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Romney, Bachmann, Perry: The Shape Of The GOP Field

Texas governor Rick Perry enters the GOP fray. We’ll look at how the Republican field of presidential contenders is shaping up.

Republican presidential candidates including Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman walk on stage for a photo before the start of the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate in Ames, Iowa. (AP)

Republican presidential candidates including Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, and Jon Huntsman walk on stage for a photo before the start of the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate in Ames, Iowa. (AP)

It was a clarifying weekend in Republican presidential campaign politics, though by no means a conclusive one. Michele Bachmann nosed out Ron Paul to win the Iowa straw poll. Tim Pawlenty dropped out. Mitt Romney rolled on.

And Mr. Texas, Rick Perry –- “the conservative id made flesh,” wrote one conservative commentator — jumped in. Republicans are talking about Barack Obama as the weakest incumbent since Jimmy Carter. He’s certainly playing a rough hand. But what –- who -– will the GOP bring to the fight?

This hour On Point: the new GOP pack, and leaders, after Ames, Iowa.

-Tom Ashbrook


Jonathan Martin, senior political reporter Politico

Paul Burka, senior executive editor at Texas Monthly

Kellyanne Conway, Republican pollster

Bob Shrum, a senior fellow at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, he was senior advisor to the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004

From Tom’s Reading List

The Week: “Barack Obama is being blamed right, left, and center — by almost everyone for one thing or another — including the credit downgrade, the market crash, a slouching economy, and the miasma of the Washington swamp. Critics and erstwhile admirers grumble among themselves — and, mostly anonymously, to the press. Columnists once ready to cheer Obama’s rise now jeer his timid, professorial leadership; Maureen Dowd ridicules him as the “Withholder in Chief.””

The National Review Online: “In filing her papers, Bachmann became the first serious female U.S. presidential candidate who is neither a career politician nor married to one. She has an everywoman appeal that connects her to millions of Americans; she is accessible, authentic, and affable. She is passionate but not angry; intelligent but plain-spoken. Like many women, she came to her beliefs through a series of events and over a number of years. She has been a Democrat, a Republican, a tax attorney, a businesswoman, a mother of five, and a foster mother to 23 others.”

Texas Monthly: “So please, heed this advice. Rick Perry, as you have no doubt already discovered, is not the easiest man to write about. He is secretive and leery of the media (sometimes to the point of hostility), and he has a strategically valuable knack for being underestimated by his critics. I have been writing about him since the eighties, when he began his career in the Texas Legislature. Along the way I have learned a few things, which I have arranged in this handy list of Eight Points to Keep in Mind When Writing About Rick Perry.”

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  • Sean B

    Can anyone honestly claim that the GOP field is anything but a horrid joke?

    We’ve still got about 9% of the Republican Party, the most fanatical and ignorant wing (tea-baggers), calling all the shots while the rest of us sit slack-jawed, tight-lipped, disgusted, and horrified.

    Moderate and sensible Republicans will have no recourse but to vote against the party’s ticket for the sake of the country… that or stay home in 2012.

    That Bachmann is a joke can’t be denied by anyone but that densest 9%, so Perry or Romney will get the nomination, though once America’s Republicans gets a better look at Perry, they’ll likely turn to Romney… I’m from Texas and can say confidently that Perry’s record won’t hold up to national scrutiny, nor will his personality or the parallels to Bush.

    That leaves Romney, and we’ve all seen again and again that even Republicans can’t stomach him… he has no chance of winning the country’s center.

    If this is the best our party can do, Obama is a shoe-in for 2012.  

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Sean: Thanks for an excellent comment. While I’m on the other side of the aisle I see the Republican field just as you do.

      I’m both unhappy with Obama (who I voted for and will no doubt vote for again) and scared of what might happen if we splinter the Democratic party or start a new party (my suggested name would be the “Green Tea Party”).

      What a mess.

      • mary elizabeth

        The right  wing reach is vast–90% of talk radio, SCOTUS, Koch Bros et al.     As long as the extreme right has even a small hold on power as now in the House,  it will be difficult for any Democratic President to govern as a Democrat.  Give them an inch and they will take a mile to the point of destroying the country for their idelogy.
        It is hard to swim with sharks of such ferocity without being pulled down to their level.  McConnell’s  only goal is to destroy Obama is repugnant.
        That so many of the states are going Republican and that the recall in WI failed the desired results is telling.   I fear that the country is in a shift to ultra conservatism.   Michelle Bachmann would have been an unknown 10 years ago.

  • Dee

    These are the same people who didn’t utter a word of protest during the last 8 years when Bush and Cheney led this country into 2 illegal
    wars and crashed this country’s economy into a ditch -and now they
    expect the American public to see them of the party of fiscal respons-iblity.  Well, what part of “enough” don’t those hypocrities get? Dee

    P.S. They shouldn’t be given any public air time…..Especially, when
    many of them have advocated shutting off funds for our public air-

    • Anonymous

      I strongly disagree with you on giving the republicans what you call “public air time”. While I am strongly against these right wing politicians I do not think it’s right to deny them airtime.

      Do you realize how comments like this play into the right wing mindset of calling NPR elitist? As if OnPoint should only have people on who support your point of view? Are you sure about that?

      • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

        I agree with presenting balanced views.  NPR sets a gold standard for that, to a fault (like having David Horowitz give a truly despicable travesty of an obit for Howard Zinn).

        But the charge of “elitism” is a red herring.  Right wing wackos care about liberal elitism, but progressives know better:  the real “elite” are our corporate tyrants.

        • Anonymous

          I think you are misunderstanding my point. I’m not calling this person an elitist or NPR for that matter. But their rhetoric can be construed to mean such. It might be a red herring for you but as you stated it is fodder for the the right.

          I’m not sure how a bad obit for Howard Zinn plays into this.
          I just think even the likes of Bill O’Reilly have  the right to have their say. I can turn him off if I don’t want to listen. That seems a more prudent action then denying people on the right access or advocating this just because you don’t believe in their dogma.  Fox already does this and I’m not sure this is a healthy way for our media to go. Mind you it already is mostly controlled by corporate interest.

          Try doing a show that is openly critical of Monsanto and see what happens.

        • Dave in CT

          Lets keep all elites in check.  From banker elites (Rs + some Ds), to well-intentioned, but historically always failing, central-planning elites (Ds + some Rs). Whether its Republican social paternalism mixed with Banker protection, or Democratic nanny-state dreams mixed with corporate collusion, let’s keep them both at bay, and take responsibility for maintaining an organic economy and punishing malefactors.

        • no name

          I waiting for government radio to start actually presenting the other aside instead of its constant neo-con/neo-lib idea of political “balance”  The only gold standard that government radio adheres to is that those with the gold decide what is on their shows

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        I agree jeffe. The problem is that FOX has got the dumbed down American electorate by the neurons…

        We call NPR unbiassed but “they” think it’s a piece of the liberal media.

        The reality that the other side is constructing is simple:

        “You’re either with us or you’re against us.”

        – George W. Bush

        There is no room for nuance in their reality.

        So, people like Dee want to fight fire with fire and its understandable. Watching Obama get slaughtered, originally only by the right for being a bit too nuanced and “intellectual” was tough to experience. I realize that he’s dug is own grave by giving in to bullies (I agreed with Weston’s piece) but Dee’s comment is understandable.

        • TFRX

          Much of the electorate are going for their PhDs in the Dunnin-Kruger effect, certainly.

          But I’m more concerned about Fox’s hold on the press. The electorate has held (President Clinton, Al Gore, Democrats, lefties, Obama) in higher esteem than our “so called liberal media” since the Hunting of the President(TM) began in the 1990s.

          Barack Obama’s press coverage at (whatever) 45% approval rating is no match for the press coverage afforded Shrub at 32%.

          NPR is powerless against Beltway Inbred conventional wisdom. The false equivalence in our mainstream press is a flood which washes away any acts of actual journalism.

    • william

      So where is the outrage on Obama’s war against Libya?

      • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

        Where was the right-wing outrage over Iraq and Afghanistan?

        Most people just don’t care anymore about foreign wars or debt crises.  Maybe they should care about the former, especially when they get out of hand.  But as for the latter:  if you support lower taxes for the rich, deregulation, and a for-profit insurance-driven health “care” system, then you are not serious about debt.

        • William

          The war against the terrorists in Afghanistan is a given, they attacked we returned the favor and destroyed them. The war against Iraq can trace it’s roots to the Iraq Liberation Act, pushed by President Clinton and approved by Congress. There is zero reason for us to have an undeclared war against Libya.

          If you are serious about debt then you have to push the idea that government cannot solve everyone’s problems in life and a serious reduction in spending, across the board, is necessary.

          • Cory

            At the same time, I don’t think government should tell children, the poor, and the elderly “You’re on your own”  while 5-10% of us live in gated, privately educated, privately protected, tax exempt Nirvana.

          • Paul

            Ah yes, Clinton got us in to Iraq…where have I heard this kind of logic in the past;  Now I remember…Clinton was responsible for 9/11,  Bush is responsible for getting Bin Laden, Obama is responsible for the great recession, yadi, ya….

            are you serious?

          • william

            Is there a Iraq Liberation Act? Was it passed by Clinton?

  • http://bookofzo.blogspot.com Joshua Hendrickson

    Romney is horrible, but Bachmann and Perry make him look like FDR.  Maybe the Republicans really are destroying themselves.  If only the majority of the Democrats weren’t helping them to destroy the country as well, we might have a chance.

  • Anonymous

    William Buffet has a very good argument to lay on the republicans about taxes and tax rates for the wealthy. When a billionare says publiclly that Washington is coddling the super-rich it seems to me that something is really wrong with this picture.


    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Excellent editorial. Warren Buffet has been saying things like this for years. Bill Gates, while slightly more conservative has too.

      • Dave in CT

        For sure with more progressive taxing of super-rich. Let’s just not forget his whole message, so we don’t keep handing over the red herring arguments about “magic taxes save the day” to Neocon and other financical elite defending types:

        “Job one for the 12 is to pare down some future promises that even a rich America can’t fulfill. ”  W.B. 

        • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

          Well said Dave. I agree.

          Buffet also said that if the debt ever grows to more than 3% of GDP then all sitting members of Congress should be fired.

          I think it may be past time to fire them all.

    • nj
  • SteveV

    Haven’t we all been to social gatherings where someone started talking and you
    thought “what a jerk”. But you gave them the benefit because you didn’t know
    them very well. But after awhile, the more they talked the more you realized
    what true jerks they really were. I suggest instead of restricting the
    Republican candidates speeches we encourage them to talk more often so more people can see
    what they are really all about. In short, don’t muzzle idiots, let them prove

  • Me

    I love Bachmann but have to admit she is no Sarah Palin. I hope Palin enters the fray. Didn’t John Bolton make some noise about running? That would be great.

    • Anonymous

      Would be like comedy central if all of those rubes entered the fray.
      Palin is toast, Bachmann has stolen her day in the sun.


      • Dave in CT


        Cripes, enough voted for W………

    • Paul

      Please tell me you’re not serious.  I get it, the crazier the better, right?

    • nj

      Bolton?! Seriously!?!

      As one of the main cheerleaders for the fraudulent, Iraq invasion debacle, he should be in jail with Bush and Cheney and the other war criminals that cost thousands of lives, hundreds or billions of dollars, all on fabricated claims.

    • LinP

      HA! You’re funny. You can always support Bachmann if you decide Palin is too intellectual.

  • Anonymous

    In light of Bachmann’s insistence that there would be no economic consequences of a government default and her proclamation that “I wish the federal government had defaulted.”,  how anyone can call Bachmann a serious candidate. She’s a loose cannon who would not only be doomed to make mistakes of the past by not learning from history, she would most likely make new mistakes no one could have imagined a decade ago. For such wreckless ignorance and naivitee to gain power is extremely scarry to me. For the national review to call her serious may be even. They should know better. 

  • Dave in CT

    Guess we should move this here, as thoroughly “On Point”

    by Jeff in Brooklyn (from last show):
    “I love your show, Tom, but I found it unbelievable that you and your panel almost never mention Ron Paul. He just nearly won the Iowa straw poll…LA Times is saying he lost by 152 votes. And Iowa is Bachman’s home state! Yet you don’t say a word about him, and talk about people like Pawlenty who we all know doesn’t have a shot. Ron Paul is the one who’s views are shaping the party. He stayed in nearly to the bitter end in 2008, if you remember, and sat in those debates with Romney and McCain. He has the youth energized (if the poll happened when college was in session, he surely would have won) and he gets more support from active duty military than ALL REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES COMBINED. Maybe you’ll talk about him come Monday since he almost won…or maybe not.”

    • Dave in CT

      …just be ready for the canned/spammed answer you’ll see, from NPR to Fox, “Ron Paul? Yes he has some interesting ideas and a fiery base, but of course, chuckle, we know he has no chance….”I find the way he is disposed of on Fox most telling, as he truly is an anti-establshment, anti-war machine, anti-banking machine candidate.Good luck getting Tom, or more importantly his stale beltway pundits to scratch anywhere near beneath the surface on the Paul/liberty position (not tea party, but original, long documented, crash predicting, war predicting, Paul/liberty position.)

      • nj

        I’d be happy to see a full and fair airing of RP’s positions. 

        For me, there’s a lot to like with him (scaled-back military spending, anti-interventionism, opposition to PATRIOT Act, opposition to domestic surveillance, etc.) but also a significant sampling that’s troubling (“free-market” environmentalism, lack of a stance on global warming, over-reliance on the “states’ rights” fall-back position and what that would mean for any number of issues and problems, etc.).

        But there’s no good reason he should be ignored or marginalized in the lamestream press, let alone in outlets like On Point. 

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      If I were forced to vote for one member of the last Republican debate I’ve vote for Ron Paul.

  • wauch

    Is anyone going to mention that Ron Paul came in second or does that not fit with the traditional Media Industrial Complex narrative? I am a flaming liberal who feels so betrayed by Obama that I could see myself voting for Ron Paul if a compelling third party candidate does not enter the ring. How are we going to get out of this mallaise if we continue to ignore the rising popularity and substance of non-conformist candidates like Paul, Nader, etc. Men and women that practice what they preach and more importantly don’t care how they look on camera but rather how their record stands up in the face of examination.

    • Dave in CT

      Good Luck!  They will throw his name in the circle, but none of the pundits with put their finger on the pulse of the core principles that make Paul so attractive.  Talk about defenders of the elite, whether by design or neglect; they may know they are playing with fire and threatening both the Democratic elite nanny-state dreamers and the Republican Banker-state oligarch dreamers, in one fell swoop with Paul.

      If you dump both corrupt parties in one swoop, where’s the great 2-party ping-pong narrative that feeds the media, left or right, day after month after year after decade……

      Nothing pays like the status quo of course….

    • Cory

      In some important ways, libertarians are even worse than conservatives.

  • Cory

    I’m not a Ron Paul supporter, but the lack of media attention is odd and undeniable.

  • Cory

    Anybody else see Bachmann on meet the press?  Did you hear her refer to the president as “Reebok Barama”?

    I’d love to hear some of the usual conservative posters step forward and say they’ll vote for Bachmann if she is the nominee.

    If a conservative IS destined to win however, I think a Bachmann presidency would give the country some much needed perspective.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard
    • geri

      Hey Cory – what do you have to say about O’Bama’s not knowing how many states there are?!!!!!!!!!!!LOL

      • Cory

        I guess we could start lining up the recorded gaffes the two have made and compare…  Are ya sure you wanna do that, Geri?

    • TFRX

      Meet the Press is a touchstone of Beltway Inbred wisdom. If Bachmann can’t handle “Meet the Press” and David Supplicant Gregory….wow.

  • Jasoturner

    If there is a measured conservative out there, can you please explain to me how these people have come to be the standard bearers of the GOP?  I think I am not alone in finding Romney, Bachmann and Perry woefully lacking.  When did the party get hijacked by zealots and pander-bears?

  • Bruceguindon

    I really wont waste a lot of time on the Presidential race as long as the Republicans keep sending the extreme to lead, however what I am concerned about is the removal of as many Republicans as there are, for me personally it is Scott Brown and it is my hope that where ever you live and if you are represented by a Republican you will take steps to remove that person and replace that person with anyone or thing you choose 

    • LinP

      I am with you on Scott Brown. Gotta go.

    • Anonymous

      I Agree whole heartedly….
      The party has been taken hostage by fear mongers and bullies. Too many established Republicans have taken to the sidelines and bit their lips for the sake of party unity: the key to Republican success. As this party moves farther and farther towards the radical fringe, they will have to ask themselves when is the right time to stand up for rationale problem solving? At what point is the price of ‘victory’ too high? They do their party and county no service throught their silence. At what point does this nonsensical discourse and political struggle start to actually damage and weaken the country? At what point do you take the keys away from a reckless kid?
      With the Republican party’s formula for recovery being no different than their recipe for economic disaster, I fear that so much damage has been done, we may end up like Japan. We had the opportunity to learn from Japans’ mistakes, but the Republican party could not put it’s political interests aside for the good of the country.

    • mary elizabeth

      Whoever the Democrat is running against Scott Brown will have a really tough battle.    MA is doing relatively well with lots of affluent 30 and up voters.  They do not want any hint of increased taxes and feel safe with the Repubs even though Pres Obama reduced taxes for most of them.   They vote with their wallets.

      • nj

        Elizabeth Warren would sweep out the Cosmo model in a minute.

        • Jasoturner

          I seriously question this assertion.  Brown is well liked, and has been sufficiently moderate to win reelection.  And it is important that we don’t buy the “liberal Massachusetts” label too avidly.  There are plenty of angry republicans in the state.  I know several of them – I live in Hopkinton MA where we have our share…

      • Anonymous

        Very liberal Deval Patrick easily beat Charlie Baker who is one of the more reasonable Republicans.  Mass voters might vote for a Republican to balance the overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature, but on national issues won’t want to give Mitch McConnell another vote in the Senate.  Brown is a good campaigner and has raised a lot of money but would be vulnerable to a strong challenger.  If they enter the race, Warren or Capuano would be stronger candidates than Coakley was.   

  • Anonymous

    The fact that the two wacky candidates came in first and second should demonstrate what a foolish exercise this poll is.  Romney is likely to get the nomination unless a single credible alternative to him arises.  Perry is the only one likely to do this if he can differentiate himself from the pack and get all of the “anybody but Romney” votes that are probably the majority of GOP primary voters as Romney isn’t as rabidly socially conservative and sufficiently Christian enough for them.  They went along with the frontrunner that many of them didn’t like last time and he lost so I expect they will try to overcome the party establishment this time and go with Perry. 

  • Sara

    Another interesting and humourous political season ahead! I would like to hear some of these candidates speak about what they would do to compromise in a divided government. They talk awful loudly about what they will do with their titanium spines and whatnot. Isn’t it an elected officials job to represent the people of this country (a government of the people, by the people)? So why do none of them talk about how they will compromise and represent a large portion of the public that supports taxing of the rich/corporations, differing social issue views (gay marriage, abortion, etc.), and so on. I guess there is no room for a moderate in this GOP field!

  • paj

    I enjoyed Krugman’s column today, “The Texas Unmiracle”. Oil money jobs that had nothing to do with Perry’s leadership and poor paying jobs.
    I hope you and your guests discuss this. I hear the Obama people would love to run against this guy.

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious how Perry who has advocated for his state seceding from the federal union, can run for president and be taken seriously. 

  • Michael

    Wow a vote for Bachman in a non-biding vote restores america’s greatness.

    I vote Ron Paul before anyone of these clowns, even obama

  • BHA in Vermont

    Bachmann – classic “as long as I’ve got mine”.
    Doesn’t mind yanking medical care from the poor and senior citizens. Where does the Christian charity come in with people like her?

    Does she, like GWB, only have supporters in the crowd? Obviously this ‘straw poll’ was Republican/Tea party only so the answer for this past weekend is yes. Even those in the crowd who supported others would support her against any non Republican/Tea party candidate.

  • Freeman

           After the dismal record of ANY republican in the past two years addressing the problems of the American people; WHO in their “right mind” would vote for any Republican. Obstructionist pure and simple. What would you think of “anybody” who didn’t have America’s interest as priority.

  • Yar

       We have the political equivalent of global warming, with a longer campaign season, more violent rhetoric leaving unprecedented damage to our democracy in its partisan wake. It is man made, in that the media covers the antics of these wannabes.  Instead of listening to shrill partisans look at the politics of CNN money’s 100 best places to live.  I expect they focus on comprise  instead of polarization.  May we can learn from them.


    Louisville, CO

    Milton, MA

    Solon, OH

    Leesburg, VA

    Papillion, NE

    Hanover, NH

    Liberty, MO

    Middleton, WI

    Mukilteo, WA

    Chanhassen, MN

    Sharon, MA

    Farmington, UT

    Johnston, IA

    Arden Hills, MN

    Sammamish, WA

    Acton, MA

    Montville, NJ

    Newcastle, WA

    Castle Rock, CO

    Superior, CO

    Hunter’s Creek, FL

    South Brunswick, NJ

    North Salt Lake, UT

    Mason, OH

    West Goshen, PA

    Ridgewood, NJ

    Murphy, TX

    Chelmsford, MA

    Parker, CO

    Highland Heights, OH

    Horsham, PA

    Twinsburg, OH

    Madison, NJ

    Herndon, VA

    Montclair, VA

    Oakton, VA

    Tolland, CT

    South Windsor, CT

    Simsbury, CT

    Montgomery Village, MD

    Lake St. Louis, MO

    Springboro, OH

    Easton, MA

    Lino Lakes, MN

    Ardmore, PA

    McCandless Township, PA

    Lenexa, KS

    Westfield, IN

    Carol Stream, IL

    Noblesville, IN

    Savage, MN

    Shoreview, MN

    Hillsborough, NJ

    Glen Ellyn, IL

    Brownsburg, IN

    Manassas Park, VA

    Walnut, CA

    Oswego, IL

    West Norriton, PA

    Mamaroneck, NY

    Webster Groves, MO

    Plainfield, IN

    North Logan, UT

    La Palma, CA

    Whitefish Bay, WI

    Black Forest, CO

    Eldersburg, MD

    The Colony, TX

    West Linn, OR

    Harrison, NY

    Germantown, WI

    Urbandale, IA

    Cheshire, CT

    North Liberty, IA

    Saratoga Springs, NY

    Nanuet, NY

    Cibolo, TX

    Pearl River, NY

    Hernando, MS

    Ballwin, MO

    Lindon, UT

    Crofton, MD

    Clayton, CA

    Columbus, NE

    Draper, UT

    Ankeny, IA

    Merrimack, NH

    Portland, CT

    Brandon, MS

    Dover, NH

    Peachtree City, GA

    Wells Branch, TX

    Keller, TX

    Franklin, WI

    Bettendorf, IA

    Madison, AL

    Winter Springs, FL

    South Elgin, IL

    Oregon, WI

    Sherwood, OR

    • Dpweber83

      I can speak to the politics in #2 and #10—in #2, it’s rock-solid Democrats, and in #10, you’re seeing the rise of the evangelicals.

      I don’t think your broad-brush approach serves anyone.

      Boston, MA

      • Yar

        A partisan looks for the polarization, is that what you saw on the list?
        Sorry about the formatting, it was in columns before I posted.

  • PaulCJr

    I can’t vote for this crop of republicans because they’re too ideological. it’s all ideology and no real substance. They rail against the debt, but don’t face the fact that we need to raise taxes if we want social services, or need to do away with them if we don’t want to raise taxes. If one of these republicans win the nation will lose and America will face some extreme social issues.

  • RD

    I am not a big Obama fan, right from the beginning, but I don’t think America needs a republican (radical) presidents at this moment. Just look at what is happening in UK… With republican stubborn plans to not raise taxes on rich and cutting down spending radically could be dangerous.

    One thing I must say, just because the first black president of this country proposed something, it is not always a bad thing… All Americans have lots more to ponder about how conservative Americans have reacted to the presidency of Barak Obama.

    • william

      Obama is the second black President. Clinton was the first black President..just ask him.

  • Cindy

    It may be that Mr. Perry is not George Bush, but I have an involuntary, visceral negative reaction every time I hear him speak.  He sounds just like Bush, right down to the over the top rhetoric.  

  • Anonymous

    Perry is a right wing evangelical extremist who would be the worse thing to happen for this country. This man defines the meaning of demagogue.

    The more I read about him the more I think if this man becomes president the nation will indeed be looking at some very dark days indeed.

  • Jim

    So, since Jefferson Davis is not available, this guy is selling Rick Perry as the alternative?  lol 

  • Dpweber83

    Perry’s not George W. Bush?

    That will make Josh Brolin’s agent sad…

    Boston, MA

  • Ida Keir

    The last election was 9 months ago.  The next is 15 months away.  It’s all sports for Washington, and nothing but losses for the rest of us.  I am not interested in this sport any more.  I want real information for real people.  I turn your program off every time a premature, irrelevant show comes on about 10 silly people fighting for power.  I’m rediscovering the joy of music, I guess.  Btw, I will be going to http://conconcon.org/ in September to discuss the possibility of real change in the US, not the silly charade we have now.

    • RjF

      Thanks Ida for your comments Ida.
      I just heard the most ridiculous statement by one of Tom’s guests about how this shows the Republicans as building a “big tent” for American voters…  Perhaps. Though it will likely be many ‘big tents’ all over the country… for people who are without jobs, homes, or those bankrupted by lack of insurance to care for themselves or their aging parents, or wounded veterans of these senseless wars, … 
      Goodbye Tom.  This doesn’t deserve an hour of our time.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Has someone asked Michele Bachmann, why doesn’t the Bible say, “Husbands, submit to your wives”?  She says it’s totally reciprocal, meaning each respects the other.  But I’m not convinced she sees submission going both ways equally.

  • Anonymous

    Texas has one of the worst education systems in the US.
    It also has an awful health care record with one out four without any insurance.
    Texas has a huge deficit that neuters any claim that a republican economic policy has any merit. 

    • TFRX

      Can we call it “Brazil lite” already?

  • TFRX

    Since when is a Texas Republican getting elected to a statewide-level office something of a remarkable accomplishment?

  • BHA in Vermont

    The last ex governor from Texas destroyed the economy and doubled the national dept. In addition, Federal spending went up EVERY year under GWB, it went DOWN under Obama. The debt to GDP went UP by 50% under GWB. The “Uniter not Divider” line lasted with GWB until day 1 in the White House. Then it became “my way or the highway”.
    We don’t need another ex governor from Texas.

    Perry is a bad deal all around. Pick your head up dude, HALF the people in this country are NOT supporters of your political goals or methods. At least Perry is coming out with “my way or the highway” up front.

    • Mark S.

      The Repugs are big on loyalty oaths and pledges, such as the one the Baggers in Congress have sworn to their minor deity, the hirsute, momma’s boy Grover Norquist.  So, allow me to be among the first to ask the rest of my independent and progressive friends to take a pledge.

      If, against all sanity and decency, a theo-fascist, empty-suit, minimum-wage-job-creating governor like Perry were to be elected president and inaugurated on January 20th, 2013, the revolution begins on Janary 21st, in the streets, in the public squares and anyplace else where we can stand against this retrograde, Social Darwinist dystopia.

      A Perry win would mean that there was no place for us in what will have shown itself beyond a shadow of doubt to be a paranoid, reactionary, theocratic, know-nothing society morphed into a Foxzombie Apocalypse by idiot voters who have been brainwashed into believing that voting for the interests of job-destroying billionaires, multi-millionaire right-wing, fascist talk-show provocateurs  and corporation is actually patriotic and in their best interests.

      I remember America.  It did big things, culminating in 12 sets of footprints on the Moon.  That America is gone, rapidly being replaced by a religion-poisoned, Luddite, Social Darwinist nightmare.  I do not like, nor do I trust, the confederation of idiots that it has become.  What’s the matter with Kansas, indeed.  What the hell is the matter with the American voter?

  • Chev

    I see no difference b/t Paul and Bachmann on the issues.  If Paul doesn’t have national appeal then neither does Bachmann. 

  • Dpweber83

    Kellyanne Conway says Democrats aren’t allowed to be pro-choice!??!

    Please call her on this nonsense—there’s a significant section of the Blue Dogs who are pro-life.  South Boston’s Steven Lynch comes immediately to mind.

    This is unbelievable.  Just because you’re a self-described conservative does not mean you get to invent facts from thin air.

    Boston, MA

  • Charlie mc

    re: Govenor Perry:    
     Before ever supporting a presidential candidate from Texas, I would ask every voter to read “The Family of Deceit” by Russ Baker. Then I would ask that particular Texan to respond to that book’s revelations.
    Then I would suggest we all read the Amazon reviews of that book and seriously ask, “Why isn’t this information generally known to the voting public.
         This from a Yankee with many friends in Texas. 

    • Jeff

      I think you mean ‘Family of Secrets’.

      Agreed it should be required reading, and I’m also perplexed why the media/government don’t follow up on much of what it exposed.

      • Charlie mc

        Thank you, Jeff. “Family of Secrets” buy Russ Baker is correct.

  • Freeman

                   Rick Perry; Huh  America will never be a theocracy. Get over it. George Bush was “born again” and look what he did to America. Those people from the south STILL have the “slave”  and “plantation” mentality.The American Civil War is STILL being fought.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Until we see exactly what fiscal “interests” are underwriting which candidates, I’m just seeing a casserole of, as the current caller is saying, same-old/same-old.  Not a lot of specifics about HOW to cut the deficit, the debt.  Not a lot of specifics about HOW to create jobs.  Where do they stand on Obama’s innovation bank, or Obama’s patent plans that Republicans seem to be blocking.
        The important things are undefined.  Isn’t same-sex marriage and abortion important?  Give me a break.  Some things are private.  Responsibility and community are the stuff of what I want to vote about.

  • Kathleen

    Until Clinton’s second race I was a lifelong Democrat. Since then I have been an Independent but never voted for a Republican in the top spot. If Ron Paul is the Republican nominee, I will vote for him. If he does not win the nomination, I hope he will run as an Independent. Under no circumstances will I vote for Obama again.

  • Irv West

    Don’t let them politic with long uninterrupted talks.

  • Montmartre

    Run Ron Paul up the center as a Libertarian and I think that you will be surprised at how many Independents and well as Democrats will vote for him.  He may not when but it could show how many disaffected voters are out there who the Washington-New York political-social establishment would like to ignore.  

  • Dpweber83

    Tom, please, do NOT let a Republican pollster roll you…

    Boston, MA

  • Larry C

    This show is about as intersting as listening to Fox News.  Do we really need Republican talking heads on NPR?

    No matter how much they talk about Rick Perry, he not electable (outside of TX).

    • Chev

      Amen, get rid of this clown.  Kellyanne won’t let Tom get a word in. 

  • Anonymous

    Tom call her out on all the polls showing 60-70% of people in favor of a tax increase on the wealthy!

  • Guest-22

    The government doesn’t have enough money and so we don’t need to raise taxes?! So let’s cut the military budget. Do I hear Republicans going after this golden calf FIRST, not the little old ladies on Social Security? If not, why not?

  • Eric

    To the point of the restrictive nature of party politics – what about Fred Karger? If the GOP wasn’t just as myopic as the Democrats, maybe his voice would be heard, and Kellyanne Conway would have a leg to stand on.

  • simon

    The gap between the rich and poor is getting wider and wider. Low income and middle class are struggling to get by. More than 60% percent  of Americans support expiring the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (which was one big factor for the rise of the debt). Yet people like Michele Bachman are still getting strong support/votes? I guess if you have lots of money, you can easily brainwash most people?

  • TFRX

    “The majority of Americans are against any tax increase.”

    Wow. Tom, nobody can out-bullsh!t a bullsh!tter. Try finding another Republican worthy of NPR’s time. Kellyanne Conway is just throwing off lies. Either interrupt her or break down each of her lies right afterwards.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Someone laid out on I think network news yesterday that Governor Perry’s awesome job-creation record is due to one-third gas going through the roof, one-third government job creation due to Obama’s stimulus, and one third I forget.  It seems this campaigner plans NOT to be cornered into being specific.

  • Bartcaruso

    Tom Ashbrook , you are not giving Ron Paul his due, his air time,his analysis. Why not ?? 

    • Thomas Vanderburg

      Not only that, but he kept repeating “Romney, Bachmann, Perry” as if to cement the idea that these are the only three viable republicans. It’s shameful and disgusting Tom.

  • nnyvoter

    KellyAnn is so out of touch!  I can’t believe she’s trying to convince us that Republicans have a big tent with lots of ideas!  Why is she even on this show?   

    • Anonymous

      More of a big top than a big tent.

  • Bobl1234

    Libertarian commitment t0 atomistic individualism.  By construction, that commitment blinds such people to SYSTEMS THINKING, which reflects the ecological assertion that everything is connected to something.  Even Alan Greenspan seems to have taken off his Ayn Rand blinders.

  • Dpweber83

    Please keep Kellyanne’s volume turned down

  • Dave B

    Kellyanne was right about one thing: Michelle Bachmann would be at her best as a President while sound asleep.

  • paj

    KellyAnn, You are wrong… the majority of AMericans want TAXES… for the the weatlthy … read Warren Buffett’s letter to the NY Times. Republicans “no new taxes” (on the rich) will hurt them! And they all took
    the pledge… 

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Also, the polls showed the majority want a balanced budget and didn’t want congress to raise the debt limit.  It is easy to want other people to pay.  However, the rich don’t make enough to solve our spending woes.  75% of the Bush tax cuts were NOT for the rich.

      Personally, I’d like to see major tax reform and simplification immediately.  We need something to help grow the economy.  I’m not sure but we probably shouldn’t raise taxes significantly until the economy recovers.  We can then raise taxes to start to pay down the debt after spending goes back to historic levels of 18% of GDP (instead of the 25% it is now).

      • TFRX

        Your figures are spotty.

  • Dpweber83

    What do you mean “Obamacare that nobody asked for”!?!  

    He campaigned on health care reform, said it would be his first priority—and the nation voted for him!

    Tom, you can’t keep letting her do this.

    Boston, MA

    • BHA in Vermont

      I didn’t ask for the “Obamacare” we got. I want, and the country needs, SINGLE PAYER. But “Obamacare” is a lot better than what we have now. So I would have to say *I* asked for “Obamacare” and they better not get rid of it.

      You need a personal example? Due to a 24 hour 365 days a year headache, “8 on a scale of 10″ on a GOOD day, with migraines on top that keep her in bed for days at a time, going on over 4 years, my oldest is pretty much disabled. How is she supposed to get health insurance? She sure as heck can’t go to college and be kept on our company sponsored plan while in college. At least under “Obamacare” she can stay on ours for 8 more years. After that? who knows.

      • Ellen Dibble

        BHA, a few physicians take on that kind of challenge.  I was like your oldest till a doctor came to town in the ’80s, and it’s taken till now to feel I’m mostly fixed, but referrals from many MD’s bring patients like me to Northampton Wellness Associates.  They can get at the root of things other MD’s walk away from.  413 584-7787.  They take most insurance, but it’s still very costly to get better from some things.  Long story.  

      • Dpweber83

        Actually, after that, we all know what happens: she can’t be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition.

        Thanks to Obamacare, your kid will be able to get insurance coverage.

        Boston, MA

      • Ellen Dibble

        I should add, there are (or were) buses from Northampton to Burlington, and out-of-state referrals can be important to out-of-state physicians in getting them specialized inputs on how to proceed.  It happens a lot.  You can find me on the internet — as a business, it’s not hard — and e-mail me if you think I can help.

  • Samuraent

    Most Americans do not approve of the way that Texas has been run and do not want Texas type policies for the country. And why? WHY? Is the conservative wing of the Republican Party putting Rick Perry forward? This guy came out less than 6 months after Barack Obama became President and threatened the country by supporting the idea that Texas could and would secede if they were not happy with his policies.

    Republicans act like they have some type of monopoly on patriotism  but they want to nominate a someone who supports the idea of Texas secession for President of The United States?? Why are we not talking about how irrational and unrealistic these candidates are?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Republicans have been ginning up the passions on the social issues in order to coopt certain votes into a party that otherwise has a flagging platform, sagging platform.  It is their own fault if they seem to have lots of politically irrelevant issues leading the way.  We could be the most Catholic country, the most orthodox in every way, and still be fading into global sheep-hood.

  • TFRX

    It’s time to start interrupting this hack Kellyanne after every sentence or everytime she draws a breath. If I wanted this I’d just turn on Fox News.

    Seldom has a station break done such a service to this program’s listeners.

  • Ansapphire

    Is the woman KellyAnn saying that the President only elected because he is Black.  What a disgusting woman.  Is that the new Republican line?

  • Adks12020

    KellyAnne really seems like an angry conservative bent on spreading propaganda. I think if you are going to have someone on the show maybe they should find someone that can make an attempt to be objective.

  • Michael

    Wow Kellyanne Conway,  is throwing out all the talking points, sound bites and spin and Tom with little questioning just allows it unchecked.

    And some people say onpoint is liberal.

  • M.

    This Kellyanne Conway is one of the most annoying people I have ever had the displeasure to hear on this show. She wants to hit her talking points regardless of what the question is, and yaps no matter who Tom is questioning.

  • William McMunn

    Based on her behavior so far (at 10:35 a.m.) Kellyanne Conway, “Republican Pollster,” wants to monologue her Republican talking points, regardless of Tom’s attempts to get a word in edgewise or get her to respond to a pertinent question. Her talk show manners are so impolite that Tom should not call on her again — she has had more than her share of the program so far.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I’m so tired of people like Kellyanne, that can’t just speak on a subject, but have to try to monopolize the conversation, talk over the host and other guest, and are more about hyperbole and spin than discussion.

    Her last statement makes her her own worst argument, saying how the Democrats are wrong-minded by the way they attack Republicans. If that’s not hypocrisy, and moral blindness, I don’t know what is?

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I’m so tired of people like Kellyanne, that can’t just speak on a subject, but have to try to monopolize the conversation, talk over the host and other guest, and are more about hyperbole and spin than discussion.

    Her last statement makes her her own worst argument, saying how the Democrats are wrong-minded by the way they attack Republicans. If that’s not hypocrisy, and moral blindness, I don’t know what is?

  • Ed S.

    This Kelly Ann Conway is a piece of work.  Typical Republican shill.  Distorting facts with a constant stream of gibberish, never allowing anyone else to get a word in edgewise.  Rudely ignoring anyone else – even the host – and even answering questions that were not posed to her.  It’s annoying and very telling… when there are no facts to back up your argument, simply don’t allow anyone else to speak.

  • Anonymous

    Kellyanne Conway was nothing but a hack. She kept on saying Tom was trying to paint Bachmann in a bad light. If you ask me she’s doing a pretty good job all on he own. From insisting that John Quincey Adams was one of the founding fathers to many other her gaffs it’s clear she is not to well versed in American history. That said, this does not seem to matter to most Americans.

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      She’s right up there with Coulter, Malkin, Kelly and the like. 

      • mary elizabeth

        Yes, and don’t forget the ice in her veins Monica Crowley.

  • Tinstman

    Incindiery comments by the Democrats?…calling Obama supporters “dewey-eyed” is incindiery, Kellyanne.  

  • nj

    Looks like an hour of mostly discussion of tactics, temperament, atmospherics, and strategy, and not much about record of accomplishment, actual stated positions, who is bankrolling these people. 

    In other words, more of the usual horse-race “coverage.”

    We should expect more from On Point.

    • TFRX

      Hey, that’s an insult to racetrack announcers everywhere!

      Remember everyone telling Al Gore to Give It Up? That was along about Columbus Day 2000. Not a one of them could get on TV by suggesting Gore would win the popular vote. Remember all those embarrassing things which were touted by our political superiors as Such Good News for Republicans, right up Obama cleaning McCain’s clock? Ooooh, that was a close race.

      If racetrack announcers got everything wrong that the guests of our mainstream press did they’d be fired after the third race.

  • Jeffery L. Ford

    Tom – I like your show but occasionally you invite an ideologue that is so on message she can not even discuss without being on script.  Can we please find people that can have a conversation not present a belief!

    Jeffery in Iowa

  • John

    during this show the talk about Ron Pauls success is not been given credibility,
    once the true debate begins Paul will shred talking points and stand on record,
    I am not a conservative but if I am to be given a choice at this point of who
    leads by example I would go for Paul and not the candidates that act as
    populists only to send us in the same direction as W. The media and Republican
    lobbyist are afraid of such leadership and it shows by the lack of media
    coverage. I would expect more honest coverage by NPR than the two minute sound
    byte on this topic.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I really hope that Bachmann or Paul gets the nod, because then the mirror will be held up to the Right on how far their political fringes and rigid ideology has led them to their doom. 

  • Michael

    After Mccain rejected Hagee he later came back to get his Endorsement

  • TFRX

    “The punch to the gut America got this week”, per Bachmann, was laid squarely at the feet of the Teabaggers by S&P. The downgrade in the credit rating is their fault.

    Somebody won’t point this out. I will.

    Also, why can’t this show get a Howard Dean, Alan Grayson or Anthony Wiener to counteract the never-ending supply of right-wing propagandists? Our host is getting rolled.

  • Anonymous

    The aliens came in business suits.

  • Dan

    It is Romney and the rest.  He’s the only Republican with national appeal. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    It costs $30 to vote in the straw poll, I heard.  So I am not surprised to hear Bachmann and Paul did so well.  They seem to me the “boutique” candidates, for those who have some time to pick out the stylish “winner” from the various things on display.  I’m not sure beyond that, but it was interesting to see how fast Pawlenty got out. I’d say for his style, his presentation, he did great.

  • nj

    Three-quarters of the way through the program, and have they given any attention yet to Ron Paul other than mention his name once? You know, the guy who came in second by 152 votes? If they did, it must have been during the 35 seconds i took to go to the bathroom.



    • John

      everyone is afraid of Pal because he appeals to a brod base and not an extreme

      • Dpweber83

        I can guarantee you that no one is worried about Ron Paul drawing broad, nationwide support.  No one is worried about that because he’s run for president before, and while past performance is not always indicative of future performance, I think it’s foolish to expect that *this year* is when the whole thing turns around for a man who’s pushing 80.

        Boston, MA

        • John

          or that people finally start voting on record instead of talking points

        • Adks12020

          I think the adavantage Paul has now as opposed to his previous attempt to run is that the GOP is overestimating that influence of the conservative far right.  Perry and Bachmann are extremely far right, conservative Christians and I really think the majority of Americans are more moderate than that. 

          Paul can get Independant and moderate Republican/Democrat votes that Obama will have a hard time with and so will the other Republican candidates.

          • Dpweber83

            “I really think the majority of Americans are more moderate than that.”

            I agree, and that’s exactly why I think Paul’s dead in the water.  Most Americans don’t support eliminating the Department of Education, legalizing heroin, or returning to the gold standard.

            Boston, MA

          • Clkaynor

            Your unexplained sound bites about Ron Paul’s positions are less than informed. When you listen to him explain what he means about eliminating the department of education, it makes a lot of sense. I’m all for education! I’ve got teachers in my family. I understand their value and would never vote for something that would devalue them. Ron Paul’s ideas don’t do that at all. They simply make us more free. That’s all. And it doesn’t make sense incarcerating people (and then having tax payers supporting them in prison) for taking drugs. There are so many people on “legal” drugs doled out by *benevolent* drug companies that we’re anti-depressing marine life via our urine. What’s the difference? Everyone seems to be self-medicating these days! We taxpayers take on a helluvalot of burdens, rather than allowing people to be accountable for their own lives and fortunes.

        • Clkaynor

          Elections are determined by the mainstream media and the voting machine central tallying. We have no idea who really wins anymore. And saying he had his chance in 2008 is hogwash because he msm did the same thing to him then that they are doing now–marginalizing and dismissing him. And as they do so, the sheeple follow along. It’s really a disgusting statement about the “free” information age, which isn’t free at all. When msm people, including Ashbrook, don’t expose ALL the facts about all the candidates, they are running the show–NOT providing us with the full information and education we need to judge for ourselves. We don’t deserve freedom anymore–since we are so easily fooled.

      • nj

        More precisely, the status quo, corporate, monied establishment will do anything it can to prevent anyone who questions the basis of  the current scam they’re running from seeing the light of day.

        Hence, even on a program like On Point, as throughout the rest of the corporate media, Paul gets marginalized and ignored.

        Nader got the same treatment when he ran, being precluded from “debates,” and otherwise kept to the fringes.

        The corporate/industrial/military is justifiably afraid of anyone who brings any measure of truth to the national political discussion. They will probably continue to repress the truth up to a certain point, but, sooner or later, the U.S. is going to have its Egypt moment if the system cannot be changed in a more controlled fashion.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously, doesn’t that picture remind you of the TV show “V” ?

  • Guest-22

    Michele Bachmann is the Taliban’s best dream: “Wives, submit to your husbands”?

    Rick Perry may be King of Texas, but the rest of America is still pretty tired of the Texan point of view.

    Mitt Romney, the bored waffler, whose finger is always stuck in the wind, slasher of jobs for thousands of middle-class workers in companies he strangled to death. Bane Capitalist (yes, it’s misspelled on purpose).

    I can’t believe any of these self-righteous bigots would truly be serving the rest of America. The values we uphold are freedom of religion (not freedom to be an evangelical Protestant or conservative Catholic only), freedom of the press (not freedom for controlled media markets), freedom of choice (not freedom to give birth to badly deformed or even dead fetuses or fetuses resulting from rapes), freedom to vote (not using Dibold miscounting machines, etc.), good public schools that don’t ues Texas publishers’ creationism “textbooks.”  We willingly contribute our taxes for the general good and welfare of all (Medicare, Social Security), for a working infrastructure, and a modicum of defense.

    Moderation is not Big Oil, Big Jesus, Big Business.  

  • Dolores Wagner

    Please spare your On Point listeners from Kelly Anne Conway’s shrill, take no prisoners approach to political commenting. I felt like I was at a CPAC meeting listening to her, which isn’t what I tune into your program to hear.

  • Ellen Dibble

    About the “real person” charisma of Michelle Bachmann (and Sarah Palin):  Consider the riveting eye contact.  More from Bachmann than from Palin, but still.  This is the kind of persuasion that says if I glue myself to your consciousness, pretty soon you’ll merge with me and be part of my conviction. 
        Some things are contagious, and one of those things is strenuous determination and conviction. 
        But it can be mightily off-putting.  Either you are drawn in, or you are repelled.  Think of a magnet.  If you think the magnetism is being deployed without substance (politically speaking), you will get a migraine headache if forced to watch.

    • TFRX

      “Real person charisma”?

      Nah. They’re just young enough to be eye-candy for a subsection of the electorate raised (politically speaking) on

      Would-be VPs Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Kay Bailey Hutchinson would have clinched the general election for McCain, methinks.  But the Republicans had to nominate a MILF.

    • Roy Mac

      Batshit has the same charisma and intellect (don’t forget her mail-order law degree and phone-in IRS job while she made a career of maternity leave) of Barbie.

  • Clkaynor

    Stop dismissing Ron Paul! His support is growing by the day! We want freedom, we want diplomacy, rather than war, and we want a sound and creative economy. Who in the world wants the same-old, same-old politics that haven’t worked for decades??!! Ron Paul receives more monetary support from the military than ALL OTHER CANDIDATES combined. What does that say? I’m so mad at the mainstream media!

  • Joe

    Ron Paul was the real story out of Iowa this weekend.   The media has always ignored him and continue to do so.  The straw poll was a virtual tie with Ron Paul within one percentage point.

    Ron Paul will reign in wall street and end the wars.  He is the only candidate who will do so.

    Ron Paul is our last real hope to change the direction of D.C.

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Yes, backwards into 1642.

      • John

        your right canidates did not have lobbyist agendas to commit to in 1642

      • Joe

        more like 1776

  • Marsau2

    As a voter since 1952, I stand in jaw-dropped awe at how bizarre and off-base the Republican candidates have become and at how voters actually fall for their inane (insane?) ideas.  Barry Goldwater was scorned for his radicalism and Nixon for his lack of ethics.  Compared to the pack out there today, they seem paragons of rationality.  

  • Freeman

    Tom;    Yea “natural resources” Mexicans working for miminum wage.

  • no name

    how typical; instead of political analysis, you have a right wing spin nutwing.  that person can’t tell you what time it is without going thru a 5 minute litany of her complete political spin.

    you’re not presenting political anaysis, you’re presenting extremist political advocacy.  the problem, rather one of the problems actually, is that you “balance” it with a centrist dem.

    If your show is going to consist of political spin artists how  about including  a progressive left wing spin person?  Oops!!! forgot.  Government radio doesn’t permit it!!  So sorry

    • Dave in CT

      Yawn. While that woman was clearly in campaign mode, and I’m not going to support any Christian nuttery, I have to say I found the way she aggressively brushed off the “liberal” narrative, and posited that we are past that now, and the people are pissed, refreshing.

      Every time I listen to On Point’s beltway status quo/strategic pundits I can’t help thinking, geez, these people have not been paying attention since the meltdown.  The pre-packaged narratives and the blatant pigeon-holing of the electorate, is just falling apart. People thought Obama was for real. He was just like all the rest, party aside, and you all know The Who song we should be playing now.

      Maybe I’m wrong. I hope not. I’ll take some People, with rough edges, over the status quo insider crap we’ve had so long, any day.

  • Dpweber83

    bahahahahahha, who is this current caller??

    Boston, MA

  • Tncanoeguy

    Perry is worried about too much government power.  If we don’t maintain a relatively strong governmental (public) counterbalance to corporate power, we will find ourselves at the whim of corporate interests.  If one thinks that corporations are looking out for our best interests they are mistaken. 

    • Clkaynor

      Our government is run by corporations–it IS a corporation, so it’s a dream if you think our government is going to protect us from bad-playing corporations! The bigger the government, the more centralized the power, the less work a corporation has to do to influence it. When you spread the government power out to the states, it’s far more difficult for corporations to exert their influence. Wake up America!

      • BHA in Vermont

        The Supreme Court guaranteed that the government will be owned by corporations and the very rich.

      • Dave in CT

        I don’t know why that is so hard to appreciate.

        I think alot of well-meaning people have benevolent dictator fantasies of a Democratic-led, technocratic government.

  • Freeman

    Tom;  Texians taking jobs from Americans to support the Mexican economy. Get real !!!

  • Bobl1234

    If Bachman wins, she won’t represent me at least not until after the invasion of Canada.

    • Tncanoeguy

      Surely she can’t win, can she?  Is Obama in that weak of a position? 

      • BHA in Vermont

        Interesting question. How many people are “anyone but Obama” and how many are “Any religious zealot who will claim to cut taxes, ensure the rich don’t participate in the deficit cutting pain and cut government spending without actually detailing what will be cut”? IMHO: She has a better chance with the latter than the former.

        I can only hope the media will offer balanced FACT checking and SPIN, HALF TRUTH and LIE challenging interviews, stories etc for any and all candidates. 

        And if I actually believe this will happen I should also win the lottery without buying a ticket. Perhaps, instead, I should buy a house in Canada, it is only 40 miles north. Then I can choose where to live based on the government du jour in each country.

  • TFRX

    If employers didn’t go to Texas to exploint (wink-wink-nudge-nudge) exploitable labor, what would Parry’s job record look like?

  • A Johnston

    Why did Mr Ashbrook let Ms Conway lie, over and over again?  Is he weak or incompetent?  “Obamacare” as she called it is cheaper than the nation’s healthcare before it was passed: those, and that is a large number of us, know it is about that trillion she through out, CHEAPER than what we have now.  We are 37th in world in healthcare and the most expensive.  Whatever is the best answer why is Ashbrook not asking his panelists for their solutions. 

    Why is he not telling his panelists that Reagan delivered the biggest deficit in history,  followed by Bush I and dramatically succeeded by Bush II and his credit card wars, so that the mess is Republican-delivered, thus why should the people vote for a Republican?  Republicans de-regulated Wall Street so it could “take” a further 20% out of GDP, thus why should the people vote for a Republican?

    Get some steel into Ashbrook, please, give him some decent researchers  or get someone with “intestinal fortitude.

    • Anonymous

      I’m having a really hard time trying to avoid the conclusion that NPR is deliberately dumbing down political discussions by limiting their panelists to media talking heads and easy-to-grab inside-the-Beltway think-tankers or pollsters.  It’s as though there’s a general consensus that if you’re going to talk about politics, about the federal government,and about those who run to become part of it, then only those whose bread and butter comes from Washington “really know” what’s going on and “really know” what voters’ concerns are.

      There are corners of public radio where more diverse and original thinkers join in political discussions — off the top of my head Philadelphia’s WHYY is certainly one.  California has a couple of forums that include a diversity of points of view and some originality.  Salt Lake City!  Seattle!  More?  Oh, yes!  Satellite radio opens up the wider world of regional public radio which is becoming more and more interesting as NPR/DC digs its rut deeper ever day.  I would love to include WBUR as one of the good guys.  It used to be.  Even from way out here in the southern Plains I’d contribute whatever I could every year during fund-raising.  But — and this impression comes from “On Point” — even WBUR appears to have given in to programming lethargy.

      NPR is an increasingly crucial source of news and views as the rest of the media yield to the new job description for news providers:  avoid controversy, avoid the broader view, avoid raising the really difficult issues, and don’t even think of speaking truth to power.  It’s sad to see NPR picking up the bad habits of 21st century corporate media.

      • TFRX

        I wasn’t gonna bring this up, but you did open the door to NPR at large.

        A year ago, before righties remembered how much they UsedToRespect NPR (i.e. the hack Juan Williams was fired and went crying to Fox News) and also before NPR decided to give up before the first round of the boxing match with James (Serial Fabulist) O’Keefe, NPR’s ombud was interviewed on a local station which broadcasts about all the nationally-distributed talk/interview shows.

        The NPR ombud said NPR didn’t have to change their talk/journo/analysis output, but had to find out how to P.R. their way to a greater appeal to right-wingers who thought NPR was too liberal.

        Every time a syndicated program has a nice host who gets suckered by a full-blown propagandist, I want to scream at my radio:

        How’s that dumbing down for the right going for you, NPR? What are you getting by discarding the reality-world fact-based listeners for the “reasonable righties”? Wouldn’t it be easier to dig up the last pair of passenger pigeons and try to bring THAT species back to life?

      • nj

        They seem to be so afraid of being called “liberal” by the right wingers, they bend over sideways to avoid any trace of real left thinking/criticism, limit moderate left input to a minimum, and tilt most of the panels right-center. They’ll have someone like Chomsky on once every couple of years as if that’s enough to accurately represent the left end of the spectrum.

        The net result is to give a skewed impression of the possible range of opinion and ideology, and to preclude a whole body of information from reaching their audience.

        I’m listening to another local, radio news program in Boston, and they’re talking about the gang of Republican candidates, and they’ve spent considerable time talking about Rick Perry’s twang, his hair and haven’t even mentioned that Ron Paul came in second.

  • BHA in Vermont

    What makes a “Republican pollster” a political analyst? Sounds more like a Rush Limbaugh than an analyst.

  • David

    Hello — Ron Paul won the Ames poll in a statistical dead heat with Michelle Bachmann.

    me — your same comment about why Ron Paul’s win in Ames is meaningless
    (basically, that in a field of 17,000 voters where you bus them in,
    anyone can win) also applies to Bachmann!

    He is a liberal’s liberal when it comes to foreign policy, so will
    draw in Democrats and Independents, while appealing to Republicans as

    When fascism goes to sleep it looks under the bed for Ron Paul.

    He has never taken a government junket. 

    He does not participate in the lucrative Congressional Pension Program.

     He returns a portion of his annual Congressional Office Budget every

    He has never voted to raise taxes. 

    He has never voted for an unbalanced budget. 

    He voted no to the bankster bailout.

    He voted no to raising the debt ceiling and warned us against
    the “Super Congress” part of the legislation that resembles both

    an ” Enabling Act” and a “Politburo.”

    He has never voted to restrict gun ownership. 

    He has never voted to raise Congressional Pay. 

    He never voted to increase Executive Branch Power. 

    He will Reinstate The Constitution and Save The Republic 

    He will END the unconstitutional FED. 

    He will phase out the unconstitutional IRS beginning immediately 

    He will limit Big Government in your private affairs 

    He voted against regulating the Internet

    He is the only candidate for President in 2012 who actually served his country.

    He was a flight surgeon during Vietnam.

    Ron Paul’s popularity is so high among U.S. service members that the Texas

     Congressman’s presidential campaign has received more money from U.S.
    soldiers than any other candidate in the 2012 presidential race.

    voted against the Iraq War and warned us against going forward with an
    undeclared war.”Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one
    objected once it’s realized that our liberty and wealth are in
    Jeopardy”  July 10th, 2003

    He voted against the un-patriotic so called Patriot Act. 

    He supports a non-interventionist foreign policy yet a strong defense. 

    He will end the inflation tax He is a true Constitutional

    Classical liberal Paleoconservative like Jefferson 

    He would have soundly beat Obama in 2008 because Independents trust him and like him.

    We could have had a V8 instead of McCain’t in 08 

    Ron Paul for President 2012 

    Because no one else can be trusted to say what he
    means and do what he says like Ron Paul does.

    Paul is the man of the hour. They used to laugh him for being way ahead
    of the others in his thinking and his warnings. Now, they are not
    laughing because what he predicted is coming to pass. Now, he is being
    called a prophet for having warned us and still calmly suffered through
    the barbs. “First they, ignore you, then they fight you, then you win.”
    GandhiRead more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=95346#ixzz1V6l41z4d

    • John

      and because of all of that the political and media machine will work together to defeat him because no one but the American people get a piece of the pie if he wins

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      And many of his policies clearly violate the Constitution. No thanks, I’ll stick with the Constitutional professor.

      • Joe

         you must mean the Constitutional Doctor….Ron Paul

        everyone else has shredded the Constitution.  Obama….Libya…no congressional approval…..increase in Afghanistan, Pakistan…..health care…just a few Unconstitutional actions under his watch

        • Scott B, Jamestown NY

          Paul is a medical doctor, but he does not hold a PhD in the Constitution. 

          • Scott B, Jamestown NY

            Perhaps Paul is a “Constitutional Doctor” by way of the way he wants to doctor the Constitution to fit his beliefs?

      • Clkaynor

        What of his policies violate the Constitution Scott?

  • Joe

     Ron Paul is the only candidate who will address the real problems in this country.  His voting record has not changed for twenty years.  Please Google Ron Paul and listen to his debates over the past ten years.  He is a man of integrity.  All other candidates are nauseating. 

    • Me

      I like Ron Paul now more than I did in 2008. I would certainly vote for him over Obama but he is my least favorite because of his isolationist views. I thought Rick Santorum was right in the debate with Paul regarding Iran but I have reservations about Santorum too. Ron Paul would be a great Secretary of Treasury.

      • Dave in CT

        No more Neocons. Break the back of the debt/war machine monster.

      • Moik Rentz

        isolationism: A national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries. This does not describe Ron Paul at all. 

  • Alan

    Please America, do not vote for intolerance, bigotry and in some cases, ignorance, Barak Obama may not have a backbone, is too weak and in some cases sold out, believe me, the alternatives are worse!

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      It’s not just that they’re ignorant. I can forgive ignorance of someone that honestly uneducated on a subject. These people are deliberately ignoring facts. From separation of church and state, to why we have the Fed and are off the gold standard, to government regulations that keep our rivers from catching fire, and how the world works in general.

      • Clkaynor

        Here’s how I see it –right or wrong– I’m a 100% environmental activist. I have questions about deregulating the EPA, and I still support Ron Paul. Here’s why:  Creativity is the way we will find solutions to our energy, economic, and social problems. Freedom breeds creativity. I would love to believe that a large benevolent government could take care of my/our best interests. But over the half-century+ of my life, I’ve seen instead, how the insidious influence of big money has taken our government hostage. And the only way to get the power (and benevolence) back into the lives of the citizens is to go back in the direction of common law. Everyone is scared to dissemble the huge government and extricate it from the influence of the energy, banking, agricultural and pharmaceutical “mafia,” but if we don’t do that, we will one day lose all our freedoms–while we are appeased–thinking we are free because of free speech. When you have the mainstream media and voting machine companies determining our election outcomes with sound bites and central tabulation “adjustments”, even if we think we are free, we are not. I’m a pacifist and an environmentalist, and I believe in the power of freedom. Therefore, Ron Paul is my only candidate at this time.

      • mary elizabeth

        It  is odd how the right like to criticize and would like NPR to disappear, but NPR and PBS  address the very things that you mention and  do educate the public with FACTS, not the screamers on right wing radio who misinform.   All day long on NPR one is exposed to  a goldmine of information not found anywhere else.
        I just don’t get the  whole “liberal” media thing re:NPR.

        • Me

          To understand the “liberal media thing” you would need to objectively watch/read/listen to the actual hearings, floor debates, speeches and read the bills. Then watch/read/listen to right and left wing coverage of those things. If you go only by NPR and are a liberal to begin with then you would not know. I think NPR is second to none for insightful information except for politics. There they are decidedly left. 

          I have never heard anyone on the right say they wanted NPR or PBS to “disappear”. Not at all, I love NPR but they should have to survive in the marketplace like everybody else.

          • TFRX

            NPR couldn’t fight its way leftwards out of a wet paper bag. And all the Foxholers get to whine that “my tax money” supports “liberal propaganda”.

            Why would a right winger wish to change that?

        • Scott B, Jamestown NY

          It seems that anything even remotely to the left of Fox is “liberal” these days. 

    • Zing

      A chicken with no backbone is a snake.  I’m considering the alternative because it’s dangerous, scary, and chancy.  It’s time for a real shakeout.   

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    What’s deeply disturbing to me is all the talk from the Republican candidates about the role of religion in government.  There’s a reason the founding fathers specifically separated church and state in the First Amendment. It quickly goes from “Under God…” to “Under whose god?” Romney’s and Huntsman’s (magic underwear)?  Perry’s? Or perhaps Perry’s “friend” John Hagee’s (the minister that demonizes Catholicism and considers the Statue of Liberty a “demonic icon)?  Bachmann’s (whose god requires women to be submissive to her husband, and who in turn thinks God fixes homosexuality)? Paul’s (who seems to be elevating gold to new heights)?

    As much as I hate “bumper sticker” political philosophy I couldn’t agree more with the ones I saw recently that read: “If you want a theocracy, move to Iran and see how that’s working for them.”  (Also saw one for Saudi Arbaia).

    • Rob (in NY)

      Please explain how Ron Paul’s arguments  for sound money and a gold standard (which I disagree with) bear any relationship whatsoever  to the role of religion in government?   There are a lot of areas where I disagree with Ron Paul, but he is not among use using his bible as a weapon to lecture others.  

      • Clkaynor

        Ron Paul does not believe Religion (any religion) should have a role in government. He will stand by his own personal beliefs as a fundamentalist Christian, but he will staunchly defend any person’s right to practice any religion they want, or to be an aetheist. He stands by a person’s right to choose medical care–or alternative medical care. He believes that NO ENTITY has the right to dictate to individuals what they can and can’t do with their bodies and lives–as long as what they do harms no one else. I advise people not to listen to sound bites. His message is way too important. If you really want to understand what he means about sound money, read his books. The Fed collects money from the IRS that collects money from us. The Fed is a PRIVATE, not government, entity. It does what it thinks is best with that collected money. Our government BORROWS money from the FED to pay its bills, at times. And most of our taxes pay INTEREST INTO THE POCKETS OF FOREIGN INVESTORS, central banks, and other entities on the National Debt, instead of going directly toward services (like infrastructure and entitlements, etc.). A huge piece of the pie of collected and borrowed money goes to our military industrial complex–another unauditable entity. Nothing is transparent to people upon whose backs these entities thrive. We must change this unconstitutional process back to a process that is transparent to all citizens. Ron Paul is the only candidate who is standing up for The People, and he does not change his message to suck up to lobbyist money, or to the media, or to gain favor. He has impeccable integrity. Compare his honest record to anyone else’s.

      • Scott B, Jamestown

        I was obviously not saying that Paul is saying “gold is god”, but his faith in gold as the be all, end all, to government, and in those that follow him, is almost religious.  If you cannot spot some purposeful comedic sarcasm in that little leap I took, then you have deepers issues than just lacking humor. 

        The golden rule I was taught in church was “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” Whereas now it seems that it has become, “Those that have the gold make the rules”, in what’s fast becoming [in a recently coined phrase] a “pluconomy”. 

        For others on the Right I think they follow the commandment, “Do unto others, then split.”  Which seems to be the course many on Wall St. took with all the bad paper they sold, and the bad mortgages they pushed, and the TARP money they took from US tax-payers under Dubya and promptly paid themselves their bonuses and didn’t help anyone but themselves and their shareholders.

        I am agnostic, at best; but the biblical and historical facts are something I studied in college, and on my own Jesus would have been throwing out the money changers. The reasn why he was p!ssed wasn’t that there were money changers in the temple. Legally that’s where the Jews had to go to buy the things they needed for their holy days’ observances (animals for sacrifice, etc). It was that the “money changers” (not just “bankers”, but merchants) were gouging the people on the price of those things that they HAD to buy. 

        Jesus also said, “Rend unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.”  That’s a CLEAR call for separation church and state, and was saying that people needed to pay their taxes, for he and God are concerned with the human soul, not taxes.

        I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where Jesus hung out with the rich. In fact all his friends and associates, and the people he helped were working class people, or uppity women, or hookers, or lepers, or anybody but the wealthy. Yet the current candidates espousing Christian beliefs want to eliminate taxes on the rich and take away help from the neediest of us – the poor, the infirm, the working people.

        All I hear from these candidates is how this country needs more of God’s teaching in it. Which ones? The laws that say certain people need to be put to death for working on the Sabbath? The Sabbath that man’s law changed to Sunday, by the way. The one that says adulterers should be stoned to death? Bye Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Vitter, Mr. McCain..Or would that not apply to Republicans? Or ust Mr Clinton? Or do we just pick and choose what we want to apply to us, the way they applied the Bible to being able to own slaves but not to not eating pork?

    • Joe


      Gold is going higher because the bankers have printed so much money.  Ron Paul believes that our money should be backed by gold and silver.  The constitution states that all $$ must be gold and silver.  This was to prevent the bankers from doing what they have done….print money.  

      AS for his religion, he believes what he believes, but he does not force his beliefs on others.  Nor does use God as a political platform.

      He is a breath of fresh air and I encourage you to listen to him for yourself with a clear mind (google him).  The media have painted him with their brush and ignore his message. 

      I truly believe that only Ron Paul has the courage and vision to get this country back on track. 

      • BHA in Vermont

        The US has a reserve of 260+ million ounces of gold.
        At the current price (~ $1745/oz) the value of this reserve is $454 Billion. Going to be a bit hard to back our currency with that.

        • Dpweber83

          There’s about $5 trillion dollars in gold that’s been mined since the beginning of time—and that’s at today’s record-high prices. The global economy is currently somewhere north of $60 trillion.

          And this is why anyone who says we need to return to the gold standard is either stupid, ignorant, or some combination of the two.

          Boston, MA

          • Joe

            All you need to do is revalue the price of gold to $10,000 or so.

            There will be a new reserve currency in the future and it will include gold.  Probably a basket of euro, US $, yen, yuan, gold….

          • Scott B, Jamestown NY

            But that CANNOT be done, as gold is valued at what someone will pay for it. I cannot any future where it is worth $10K@oz to anyone. At some point gold would become too highly priced and no one would want to buy it because the price is untouchable by any but large banks and the extremely wealthy; or because it has formed a “gold bubble” and no one wants to be the last person to pay the highest price before the bottom falls out of it.

          • Dpweber83

            “There will be a new reserve currency in the future and it will include gold.”

            Dude, that crystal ball of yours must come in handy!  Considering you can see the future, you must have made an absolute killing in the markets over the last few weeks!

            Just tell me one thing: do the Pats win the Super Bowl this year?

            Boston, MA

          • Clkaynor

            60 trillion what . . . ? Dollars printed out of thin air. Going back to gold would mean there would be more value on each piece of money–rather than very little value in our dollar, as it is today.

          • Dpweber83

            Yes, $60 trillion, printed out of thin air and backed by sovereign promises.  

            Going back to gold adds no more “value” to a “dollar” than would going back to iron or carbon or anything else you choose.  
            The Onion is way out ahead of you on this one, buddy: http://www.theonion.com/articles/us-economy-grinds-to-halt-as-nation-realizes-money,2912/

            Gold has no more intrinsic value than arsenic—in fact, we’d have an awfully difficult time refining gold ore without arsenic, but I don’t hear anyone talking about getting us onto an arsenic standard.

            Boston, MA

        • Joe

          It was 40 years ago TODAY that Nixon broke the gold dollar.  Since his speech at Bretton Woods in 1971 the $ has lost over half its value.  A currency backed by gold prevents the bankers from printing into oblivion.  

          If the dollar was still back by gold we would still enjoy a sound economy.  No question!!

          • Scott B, Jamstown NY

            The gold standard doesn’t work because if gold goes up, that $5 that got you a latter at Starbucks on the way to work won’t buy you the stir stick for it the next day.

          • Steve

            If the dollar were still backed by gold there would no longer be any gold in US vaults.

            Treasury bond holders would have demanded, received, and emptied the coffers long ago.

            The day of reckoning is here now, one way another.

    • Steve

      Remember Christine O’Donnell–favorite of the Teabaggers and the so-called Christian Right–and her dismay at hearing that the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Religion.” And Congresswoman Bachman–big-time Christian and submissive wife–who thinks the Revolution started in Concord, NH, and that the founding fathers fought tirelessly to end slavery. These people are not only the farthest thing from Christian I can think of, they are profoundly ignorant about the very causes they claim to champion.

  • U Makeme Tired

    They really should change the name of this show to “Off Point”.  Buffett drops a bomb on the Republican’s economic philosophy today and Ashbrook wants to discuss does Bachman have a chance at becoming president.

    This is the problem with so called news programs today.  No relevance.  No integrity.  No responsibility.  They just want to entertain, “tell a story” and scrounge for ratings.  Will the real journalists STAND UP! 

    It’s like a scene from Broadcast News.  I know that I am not the only one who thinks this.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Kind of hard to put together a program today with news from an op ed FROM today. If Buffett’s bomb is significant, look for it in a show later this week :)

      He is right, of course. The rich, for all the whining, wouldn’t even notice a 3% increase in their taxes. But, if they balk at increasing the tax rates, lets go the other way. Keep the top tax rates the same and get rid of ALL tax deductions/credits etc for anyone who has GROSS income over $250K. Then see how fast the rich will support a small increase in the tax rates.

    • TomK in Boston

      Good observation. This crew of wingnuts and borderline psychos is getting massive attention in the corporate media, while the rich get richer and the middle class dies. Buffett nailed it. Here’s what I want to know: Why is screwing the middle class “shared sacrifice”, while asking the elites to contribute is “punishing the rich”? Orwell knew what he was talking about when he explained how language could control thought.

      • nj

        It’s worse than punishing the rich, doncha know. It’s “class war.”

        • TomK in Boston

          That’s true. 30 years of voodoo economics that makes the middle class poorer and the rich richer is business as usual, but trying to change it, or even noticing it, is “class warfare”.

          Without a doubt, class warfare has been raging. If you want to know who’s winning, just check where the $ are flowing. 

    • Me

      Buffet said tax the “mega-rich”. Democrats say raise taxes on those grossing over $250,000 which include so many small business job creators. It’s apples and oranges and dishonest to conflate the two. I think that must be what TomK is referring to below regarding Orwell and language.

      If we took every dime from anyone grossing $250K or more it would solve nothing but if it would make you feel better how about raising taxes on those grossing over $20 million?

      • TomK in Boston

        You complain about language but all you do is repeat standard scripts. Every time a tax increase (tho gawd knows, we don’t mention INCREASES any more, it’s “reform”) on the upper brackets is mentioned, the right screams “small business”. To listen to you guys, you’d think there weren’t any high-bracket individuals, just small businesses. Can’t you see that this is just anti-tax smoke? Tax rates at the top are near all time lows. It’s insane to howl about the deficit and also insist on keeping tax revenues down.

        FYI, a lot of rich individuals simply incorporate themselves as S1 corps, and, presto, they are small business. Also privately held corps are considered “small”. Did you know Fidelity is a “small business”?

        I don’t see any problem in making a distinction between individuals and real small businesses. 

        As for your other script about how higher taxes at the top wouldn’t make any difference: that is true in a middle class society, not in an oligarchy, and oligarchy is where we’re headed. Total income in the USA is $12-13 trillion, and the top 1% get 20-25% of that, for, conservatively, $2.5 trillion. It’s ludicrous to say taking the entire $2.5 trillion would solve nothing, but nobody is proposing taking every dime from anyone – more language abuse. A modest 10% tax hike on the top 1% would yield $250 billion/yr, rough estimate, which doesn’t balance the budget but, combined with other steps, might keep granny out of the hands of WellPoint

        • Me

          “I don’t see any problem in making a distinction between individuals and real small businesses.”

          How about making a distinction between $250K and “mega-rich”? Any problem?



          • TomK in Boston

            “How about making a distinction between $250K and “mega-rich”? Any problem?”

            Of course not. The marginal rate reaches its max value at far too low an income. The rate should not max out at an upper-middle income, it should keep slowly rising through the stratosphere, so a surgeon making $1 mil has a higher rate than a scientist making $250K, and a hedgie making $10 mil has a higher rate than the surgeon, etc. Maybe it should hit 50% at $50 mil for the top rate, something like that.

          • Me

            That’s my point. That was Buffet’s point. I disagree to some extent but we could talk about it because you’re honest with the language.

          • TomK in Boston

            Buffett’s point was that the rich have not been asked to make a “shared sacrifice” and should pay more taxes. We can certainly talk about the details. I agree that $250K is not “rich”.

          • TFRX

            And yet when it comes to the $250k bracket, Dems get a pincers attack: Charlie Gibson calls that “middle class income” and candidate Obama got pounced on by Joe The Plumber, who was about a $200k raise from worrying about what rate the next dollar after that was taxed at.

            The face of the $250k tax filer is far too rich looking to be good PR. But fake, unlicensed plumbers are.

            And the commercial press was suckers for them both.

      • Anonymous

        More from the right wing book of BS.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          “less in taxes”?  I think he said he paid about $7M last year in income + payroll taxes.  If you paid more, congratulations!

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        You are absolutely correct.  Buffet was proposing adding two additional rate brackets above the $1M threshold AND also include capital gains in the mix.

        You are also correct that this will do little to fix the budget deficit.

        True tax reform and simplification (elimination of loopholes and lowering rates) would do wonders for economic growth. 

        60 minutes did a piece last night on our high corporate tax rates are encouraging companies to move jobs out of the US.  We have the 2nd highest tax rates in the industrialized world yet companies like GE end up contorting their activities and end up paying an effective 4% tax rate on billions of earnings.  We are screwing ourselves.

        • TomK in Boston

          Our actual corporate tax rate is about the same as the rest of the developed world. While the nominal rate is high (39%), the loopholes and exceptions are so huge that the effective rate is 27%, while the OECD average is 25%? What’s the big deal?

          I agree that there is a problem insofar the average 27% results from the biggest corps paying nothing while the less connected pay the full rate. It would be a plus to fix this, but we certainly don’t want to decrease the average rate in the midst of deficit hysteria.

          A bigger effect keeping jobs out of the USA is our lack of national health care. Imagine choosing between anywhere else in the developed world, like canada, where you don’t have to even think about employee health care, and the USA.

          OTOH, as US workers get beaten down more and more and become willing to work for less and less, we will attract jobs as a 3rd-world-like source of cheap labor. Minimal safety standards compared to europe, too. I think that’s the right’s idea of job creation. We can become for europe and asia what china used to be for us.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            60 minutes highlighted Ireland which has a 12.5% tax rate.  They also stated that every large US pharmaceutical and high tech company has a presence there.  They also highlighted Switzerland which they claimed had a corporate tax rate of 16%.  They showed the boom of US companies moving there to avoid US taxes.

            They were highlighting the moving of assets, like trademarks and patents, that are easy to move to avoid the taxes.  Some of these assets do involve jobs and some don’t.

            They stated that US corporations have $1.2+T sitting offshore.  This money won’t be invested in the US because of current tax law.  They interviewed the CEO of CISCO who advocated a one time tax amnesty to repatriate this money so it will be invested in the US.  He proposed a one time tax rate of 5% and painted this as a win-win.  60 minutes claimed the administration is against this but did not state any reason.

          • TomK in Boston

            Do you really want to highlight Ireland? They went all out for voodoo econ and had the standard results – a leveraged bubble which looked awesome for a few years, a horrendous crash, and now a near-depression that will take a long time to heal.

          • GUEST

            The tax amnesty created few jobs the last time it was tried. How come we did not see a surge in jobs during Bush’s years of certainty?

          • Me

            Because most people already had jobs, the unemployment rate hovered around 5%.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            “While the nominal rate is high (39%), the loopholes and exceptions are
            so huge that the effective rate is 27%, while the OECD average is 25%?
            What’s the big deal?”

            The big deal is the complexities in the tax code.  It creates incredible market inefficiencies.  We would be much better off with a lower tax rate (say 25%) and no loopholes.  This lobbyists in DC would fight this kind of reform tooth and nail.

          • TomK in Boston

            The big deal is what you pay and what
            gvt gets!! Do u really think “complexity”
            is more important than money? Is that
            like the “uncertainty” that every righty
            cites as the cause of unemployment
            instead of that minor matter of no demand
            from the busted middle class? Simplification
            wd be nice, revenue is essential.

            Employers avoid USA because it’s the
            only nation where they have to deal
            with health care!!!

          • GUEST

            Those inefficiencies didn’t seem to be a problem during Clinton’s time in office. The middle class still had jobs and could spend and support a consumer economy. This decade has put an end to that.

        • Ggerg

          Thank you Worried for the country(MA). A little honesty with the language (even if disagreed upon) does not seem like a lot to ask for.

      • TFRX

        Democrats say raise taxes on those grossing over $250,000 which include so many small business job creators.

        Do you know how few small businesses are in that category? Hint: The GOP tried to find a poster child for this, and failed as miserably as every other poster child hunt they’ve gone on.

        They got desperate enough to fluff Joe The Unlicensed Plumber’s Little Helper. When it becomes a problem for him, you may have made a point.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Perhaps the topic should have been the new Gallup poll that has Obama’s approval rating now below 40%.


      The guy is in way over his head and people are finally starting to wake up.

      • TomK in Boston

        I expect that Obama’s approval is cratering because liberals have finally woken up to the fact that he is not liberal! He’s sure lost my approval – I will not vote from him, no matter what wingnut the TeaOP runs. BHO is following a voodoo economics agenda with a vengeance, and, with his lib camo, doing more damage than a TeaOP could ever do.

      • TFRX

        Hey, right after I’m done reviewing every NPR segment about Shrub’s cratering poll numbers–under 40%, under 35%, holding at 30%–then we can get to Obama.

        Don’t hold your breath. NPR is a mainstream outlet, so Republicans get a 12-15% bonus in approval narrative coverage.

  • Barry

    I am outraged that On Point has provided a platform for such a radical ideologue as Kellyanne Conway.  I have never heard anyone so such outrageously self-righteous, so narrow-minded, and so hostile to anyone who doesn’t share her point of view on this show. It seems like On Point is conceding the principle of dialogue and discussion in deference to political expediency, another small victory in the fundamentalist jihad.

    • Me

      I have been a fan of Kellyanne Conway since she was Kellyanne Fitzpatrick. She’s great and kudos to on point for having her. I do consider On Point to be a liberal show but am always amazed at how much more liberal this blog is. At least Tom Ashbrook is reasonable. Open honest debate from all sides is a good thing in most circles. I do understand NPR needs to play to their audience which is overwhelmingly liberal and not very eager to listen to the great unwashed.

      • Anonymous

        To provide more balance, perhaps 50% of posts need to be from morons who repeat Republican talking points.

        • Me

          Thanks for proving my point. I sure am glad you guys a loosing the national debate and am eager for 2012.

          • nj

            Something’s “a loosing” all right!

          • Me

            “Are” loosing. I apologize profusely.

          • Anonymous

            Try again, the word is “losing.”

          • Me

            More apologies.

            Just a friendly suggestion, playing grammar police always ends up biting you in the butt. I try to stay away from it when I see errors, and I do. I freely admit to making the occasional mistake. I’m sure you can’t relate but the karmic gods will soon show you what I mean. Be extra careful.

          • Anonymous

            Is the On Point censor aware that WBUR just aired a reporter talking about candidate misspellings?  Perhaps they have looser standards.

          • nj

            That’s even funnier!

      • Anonymous

        It’s interesting how the right play the victim. As you do, and how they parse the whole thing as if people who are progressive are somehow not from this country or worse need to be in or disappear.
        They right wing in Argentina tried this in the late 70′s and early 80′s.
        What I hear from the likes of Kellyanne Conway is a lot extreme talking points that are more about an agenda than the issues facing the nation. That you support this rube says a lot about who you are.
        Which is fine, I on the other hand am vehemently opposed to everything you stand for. 

        • Ggerg

          I’m not sure what you mean by “victim”. I’m not complaining and I hardly think I’m treated fairly around here. I ask for it by my presence. I’m not one of you. Fine.

          I’m okay to associate myself with Conway and don’t mind your interpretation thereof. I’m also alright with your opposition but think you are being a bit dramatic about “everything” I stand for. For instance, we seem to agree (as gleaned from your previous comments) that alternate viewpoints should not be censored. We also seem to agree about misunderestimating Bachmann. You even stuck up for me once when someone accused me of being a religious nut. You may not recognize me as “Me”. Gregg or Ggerg do not work anymore on this computer. I spend most of the time blocked which only amplifies my “victim” status. Cool. 

          • Anonymous

            Well there is a difference in being in opposition to ones view points and banning them form posting. I would never ban you even if you were rude. I would ask you not to be rude. I’m all for open viewpoints no matter how extreme. Mind you a neo-nazi would be kind of hard to take. You get my drift. I do see the right acting as if they are victims of the so called “left wing media” which is absurd as it’s mostly owned by huge corporations such as GE. As I said before you want to see the poo fly try doing an expose on Monsanto.

            As to the religious stuff, well I’ve never seen any evidence of you supporting this. Mind you if you support Perry or Bachmann you will have to come to grips with their extremism in this area. As far as I’m concerned I find both of them pretty scary in this area and I would even go so far as to see them advocating for a more theocratic from of government. Which goes against the very idea of our nation.
            Just because the word God is used on the Declaration of Independence does not mean that the idea of the nation was to be a theocratic one.

          • Me

            Then we agree. And I really try never to be rude… sparky.

      • mary elizabeth

        With 90% of talk radio right wing, perhaps you could inform them about “open, honest debate from all sides”.    

        • Me

          Actually those right wing shows that have guests have a lots of liberals on to debate. Those like Rush who don’t have guests put liberal callers to the front of the line and treat them graciously. So I’m not sure I get your drift. Have you ever listened?

          You claim 90% but I would have guessed 95% or more. That’s not their fault. I listened to Air America while they were on and it was devoid of alternate viewpoints. I think that’s a big reason they failed despite the deep deep pockets of their sponsors. I would say ditto MSNBC (no one watches) and Olbermann at Algore’s Current TV. It’s just hard to garner an audience with hate and lies. It’s also hard to lose one with truth and honest debate. Radio stations don’t care about politics, they care about ratings. If a liberal talk show could get ratings then they would exist.

          • TFRX

            Do you realize how many people stopped reading at “Rush treats liberal callers graciously”?

            It’s very easy to garner an audience with hate and lies, especially if those listeners are suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

          • Me

            The only ones who stopped reading are those that have never listened to Rush and formed opinions based on what others (who have also not listened) told them to think. 


            Do you remember liberal columnist William Raspberry writing that Rush was a bigot and then after listening, apologizing?

            In 1993, Washington Post columnist William Raspberry wrote a piece blasting Limbaugh for his “demagoguery … his gay bashing, his racial putdowns.” Like the Mississippi segregationists of his youth, Raspberry said, Limbaugh “is so good at … tossing the raw meat of bigotry to people…. Limbaugh is a bigot.”

            Eleven days later, Raspberry wrote a second column retracting the first.

            “Rush, I’m sorry,” he began. He confessed, to his great credit, that the earlier piece had been written in ignorance. “My opinions about [Limbaugh] had come largely from other people — mostly friends who think Rush is a four-letter word. They are certain he is a bigot. Is he?”

            Raspberry — who by this point had listened to several hours of Limbaugh’s shows and perused one of his books — went on to answer his own question. Limbaugh might be “smart-alecky” and love “to rattle liberal cages,” he might be “unrelenting in his assault on … political correctness.” But he was no more a bigot or hatemonger than Art Buchwald.


          • Zing

            See?  I told you so

          • TFRX

            Stop assuming about what I’ve done. You’re making an ass out of you and you.

            And one pundit getting one thing wrong about Limbaugh, almost 20 years ago, proves very little.

          • Me

            You haven’t listened.

          • Dpweber83

            I’m a liberal who’s called into Limbaugh before, and I can say that I was neither treated graciously nor pushed to the front of the line.  Just my experience.

            Boston, MA

  • enough now

    Is there any interest in a show about steady-state economics?  Even Adam Smith recognized that there would be an eventual plateau in market growth that would require a transition to a balanced economy.  


    The picture looks line a b unch of kids at the first day of nursery school

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.janis Bill Janis

    What a total joke that Conway woman was.  How is that the CEO of a polling company?  I sure know how her “polls” turn out.  

    • Zing

      If you can find Zogby, ask him how his prediction of a Kerry win turned out.

  • Mary

    I’ve just started listening to the on-line audio. 15 minutes into the show and this Kellyanne Conway sounds like a campaigning pyscho not a pollster. I realized she would come from a more conservative viewpoint but thought she would at least be able to debate the candidates in a more reasonable fashion instead of insisting in a quasi-sarcastic manner that they are all better just ‘cuz. “They will be better just because they are are republican”… that’s a ridiculous notion. So they’ll overturn obama’s healthcare, whoo hoo. THEN what will they do?? Thats what a lot of us want to hear. I can’t believe how rude she was to Tom Ashbrooke and the other guests. I’m not AT ALL happy with Obama but people like this trumpeting the worth of the Republican candidates turn me off also. 

    • Zing

      Rush tried to warn you about Obama.

  • PDH

    I listen to NPR to find intelligent commentary, not nonsensical rants that run through what could have been an interesting, balanced discussion. Completely aside from the political aspects of this discussion, I can easily say that Conway was one of the worst NPR guests I have come across (in a long history with NPR). She refused to answer questions with anything but misplaced political ranting that were not enlightening in any respect, was rude to the other guests and frequently interrupted, and quite frankly came off as immature.

    • Zing

      I agree, and Congress should cease all funding of NPR immediately for having such a horrid person on.  

      • Steve

        Zing, you’re a laugh riot. You praise Ms Conway’s “passion” in another one of your (many) postings today, and here you agree with PDH that she’s “one of the worst NPR guests.” What’s up with you, Zing?


        • nj

          When all one is interested in is trolling, it doesn’t much matter what one says. Consistency and coherence are secondary to attention grabbing.

  • Buddhaclown

    “Rick Perry makes Bush look like a moderate,” says one commentator. I wish anti-Obama liberals would pull their heads out of the sand and stop implicitly working to undermine Obama and thereby elect some radical crazy like Perry or Bachmann. Then again, they seem so intent to have a leader who will be divisive and uncompromising, perhaps Perry is exactly who they should vote for. 

    • nj

      Oh, please. Obama has undermined himself by abandoning numerous campaign promises; extending/expanding Bush’s wars and tax cuts; hiring a raft of lobbyists; starting off with compromised positions then compromising even more; supporting the public option before opposing it; etc.; etc.

      The Obamabot Democrats that squeal when Republicans do these things, then find every reason to excuse it when the Dems behave the same way.

      • Zing

        Don’t forget Gitmo.  You-know-who called this amateur president for what he really is.

        • TFRX

          After Smug-faced AWOL Chimpy, having half the commercial press fluff the term “amateur” for Obama doesn’t result in the compelling “zing” you think it does.

          Try making up some of your own zingers for once. I can watch Fox&Friends any day.

      • Buddhaclown

        Abandoning numerous campaign promises? According to Politifact.com Obama’s promises kept outweigh those broken 4:1.

        Extending/expanding Bush’s wars? What are you talking about, we are virtually out of Iraq and Afghanistan withdrawal began this summer. That is a hell of a lot different than starting these wars based on lies and greed.

        Extending Bush tax cuts? You make it sound like he did that . . . the Republicans did that. Been left to his own devices that would never have happened, and he did it in order to extend unemployment benefits . . . but many libs hate the rich more than they want to help those out of a job I guess. Repubs wanted the Bush tax cuts, not Obama.

        Supporting the public option before opposing it? Making enemies with the insurance lobby would pretty much guarantee health care reform failure. So instead, Obama just turned them into allies and handed us a reform bill which provides universal health insurance. What difference does it make if the insurance is coming from private or public sources, this is just pure ideology and silly, it makes no difference in the end result.

        Anti-obama libs are nitpicking because they don’t know how to relate to politics in any other way than to be angry. But whining about there not being a public option is a luxury compared to the compared to the nightmares that a Rick Perry or Michele Bachman would bring. You guys just always fall into “they’re the same” line — just like Bush and Gore were just the same, right? — until we get a Repub and then you realize how stupid and childish your positions were.

        • nj

          “What difference does it make if the insurance is coming from private or public sources, this is just pure ideology and silly, it makes no difference in the end result.”

          Take a look at the per capita costs for any of the other socialized health care programs in industrialized countries and the overall health outcomes, then compare them to the U.S. and get back to us.

  • Kentchris

    For 30 years conservative republicans have been setting the tone and direction for this nation based on the idea that government is THE problem and that if we defund the government (with the exception of the military) we will be freer and better off as citizens.  What has become obvious at the end of this 30 year experiment is that it is not government that is the problem, rather it is the conservative republican party that is the problem.  Democrats, independents and what is left of old school rational republicans need to unite and unelect and defund this party until it is small enough to drown in a bathtub(Norquist).  2012

    • twenty-niner

      Total government spending as a percent of GDP has been steadily increasing for a hundred years with the last 30 being no exception. If the Republican mission is de-fund the government, they’re doing a piss poor job.

      • Kentchris

        I would agree that in general republicans do a piss poor job

        • twenty-niner

          One day, if they put a rat cage on my head, I guess I’ll learn to love big brother. Until then, starve the beast.

      • TomK in Boston

        Gvt revenue is 14% of GDP, lowest since 1950 when there was no medicare. Gee, wonder why we have a deficit, huh?

      • GUEST

        “Federal taxes are the lowest in 60 years, which gives you a pretty
        good idea of why America’s long-term debt ratios are a big problem. If
        the taxes reverted to somewhere near their historical mean, the problem
        would be solved at a stroke.””Income taxes, in particular, both personal and corporate, are low and falling. That trend is not sustainable.”

        Who is jpgraph?

        • twenty-niner

          Agreed, but state and local taxes, on average, are up significantly over the last 60 years. Total government spending is at historical highs. I refer you to actual figures that I posted below.

          • twenty-niner

             And I’m not arguing that taxes shouldn’t be raised for high earners and for capital gains. I’m just trying to frame the debate in terms of the whole picture.

        • Me

          The top bracket was 28% under Reagan and it’s now 35%. Was that 60 years ago? 

  • Anonymous

    @Sean B & @Richard:  Both excellent comments. To see lists of facts go to Paul Krugman’s column this morning:


    Do read the comments, which is where several commenters have provided their lists, with surprisingly little overlap.

    Then go to Krugman’s blog for an expansion of why the whole country (or each state) cannot put into practice Texas’s policies:

    Wages, Jobs, Texas, and the World

    The whole thing is revolting that people will jump to vote for such actions. But it is seen throughout the media on issues such as economic policy, CO2 emission mitigation, etc. As was pointed out this morning by Roger Simon (a repeat of “Inside Washington”), Adlai Stevenson said a long time ago, the Congress is elected by the voters who deserve them.” [Just a paraphrase of the statement on the program, but I have not been able to re-listen to it.]

  • Andy Draudt

    Hello “On Point” staff!   I need help listening to past shows online, and I can’t find an email address at WBUR to write to.
    When I go to a past show (e.g. Billy Collins show last week), and click “listen now”, it just opens a window which is a copy of the first window, and now player.  This happens in Firefox or MS explorer browsers.  Can you help?  I love being able to listen to past shows.

  • Sandraw

    Kellyanne Conway said  “The majority of Americans are against tax increases as well.” Not true. In an April 2011 Gallup poll, 59% of those surveyed thought “upper-income people pay too little income tax” and 67% thought “corporations pay too little income tax”. And in today’s New York Times, an op-ed by Warren Buffett pointed out that: “The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle-class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.” Most Americans are willing to see taxes rise for those earning over $100,000 a year. (See “How the American Public Would Deal with the Budget Deficit,”a study by the Program for Public Consultation, February 3, 2011, based on a survey of 2,046 Americans in late 2010.)

    • Zing

      Mr Buffett is free to write a check to the US Treasury at any time.

    • mperloe

      And, she was not called on a single piece of misinformation. Bad weekend Tom?

      • Steve

        Sadly, mperloe, I have to agree with your criticism of Mr Ashbrook,–his weekend notwithstanding. But where are the sensible Republican spokespersons available for radio these days? Who in their right Republican mind would defend a Bachmann, or a Perry? Or, for that matter, a Romney, who, for all his obvious back-room good sense, has a campaign persona of a weather vane in a tornado?

  • Rob (in NY)

    I know this discussion board leans to the political left, but some independent and critical thinking should be encouraged, regardless of political thinking should be encouraged regardless of political affiliation.   Many of you post Paul Krugman columns as if Krugman is infallible and represents some form of gospel of truth in American poltics. I do read Krugman’s columns, but in reality sbout as neutral as the Op Ed page of the WSJ  Here is my favorite Krugman column from the archives (August 2, 2002).  


     “To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.”   

    Perhaps, Krugman is not as  infallible as those on the left would like to think.

    • Anonymous

      Well what’s your point? That Paul Krugman doe not always get it right. He does however happen to have some very sound ideas based on years of study in the subject. He called the downturn and was right about the housing bubble. 

      you talk of critical thinking but I don’t see much evidence in your post of it. I do not see any evidence in anything Bachmann has said in the public arena. In fact not one of the republican presidential hopefuls has said how they would fix the economic mess we are in.
      Other than cut taxes which even conservative economist have said is a fools errand. David Stockman comes to mind in this regard. 

      I’ve listened and read many of Stockman’ ideas and theories on the subject and I find myself agree with him on many of his points. Particularly the need for more revenue to deal with the deficit. 

      • Rob (in NY)

        My main points were:

        1) Krugman does not always get it right (e.g. I have never  met the economist who does).  I do not remember reading much from Krugman in his columns about a housing bubble prior to 2006 or 2007 so I am not sure I would say he “called” the housing bubble.    Once again, I respect Krugman and read his column, but I was simply pointing out that he is not infallible.     

        2) Even well intentioned government action can lead to disasterous consequences.  I do not believe that those who supported aggressive monetary action in 2002 (e.g. Greenspan, Bernanke, Krugman, etc…) realized they were planting the seeds for a far greater bubble and recession, but the actions taken at time did create much larger longer term economic problems.  I believe we are repeating some of the same mistakes now, by ignoring  threats to longer term growth (e.g. structural problems with entitlements, decaying infrastructure, etc…) as we argue over only the discretionary part of the federal budget.    

        I agree with your comments regarding Bachmann.   

    • Me

      Krugman is entirely too partisan to be taken seriously. 


      The fiscal 2003 deficit was about $377 billion, or 3.4% of GDP. Krugman worried “that the 10-year deficit will be at least $3 trillion” and about “the future liabilities of Social Security and Medicare.”
      Cut to the present. The deficit hit $1.4 trillion in 2009, or 9.9% of GDP. It’s expected to climb to $1.6 trillion in 2010, part of an $8.5 trillion shortfall over a decade. With baby boomers now starting to retire, the liabilities of Social Security and Medicare aren’t much in the future anymore. But now Krugman claims, “The long-run budget outlook is problematic, but short-term deficits aren’t — and even the long-term outlook is much less frightening than the public is being led to believe.”
      Now it’s even worse (above is old) and Krugman is still singing the same tune. 

    • twenty-niner

      Yes, replace a tech bubble, with a housing bubble, and then a government spending bubble, and finally a currency printing bubble. And then, game over. Krugman is world-class hack.

      • Dave in CT

        Game over? We just move on to the Amero, and then the Eartho.  When the World Central Bank (I wager it’ll still be unaccountable) pumps up the Eartho bubble, then I guess it’s over. The gulags will be a hoot!

        • Dave in CT

          “The leaders of France and Germany on Tuesday promised to take concrete steps toward a closer political and economic union of the 17 countries that use the euro, but it was unclear whether their proposals would be sufficient, or come quickly enough, to satisfy markets anxious over Europe’s debts and listless economies.”

          Can we just “satisfy markets” once and for all and move to one world government, one world currency, and a one-world financial elite orgasm of a central bank, so that we can finally rid the world of the evil notions of alternatives and liberty?  I’m tired of this Mickey-mouse corrupt corporatist US government, I want it on a global scale, with no chance of escape!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Krugman was on Fareed Zakaria GPS yesterday debating a Harvard economist (Ken Rogoth).  It was actually quite a good economic debate.  Krugman was promoting the Keynesnian idea that simply paying people to dig ditches then fill them in was preferable to doing nothing.

    • Roy Mac

      Hey, you guys!  Take it outside!  This board is about the Iowa popularity contest!  Geez!

  • Rick in Canadia

    In Canada, our province of Alberta is like your Texas.
    Oil and gas revenues have allowed budget surpluses and the building up of a rainy day fund.  Taxes are low and when unemployment rises across the country it is always better there.
    Rick Perry hasn’t had to work any magic to have his state look good, and it sounds like he hasn’t taken good care of the most vulnerable.

    He is bragging about the record of a fortunate state, not a shrewd governor.
    Rick in Canadia

  • Steve

    Ms Conway is the emblem of Republic discourse today. When Mr Ashbrook asked her a simple, obvious, and rather mundane question about the rigid requirements–you must be against taxes and same-sex marriage and abortion–that a potential Republican nominee must meet, Ms Conway accused him of repeating a Democratic (I’m sure she’d say “Democrat”) slogan. Rather than answer the question thoughtfully, she went on the attack. And what else was her final statement but a recitation of Right-Wing talk-radio talking points? These extremists are going to hand Obama the election, which, in turn, will provide people like Ms Conway with steady paychecks for the following four years.

  • Zing

    Great show.  Conway’s passion played well against the the drab talking points of the ivory tower failure from 2004.  Bring her back; she was refreshing.  

    • Roy Mac

      She can clean my bathrooms any Monday or Friday; she clearly has a passion for mucking around in the toilets.

    • andygee

      One man’s “refreshing” is another man’s “rude, strident, ditzy, and prone make puzzling statements about what “everybody” thinks. 
      Reality check time!

  • nj

    One has to look around a bit these days to find anything that resembles real journalism, but here’s something:


    “Two years ago, a concerted effort by a corporate-funded Tea Party movement to get conservatives out to town hall meetings changed the dynamic in Washington on health care reform and paved the way for the eventual House GOP takeover in the 2010 elections. In two separate work periods this year, ordinary citizens, with absolutely no help or encouragement from an organized progressive movement, have made their voices heard at town hall meetings, in particular by harassing conservative lawmakers about their plans to end Medicare and put forward a balanced budget amendment, as well as their opposition to tax fairness. If this organic movement were happening on the right, it would be front-page news in every national newspaper in the country. We know because the distinctly non-organic movement in 2009 was front-page news.In order to find out about this movement, you have to go to local news sites.”Despite the organized noise of the Tea Bagger wing of the Republicans and Fox so-called News and the dominance of the corporate wing of the Democrats over the entire party, could it be that there is an informed, and, yes, liberal electorate waiting for strong, principled, unwavering leadership?While the vocal Baggers and the ensuing attention they are paid suck all the air out of most political discourse, and while the corporate media obsess over tactics, strategy, and atmospherics, there may be a story here waiting to be covered.Whaddya say, On Point? Take a step outside of the Washington-based line-up of the usual suspects and talking heads?

    • Me
      • Roy Mac

        Actually, real journalists–not the hired guns who flack for the biggest bucks–label posers for what they are:  Tea baggers and Faux News.  Get used to it.

      • nj

        I’m not claiming to be a journalist, so i’ll use whatever terms i care to.

        The quote from the Web site ended with the closed quote mark. The rest of the comments were mine. For some reason, the line spacing disappeared when the post went up, which i suppose can be confusing. Then again, some people are easily confused.Then after such concern over journalistic integrity, comes a reference to The Washington Examiner! Gotta love it!http://mediamatters.org/research/200502030002On February 1, a free daily tabloid arrived on newsstands and in mailboxes in the Washington, DC area: the Washington Examiner. The new paper is owned by Denver billionaire Philip F. Anschutz, an Evangelical Presbyterian who has bankrolled numerous ultra-conservative causes and has donated at least half a million dollars to Republican committees and political candidates. The Examiner’s first three editorials all took hardline conservative positions.

        • Me

          My bad, I missed the exit quotation mark and have had the same thing happen to me. Go right ahead and continue using offensive and childish terms.

          That is a really lame attempt to shoot the messenger and avoid the issue. First there are three links not one, second there is a difference between editorials and reporting, third don’t come at me with Podesta and scream conspiracy.

  • Victor Todisco

    Rick Perry allowed Todd Willingham to be executed in 2004 for a crime he did not commit (accused of deliberately setting a fire to kill his two young daughters).  Then Perry suppressed the investigation which proved that the execution was a mistake.  Says a lot about the guy, I hope it comes back to haunt, him in more ways than one.  (You can read details in The New Yorker, Sept 7, 2009, and Frontline also covered it).

    Victor, New Jersey

  • slopester68

    I’m pretty sure the average American that is upper middle class and below wants to have taxes raised …on the excessively wealthy.   Comments to the contrary that are routinely being made by the guest commentator, Kelly Ann Conway, and others like Michelle Bachman and Mitt Romney and many others, need to be shot down and clarified on the spot.   They keep making statements like, “most of the average americans I talk to say they don’t want taxes raised”, their own taxes.  During this budget fiasco, they were only talking about making the rich and corporations pay their fair share, not raising taxes for everyone …fix that first, then talk about modifying things like the mortgage interest write-off, etc.. that may effect us average americans that are barely getting by ..

  • EastIdaho

    Holy smokes, what planet is this Kellyanne Conway from? Does she listen or just talk?

  • volcano

    Maybe the Republicans ought to look up the head of the Taliban. I think he’s conservative enuf to please the tea-party and make these other whimps cringe in sham.

  • Victor G. Jackson

    TX Balanced Budget?
    Diverted Funds
    from Elderly & Poor
    Texas Public Radio:  The System Benefit Fund

    Segment 1: 

    In parts of Texas, the electricity market is private and deregulated,
    and there is some financial assistance for the poor.
    It’s called the System Benefit Fund, a $650 million dollar account.
    Yet, State Representative Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) says

    the money isn’t all being used to help the poor.
    Instead, it’s being held by the state government as an accounting
    tactic to improve the state’s budget position.

  • Anonymous

    This is from an editorial from the NY Times by Steven Rattner:

    In the middle of all the debt default drama and stock market turbulence,
    the leading Republican presidential candidates have begun to fill in
    the shadowy outlines of their positions on major economic issues.

    And what a picture it is, a philosophy oriented around shrinking the
    role of the federal government in every imaginable way, by slashing
    spending, cutting taxes and halting or rescinding regulations. Their
    mantra is repeal and retrenchment, devoid of new initiatives or a
    positive agenda.


  • Anonymous

    “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporatio­ns which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
    Thomas Jefferson, 1816

    “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrat­ed in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Louis D. Brandeis

    “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the
    growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than
    their democratic state itself. That, in essence, is fascism.”

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    • TFRX

      Money is like manure: Doesn’t do anyone hardly any good if you lump it all in one place.
      Harry S Truman

  • Etcavanagh

    Kellyann Conway is a terrible guest! Was she there to analyzie Republican politics or campaign against Obama? She needs to separate those two things.

    She also needs to get her facts straight–the public supports tax increases to our deficit (as well as spending cuts). I have not found a poll that says otherwise.

  • gerry jarcia

     gotta work hard to keep the spotlight off of Ron Paul.

    Ames Straw Poll Results:

    Bachmann: 4823
    Paul: 4671

    hmmm…but let’s talk about “the top tier” and pretend Paul isn’t even a part of that with only 200 less votes than Bachmann…

    • nj

      152 less, but who’s counting?

    • Mary

      He’s popular in a small crowd until people really start to look at his positions.. on goverment…. drugs.. he’s actually for decriminalizing drugs.. Many people would agree that the war on drugs has failed but can’t agree on what to do with it.. and many are still used to putting people in jail for it.  Smaller government would no doubt mean closing many of those jails where people are sitting incarcerated for drug offenses.. 

  • John Hester

    Kellyanne Conway was an obnoxious guest who did nothing but try to overrun the show with her political talking points. She is perfect for Fox News, but why on earth would On Point invite her onto their show? I think the answer is because mainstream media types are so self-conscious about being accused of being liberal that they try to compensate by inviting such people.

  • John Hester

    They actually allowed this point of view to be expressed, and they discussed why Ron Paul is not yet being taken seriously despite the straw poll. I do think that there should be an entire show on the phenomenon of Ron Paul. He needs to get more exposure, but I don’t think this show was the one to do it.

    • Anonymous

      Ron Paul standing in the Iowa poll shows what a joke this poll is rather than gives him stature as a serious candidate.

      • TFRX

        Hey, at $30 a pop, it is pretty serious. Wonder how many people stayed away because they couldn’t get one of the candidates to buy their ballot.

  • Walnut28

    Bachmann was a foster mother to 23?  Laudable, but did she accept gov’t money for this service? If so, does she propose that this program be discontinued as part of the cutbacks? 

    • CG

      “Rethuglican” here.  I don’t like her acceptance of government money either.  To me it translates into, “Government Largess for me, not for you!”

      I also feel she has no real executive experience.  But take heart, I believe the Ames poll is mostly a “Miss Congeniality” win.

      I would like Romney to be president, but I don’t think he’ll get the nomination.  I think Perry will take it.

    • nj

      As a rep, she petitioned the federal government for financial assistance, she worked for the federal government, she used government money for a Tea Bagger rally, her husband’s degayification clinic got $30,000 from the state of Minnesota over five years, a family farm got $260,000 in federal farm subsidies…




    • Mary

      I believe she did accept $$ to foster the kids.. Most states will offer some sort of stipend to accept foster kids.. to cover the additional cost of their board and housing and clothing.. as well as the time you spend with them.

  • CG

    I’m not a fan of Perry, but I think the guy got his facts wrong when talking about most of the jobs being minimum wage.  Interesting stats here:  http://www.politicalmathblog.com/?p=1590

    Also, the guy may think Texas has bad public services, but I’m unisurable, and went to check out Texas’ high risk pool: http://www.txhealthpool.com/RegularPlanRateTables.pdf  Not great, but a lot better than a lot of places (S. Carolina/California).

    Also, the Texas NAEP (school scores) for 2011 are kind of awesome: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147495390

  • PJ

    Thom, I’ve posted similar messages in the past.

    You generally start out with a reporter pointing out the facts then follow with a left leaning and right leaning guest. But you need to do more to weed out zealots on either side of the isle.

  • Dr. Jesus J. Gonzales

    You are TERRIBLE ! ! !   How can you let Kellyanne Conroy get away with such lies?  She said that the the Democratic Party is monolithic: everyone must support taxes; support abortion; support gay-marriage, etc.  But that the Iowa Straw Poll demonstrated that the Republicans are a big tent: broad perspectives are allowed.  This is a patent lie.  Each candidate echoed the others on every issue, including NO taxation. 

    Shame on you ! ! !

  • nj

    She’s all shook up…


    “Rep. Michele Bachmann, who received a lot of unfavorable press for comments that some claimed mixed up movie iconJohn Wayne with serial killer John Wayne Gacy, was campaigning in Spartanburg S.C., on Tuesday when she urged her supporters to wish Elvis Presley happy birthday.

    Unfortunately, Tuesday was the 34th anniversary of the death of Presley. He was actually born on Jan. 8, 1935.”

    Can’t make this stuff up!

  • Sean from PA

    I just listened to this podcast on Thursday and have to say I am disgusted with the behavior of Kellyanne Conway and I think you dropped the ball Tom.  You posed a completely legitimate question about the narrowness of the GOP field after she made a statement  about them being a “big tent party”.  In response she called you a liberal twice and spewed propaganda and talked over everyone else.
    I’m a left leaning independent and like hearing the views of people I disagree with. I listen to your show to be informed and to hear well thought out intelligent arguments from all sides. If I wanted to listen to rudeness, lies and talking points I’d tune into FOX and follow up with a bit of MSNBC. Please stop being afraid of these people. To defend yourself and your question would not be “liberal”. The only people that would think it was are the people that don’t get beyond the talking points and I bet they don’t listen to your show. It’s normally to challenging and full of insight for them. Not so much today though.

  • BL

    Many people have called attention to Kellyanne Conway’s hyper-aggressive, hypocritical, and factually challenged behavior on the show.  I’m just posting to encourage the producers of the show to not invite guests like this in the future.  It’s good to have ideologically diverse guests, bad to have people who seem better suited for cable news style shout-fests.

    • JayB

      Whatever happened to intelligent, thoughtful conservative analysts?  I never hear anyone capable of filling the shoes of William F. Buckley, or David Gurgen anymore.  Surely there are still articulate, sane conservatives out there, yes?  People whom one can respect, even if one disagrees with them?

      • CG

        I like Charles Krauthaumer, Glenn Reynolds, and Thomas Sowell.  I would love especially to hear Glenn on NPR!

  • http://police-state-watch.blogspot.com/ JTWilliams

    Why’d you leave that joke Huntsman in the photo, NPR? Is he a contender? No, he’s a joke. Take out Ron Paul, paste in John Huntsman- typical

  • Bluejay2fly

    Stop having guests call in on cheap cell phones or skype it is torture. 

Aug 27, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, center, looks at them, prior to their talks after after posing for a photo in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s leader meet. We’ll look at Russia and the high voltage chess game over Ukraine. Plus, we look at potential US military strikes in Syria and Iraq.

Aug 27, 2014
The cast of the new ABC comedy, "Black-ish." (Courtesy ABC)

This week the Emmys celebrate the best in television. We’ll look at what’s ahead for the Fall TV season.

Aug 26, 2014
Matthew Triska, 13, center, helps Alex Fester, 10, to build code using an iPad at a youth workshop at the Apple store on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, in Stanford, Calif.  (AP)

Educational apps are all over these days. How are they working for the education of our children? Plus: why our kids need more sleep.

Aug 26, 2014
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, right, speaks with Ady Barkan of the Center for Popular Democracy as she arrives for a dinner during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.  (AP)

Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer says he and his fellow super-rich are killing the goose–the American middle class — that lays the golden eggs.

On Point Blog
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Poutine Whoppers? Why Burger King Is Bailing Out For Canada
Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

Why is Burger King buying a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain? (We’ll give you a hint: tax rates).

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1 Comment
Why Facebook And Twitter Had Different Priorities This Week
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

There’s no hidden agenda to the difference between most people’s Facebook and Twitter feeds this week. Just a hidden type of emotional content and case use. Digiday’s John McDermott explains.

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Our Week In The Web: August 22, 2014
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

On mixed media messaging, Spotify serendipity and a view of Earth from the International Space Station.

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