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Week In The News: A Year In Review

The week in review, the year in review. Our weekly news roundtable live and in the studio looks back at 2011 and peeks ahead to the brand new year.

FILE - In this May 1, 2011 file image released by the White House and digitally altered by the source to diffuse the paper in front of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

FILE - In this May 1, 2011 file image released by the White House and digitally altered by the source to diffuse the paper in front of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

We are folding the tent on 2011 today.  What a tent-full of news.

Arab Spring and Gabby Giffords.  Tsunami and twisters andFukushimanuclear meltdown.  Osama Bin Laden, buried at sea.

Congress, buried in the polls. Qaddafi, gone.  Mubarak, gone.  Steve Jobs, gone.  Joe Paterno, gone at PennState. America’s triple-A rating, gone.  The Euro – maybe going, reeling.  Only unemployment stuck around.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell,” gone.  The GOP in full debate, and “Occupy” up in arms.

This hour,  On Point:  we take on 2011, the news, this year in review.  What did all that mean?

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times.

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for the Washington Post.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Time “TIME Ideas picks the most thought-provoking, anger-inducing, viral viewpoints of the year.”

Salon “Dear 2011: We come not just to honor but also to bury you. Here’s how.”

CNN “Dynamic 2011 events to shape world for years to come.”

Playlist

“Our Day Will Come” — Amy Winehouse

“Hound Dog” — Big Mama Thornton (lyrics by Jerry Leiber)

“Jungleland” — Bruce Springsteen (sax solo by Clarence Clemons)

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  • wavre

    2011 will mark the biginning of the end of capitalism as we know it. The(real) change has started. The 99% of the world population(middle class, working poors)are fed-up with the1%(bankers,wall street,CEO’s,corrupted media and politicians, dictators from left and right) People around the World are connecting the dots.The real power behind our governments will soon be exposed.

    • TweedleDumDee

      Yep, Ron Paul is doing well. The days of Rubin, Summers, Geithner, Greenspan, Paulson, Frank, Raines, etc. corrupt central management of our economy, to be replaced by the blind rule of law and promise of sound money, may finally be at hand.

      How ’bout the upcoming Iran war BTW……?

      • Hidan

        There trying to get the U.S. to fight Israel’s war and of course the MSM is doing the same thing they did for Iraq. But it seems this time there’s far to many voices fighting against it.

        The new one is claiming Iran was involved with 9/11.

  • Michiganjf

    Finally!

    This Tuesday we will, AT LONG LAST, find out which Rodeo Clown a handful of hicks in Iowa think should run the country (into the ground).

    Saved at last!

    I can’t wait for Republicans to finally fix everything with all their great solutions to the country’s ills!

    I’m tired of them holding out on America with all the right answers, just because they’ve not yet been given supreme power uber alles. 

    I’m especially looking forward to trickle down economics finally working after only 30 years of trying it out.

    Woo Hoo!

    • TweedleDumDee

      Your trust in  Rubin, Summers, Geithner, Greenspan, Paulson, Frank, Raines, etc. corrupt central management of our economy, as opposed to empowering your friends and neighbors to drive a real economy of real supply and demand, not financial bubbles and war, has worked out so well!

      But then, peace and financial sanity is so……  1800′s!

    • William

      The Liberal trickle up economics has not worked so it’s time to go back to what works best.

      • JP

        Yeah WiLLy, the top one percent is wealthier than ever, and the bottom ninety-nine percent are poorer than ever.

        Yeah, we’ve REALLY been trying “trickle-up economics,” haven’t we?

        Brain yet?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          OK, so the top 10% of earners pay 70% of income taxes and the bottom 47% pay 0% of income taxes.   Sounds like a trickle up policy to me and since it isn’t working we need a new tax policy that grows the economy for everyone.

          • JP

            It takes income to pay income tax.

            Over 20% of the population is now defined as “poor.”

            The top 10% in the country account for 95% of the income, so why don’t they pay 95% (at least) of the taxes instead of 70%, according to your figure?
            Brain yet?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            6 Wal-Mart heirs have MORE money, than 30% of the U.S. citizens, do they pay as much percentage in taxes, on money they just earn money on?

        • Anonymous

          JP, that is not factually true.  In the US, both the rich and the poor are better off then they were prior years.  Studies also show that new technology is often adopted and afforded by the poor Americans between 4-7 years after the rich get access to it. (like the personal computer or cell phones).

          If you don’t agree, please show me the facts and studies you are basing your opinions on.

          • TFRX

            Adopting technology because it’s so cheap now, compared to buying a transistor radio 60 years ago, is true but meaningless.

            That does nothing for “food insecurity”, “housing insecurity” and “healthcare insecurity”, and how tens of millions of Americans are one not-so-catastrophic event from being impoverished.

          • Anonymous

            Don’t we have Obama-Care now?  

            Isn’t obisity rampant in our country?  How can this be if we can’t find food?

          • TFRX

            Have you no clue about poverty in this country, the WATB kicking-and-screaming to keep government from governing in the case of the Affordable Care Act, or about the difference  between calories and nutrition?

            Addendum: Just keep “JAQing” it. Your pretend innocent “explain things to me, I’m just asking honest questions” fools nobody.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, Do know quite a bit about poverty in the US.  I know that 75% of poor Americans have one or more cars, 300ft^2 more living area than the average middle class European, at least one flat screen TV and game system, and AC in their home.

          • Anonymous

            In today’s poor public transportation, being carless is tantamount to being jobless.
            When the living area is poorly insulated raising heating and cooling costs, that means it is cold in winter and hot in summer. Just because there is an air conditioner does NOT mean it is used.

          • TFRX

            Let’s not forget the “rich poor folks”with cell phones, in an environment where having a phone number to be called back at is how someone gets a job. Too much “luxury ” for the likes of Branny.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            NO!! We do NOT have Obama Care now!  Nor the Affordable Health Care!  We have a START of it. 
               YOU obviously would rather stick to the DEATH PANELS of wealthy Insurance Company Executives, that decide who gets treatments by weaselling out of providing treatment for 1 cent difference in premium payment, obscure ‘previous conditions’ NOT mentioned to the patient, and MYRIAD other bogus rip-offs!

        • William

          You have the sounding points down pat, but since we don’t desire to end up like the broke EU crowd the science has been settled long ago.

          • JP

            We wish we had an economy as well-balanced as that of Germany or Sweden… keep dreaming, it will get you farther than brain-dead Republican blather.

          • William

            You would be unable to function in those countries since they require you to work.

          • Anonymous

            The current euro crisis is a balance of payments problem between “center-north Europe” (e.g., Germany, France, etc.) and the GIPSI. That balance of payments problem was caused by mainly German and French banks lending money to PRIVATE companies in Spain and Portugal largely for overbuilding of houses that were supposedly going to be bought by “northerners.” This caused demand for workers which raised the wages in those countries and generated income which was used to buy mainly German and French goods. Then the financial crisis struck and exposed the problem. But Germany and France were unwilling to make their banks take the necessary haircut. Germany made most of its money in exports — to those countries now in trade deficit, which caused their government revenues to radically decline.

            Ireland’s banks (and Iceland’s) decided they could be great derivative traders and borrowed money to lend out (largely to non-Irish entities, so the Irish are not even benefiting from their banks’ ineptness) and that money was lost. The Irish government bailed out its banks leaving the Irish to suffer. The austerity that the Irish are undergoing is NOT helping the Irish at all. The people saying differently are citing GDP numbers (which are not that good either) rather than GNP data. The difference is that GDP shows the money made by foreigners (think Pfizer and Microsoft) who have low employment but generate a lot of money there so it won’t be taxed by the U.S. Thus the Irish are suffering a near Great Depression economy with no near-term recovery in sight; in fact the austerity it is inflicting on itself is making that recovery more distant.

            Iceland (because it is small) was able to not bail out its banks; it took the hit to its economy and devalued, making an export-driven recovery possible. It is still slow, but it is doing a lot better than Ireland and the Baltic states.

      • Anonymous

        You’re correct that we should go back to what works: pre-1980′s policies of high taxation of harmful short term high-risk financial gambling with other people’s money and the receipt of ridiculous “salaries” totally out of proportion to economic benefit provide by those elite recipients;  powerful labor representation and the resulting fair wage for the efforts of all hard working Americans. 

        One thing we can say for certain is that “trickle down” economics does not and never has worked for the benefit of any but a tiny few.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Not true.  The trickle down policies worked well under Reagan.  We had tremendous job and economic growth that benefited the middle class.

          • Anonymous

            You can have your own opinion, but facts are facts:  http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010062415/reagan-revolution-home-roost-charts

          • Anonymous

            The job and economic growth did not happen until first George H.W. Bush and William Clinton had raised taxes which made a balanced federal budget possible and the computer “apps” had been developed so that worker productivity could soar in the mid to late 1990s. Reagan’s administration led the increase in federal debt that only Clinton made a dent in reducing and also cut the federal investment in infrastructure and education that has led the U.S. to much of its imbalances today.

            The deregulation that gathered steam from Carter’s beginnings (airlines) into the banking sector which grew from around 12% of the profits of all business in the U.S. to some 33%. That such an increase did not generate millions of jobs in the G.W. Bush years says that it was NOT productive and gives credence to the claims that that money was generated by speculation among the banks via derivatives (CDOs, CDSs, and other “fancy” innovations) that were not widely understood or regulated.

            In other words, your claim that Reagan created real economic growth is worse than a lie.

        • William

          Who decides “ridiculous salaries?”

          • Anonymous

            The same one that decides whether government spending is too high.  History and perspective is the guide. 

          • William

            That would not work. The people that give us larger government have no desire to reduce the size or scope of government. They only encourage more failed programs and higher taxes.

          • Anonymous

            Your rejection of history and perspective as guidance says it all.  I conclude the answer to your question is YOU get to decide. A rather infantile approach.

          • William

            That is the problem. “You” making the decision is quickly fading. “They” are making the decisions for “you”.

    • JP

      Ha! I agree, Republicans have been keeping all the “solutions” to our problems to themselves so long as Obama is President. It will be nice to see them finally step forward and let the rest of the country in on their little secret.
      Can’t wait to hear their genius ideas!

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        The house GOP keep passing solutions but Harry Reid, BO’s butt-boy, won’t let them come to a vote.  We haven’t had a federal budget for 3 freakn years and the Dems controlled all 3 branches for 2 of those years.

        • TFRX

          “Solutions”.

          You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Good point.  We need to identify the problem first.  Hopefully we can agree $15.4T debt and growing fast is the problem.  Also, we can’t forget the exploding unfunded liabilities in our entitlements.

          • TFRX

            Anyone want to tell Worried what the business cycle is?

            Many a real-world economist have said, even on a program which suffers from Nice Polite Republicanism, that the best thing to do for the deficit in 5 years is to add 1% to the GDP now.

            And the right wing had their chance to do something, for about 5 years of economic expansion. Quitcherbitshin.

          • TweedleDumDee

            Hilarious.  You think our latest “Business Cycle” was an organic event, that would have happened at it’s magnitude without the Fed and Fannie/Freddie and the revolving door Democratic/Republican Treasury officials colluding with Wall St.?

            That pure example of UN-free, totally manipulated markets?

            The reality is those boobs think they are wise enough to “manage” our economy, which is a sick illusion, and invariably they turn to printing more money to save their a$$es, and put it on our backs.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            This I agree with you on!

          • Anonymous

            The real pressing problem is the unemployment rate being above 6% or so. That will cost the U.S. some $5 TRILLION in LOST GDP between 2009 and 2014 because some 10 million willing workers had no jobs. If the country borrowed at near 0% interest the $0.5 to $1 trillion more to repair needed infrastructure and increase the energy efficiency of all aspects of energy use, the bulk of unemployed construction workers could be put back to work, generating cash flow that would create demand for other products putting other unemployed back to work also. It would also reduce all business costs for the future, making the U.S. more competitive in foreign trade for the foreseeable future.

            But the “problem” you are “solving” is to eliminate the social safety net, which will make the U.S. LESS competitive. Big business can just go abroad and do just fine, but the “small business” (that has not done well in this environment — check this year’s stock results) will shrink and die, leaving the U.S. far behind the rest of the world.

            Your approach is that of the cannibal, eat your own even if that means you cannot win when threatened from without. Another example is the Easter Islanders, who continued to cut their forests down even when it became clear that their habitat was declining and would be unable to support them.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            GOOD Analysis!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The GOP solution will be ‘deregulation’ of polluters, ‘deregulation’ of Banksters that immorally defraud, ‘deregulation of CEOs that bankrupt their companies, and other GREEDY rich thieves, that will continue to grab more wealth they cannot spend, to prove their immoral power over others, with the blessings of the ‘religious’ ‘right’!  Other crimes against humanity to follow!

  • Notgoneyet

    2012 will be the year when governments are forced to address their overspending.  It will start in Europe, migrate to Japan and finally land in the US.  Interest rates will rise; recession and depression will follow unless governments get serious about living within their economies’ growth.  Governments will learn that you cannot support a socialist utopia on debt.  Half of the world’s population is changing their government next year, hopefully they get one that has the courage to address these issues realistically.

    • Anonymous

      Isn’t that the same prediction you made for 2011, and 2009, and 2008, and . . . .?  I expect you worship the almighty market, which indicates that public debt is of no concern given the rate at which the market has set the interest rate on such borrowing.

      • Chitown

        Your ignorance of the market is pathetic.  Look what happened to Italy when rates went up 100 basis points in the matter of a couple weeks.  The country is near implosion today.  When you live on debt, you better pay attention to the market.

        • Anonymous

          Your comparison of our economic situation to Italy’s is pathetic.  What does the market say about our public debt?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Rich Italians are STILL rich Italians!  The poor working-class suffers!

        • Anonymous

          Actually your ignorance of the cause of the euro crisis is profound (or you are using “facts” out of context to falsely argue a different case). The government of Italy is in primary surplus (revenues exceeds all expenditures except payment on the deficit) and covers the interest payments when the rates are at that of Germany. But Italy does not have its own currency and therefore has to borrow in euros, not Italian lira and thus cannot devalue and make its exports cheaper and therefore grow its economy particularly when the countries it would export to are also undergoing “austerity” regimes.

          I am not saying that the Italian debt is not a problem, but the Italian economy generates enough revenue to cover its debts (or the banks would not have lent it the money, right?) as long as the interest rates are reasonable. Actually, the banks lent the money because going on the euro implied to the banks that the Italians (and all the others) would be “bailed out” if things went bad and, predictably, they did, due to other PRIVATE banking excesses; see my comment above. Economists warned that the euro, without fiscal union, was a problem looking for a home, and it has come home to roost in spades.

          But ALL the “troubled” Eurozone countries were making strides in reducing their public debt BEFORE  and AT the TIME OF the financial crisis; see Krugman:

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/european-fiscal-zombies/

          The Eurozone crisis is a BALANCE of PAYMENTS (read TRADE deficit/surplus) problem, not a welfare state problem. Germany has a better safety net than Italy or Spain (as does Sweden, etc.) and there are no cries about cutting benefits. But Germany does not want to recognize how it made so much money on exports to these countries and its responsibility in causing this crisis and so far refuses to help fix it.

          But it is more than a REPUBLICAN TROPE and it is used to deflect the argument from an accurate diagnosis of the problem to make it appear to be a problem which can “only” be solved by eliminating the social safety net, a goal of Republicans since FDR created it.

  • William

    The end of the EU and Socialism continues.

    • Hidan

      And the rise of Communism and China.

  • Phil

    Bill Maher’s incendiary, hate-filled, comments regarding Tim Tebow demonstrated his profound ignorance and prejudice.  When Don Imus made his inappropriate comments a few years ago, he was taken off of the air, which was the appropriate thing for MSNBC to do.  HBO and any other media in which he is now spewing out his politically incorrect hate speech should immediately fire him and eliminate his opportunity for spreading his hatred.

    • Newton Whale

      Maher’s comments were tasteless and insulting. So what?
      He’s a comedian.

      More to the point, he was not attacking Christianity so much as he was criticizing Tim Tebow for ascribing his success to his “personal savior, Jesus Christ”. Now THAT is truly offensive and blasphemous.

      Tebow and many of his fans would do well to reread the gospels, in particular Matthew 6:5-6:6:

      “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 

      But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” 

      • Phil

        Lots of people cross the line when they are attempting to be funny.  The thing about Maher is that he was probably intentionally trying to be as offensive as he could possibly be, which makes him all the more guilty of a hate crime.  People need to be held accountable for their statements, don’t you agree?  That was the case with Don Imus, and it cost him.  Equal treatment would mandate that Bill Maher be fired by any and all media outlets.  Unless, of course, only hate speech against certain groups is unacceptable rather than all hate speech being unacceptable and inappropriate.

        • Newton Whale

          You are manufacturing an outrage because you refuse to see Maher’s actual, clearly stated point: ascribing success or even simple good fortune to divine intervention is blasphemy. It invites the conclusion that failure and bad luck are also the work of God. 

          You also refuse to deal with the fact that overt displays of piety are obnoxious as well as contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

          Maher’s tasteless comments were not hate speech. He did not attack Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 6:1, he supported them:

          “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

          • Phil

            If someone considers overt acts of homosexual expression to be obnoxious, are you going to give them a pass and say that it is not hate speech?  Or does only what conservatives say constitute hate speech, but liberals can slander any group that they want to and it is objective dialogue and comedy?

          • ck

            Phil in your in over your head.

          • Phil

            Patronizing and name calling is such a typical liberal response to those that they disagree with.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, I find it much more common among right-wing fanatics. I have not followed all the Broncos games, but I gather from news reports and sports commentators that Tebow does not claim that God helped him win, but that God gave him the ability to perform well.

            Now that can be a distinction without a difference in this case because the way he makes his religious thanks rises to ostentatiousness and that encourages OTHERS to make the claim that God rewards him for his religiosity.

            I fail to see where Maher’s misdirected tweet was ad hominem (it mocked the idea that God controlled Tebow’s ability to win football games); but the tweet (maybe 140 characters would not be enough) should have mocked the Christian right’s and the media’s exploitation of Tebow’s public acknowledgment of his faith.

            Newton Whale makes a lot of real solid points about how to (or not)  experience faith in one’s life. Kurt Warner, one who did acknowledge his faith publicly, has said that Tebow might be wise to tone down his actions. But it is his allowing others to misconstrue them that is really at the heart of this contretemps.

    • Hidan

      Maher’s a douche that what he does. 

      • Anonymous

        Like minds do think alike.

    • Anonymous

      You have got to be kidding.
      Bill Maher’ a comedian and social commentator.
      Imus is a bigot. Not the same thing.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        You are blind sir.
        Imus is an entertainer.  He is many things but he is not bigot.

        • Anonymous

          He was taken to task for his bigoted comments. I’m not blind, it’s called a difference of opinion.

        • TFRX

          So he was saying that stuff about C. Vivian Stringer’s players ironically? Or making fun of a bigot by doing it? I must have missed that part.

      • Phil

        I am not kidding.  Maher has made other very inflammatory comments which reflect his personal biases against religion, Christianity, etc.  Don’t give him a pass.  Hate speech is hate speech, not matter what the source.  Or is certain kinds of hate speech (against Christians, for example), acceptable?  I and many other people are personally very offended by Maher’s comments.  He needs to be held accountable, not given an excuse to continue spewing his brand of hate speech.

        • Anonymous

          Maher dose not say he hates people who are religious.
          He’s using satire and he is questioning the validity of the absurd idea of believing in some guy with a beard who is sitting in space. Calling people idiots is not the same thing as using a racial slur. If you have problems with this idea then I trust you would have issues with Mark Twain for the very same reasons.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            His favorite word is teabagger.  Sounds like a slur to me.

          • TFRX

            Using someone’s self-appointed label is a slur?

        • TFRX

          Where on the line of “people to be held accountable” does Maher stand, by your reckoning?

  • TweedleDumDee

    Oh the sweet hypocrisy, Iowa 2008, Iowa 2012….

    http://youtu.be/soHAOVZzXtA

    http://youtu.be/9c_YvAfWN2w

    • TweedleDumDee

      ….this is where the “Orwellian” phrase fits for once….

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Didn’t you know the MSM is and will always be in the tank for Obama?

    • Anonymous

      So Ron Paul supporters don’t like the messenger because of the message? It is mainly REPUBLICANS who are paying for ads that attack Ron Paul; the media are reporting this (thankfully this time) and Ron Paul’s polling numbers are falling as of this date. That is due to Republican attacks on Paul’s foreign policy prescriptions, not the media’s other failings.

  • Doug Welch

    Hopefully our twentieth century battles between supply siders and Keynesians will finally end and we can start dealing with the real issues.  Debt is a problem  because our economy is choking on  high energy prices, and growth is declining. Our own military is predicting tightening oil supplies in 2012, and a 10 million barrel per day shortfall in 2015.  What politician or msm outlet is dealing with this?  A year from now we may be looking back on 2011 as the good old days.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Obama’s dealing with it. Look at his aggressive, proactive support for the Keystone pipeline.

      Ooops!

      • Anonymous

        We already are a net exporter of petro products. 

        Why not save our resources for US instead of letting them be developed to support a foreign competitor?

        • Chitown

          Seriously, you know nothing.  We are still huge importers of raw crude; and recently net exporters of refined products.  Government policy is actively hindering energy independence.

          • Anonymous

            So you’re saying the oil moved by the Keystone will be dedicated to our use?  I had not heard that.

          • Anonymous

            And we will CONTINUE to be importers of raw crude as long as we continue to reward a fossil fuel energy sector. All Keystone XL will do in this regard is change the source of the imported oil.

            But having that supply will retard our moving to sustainable energy sources (Solar, Wind, and even Wave) that will not lead to increased CO2 emissions and the INCREASINGLY devastating weather events that cost the U.S. in excess of $52 billion just in 2011 (but that did add to GDP — doesn’t that make you feel good?).

            Right now with China subsidizing PV, it is cheaper than fossil fuel electricity generation. And a just published study of the medical effects of the toxic emissions of coal power plants indicates they cost the U.S. in health care about the same as the profits they generate. That would seem to be as “productive” (in terms of quality of life) as the GDP growth from repairing storm damage.

            Supporting fossil fuel extraction is not the path to energy independence; it has been repeatedly tried since the Nixon administration (Carter was probably the only one to see the problem clearly). How many times does it take before the saying that “repeating the same action and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity” applies to this problem?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            YOU GOT IT!!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thousands or more of ‘capped’ wells, millions of acres of oil and gas leases NOT being used, auto mileage that was matched in the fifties, HINDER energy independence, as does the active resistance to Wind, Solar, and other renewables by the subsidized oil and coal industries!

  • Hidan

    Uncut Ron Paul Interview – CNN Gloria Borger

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLonnC_ZWQ0&feature=related

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Your point sir?

      • Hidan

        It was claimed that Ron Paul did not respond to the journalist question. What was aired left out much of the uncut conversation. This claim was repeated on many of the MSM news cites and reporting without informing the public the interview was cut.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Thank you.  You make excellent points on the media bias and this is a prime example because they don’t like Ron Paul.

          • Anonymous

            Whether or not the media likes Ron Paul may be totally irrelevant: the Republican Party bigwigs don’t like him either, and the media know it. Look at the ads running against Ron Paul paid for by super committees, etc.

            The best argument against him (and why Romney people feel less threatened by a Paul victory than a Gingrich victory in Iowa) is that Paul’s foreign policy is anathema to the American people (though not necessarily; but it is anathema to Republican neocons) and he could implement it while he could never get his domestic policy through Congress.

          • TFRX

            Funny you should mention the GOP bigwigs.

            Remember “Kremlinologists”? They’d pore over official seating charts of reviewing stands for parades in Red Square, and read between the lines of “Pravda”.

            A savvy media org could put one of those Kremlinologists  to use examining the RW propaganda of Fox and Rush to determine how the power struggle within the GOP is going.

            Finally, Fox News serves an informative purpose!

  • Hidan

    Kind of funny that the attacks of Ron Paul being racist is coming from no other then the racist and bigoted National Review who Tom Ashbrook tends to host many of it’s writers and editors.

    National
    Review’s Racist Rants

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo223.html

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Quotes from 1957?  Can we keep it current?

      • Hidan

        Read some more there’s quotes from the 80′s are well.

        If you ask,

        Academic Racists Make Mainstream Inroads

        From National Review to the New York Times
        http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2487

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      You should be more concerned by the actions of Eric Holder.  He is doing more damage to race relations and racial equality than any pinhead writer did in the ’50s or ’80s.  It is really a squandered opportunity.

      • TFRX

        You say “squandered opportunity”, I hear “the right wing hates everyone Obama thinks of nominating”.

        The right lost its “opportunity” to be taken seriously with all that voter fraud fraud.

  • Anonymous

    We should look back on this years Arab spring or after review rename it the Arab winter.  While rulers were overthrown, 
    Israel  is still the only functioning democracy in the middle east with religious freedom for its citizens.  The Arab Spring countries have turned into dangerous bigoted factions that kill or silence anyone that is not aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood or a similar group.

    • Hidan

      bhahaha, Israel is a far from a functioning democracy unless your Jewish and say away from Ultra Orthodox communities. Might get spit on or beaten for not sitting in the back of the bus.

      The state claims it annex the west bank but give no rights to the people on the land it claimed to annex. That state is nothing more then apartheid 2.0. Racism as hell.

      BTW Israel supported the despot in Egypt, despot in Syria and if you replaced the Zionist ideology with an White Supremacist it darn near the same.

      • Plushkin

        bashing Israel with or without reason has always been known to give illiterate jihadis warm fuzzes.
        Israel is as close to a democracy as any other country west or east – you pick. Hypocrit jihadis will quick point out that Arabs are not to be painted with broad brush even if their public policy is racist as hell, however singular truly regrettable episodes in Israel are reason enough for ever more ruthless antisemitism.
        the so called Arab spring is nothing more then power shuffle which will see most extreme Islamists on top.

    • Anonymous

      It takes a generation or two for a culture to develop where people accept that others views are not anathema (and that can revert to something a lot less, as you too often demonstrate). Democracy is not easy to implement or maintain. The transition from autocracy to democracy is full of pitfalls: take Russia for example, where the people fell back to a “strong man” (Putin) after the Yeltsin government did not go so well. But now there is pressure to move toward a freer democracy which may or may not work out, but it is the back and forth that will play out over time, hopefully moving toward that desirable freedom.

      But polling shows that many of the Eastern European populations are showing similar desires to move toward more authoritarian leadership due to the economic declines due to the 2008 financial crisis. An example is Hungary which is taking steps to ensure a one-party government (where has that led to good things) with a new constitution that takes effect as of tomorrow. It will be either fascist or communist, take your pick.

  • Anonymous

    Tom,

    Can you talk a little about Obama’s ability to sell guns.  Apparently this year, gun sales skyrocketed for various reasons including; class warfare, the economy, and reduced trust for government!

    • Anonymous

      I hear that in times like these some take solace in their guns.  And religion too.  You don’t oppose that, do you?

      • Anonymous

        I have no problem with law abiding citizens owning guns since we have the right to do so, but it does show signs of the state of our country by Americans.  Internationally, views of America have also gone down since Obama took office.

        • mary elizabeth

          Please reference “views of America have gone down since Obama took office”.

          • Anonymous

            Please see 
            http://www.gallup.com

            They do the polling and analyze the data.

          • TFRX

            Every president enters office with a burst in the polls.

            There is a persistent narrative, which no amount of polling will stop, that Obama isn’t popular with voters. The Beltway Inbreds basically are so insulated from the real world that they have no ability to read (reliable) poll after poll and see this.

            Obama is getting the “Republican dozen”: Any GOP president’s popularity is narrativized in the press to the same level a Democrat only enjoys when the Democrat is about a dozen points more popular.

    • mary elizabeth

      How does owning a gun protect one from the issues you cite?   Please explain the reasoning.

  • Anonymous

    Tom,

    On the financial side, $135 Billion was redeemed from US equity mutual funds in 2011, 34 Of 35 consecutive weeks had more money leaving the market than being added through retirement plans.  I am pretty certain this is an all time record for any year in which the S&P closed even nominally positive for the year, proving that nobody believes this farce known as a market any longer.

    • Anonymous

      Isn’t that exactly what one would expect with low cap gains tax rates, an aging and retiring population, and a growing realization that the financial markets are a sucker’s game for the vast majority?

      • Anonymous

        Low capital gains tax rates encourages investment into the stock market, not moving out of it!

        You are right about the aging population.  It could cause outflows but the problem is in the past people moved market investments to Bonds and Government securities. The problem with that this year is the interest you earn on bonds is less than the inflation rate so you are guaranteed to loose!

  • Anonymous

    How many Occupiers were arrested this year?

    Why does the media pay any attention to these thugs?

    • TFRX

      Too busy gawking at Oakland OWSers hitting police rams with their stomachs, and NYC OWSers interfering with cop’s pepper spray with their faces.

  • Bethrjacobs

    It’s a good day for some real “” weathermen”
    all the original are too fat and lazy and are bowing to Obama who’s as bad as Mugabe.

    • Anonymous

      Are you talking about the terrorist group that bombed government buildings in the 1960′s or 1970′s?

  • Anonymous

    2011 Is the year of Chaos

    • Bethrjacobs

      It’s a good day for some real “” weathermen”
      all the original are too fat and lazy and are bowing to Obama who’s as bad as Mugabe.

      • Anonymous

        Are you talking about the terrorist group that bombed government buildings?  

        If you are, I hope some government agency visits you and checks to make sure you are not a terrorist.

  • Anonymous

    Foreigners Dump Record Amount Of US Treasurys In Past Month

    With year end fund flows making absolutely no sense for the most part, thank you global central planning, as the euro plunges and the market refuses to follow, with risk assets rising on speculation the ECB (and/or Fed) are about to restart printing 

  • TweedleDumDee

    Where is the Lunar Central Bank to bail us out when we need it?

    Musical chairs…. it’s not just for kids anymore.

  • TweedleDumDee

    Debt doesn’t work Jack. Not at these levels.

    This talk just shows that the debt governing crowd has no intention of living within a sound monetary world, and would be fine destroying the dollar in favor of some post collapse, technocratic elite economic rule in its place.

  • TweedleDumDee

    We would all love to bailed out from our difficulties.  Only Fed Bankers and Politicians and their crony capitalist Wall street sychophants have that luxury.

  • Webb Nichols

    Remember the two women economists from England that you had on your program a number of years ago. They commented that the United States would be faced with 7-9 percent permanent unemployment as the new normal similar to the situation in Europe.

  • Northeaster17

    How can commontator Karen not see an agenda for the occupy movement. I don’t have a link here, but come on! Ma’am get your head out of the beltway.

    • TFRX

      She’s spent too much time inside the Beltway. Occupy-ers haven’t got the Astroturfing that her type responds to.

  • Robert Pierce

    Samuel Johnson may have had the Occupy movement’s lack of an agenda in mind when he wrote, “You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.”

  • A.S.

    Your discussion of the beginnings of the Tea Party have all of the necessaries except the truth. They were certainly not focused on two issues when they started. They were “taxed enough already.” They wanted to prove that the President was a secret Kenyan Muslim. They wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve. They wanted stockpile weapons in advance of Obama’s purported repeal of the Second Amendment. It was just as much of a mess in the beginning as, well, any other movement, Occupy included.

  • Jeff in Belmont

    Trickle down worked exactly as it was planned. It made the rich richer, period. This is the part of what the Occupy movement is about. Please stop saying that the Occupy movement needs to say what it’s about, it’s about ending corporate greed, giving money back to the 99%. Why do you need more?

  • TweedleDumDee

    Dear Jack,

     Do you think our latest “Business Cycle” was an organic event, that would have happened at it’s magnitude without the Fed and Fannie/Freddie and the revolving door Democratic/Republican Treasury officials colluding with Wall St.?

    That pure example of UN-free, totally manipulated markets?

    It’s not oligarchy, its Crony Capitalism with 2-party fingerprints all over it.

    Bill Black remember?

  • JP

    Tom,

       “Romney is leading in the polls?”

      Why didn’t you add the rest??

    “… among a handful of yokels in Iowa and among backward Republicans in a few other states.”

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Romney is at 75% on intrade for the GOP national nomination.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, about “Trickle-down economics” – “Don’t say it’s raining when you’re pissing down my back” – Skid Row, “Riot Act”

    NPR offered a reward for one small-business owner that was earning $1M a year and would be negatively effected by a 4% tax increase and not one could be found.

    • TFRX

      A reward?

      I know they did a pile of actual journalism, but, a reward?

      Looks like they might not get suckered into this particular RepublicanPosterChildFail the way they were about Terry Schiavo, the Graeme Frost “scandal”, ACORN, and PP.

  • TweedleDumDee

    With respect, we don’t want our “stuff”, we want our justice.

    Bring back Bill Black to the show please.

  • TweedleDumDee

    Wow.  Bailout sprung the Tea Party. OWS was a few years too late.

    Tea Party knows its Crony Capitalism, Fed Banking and revolving door Treasury/Wall St. run amok.

    We all know it.

    • TweedleDumDee

      …sad part is the Democratic partisans are just too stubborn to find the true common cause out there.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think categories are shifting, the shorthands that unite and divide, specifically internationally.  For decades it was the Communists versus the West, and now Russia and China and even North Korea are not primarily red and bad, and we are less apt to view Iran as “evil” per se, for instance.  For that matter, post Arab spring, that part of the world loses the lens that splits it into Israel and anti-Israel, or that’s what seems to be happening.  We see the splits within each Arab country, and within Israel, for that matter.  And where the US falls in this?  Well, religions too are beginning to take on board a less categorically split universe.

  • Judy Stark

    I believe 2012 will be remembered as the year the GDP recovered to pre-recession levels while leaving employment levels far, far behind. A jobless recovery in other words.  On a more hopeful note, the passing of Vaclav Havel, brought to mind his seminal essay, “Politics, Morality, and Civility”, a literary jewel that can provide a guiding light in our current political darkness.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The end of capitalism as we know it.  Tom was quoting someone on line posting that.  And then the panel says the OWS people don’t have an agenda (to morph from oligarchy/capitalism to something else?  Noncapitalism, neodemocracy?)

  • Phil

    The attempt by President Obama and the Democrats to defer the Keystone Pipeline decision until after next year’s election is a perfect example of spineless, “on the one hand on the other hand” kind of political cowardice.  Regardless of your position (and I have very serious misgivings about it because of the risk of polluting the aquifer and the oil industry’s past catastrophic failures such as the Exxon Valdez, Texaco Ecuador, and BP Oil Spill), they need to publicize their position BEFORE the election and let the political chips fall where they may rather than kicking the can down the road on yet another issue.

  • TweedleDumDee

    Where was Obama’s transparent CSPAN Healthcare roundtable? 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I think the most relevant episode of humanity’s history this year was the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the passing of the American Job Act.

  • Strobaffa

    Bottom line Tom.  We need to reverse the Citizen’s United decision and get big money out of politics.  That’s step 1 and the only way to move forward to get cooperation in Congress.

  • TFRX

    Waitaminit, Karen Tumulty is actually saying George W. Bush proclaimed about actually “fixing Washington” like he meant it, and that polarization “increased on (Bush’s) watch” the way that grass grows in the spring, instead of a human response to the actions of the least-popular and lowest-rated-historically president in over a century?

    Can’t stop laughing

    • Anonymous

      What did you say about Jimmy Carter?

      • TFRX

        Shrub, the man that nobody in the mainstream press or on the right will own up to ever having voted for, is the lowest-historically-rated, and least popular, president this country has had in at least a century.

        Try to keep up.

  • TweedleDumDee

    The majority of the country doesn’t want Democratic Socialism, and so to compromise toward that won’t happen.

    Lets try Rule of Law first.

    Bring back Bill Black.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Obama’s accomplishment?
    90 rounds of golf in less than 3 years.
    Nice work if you can get it.

    • Anonymous

      At least he can set a record playing golf, and I am not talking about his score, just the number of rounds. LOL

    • TFRX

      Pathetic trolling. I hope you’re no more serious than Shrub was before he announced “Now watch this drive.”

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Sounds like you don’t like the reality.  Maybe because only the .01% played 90 rounds of golf in the last 3 years and 0% of previous presidents played this much golf.

        • TFRX

          Sounds like you can’t put up with all that hagiographic manly footage of Shrub “cuttin’ brush at the ranch” now that he’s so out of favor. The man took a record number of vacation days, and you come here and pretend that your crap means anything.

          Of course, when one does such a bad job of being the Chief Executive as GWB did, no wonder so many people thought that he was at his best as President while he was on vacation.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            I guess I really hit a raw nerve with Obama’s golf.

            FORE!!!

          • TFRX

            You couldn’t hit a raw nerve on me with TASER.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            That wasn’t you?
            “Don’t TAZE me Bro!”

          • TFRX

            I’ve done enough media crit to know when someone thinks they’re informed, but they’re not.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            By ignoring ‘W’s golf “Now watch this drive!” ?

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Bush didn’t golf after 911

          • Terry Tree Tree

            RIGHT!   Cheney went hunting!

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Yeah but he shot his friends!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Didn’t golf, or they just didn’t put it on tv?  I’ll bet he still golfed, MORE than the actual tree-cutting they showed!  His ‘Hollywood chain saw’, was so obvious to me, that I still crack up, thinking about it!  A real chain saw would have eaten him up, handling it that way!

  • http://www.facebook.com/etoile Eliot Walter

    Ask an Occupier about: Glass-Stegall; Citizens United; Campaign finance reform; Monsanto; Bailouts; The Military Industrial Complex; The destruction of the middle class; etc, and you will see they are aware and are unified.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Exactly.  The average OWS wouldn’t have a clue about any of these things.

      I saw a news clip where a reporter went down the line of protesters holding “Abolish the Fed” signs and asked the protesters “what is the FED?”.  They couldn’t answer the question.

      • Anonymous

        Your erroneous claim about the average OWS supporter, coming from a camp in which 40-plus% believe Obama is a foreign-born Muslim socialist, is the essence of cluelessness.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I didn’t say supporter.  I said protester  who were exposed by countless news interviews as dupes.

    • Stillhere

      First you have to wait for the dope to wear off though.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think a lot depends on whether the climate is SO assertive — think of the floods in Southeast Asia, the huge fires in southwest USA — then it seems to me that international collaboration will be necessary, and economics won’t be a matter of greater GDP here or there, but rather a challenge in cooperation.  Will the people go along with that?  Will our fear and capacity to hate dominate?  Or will our willingness to sacrifice and struggle and hope/love dominate?   
        Is our nature up to the global challenges?  Maybe delusion will cling for a while, here and abroad.  But the weather could shatter our delusions, and out of necessity, we could grow up.

  • Anonymous

    Only Communist countries have equality, sort of, there is still a ruling class in 
    Communist countries. 

    Who really wants the the laziest American to have equal reward as Steve Jobs anyway?

    • TFRX

      I dunno, what is Dan Quayle’s income nowadays?

      Nice implied conflation of “lazy” with “poor”, BTW.

      • Stillhere

        Don’t let your envy or frustration with your own inadequacies taint your judgment.

        • TFRX

          Don’t assume. It makes an ass out of you and you.

          But, hey, project away: We find out more about you that way than from what you post intentionally.

          • Stillhere

            I bet your mom was disappointed with you too.

          • Anonymous

            Can you try to keep it above the level of an elementary school kid? Or is it this is how your mind works, like a 12 year old.

          • TFRX

            Way to class up the joint talking about my dead mother.

            You’ve been flagged.

    • mary elizabeth

      As usual, you distort the issue.  Like Romney et al you knowingly and falsely declare that  not to become Steve Jobs is due to “laziness”  Few aspire to massive accumulation of wealth.  Most want
      a decent wage and what goes with it. 
      “Laziness”  can be linked to hopelessness, powerlessness, health issues, with some who really are on the take.
      An article in today’s Boston Globe reports unemployed people clamoring for jobs at new  GE plant that pays $13.00 an hour, with full union support, a sum that makes their kids eligible for free school lunches if they are the sole supporter.  It is called poverty and is the wave of the near future.  GE who paid no taxes in 2010 and  reaps huge profits 
      That is significantly down from  the 90′s.   

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Is this the same GE that is run by Jeff Immelt?  Is that the same Jeff Immelt who is head of Obama’s jobs council?  Is this the same GE that is moving entire divisions and jobs to China?

        • mary elizabeth

          Yes, the same, however GE is moving jobs back and opening new plants here.
          It is not enough in terms of wages, but it is a start. 

      • Anonymous

        Since my comment was over your head, I will simplify it.  

        Why should we punish success?  If we punish success of people like Steve Jobs would our country be better off?

        • MaryElizabethNorton

          Not punish, just tax or nationalize it so that the rewards are shared by all.

          • Anonymous

            So you are a communist or socialist! 

            I thought so but now this is interesting.  

            Do you think that increasing someones taxes or outright confiscating someones property isn’t a form of punishment?!?

        • mary elizabeth

          Just tell us how Steve Jobs was punished?
          You call an almost insignificant amount, to the super  wealthy, punishment.
          With great regard to Steve Jobs’ genius, it was the millions lining up to buy his product that enabled his  financial success. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The banksters, financial ‘managers’, that bet AGAINST their clients, CEOs that bankrupt their companies were REWARDED for this criminal behavior!

  • Ruth

    Not so important a comment, but a little point of interest:

    As far as I can tell, this year is the only one in this century when we will have a date, written in this format, with all the same numbers :  11/11/11.  Other years up thru 2012 will have had dates with a repeat of 2 numbers (such as 09/09/09), but not with all the same.  

    Ruth from Massachusetts

  • Richard in Boston

    A cultural landmark in 2011: The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – a huge shift, no matter what your view is of it.

  • Bigmac5

    The tea party was a vail for racist hatred of a black man as president remember the posters at the rally,s

    • TweedleDumDee

      That’s strange, it started during Bush’s bailout term. They see the future?

      • TFRX

        Your dedication to the “both sides do it equally badly” is so real-world.

        Keep looking for the needle in the haystack of non-bigoted, non-racist, non-homphobic, non-misogynistic Tea party sorts.

        • TweedleDumDee

          TFRX, since you’ll never have the numbers, just give in and run for Benevolent Dictator.

          We know you and Frank and Paulson and Bernanke can make things alright if we just give you more power.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      There is no racism in the TEA party.  It is all about policy.  You may disagree with the TEA party position and you may believe in bigger government but leave race out of it.

      • TFRX

        No racism? That is sooooo cute!

      • Anonymous

        Oh please, do a little homework.
        You guys crack me up. No racism my ass.

      • Newton Whale

        The election of our first black president has brought with it a strange proliferation of online racism among conservatives.And we’ve got the latest example.On Sunday night, Dr. David McKalip forwarded to fellow members of a Google listserv affiliated with the Tea Party movement the image below. Above it, he wrote: “Funny stuff.” 

        http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/07/conservative_activist_forwards_racist_pic_showing.php 

        • Stillhere

          affiliated with, what does that mean or what did it mean in 2009?

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Notice when detractors cannot find fault with the TEA Party on merit they create faux issues.  Racism in the TEA Party?  NOT!

        Herman Cain is a  TEA party favorite.  Congressman Allen West (FL congressman) is a TEA party favorite.  Noted economists, Thomas Sowell and Walter E. Williams are TEA party favorites.

        The left wing elites cried racism when the TEA party was protesting in Washington.  Andrew Beitbart offered a $100,000 bounty for video tape evidence of any racial slur at that rally.  No tape was forthcoming even though there is tons of video of the event.

        Sometimes there is no shame in those hurling false charges tearing down those who disagree with their cause.

    • Stillhere

      And fleabaggers are all anarchist anti-semites.

      Tea Partyers dislike the policies of the president because they’re ruining the country.  They have no opinion of him as a person.

      • TFRX

        Your media diet seems a bit unbalanced.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not an anti-Semite and I support the OWS.
        When you use words such as fleabaggers I find this to say more about your ignorance and arrogance than anything else.
        As John Adams once said facts are stubborn things and the case of the tea party the facts are pretty damning in the case of race defining them. The majority of the tea party is from the South or border states. The majority of them are white conservatives who reacted the same way after the civil right laws came into being in the 60′s.
        You can sit there and write whatever you want and believe what you want. However the fact is the reality of the tea party is not what you seem to think it is. By the way Obama is not ruining the country, he’s not doing a great job, being he seems to govern like a moderate republican, the nation has been going down this path for years. Bush’s tenure in office did a real number on this nation and if you can’t see that then it’s clear to me that your ideology is what drives your vision. Not any real concern for the nation. 

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Are you offended by the term “TEAbagger” too?  Fair and balanced?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The TEA party chose to use that one themselves?

    • Anonymous

      What posters?  Can you show me pictures?  

      How many tea party people were arrested in 2011?

      • Stillhere

        Nothing, just empty rhetoric.

      • Anonymous

        I didn’t realize even you were this ignorant about the people you are defending.  Take a look:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI

        • Anonymous

          I have been to lots of events and I have never seen anything like that.  There were a few occasions that outsiders tried to bring offensive signs in but we wouldn’t allow it.  Assuming these were actually at an event, I would suspect they were only there long enough to get the video you are showing.  

        • Anonymous

          I cant believe you are 
          ignorant  enough to think the black tea party members are racist against themselves!

          http://www.theroot.com/views/black-tea-partiers-speak

  • Tina

    To the caller named Carl or Karl, 
    I was so surprised to hear the subsequent caller call your comments racist.  I viewed your comments as articulate, disciplined and accurate, and you achieved a tone of irony by what you did NOT say, which is that the majority of African-Americans have been experiencing these bad economic situations in great numbers and for long, long periods, if not since Emancipation.  I feel that that subsequent caller was basically telling you that you are not “allowed” to point out the economic disparities that Blacks have experienced and continue to experience compared to the majority of Whites — in that caller’s view, you’re just not allowed to say that; others of his POV would charge you with “playing the race card”, even when you are accurately describing historical reality.  So, even when you are correct and have found a brilliantly powerful way to let UNDER-statement help you make your point, some White Americans still refuse to hear, and blame YOU for trying to speak.  Please keep calling in; your point was very well made! Thank you!

    • Anonymous

      Great comment and I agree with you about the disparity.
      It’s something that we whites sweep under the table or just are not aware of. Some of us do so out of ignorance and some out of pure racism. When ever I hear someone say a person of color is playing the race card I’m not sure what to think. Except I’m not buying this argument.
      Race is about both people. It’s how whites define themselves and this aspect, the idea of “other” is something that seems to be missing from the discussion about race in this nation.  I for one cringe when I hear wealthy white men, such as Rush Limbaugh use language in this way.

  • Ionjean

    This year will be remembered as the year nuclear power died.

    The Fukushima meltdowns are ongoing, seals on four US coastlin are washing ashore with radiation poisoning and at least 1114,000 people have been killed by radiation exposure from the US alone.

    The Pacific Ocean, Japan, Canada and the US are all submerged in ongoing fallout contamination…our food supply is once again affected, like it was in the 1960s. The EPA and other agencies have been as complacent as TEPCO and have simply raised the max levels to which its citizens may be exposed. But the proof begins to surface with the sick and dying sea creatures.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      The NRC just approved the latest generation reactor the AP1000.  They will start pouring concrete next month in GA for the first US reactor in 20 years.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Make that 30 years.

      • Ionjean

        As that one starts construction, more will be shut down by states and others will run over budget and never be finished…1104 to go.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          You must like CO2.  Nuclear is the only available, large scale technology to produce electricity without CO2 emissions.

          • Ionjean

            Consider the possibility that scientists don’t have the CO2 thing figured out…how do you know that its not radionuclides suspended in the ionosphere from stratospheric global nuclear testing that is the real cause of global warming…a wise physicist and radiation expert, dr. Chris Busby says that science is only 5 % knowledge and 95 I don’t Know

          • Terry Tree Tree

            IF you conviently FORGET Wind, Solar, Tidal, and others!!  Oh, with FREE fuel, the GREEDY rich can’t control it, to get GREEDIER rich!

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Hey, I’m an all of the above kind of guy.  Bring on all economic alternatives.  None of the ones you mention are as scalable as nuclear today.  Coal, natural gas and nuclear are all scalable but only nuclear is CO2 free.

          • Anonymous

            Why would anyone worry about CO2.  Ronnie told us it’s what the trees put off.  Natural, harmless, right?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Such a convincing arguement!  My Science books always said that trees USED CO2, to make their food!  Ronnie set them straight?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Check your scare mongering facts on radiation.  No one has been killed in Japan or the US due to the Fukushima tragedy.  No member of the Japanese public has gotten sick from the radiation release.  It is completely a local problem and it is dwarfed by the damage from the tsunami.  Also, the reactors are now in cold shutdown.

      Did you know banana’s emit radiation?  Did you know that when you sleep next to your partner you are exposed to radiation emitted from your partner’s body?  

      • TomK in Boston

        “No one has been killed”?? Do you think getting zapped with radiation is like being in a car crash? The deaths occur over time with cancer and other diseases. There will be plenty among the workers who were most exposed in the early stages. And please spare us the talking points about how everything emits radiation. The question is about the AMOUNT of radiation.

        Meanwhile, a good sized piece of a small country is deserted, like something out of a post-WW3 movie. How about the cost of that? The right loves to run their scripts about the costs of regulation. Japan is suffering the costs of not regulating.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Yes, the amount of radiation.  Did you know you get more radiation from a cross country airline flight than the average Japanese citizen received from the tsunami?

          Sure it is a tragedy but the tsunami was much more devastating and actually killed thousands of people. 

          The tragedy of Fukishima is it could have been avoided.  Certainly modern plants like those being built today with passive cooling wouldn’t have had melt down problems.

          • TomK in Boston

            Worried, nobody got radiation from the tsunami, it came from the nuke plant.

            C’mon, don’t be silly. “Average Japanese citizen”?? The average citizen was not near fukushima! The emergency workers got plenty of radiation, and time will tell what gets into the nearby food and water.

            The region around Chernobyl is deserted, a devastated wasteland, but the Ukraine is huge. There will be a similar region around fukushima, and Japan is small. That is a big deal.

            The solution is strong government regulation.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            The government was extremely cautious limiting worker exposure to radiation.  The only worker that had a problem were two workers that weren’t wearing the proper boots and stepped an a puddle.  They were checked out and had the equivalent of a sunburn.  No permanent damage.

            They quickly evacuated citizens away from the danger.  No citizen outsize the containment zone received more radiation than a xcountry airline flight.

            I’ll grant you the exclusion zone is a huge problem for the people that live there and for the farms there.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Since Tokyo Power was SOOOO truthful, about building and maintaining that plant, they are entirely trustworthy about the short-term, and long-term effects of their disaster?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I’ll agree they got more radiation in flight, than from the tsunami.
                Three Mile Island could have been avoided!  Chernobyl could have been avoided!  ALL the hundreds of other nuclear power incidents COULD have been avoided! 
               GREEDY people,  that don’t have to live near the problems they create, WILL continue to cut corners, cut costs, and such, to put more money in their pocket! 
               They don’t care, because they don’t suffer the consequences of their actions! 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You sleep next to the reactor core?  Make your bed on the high-level radioactive waste? 
           What percentage or nuclear proponents do?  Hypocricy?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Why?  I wouldn’t want to sleep near a windmill or in a solar manufacturing plant with the toxic chemicals either.

          Waste is only an issue because Carter killed the processing of nuclear waste and Obama killed the Yucca MT. storage facility that nuclear ratepayers had already invested $13B. 

          There is hope for waste.  LFTR – thorium reactors now being developed (mostly in China even though the US invented the technology) that burns up most of the nuclear waste as fuel.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    It’s clear that Obama has little interest in governing.  Maybe it’s because he isn’t good at it.  You saw this starting with his ‘signature’ accomplishment, Obamacare.  He punted this to congress and was mostly hands off.  he’s been unable to produce a serious budget in 3 years, even when he controlled both houses of congress.

    However, he has a passion for campaigning and he is good at it.  You can he see that he started campaigning a year and a half before the 2012 election.  This is unprecedented for a President but you can tell he is much more comfortable now that he is campaigning.

    • Stillhere

      He’s also good at fundraising.  He should focus on raising donations to pay down the debt, instead of screwing the country. 

    • Anonymous

      I can’t figure out who you’re arguing with.  I don’t see any big Obama backers on this site.  To the contrary, it’s his essential continuation of the policies that form the backbone of the Rep platform (while they scream “socialist”!!!) that people like me oppose. 

  • TweedleDumDee
    • mikey

      I want to see a Bill Black, Elizabeth Warren ticket. You could put Paul Volcker in charge of the Fed and Sheila Bair in charge of the SEC. 

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Lizzie Warren favors a $.50/gallon increase in the gas tax.

  • Bob from Vermont

    OWS will morph into Occupy Congress in 2012.

    • Anonymous

      I doubt that since they are Occupying too many jail cells to get elected to dog catcher.  They don’t even represent the 47% of Americans that don’t pay Federal income tax let alone the 53%ers

      • TFRX

        You say that 53% crap like it means something aside from your media bubble.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        6 Wal-Mart heirs, have MORE money, than 30% of the population, acquired through ways, that Sam Walton apologized for in his own book!  What did those 6 people do that was so wonderful, that you have no problem with this?

        • Anonymous

          The only problem that I have is that the inheritance tax isn’t greater.  I find it strange that politicians have convinced people that the inheritance tax is a bad thing.  It was originally enacted to prevent great wealth from being handed down over many generations.

          Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have also used these loopholes to avoid paying taxes by giving a great deal of their wealth to the Gates Foundation instead of paying their fair share, LOL, then they go and complain that their secretary pays more taxes than they do.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            That’s another that we agree on!

  • Stillhere

    Fleabaggers have already begun operation Occupy Couch!

  • Ren Knopf

    Possibly to be eclipsed by 2012, 2011 to me is marked by the throes of political & religious extremism & venality, marked by last-stand mentalities protecting “theirs” without regard to others (Wall Street, “pick-a-lobby,” anti-science, et al). How this gets resolved is a scary mystery.

  • http://twitter.com/hill403 Steve

    Arab Spring:  Worlds worst scented soap

  • mary elizabeth

    It is comments and a  mentality like yours, so uttterly ludiucrous reeking of immaturity and ignorance that impede solutions that depend upon a concerned and truthseeking electorate.  

    • mary elizabeth

      The above comment was meant in reply to Bethrjacobs.

  • Anonymous

    Obama’s Stimulus bill was such a failure that we now have 2.5 MILLION less Americans working than we did the day he signed the 
    Stimulus bill!

    • TFRX

      Is it a waste of time to ask a real economist?

      For Branstad, yes, it is.

      • Anonymous

        Buried within the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent report on the progress of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a surprising admission: the CBO now estimates the stimulus might have been only half as effective as previously thought.

        You wouldn’t know it from the headlines. ”Stimulus added up to 3.3M jobs,” reads a representative piece from Politico reporting on the November CBO report. 

        This headline is accurate for the high-end estimate. That estimate, however, is essentially unchanged from previous reports.

         In the past, the CBO’s low estimate for jobs “created or saved” was 1.2 million which, in this report, has dropped to only 600,000.

        A particularly unusual requirement in the stimulus was that the CBO issue regular reports on its estimates of the legislation’s economic effectiveness. Standard neo-Keynesian macroeconomics, to which the CBO has long seemed to subscribe in its economic modeling, posits that government spending creates a “multiplier effect” that ripples throughout the economy and creates more growth than it would normally appear to. 

        The CBO’s newest report cuts one of their estimates in half, validating conservative criticism that they’ve been overestimating the effect of the stimulus.

        If the debate about the law was shaped by the possibility that a $825 billion spending law would yield only six hundred thousand jobs, the debate may have been a lot different. Over $1.3 million dollars per job “created or saved?” That’s not a number that Democrats are eager to be touting on Capitol Hill.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          We can ALL be historians, and make $1.6 Million, from one arganization, that is less than 75 years old?  That would solve a lot of our problems! 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Newt can get everyone a $1.6 Million job as a historian!!  Can’t he? 
               Or are those ‘jobs’ ONLY for those with many political connections, that can LOBBY for the organization?

        • mary elizabeth

          How many jobs have the Repubs created?
          We were losing 700,000 jobs per month at the end of the last Repub administration-that with the Bush tax cuts.

          • Notgoneyet

            that’s a net number right; anyway millions more would have been lost if it weren’t for the tax cuts

          • mary elizabeth

            Why is that?  Please tell us why millions more jobs would have been lost.  So, the prosperity, and the deficit reduction in the 90′s, that happened with higher taxes all through the generations was  due to what? 

          • Anonymous

            You will notice that the economy started to tank when the Democrats took control of bothhouses of Congress   , 
            January 3, 2007.

            In the 1990′s the republicans had more control over the government outside the presidency.

          • Notgoneyet

            Are you serious?  Heard of the internet bubble?  Capital gains run aplenty.  Got any gains lately?

          • Anonymous

            So you are judging Bush by his last month in office, not his 4 years as a whole?  Lots of jobs were created and tax revenues went up every year after his tax cuts went into effect.  

            Please read the facts from the CBO before posting partisan talking points.

        • nj

          Hey, look! Here’s Branny copying content without attribution. 

    • TomK in Boston

      Obama’s stimulus was half or less of what real economists thought was needed and 1/3 of it was useless tax cuts put in to satisfy the voodoo economists. Not much to put in the way of the forces unleashed by the deregulated banksters! Even so, the CBO estimates that it saved or created 3.3 million jobs. What’s your problem? I’m sure you would be screaming about any CBO estimates that supported your ideology.

      • Anonymous

        Buried within the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent report on the progress of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was a surprising admission: the CBO now estimates the stimulus might have been only half as effective as previously thought.

        You wouldn’t know it from the headlines. ”Stimulus added up to 3.3M jobs,” reads a representative piece from Politico reporting on the November CBO report. 

        This headline is accurate for the high-end estimate. That estimate, however, is essentially unchanged from previous reports.

         In the past, the CBO’s low estimate for jobs “created or saved” was 1.2 million which, in this report, has dropped to only 600,000.

        A particularly unusual requirement in the stimulus was that the CBO issue regular reports on its estimates of the legislation’s economic effectiveness. Standard neo-Keynesian macroeconomics, to which the CBO has long seemed to subscribe in its economic modeling, posits that government spending creates a “multiplier effect” that ripples throughout the economy and creates more growth than it would normally appear to. 

        The CBO’s newest report cuts one of their estimates in half, validating conservative criticism that they’ve been overestimating the effect of the stimulus.

        If the debate about the law was shaped by the possibility that a $825 billion spending law would yield only six hundred thousand jobs, the debate may have been a lot different. Over $1.3 million dollars per job “created or saved?” That’s not a number that Democrats are eager to be touting on Capitol Hill.

        • TomK in Boston

          Obviously you will cling to whatever you find on righty blogs that supports your preconceptions. Even if the ARRA was half as effective as CBO announced it would contradict your talking points. With state budgets being cut, I personally know several cases where ARRA funds saved public sector jobs – but you guys think it’s good when those jobs are lost, right? Also you over-estimate the size of the ARRA, since it was 1/3 worthless tax cuts. And how about simply stabilizing the economy and preventing Great Depression 2?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The war in Iraq was FAR less effective, than ‘W’ admin. predicted!
             JOBS created by the ‘W’ tax cuts were FAR lower, than they predicted!
             Iraq war took FAR longer than ‘W’ admin. predicted!
             Need more? 
             Politicians promise or predict lot that doesn’t go the way they say. 
             We are NOT losing jobs at the rate of the last three years of ‘W’ admin, and the two years of carry-over!

    • mikey

      It’s the Credit Default Swaps! You can’t pump an economy that’s largest industry is manufacturing bad debt.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        and Derivatives.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    For the last 3 years of Obama’s administration. Socialism was a nation wide topic. The majority of Americans were against Universal Healthcare Act and I was probably one of the minorities who truly supported Socialize medicine.
     
    I keep on wondering if Socialism was bad. How come China’s economy is more powerful than the American capitalism, The Communist Capitalism ideology is a tool to dominate the world market. Americans are bound to be against Socialism even if it will take the American economy down the drain. Americans will never secede but might.

    The Economic war has begun with American and China. May the toughest survive.

    • TomK in Boston

      As you know well, “socialism” is just a pet attack word of the corporate aristocrats and their bamboozled followers. Any sane look at post-ww2 American presidents puts BHO in the center or center-right. If the current righties applied their standards to any GoP president from DDE to GWB they would find lots more “socialism”, but they haven’t been told to do that.

      The really amazing thing about 2011 is how the media give serious respect to total stone whackos. You couldn’t turn on the sunday talk shows without seeing raving loonies like Shelly Bachmann or Herman Cain. Aren’t there any standards? The only GoP presidential candidates that don’t belong in a group home are our former Gov, who is a serial liar and flipflopper and practitioner of the same financial games that crashed the economy, and Huntsman, who is too conservative for me but seems sane and appealing, and so has no chance. 

      Hello corporate media! These people are crazy! We shouldn’t have false-equivalence like “President Obama on the one hand, Shelly Bachmann on the other hand”. People who can’t remember which federal agencies they want to eliminate should be eliminated from the discussion, immediately!

      • mikey

        Obama is far more conservative that Reagan. Tax rates are LOWER than they were for 7 of the 8 years Reagan was president. (Look it up) One thousand prosecutions for  financial crimes during the Savings & Loan cirsis! How many prosecutions did Obama have for the mortgage crisis? None! Reagan’s reconfirmed fed chair  Paul Volcker, Obama’s confirmed ultra-conservative Ben Bernanke. Obama’s biggest campaign donor is Goldman Sachs.  

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          LOL!  This is only because Obama was stuck with the Bush tax cuts which he’s been trying desperately to unwind.  Giving Obama credit for low tax rates or low tax burden is a joke.  He’s also raised a bunch of taxes which ‘cleverly’ won’t kick in until after the 2012 election.

          • mikey

            Wow, your still wrong. Even if Obama  got rid of Bush’s tax rates, he would still have lower tax rates than Reagan. Obama is Ultra-Conservative.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            LOL.  Obama is a socialist and loves to ‘spread the wealth’ just like he told Joe the plumber.  Also, Obama is responsible for stealth taxes.  Notice how electric rates are rising across the country?  Yup, that was another Obama campaign promise coming true.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Rising electric rates are a result of the tax cuts for the rich, that were supposed to CREATE JOBS!  Less jobs=less rate-payers that can afford to use much electricity=higher electric rates for those that can stay on the grid!
                Many other rates and fees have been raised, to pay for those tax cuts for the rich! 
                Thanks for the exposure of the ‘unofficial taxes’ of the Republican tax-cuts!

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            You have some interesting theories.  They crack me up.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Less jobs don’t equal less rate-payers of electricity?  People evicted from their homes, due to loss of a job, or just unable to pay the electricity bill, doesn’t get it cut off?  That equals less people to pay for the electricity!  The price goes up!

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Most states have have a competitive power market.  It is only when demand EXCEEDs supply that prices increase.  The reason for the price increase is increased regulation is reducing supply.  Lack of demand will only increase the price in a socialist system.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Also, there was a recent lengthy USA Today piece that explains how this is happening all over the country.  You can look it up if you are interested in the details.

          • Anonymous

            When our economy spread the wealth, which it did prior to the ’80′s, were we a socialist country?

          • TFRX

            Socialist? And “Joe the unlicensed plumber’s little helper”? And “campaign promise”?

            Didn’t you used to pretend to want to be taken seriously in these parts?

        • TomK in Boston

          You are correct that Obama is more conservative than Reagan. In addition to lower taxes and an ultra hard line on “terrorism”, while BHO talks the progressive talk, he acts like a straight corporate republican. 

          One very important point is that Reagan was practical on taxes, not a one-trick ideologue like the current righties. He cut taxes and, when a deficit developed (surprise!), he raised them. It’s only common sense, but there’s none of that to be found in the current clown show.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        Such a great choice of words.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    The 99% and OWS will be back and the struggle for equality continues.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    Hillary Clinton is said to be the running mate of President Obama for next year Presidential election. Gossip or True? let us see

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Romney now at 77.4% on intrade for the GOP nomination.

    Axelrod is crying.  The millions he spent attacking Romney didn’t pay off.

  • David S.

    I have never heard an announcer so deaf to what he has just heard as Mr. Ashbrook. A caller states the FACTS about how 30 years of “trickle-down” philosophy has not enriched the middle class, then says, “well, the voters will decide at the election”. No, voters don’t decide facts. … Meanwhile, he also said the OWS protesters don’t have an action agenda. The problem is there are so MANY action items he apparently doesn’t have the attention span to grasp them. 

    • CommonSense

      Trickle, schmickle; it’s all about people keeping more of their hard-earned wages while the government funds its nanny state by borrowing.  Don’t blame people for working, blame Congress for paying for votes.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Sorry, these are not FACTs.  You know the saying about lies, damn lies and statistics.

      And the voters do matter.  A recent Gallop poll think has 82% of Americans believing it is “extremely or very important to grow or expand” the economy.  70% say is equally important to “increase equality of opportunity for people to get ahead”.  Only 46% say it is important “reduce the income and wealth gap between the rich and the poor”.

      The economy needs to grow and create jobs.  This will help everyone.  If we create a few Steve Jobs in the process, so be it.  What we can’t abide is crony capitalism like Solyndra where the friends of politicians enrich themselves on boondoggles at the tax payers expense.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        WHERE ARE THE JOBS?  The jobs promised when tax cuts for the rich were instituted, durring two wars!   Why has this damned lie continued? 
            Why is money that is making more money, taxed at less percentage actual, than the money that we have to risk our lives and out health, spend a lot of time going to, coming from, and doing? 
            WHEN do the GREEDY rich get ENOUGH?  Enough, so that they start keeping their word about creating JOBS for the working-class?
           How many Quadrillions $$$$ is enough?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Lighting a torch in a field of straw men is work for a pyromaniac.

          I’ll flip it around.  How does raising taxes on the rich or anyone for that matter create jobs?  Basic econ says it doesn’t.

          It cracks me up when Obama or Pelosi or Reid repeats line about the Bush tax cut: “repeat the failed policy that drove us into the ditch”.  Of course it is impossible to draw a straight line between the Bush tax cuts and the economic downturn.  Pure and simple deflection and the MSM lets them get away with it.

          If they tried to draw a line between tax cuts and the debt they might have an argument but they don’t do that.

          • Anonymous

            I heard they built the entire interstate system, with public funds generated in large part by high taxes on those most benefiting from living here, without creating one single construction job.  No concrete, steel, or other products made in America were used either. And of course, adding more police, firefighters, teachers now does not create any jobs whatsoever.

            I say it’s time to put our money to work, not dedicate it to fraudulent financial schemes.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Maybe if the stimulus was spent on true infrastructure like upgrading the airport infrastructure or building new nuclear plants or dams that would give us reliable, cheap energy for a generation we’d have something to show for the money spent.  Instead the money was wasted on crony capitalism like solyndra.  The politicians had a feeding frenzy on pet projects and government waste.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I saw the results of several ‘shovel-ready’ road projects in East Tennessee, and other places that I went since the Stimulus!

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            I’m sure there were some but we really didn’t get a good bang for the buck with the $850B.  I know they spent a lot of money on ‘stimulus signs’ touting that the project was paid for by the stimulus.  That was a complete waste of money.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You prefer the ‘Bang’ we got for our $TRILLIONS in Iraq?  You know, the war that was going to last about 18 months, and be PAID for with Iraqi oil money?

          • Notgoneyet

            Where are the jobs from the stimulus programs?  The number of unemployed and those giving up looking for work continues to rise.

          • TFRX

            You’ll be run over standing between “fiscally responsible” Teabagger Republicans and the stimulus-provided public works they’re cutting ribbons for.

            Good luck handwaving that away.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The tax cuts were to CREATE JOBS, according to ‘W’!!  You know, the personal chicken, that had NO problem sending OTHER people’s children, fathers, mothers, etc…, into a war based on LIES!! 
                I have problems with President Obama, but ANY one that trashes him, or his admin., should preface their comments with the admission of who got us into the messes that the Obama admin., so everyone knows they aren’t putting it ALL on Obama!!
               ‘W’ promised to make the Budget Surplus LARGER, thereby admitting that he was convinced there was a Budget Surplus!
              ‘W’ also made a LOT of stupid statements, and promises, which convinced me before the 2000 Republican Primary, that he was either stupid, or just a liar.   History has proven me RIGHT!

        • Notgoneyet

          Please, it’s the greedy and lazy who are the problem, relying on the state to buy their steak, flatscreens and Viagra.

          • Anonymous

             You mean like private defense contractors and other such ridiculously paid sucklers at the public teat?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The GREEDY rich, that are too LAZY to keep the ‘W’ promise of JOBS for those tax cuts!!

          • TFRX

            You forgot to say “Young bucks”. Or is that on the outs for “respectable right-wingers” now?

      • Anonymous

        You want facts?  Here they are, but I’m doubtful you can handle the truth, to coin a phrase:

        http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010062415/reagan-revolution-home-roost-charts

        • Worried for the country(MA)
          • Anonymous

            Actually I do like them.  They clearly show,  in both examples, that a short-term bubble created by foolish policies was followed by the first and second greatest periods of economic disaster in the last century, more that destroying any real gain claimed to have been achieved.  I usually don’t expect the Heritage Foundation to help me make my point.  Thanks!

      • TFRX

        Solyndra, again?

        Did you forget about the Minerals and mining disaster, or did Fox not remember it for you? It was a ton bigger than Solyndra.

        If your mentioning things didn’t line up so precisely with the propaganda press of the right, you might be taken more seriously.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          What is wrong with pointing out the folly  of Solyndra?

            btw – I do like the Chu DARPA-E funding of basic research into breakthroughs that might give us solar as cheap as coal and might truly help us with real energy independence.  So I’m not against all government spending. :)

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The U.S. has SUBSIDIZED Oil, Coal, and Fussion, for DECADES!  Put ALL the money we have subsidized them with, into subsidies of Solar, Wind, and other renewables! 
               ‘Conservatives’ are too worried that some poor $Billionaire oil barons will starve, on less than $20 Million per year!  What’s ‘conservative’ about that?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    I told you Mitt Romney will be 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      I like him but not voting for him. I just want a Normal/Calm person to run for Republican party for a better and interesting Presidential election.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    If there is a real Economist he/she should have warned Americans about the Great Recession.

    • Anonymous

      Dean Baker did.  So did Joseph Stieglitz.  Their views then, and now, are ignored by our policy makers.  Our rulers prefer ignorant lackeys to rigorous analysis.

      • TFRX

        But Baker and Stieglitz did it in the wrong way. Being correct about something, but shrill?

        Our media uberlords don’t care for that!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Like ‘W’s admin., to get attention and followers, you have to be shrill, and WRONG!

    • TweedleDumDee
  • Ionjean

    Peat like a parrot very well the propaganda you have been spoonfed…inTernal and external radiation are not the same thing; the subject is too huge for discussion here, but anyone desiring to learn the truth should check out:

    Nuclearcrimes.org and enenews.com for starters…then take a year like I did to study nuclear physics, then you will begin to understand…

    Seek out videos on YouTube featuring Christopher Busby, Arnie Gundersen, Helen Caldicott, Leuren Moret

    Until you can explain at the very least the difference between gamma, beta and alpha and x rays and the difference between a roentgen, a becqueral and a millisievert and a picocurie, a person cannot begin to discuss ionizing radiation and its bioeffects.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      A whole year for this?  You should ask for your money back.

  • david

    While everyone here is batting the crap around about who is at fault for all this mess. Here is a little information that may have been missed.
    Today is Friday!!! we are now within $100 Billion of reaching our debt limit AGAIN!! Obama is now asking for another measly Trillion or so to yet again raise the debt ceiling to a, not to some here a worrisome thing, $16.4 TRILLION of, get this, YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!!
    Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

    • Notgoneyet

      He’s got no solutions, just more plans to increase the size of government.  The whole Democrat party belief system is focused on increasing the size and scope of government activity and infringement on personal freedoms and wages.  People who are so invested in the system are not going to change it, no matter how much we hope.

      • TFRX

        Shrub and the right had eight years, five of them in an “expansion”, and the steroids of 9/11 to give him license to propose whatever the right wanted, at the risk of the opposition being called “traitor”.

        And what did they do? They drove the car straight into the ditch.

        • Notgoneyet

          and Obama drove it over a cliff

    • TFRX

      Let me guess: During the last decade, while raising the debt ceiling was a ho-hum thing done a dozen times for Shrub, did you give a crap about it? Especially when the “fiscally responsible” GOP was in charge?

  • Eguetaneh

    2011 is the year of economic-consciousness which hence lead to the Arab spring and the Occupy movement. Not since the Fall of 1989 has such a homogenously flawed system of governance fell as did the Soviet regime. Politics and economics are inerently linked an when one fails the other will as well.

  • Andrew Thiel

    We are going to see more of the unemployed looking towards local resources to develop better lives. 

    Simply growing food in their back yards, subscribing to community supported agriculture movement to offset the rising cost of food prices, supporting local small scale movements that provide essentials of living on a need basis compared to marketed production will support collective community efforts around the world. 
    The value of the dollar is not looking good for the world, and with many groups rethinking the cooperative non-profit model, accompanying the era of technological interaction, many of the grand structures will not hold up in the future of democratic choice simply because as a collective we have a choice to simply click the “Like” button.  

    I think community government through collaboration by means of the internet at your fingertips (facebook, twiter, etc..) will prove to be a key in the future of a better world. While transition is difficult, things typically only change as a result of struggle. That struggle is what we are seeing today throughout the world.

    We are all able to fulfill roles of a better world collectively, but monetary prominence is not the answer in the future. Generational up rise will show that being aware of the local community needs might assist with decreasing unemployment and a greater level of inequality. 

    While some critics might think this is crazy talk, simply, if you have no other option, things will, without a doubt, be redefined by understanding cultural structures in that if something does not work it typically changes. 

    • Anonymous

      I’m all for growing food in ones yard. I do it myself.
      However one needs a yard to grow food in. If your homeless, or in a home that is being foreclosed on it’s kind of tough. I was speaking to my mother recently, she was born in 1929 and remembers the Great Depression and how her family was always moving from apartment to apartment when what little money the had ran out.
      In those days a month or two of free rent was pretty common in the New York area as it was the only way to get tenants. So they would take advantage of this.

      You bring up some good ideas but they are all based on the fact of having a home and enough money to afford a computer and internet service.

      I was watching the News Hour on GBH last night and they had a story about a woman who has fallen into poverty.
      She has a masters degree in education and cannot find a full time job. She and her children(2) survive by going to food banks and by doing without a lot of things. One being the internet. The other is a stove. That’s right she has none. It broke and she could not afford to but another one or get the one she had fixed. I say this to those on the right who say that poverty is not so bad in this country.
      BS. It is and this woman is the face of it. If you think it can’t happen to you, guess again she was all of us.
      To me this person and others in the piece were examples of how poverty is now growing at rates unheard of since the Great Depression and is affecting people who were middle class. All of the people in this story lived in one of the wealthiest suburbs of Chicago, DuPage County, Ill. 
      The poverty rate has increased by 50%. Yes 50%.

      I say this to the people who where responsible for that absurd Heritage Foundation report on poverty, they are nothing short of right wing propaganda tools who are the real perpetrators of class warfare.

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/july-dec11/poverty_12-30.html    

      • Gregg

        I saw a used stove at Goodwill for $35 and a hotplate at a yard sale for $2.
          

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Did you buy it for her?

          • Anonymous

            I have a feeling that this man is devoid of compassion for people.
            It seems that a lot of libertarians have this kind of disconnect, at least that’s my perception in this case based on the comments.

            I keep thinking of Dickens’ Scrooge:
            “If [the poor] would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

            Of course A Christmas Carol was about redemption, and Mr.Scrooge did find his love of humanity and compassion for those less fortunate then him.      

          • Terry Tree Tree

            That’s the GREEDY rich way!!  They stifle others, for their own wealth, which they cannot constructively spend, then try for redemption at the end of their lives. 
               Camels get bigger, while needle eyes shrink!  Yet they hide behind religion to grab MORE!

          • Gregg

            Do you have any idea how warped that view is? If you want to help then help but complaining about the rich does no good. Who convinced you the rich held this much power over you?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Gregg, I DO help!  I am an unpaid Volunteer Fire Fighter, an unpaid Volunteer Rescue Squad member, have donated TEN gallons of my blood, help with our unpaid Volunteer Medical First Responders, and work construction to support these expensive hobbies! 
               I also give to those that I work with, that have a personal tragedy, if it is not self-inflicted.  I have given rides to hundreds of hitch-hikers in my life.  I have done work for my less-able neighbors, donated my time for various causes, and MORE! 
                I have had a lot of flak from millionaires that don’t want to help, that I don’t do much! 
                What I have read from you is that your expensive hobby is a horse farm, that you support by being a musician.  
                What do YOU do to help your fellow man and woman? 
                You keep supporting the GREEDY rich, that got tax cuts to CREATE JOBS, 8 years ago! 

          • Anonymous

            He does nothing by the sounds of it because he lacks basic human compassion.
            By the way kudos for doing all you do you’re a better person than I am in this regard.

          • Gregg

            No TTT,  you’re wrong.

          • Gregg

            I tend to believe someone who beats their chest to strangers about how
            righteous they are (as you do) is probably making it up. As for me, I
            prefer to give anonymously. I’m not going to brag about what a generous
            person I am. I sleep fine.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Too narrow below, to respond. 
              Gregg, I can back up what I say!  
               I’m still waiting for the $300 you offered! 
                How does that make your word look?
              You said earlier, “From each according to his abilities.”
              PUT UP, or admit your incapacities to be human?
               The GREEDY rich need to PUT UP, or admit they’re just parasites!!

          • Gregg

            The quote is from Karl Marx. I am not a Marxist.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Meaning  WHAT?

          • Gregg

            Meaning, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his
            needs” is a horrible system of Governance unless you are a Marxist.

          • Gregg

            You don’t know me and if you did you would be surprised. It’s a shallow accusation. I believe the policies you advocate keep people down and are not at all compassionate. But it’s easy to feel good about it as people suffer.

          • Anonymous

            What polices? Helping people who are down on their luck? I don’t know you but you make accusations about me and a whole lot of folks on here and then you complain about it being done to you? Are you kidding me?
            I was pointing to one persons plight and you turned it into this thing about crack heads and people who bought houses they could not afford when that’s not what this is about at all. Again you think you are debating but you are not.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe she did not have $35 to spare. She had two children and is using a hotplate. What is it that you are trying to say here? That we should not have some kind of feelings for these folks? Are you that displaced from human decency?

          • Gregg

            I don’t know the person in question and do not deny many people are hurting. I just have a problem with blanket victim status. Your reply to Andrew Thiel asks: “However one needs a yard to grow food in. If your homeless, or in a home that is being foreclosed on it’s kind of tough.” That doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Does it matter if the reason for the foreclosure was you bought a home you could not afford? Does it matter if the reason you are homeless is because you are a crack head? Should the person who pinches pennies, lives an honest life within their means pay for those who don’t? In the vast majority of cases you choose your income.

            I was homeless once (house burned down) and when I stopped feeling sorry for myself while watching it snow from inside a phone booth things began to change. It’s not about decency. I think it’s horribly indecent to assume people are helpless victims.

            I believe the economy needn’t be in the shambles it’s in. Those implementing policies of mass destruction are the culprits.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Many of the GREEDY rich are profiting from other peoples’ misery!  ANY mortgage lender, that wrongfully evicted a mortgage holder, should be EVICTED , and the wrongfully evicted, should get their house!  Robo-signing would STOP!  They would ACTUALLY do their job!

          • Anonymous

            Gregg, you are a real piece of work. “I think it’s horribly indecent to assume people are helpless victims”

            It’s indecent for you to say stuff like this. A lot of people are out of work, I would a millions through no fault of their own. The woman in the Newshour piece was not a crack head nor did she own a home she could not afford.

            It is about decency, if you can’t see that I feel real sorry for you and anyone how knows you.

          • Gregg

            Look Jeffe, calling names is unproductive. I care for my fellow man.

            This is the same thing as accusing Paul Ryan of wanting to throw grandma off a cliff. This is the same thing as calling any criticism of Obama as being based on his race. This is the same as saying anyone opposed to raising the debt ceiling wants the country to go down the tubes. It’s the same as painting all rich as greedy and evil. Or all poor as helpless and victimized.

            It’s shallow, destructive and fixes nothing. Do you ever look past your emotions for real solutions?

            Newsflash, those of us who care most about actually fixing this mess (as
            opposed to sounding compassionate) are not racist,
            discompassionate, greedy little Satans.

          • Anonymous

            Name calling? Buddy I repeat you are a real piece of work.
            I’m not sounding compassionate. How dare you say this to anyone. Who do you think you are? Solutions?
            What solutions have you offered up? None that I can see except libertarian ideas and ringed in republican hogwash. The GOP has no ideas it’s not about ideas. It’s about power and that alone is their mandate.

            I never mentioned race.
            I never called all wealthy people greedy. Mind you I see more greed in the upper classes than in people with whom I’m dealing with in my day to day experience.
            I’m not against wealthy people I just see a nation that is so out of whack it’s fast becoming a two level system.
            Do you ever look past your selfish little world?
            I’m not being emotional.
            Anyway you seem to me to be the type who would not know an emotion if it hit you in the face. Look I’m not going to go on here about this. I’m done having anything to do with people like you.
            In fact it’s my New Year resolution, stop wasting time with people who drain the world of oxygen.

          • Gregg

            Okay you win, I am a discompassionate Satan, draining oxygen. And you are mother Teresa.

            As for solutions, they require honest debate. You are not capable.

          • Anonymous

            Like I sadi good luck with your self.

          • Anonymous

            Not everyone is blessed with your sense of entrepreneurship though everyone has their own set of skills. Adversity allowed you to find yours. It sounds like the laws of the jungle are still idolized instead of a society built on compassion – which I believe would be more productive anyway. We’d be more productive if worries about the next meal were non-existent, along with  insecurities on health care plunging us into bankruptcy. We’d be more productive if we weren’t chained to jobs where our talents are wasted and our hearts do not sing. Survival of the fittest worked to a point but doesn’t any longer. Understanding that the “I” cannot prosper on its own, that there needs to be a balance between caring for others while also caring for ourselves acknowledges the most basic needs of social beings. These may be new skills we have to learn and instill them right in to the political system. It is not enough now to merely survive, we must also have the ability to express our own unique magnificence and mold our system of government to lay down the conditions allowing everyone to  have this opportunity. We are no longer the brutes we began as.

    • Gregg

      “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

      • Terry Tree Tree

        FAT CHANCE of this from the FAT CATS, with the financial abilities to CREATE JOBS, and help those with less advantages!

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Happy 2012 to all!!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      DITTO!

  • revolve

    Why does it have to be ”occupy up in ‘arms’”–you always use these kind militant idioms.  Why do peaceful protesters–implementing democracy–always get spun into violent freaks by the fascist media.  On Point should hold itself to a higher standard as it claims.  Why is our society so spartan?  So hostile?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    AMAZING!! How people can refuse to see that Wind Turbines can be installed in days to use FREE fuel, for FAR LESS than the price of a coal power plant that takes years to build, much less fuel!  The maintenance HAS to be a small FRACTION of the maintenance of a coal plant.  
        The fastese fossil plant to put up, is a natural-gas turbine, and MANY Wind Turbines can be manufactured and installed in the time those take!   Now consider the costs of building the gas lines to the plant!  The gas company is NOT going to provide FREE gas! 
       People keep saying that Wind is so much more expensive, but cannot tell me HOW, since the wind is FREE!
       It CANNOT cost more to build and install an equal productio capacity of Wind Turbines, to build and install a gas turbine, or a coal power plant!!  There’s FAR LESS to them!  The fuel is FREE, and there is no requirement to transport the fuel! 
        Five BILLION GALLONS of coal fly-ash isn’t cheap to handle, when it floods a valley!  Just ask TVA! 

  • http://twitter.com/aloysiusokon Aloysius Okon

    2011 in two words: Closure and Revolution!

  • Gregg

    Good riddance 2011, let’s hope 2012 is better.

     http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/286867

  • TweedleDumDee

    Progressives and the Ron Paul Fallacies

    Glenn Greenwald

    http://www.salon.com/2011/12/31/progressives_and_the_ron_paul_fallacies/singleton/

    • TweedleDumDee

      “Whatever else one wants to say, it is indisputably true that Ron Paul is the only political figure with any sort of a national platform — certainly the only major presidential candidate in either party — who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial. The converse is equally true: the candidate supported by liberals and progressives and for whom most will vote — Barack Obama — advocates views on these issues (indeed, has taken action on these issues) that liberals and progressives have long claimed to find repellent, even evil.”

  • TweedleDumDee
    • TweedleDumDee

      “As Matt Stoller argued in a genuinely brilliant essay on the history of progressivism and the Democratic Party which I cannot recommend highly enough: “the anger [Paul] inspires comes not from his positions, but from the tensions that modern American liberals bear within their own worldview.” Ron Paul’s candidacy is a mirror held up in front of the face of America’s Democratic Party and its progressive wing, and the image that is reflected is an ugly one; more to the point, it’s one they do not want to see because it so violently conflicts with their desired self-perception.”

  • Pingback: Occupy Harrisonburg’s Own Makes Big Impression on NPR « Occupy Harrisonburg

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  • Anonymous

    In light of the uprisings in the Middle East, the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the uncovering of corruption and abuse from such towering institutions as the Catholic Church, universities (eg: Duke), Wall Street, Congress, the Supreme Court, etc, and to describe in a nutshell much that the year epitomizes I would say that 2011 could be dubbed: The Year of the Shifting Sands.

  • Pingback: Jellykkaland » 5Things: 02012012

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

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

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

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SHOWS
Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

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.

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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.

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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.

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