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2010: The Year Ahead
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(Photo: Flickr/*vlad*)

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Hear ye, hear ye. It’s 2010. Twenty ten! Two thousand and ten.

Say it anyway you like. We’ve got a new year going here — after an old year that just about everyone was happy to say goodbye to. 2010.

We’re going to look ahead this hour at what the year may hold — at hopes and fears and possibilities — with Gail Collins of The New York Times, Reihan Salam of National Review, and Jack Beatty.

Is this the year of economic comeback? Terrorism comeback? Republican comeback? This hour, On Point: We’re dipping into 2010.

Guests:

Joining us from New York is Gail Collins, Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times and author of “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present.”

Also from New York, we’re joined by Reihan Salam. He’s a fellow at the New America Foundation, a contributor to National Review, The Daily Beast, and Forbes,  and co-author of “Grand New Party: How Conservatives Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.”

And with us from Hanover, N.H., is Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic.

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  • mr. independent

    Can it be any worse than 2009? I hope not.
    Things that wont change: wall street, the big banks, big pharma, and the health insurance corporations will be calling the shots. I suspect that the senate and congress will be just as dysfunctional this year as last.
    The partisan blowhards will be taking it up a notch or two due to the midterm elections.

  • nick

    It is does not look good from my perspective.

    The foolish partisanship has made our nation ungovernable and as a result, important decisions can not be made.

    It is worse for the 99.99% who are not at the top. We have become such an oligarchy and our Congressmen and Senators such whores that there is little hope for the rest of us.

    Time to move to Europe or Latin America where is it less corrupt.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    Those people who were against the Health Care Bill and wished it failed are DEAD WRONG. I had my last laugh.

    To those people who THINK that Terrorism are rarely occurances in United Stated of America are again Dead Wrong. I rather BE HIT BY A LIGHTING THAN BEING BLOWN TO PIECES.

    Who ever said those on their comments please post again and let us read what you say now about what happened for the 3 weeks.

    Please let us hear your Negative side all over again.

  • cory

    Akilez,

    Huh?

    Why are those who opposed the proposed healthcare legislation “dead wrong”? Amongst civilized nations, our healthcare system is a joke. This bill is so weak, some people just wanted it to go away. I can understand the sentiment.

    How would you describe the frequency of occurences of terrorism in this country? I think the word “rare” is darn near perfect, if not an understatement.

  • mr.independent

    akilez so your point is what? That people who wanted a stronger health care bill were wrong?

    The bill has not been passed yet. It’s pretty weak and it will be dragged through the courts as it might be unconstitutional for the Federal government to require people to buy health insurance.

    Aside from that it uses the IRS as a collection agency if you can’t or refuse to buy health insurance. The mandate is a problem and I doubt this bill is going to help the health care mess. I think it will make it worse.

  • Dee

    2010 will be the year we finally understand the reality of Terminal Capitalism. One of key indicators is the fact that oil is now trading above $80 a barrel; that price has re-entered the danger zone where it can crush industrial economies. Our American industrial economy has already been stomped flat, although we don’t acknowledge the end of that myth yet. And things can always get worse!

  • mr. independent

    I rather BE HIT BY A LIGHTING THAN BEING BLOWN TO PIECES. OK your more likely to have that happen.

    How about attempting to be rational.

  • Cory

    A prediction for 2010?

    Continued American decline. The question is will we adjust gracefully and tone down our lifestyles and expectations, or will we flap about angily and succumb to predatory political ideologies. An angry and impatient electorate could be prone to electing a questionable individual who promises quick fixes and better days ahead. (You Betcha!)

  • Bill

    Make the illegals aliens go home.

    Make the H1B visa holders go home.

    That is already about 6 million jobs for Americans.

  • Alex

    A big part of the constitutional attack on the current bill’s mandatory health insurance is that it is neither taxing nor spending and does not fall under any other enumerated powers. I must say, I agree. It would be constitutional (in my opinion, anyway) to tax and spend to provide national single-payer socialist type health care. However, I have difficulty with Congress mandating me to go out and buy stuff, whatever it may be.

  • Rick Evans

    @akilez Re: The “Health Care Bill”, I oppose it and I am not Republican, a tea bagger.
    dead or wrong.

    Were you one of the more than 3000 health industry lobbyists writing a health care bill that protects your profits while demanding 30 million new insurance clients and taxpayers help pay for your past and future profligacy?

    Notwithstanding CBO long term projections which make Taro cards and tea leaves look credible, a bill that requires no one to sacrifice income, promises price blind insured consumers even more price blind consumption, and adds 30 million more to become price blind consumers will not bend down the “cost curve”.

    Even the president stopped calling this piece of corporate “welfare health care reform” long ago opting for calling it health insurance reform.

  • mr. independent

    Alex that’s my point. It benefits the insurance companies and there is no guarantee that people will be better off as a result. Even though they can’t deny people due to preexisting conditions it seems they can charge people more for them. We shall see. The lack of real regulations on the health care and pharmaceutical corporations is worrying and seems to defeat the whole idea of health care reform.

  • mr. independent

    I have suggestion for Jack Beatty, please stop calling it a national health care bill. It’s not.

    It’s far from it.

  • Brad

    Nuclear, nuclear, nuclear is not going to come to pass.

    We don’t have the capital. It all went to the banks.

    It’s another pie in the sky energy savior that won’t happen.

    BTW, Germany is committed to getting off of all nuclear power.

  • Sara

    I just watched the trailer for “Tapped.” Can’t we put people to work fixing our water supply system and use 2010 to start the long process of repairing our nation’s failing infrastructure?

    On another point: I used to be a farm worker, alongside illegals from Central and South America. (I’m a white American woman.) I have a hard time picturing the average American taking a job of hard physical labor, outdoors in all weathers and at all hours, shoveling manure for about 5 bucks an hour. I’m thinking here of This Guy, and the many, many others like him: http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2009/12/30/having_a_job_or_more_is_far_from_enough/

    Think he’d go for one of those six million jobs covered by immigrant labor? I doubt it. He’s too worried about making a mortgage that he once afforded on a one hundred grand/yr salary.

  • Brad

    Meat on Sundays

    Pass it on

  • mr.independent

    My daughter is 20 and she and her friends were all very excited about Obama. Well that has worn off and Obama and his administration is not aware of the amount of damage they have done with using the hype of the Obama “brand” to get elected. While some might say these young voters were naive I say that the Obama team used them.
    This is the worse thing to come out of this, he ran on change and has not done much of it yet.

    We shall see, he has another 3 years to go.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Beverly has it. Public works rather than bailing out banks. Obama and Congress have blown this. WPA and CCC… Excellent.

  • cory

    One of the guests said “facory farms are on the way out”. On what does she base this pie in the sky assumption? The statement almost seems silly.

  • jonas

    WHAT??? did you really have a so-called analyst say that a major reason for unemployment is that that there are “two many disincentives” for low income people to NOT LOOK for jobs??? How dare you??? Even goverment radio and your little right wing punks must have some level that they won’t sink below; but apprently not.

    And to say that hopefully people will “calm down” in 2010, well do you expect people who are loosing the value of their income, loosing their jobs, loosing their homes, loosing their health insurance should calm down? Niot to mention the glib cliches that are being used to justify a rosy picture for the future. How about making your “guests” back up their cliches with descriptive discussion of their glib pronouncements?

    What is wrong with you guys?

    Oh, don’t forget to do a pitch for money because we “can’t get this kind of analysis anywhere else”.

  • Rennie

    I was just listening in my car and Gail Collins just answered a question concerning a push toward vegetarianism saying that the “human body craves meat”. She is an op-ed columnist and NOT a medical doctor. What she feels is not necessarily identical to what other people feel. Her comment was outrageous and wholly editorial.

    I listen to NPR for fair and balanced news coverage and well though-out editorials that pose relevant questions. On Point should be ashamed to have this guest on the show. She obviously is not well informed on the topic and has simply reverted to the traditional cliche.

  • Terry

    There’s a nice article in the current Wired about using Thorium as a reactor fuel. Thorium was tried back in the 40s and 50s, but fell out of favor because the Plutonium by product from Uranium reactors was needed for weapons.

    Thorium ractors alsoi address the Elephant in the room associated with Uranium reactors. Uranium is less abundant than Thorium. Thorium reactors also produce shorter lived by products.

  • joe

    Prediction for 2010: Just when the economy starts to rebound, inflation will outpace growth and more taxes to pay for everything will kick in and create an even greater divide between the rich and the poor/middle class. Just think, who bought foreclosed home and stocks during the recession? Not poor people.

  • http://www.gemandconsulting.com George Mandell

    We need bold ideas for a unique time. Several leading economists have warned of a double-dip recession, based on weaknesses in the national economy. Federal and state governments have not yet answered the call. Below is a follow up to a proposal currently before the Massachusetts state leadership, Governor Patrick and others. The proposal needs a public expression of support at the state level to move forward.
    See also The Patriot Ledger OP ED, 12-02-09, Numbers suggest state far from economic recovery. I am presently part of the long term under-employed, having formed my company in 06-2006, formally filed LLC in 01-2008.

    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Speaker Karen Bass, California Assembly
    President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, California Senate
    President Barack Obama
    National Governors Association

    Governor Deval Patrick
    President Therese Murray, Massachusetts Senate
    Robert DeLeo, Speaker of the Massachusetts House
    Chair Ways and Means Steven Panagiotakis, Massachusetts Senate
    State Senator Brian Joyce, Massachusetts
    12-29-09

    Re: US Jobs Proposal – Bridging the State Funding Gap

    Sirs:

    Follow up on the proposal sent prior to ease the Massachusetts budget gap in FY 2011 and beyond. – Bloomberg.com recently published a nice summary article showing that Governor Schwarzenegger and California face similar if larger budget gaps than Massachusetts. It seems increasingly evident that state budget gaps are happening on a national scale, and need address on a macro-economic level. Consider again that the proposal Bridging the State Funding Gap addresses the issue on that level. Neither the Massachusetts nor California State leaderships seem to have come up with anything on the same scale. – The time has come to think of extraordinary solutions for an extraordinary situation.

    Best of luck balancing the Massachusetts and California FY 2011 budgets. Again, please feel free to contact me should you find my ideas have merit, and that it is time to take a new approach.

    Happy Holidays and Best Regards,

    George

    George Mandell
    Gemand Consulting LLC
    Member Town of Milton Warrant Committee since 08-2008
    4 Hawthorn Road
    Milton, MA 02186

    617-696-2892 (H)
    617-997-3486 (cell)

    Bridging the State Funding Gap – Policy Choices
    (1) Continue to ignore the prospect of likely state budget gaps through 2013 and believe standard answers fit our times, and cut budgets and eliminate vital state and local services.
    (2) Recognize that extraordinary times require extraordinary solutions. I sent my proposal Bridging the State Funding Gap to the Massachusetts State House and Governor Patrick earlier in 2009. Partial content of my proposal is enclosed here.
    (3) I asked for a State House vote on a Resolution of Support for the proposal – the proposal doesn’t actually cost Massachusetts one thin dime.
    Bridging the State Funding Gap, Proposal 04-08-2009
    National Economic Policy – Tax Cuts Coupled with Block Grants
    Reshaping Government Spending, by Gemand Consulting LLC
    Target federal government costs/spending of $250 Billion per year. Crafted with the capability to be quickly applied to reduce funding gaps and provide economic stimulus to all U.S. states. State funding gaps are projected for FY 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.***
    1) To include significant phased-in tax cuts to offset state and local taxes with reduced federal taxes. The goal is to make state and local taxes full (100%) credits against federal taxes owed This gives tax payers immediate relief from the burden of paying both federal and state/local taxes. It also has the broader implication of reshaping government spending by directing more funds to state and local levels. Should state governments increase taxes at the state level, less federal taxes would be due by taxpayers. The mechanism to bring this about is to move Schedule A Deductions on the IRS Form 1040 for state and local taxes to page 2/Other credits, line 53.
    2) To include a package of block grants to states, to the benefit of local economies. Some states are “donor” states indicating that they have historically given more in revenues to the federal government than they have received back in funding or services. Some states are “recipient” states and have historically received more funding than they have contributed. Block grants provide enough flexibility to balance aid and economic stimulus from the proposed tax cuts so that both traditional donor and recipient state economies will benefit.

  • http://onanov.com Donald Baxter

    So there will be trends toward more factory farming? Agribusiness contributes more toward greenhouse gasses than all the drivers driving all the cars in the world; how can this be left to continue? CAFOs are essentially cities of million of living organisms with no sewage treatment plants. Collins may be right, that this trend will continue, but it will be at our peril.

  • OldHeathen

    Sorry, I do not think of baby boomers when I think of civil rights, the woman’s movement, when I think of those I think of the silents, my parents generation. When I think baby boomers I think free trade and selling out.

  • not a fan

    I am very disappointed by this show.
    People are hurting this country and they are angry.
    Are all the guests not paying attention?

    I use to have some respect for Gail Collins, after today’s glib comments she has lost it.

  • Brad

    I heard that too Jonas.

    Too many disincentives to work.

    Don’t you love how these “talkers” who are usually just paid shills for corporations or think tanks that want to shape the dialogue in this country say the safety net in America is too big.

    I only wish they would lose their useless jobs and find out just how generous it is.

  • Ben

    Nuclear power has all kinds of major downsides that the guests are just blithely ignoring: Unsolved issues with nuclear waste, uranium mining impacts, nuclear weapons proliferation, huge costs, etc. All of these problems would be greatly aggravated, perhaps beyond any hope of control, by the emergence of thousands or tens of thousands of small nukes. For one thing, we would need a global absolute police state just to attempt to prevent diversion of wastes and fuel for nuclear weapons or dirty bombs and such.

    On the other hand, the potential for renewables is enormous. We’ve seen huge progress recently in the decrease in cost of photovoltaics (e.g. see products by “First Solar” – getting down to about $1/watt manufacturing cost). We also have very viable ways to store the energy (compressed air energy storage, lithium ion batteries, thermal energy storage, etc). There is no fundamental reason, except perhaps opposition from entrenched interests, that we cannot steadily move to a civilization completely based on renewables by the mid century or even sooner. The guests on the show clearly do not have the background or knowledge to see this, yet they hold forth on nuclear as if they did. Why are journalists from the New York Times and such behaving like demagogues? Why do we let them get away with this?

    But what are we likely to see? Some real support from the current Administration and Congress for sure, but also probably huge subsidies for “clean coal” and nuclear. I think this will greatly undermine moving in the right direction on energy, and create enormous new environmental and societal problems.

  • Todd

    If the talk and comments here are any indication of what 2010 will bring, then in all likelihood it will bring nothing in the way of change for the better.

    Treating the symptoms does not cure the disease.

  • William

    Thanks Tom.
    Humor and insight – more Gail Collins, please.

  • Miro

    We were disappointed at the way that arguments against nuclear power were treated so dismissively by the commentators. On Point can and should do better than this!

    There are many substantial problems with nuclear power:
    1) Risk of nuclear proliferation and target of terrorist attacks (danger of nuclear terrorism in decades to come, social, economic, and psychological costs of a national security surveillance state legitimated by fear of terrorism)
    2) Large consequences of an accident (> $100 billion), and the socialization of liability (the nuclear industry is not economically viable without the Price-Anderson act, which limits their liability for an accident to under $1B.
    3) Improving end use efficiencies and conservation are far more cost effective and employ many more people (with attendant positive social effects).
    4) Problem of securing nuclear waste dumps for many thousands of years (are we so certain our civilization will last this long?)

    We need to move to renewables, but in the meantime, give me any fossil fuel over a nuclear one any day……..I’d rather use energy more sparingly than add another set of issues to the national fear mill.

  • Brad

    Miro

    You are hearing the drumbeat of nuclear because that’s where the big boys can make lots of money.

    The big boys don’t want people to have solar panels on their roofs because the check they get every month for gas or oil or electricity will stop.

    We need to pound the drums for on-site solar.

    And we need to drown out the nuclear noise.

  • mr. independent

    Humor and insight – more Gail Collins, please.

    Sorry I have to disagree. Gail Collins attempt at humor was pretty lame and her talking points and lack of taking anything seriously struck me as someone trying to be to clever for their own good.
    She’s not John Stuart, that’s for sure.

  • Alex in Columbus

    For 2010 I hope to see the young population of Iran throw off their backwards leaders and move their country into the present day. With the loss of US – Iranian emnity, pseudo-Moslem terrorist recruiters will have a much more difficult task.

  • Charlotte

    One thing this country can no longer afford in the new decade is to tolerate an uneducated underclass. How is it that a neighbor of mine can attend American public schools for twelve years and still ask me, “Do birds have sex?” I was refilling the birdfeeder at my kitchen door and had just pointed out to her three-year-old that the male gold finches were the birds with the bright yellow feathers. The females were the duller brownish birds.

    This neighbor works hard (when she can find work), keeps her house spotless, and teaches her children manners. In this economy, she is surviving on food stamps, Section 8, and Medicaid. By all standards that apply here in the ‘hood, she is a good mother and a faithful wife. But neither she nor her children have an economic future worth talking about as long as public education in America keeps churning out the functionally illiterate and the functionally ignorant.

    Working people like me can not carry this load much longer in light of a fundamentally regressive tax structure, vanishing jobs, and, yes, advancing age. Fail to provide real healthcare reform and real banking and stock exchange and securities reform, and the Democratic Party will hand over the resentful working poor to the worst rightwing ideologues in the Republican Party.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    “What will get us out of the current predicament is just to do a better job of the things that got us in.”

    Ah-h … I see–it’s the drumbeat that simply will not die out. These are the elitists speaking, and elitism is the direct forerunner of racism, which is the direct forerunner of “uber” nationalism, which is the direct forerunner of today’s corporate Ameritocracy. You all do understand that, I hope. And before you say, “The corporatists are pushing multinationalism to the limit, so how could they be as nationalistic as you claim?” I’ll reply, “See? It’s obviously working.”

    What you’re calling American multinationalism is actually the fiercest type of foreign exploitation and plunder of foreign resources (now to include economic slave labor) ever seen since the building of the Egyptian pyramids. And for there to be so little of any substance for these elite corporatists to say about future trend lines economically, socially and realistically is completely reminiscent of the last days of the Pharaohs.

    The 18th Dynasty period saw a marked growth in the population density and city building in both Upper and Lower Egypt, toward the cataracts and the Nile Delta. A succession of strong kings ended with Akhnaton and after him only weaker kings remained. During the 18th Dynasty the distribution of wealth was elitist and kings made a show of rewarding loyal officials at home and abroad as the El Amarna letters clearly show. — http://www.specialtyinterests.net/dyn22.html

    Listen to the elitist insisting that “mega nuclear” will come to the rescue and save us. They have no concept of history and no answers for today’s problems, obviously. Basically, they are unable even to ask the right questions.

  • wavre

    heard that too Jonas.

    Too many disincentives to work.

    Don’t you love how these “talkers” who are usually just paid shills for corporations or think tanks that want to shape the dialogue in this country say the safety net in America is too big.

    I only wish they would lose their useless jobs and find out just how generous it is.

    BRAD,YOU HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON!!!!

  • david

    One of the Dems. Senators(Hawkins)is pushing the constitution out the door by declaring in a interview that healthcare will become an inalienable right for all citizens of the U.S.A. Also, states that the healthcare bill when passed will be added to as time goes on. The constitution does not state that citizens have this right, but who cares anymore. We are slowly losing this country to the idealogy of the man whose picture was on one of the Obama’s Christmas ornaments in the White House. Quess who?

    Something else that was slipped pass us as we enjoyed our Christmas cheer. President Obama’s Executive Order 12425. (from the Associated Press) Check this out!

    By the way, these big bad corporations create jobs.

  • Soko

    revolution of the mind, I hope, spurs the revolution of the world.

  • Susan

    The woman who said that the Republicans are just using scare tactics doesn’t sound familiar with the health care legislation. It is already law(ARRA,H.R.1,HIT,Title XXX)that all citizens must send their electronic medical record to the government by 2014 for their use to provide “appropriate information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care.” If “appropriate” is defined as what the government will or will not pay for, the government, de facto, controls health care and your life. The current bills before Congress give the Secretary of HHS the power to decide what insurance companies must cover, what treatments will be paid for and under which circumstances, and how much will be paid. CMS and IMAB will have the power of the purse for Medicare. So there will not be any official death panels, there just may not be treatment to begin with as it may be too expensive or not cost effective enough to be paid for.

  • Brett

    “‘We are slowly losing this country to the idealogy of the man whose picture was on one of the Obama’s Christmas ornaments in the White House. Quess who?’” -david

    You’ve been looking at too many propagandist websites…again, haven’t you!?! :-) I suppose you may even think Obama keeps a shrine to Mao in the LIncoln bedroom!!! Next, you’re gonna start in with the Antichrist propaganda!

    First, david,
    The Constitution is a working document that has been amended 27 times; and, if the document were statically in place (as your ilk seems to naively want to believe, or who do not recognize or know little of how the Constitution has evolved through its history), there would be no Bill of Rights! The Constitution originally said nothing about abolishing slavery (13th) or women’s voting rights (19th). Before the 17th Amendment, which allows for the direct election of senators, many states were underrepresented in Congress, and so on…

    If the Constitution were static, there wouldn’t be any need for a Supreme Court, either!

    “‘By the way, these big bad corporations create jobs.’” -david

    Maybe some jobs, but their job creation doesn’t come close to what small businesses create!

    According to the SBA office of advocacy:
    

Small firms:
    
• Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
• Employ about half of all private sector employees.
• Pay nearly 45 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually
over the last decade.
• Create more than half of nonfarm private gross domestic
product (GDP).
• Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists,
engineers, and computer workers).
• Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
• Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced
28.9 percent of the known export value in FY 2006.
• Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large
patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large
 firms.

  • cory

    Susan,

    You have that already, except the theoretically accountable government official is replaced by a private businessman who is accountable to shareholders. Lots of treatments and care are denied NOW. And please don’t forget, the government is us.

  • cory

    Brett,

    I’m torn between giving you a “Boo-Yah!” or a “Boom- Shakalaka!” for your response to David. Good stuff, as always!

  • Jon Grewer

    The dirty secret about all the talk of advanceing technology is that working class people don’t have the cultural infrastructure to be able to convert from working class to white collar.

    I bet that with the demise of high paying manufacturing in the US, median wages will continue to slide to the point of American working class families having to migrate to countries where the cost of living is lower.

  • david

    Brett, You are correct with the figures on small firms, here is another figure you may have over looked. The firms you refer to are those that will fall into the range of those to get the surtax on their incomes. In the majority of cases, due to the way they have to report income to the IRS, they will fall in the surtax range of those making above $500,000 for individuals and above $1 million for joint filers. So, here is what may happen to all those small firms.
    *Additional 5.4% tax added on.
    *Additional 5% increase when Bush tax cuts expire.
    *Additional increase in Medicare taxes, thanks Harry.
    *capital gains tax rate will increase soon.
    Small firms will see their taxes increase possible by 20%. Ask a small firm owner what they pay out in total business related taxes now, you will be surprised.
    I know several small firm owners, they are preparing for this to come down on them. They will either suck it up or lay off workers.
    Where in the constitution does it mandate that the Govt. can force you under penalty of law to buy a product from a privately owned company, say a insurance company?
    Another little info., the fastest growing new businesses in USA is temporary services. Companies are learning how to deal with rising costs,workers will once again get the screw. All in the name of progress.
    But! all this is probably the imagination of this old naive man’s experience watching the Govt. promises turn into additional taxes over the years.

  • Fred’s Driveway Garage

    I look forward to another year of health and happiness with my wife of 33 years and our grown and independent son and daughter. We took a hit with the economy meltdown, but since we are frugal people we weathered the season easily. We are grateful for our fleet of reliable old cars and the creaky old house we’ve rented for some 20 years here in chronically depressed upstate New York. Thanks Tom and WBUR for a year of great programming. And to the rest of you, please remember that life offers much more than the profane twins, power and wealth.

    Our motto at Fred’s – ” We do everything with nothing “

  • Brett

    david,
    Your initial point was that big business creates jobs; it was not that small businesses are getting screwed. Stay on point! Seriously, what is your point? :-) Anybody would agree that a strong economy depends on a diverse community of small businesses. It’s what made America strong; it’s what stabilizes the economies of cities and towns. But that is not your point; it wasn’t your point to begin with (big business creates jobs) and it’s not your point now (“the government” blah, blah, blah…er, is destroying the economy by trying to destroy small business). I say, neither point is thoughtfully conceived. I’ve already refuted your initial point; and, as to your second point, I will say that “big bad corporations” (your phrase) are what’s destroying the economy and dictating regulation that favors them and makes life difficult for small businesses. Also, your so-called “facts” about the future, by your own qualifications using words like “may,” “when” and “possible,” indicate even you recognize you’re engaging in speculation.

    The Bush tax rates expiring (we can wait and hope! :-)) would only negatively affect the top 1%. And, the figures I quoted from the SBA for small businesses promoting job growth did not mention any income brackets, so you’re getting into straw man territory, there.

    Small business owners lay off people when they can’t drum up business and when they consistently can’t get small loans to cover overhead and payroll. If your pals who run small businesses have customers coming out of their ears, and they have needed employees working for them to help meet the demands from increased business, they will not lay people off and turn away customers. If that is the case, something is fundamentally missing in their entrepreneurial spirit.

    I suppose you think that government is purposely trying to ruin the economy so…so what? So, (as they rub their proverbial hands together) “the government” can turn the US Socialist?

  • mr. independent

    Brett well said and bravo!

  • david

    Brett, you are great at winning your argument; but my original point which your oration has overlooked was that our govt. is becoming bigger and more intrusive. The crowds roared when Bush grew govt. yet, we seem to agree with the present that it is okay. Our Nat’l debt is now $12.1 Trillion and growing at a rate of $100,000.00 dollars every couple of seconds, if you can keep up with it. Now as I sit across from you in our little boat, I must ask you this question? Do you see anything wrong with that? Sooner not later, this growing debt will have to be paid. The govt. will not foot the bill, we will foot the bill.
    The US unfunded liability is now $106,841,412,000,000
    Brett, I am not your menace nor your opposition, just a person who has weathered many financial storms in the past, to see this one as a perfect storm that could spell disaster.
    Did any of you research Obama’s Executive Order #12425?

  • Brett

    Sorry if I misinterpreted some initial point of yours, david. I was challenging your comment from Jan. 4th @7:11PM. Was this not your original comment? The first point you made was that the Constitution is being eroded by politicians and that health care is not a right because it is not in the Constitution. I challenged that notion. Your second point in that comment was that “‘…big bad corporations create jobs.’” I challenged that notion, as well. Do you expect to make your comments without challenge? By the way you ask questions of other commenters and challenge what others state implies that you are invested in debate… ? Maybe I’ve misinterpreted what you want to achieve with your comments.

    In your last comment, you are now talking about the National Debt as part of your thrust on this topic about big government/liberalism/Socialism/whatever you are really trying to say. There is a kind of shell game going on with your points…or, another explanation, could be that you are making several points without wanting to overtly connect the dots, as if you wish to pretend that none of your points has an ideological basis.

  • Nancy

    The rats are leaving the ship: Dorgan and Dodd. First they destroy this country and then they take off for lobbying jobs, nice. Change is coming in 2010, since we didn’t get it the last time around. Can a Obama resignation be far behind? Keep the dream alive.

  • david

    Brett, My original post had three points, clearly divided by a space, just three observations. The main idea is that our govt. is becoming bigger and more intrusive, do you not agree? The nat’l debt is an indicator of how fat govt. is becoming, that debt is troubling to me.
    The SBA quote also included this, small and large firms hire about the same, 60.2 to 59.7 million.
    Small firms<20 employees spend 45% per employee more than the large firms due to having to comply with federal regulations.

  • david

    Still no comments on Executive Order 12425?? Obama gives Interpol free hand in U.S.

  • Alex

    “Still no comments on Executive Order 12425?? Obama gives Interpol free hand in U.S.”

    Whats wrong with it? It simply implements an international treaty and the law of the U.S. Here is an excerpt.

    By virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, including Section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669, 22 U.S.C. 288), it is hereby ordered that the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), in which the United States participates pursuant to 22 U.S.C. 263a, is hereby designated as a public international organization entitled to enjoy the privileges, exemptions and immunities conferred by the International Organizations Immunities Act;

  • Alex

    Oops! The excerpt above is from the Executive Order 12425 signed by Reagan in 1983. Here is the Obama’s amending the Reagan’s executive order.

    “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words “except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act” and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.”

  • david

    Obama reverses Reagan’s 1983 decision. Implications:
    First, Obama has granted Interpol the ability to operate within the territorial limits of the US without being subject to the same constitutional restraints that apply to all domestic law enforcement agencies.
    Second, Obama has exempted Interpol’s domestic facilities– including its office within the US from search and seizure by US authorities and from disclosure of documents in response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by US citizens.(Associated Press) Sounds like Interpol will have a free hand in US. Who cares, we want to be like the world anyway.

ONPOINT
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Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

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The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

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