphatically, with pointer finger in play. “Is that it’s easy to take advantage of – and Obama, he just wants to give MORE of it to THEM.” It was all I could do not to out myself as one of THEM, the student loan moochers — but that’s not what she means. They’re all for people like me (white, culturally like them) getting student loans, especially so we don’t have to hit them up directly for help — it’s just plain old racism.
    All I could think all weekend was that Lake Forest is the suburb that built its own army base after the Haymarket riots, and somehow, that fear of the rabble is still embedded in all their DNA. And the current libertarian-leaning GOP has stoked that fear in the younger rich people (the older rich people just can’t wrap their heads around a smart black man who isn’t a servant). Because I can’t help but think the ones my age know they’re being dickheads, and they’re just backing anyone who will help them put off the time when they get busted.

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  27. alex said on September 18, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I just read that Randy Newman penned a new song: “I’m Dreaming of a White President.” Can’t listen while at work, though.

    In other news, a once-thriving local small business bites the dust thanks to the tightening of credit.

    On edit: Charlotte, I’d forgotten all about how the Great Lakes military base was the robber barons’ private security detail. I think I first learned about it while touring the Glessner house on South Prairie Avenue. In the late nineteenth century, the bigwigs were getting mighty scared. The Glessner house was built like a fortress so as to be impenetrable by hordes of angry workers, but even it wasn’t enough to make its owners feel secure, and pretty much all of the Chicago elite ditched the near south side for the far north shore — in the vicinity of Half Day Road, so called because it took a half day of equestrian travel to get there. (And with the wonders of automobile traffic and congestion, it does again.)

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  28. Connie said on September 18, 2012 at 10:25 am

    The Randy Newman song Alex mentioned can be found here:http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/09/18/_i_m_dreaming_of_a_white_president_randy_newman_talks_about_his_new_song_.html

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  29. Charlotte said on September 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Yeah Alex — we used to joke in high school about being the best defended suburb in the nation — Fort Sheridan to the south (land donated by the Armours after Haymarket) and Great Lakes to the North, in case what? we were invaded by sea? There was palpable fear of the rabble, and it hasn’t really gone away. There are always these comments about how “they” want to take Onwentsia away … sigh.
    Of course the flip side is that the dioxin plume out of Great Lakes is partially responsible for our huge cancer rate, and I don’t know what they did about the decaying canisters of WWI nerve gas in those bunkers at Ft. Sheridan. Last I remember, they were too fragile to move. Wonder if the folks in those fancy new condos know about that?

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  30. Deborah said on September 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Alex, Connie, that Randy Newman song is fantastic, I just hope people understand irony. And hope it goes viral too.

    edit: Coozledad, the wording on that chart is confusing, I surmise that the red states pay the lowest in Federal income taxes but the term “liability” is not clear. Where is Edward Tufte when you need him?

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  31. brian stouder said on September 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

    It was all I could do not to out myself as one of THEM…

    Charlotte – that was an evocative post, altogether.

    That is a singularly unpleasant feeling, and you captured it. Up ’til just recently, I’d never really experienced it – this naked racism and tribalism – but there it is.

    And then, the thought occurs – “I shoulda’ said more; I was co-opted”

    but of course, nothing you could ever say in that situation would have made any difference, other than irritate everyone

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  32. Julie Robinson said on September 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I’m sorry but not surprised about Neuhouser’s since there are so many other places to buy plants and shrubs, if and when people have the money. I consider my flowers a necessity for contentment, but I haven’t had to choose between them and paying the mortgage.

    Charlotte, in exactly one month I’ll be taking a trip with my mother, who flirted with reason earlier in the year but is now solidly in the Romney camp. Stated reason: she was offended at all the bootstrap stories at the Dem’s convention. (I know–what? That’s about all I saw at the Repub’s.) Politics is one of her favorite discussion areas, but we have so little common ground that it’s a minefield.

    BTW, between social security and her Illinois public librarian pension, Mom pulls in about the same as hubby and I. Who does she think fought for those?

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  33. Joared said on September 18, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Decided to check the Internet to find out who this Nance was that wrote about Ohio’s Jerry Rasor — she’s more than just a teenage dancer — and she’s in Michigan, too. I remember now that White House speech matter of a few years ago.

    This blog’s content will likely be an oasis to family that moved to Michigan a few years ago. Incredible all that’s being said during this Presidential election — and people are believing. So Cal where I am has our fair share of those who believe exactly what Romney said on that tape. Furthermore, an old friend in a southern state and I have discovered, beginning four years ago and now with this election, that we each have friends whose values we thought we knew but, disappointingly, we’ve learned they’re actually racially intolerant.

    Hopefully, CA voters won’t be complacent, thinking our usual Democratic State is a sure thing, so they don’t bother to vote.

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  34. Prospero said on September 18, 2012 at 11:37 am


    Are you aware that in your response to Jim Somebody about the specifics of MI medical marijuana law, you called him Joe in your response?

    The fact that federal law classifies pot as a Schedule 1 “narcotic” is the problem with Medijuana laws everywhere. In the first place it’s not a narcotic, nor is it addictive.

    You know, if Willard Ananais is correct about the lost 47%, he must get 95% of the 53 in order to win. Don’t let the screen door bruise your ass on the way out into oblivion you lying shit.

    Julie, Actually the overriding theme at the GNC was “We built our own bootstraps”.

    Willard’s other shoe hits the parquet with a deafening thud.

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  35. Jolene said on September 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Deborah, re Cooz’s map, the term “liability” refers to the amount of federal income taxes owed. One might file a tax return, for instance, but incur no liability because of various deductions and such.

    The map shows where the people who don’t pay any federal income taxes are concentrated. As the map indicates, they are concentrated in states that generally vote GOP, but the follow-up note indicates that it’s possible the lowest income (and therefore non-tax-paying) voters are Dems, even if the state as a whole goes red.

    Does that help?

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  36. Jolene said on September 18, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Pros, you understood that your “thud” link was satire, right?

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  37. coozledad said on September 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Taco jockeys? Seriously? Maybe that’s why Leder bought that Mexican restaurant chain, raided the pensions and bankrupted it.


    EDIT: Got me. Still believable.

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  38. Jeff Borden said on September 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    David C.,

    May I have permission to use your phrase “purchased deference?” You’ve captured in two words the very soul of Willard the Windsock.

    As to Mitten’s statement, well, as noted above, it is clear he deeply believes this and probably doesn’t feel at all bad about harboring those emotions. It is, of course, deeply insulting and dispiriting that a major political party could be so bereft of compelling candidates that this son of a scion is the standard bearer. I will be smiling when I cast my vote against this platinum-plated putz. I don’t feel like a victim, douchebag. I feel like someone who is voting for a much better man.

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  39. Peter said on September 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm


    I also had heard that Half Day Road was named because of the half day trip from the Loop, but I had heard it was named after an Aptakisic Indian Chief whose name translated into sun at the meridian, but it was misspelled as Half Day.

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  40. brian stouder said on September 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Let me just say – second only to Nancy (always!) – Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell are my beacons in our now-rapidly unfolding camapign season.

    Last night Lawrence was doing his show as Romney popped up to do a live 3-question press availability.

    The “thud” was audible. Romney may possibly win the office, and if he does he will genuinely be the “bill me later”/none of the above choice.

    Romney’s implosion makes this election almost completely a referendum on President Obama.

    I mean, my God; Eastwood accidently(?) encapsulated the whole campaign when he argued with the empty chair.

    It’s almost not too much to say that the president may as well take the debate stage versus an empty suit on a rack (rather better than Eastwood’s empty chair); and the empty suit will at least say nothing stupid.

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  41. beb said on September 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Nancy, I think you misunderstood my comments earlier, probably because I wrote “should” when I meant “shouldn’t.” I have heard the explanations about the taxes that 47% do pay, and I realize that arguing that because they don’t pay Federal Income Tax they much be moochers is a Big Lie. I was just marveling that in our exceptional country where “all children are above average” (Garrison Keillor) that nearly half the population makes so little that they have no taxable income.

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  42. Prospero said on September 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Pretty much sure of it Jolene, but hope springs eternal, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he said it, he is such a schmuck and seems actively involved in beating his campaign to death with the proverbial blunt object. What caused my letdown was that RMoney was never clever enough to say “Taco Jockeys to his racist donors.

    Willard seems awfully indignant and jealous of all those “lucky duckies” he has spent months were angry, indignant and jealous of rich folks. For RMoney’s 47% math to come close as far as not paying fed income tax and receiving government assistance, he is leaving a whole lot of welfarebilly GOP voters in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, That wouldn’t vote for a black man in return for free Oxycontin. And the W food stamp enrolment still outstrips what’s happened since January 2009.

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  43. JWfromNJ said on September 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I have a FauxNews fan and a tea Bagger on my Facebook friends list becuase he loves to call Obama a “nig” or a Muslim N——.” I find it refreshing that he doesn’t try to spin it into issues of facts.

    He continuously gets ripped by by intellectual friends and just gets angry and more nasty. I keep him around because sunlight is a great disinfectant.

    My favorite post from him was when he posted a picture of Barack smoking a joint at Occidental College. Like who didn’t smoke herb in the 80’s? That was funny to me because I know him from covering his felony marijuana dealing trial in bluffton and was covicted (jury out about 15 minutes). I hoped he would note the hipocrisy but I don’t think he knows that word.

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  44. alex said on September 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Peter, evidently you remember correctly. So says this Lake County history site.

    I knew Aptakisic was a Potawatomie figure in Lake County history but didn’t know his name was translated as Half Day. As the article says, a lot of us were told that Half Day was so named because it was a half day’s travel from the Loop.

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  45. Jolene said on September 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    in our exceptional country where “all children are above average” (Garrison Keillor) that nearly half the population makes so little that they have no taxable income.

    It does seem amazing, doesn’t it? But as others have pointed out, there are lots of different reasons for it. Lots of elderly people don’t have lots of income, but, w/ SS and Medicare, they more or less manage. A family with three kids and a mortgage would be eligible for some pretty substantial deductions and might end up w/ no tax liability, even with a satisfactory, if not substantial income.

    Something I read said that people in the armed services don’t pay taxes. Need to check that out. Anyone know if it’s true.

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  46. Dorothy said on September 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I cannot answer that with 100% certainty, Jolene, but I do know my son told me that when he is deployed, his National Guard income will not be taxed. Since he specified the situation, I’m assuming his regular Guard pay IS taxed.

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  47. Jolene said on September 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Thanks, Dorothy. The other statement I saw also mentioned deployment, so that might be it.

    Just found this series of charts from Ezra Klein that lay out who pays and who doesn’t pretty clearly.


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  48. Jolene said on September 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    John Sununu is on TV justifying what Romney said. Even if there weren’t so many other good reasons not to vote for him, choosing such an unpleasant spokesman shows a disqualifying lack of political judgment.

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  49. Prospero said on September 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Since Willard is so gung ho on the idea that corporations are people too, my friend. let’s not forget that not only did our good buddy GE not pay federal taxes in 2010 on $14.2billion income, they dunned the IRS for the mother of all tax returns, $3.2billion:


    John Sununu looks more like Jabba than any other human being but Bill Bennett.

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  50. brian stouder said on September 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Say – at lunch time, I read Nancy’s med-marijuana article, and was quite sucked in (so to speak); the legal twilight-zone that the researchers and marketers (if that’s the correct word) find themselves working within is fascinating.

    And the brand names “Chernobyl,” “Trainwreck” and “Tangerine Dream.” made me laugh out loud! (I love the idea of some doctor saying “Take two Chernobyls and call me in the morning”).

    One semi-unrelated question that the article raises is: Are you people “Michiganians” (sounds like a bunch of tricksters, I think) or ‘Michiganders’ (which seems to be the term I hear the most often, down here in Hoosier-land). Just wonderin’.

    edit: Jolene – you rock!

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    • nancy said on September 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Brian, our style on that question is Michiganian, but lots of people say Michigander. Why do we prefer one over the other? Can’t say, really — these questions usually come down to one person willing to go to the mat for what they like best.

      I’d go with Michigander if I’m allowed to call female state residents Michigeese.

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  51. Connie said on September 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Brian, I grew up here and it has always been Michigander.

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  52. Little Bird said on September 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I’m at the NM State Fair, and I’ve seen a booth for the Republicans, but not one for the Democrats. This seems incredibly wrong.

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  53. Linda said on September 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Yeah, I’m from Michigan, and go w/Michiganian. It seemed big in the 60s, then fell out of favor to Michigander. And Nancy, think of the Michigoslings!

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  54. brian stouder said on September 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I think we have the beginnings of one of those wonderful travel-Michigan Tim Allen-voiced commercials

    ”…so when the urge to goose your gander arises, say yes to pure Michigan shenanigans”

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  55. beb said on September 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Brad Plumer answers a question I had about the 47% – what were the percentages of the different classes of people.


    10% retired, 7% very poor and 26% the working poor.

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  56. alex said on September 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Life goes on bra
    La la how the life goes on

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  57. Jolene said on September 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    FYI, Barack Obama will be on David Letterman’s show tonight.

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  58. Blue Tongued Warbler said on September 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Yeah yeah. Outrage. Outrage. Gotcha.

    (still waiting for one person to explain why every word Mitt said isn’t true.)

    Are you a Maker? Or are you a Taker?

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  59. David C. said on September 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Jeff, permission granted.

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  60. Blue Tongued Warbler said on September 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    “But all working poor pay payroll taxes, i.e. FICA, etc., as well as the usual sales, gas, excise, etc”

    NONE of which fully cover the services they are supposed to fund by the people most likely to benefit from them.


    Even tax-contribution targeted programs like Social Security, Disability, municipal services, and roads are heavily subsidized by the Rich and corporations.

    You can’t even muster a descent half-assed rationalization. Jesus.

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  61. Sue said on September 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    BTW, I think the reasoning is that working poor contribute, they’re not freeloaders etc.
    My kind Republican father in law, who doesn’t pay income tax because his money was all sucked up in that little financial thing a few years back, has probably in the course of the past year gone well beyond anything he ever contributed toward medicare and possibly social security, so yes, he’s taking more than he gave, the leech. We’d take care of it ourselves the old fashioned way, but the ice floes are all melting, dammit.

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  62. Prospero said on September 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    BTW, Who funds SBA loans and assistance programs?

    People that work for less-than-living wages and eke out a living with food stamps, WIC and other forms of assistance don’t have those jobs out of the goodness of skinflint corporate hearts. They need those employees and squeeze them for productivity for pitiful wages. The companies employing workers of this kind are benefitting from government programs without a shadow of a doubt.

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  63. coozledad said on September 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    You can’t even muster a descent half-assed rationalization. Jesus.
    Well, while some of your teatards have suggested “Descent is the highest form of patriotic.” it’s no reason to go slapping Jesus around.


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  64. Alex said on September 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Ascent is therefore the highest form of treason. Take that ditto heads. (new iPhone. IT’s all about.brevity tonight ‘cuz I’m all thumbs even when typing with index finger.)

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  65. Alex said on September 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Ascent is therefore the highest form of treason. Take that ditto heads. (new iPhone. IT’s all about.brevity tonight ‘cuz I’m all thumbs even when typing with index finger.)

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  66. Rana said on September 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    The two things that got me as far as Romney’s recent remarks are these:

    First, he clearly thinks that people who receive any benefit from the government, and people who are “pursuing their dreams,” are two separate categories. The idea that government benefits (such as health care) might mean the difference between having the resources to pursue one’s ambitions and giving up is clearly nothing that has ever occurred to him.

    Second, my initial reaction (before reading all the posts that added necessary nuance) to the statement that there’s 47% of Americans dependent on the government was to be appalled – but not in the way that Romney meant. That is, I find it appalling to think that so many of us are struggling so badly, and I want them to receive the help they need, and not take that neediness as a sign that they should be written off as hopeless. It really gives the impression that if Romney found a man lying injured in the street, and couldn’t see a way to benefit from the situation, he’d just walk away, and scorn that man for accepting medical aid.

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  67. Prospero said on September 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    And while LDS Bishop Ananais RMoney is dividing them right and left into the makers and the takers, who paid for this massive entitlement?


    And claiming this wasn’t taxpayer money because it was the FDIC Willard blackmailed, well, bullshit.

    In all of this it is worth remembering that the GOP has waged a war of attrition on the US jobs market to attack the President for nearly four years. As effective or ineffective as this vile campaign may be in the long run, it’s had a more insidious economic affect in the USA. With jobs more scarce, employers have demanded historically high productivity while cutting labor costs, using fear of joblessness as a gigantic lever against the work force. I believe Mittens might have been smart enough to plan something like this for his Bain kingdom, but the rest of the American business community? NFW, it was just a fortuitous unintended consequence. Still, went a long way to boosting corporate profits one way or another. And it exacerbated revenue shortfalls to government by removing income from the tax pool while concentrating it upward into low rate capital gains income.Perfect GOP shitstorm.

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  68. Sherri said on September 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I’ll tell you what’s wrong with what Romney said.

    Many of those 47% don’t pay taxes not because of government handouts, but because of the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC was enacted in 1975, under a Republican President, but naturally, that’s irrelevant to today’s Republican Party. The EITC was expanded in the ’90’s as a major part of welfare reform, you know, as part of encouraging people to work rather than take government handouts, so that all of the working poors’ money didn’t get eaten up immediately with regressive payroll taxes.

    But, in Romneyland, you’re either a moocher, a sucker, or a looter. The looters (the 1%) want the suckers (the vanishing middle class) to believe that the poor are all mooochers.

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  69. Linda said on September 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    We talk about the federal income tax as if it’s where most of the federal receipts come from–hence, how terrible it is that poor people don’t pay it. It’s not even where half the federal pot originates. Only about 41% of federal tax receipts come from the income tax–in fact, about as much (40%)comes from payroll taxes, many of which the wealthiest Americans don’t pay or pay much less of, and which the working poor pay routinely. Corporate income tax make up about 8%.

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  70. Linda said on September 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Also, too, if you want to find out how the various income groups contribute to your state coffers, check this out.

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  71. brian stouder said on September 18, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Alex – I heard a report that Apple is on-track to sell 80 bazillion of those things by the end of the year….or maybe they said 80,000,000.

    Well, here’s one benefit of becoming an old fuddy-duddy: I honestly have no desire to own one.

    I suppose it would be much more tempting if I spent my days somewhere besides in front of a computer; or if the Twitter-bug had bitten me, or Facebook fascination engulfed me….but no.

    In all honesty and frankness, I think in my whole life I have sent less than 5 texts. I absolutely cannot stand dealing with the ridiculous little bitty keyboard. I am told you can take pictures with my plain-Jane phone, but however you do it is, at best, NOT intuitive.

    If martians landed in front of me, or if I caught a glimpse of Big Foot, you’d have to take my word for it, because there won’t be any photos

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  72. Connie said on September 18, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Brian, it’s official. FWCS is now the largest school district in the state.

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  73. brian stouder said on September 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Connie – I saw that, but it’s a cold comfort. We lost about 300 students, but Indianapolis lost about 1,500.

    Still, I firmly believe that Fort Wayne Community Schools is an absolutely top-flight operation, with dedicated teachers and talented administrators, and with a very dedicated and competent board of trustees and main-office operation.

    After reading Diane Ravitch’s marvelous book The Death and Life of the Great American School System, my opinion of Dr Wendy Robinson – our home-grown superintendent – went from sincere respect to something very like veneration.

    Everything that other school systems have been hit with or experimented with – co-location of schools within schools; genuine, system-wide school choice (the sexy thing that the foes of public schools wave around to entice parents into abandoning their community’s schools) amongst differentiated (or specialized) curriculums at different schools; project based learning; Montessori schools; college credits for selected high school courses; and indeed – old fashioned teacher assessments by on-the-go principals – who must now be more like team leaders or coaches, rather than building managers – all of these things are fully integrated into our schools, and the standardized test scores are on the rise, and have been for the past several years.

    Dr Robinson and her staff and all our teachers system-wide have worked their hearts out. And more importantly, Dr Robinson – as I now see and understand it – has consistently been several years ahead of the game, and she has lead our district around obstacles and past pitfalls and fads, and onto the high ground.

    So in that sense, I would have (somewhat smugly!) always said that FWCS was #1!

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  74. Jolene said on September 19, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Brian, you need to get a job doing PR for FWCS!

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