90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Week In The News: Anwar al-Awlaki Reported Dead, FBI Busts Plot, Chris Christie

Republicans beg Chris Christie to run. The FBI stings a would-be terrorist. Saudi women will get the vote. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Police carry away a participant in a march organized by Occupy Wall Street in New York on Saturday Sept. 24, 2011. Marchers represented various political and economic causes. (AP)

Police carry away a participant in a march organized by Occupy Wall Street in New York on Saturday Sept. 24, 2011. Marchers represented various political and economic causes. (AP)

An American drone strike has taken down a top Al Qaeda voice in Yemen this week. Anwar al-Awlaki, killed today we’re told. And a homegrown, amateur drone strike on the Pentagon and US Capitol, thwarted — says the FBI – in Washington.

It’s been a week of shifts and begging in the GOP. Rick Perry tumbling, Mitt Romney steady. Republicans begging Chris Christie to run for president. We’ve got super-tough immigration laws upheld in Alabama, bad cantaloupe, China in space.

This hour On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

John Heilemann, National affairs editor for New York Magazine.

Chrystia Freeland, Global Editor-at-Large of Reuters news.

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post “Senate leaders agreed to a deal Monday evening that is almost certain to avert a federal government shutdown, a prospect that had unexpectedly arisen when congressional leaders deadlocked over disaster relief funding.”

The New York Times “The next Russian Revolution started this month. It will be another two or three or even four decades before the Russian people take to the streets to overthrow their dictator — and the timing will depend more on the price of oil than on anything else — but as of Sept. 24, revolution rather than evolution became Russia’s most likely path in the medium term.”

NPR “And I don’t expect it to -– they can’t turn it off overnight. I’m not asserting that the Pak mil or the ISI has complete control over the Haqqanis. But the Haqqanis run that safe haven. They’re also a home to al-Qaida in that safe haven.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Dave in CT

    An interesting read in light of Wall St. Protests, political candidates, and our continuing search for justice regarding the financial calamity (We still want justice, don’t we?).

    The Rule of Law or the Rule of Central Bankers?

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj30n3/cj30n3-3.pdf

    • Hidan

      Catch Ron Paul on the daily show? pretty good..

      Or how the FBI thwarted it’s own terrorist plot

      “The FBI has received substantial criticism over the past decade — much
      of it valid — but nobody can deny its record of excellence in thwarting
      its own Terrorist plots.  Time and again, the FBI concocts a Terrorist
      attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits,
      persuades them to perpetrate the attack, supplies them with the money,
      weapons and know-how they need to carry it out — only to heroically
      jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the
      FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by
      the FBI. ”

      http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/index.html

    • JustSayin

      Hey Dave. since you’re a Ron Paul acolyte, is this list really accurate? Dr. Ron Paul’s 11-Point Plan That Could Save America:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-trice/ron-paul-11-point-plan_b_947832.html?ref=mostpopular

      • Dave in CT

        thanks for the link. looks real.  I don’t know if I’m an acolyte, its just that when I read things about our political-economic situation that make sense, and then look at what candidates are closest to that, I see Ron Paul’s name and declared principles.

        • Dave in CT

          Notice how on the abortion issue, while he says RW is unconstitutional across 50 states, he’s says a Fed law banning it in 50 state would also be.  So while he is pro-life personally, he defers to the constitution on the issue.  As a pro-choicer, who wouldn’t want to live in a state with a no-choice law, I still respect his principle for the law and for the concept of states as laboratories, and the people smart enough and free enough to choose what to do/which states to live in.

          That is obviously a nasty isuue, but I’ll take his constitutional view, and the rest of the liberty, over a GOP authoritarian with unconstitutional power dreams any day. 

          Not an easy one. Hope point not lost here on the singe issue voters.

          • Anonymous

            It is legal because of the Constitution. 

          • JustSayin

            Poor Mr. Paul, his personal belief is held hostage to the SJC. If he really is a “liberty” candidate he would not hold a view in opposition to freedom of others and excuse it, by hiding behind the law. Too much honesty garners too few votes?

        • JustSayin

          He wants to eliminate the EPA because he feels the agency is keeping polluters from not polluting?

          • Dave in CT

            You believe that?

          • JustSayin

            What I believe is irrelevant, because I’m not running for national leadership. My question to you as someone who is up to date on Mr. Paul is: How does eliminating the EPA engender greater civic responsibility for corporate entities? 

            Removing and weakening the government as the only voice, and lawful protector of the people is a formula for chaos. I have a reality check for Mr. Paul. Without the ability to enforce laws…there are no laws. 

          • Dave in CT

            “Without the ability to enforce laws…there are no laws.”

            You still don’t get it. What the Rule of Law means.
            What we lack is not law, or an ability to enforce it. We lack the WILL to enforce them, because our system does NOT respect the concept of rule of law.  We instead have settled on the notion that agencies in Washington should have DISCRETIONARY abilities to enforce what is the legal feeling du jour. We believe if we put the “right people” with the “right ideas” in power, they will of course make the right discretionary decisions to save us from ourselves.

            The rule of law takes the discretion, and hence the corruptibility and cronyism OUT of law enforcement.

            It doesnt’ remove law, it removes the corruptible human element from it’s enforcement.

            This is not that hard  a concept guys, and the whole Western world was actually founded on it.  The problem is we have drifted so far from its form, and trended toward utopian hope of handing over centralized, discretionary power to solve all our problems and make difficult choices for us, so we can concentrate on enjoying our consumption.

            http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj30n3/cj30n3-3.pdf

            http://www.thefreemanonline.org/headline/diversity-ends-rules/

            It takes more than just well-intentioned laws. It takes commitment to an approach that makes laws only against things that encroach on individual liberty, and that demands they be executed without prejudice or passion.

            Just read that Central Banking and Rule of Law piece….

          • Dave in CT

            Cox, Bush appointment to SEC.  Plenty of Law + Crony appointment = No law enforcement against corruption/collusion

            Fannie Mae, under Clinton, trying to boost “affordable home ownership” good intention. Picking winners by making exceptions to normal loan requirement + political lobbying to keep congressional nose out of regulatory responsibilities + Dodd throwing investment banking and Insurance companies bailout promise into FDIC requirements (moral hazard) + arbitrary, discretionary Fed low interest rate environment = Greatest Economic disaster since 1920′s boom and crash/Depression.

            Both parties, making arbitrary decisions left and right, while plenty of laws on the books, with absolutely NO regard for a dispassionate, level playing field rule of law.

          • JustAskin

            “What we lack is not law, or an ability to enforce it. We lack the WILL
            to enforce them, because our system does NOT respect the concept of rule
            of law.  We instead have settled on the notion that agencies in
            Washington…”

            Who is going to enforce it? Vigilantes? Blackwater?  Who? …Just how do those laws get enforced.

            “It takes more than just well-intentioned laws. It takes commitment to an
            approach that makes laws only against things that encroach on
            individual liberty”

            So the EPA is enforcing laws against individual liberty? How so?  

          • Dave in CT

            Did you read the Rule of Law and Central Banking thing? Did it talk about not enforcing laws? Or did it actually talk about ruthlessly, and courageously enforcing laws, without political, or cronyistic consideration, to bring about very different ends than what we have seen.

            But keep criticizing the red herring characterization of liberty ideas or rule of law you have in your mind, rather than addressing the substance of the ideas I have posted.

            Its easier, and makes for easier party button pushing at the polls.

          • JustSayin

            The Red Herring is “central banking” and “Will”. This discussion is about how eliminating the EPA will make polluters less polluting, and has been from the very start. I don’t know how I could make my questions any clearer.

            Libertarians are understandably confused and willfully reject ANY aspect of their ideology that does not work.

          • Dave in CT

            I know you don’t want to, but we are thinking a little bigger and a little more systemically, than the good intentions of any one agency. The confusion, any myopia, appears to be yours with all due respect.

  • Hidan

    Congress just announced that the U.S. will be threatening to cut off Aid to Israel after Tuesday announcement of 1100 new housing units on internally illegally occupied land. Congressman/women stated the reason was that Israel has made a Unilateral action.

    The White house spokesman  Jay Carney  said “After the U.S. embarrassed itself with the threat to veto the recognition of a Palestinian state and looking like a fool once again to the world it is not acceptable for the tail to be wagging the dog and will reconsidered our  veto threat since 42% of americans are against using our veto compare to only 26%……..

    JK, the white house, after once again getting Bslaped accrossed the face is still blindly supporting such a actor but on the bright side there “deeply disappointed” of course congress could give two___s

  • Hidan

    Also in the news if you haven’t seen this, once again the cops show what pigs there are. Seems the piggie are attacking and arresting journalist and reporter or anyone with a video first. I wonder why?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ05rWx1pig

    I hope onpoint talks about the near black out for weeks of bahrain actions against it’s peaceful protestors and the near deafening soundfrom such people as Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and the likes.

  • Paul, Boston MA

    The media has criticized the Wall Street protesters of not being able to articulate exactly what they are protesting, and the media has been pretty much right.

    Maybe Bank of America’s new debit card fee announcement will give them some focus.  

    • Zing

      Stick with the media on this one.

    • JustSayin

      BOA shows all the characteristics of well deserved and impending collapse. People will vote with their feet, and leave BOA and the other IB’s, in favor of small community banks, BOA and other large banks may move to the “account closure fee” to slow the losses.

    • AC

      i don’t understand how they justify the charge? they are laying off employess because everything is done instantly, electronically and people don’t go to brick and mortar banks anymore – so what does the $5 pay for? Just to keep their numbers the same? Won’t their numbers stay the same simply from dismissing 30k +/- worth of salaries from layoffs? I hope people do leave them for this & teach them a lesson.

    • nj

      Corporations and the rich have pretty much rigged the system to everyone else’s detriment.

      What’s so hard to understand about that?

      The corporate media are part of that effort, so of course they’re going to denigrate the effort (“half-naked women, dirty hippies).

      What are you doing to fight the oppression?

    • Cory

      I just can’t shake the feeling that I will one day keep my near worthless money in my mattress.

      • Jasoturner

        Put the bills through the wash first.  Makes ‘em softer…

      • nj

        Why wait?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, it’s not focused, laser-like, along the lines of “taxed enough already” and “keep government out of my Medicare” or “Obama is a socialist”. 

      I have heard numerous interviews with protesters and they’re message  could not be any more clearly articulated:  “Our financial sector centered on Wall Street is a corrupt partner of our corrupt federal government and is siphoning a large portion of the gain created by the real economy for the benefit of a tiny number of connected people to the detriment of the vast majority of Americans and our country’s interests.”

      Not as catchy as an Obama sign with a Hitler mustache but not hard to understand.

  • JustSayin

    The FBI sting on the model airplane bomber was just stellar. I felt the rare emotion of respect for a government agency. Very well done by all of the agencies involved.

    It is fascinating that this guy should have had no reason to be dissatisfied with his life in America. Most Americans couldn’t even dream of the opportunity’s of wealth and community this guy had been given.

    Such is the power of religion. It exploits small mental aberrations into full blown psychosis. Religious beliefs against physics… It had to go one way or the other.

    • Jasoturner

      It is highly ironic that terrorists employ technology to act on behalf of their religious beliefs, which represent anti-scientific thinking at it’s strongest.

      John Updike wrote a great book called “Terrorist” that you might enjoy a lot, considering your second paragraph.  Check it out if you can.

      • JustSayin

        I would buy that book if I could pay cash, but in this new police state, I will have to forgo purchasing a book titled “Terrorist”. I may want to fly somewhere some day without getting strip searched and beaten at the air port check-in.

    • Cory

      Imagine how many Americans will turn to violence when things get REALLY bad in America.  Good thing my stste just passed conceal and carry.  Best to have lots of people packin’ heat when the guano hits the fan.

  • Winston Smith

    Despite Dina Temple-Raston’s one sided report this week on NPR against the use of drones, yesterday’s killing of the American born terrorist, propagandist, and al -Qaeda leader Anwar al- Awlaki confirms the need for us to continue to use drones to inflict these attacks on terrorists.  These people are blood-thirsty animals who are not only willing, but specifically target innocent civilians in their attacks.  They need to be tracked down and killed.  They are going to hate us anyway, so let’s kill them before they attack and kill us.

    • AC

      this is a foolish argument. who are ‘these people’? seems like another small band of lunatic fanatics to me – we have our own in this country, like the McVeighs.
      I don’t know how you keep track or capture these idiots, but I don’t think you can just take it out on ‘normal’ everyday people which is what your action proposes – seriously, I think it would just prolong and deteriorate a situation that’s already pretty tense…

      • Winston Smith

        I am not in favor of indiscriminate attacks against innocent people.  But I do believe that we should go after known or suspected terrorist as well as those who intentionally incite others to become terrorists.

        • nj

          Stupid, short-sighted policy guaranteed to generate perpetual resentment and hatred against the U.S.

          Right-wing hegemonists like Winston care not about any sort of judicial process. Suspicion is reason enough to remotely kill even American citizens in areas far from any combat zone, based on secret intelligence.

          Imagine when other countries develop drone-attack capability, and they begin to justify attacking individuals who may live and operate in the United States based on the very same reasoning that the U.S. now uses for its program.

          Just keep repeating, “they” hate us for our “freedoms.”

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/world/asia/12drones.html?pagewanted=all

          • Winston Smith

            And I would bet that you subscribe to the theory that the flying of airplanes into the WTC on 9/11 was our fault and that the people who did this were simply reacting to our belligerent actions?  And if we had done nothing but apologized to them for inspiring to react in this way, that all would be well by this point in time?

          • Yar

            Not everything is separated as good or evil.  9/11 was evil, but that does not make us good by contrast.  We have blood on our hands, 2 % of the world’s population can’t continue to use 20% of world’s resources without making at least a few people upset.  
            Is spending money on green energy companies like solyndra “evil” if it lowers our dependence on imported energy?  We make mistakes, but we should try to be a better world citizen.  
            Bending the curve toward less exploitation, if you only see the world in black and white, then I doubt you will understand.

          • Winston Smith

            Solyndra is the poster child for why government should not be involved in picking winning and losing technologies.  Perhaps the Chinese government can do it, but we don’t seem to be able to.

            And as far as reducing energy consumption, I think that hypocrites like Al Gore (multiple huge mansions that consume massive amounts of energy), Barbara Streisand, The Kennedys, and many other leftists should walk their talk in terms of reducing their energy consumption.  Perhaps if they did so, other people would take the arguments for doing so more seriously. 

          • Yar

            “be involved in picking winning and losing technologies.” Case in point of polarized thinking.  
            For every “winner” you see a loser.
            Using less energy makes us all win, even oil companies will still have a role.  We use oil for other things than fuel. 
            Moving to a sustainable economy is necessary for long term survival.  I am sorry you are so full of “liberal hate”.  Is that one our your spiritual gifts?

          • Anonymous

            This is what’s really troubling about WS’s comments and the political faction they represent:  the manichean nature of the thinking. 

            9/11 was a great example of multiple “faults,” all of which needed correction for us to avoid a repeat:

            Our prep and communications systems were (and continue to be!) inadequate. 
            We had a president who, for whatever reason, ignored an important warning, making reasonable the view that he may have had a use for such an attack. 
            There were and are growing nationalist, religious extremist movements in this decade, movements in the Middle East and in the US, that need to be monitored carefully and dealt with effectively.

            All these elements and many others are part of the before and after of 9/11.  To focus on one element alone is insufficient and dangerous.  To focus on one element (bin Laden) and then go gunnin’ for another in another part of the Middle East and Central Asia (Saddam Hussein) is beyond insane and into deliberate malfeasance.  Etc.  Etc. 

            9/11 was and continues to be complicated, an event that revealed serious fault lines in the US that remain unaddressed and dangerous.

          • Yar

            You mean sunspots are not the cause of political polarization?  It sure seems that they are.
            We continue to confuse and find cause and effect where none exists.  But some people use the current conditions to exploit us.  I have theory that the makers of the golden calf were really after peoples gold.  They used fear among the masses to convince them to give them their gold and made a calf.   
            Isn’t interesting that just such an idol is the symbol of Wall Street. 
            We never learn. 

          • JustSayin

            It an even more fitting symbol than that. It’s made of bronze…they would never squander gold.  Considering the price of copper, they may clandestinely swap it out some night for a wooden one.

          • nj

            Nice!

          • nj

            Winston deftly moves from U.S. foreign policy and al Quada to Al Gore and Streisand. He’s too good for me, i can’t keep up.

          • TFRX

            Yeah, keep Fox News on 24×7, and when the last leftie has moved into a semi-detached condo, Fox will stop smearing them?

            Whatever you’re ingesting, I want some of it.

            And Solyndra is small potatos next to the Bush scandals in military contracting and mining resources. But you won’t see that from what you consider “news”.

          • nj

            Even your accusatory assumption reflects your narrow thinking (“thinking” being a charitable term).

            “Fault” has nothing to do with it.

            Al Quada-based “terrorists” have many times enumerated the reasons for their actions. These have included U.S. military presence in the Middle East and unqualified support of Israel and corrupt countries such as Saudi Arabia.

            Until U.S. policy fundamentally changes, we can look forward to many more decades of “war on terrorism” and all that it brings.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Read the history of the involvement of the U.S., in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and most of the Mid-East, put yourself in their shoes, and then tell me what you would do, if the U.S. had done that to you!

          • Anonymous

            At that point, despite our history of bad behavior, we had the support of the world, which we could have maintained. Now lets think about this for a moment. The perpetrators of the crime were all killed in the execution of the crime. We accused the Taliban of harboring the planners. The Taliban offered to turn them over to an international court of justice. Not good enough for the Bush regime, it makes you wonder how strongly they believed in the case they built. Instead of accepting this cooperation, they invaded, and for good measure invaded another country that had nothing to do with any of this.  Now the US harbors a great number of terrorists that the shield from justice, but then, the US doesn’t care about justice, it only cares about the ability to nakedly exercise power (and we’ve become so morally retarded living in this toxic environment we can’t understand anybody else who doesn’t see the world this way).  So yes, things could have been handled differently, and it didn’t mean “doing nothing but apologizing” it did mean acting like a civilized nation.

          • Yar

            I expect drone battles will extend into space.  We use satellites to command our drones, it makes them a potential target.  Pakistan may have the capability to take out a satellite.   We can continue to win battles while losing the war, just as Lord Cornwallis did in Revolutionary times.   Turning a population against your cause costs much more than is gained by taking out an individual leader.  
            Didn’t Star Wars have the drone wars?  How did that go for the empire?
            Don’t we learn anything from science fiction or history?

          • Jasoturner

            I suspect at this point America has become a pariah in most Muslim lands no matter what we do or don’t do.  Polls seem to indicate as much. 

            My question is, how seriously do the remaining adherents to al Queda actually threaten the interests of the United States?  More people are victims of homicide in the U.S. every year than died on 9/11.  Many more people die in auto accidents every year than died on 9/11.  So I guess what I am doing is questioning the presumed urgency of needing to hunt these guys down.

          • Hidan

            Polls did change in the muslim world at first when obama took office and made his Cario speech, since he’s been reneging on about everything he said than .so we saw even more Muslims disliking American than under bush. Blind support for a apartheid country and continued support for despots, scorn for peaceful protesters in those despot countries seems to do such things.

            “My question is, how seriously do the remaining adherents to al Queda actually threaten the interests of the United States?”

            $$$,oil,ideology and fear.  Remember it is now Illegal to to even contact these groups and push for peace. Unless your advocating for the Iranian terrorist group in Iraq than it’s somehow not.

          • Gregg

            We’ve been a pariah for centuries, it’s nothing we’ve done. It’s who we are. We did liberate 50 million Muslims (Iraq, Afghanistan) and inspired the Arab Spring, so we’ve got that going for us. It shouldn’t be about hunting down individuals. The only solution is to change the face of the entire Middle East. Impossible? Maybe, but the fact remains.

            I can’t endorse your comparisons. I see a slight difference between a year and a day for one thing. I certainly make a distinction between acts of war and fender benders.

          • Jasoturner

            I am not asserting a moral equivalence between terrorist actions and auto accidents.  I was trying to suggest, though, that our response may be been disproportionate to the damage that was actually inflicted.

          • Gregg

            Changing the Middle East is hard. I guess that’s the rub.

          • Anonymous

            Entirely disproportunate, and “our” aim was lousy.  We ended murdering a bunch of Iraqis and Afghanis, but it appears our target was actually Saudis. But we can all laugh together about it over a beer, like Bush at the National Press Club, it’s all really just good un, innit? 

          • Anonymous

            I don’t endorce your fantasy that we have liberated Iraq and Afghanistan, any more than I would endorce a fantasy like Hitler liberated Poland and France and Pol Pot did everybody a favor.  “Our” relationship with the the Middle East has been problematic for a long time, and it’s almost everything we’ve done, and I agree, it’s who we are. Imperialists.  Not generally liked by colonized people.  The only solution is to change the face of the US. Impossible? No, inevitable.  What form with the change take?  Can we shed the empire and preserve the Republic? Or will we lose everything because the deciders will continue to try to keep everything?  That is the real question.

          • Anonymous

            It is wrong to think they irrationally hate us. Obama was temporarily popular in the Arab world because he said he was going to change policy. Now he is hated because through his actions (and flip floppy speech), he says that he will continue the policies.  The reaction to Obama internationally is similar to the reaction domestically. Anyway, there is no reason to be fatalistic, saying it doesn’t matter what we do. It does matter. They hate us for rational reasons, and if we had a real change in policy, they would stop hating us, it’s pretty simple. They don’t hate us for our freedoms, they hate us for our interference in their internal affairs, our support for dictators, our invasions, our bombs, our drones, our torture, our blasphemy and desecration… I have tried to make “us” stop acting this way, but it just seems like “we” are hell0-bent on thuggish and criminal behavior.

          • Jasoturner

            You make a valid point.  It seems there was/is a tendency in the U.S. to think of Arabs/Persians/Muslims as our intellectual inferiors who are irrational, and who should readily bend to our will and our worldview.  As long as this irrationality meme continues to propagate, we will continue to shoot ourselves in the foot.

            Alas, realpolitik seems always to trump principle in the middle east, largely because most Americans buy into the meme, at least tacitly.  So not sure how the whole relationship could be re-calibrated.  The specter of the Crusades still looms large, a testament to how little we have really learned over the centuries.  This is not to absolve the crazies of their crimes.  But there are bigger issues than just tracking down “the terrorists” and living happily ever after, no?

        • AC

          yes, innocent people should be left out of it. Like I said, it’s great to go after them, but how? How do you know who’s going to flip and when? Look at Columbine – even kids are susceptible to the fervor of crazy/irrational ideals…..

    • Jasoturner

      I was thinking just this morning that our current approach to al Queda is basically little more than targeted assassinations at this point, at relatively low cost.  It makes one wonder whether the ground wars, with their concomitant expense, were ever really necessary.  American had to act, but I increasingly think that it acted with far too little thought and made some idiotic strategic decisions.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        It made ‘W’ Bush, Dick Cheney, and their cohorts, filthier rich!

      • JustSayin

        I read somewhere that the US is going to be leaving 1.2 trillion in combined assets behind in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of the military equipment trucks, cannons, tanks, support equipment is just too expensive to bring home.

    • Hidan

      Raston is probably one of the worst reporters NPR has. It’s shouldn’t even be called reporting but what it really is “Stenography” since see repeats what’s she told to repeat. 

      • nj

        No, no, NPR is “lefty” and “liberal.” Get with the program!

        • Anonymous

          NPR covers international as well as national news and issues.  It offers in its discussion programs multiple points of view from panelists and callers and commenters like you and me.  That’s not just “lefty,” that’s treason in 21st century America.

          • Anonymous

            Of course, when someone shouts treason, they don’t say “if this be treason, make the most of it” they say “OMG, we’re so sorry, we’ll fire somebody to placate the critics.”  That’s why commenters mostly range from right to far right on NPR, and the whole country has shifted so far to the right few even notice.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Stenography, by the way, involves standing up sometimes to very, very strong winds from ALL possible “sides,” saying that was “if,” not “is,” or whatever.  If given an opportunity to close down the government or close down the creation of the record (transcripts), this can be done.  But like blind justice, one must call it like it is.

    • Cory

      I think we’ve killed lots of civilians in our drone attacks.  We are still engaging in these assasinations with collateral damage 10 years after 9/11.  Will it be okay in another 10?  How about 20 or 50?  Do we have permanent license to kill whoever we wish around the world in sovereign nations simply because we label them as enemies?  Good God man, use your mind!  Don’t you see ANYTHING wrong with this?!

      • Winston Smith

        Actually, there have been a number of reports in the news at how much collateral damage has been reduced as a result of the increase in drone attacks.

        • Cory

          Not comforting if your child is the “collateral damage”.

        • Anonymous

          Some Winston Smith you are, you write like a government spokesman

      • Ellen Dibble

        I heard Dina Temple-Raston telling Morning Edition today that the last time an American had to be taken out by drone because he was provoking terrorism against the USA, he was taken out by drone “as collateral damage,” and therefore not an assassination of a US citizen.  So she was suggesting that al-Awlaki will be a case of himself being collateral damage as well, once “they” decide how to phrase it.

        • Cory

          I am somewhere between confused and befuddled after reading your response!!

      • Winston Smith

        How about 1 million abortions of innocent unborns each year.  ”Good God man, use your mind!  Don’t you see ANYTHING wrong with this?!”

        • Cory

          I’m Catholic Winston.  I think abortion is a tragedy.  I’d still like you to address my point.

        • Anonymous

          When does original sin take hold?  Are they innocent?

        • Anonymous

          Tell you what I see wrong, WS.  Calling a cluster of cells “innocent unborns.”  That guile and political chicanery drives self-righteous protests from people who don’t know better and don’t want to know. 

          You clearly do know better, so I fault you in this.

        • Heidi in DC

          What about the millions of children who go hungry? If you stand against abortion, you should stand for poor children and women.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Catholics condone priests abusing and molesting children, for centuries.  You see nothing wrong with this?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Each drone attack is creating thousands more insurgents.  This Regardless, this technology will be short lived, as they will eventually create simple means to take them out of the sky.

    • Anonymous

      I especially loved her analysis that we made a huge dent in al quaeda’s operational ability with this killing.  Kind of like the Romans taking out the leader of that pesky upstart Jewish sect a couple thousand years or so ago.  They were helpless without their leader and never heard from again.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Next time we start crucifying people who preach love they neighbor as thyself, and render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s — then I’ll definitely move to another country.

        • Anonymous

          That’s pretty much why I moved to Canada, the crucifiction of Nader. Anybody worth anything here will be slammed to the ground, ridiculed, abused, ignored… outright death isn’t necessary, though now they have a taste for how easy and popular it is, I suppose we can expect drone attacks on Chomsky, Ron Paul, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Glenn Greenwald, Steve Earle… so many bigmouths all right thinking would cheer and wave flags if they were silenced once and for all. Moved back from Canada when I realized there was no safety from the empire afforded by the colonial Harper Government. Now that I’m back and seeing how fast things are sliding, contemplating my next move.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Did you, and do you, advocate hunting down and killing the home-grown, long-term terrorists of the Ku Klux Klan, that have committed FAR more acts or murder and terrorism against U.S. Citizens, hiding behind a religion?   Or are you just another HYPOCRITE? 
          What about hunting down, and killing the terrorist Catholic priests, that terrorize and abuse children?
          Both have been terrorizing U.S. Citizens for over a century!   Both have committed far more crimes against U.S. Citizens, than the Muslims you advocate hunting and killing!

  • Yar

    Florida seeks to move its primary.   Are the Grand Old Party Bosses losing their hold on power?
    Florida has always been a tourism state, why shouldn’t it capitalize on political tourism.  The party bosses would rather buy votes in low population states to save  money.   In this down economy, any economic activity is a potential target,  delegates may not matter as much to Florida as in state campaign spending.  This move is more about economics than political power, but Florida would gladly take both.

    I have an idea to really profit from the perpetual campaign machine. 
     I call it “Vote early and often.”  It is a two part strategy.  First, the state must adopt an internet based voting system to reduce the cost of elections to practically zero.  Then the state schedules a week long election every month during national campaigns.  If participation isn’t high enough to create an air of validity, then give every voter a free lottery ticket for their vote.  That way a state can compete head to head with campaigns in buying votes.  Isn’t that what poling is all about, statisticians winning elections over good ideas. It is all marketing and entertainment.  
    The state would become the statistics machine of the century, they can have votes on everything.  Representative democracy in a digital age.   What do you think?

  • Ed

    The pope was in Germany this week: the first time a pope has addressed an elected German body. Wonderful speech at the parliament.

    Protest the lack of conscience protections in the health care law by tonight at usccb.org/conscience. They promised conscience protections, not there. Or so limited they don’t cover anyone.

    Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez’ new film ‘The Way’ about their pilgrimage on the Camino in Spain opens October 7th.

    • Anonymous

      You mentioned that last week in the Pope update. 

      • TFRX

        Every week looks like Pope-apalooza to some folks.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Did the pope hand over ALL evidence, and the whereabouts of ALL the abusing and molesting priests, and vow to do the right thing for ALL those victims?  Or is he just another HYPOCRITE? 

    • JustSayin

      Ah to be there when the pope welcomed Cardinal Law into the fold of Vatican pedophiles. What a speech that must have been. The holy words sanctifying pedophilia as a God given right onto the ordained of Christianity.

  • Somalia

    Have any national Democratic elected officials gone down to Wall St @ “Liberty Plaza” to speak to the protestor’s General Assembly…?  No. I didn’t think so.

    ” All and all, you’re just another brick in the wall ” -Floyd.

    • Hidan

      Of course not, folks like Charles Schumer is the #1 spokesman for wall street in the democratic party.

  • nj

    The United States of Petroleum…

    http://www.truth-out.org/state-department-keystone-xl-hearings-run-transcanada-contractor/1317301341

    State Department Tar Sands Pipeline Hearings Run By TransCanada ContractorIn a stunning conflict of interest, public hearings on federal approval for a proposed tar sands pipeline are being run by a contractor for the pipeline company itself. The U.S. Department of State’s public hearings along the proposed route of the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline this week are under the purview of Cardno Entrix, a “professional environmental consulting company” that specializes in “permitting and compliance.”

    Cardno is not only running the State Department hearings, but also manages the department’s Keystone XL website and drafted the department’s environmental impact statement. Comments from the public about the pipeline go not to the government, but to a cardno.com email:

  • Cory

    If you want the police to bash your head or mace you, challenge the monied elite in America.  The thin blue line tightly protects the fat green line.

    • Somalia

      ” Hey! NYPD’s! leave those kids alone! “

  • Cory

    What does it say about conservatives that their presidential candidates with the greatest rise and impact are obnoxious (Christie, Perry) or stupid (Bachmann, Palin)?

    • Brandstad

      I suppose it says the same as democrats who voted for “hope and change” without knowing what Obama hoped or wanted to change the US into!

      • Cory

        I don’t disagree that Obama was an unknown, but he was well spoken and personable.  The whole confrontational brute thing doesn’t sit well with me.  When all the niceities are stripped away, we are exposed as savage animals.  This is not a good way to live.  You can’t deny that Bachmann comes off as a cracpot and Palin as a money grubber… 

      • TFRX

        Yep, whocoodanode that the GOP would just throw obstructionist temper tantrum after WATB shitefit, just at the point we needed a government which actually wanted to practice governance?

      • nj

        Kind of a baseless comparison, on its face.

    • nj

      Agree or disagree with him, Huntsman is one of the few non-crazy, non-obnoxious, non-self serving candidates in the Repub lineup, and he’s mostly ignored by the party.

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

      What do you mean, obnoxious OR stupid?

      • American exceptionalism

        HEY – some of my best friends are obnoxious & stupid.

  • Cory

    When I see a photo like the one above I always wonder what happened between peaceful demonstration and clubbings and pepper spray.  What did the guy in the picture do?  Why do the police swat at citizens filming or photographing these events?  What is considered appropriate protesting?

    • Ellen Dibble

      The objective for protesting people is to get a lot of attention, and you can do that by dressing up in extraordinary ways, almost Halloweenish, something to attract photographers, or by making a nuisance amount of noise, with pots and pans or what have you, or by provoking, “hopefully,” a scuffle.
          That’s my take.

      • steve

        I have been involved in protests on both the left and the right.

        I have been standing on sidewalks not saying a thing and within legal boundaries and had cars (including police) swerve towards me trying to provoke violence.

        • Ellen Dibble

          There is a protest in my town that has been, as I understand it, going on since the late 1960s.  Perhaps there was a hiatus in the 1980s, but I believe it is against US interventions, whether by sanctions that ended up hurting the children in Iraq before 2003, or more militaristic interventions.  It is always peaceful.  The leaders have stature within the community, and they don’t feel the need to cause splash.  Sometimes there is a sort of counterprotest across the walkway.  However, the whole thing is more like a church service than a political “act.”  It doesn’t make the news.  It is held together, as I understand it, by the sense of confederation, of coalition, of likemindedness, and by mentions in the newspaper every year or so.

          • Anonymous

            Sounds like they are just begging to be pepper sprayed by some thug with a badge.

    • TFRX

      Hard to imagine that “appropriate protesting” doesn’t include taking footage or photos of a public street.

  • Erin in Iowa

    Thank goodness the media is finally talking about the Wall Street protests! In this country, if you’re not obsessed with MORE and BIGGER, people think there’s something wrong with you. 

    Wall Street made TONS of money leading up to the recession, tax payers paid for the mistakes of BANKERS, and somehow the discussion has turned to how we can get poor people to pay more taxes. 

    Get the corporate money out of politics so that representatives represent.

    • Brandstad

      What exactly are the Wall Street Protests, protesting?

      • heidi in dc

        The influence of corp greed in govt. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    The protestors don’t have the numbers….yet.

    • Somalia

      On the contrary!!  We got the numbers. 

      From Santiago to Pourt a Prince to Liberty Plaza(lower Manhattan) to Madrid, Paris, London, Rome, and Athens, Athens, Athens!  Tunis, Cairo, precious Nablus, Damascus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Yemen and Bahrain! Tehran! Kyrgustan! Burma! Bangkok! Manila! etc. etc. etc. 

      We got the numbers, but like Erin in Iowa said we just don’t have the representation!!!

      • Ellen Dibble

        Do you mean the people of the world should rise up against the plutocrats, against the central banks and international corporations, staking their flag at the feet of whatever resembles Wall Street in their countries?  Could that be coordinated?  What happens next?

        • Anonymous

          Ellen — Again, it’s the use of targeted economic boycott..  As our political clout, as individual Americans, declines because of the money-power of corporations in elections, we need to use the one weapon we have that works on them:  economic boycott. Not random “I’m taking my account out of your bank” or “I’m giving up toilet paper for a year”, but a much more comprehensive, organized and sophisticated use of our personal economic resources as part of a joint effort.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Do you have experience with this?  I remember your idea and have been wondering about implementation, what you have in mind.  How the effects would play out.

          • Anonymous

            Ellen — I’ve seen many (participated in/helped organize some) and many have been successful.  Environmental movements have used them.  I quickly googled a fairly recent and successful effort on behalf of gay marriage and against Target, described here:

            http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20011983-503544.html

            All of this is old stuff, often used here and in Europe. The effect on companies/corporations is pretty interesting. Of course, to do it well on a large scale, it has to be thought through carefully, well-organized, and relentless. I think many of us are up for that, don’t you?

          • Ellen Dibble

            There are issues of focus, right?  For instance, with the pro and con protests confronting each other downtown (generalizing over 40 years), from what I know of the positions of the various participants I agree with parts of this and that, on both sides.   If you’re talking about where the capitalist/democratic system has brought us to, it’s hard to say how to roll back up that tangle of yarn, so to speak.  How to put the genie back in the bottle.  Which particular product would effectively stand up to the Citizens United decision of the SCOTUS?  For instance.
                In my state, it isn’t that hard to circulate petitions and get attention like that, and a particular group could collect signatures for and against particular things, and distribute flyers targeting certain products, explaining what the intention was.  It might not be apparent, without the flyers, what certain consumer trends thus effectuated were pointing to.  
                For that matter, there are petitions circulating through my e-mail box fairly often.  State your support for this or that by clicking here, they say, and then connect you to the fund-raising site.  Of course that is subject to corruption by people manipulating it to get people to vote multiple times online.  But it’s a better measure in some ways than seeing who comes out of the local grocery and stops to participate.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Some of the more obvious things to boycott are most costly to those least able to make the necessary choices.  The cheapest things are often the things with sweatshop wages, or labor that is overseas, for instance.  If you’re saying people with “means” should make these choices, and buy the costlier brands, I’m thinking they already do so.  Unfortunately an awful lot of Americans are feeling pinched, unable to buy much of anything, let alone pick the pricey option.

          • Anonymous

            Organization, focus, and taking corporations/banks on one at a time should do the trick — requiring also patience and persistence!  Thing is, l’affaire Target had some influence on other businesses, from what I understand.  So one can expect a snowball effect.  But mostly, it does require sacrifice from everyone.

            (If you’re an investor, Ellen, you get annual reports and voting material from the business you invested in.  Quiet persistence from some nuns in Westchester Cty has altered the paypackets and behaviors of some corporations.  The nuns bought stock, voted yearly, and their stance and votes brought in votes from many others.  So it can be done. In that case, the results have been spotty because corporations — get this — are not obliged to take into account the actual votes of investors. Votes are “advice.” But the pressure has helped.)

          • Ellen Dibble

            I am not one who has time to investigate each company, so I tell the institutions who invest for me to select “socially responsible,” and I just the other side of furious that there is only one “socially responsible” at each institution, and they define “socially responsible” as nothing with liquor, nothing with defense.
                That is SO LAME!

          • Yar

            How about a nationwide one day strike the day after Thanksgiving.  If you don’t have health insurance then refuse to work on that day!
            Do you think the message would be heard? 

          • Ellen Dibble

            I think the uninsured people who are hired for the Christmas season have been waiting ALL YEAR LONG for those extra dollars, Starting the day after Thanksgiving.  So there are no benefits.  Hey, there’s a bit of money involved.  We are starving for cash.

            Hence, the particular group who would be executing that boycott would be those for whom the sacrifice would be intolerable.  Most likely they would be laid off immediately, and others would take their place.  And there goes an entire season’s pay.

          • Yar

            Most workers who don’t get health insurance as part of their employment are payed less than a living wage.  Yes, protest comes with real risks, but if we don’t hang together then we get hung separately.  The day has political and economic value as a strike target.  Benefits are earned compensation, the average family health plan costs over 15,000 dollars, much of that is paid through the employer.  The wage gap between workers who get benefits and those who don’t, for a 2000 hour work year amounts to more than 5 bucks per hour.  For five bucks more per hour who wouldn’t strike?  It takes this kind of response to change the system.  Those that have insurance can support striking workers by staying home that day as well.

          • Ellen Dibble

            But that’s a holiday for many people.  Staying home, for me, would mean doing what I always do, which is continue working, trying to pay what is now $725 a month in health insurance which does not cover $400-plus in uncovered medical monthly expenses.  I could pretend not to be working, I suppose.  
                From my perspective, let the people who would be buying stuff that day do the boycotting.  Let them use their money NOT feeding the Great Gods of Consumerism.  

        • JustSayin

          I guarantee that if every American moved their bank deposits and all banking business from the Investment Banks to small local banks, the system would stand up and take notice. 

          Its simple to vote with your money. Money is power..and moving it is individual consumer power. Its a vote that cannot be subjugated to corporate rule..

          When I close my last account with BOA, and they ask why…I’m going to tell them why. This is how Americans can find a voice with real power for their nation.  This small individual act, and the ability to voice your opinion to a bank.

          Power = moving your money.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        The so-called “elected” bought-and-paid-for congress are worthless.The movement must be to spot and avoid the gatekeepers within their own ranks, feigning leadership and diverting and muffling decent.

      • TFRX

        The representation?

        If you mean our “liberal media”, you’re right.

        Imagine Fox News going ballistic if one of Fox Nation’s precious teabaggers got pepper-sprayed for no reason. It’d be all over the mainstream news, 24×7, for a month.

        • Cory

          They do a spectacular job of saturation, I must admit!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Coincidence that this al Awlaki dined at the white house after 9/11????  Yes…CBS reported it.   As well as the Bin Laden family at Bush’s ranch and on the only plane in the sky out of the US.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/10/21/national/main6978200.shtml

    I’ve noticed a pattern of big hits on Al Qaeda leaders which always seem to occur when there’s a change of command.  Admiral Mullen,  Leon Panetta a few before them.  Like a bogus trophy for a job-well-done and “we’re winning”.  Totally choreographed from the very start.

    Al qaeda is a CIA creation,  including Adam Pearlman, aka Adam Gadahn.

  • Brandstad

    How in the world is it legal for the US government to target, and kill a US citizin without due process?  This should be investigated.  Would the Obama administration have killed this target if he was driving a car in the US?

    • Cory

      Brandstad?  Is that you?

      • nj

        Someone has invaded Branstad’s body.

      • Zing

        Whoooosh!…Don’t look up.

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t Bush attorney John Yoo already do that research and determine it was within the Commander in Chief’s plenary power?  I’m certain you were up-in-arms about that, right? 

      I would suggest you look up the term “principle” and try to implement it in your life and comments.  I’m not optimistic.

  • Brandstad

    Obama’s jobs bill can’t get through Democrat-controlled senate…

    LOL

  • Ellen Dibble

    Check out Charlie  Rose last night (once it’s posted), where there was a long clip from a Chris Christie speech.  He wouldn’t appeal to the Tea Party.  He sees compromise and pragmatism as valid values.  But he seems a lot more personable than Mitt Romney.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Not true.  Many in the TEA party are calling for him to run.  Ann Coulter swoons over him.

      Clearly, Christie has tremendous political gifts and genuine communication skills.  He has admitted he is not ready to be President because he has had only 2 years of executive experience.  Too bad someone else didn’t do this self analysis before getting in.

      I agree he would have problems (in the primary) once light was shown on some of his positions.  The same thing happened to Perry and now he falling like a  rock.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Do you think the Tea Party would take his positions in stride and help him get on the national ballot?  Which ones would be the sticklers, which positions?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          The WSJ had a piece today claiming his positions on abortion, immigration, gun control and energy policy would face major scrutiny in  a GOP primary.  Some of his judicial appointments would also be questioned.

          He is attractive because he took on the unions and was able to balance the NJ budget in a Dem controlled state that has a history of solving fiscal problems by raising taxes.  This is a very reminiscent of Romney’s record.  However, Christie has the tremendous gift of straight talk.

          I have to wonder if his obesity would hold him back.  Would he have the stamina for campaign?

          • Ellen Dibble

            Do you think Republicans would vote for Christie because of his “gift of straight talk”?   McCain proclaimed “straight talk express,” yet his track record made his talk seem from another era.  Obama talks pretty straight too, by the say, though there is a different kind of diplomacy going on when one is running the administration than when one is outside.  Christie sounds like Obama before he was elected.  So it seems.

      • TFRX

        Who gives a crap about what some bleached blonde Foxbot swoons over?

        Ann Coulter is in the business of propagandandizing, not reading the hoi polloi. They’re in the business of telling people what to think, not listening to what they want.

        For the right amount of money, or the right orders from on high, she’d swoon over anyone.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’s FAILURES at everything he ‘tried’, except when his political connections got a Tax-Payer-paid for stadium?  His lack of morals in NOT showing up for TANG duty, because he was drunk?  ‘W’s DESERTION, after getting a TANG transfer to a unit he requested? 
            Is this the examples of Executive Leadership that you admire?

  • Tharen

    Can’t wait to hear Jack Beatty’s take on the latest drone strike. I’m sure he’s all torn up about it…maybe he’ll be a co-plantiff in the upcoming ACLU lawsuit???

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      You called it!

      Then the caller tried to compare this terrorist to Cheney and Bush.  Shameful.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’ and Cheney did FAR more damage to the U.S.!!!

        • Anonymous

          There is no comparison at all. If he was everything government propaganda claims he is (and NPR mindlessly repeats) it’s still like comparing Charlie Manson to Adolf Hitler.

  • jbr

    Alabama is going to realize how much of the state’s economy is dependent upon illegal immigrants working jobs many citizens think are beneath them. The areas of agriculture and construction are already feeling the loss. Crops are dying on the vines because there isn’t the labor force to harvest them. There are not enough workers, willing or able, to rebuild areas devastated by the tornadoes this year.

  • Tharen

    Tom, ask your liberal guests and callers how they feel about President Obama not only continuing the drone program, but putting it on steroids. I, for one, fully support it. I just find it funny that so many voted for Obama wanting a different foreign policy, and now we’re expanding drones and even less popular in the Arab/Muslim countries.

    During the Bush Administration, those polls showing low US popularity in other countries were CONSTANTLY trotted out and used against the Administration. Why don’t we hear as much about them now???

    • Cory

      Why exactly do you support it?

      • Zing

        Because it works?

        • Anonymous

          works for what?  Even if one ignores the obvious failures (in places like Afghanistan where our fragrant pet is no longer even president of Kabul, where the Taliban is attacking our embassy and assassinating people at will, we might not be so confident that something that appears to be going one direction this week will still look the same in 10 years. NAFTA, for example, or Iraq, or Vietnam, or The Battle of Little Bighorn all looked like a good idea to somebody at some point, they all said “this is working”

    • Dpweber83

      “Why don’t we hear as much about them now???”Because the rest of the world hates us less now that George W. Bush is no longer president: http://www.gallup.com/poll/125720/global-perceptions-leadership-improve-2009.aspxFacts are stubborn things, amirite?
      -dan
      Boston, MA

    • Anonymous

      You obviously are totally incapable of rationally observing what is happening.  There is a vocal and large amount  of criticism of Obama and his administrations policies and actions, from those who voted for him, in stark contrast to the sycophantic support for Bush’s disastrous policies by his base during his terms.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Drone use, instead of Invading Armies of Occupation, IS a different foreign policy!   I’m NOT saying it is the CORRECT change, but it is different.

  • Brandstad

    WHouse probed over pressuring FORD to pull anti-bailout ad…

    The ad was AWSOME!

  • Eric

    Thank you Jack Beatty for bringing up the complications of the lack of due process in the latest drone strike!  That an American citizen no matter how heinous his crime was killed outside the law is a matter for concern.  I can’t help thinking of a slippery slope…

    • Ellen Dibble

      I’d like to hear more too, but as to slippery slope, I’ve learned to think of that as an excuse.  Someone taught me in high school that rules are there to enable exceptions.  I didn’t have any rules I wanted exceptions to, but I’m still wondering what that headmaster meant.  If there were a terrorist-inspirer, an effective one, impossible to grasp with the local legitimate forces, would he venture onto the slippery slope, with a rope to pull himself back?

      • Cory

        Ellen!

  • Ellen Dibble

    Does Heilemann have anything to say about the new Israeli settlements being built in the part of Jerusalem, the building of which is seen as intrusive by Palestinians?

  • David McAlpine

    I am happy that we killed Awlaki. It doesn’t matter if he was an American or not. We are at war with the terrorists no matter where they are. With the line of reasoning I’m hearing from callers and Jack, we wouldn’t be killing the people who gleefully want to kill us. There is no other choice in my view.

    • Cory

      Due process obviously isn’t important to you.  Sure hope you or your children are never arbitrarily declared “enemies of the state”.

      • Anonymous

        Did he avail himself of due process by coming to the US courts? 

        • Cory

          Do most criminals?

          • Zing

            Not if we can kill them first.

      • Jasoturner

        You’d love my neighbor.  Well to do stay at home mom, was a big supporter of Bush and the invasions.  She literally said “we should kill them all”, referring to Iraq, when things started going south.  How do you have a discussion based on that?

        • Zing

          You agree with her, of course.

          • nj

            ^ Clear winner, Most Inappropriate Handle Award

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Ask her to move to Iraq first!

    • Jasoturner

      I wish the linkage of “terror” and “war” had never been made.  Terrorists do not fight wars.  States fight wars.

      I also wish we had captured Awlaki and put him on trial so that the world could compare our ideologies and witness American justice, which is still a beacon for the world, despite the tarnish we have recently seemed to acquired.  Instead, we killed the guy in a hit operation.  We may feel good about it, but I am not sure moderate Muslims we’d like to win over feel that way.

  • Bob

    Is it not the case that Anwar al-Awlaki had declared war on the United States, and reiterated that commitment in both word and action for years?  One optional response to today’s action is to be grateful that such a focused response on his personal war was possible.

    • Cory

      I really hate some things about the Unied States.  Should I and my little children be pulverized by a drone’s ordinance?

      • Zing

        If you hate me and want to kill me, you imperil your children

        • Anonymous

          your statement sounds kind of like a threat. So maybe somebody should make an anonymous complaint, and you could just be taken care of?  That is the kind of “justice” we brought o Afghanistan and Iraq, and have imported into this country.  A wise man once said

          No man is an island,

          Entire of itself.

          Each is a piece of the continent,

          A part of the main.

          If a clod be washed away by the sea,

          Europe is the less.

          As well as if a promontory were.

          As well as if a manner of thine own

          Or of thine friend’s were.

          Each man’s death diminishes me,

          For I am involved in mankind.

          Therefore, send not to know

          For whom the bell tolls,

          It tolls for thee.

          Boneheads say something else, repeatedly, in the comment section on NPR. People used to imagine they were part of an elite because they were NPR listeners. It’s hard to imagine anybody imagining that to be true anymore.  I use to hear John Ciardi on NPR. Now I hear static.

  • Rebecca

    Thank you, Jack!!!! It seems ludicrous and disrespectful of life that we would kill Anwar al-Awlaki and now just hearing there was another American born person in the same event. I would hope more scrutiny would be had by the news in looking at our actions without due process. I am so glad Jack is there and a reasonable voice in the mix.

  • Brandstad

    TOM,Can you talk a little about the Solyndra Flop Fails to Slow Obama Team’s $9.2 Billion Push for Wind, Solar.  Not to mention a huge loan was just given to a democrats family member for another solar facotory with connections to Solyndra!

    • Cory

      Solyndra…  Whitewater…  Haliburton…

      All are partisan attempts to discredit duely elected officials.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’ wasn’t duely elected, was un-duely APPOINTED  by seniles in black robes!

        • notafeminista

          Apparently not senile enough as Candidate Gore enlisted their help.  Not Candidate Bush.

    • Dpweber83

      Wow, $9.2 billion sounds like a huge number!

      Quick question: how much of Solyndra’s federal money was going to wind and solar?Go ahead, I can wait.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

  • TFRX

    “Sharia law has nothing to do with this at all. It’s crazy. It’s
    crazy. The guy’s an
    American citizen who has been an admitted lawyer to practice in the
    state of New Jersey, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of New Jersey,
    the constitution of the state of New Jersey, and the Constitution of the United States of America . . . .This Sharia law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies.”

    –Chris Christie, about nominating Sohail Mohammed to NJ’s Superior Court.

    I want to know how that will play to the base, and how Fox News will ret-con this.

  • Brandstad

    Solyndra Said to Be Investigated by FBI for Accounting Fraudhttp://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-30/solyndra-said-to-be-investigated-by-fbi-for-accounting-fraud.html

    • Dpweber83

      Brandstad Said to Be Reposting Truncated Links to Old News: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/09/30/week-in-the-news-166

    • TFRX

      Gov’t officials probed about illicit sex, gifts.
      Government brokers responsible for collecting billions of dollars in
      federal oil royalties
      operated in a “culture of substance abuse and
      promiscuity” that included having sex with energy company employees,
      accepting lavish gifts and rigging contracts to favored firms

      http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2008-09-10-3545054588_x.htm

      Panel: Widespread waste and fraud in war spending.

      $31-60 billion has
      been lost to waste and fraud
      through contracts related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars

      http://news.yahoo.com/panel-widespread-waste-fraud-war-spending-053533054.html

      Your media intake seems to be a bit out of balance with reality. Did you give a damn about these earlier, or do you just do what Fox News tells you?

  • Cory

    For the record, I have been pepper-sprayed (law enforcement training).  It is more painfull than broken bones and lacerations.  I would prefer to be “tazed” over being pepper sprayed.  I hope and trust that these protesters’ behavior crossed the threshold for this kind of action.

    • nj

      I’ve gotten a bit of capsaicin in my eyes by accident treating my garden. Mixed with garlic, and sprayed on garden vegetable plants, it’s a reasonably good, all-purpose insect deterrent. Very nasty.

      Officer Boloney ought to be investigated. Nothing in any of the videos i watched indicated that any action of the protesters rose to the level of needing to be sprayed.

  • Daledewispelaere

    To what extent does this killing help Al Qeda recruit even more members against the west?

    • David McAlpine

      It makes it more difficult for them to recruit. Also, we’re going after the big fish and successfully disrupting their network, which in turn makes it very difficult for them to effectively stage attacks against us.

  • TFRX

    All the GOP’s malfeasant fealty to our economic uberlords has paid off:

    “Poll: Americans See Republicans As Only Interested In Helping The ‘Haves’

    Almost half of all respondents to a new WaPo poll
    say Republicans in Congress are doing more to help the ‘haves’ than
    ‘have nots,’ with fewer than a third saying the GOP treats both sides
    equally. A tiny 7 percent say Republican lawmakers are helping the
    have-nots. For contrast, a plurality say President Obama treats
    society’s “haves” and “have-nots” about equally.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/behind-the-numbers/post/fewer-than-one-in-three-say-obama-favors-the-have-nots-but-many-say-gop-helps-the-haves/2011/09/07/gIQA8ntT5K_blog.html

    • Zing

      Pointless:  the Tea Party owns all the respondents.

  • Dpweber83

    Current caller: “The Republicans do what the Democrats want.”

    Citation needed.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Dan M.

    One man’s [one country's] Terrorist is anothers..Patriot, if your family is attacked,hurt and Savaged,would you threaten the One who Wronged you, Even if you Sinned Yourself…We all seem to want to enact an Eye for an Eye and tooth for a tooth….and We all become Blind  ..Think about it…..Peace be with you…..dm

    • American Exceptionalism

      If America was occupied by a more powerful nation (hard to imagine I know), because they didn’t like our President or something  and a lot of innocent people died. I don’t know about you but no matter what (let them torture the kids whatever) I wouldn’t fight back…. because that would make me a terrorist.

  • CURT PETERSON

    CURT PETERSON, Hartland VT.
    Defenders of the assassination of al-Alwaki point out that Americans generally consider him both a terrorist and dangerous to them, and feel the law was circumvented for good cause. This is the same argument one might have heard following the lynching of a black man in the Southern U.S. prior to the 1960′s Civil Rights movement. Thomas Jefferson admonished us to adhere to “government by law rather than government by men”. This is another giant Obama disappointment and only promises a bigger, bloodier world mess to clean up.

    • David McAlpine

      What you are saying is a non sequitur. Alwaki stopped being an American the day he hooked up with our enemy. If an Amercan during WW2 hooked up with the Nazis to kill Americans, we’d kill that person to. Your argument makes no sense in the context of war.

    • Anonymous

      The US killed treasonous southerners who took up arms against us during the the Civil War.

    • Zing

      I paraphrase Jay Leno from his Dorito commercials…”  Make all the terrorists you want, we’ll kill more…”

      • American Exceptionalism

        Yeah and if we want to make some more terorists to justuify perpetual war,, let’s atack some more countries that have nothing to do with atttacking us (such as Iraq).
            HEY! How about Mexico. That might also be a good first step on taking care of the immigration problem.

        • Fredlinskip

          This will maintain 3 noble objectives:
              1) maintain our policy of perpetual War,
              2) create more terrorists; and
              3) save travel expense.
              Brilliant!! 

  • ripped-off tax payer

    The (privately owned) Federal Reserve Bank has the destroyed the value of the dollar.

    Arressting Americans who are protesting the the (privately owned) Federal Reserve is a crime against the Bill of Rights.

    The end the (privately owned) Federal Reserve Bank is on the horizon.

    • Dpweber83

      “The (privately owned) Federal Reserve Bank has the destroyed the value of the dollar.”

      No it hasn’t: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tables_of_historical_exchange_rates_to_the_United_States_dollar

      “The end the (privately owned) Federal Reserve Bank is on the horizon.”

      God help us if that’s true.

      -dan
      Boston, MA

  • Searching for the Facts

    This is “exactly” what’s wrong with the so-called news media today.  For all those who actually watched the Christie speech, they know that the 2nd question asked was regarding running for the presidency.  He made it very clear that he was flattered, but “no.”
     
    Unfortunately, his “no” doesn’t make a good and exciting story.  So, all the fake newsers (including Npr and to my horror Pbs), ignore what was said and run with their make believe story. 
     
    YOU SUCK!
     
    Will anyone call these fakers out when weeks later Christie stands on his “no”?
     
    Somebody, please find a “real” newsman or woman!

  • jim

    Tom,  As a way to improve your show, how about this:  Whenever a conservative guest goes on with one of their preztel theories on how lowering taxes for rich people will result in prosperity for all of us, or when a conservative caller starts going on about the latest wacko conspiracy theory which President Obama or the “government” is behind, just add a laugh track…   

  • Brandstad

    Mitt Romney = John McCain

    Both candidates are almost democrats that the left wing media love.  The more politically educated the republican electorate are, the less they like Mitt Romney!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Romney is no McCain.  Not even close.

      • TFRX

        Well, seeing how Romney is being accused of flip-flopping, and McCain shred his “maverickness”–even though our press still courted him like he was the  Prom King–in order to get enough crazies on the right to vote for him. He got to Election Day 2008 with about two positions on about every issue, they are more alike than you wish to think.

        Actually, this go-around may be more like 2008 than 2008.

    • Anonymous

      Mitt has the best chance of beating Obama so please keep spreading how much the Democrats love Mitt during the primaries so we can trounce a rightwing nut in the general election.

  • Dan M.

    Hey state of Alabama government,way to go on those laws of Yers…it make me sing and update the song..’Southern Man” by the Great Neil Young…..hey ya  Tea-Party lovers……

  • Dpweber83

    Current caller: “We don’t know how many there are, because they’re silent.”

    Well that’s just not even close to true.  There are plenty of ways to figure out how many of something you’re looking at without actually seeing or hearing from each of those countable things.  

    But it’s good to know how The Middle thinks of itself!  Shaking my head…

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • Jeff

    Are the CBC  “his people.”  Why, because of skin color?

  • Tsar

    has anyone discussed the arctic drilling pebble mine fight going in alaska?

  • Lucy J.

    Chrystia’s comments just now expressed perfectly what I feel at this point; I voted for President Obama to try to unite, to compromise a little when necessary, realizing that as strongly as I hold my views, others having opposite views are just as certain they’re right!  But this past year has really driven it home to me that politicians in the opposition are NOT interested in working together for the good of the country, but for their own employment.  So I agree, time for Obama to take it to the streets and do what he can, and bypass the jerks that won’t budge.  I’m still a big Obama supporter. 

    • nj

      Obie is going to “take it to the streets”! Hilarious!

      Like yelling at his former backers to “stop complaining” after he sold them under the bus.

      Compromise “a little”? Like hiring a raft of corporate lobbyists after promising to ban them from his administration.

      News flash: Obama is one of the jerks. Now that the Election Follies are upon us, he’ll promise the moon, and make some populist noises, but if people are deluded enough to put him back in, we’re in for four more years of war, half-stepping measures on the economy, increasing corporate infiltration into the  government.

      • Anonymous

        I agree, although the alternative would likely be worse, especially if it’s one of the incompetent wackos now in the race.   I just can’t see myself working for or financially supporting a candidate whose main message is “follow me!  I’m not as bad as the other guy.”  But I’d probably vote for him instead of not voting at all.

      • TFRX

        “Yelling at his former backers” shows how well disguised the reportage of this speech was. Either that, or the Congressional Black Caucus really enjoys being “yelled at”.

        If it were any garden-variety rightie, Foxholers would have been pissing their pants with kudos for the enthusiasm the speaker roused the crowd with. And the “liberal media” would have helplessly repeated the narrative.

  • Janna

    Of course republicans don’t care about a candidate’s public speaking abilities…they elected George W. Bush….TWICE. Ugh.  I still can’t believe that happened.

  • BHA in Vermont

    While it would take a LOT to get me to vote Republican, at least these points made by Christie ring true to me:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/09/the-heresies-of-chris-christie/245818/

    His weight: problem or not? My concern would be related to health, better have a good #2. The likelihood of sleep apnea is pretty high. Being a sufferer myself, I would wonder if the rigors of 24×7 presidential life would be quite difficult if not impossible.

    • Jasoturner

      “Compromise is Core to Politics”?  I think we needn’t worry about a President Christie.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      I Hear you concern about health problems when being a President.

  • Ellen Dibble

    When I’ve worried about presidents such as Bush II being insulated, if not by people crowding for influence, then his extended vacation time, then I’m amazed at Obama’s degree of participation, not just pulling strings.  For one thing, the Congressional strings aren’t working the way they did for President Johnson, however that happened.  But Obama has never disappeared to let his reputation speak for itself, however that works.   Insulation is probably a necessity for those with physical challenges.  One thinks of FDR, and  Eleanor Roosevelt’s concept of herself as his eyes and ears, and emissary.  I think of Romney as having been insulated, not by layers of fat, but by concerns about image and presentation, for many years AlReady.  Governor Christie, less so.   Maybe someone will put him on a campaign diet.

    • Brandstad

      I would rather have a competent leader with a love of God and country than a hollow and fit president!

      I would hope that anyone so superficial and ignorant to consider personal weight in their decision would not vote at all.

      • TFRX

        “Love of God and country.” In that order.

        Nice way to prioritize there, bub, especially how “love of God” from your side so often means “my God gets to be in your Government”.

    • Anonymous

      Christie could use a diet.  But he could use some manners, too, and the maturity he never achieved — the maturity and respect for others that bullies never do quite achieve.

      Still, given those defects, he found the perfect political party to ally himself with!

  • Pollychrome

    Thank you, Jack, for defending U.S. values of due process!  Government assassination merely at the whim of a President is illegal, turning a mere government official–the President–into a Dictator with the power to kill anyone around the world.  If John Heilemann is right about most Americans supporting such outlaw-injustice, then that’s new proof that the corporate press fails. Tom, Chrystia, and John, the Fourth Estate enjoys First Amendment protections in order to defend Americans against government tyranny.  We U.S. citizens now have the worst possible combination: an authoritarian journalism hiding behind the First Amendment, while denying both First and Fifth Amendment protection to others, including al-Awlaki.  
    Obama has not proved in a court of law that al-Awlaki poses harm to the U.S.  But giving the President such power to murder anyone he chooses is a vast danger to the rest of us, obliterating our right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in court before a jury of our peers.  Such cowardly cheerleading is not patriotic, but profoundly UnConstitutional and a danger to all Americans and non-Americans like.  ”Take out,” as John puts it, is a frivolous way to describe the awesome power of premeditated killing.  What a sad day.  (I am a life-long Democrat who will NOT support President Obama’s re-election.)

  • twenty-niner

    Note to American workers: the White House would really appreciate if you could kindly let someone else in another country do your job.

    Gibson Guitar CEO – Obama admin told us our problems would ‘go away’ if we used foreign labor

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011/sep/1/picket-gibson-guitar-ceo-obama-admin-told-us-our-p/

    • TFRX

      Gather ’round, everybody, for the reliable source of straight reportage that is the Washington Times.

      The propagandists on the right got their asses handed to them regarding overamplification of, and injecting a political motive into, Gibson falsifying customs papers and importing hardwood in violation of 2008, bipartisan, industry-supported Lacey Act.

      Perhaps you should not bite so hard on the baitless hook, especially when Fox and such pick and choose “facts” which align so precisely with right-wing messaging.

      What’s next? THe EPA’s black helicopters’ stormtroops ready to bomb your hibachi out of existence?

      • twenty-niner

        OK, now that your done pounding your keyboard and picking the keys off the floor, try reading the article. Never mind. I’ll make it easy for you:

            CHRIS DANIEL: Mr. Juszkiewicz, did an agent of the US government suggest to you that your problems would go away if you used Madagascar labor instead of American labor?

            HENRY JUSZKIEWICZ: They actually wrote that in a pleading.

            CHRIS DANIEL: Excuse me?

            HENRY JUSKIEWICZ: They actually wrote that it a pleading.

            CHRIS DANIEL: That your problems would go away if you used Madagascar labor instead of our labor?

            HENRY JUSKIEWICZ: Yes. They said that explicitly.

        • Anonymous

          So if I understand this revelation, someone from the big bad gubmint told him “if you are going to do make things in this country (as opposed to Madagascar) you will have to follow our laws.”  And you consider that somehow unfair?

          • twenty-niner

            “And you consider that somehow unfair?”

            Fair? Did you steal my bubble gum? We’re way past fair here. We are witnessing American industry being packaged up and sent off shore at an accelerating rate. In case you haven’t connected the dots, this why we went from the biggest creditor nation in the world to the biggest debtor nation in a generation. And Obama, counter to his vapid campaign promises, is certainly not helping.

            Gibson is just one of many such examples. Here’s another fun one to chew on:

            U.S. To Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers
            Federally-backed program aims to help outsourcers in South Asia become more fluent in areas like Java programming—and the English language.

            http://www.informationweek.com/news/software/soa_webservices/226500202

          • Fredlinskip

            Believe  relavent reason we went from biggest debtor nation to biggest debtor nation can be linked directly to Borrow and Spend (mostly) GOP policies that have been rulle of thumb for 30 years +

          • REM-MD-R

            The national “debt” really does not matter all that much:
            See the primer on pragcap.com. USA is not a household

            The current account deficit does matter, not always bad for us but it has to be countered with government deficit spending or it will be contractionary. Outsourcing is another matter. See twenty-niner, above.

            As a social democrat and 2 times small business owner (one manufacturing, the second in medical practice) I believe that government is intrinsic to the capitalist system, and intrinsically subject to abuse. Obama sounds like a social democrat, but governs like a fascist (I wish the TEA Partiers would get the distinction). I am beginning to think he is a Goldman-Sachs-JP Morgan mole.

            And the assassination thing? It really is appallingly easy to revoke US Citizenship and this al-Awlaki guy deserved revocation. I don’t cry for him. But to not bother even to revoke citizenship shows a contempt for Constitutional Law that one would only expect from -  well maybe a Harvard or U Chicago economist. What did that Obama guy teach?

          • Fredlinskip

            I wish Obama,s inauguration day he walked over and bonked W over the head and he threw Cheney, Rumsfeld and the like in jail for war crimes. I wish Guatonomo was closed. I wish the light of day was exposed into MANY areas of activities of previous administration.If his administration was going to inject 800 bil in to the markets, like he (and W) did to prevent possible “financial collapse” (as occurred late W, early Obama terms) I wish the $ would have gone to small community banks, with strings attached, and let the big ones take a dive.   Obama tried to lead from “the middle” and “compromise” And as soon as it was apparent that was the way he was going to lead, GOP shifted “ the middle” WAY to the right.     I wish Obama didn’t compromise with the devil. Don’t know if he would have been able to accomplish anything with this approach, but at least we would know where he stood and where “line in sand” was drawn.He didn’t do these things and many more I would have wished. Would the country been better off or would hehave been able to accomplish anything at all if he lead this way?- hard to say.     One things for sure – he was handed a mess- and had the alternative party been elected instead of him, I think this “mess” would be now MUCH worse.    Back to reality- we need work with what we got and decide which party is better qulified tp “lead ” us forward.

          • twenty-niner

            Obama’s rhetoric runs counter to his actions, and his actions are highly destructive. The country needs a leader willing to fight for American industry and manufacturing jobs because the economy can’t run purely on services, not at even close to the standard of living to which we’ve grown accustomed.

            I can only recall one candidate in recent history who fits this description – Ross Perot. He and his family received death threats, which he then mistakenly revealed to the public, and was marginalized thereafter.

          • TFRX

            Yes, his actions are too “Blue Dog”. They need to be more genuinely left-wing more often.

            And let’s not forget the WATB GOP, determined to keep millions out of work to put one man out of a job.

          • twenty-niner

            I’m more interested in restoring a vibrant manufacturing base than ephemeral Keynesian opiates.

          • TFRX

            You are changing the subject. Can’t you come up with anything better on your point?

          • twenty-niner

            “You are changing the subject.”

            I know comprehension is not your strong suit, but the subject is outsourcing, and how the current administration seems to be encouraging it. I’m happy to post more evidence to support the argument.

        • TFRX

          “Pounding my keyboard”?

          On the intertubes there is no vocal inflection or non-verbal language.

          Stop projecting some Fox-fed caricature of what lefties act like. Stop assuming. Stop making an ass out of you and…well, you.

          And some Washington TImeser asking a CEO is to be believed? That he’s not lying and that would make the illegally-sourced wood okay?

          Yes, keep telling that to yourself.

          • twenty-niner

            “Stop projecting some Fox-fed caricature of what lefties act like.”

            I’m detecting a lot of anger there. What ever happened to the peace and love lefties from the 60s who would sit around for hours smoking pot and fornicating? Now those are some lefties I’d like to hang with. Perhaps we could sing “Kumbaya” while playing Chinese-made Gibsons.

          • TFRX

            Your detector is off.

            How many chances do you want to take the shred-of-dignity way out and admit that the internet doesn’t carry non-verbal language and vocal inflection?

            To the larger point: If the Washington Times, and some CEO who has his knickers in a twist because the government caught him breaking the law, want to make up stuff and/or decontextualize and pretend something happens or it means something else, that’s your problem for being a sucker.

            Because often, if a story sounds to good to be true, maybe it is. And that’s just one more way right-wingers fail when pretending to be journos. I’m still looking for the way this illegally sourced wood can be “greenwashed” into complying with the spirit and letter of the law.

            And there is the whole right-wing propaganda wing ready to twist,
            fabricate and decontextualize anything someone who was ever a Democrat
            said. Stop projecting, yerself.

          • twenty-niner

            “Because often, if a story sounds to good to be true, maybe it is.”

            Thanks, but I’ll be taking the word of Juskiewicz over an anonymous, angry liberal on the internet.

          • twenty-niner

            How many times do I have to tell you I’M NOT ANGRY!!!!!! Oh for Pete’s sake, I just broke my exclamation point key@#**&

    • Anonymous

      Are you sure he didn’t say “your need to pay your fair share of taxes to this country” will go away if you use foreign labor?

  • Brandstad

    ADMIT: Energy Secy continued taxpayer money to SOLYNDRA after company defaulted… 

    Is this corruption or stupidity!?!?

    • Gregg

      Both.

  • Gregg

    Dodd/Franks requires banks to cut by half the fees they charge vendors for each transaction.  Now Bank of America (and soon others if not yet) has imposed a brand new $5 monthly fee on anyone who uses their debit card for purchases. The burden has been shifted from the supplier to the consumer. That’s what over regulation gets you.

    • TFRX

      Yes, banks were just killing themselves to not raise any fees whatsoever.

      Aesop showed that any excuse will serve a tyrant. Don’t you get that banks are tyrants (oligarchs) and the masses need to be protected from them?

      • Zing

        Pay up or shut up

      • Gregg

        But the banks are still making the same money. The regulation did not change that.  Do we need more regulation?

  • ulTRAX

    The claim made endlessly by Mod and Gregg in these forums is that Newt and the GOP were responsible for the Clinton Surplus… NOT because it’s true but because they have a pathological imperative to deny that the Clinton tax hikes (and spending cuts) did anything positive.

    They’ve presented no proof of actual spending cuts that could add up to the required numbers. Instead they use the argument concocted by the Orwellian Right that if 1994-95 deficits projections showed large $200 deficits way into the future… then if there was a balanced budget (unified) by 1998 it CAN’T be because the projections were too pessimistic… it had to be NEWT that gets the credit!!! I’ve asked for proof that the GOP cut the required 200 billion a year to get rid of these deficits, but I won’t hold my breath.

    Here are the projected savings from the Newt’s Balanced Budget Act from the…  CBO ECONOMIC AND BUDGET OUTLOOK: DECEMBER 1995 UPDATE

    TABLE 4. BALANCED BUDGET ACT CHANGES FROM CBO’S DECEMBER BASELINE(By fiscal year, in billions of dollars)

    Total Balanced Budget Act Policies FY96  FY97  FY98 -22    -24    -58    = $104 billion in spending cuts.

    What Mod and Gregg are claiming, in their typical Orwellian Right fashion, is that the GOP should get the credit for eliminating the $200 billion a year projected decficits… $800 BILLION CUMULATIVE for FY 95,96,97,98, way AHEAD of the 2002 schedule by cutting a total of ONLY $104 billion. Given this Bill didn’t pass until the end of 1995, even if we just take a cumulative $600 billion number, the GOP spending cuts amount to only about 1/6th of what’s needed.

    That Gregg can claim such puny savings brought us to a balanced budget is proof his right wing ideology has sabotaged even his most basic math skills and that also explains why Gregg constantly claims tax cuts, which everyone but he knows are designed to REDUCE revenue… instead create revenue booms.

    Thanks for the laffs guys… it’s been fun, but I’ve got other things to do. So if you don’t see me around much, it’s not because I’ve been banned… as if that ever stopped me.  

    • ulTRAX

      But we have to remember that in 1997 there was also a small tax cut Gregg loves to claim “unleashed” the economy.

      From REVENUE EFFECTS OF MAJOR TAX BILLS by Jerry TempalskiU.S. Department of the TreasuryOTA Working Paper 81 Revised September 2006

      Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 was expected to cut revenues by -.6 billion in 1997 and -6. billion in 1998.  Tax Relief Act of 1997 was expected to cut revenues by -9.4 billion in 1998.

      So the resulting net effect of the Balanced Budget Act was

      FY96   FY97   FY98
      -22    -23.6  -49.6 = net $95.2 Billion net spending reduction by FY98.

      Which only slowed getting to a surplus… as would have other GOP tax cuts in 1998 and 1999 both of which Clinton vetoed.

    • ulTRAX

      We can’t forget there’s a deep current of fiscal schizophrenia in the GOP. While they might have wanted to balanced the budget in the 90′s, they also FEARED that balanced budget… even more an actual annual surplus. So AS SOON as there were signs of a possible budget surplus, the GOP rushed in 1998 to sabotage it. http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/18/us/house-panel-approves-republicans-80-billion-tax-cut-plan.html?pagewanted=print&src=pmWhere these GOP tax cut proposals failed in 1998 and 1999 because of Clinton’s vetoes, the GOP succeeded magnificently with Bush2 who despite the US being $6 TRILLION in debt in 2001, passed SIX TAX CUT BILLS. Suddenly all that fiscal restraint they showed under Clinton was tossed out the window… proving what? I think it’s obvious… the GOP isn’t concerned about fiscal responsibility in principle. They only want to restrain DEMOCRATIC spending. Braindead Dittoheads have no problems papering over this fiscal schizophrenia… and we see this in Gregg here every day. But fiscal schizophrenics have NO place in government.  

    • ulTRAX

      WHERE OH WHERE ARE NEWT’S HUGE SPENDING CUTS?

      Let’s look to the actual spending numbers for FY92-FY98 when the first unified budget surplus appeared. Using on-budget spending and excluding off-budget spending like Social Security which is not discretionary we don’t see ANY evidence of those $200 billion a year cuts that would be needed to offset those $200 billion a year deficits.

      Here are the on-budget spending numbers from the Historical Budget Tables, table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS

       

      FY92 1,129,191

      FY93 1,142,799    +13,608

      FY94 1,182,380    +39,581  Clinton’s First Budget

      FY95 1,227,078    +44,698

      FY96 1,259,580    +32,502  First Budget after Newt.

      FY97 1,290,490    +30,910

      FY98 1,335,854    +45,364  First unified balanced budget

      FY99 1,381,064    +45,210  First true on-budget surplus 

      The second number is the increase over spending the previous year. Clinton’s spending in FY94 and FY95… budgets before Newt, average about 42 billion a year. In FY96 and FY97 we get smaller spending increases than that average but they only total less than $25 billion over those 2 years before again rising in FY98.

      IF IF IF there was some dramatic GOP spending cuts… above and beyond the Balanced Budget Act… we SHOULD see them. But they’re not there. The Orwellian Right is crediting NEWT for the Clinton Surplus but their ENTIRE intellectually dishonest argument, which you can find here,

      http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5656

      is all smoke and mirrors. The spending cuts, which Clinton had to approve, may have gotten us to a surplus in FY98, but even WITHOUT THEM, it was sure to happen in FY99… and NONE of it would have happened without building on the foundation of the 1993 Clinton tax hike/spending cut bill.

    • Fredlinskip

      Now that you’ve sharpened your arguments some (you can thank Gregg some  for that), and you’ve apparrently driven Gregg to drinking, I’d like to see how you do on a GOP comments page. OR to at least bring your arguments to toher venues where they can be a positive influence to rational conversation. We all need do what we can to promote fact over fiction before Nov 2012.
         ( I really haven’t seen many popular GOP blogs, but maybe I haven’t looked hard enough. The ones I have seen, the conversation sometimes can get a bit ugly.) 

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Not sure where you’re going with your post. NONE of the Orwellian Right’s arguments these past 30 years ever made any sense. But then they weren’t designed to. They were designed to justify the GOP’s new political strategy of fiscal irresponsibility… to fight Democratic deficit spending while excusing the lavish free lunch spending of the GOP. The problem with this schizophrenic strategy is it can’t survive without a Orwellian Right propaganda industry that can paper over the contradictions for braindead dittoheads and party faithful.

        All Gregg does here is regurgitate the lies and distortions of the Orwellian Right. I’ve yet to see him demonstrate ANY independent or original thinking. And Dems don’t need any help refuting the Right’s nonsense. They just need the courage to stand for commonsense. But I’m not going to hold my breath. My contempt for the Dems is because they can’t even deal with their own core contradiction… claiming to be democratic, yet they’re standing in the way of true democratic reforms. Screw ‘em!

        • Fredlinskip

            I haven’t given up on America yet. And if I was reduced to applying for shoe shining jobs for the banksters and corporate elite, I hope I still wouldn’t give up. If we let the Rush Limbaugh’s and the Fox “news”, and the Gregg’s of the world frame the debate, then as a country we are lost. Next Great Depression here we come. It’s up to those that actually care enough about the country to pursue the facts wherever they lead and then frame the argument honestly for all to see.   There are 2 wildly different “interpretations” of the facts in this country. They both can’t be right, and trying to move forward jerking half one way and half the other isn’t going to work. It’s up to those who actually care enough to do the research, & shine a bright light on the truth so this country doesn’t run into same wall over and over. OR one of these times we may not get back up.    You’re right I think courage is what is missing- the courage to speak the truth to power and to the media that has so obviously failed America.     We need people to understand that it’s all right to be a “flip- flopper”. It’s all right to be lead astray for a while, but when facts come along that obviously disprove what you previously believed, you have to have the COURAGE to change. There are a lot of folks that are naiively mislead in this country. They need to open their eyes. And we need people like you to help them open (and in venues other than this where in large part you’re preaching to choir).

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            “We need people to understand that it’s all right to be a “flip- flopper”. It’s all right to be lead astray for a while, but when facts come along that obviously disprove what you previously believed, you have to have the COURAGE to change.” We tend to be comfortable with our belief systems and go out of our way not to threaten them. But belief systems, or ideologies, are often insidious and sabotage our intellects because once we accept them we deprive ourselves of the intellectual tools to disprove the system. The most insidious are those that seemingly have an explanation for everything. The ability to self-correct SHOULD come naturally IF IF IF people value facts more than ego or political affiliation, better yet aggressively challenging their own beliefs. But then most modes of human thought are not self-correcting but self-justifying. I’ve eaten crow enough times to know it doesn’t taste that bad… which is not to say I claim a monopoly on the truth. It’s a struggle. We should WELCOME those threats to our beliefs. What’s the alternative, to leave one’s mind full of mush, half-truths or lies?  
             

          • Fredlinskip

            Well said.
            Hey, Ultrax, Which Gregg do you like, the:
               1) boisterous, I’m going to respond to every comment posted Gregg; or the
                2) quiet, contemplative, Y’all got me so flabbergasted I don’t know what to say Gregg.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            There’s of course the third Gregg that uses 3ed grade excuses to evade posts that on some level he knows threaten him. Like the other Greggs this one also lacks the intellectual integrity to tell fact from fiction only this Greggs top priority is the protection of his own fragile ego.  

          • nj

            Seems to me y’all are spending far too much time and effort on this Gregg fella. Seems like there would be more important things to do, given the state of affairs.

          • Gregg

            I’m in their head.

            Thanks, NJ. That’s the first time I’ve ever agreed with you.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Post after post about everything BUT the topic of this thread?

            Why not just be honest that you’re determined to evade the evidence? Come on Gregg… if your claim Newt was responsible for the Clinton Surplus it should be EASY to prove the GOP cut $200 billion a year to offset those $200 billion annual deficits! SHOW US THE NUMBERS!!!

            We know your game. You make an empty claim, run from all the evidence that proves it’s untrue, then in a week or two you’ll be back making that empty claim again.. and again… and again. All the time you’ve deluded yourself your interested in an honest debate to get the truth.

            YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!

            (sorry couldn’t resist!)  

          • Gregg

            I never claimed Newt was responsible for the surplus, just a factor whom you give zero love. Congress clearly has no input whatsoever. There was no 1994 revolution but even if there was it meant about as much as the tech bubble, nothing. Clinton submitted 5 budgets just for fun. I have given Clinton credit many times but not enough. It was all him and his tax hikes. God bless him and all he stands for. Bush is the devil. Tax cuts are the worst possible solution for anything in the universe. The rich are scoundrels who make their money on the backs of the poor and should be punished.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            The problem with irrationality is it can’t be confined to one area of one’s life without contaminating ALL thought. Gregg is now desperately resorting to an Orwellian rewrite of HIS OWN (and my own) history when he says: I never claimed Newt was responsible for the surplus, just a factor whom you give zero love.”

            EXHIBIT 1: Here are YOUR words from the August 5 forum: ” Clinton fought the balanced budget tooth and nail. He had to submit 5 budgets before Newt was satisfied. There was no way on God’s green earth he would have balanced the budget, reformed welfare and claimed “the era of big government is over” without the Republican takeover in 1994. No way.”

            EXHIBIT 2: That I never gave Newt any credit: from this VERY THREAD…. ” I’ve been quite clear that it’s basic math that ANY combination of new revenue and spending cuts will shrink a deficit.Despite you’re bastardization of my argument, I’ve been clear that any GOP spending cuts DID contribute but that that contribution totaled only about $104 billion over FY96-98… so it was IMPOSSIBLE the GOP overcame a $200 BILLION a year deficit totaling 600-800 billion depending if you start when Newt came to power or when the Balanced Budget Act was passed. Given the hard numbers, Newt may have helped that surplus come a year early, but that IT WOULD HAVE COME ANYWAY… in FY99.

            And from a post of mine from two DAYS ago: The Orwellian Right is crediting NEWT for the Clinton Surplus but their ENTIRE intellectually dishonest argument, which you can find here,

            http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5656

            is all smoke and mirrors. The spending cuts, which Clinton had to approve, may have gotten us to a surplus in FY98, but even WITHOUT THEM, it was sure to happen in FY99…

            Keep it up Gregg. I didn’t think it was possible for you to make a bigger fool of yourself, but you’ve exceeded my expectations.  
             
             
             

          • Gregg

            Dude, “Exhibit 1″ does not even include the word surplus much less it’s cause. As far as “Exhibit 2″ goes, you just gave the rooster credit for the sunrise. That was mighty generous.

            I’m happy to let my words stand but it’s creepy that you keep a file on me… or that you think anyone cares.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Thanks again Gregg for another demonstration of your contempt for reality. You’re now refusing to either defend your claim, or concede the evidence which disproves it.

            I’ve debated enough braindead dittoheads and liberals in my day and it always come to this. Push someone into a corner hard enough and they become like quicksilver. They COULD, if they valued the facts, concede. But they place their fragile egos first and pretend their refusal to engage further isn’t because they lost the argument. What are their reasons? All one has to do is look at your posts to find some. You insist on someone prove you made a claim, then when they find your own posts, you concede nothing but like a pathetic little third grader try to get the attention off yourself.

            Gregg you’re a pathetic joke and this thread only again proves it.

          • Gregg

            Let me get this straight, here’s your reality: If I think Clinton would not have balanced the budget (among other things) without the Newt revolution then that means I don’t give Clinton any credit for capitulating and doing the right thing. You’re funny dude.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

             It really doesn’t matter what concessions Clinton made. You’re doing what you always do… moving the goal post. Your NEW claim is Clinton was forced to compromise with Newt, but it was NEWT’S policies that brought on the balanced budget/surplus. Again you’re sweeping under the rug the LARGER contribution Clinton’s own tax hikes and spending cuts brought to the table.   Time to deal with reality Fluffy. The NUMBERS prove the Newt budget cuts were WAY too small to overcome those $200 billion deficits… and while you also assert as true the small 97 tax cuts “unleashed” the economy, you haven’t actually shown they produced the required additional revenue that along with the Newt spending cuts could negate a $200 billion deficit by FY98.  Here’s where your Orwellian Right fairy tale falls apart.   Despite your hollow claims, Newt didn’t perform miracles. The problem here is you want to believe those CBO projections even if they were deeply flawed. The reality is Newt was the “bystander” in bringing on a surplus, not Clinton. The BEST case is those GOP spending cuts got us to a surplus by FY98 instead of FY99. Yet it’s also true if Newt had his way with tax cuts in 98 and 99, that surplus might never have happened.  In the end it doesn’t matter because Bush’s irresponsible tax cuts drove the stake in the heart of those surpluses and prevented any paydown of the debt… something you’re on record approving of. Which makes me wonder how you can believe Newt’s alleged surpluses AND Bush’s sabotaging of those surpluses with irresponsible tax cuts are BOTH desirable. But then I know better than to think you’re going to make sense.    

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Enough with your evasion and empty claims!!!

            SHOW US THE NUMBERS GREGG!!!  Show us how Newt’s spending cuts AND whatever massive revenue increase you claim for the 1997 tax cuts could have generated together could overcome those projected $200 billion deficits by FY98.

            Put up or shut the F up Gregg.  

          • Fredlinskip

            Good point.
            Life’s too short.

    • Gregg

      You live in your own little world don’t you.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Thanks AGAIN for another demonstration of how you EVADE any topic you know threatens your Orwellian Right fantasy. You’ve repeated the claim over and over that Newt was responsible for the Clinton Surplus yet despite my repeated challenge that you show sufficient GOP spending cuts to offset those 200 billion deficits, you’ve EVADED those challenges… then a few weeks later just repeat the claim. Your other tactic is to EVADE responding to a threatening post is to make some wise ass remark thinking that gets you off the hook… even as you accuse others of “dodging” your posts. 

        You claim to value open, honest, intelligent debate; that you’re informed and think deeply about issues. It’s a laughable claim. I’ve yet to see you post ANY original thoughts. It’s all right out of the Orwellian Right/GOP playbook. The only exception is how creative you get in finding new ways to make your evasion sound respectable. No I take that back… any 3ed grader could do better.

      • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

        Oh finally get your comment!!! I live in my own little world because I not capable of appreciating the deep, thoughtful, all encompassing world of the Orwellian Right; a world of smoke and mirrors and where the numbers don’t add, but everything they claim can still be true! How intellectually stunted of me. 

        The reality here is Stephen Moore, the author of your Cato hack piece, is an intellectual prostitute. Moore HAD TO KNOW what he was saying was false in order to so artfully craft his bogus argument. It’s impossible to believe someone who’s Director Of Fiscal Policy at Cato could so utterly ignorant of basic budget concepts that he would not know than ANY new revenue, ANY spending cuts, or ANY combination would bring a deficit down. Instead he said the Clinton tax hikes/spending cuts were of no consequence and only Newt’s spending cuts mattered… even though he makes no effort to prove those numbers add up.

        So Gregg… should I start a Gregg Evasion Clock? I don’t want to spend much time here any longer but that might be fun!

      • GetALife

        You are a D-bag.  Disposable, really.

      • WalkInThePark

        Hang it up Greggyboy – ulTRAX and many others have got you by the facts.  Take those wimpy posts of yours between your legs and pack it in.  You have lost every major discussion around here.  Your comments are no longer required and your opinions are needlessly applied.  Your points are pathetic and your logic poorly organized.  Look out below.  

        • Gregg

          Anyone who thinks ulTRAX makes a lick of sense is too far gone for honest debate. The dude has written books worth of comments to deny anyone or anything any credit for Clinton’s surplus which was intended to fix the economy for life.

          It goes like this:
          Congress played no roll. The tech bubble was irrelevant. Capital Gains cuts had to be “offset” because they produced squat. Clinton’s CBO and OMB did not project $200 billion deficits as far as the eye could see. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS CLINTON RAISED TAXES! 

          As to Bush, he didn’t inherit a recession or a war that was already being waged against us. Revenue didn’t go up and the unemployment rate didn’t go down after the tax cuts. The day before Clinton left office, the economy was booming (remember, March 10, 2000 never happened) and the day after, it tanked. All those excuses we heard from Obama about turning the ship around on a dime, were not applicable here. On that day the terrorist had an idea, out of the blue, to attack us and began to plan. It did not take years of training, financing and planning. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS BUSH CUT TAXES! That’s why we’re in this mess. Congress turning over in 2006 means nothing. TARP has not been paid back and spent. Obama (bless his heart) is doing the best he can. He just didn’t spend enough.

          So you guys yuck it up all you want but it’s kinda’ sad. Don’t be offended if I don’t feel like I need to engage in your foolishness. It’s fun to read though, we all need to laugh.

          • Fredlinskip

            Gregg,    We all have a right to our opinions.      I was personally frustrated when you wouldn’t even discuss the larger picture of what the overall GOP strategy for the last 3 decades has been and the results it’s wrought. And then it became clear that you refused to discuss facts that challenged your world view.    About then I learned that you thought Rush Limbaugh views were “fair and balanced”, which for me that shed light on the situation I had not previously realized.     It’s clear no one can get an iota of new information past your entrenched positions with a crow bar. Fine you’ve got a right. It’s a free country. Maybe you are actually Rush Limbaugh.     IMO, people should always try to be civil.     You’re not the only person with hopelessly entrenched positions, but I guess people that visit these comments pages need to be warned that there is a GOP think-tanker (or something of the like) who constantly submits posts, but to engage this individual is a tremendous waste of one’s time, because rational discussion will eventually break down. Therefore it’s best just to ignore this person.    IMO, you’re positions puts the finger on perhaps this country’s most major issue. Rational conversation no longer matters.

          • Fredlinskip

                Against my better judgment, I’m going to try and engage you for what I hope to be the last time and ask you to engage in a thought experiment.     Let’s say for the sake of argument there was a tiny percentage of Americans possessed a large percentage of America’s resources. These folks were fabulously wealthy and many of them had become and remain so, in part, by “gaming the system”.    Would it beyond the scope of the imagination then that some of these folks would spend an inordinate amount of $ trying to influence public opinion, political campaigns, & “regulation” (such as those designed to protect the consumer, the environment, and to keep undisclosed $ OUT of political campaigns)?      If the preceding paragraph is not beyond the scope of your imagination, ask yourself if the $ is out there and it is being spent in ways that would best protect the interests of the privileged few, where might it seem to be going. What media outlets, candidates, political parties and think-tanks seem to most espouse views that protect the interests of the few as opposed to the many?    Have these considerations ever entered your mind , when you as a “news junkee” scourge through your “sources” to inform your opinion?

          • Gregg

            The only thing “entrenched” is that you think you know something about someone you’ve never listened to and a network you’ve never watched. How do you expect to have a rational discussion about it?

            As for the last 30 years thing, I don’t agree with your premise. Most of the country doesn’t either. Yours is a minority view. Rush has nothing to do with it. Nothing, it’s laughable. 

          • Fredlinskip

               I’ll save the Fox “news” discussion for another day.
                You indicated Rush is “fair and balanced”- And you REALLY don’t think that is a minority view?
               As far as the 30 years thing, whether my view is minority or not, it’s hard to deny that while average workers wages have stagnated, executive salararies have soared thriough stratosphere, over that period.
               Evolution is a minority view in America. I’m not really concerned about minority view. I’m more concerned about facts. 

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            GREGG EVASION CLOCK… 40 HOURS and counting.
            MORE evasion Gregg? Seems you’re determined to keep asserting as true something you can’t prove and all the evidence is against, yet you won’t retract and still pretend you’re interested in the honest debate and the truth. To protect your fragile ego you bastardize my argument to the point it’s unrecognizable. And you wonder why I’ve said over the past 6 months you’re a clear case of a self-sabotaged intellect.  

            As for your lame rationalizations, bottom line is if you can’t make a point without gross distortions… and untruths, you really haven’t made a point… have you Chuckles?

             I’ve been quite clear that it’s basic math that ANY combination of new revenue and spending cuts will shrink a deficit. YOUR position has been… and posting that Cato hack piece proves it, Clinton had NO role in his own surplus. It must be given to the GOP’s spending cuts. You’ve never made ONE effort I know of the past month to prove this with the hard numbers. You just repeatedly ASSERT it to be true.

            Despite you’re bastardization of my argument, I’ve been clear that any GOP spending cuts DID contribute but that that contribution totaled only about $104 billion over FY96-98… so it was IMPOSSIBLE the GOP overcame a $200 BILLION a year deficit totaling 600-800 billion depending if you start when Newt came to power or when the Balanced Budget Act was passed. Given the hard numbers, Newt may have helped that surplus come a year early, but that IT WOULD HAVE COME ANYWAY… in FY99. You’re other claim is that a small tax cut in 97 “unleashed” the economy. Again it’s a smoke and mirrors claim since it pretends the internet boom would not have happened anyway.

            As for Bush, THIS POST IS ABOUT YOUR SPECIFIC ASSERTIONS ABOUT THE CLINTON SURPLUS… but I should note that you’ve made claims that the revenues and unemployment were “freefall” in 2000 and I’ve posted the actual BLS employment numbers and CBO revenue numbers BOTH which show your claim untrue… and instead of acknowledging the facts, you continue to try to make a case of smoke and mirrors and still seem to be utterly confused between 2000 and 2001. That’s NOT to say there was no slowing of the economy… but that YOUR two specific claims were NOT true. Have you retracted yet?

            As for the Bush Recession… it did NOT start in 2000… so PLEASE stop making this claim. It officially began in MARCH 2001   source: http://nber.org/cycles/cyclesmain.html 

             Time to deal with FACTS Gregg… up to it?

            Didn’t think so.

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Hoping this lame excuse for not defending his own claims will get him off the hook, Gregg writes: “Anyone who thinks ulTRAX makes a lick of sense is too far gone for honest debate.”.

             Sure, it’s pointless arguing facts with someone who doesn’t value an honest debate. So where are your facts on this issue? We’ve been waiting for over a month.

            Honestly, Gregg, I don’t know much more honest I can get. You made a specific claim numerous times that Newt was responsible for the Clinton Surplus, posted your Cato source to that effect, and quoted what you claimed were CBO or OMB projections of 200 Billion deficits “as far as the eye can see.” A cursory look at the Budget Tables showed Newt’s actual spending cuts were nowhere close to $200 billion a year. I asked you for hard numbers over a month ago and you never provided them. So I did additional research and found a 1995 CBO repost that scored Newt’s Balanced Budget Act. Those specific projections were also WAY too small to erase a $200 billion deficit. So I then looked again at the general on-budget spending during the time frame in question… and there were no dramatic spending cuts. Gee, is that MY fault the real numbers don’t support YOUR assertion?

            If you wanted an honest debate, instead of just claiming you do, you’d have supplied those spending cut numbers a month ago… or found where my reading of the CBO reports and Budget tables was wrong. You did neither. And this is just one example of your intellectual dishonesty. A few days ago in another forum you claimed employment and revenues were in “freefall” in 2000, the end of the Clinton presidency. I AGAIN looked at the CBO revenue numbers and BLS unemployment numbers to find for the last 4 months of 2000 unemployment was at 3.9%. Revenues were so high it was Clinton’s best year. You insisted I was wrong… and tried to make a smoke and mirrors case to “prove” your case. You instead made a complete ass of yourself.

            Yet you’re here not just today but EVERY DAY claiming you’re interested in an “honest debate”.

            Sadly, it really does seem that you’ve no clue what an intellectually honest debate even entails… nor do you want to find out. You only value the term as a self-description and the more you play that game while you doing everything to AVOID an honest debate, only look more and more like a sleaze.

             

          • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

            Getting off topic here but I need to correct Gregg’s Orwellian rewrite of history so other’s aren’t misled. Gregg continues to write even AFTER BEING CORRECTED SOME 3-4 TIMES: “As to Bush, he didn’t inherit a recession or a war that was already being waged against us.”Please get it through that thick skull of your Gregg that the year 2000 was NOT a year in economic “freefall” as you posted in an older forum and seem to be repeating here. While there may have been an economic slowdown brewing, revenues did NOT collapse but were in fact Clinton’s best year. And 2000 could very well have been the lowest unemployment rate of all Clinton’s eight years ending 2000 at 3.9% for the last four months. Have you officially retracted your claims yet or did you again just try to sleaze your way around the issue? NBER shows the recession officially began in March 2001 NOT in 2000.As for “the war”, you’re being dramatic. We are, after all, talking about what were then about 10,000 Al Qaida crazies not a real “war”. Perhaps we could have stopped 911 if Bush had been doing his job instead of goofing off… (or was he hiding?) in Texas, and Cheney had actually done something as head of the anti-terrorism task force instead of meeting with oil companies on how to carve up Iraqi oil fields. And “the war” would have been less a drain on our resources if Bush FOUGHT OUR REAL ENEMIES. Instead, Bush hijacked 911, using it as a pretense to attack Iraq, a nation that DIDN’T attack us. Oops, 4000 GIs dead, countless maimed, perhaps a million Iraqi civilians dead, and a $ trillion spent FOR NOTHING… all the while Bush let’s Bin Laden escape, and DIVERTS resources from the war in Afghanistan allowing it to fester and probably become unwinnable.       

    • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

      Another laughable claim made by the Gregg, citing his Orwellian Right sources, is that a small 1997 tax cut “unleashed” the economy and was responsible for the economic boom at the end of the 90′s… as if the internet bubble would not have happened anyway. And that economic boom was responsible for the Clinton Surplus. If you want a good laugh, go here…

      http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/03/tax-cuts-not-the-clinton-tax-hike-produced-the-1990s-boom 
      The problem with this assertion is that the 1997 tax cut was signed into law in August 5th ’97, with most of its provisions starting in 1998. Yet FY98 which started in October 97, was the year where revenues already topped CBO predictions leading to a unified budget surplus.

      In the CBO’s January 1997 report THE ECONOMIC AND BUDGET OUTLOOK: FISCAL YEARS 1998-2007 the CBO predicted a -120 billion deficit for FY 1998. This reflects a reduction in the forecasted deficit of 174 billion from just 8 months before.

      By September 1997 when the CBO updated their deficit forecast for FY98, it had dropped to -57 billion.

      By January 1998 when the 1997 tax cuts comes into effect the CBO in their annual report drops the deficit projection for FY98 to a mere -5 billion.
      What the Orwellian Right is doing is asserting a law passed in August 1997 and not scheduled to go into effect for 3 more months, somehow magically went back in time and raised revenues BEFORE IT WAS PASSED!!!

      Gregg’s claims the Clinton Surplus was really the GOP’s doing… created by Newt’s spending cuts and this 97 tax cut have NO basis in reality. The BEST case that can be made is the surplus would have been delayed by a year without those modest spending cuts.

  • ElfmanNW

    Thank god for Jack Beatty.  The way the program started out with a one -sided cheer fest for the murder of Anwar al-Awlaki I thought no one was going to raise the important questions.  Sadly even after what Jack had to say even Tom still kept referring to Anwar al-Awlaki as “American born” instead of what he was, and American citizen.  That and I still cringe every time I hear the words “collateral damage” the Vietnam Era American coined weasel expression to avoid saying killed innocent civilians. 

  • Rodmacd

    One of your guests mentioned “the big GOP donors don’t like Romney,” and you cut straight to a a commercial with no followup. Why don’t they like him? It would be interesting to know if it’s a) they think he can’t win or b) they think he can but don’t trust him, i.e. he thinks for himself and isn’t brain-dead and ready to do what he’s told, sign every pledge, or be a stooge.

  • david

    Two thumbs up for my state Alabama!!!
    We have demonstrated to the rest of the USA and those incharge in Washington that we know what the definition of “ILLEGAL” means!
    Maybe the rest of the country will look at a dictionary?

  • Delta

    Why was Anwar al-Awlaki still a US citizen?  Isn’t there a process fro stripping citizenship from people who openly state they want to destroy the country?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Why don’t we use it right now, on those that have sworn fealty and allegiance to Grover Norquist, and are ruining the U.S., in order to make President Obama a one-termer, AT ALL COST!!

  • MIchael

    I’m a little perplexed at the dissemination of information as to the termination of Anwar al-Awlaki.  I see this as simply inflammatory to those who would avenge his death and now instead of one person to contend with, you have potentially multiple replacements.  Who says that we as citizens need to know every step the military is making over there?  I believe there are some things that should be kept on a covert basis and not broadcast to the world 30-seconds after the deed.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You’re saying that it’s alright for the government to kill you, if someone doesn’t like you enough to say you are a terrorist, as long as the rest of us don’t know about it at the time?

      • Hidan

        So what happens when say Russia, Iran, China starts doing the same thing? will the media gleefully jump up and down cause they called the person they assassinated a terrorist?

  • Gregg

    With the recent rise of Herman Cain look for the racism from the left to begin. I wasn’t crazy about Cain after the first debate and preferred Bachmann. Now, not so much.

    Newt is still my favorite. I just hope the primary last until NC.

    • Hidan

      I love it how the right gets a token black man (Michale Steele comes to mind) to justify there own racism.

      • Gregg

        That’s sick, but thanks for proving my point.

        • Hidan

          of course it sick how Republicans uses token blacks to attack other blacks, Michael Steele got the nonimation after claiming it was poor blacks on welfare buying MC-mansions on the hanitty show instead of credit default swaps and deregulation.

          Glad we agree.

      • JonS

        Rare that you ever post anything remotely rational. I guess the most we can hope for from you is borderline disgusting……

        • Hidan

          I was thinking the same thing about you.  except the “most” part

    • Anonymous

      Oh great – Cain wants to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

      • Gregg

        In the last debate Cain said he would appoint people that have between harmed by the EPA to advise him how to restructure it. I thought it was a good idea.

  • JonS

    Although al-Awlaki was an American citizen, he became an enemy combatant and was not entitled to US due process. People forget that the US congress authorized military force against Al Qaeda and its members. Does anyone believe that an American citizen who may have have taken up arms on behalf of Germany or Japan was entitled to due process? Or what about Confederate soldiers ( all American citizens) who fought against the Union?

    • PI Resident

      Could/Should the US “take out” Jonathan Pollard.
      You know who he is, right?

      • Hidan

        shhhhh, he was working for Israel so it’s doesn’t count.

        your get a kick out of this one,
        http://www.jonathanpollard.org/

        • PI Resident

          A good web site.  Perhaps Obama will grant “clemency” just before the Presidential election . . .

    • tunnelman

      but you know what they say about how you can tell a lot by a person by the way he treats his enemies…

  • JustSayin

    Getting noticed by the media with the unapproved message means trouble.Bloomberg Criticizes Occupy Wall Street Protest, Suggests Their Days May Be Numbered:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/30/bloomberg-criticizes-occu_n_989424.html

  • Anonymous

    I was astonished by the grotesque and blood thirsty attitudes displayed on this show last night. I agree Jack was a somewhat moderating voice, but even he accepted the propaganda spewed by the government as true.  I was encouraged that at least some of the few callers that got their message past Tom Ashbrooks giddy, giggly interruptions seemed to be thoughtful, but now I’m depressed all over again by these comments, most of them seem to be longing for the sound of jackboots in the streets.  Very very depressing.  I doubt that it will convince the ignorant and the hateful, but if you want to try adding some facts into your information diet, check this out:  http://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/30/with_death_of_anwar_al_awlaki

  • Hidan

    The authoritarian nature of the conservatives once again comes out, it’s okay to overlook the rule of law and kill people without trial if enough people are convinced to be afraid.

    • Dave in CT

      Mainstream Dems and Repubs both want Authoritarians to save them, militarily or social engineering-wise.

      We can’t handle liberty apparently.

  • Hidan

    Check this,

    Anthony Bologna Using Pepper Spray In Second Video

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/28/anthony-bologna-using-pep_n_985432.html

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think the day after Thanksgiving, people WITH benefits are out shopping, and I think the day after Thanksgiving people WITHOUT benefits are coming in to help the stores sell things.  I don’t think seasonal workers would get coverage just for the time they’re on shift.  It gets fussy.  
        Anyway, those without coverage to me means without coverage as a job benefit.  Plenty of people buy their own coverage.  That’s what I do.  And does it ever cramp my style.  That’s what drives you to doing those weekend and holiday shifts, paying for that coverage.  So you work those days In Order To Pay for your insurance that helps with life-saving medication for your child, or whatever it is.  To tell that exact set of people to sacrifice MORE seems unprincipled.  We DO want them to keep their coverage, whether it means working overtime or not.
         In any case, the Obamacare kicks in, in different ways, making health care more affordable to those in the lower brackets, so if one buys (or soon will be able to buy) health care at a highly subsidized rate, on one’s own, should one be protesting?  

  • tunnelman

    I thought it was interesting that one woman said something to the extent that God will sort out Anwar al-Awlaki’s guilt… Didn’t Jesus say something about forgiving your enemies? What about Justice? I guess it’s true that Justice really equates to what is advantageous to the stronger….

    • Ellen Dibble

      If you have a society that predefines its justice to be meted out after death (some parts of Christianity with its concept of heaven, some parts of Islam with a similar idea), then what is the role of justice on earth?  Is that capitulating and saying there is no such possibility?  No reason to even try?  Does such a philosophy “justify” injustice?  Does it excuse systemic imbalances and prejudices, all that?  Yes, it certainly can.  
      Religion in that case tries to excuse things where better legislation and enforcement would make heaven less necessary as an eventual even-handedness.

      • Gregg

        Interesting questions. The one definitive truth about religion is, no one knows for sure what happens when we die. It’s my view that whatever belief (or lack thereof) one holds to ease that burden should be respected. Some think Bin Laden and Al-Awlaki are in hell other think they’re whooping it up with virgins, No one knows.

        Having said that, earthly justice covers all bases. I agree with your sentiment about legislation and enforcement, I appreciate the profound context in which you placed it. I’ve always held the wars should not be about justice (revenge). It’s should be about changing the Middle East. IMHO, something has got to give. The seeds have been planted in Iraq and Afghanistan. Revolution is in the air all over the Middle East. It’s yet to be determined who will fill the void but we will not be safe if the Middle East reverts. I don’t know how far the assassinations of Bin Laden or Al-Awlaki gets us. Hopefully, far but it’s symbolic.

        • Hidan

          Still going on about how Iraq and Afghanistan started the Arab spring? You know it’s false so why are you claiming such is beyond me.  I don’t recall the protesters in Egypt crediting the U.S. illegal mind you invasion of iraq as the start of the arab spring.Nor any other country for that matter. In fact the U.S. backed Maliki government is in fact fearful that the arab spring will hit iraq.

          Iraq’s own Arab spring

          A renewed sense of nationalism is uniting protesters over delays to US troop withdrawal

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/25/united-states-troop-presence-iraq-long-term

          Once again your wrong but feel free to cite your sources how iraq and Afghanistan inspired the arab spring and all those protesters and leaders stating just that.

          • Gregg

            Ellen Dibble’s question about the role of earthly justice is a good one. I think if earthly justice makes the world safer and lives better for those of us alive now then that’s the role. I don’t think revenge alone gets us there.

            I’m just emphasizing the door is cracked open. Exactly why is another discussion.

          • JustSayin

            IMO the Arab spring was the indirect result of Wikileaks. The revelation that their national leadership’s rhetoric did not correlate to factual linkages to US foreign policy aims was the last straw.

    • American Exceptionalism

      Justice requires America to attack a country that had nothing to do with attacking us. And to question this is unpatriotic. Don’t forget this or you will likely be blacklisted in many ways- some obvious, some subtle. 

  • HopeandChange
  • Gregg

    So I’m thinking, if you are a jihadist what are the implications for the afterlife if you are killed by a drone? I mean, as opposed to strapping on a bomb and going to the mall? It seems to me the notion of fighting an enemy that wants to die for the cause is what makes this fight so impossible. Are the drones a sufficient antidote? Imagine, the newbie radical having to decide whether to buy in to suicide for virgins or risk thinking about it. It must seem magic how the those thinking and planning suddenly go up in smoke without warning before they get a chance to scream Allahu Akbar.

    We have had 5 times the drone attacks in 3 years than in 8 of Bush. I’m really not sure about all of this but I must give credit to President Obama for bold, decisive action. I hope it’s working.

    • MeToo

      If you are a gregghadist what are the implications of constantly writing stupid comments in the presentlife if you are eliminated by rational reasoning.  I mean, as opposed to saying very stupid things and writing them down to fight a totally imagined newbie radical where fighting a virgin suicide enemy of it’s own mind droning on about some attack ratio while giving credit for some unkown purpose without wit and comprehension.  Glad you have a job.

  • Long time On Point listener

    Once I heard the voice of Chrystia Freeland (the banker bailout-queen), I stopped listening.

    Please do not invite her back as a commentator.

     

  • Hidan

    http://www.roadstoiraq.com/2011/08/23/maliki-started-to-fear-the-arab-spring/

    Maliki started to fear the “Arab Spring”

    Posted on August 23, 2011 by Sappho

    230 dead and wounded in one day, At the same time US Sec Def Panetta claimed that Iraq agreed to extend the pres­ence of the US troops, despite the Iraqi gov­ern­ment denial say­ing that “No offi­cial talks have taken place with the Amer­i­can side”, Iraqi media and news­pa­pers revealed that the secret talks with the Amer­i­can side are already started since 10 days ago.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/20/c_131062139.htm
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/20/c_131063059.htm

  • Fredlinskip

    Apparrently whoever runs On Point comments page doesn’t allow one to respond under more than one name.
    Testing to see if I can get my name back (Dang  you Tom). 

  • Fredlinskip

    Nope – didn’t work try again (sorry Folks)

  • Fredlinskip

    Hmm. Bit odd that . Oh well. I guess I can’t run for office now.

  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    The Gregg Evasion Clock evading the points made in this thread http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/09/30/week-in-the-news-166#comment-324002445 is now at 60 HOURS.

    We can expect Gregg to make the same points already discredited over and over again in the next few months.  
     
     

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment