One more indication the Tea Party and anti-Obama forces are genuinely out of touch with reality


The Tea Party hopes you never learn about this.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The U.S. Senate has passed S. 632 — the Firearms Excise Tax Improvement Act — co-sponsored by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID).

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The bill now goes to the President for his signature.

[You may do better trying to track it under the number of the bill that really passed, H.R. 5552.]

Did your local newspaper cover the story?

Sam Adams is dead; we’re counting on modern patriots to spread the word:

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13 Responses to One more indication the Tea Party and anti-Obama forces are genuinely out of touch with reality

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Now, if a banker does this “moving money” successfully, there should be some business entity somewhere that wasn’t there before. A homeowner now accruing equity in a home that he would not otherwise be able to accrue, or a business providing products & services that otherwise would not exist. If this takes place as the result of anything besides blind silly luck, then it can plausibly be said that the banker possesses skill, and therefore expertise. There is a cascading effect to this. If he’s financing a bakery, he needs to know at least enough about making bread to not get taken for a ride. And that goes for financing bead importing shops, Mexican restaurants, auto dealerships…on and on.

    Of course, this banker in your hypothetical comes in after I’ve done the due diligence on the deal — after I’ve incorporated the business, set up the advisors, secure the intellectual property, set up the employee plans and compensation schemes, checked out the property, run the environmentals, secured the lease and the building renovation deal, and vetted the banker.

    So, yeah, the bankers look good — but it’s the lawyers who do the business. (I know that’s not always the case — but in more than 90% of the deals I’ve done, I’ve gotten the deal ready for the banks, not the other way around.)

    The banker may know bakeries make bread – I have to know the formula and be sure it’s not proprietary, or that we have the license if it is; I have to know the process well enough so that the real estate we secure won’t burn when we install the ovens, or the floor won’t collapse when we install the phones (a real story).

    Then I have call the banker’s bosses in New York and explain to them that all coal in Texas is lignite, that all coal in Texas would be strip mined, were it mined, that all mineral rights in some counties have been severed, and that their understanding that they should never build where mineral rights are severed means Houston is completely off their charts — and by the way, isn’t their big Texas branch in Houston?

    It’s like these guys never had to meet a payroll, or do a business plan, or anything.

    This is precisely the sort of know-how that is missing from Obama’s administration that was present in others.

    That’s a complete crock. Exactly that sort of expertise is what the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan is famous for.

    Especially in those positions Mr. Cembalest targeted for comment, the Obama cabinet has no surplus of lawyers.

    Name the people you think run the economic show, and count how many of them are lawyers — Gary Locke makes one. Are there any others?

    This is why, even when liberals are anxious to call every single effective conservative stupid, they refrain from doing this with regard to Dick Cheney who instead is supposed to be an incarnation of evil. In my line of work I’ve had to make presentations to these executives who you think are disqualified from knowledgeable assessments because they make too much money. They are deserving of some level of respect, I can tell you.

    But they don’t get a pass to tell tall tales because of the size of their wallets. Nor would they be likely to chime in to the claim that lawyers don’t know business, since, if they make fat money, most of them use lawyers in much of what they do, and they know better.

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  2. mkfreeberg says:

    And you’re only going to get more convinced, I’m sure.

    See, you’re illustrating my point. It’s a profession dedicating to finding a pre-determined outcome…to everything…and thus is not intellectually stimulating.

    It’s not to say lawyers are stupid. But it does indicate it is highly unlikely they’ll come to a conclusion about anything that is markedly different from the conclusion they wanted to come to. So no, I’m not confident with placing more decisions in the hands of a cabal of counselors. Most people see things this way, and for good reason.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Morgan, how would it have made sense to plead for a change in tax law to the Supreme Court?

    I am more and more convinced that Tea Party aficianadoes really don’t have a clue what’s going on, how things are supposed to work, how they really work, or why.

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  4. This is not a free-for-all regarding guns, and it hardly positions the teabaggers “on the right side of history”. If they were really on the right side of history regarding guns, they’d all be signed up for the National Guard.
    :
    [O]ne of the key planks of Naziism and to a lesser extent Fascism was that there was good capitalism and bad capitalism – the good was factories and railways and so on, and the bad was international finance, lawyering etc. This is not to say that you’re anything similar, Morgan, but it’s certainly interesting to see how closely your rhetoric hews to theirs.

    As long as we’re splitting such fine hairs, Mr. Mike, they aren’t called “teabaggers.”

    Now perhaps you haven’t had to tolerate the lecturing of such noted foppish snots like my own fine Senator Dianne Feinstein, and it escaped your notice there has been a dispute going on here. What exactly is this red herring you’re on about with using a gun as an instrument of personal defense? This was always seen as a primary point to having a “right to bear arms,” on both sides. The dispute was about whether, as Feinstein and others have insisted, the right was being granted to the government or, as SCOTUS clarified in Heller and then in McDonald, the right is retained by The People.

    Ed’s point, to the best I can understand it, is that the hostility demonstrated by democrats toward guns has been overstated. My counterpoint is that if this is indeed the case, gestures like the one linked would have been far more magnanimous and persuasive if they had been done before the Supreme Court, and the Second Amendment, paved them into a corner.

    You know, the Nazis, Fascists and Communists also liked to re-write history.

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  5. Well, this is getting a little off-topic from the original subject, but I still can’t claim to strongly understand what the subject was supposed to be, and hey it’s your spot. So…

    Don’t you think there is enormous irony in your defending the anti-small business views of a guy who makes in the hundreds of thousands a year, in a bank that pays enormous bonuses based not on profit or benefit to the corporation, but on how much money is moved?

    This gets right to the crux of the issue. Moving money, without actually producing anything.

    Now, if a banker does this “moving money” successfully, there should be some business entity somewhere that wasn’t there before. A homeowner now accruing equity in a home that he would not otherwise be able to accrue, or a business providing products & services that otherwise would not exist. If this takes place as the result of anything besides blind silly luck, then it can plausibly be said that the banker possesses skill, and therefore expertise. There is a cascading effect to this. If he’s financing a bakery, he needs to know at least enough about making bread to not get taken for a ride. And that goes for financing bead importing shops, Mexican restaurants, auto dealerships…on and on.

    This is precisely the sort of know-how that is missing from Obama’s administration that was present in others. This is why, even when liberals are anxious to call every single effective conservative stupid, they refrain from doing this with regard to Dick Cheney who instead is supposed to be an incarnation of evil. In my line of work I’ve had to make presentations to these executives who you think are disqualified from knowledgeable assessments because they make too much money. They are deserving of some level of respect, I can tell you.

    And yes, lawyers deserve some level of respect too. But it isn’t the same. Their knowledge of a given subject matter tends to be rather institutionalized. How much did Barry Scheck, Johnny Shapiro, Robert Kardashian, et al, have to know about crime forensics in order to get O.J. off…really? I’m choosing that example to provide a benefit to your side — it’s a very rare example in which the legal profession innovates something. Individual attorneys truly distinguished themselves and caused a ripple in the profession of forensics. But even there, there’s very little intellectual vigor. Just criticism, really. Learn enough about the science to derail the process…poke holes in it. That’s all.

    But by & large, when a lawyer is “productive,” it’s a much better example of this non-productive, non-beneficial moving-money-around as anything you’ll see in a banking institution, or oil company, or real private-sector executive. There are some legitimate reasons for saying legal experience doesn’t count. You may instinctively take a dismissive attitude toward this, but it’s a pretty big issue when so many Obama-cabinet eggs are placed in the law-profession basket. How much skill is really there when a lawyer is successful? How much business-savvy? Even if there is some, it’s a big blow to the argument when so much of it is of the same, specialized, non-vigorous, criticism-of-others, intellectually-retreating flavor. Would you have relied on Robert Shapiro to actually run a crime lab? Of course you wouldn’t. It’s the difference between baking a chili for a contest, and criticizing the flavor of it…when you’re paid by the hour to criticize it.

    But Cembalest revised his 7% figure that you didn’t like. He didn’t retract the study. It’s still up there. Maybe you should complain about it again.

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  6. @ Morgan:

    This became kind of a dead issue on June 28th, didn’t it? That’s the date the tea party turned out to be on the right side of history, and the democrat party turned out to be on the wrong side. Hey, it sure would’ve been nice if your democrat-controlled Congress did something like this before June of 2010, huh?

    At the risk of sounding rude, have you actually read McDonald? What it did was incorporate the widely-held view that the 2ndA has effect regarding weapons held for self-defence; in essence, it applied the holding in Heller to the national stage. This is not a free-for-all regarding guns, and it hardly positions the teabaggers “on the right side of history”. If they were really on the right side of history regarding guns, they’d all be signed up for the National Guard.

    The situation with counting all lawyers as “working in the private sector” is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. You mean to see it is self-evidently absurd for anybody to count a lawyer’s work in any way different from the way you do? All opinions different from yours are stupid ipso facto?

    You know, at the risk of self-Godwining, this position is not terribly new on the far right; one of the key planks of Naziism and to a lesser extent Fascism was that there was good capitalism and bad capitalism – the good was factories and railways and so on, and the bad was international finance, lawyering etc. This is not to say that you’re anything similar, Morgan, but it’s certainly interesting to see how closely your rhetoric hews to theirs.

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    People who think otherwise are stupid, they’re “bozos,” they’re idiots, et al.

    Do a search for those words — “bozo” and “idiot” — at this blog. Of more than 3,000 posts at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, very few, if any, use those words. And when I do use them, it’s generally in agreement with your point that merely labeling someone’s viewpoint as “idiot” is not a serious response.

    You’re confusing my posts with those of someone else.

    The situation with counting all lawyers as “working in the private sector” is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. You mean to see it is self-evidently absurd for anybody to count a lawyer’s work in any way different from the way you do? All opinions different from yours are stupid ipso facto?

    Again, you’ve misread the issue. Michael Cembalest said he thought attorney work shouldn’t count as private sector — no reason given other than the joking dislike of lawyers most people have. I called his bluff. I did not say that all attorneys’ work is private sector by any stretch. I said that private sector lawyering should count as private sector.

    We also need to remember that even Mr. Cembalest saw the error of his ways, and retracted the newsletter (there never was a “study).

    I’ve done legal work for some of the nation’s largest corporations, and I’ve worked with the legal departments in those corporations and in smaller entities all the way down to solo practitioners in towns so small they have to share their horse with the next town. Most of those people have had more experience “in meeting a payroll” than most businessmen in large corporations, and especially investment banks (Don’t you think there is enormous irony in your defending the anti-small business views of a guy who makes in the hundreds of thousands a year, in a bank that pays enormous bonuses based not on profit or benefit to the corporation, but on how much money is moved? (“Workers in JPMorgan’s investment bank, on average, earned roughly $380,000 each. Top producers, however, expect to collect multimillion-dollar paychecks.” $380,000 <average?) Do you really wish to claim bankers at the top of J. P. Morgan are good and accurate sources on what is “private sector” and what is not?)

    What is the difference between a lawyer in private practice and an accountant in private practice, in terms of managing the business? What do other businessmen do that lawyers do not, other than swear to a tougher ethics code, and follow the law requiring them to donate two weeks of their work to charity every year?

    Cembalest took a swipe at lawyers with a crude joke. That’s not research. His swipe wasn’t accurate, either.

    I’ve not made a sweeping generalization, and I have provided significant argument and documentation to back my point at that post and other places.

    If you wish to make a case that private-sector attorneys are not in the private sector, it’s a fool’s errand — but be my guest. If you wish to make a case that private sector attorneys’ experience in the private sector differs from other private sector entrepreneurs, be my guest. You’ve not made that case yet, nor even attempted it, so far as I can tell.

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  8. I followed it, and DP’s comment makes perfect sense to me.

    If you can stand it, just a couple pieces of advice. I notice you have this strong tendency to come up with ways to read a certain situation, which all thinking people have to do, and then from there you often jump like a spark across a gap to a litmus test for the intelligence of others. People who think otherwise are stupid, they’re “bozos,” they’re idiots, et al. The situation with counting all lawyers as “working in the private sector” is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. You mean to see it is self-evidently absurd for anybody to count a lawyer’s work in any way different from the way you do? All opinions different from yours are stupid ipso facto?

    Another thing you do is “strawman”; you castigate imaginary people for arguments you think you can debunk, before you define who these people are and before you find any evidence of anybody advancing such an argument. So the democrat party is not anti-gun, that’s your point? This is why I was making fun of you. There’s nothing worth ridiculing, that I can see, here. The idea that should be ridiculed is the one the democrats were advancing back in the days when they could, that the Second Amendment confers a right upon state governments and the federal government but not upon The People.

    My advice is, for the sake of your mental health, let go of one of those two habits. Either one. Both would be even better. Just wait for someone to say something silly before you start ridiculing it. If their wheels have fallen off their axles like you seem to think, and be anxious to prove, it shouldn’t be much of a wait should it?

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  9. Ed Darrell says:

    Tell it to the NRA, DPirate. Did you follow the link?

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  10. DPirate says:

    Pro-gun? I don’t think so. It is pro-manufacturing and pro-equality, provided the explanation in the link is accurate. Nothing to do with guns, really.

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  11. Oh, alright. If I see any tea party people complaining that the democrats are trying to take our guns away, I’ll correct them.

    This became kind of a dead issue on June 28th, didn’t it? That’s the date the tea party turned out to be on the right side of history, and the democrat party turned out to be on the wrong side. Hey, it sure would’ve been nice if your democrat-controlled Congress did something like this before June of 2010, huh?

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  12. Ed Darrell says:

    A common sense, pro-gun piece of legislation from the Democratically controlled Congress. Tea Party wants people to think Obama’s going to take away their guns.

    Don’t expect NRA to say anything complimentary to any Democrat, regardless how this turns out.

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