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Week In The News: Pentagon Cuts, Iowa Results, Attacks In Iraq

A photo-finish in Iowa. Cutbacks for the Pentagon. A fire starter arrest in L.A. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum reacts to a question from the media at a campaign stop at Valley High School, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa. (AP)

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum reacts to a question from the media at a campaign stop at Valley High School, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Santorum lost to GOP rival Mitt Romney by eight votes in the Iowa caucuses. (AP)

GOP politics front and center this week.  In Iowa, where 120,000 voters put religious Rick Santorum in a statistical tie for victory.  But Mitt Romney claimed it, with his eight-vote lead.  In New Hampshire, where the first full primary uncorks on Tuesday, and Newt Gingrich says he’ll land a blow for truth.

Meanwhile, in the big world, new strategy and new cutbacks at the Pentagon.  More bombings in Baghdad, in Syria.  An arrest in LA’s fire starter spree.  And fracking takes the rap for earthquakes in Ohio.

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

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Howard Fineman, editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group.

Kimberly Strassel, columnist and editorial board member at the Wall Street Journal.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “Former Senator Rick Santorum’s campaign in Iowa conducted no polls or focus groups, employed no speechwriter and had no security presence until a few days ago. “We don’t have a bunch of guys with earpieces running around doing nothing,” he would boast. ”

Politico “Three years after pledging a new era of post-partisan cooperation, President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared war with congressional Republicans by unilaterally installing his nominee to head a new consumer protection bureau.”

Wall Street Journal “President Barack Obama unveiled a new defense strategy Thursday that creates a “leaner” and “agile” military that relies on smaller conventional ground forces amid cuts in federal spending. ”

 

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  • Roy Mac

    Please.  The Iowa sunday school popularity contest result is NOT news.  No responsible news organization ought to be spending more than one 5 second headline, ONE time, on this non-event.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Did you feel that way in 2008?

      • Nancy

        If you’re “worried for the country,” why are you a Republican?

           That really doesn’t make sense.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I’m not a republican and I’m certainly not a democrat.

          • Nancy

            I certainly see you defending nearly every Republican stupidity on this site, and dissing every Democratic solution to our country’s ills, so it seems pretty obvious despite the denial.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I state it the other way, capitalizing that I’m CERTAINLY NOT a Republican, after ‘W’!

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I can give you at least 16 trillion reasons I’m worried and we should all be worried.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            How many of those $Trillions were direct results of ‘W’ admin.?  Remember “W’ campaigned on the promise that he would make the Budget SURPLUS LARGER!!

      • Roy Mac

        Yup.  And 2004, 2000, 1996, etc.

    • notafeminista

      Sure, because American politics in …y’know…the United States of America is always a non-starter.

  • Hidan

    Looks like Santorum had a mix and frothy showing in Iowa. Will this ease Santorum into the New Hampshire race or will he be just another byproduct of the political system?

  • Hidan

    Anyone hear about this?JPost reported this as well.

    “Several thousand US troops headed to Israel for unprecedented’ joint missile defense exercise”

    “Iran is pissed. A few days after that announcement they began a 10 day
    drill in Strait of Hormuz that ended yesterday, it’s gotten lots of
    press in the U.S., and yet no mention of the US troop deployment to
    Israel ever.”

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/jpost-several-thousand-us-troops-to-israel-for-unprecedented-joint-missile-defense-exercise.html

    Or this?

  • Hidan

    BTW,

    The Republican control house and Democratic controlled Senate just raised your price of gas by passing sanctions on Iranian oil.

    Think of it as raising your “taxes” during the hardest time of winter at the same time the Republican control congress cut back on aid to the poor for heating needs. Not only will the sanction hurt the American citizens it will further empower the country that actually practices Sharia law(Saudi Arabia) also helping Russia, Iran itself and may even further destroy the Greece economy along with throwing the rest of Europe  back into a recession.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Honestly, this is difficult issue with tough choices.  Imagine the effect on the economy if Iran lobs a nuke into Isreal as they’ve promised.  These sanctions would certainly be a cheap prophylactic if they in fact work.

      • Anonymous

        I doubt Iran is that close to having a workable warhead. However they could close the Straights of Hormuz in a day which would send the world into economic chaos as the price of oil would double.
        I’m not sure how Iran can be dealt with.
        Attacking them does not seem to be an option as they have a huge military and this could backfire into world wide disaster in terms of energy prices for years. That would be counter productive.
        Basically I think the term is stalemate.
        Iran is going to be the wild card of international diplomacy for years to come. We have to engage with China and Europe in dealing with this and cannot on any circumstances do this alone.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Renewable Energy for REAL Energy Security, which equals National Security!

      • Hidan

        I deeply Doubt your premise, They(Iran) “Never” promise to nuke Israel also Israel has a 20% non-jewish minority, Iran would be Nuked itself. If you include the west bank than Iran would have to kill equally the amount of Arabs. If what you claimed to be true than why hasn’t Iran killed all there jews inside of Iran? How would the sanction be cheap if oil prices sky rocket?

        btw

        Mossad Chief: Stop calling Iran an ‘existential threat’

        “What is the significance of the term existential threat?” the
        ambassadors quoted Pardo as asking. “Does Iran pose a threat to Israel?
        Absolutely. But if one said a nuclear bomb in Iranian hands was an
        existential threat, that would mean that we would have to close up shop
        and go home. That’s not the situation. The term existential threat is
        used too freely.”

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/mossad-chief-stop-calling-iran-an-existential-threat.html

      • Hidan

        P.S.

        why are you supporting a tax increase on fellow American base on the unprovable fear(So far) of what Iran could or could not do? Is it that easy for the government to raise taxes on you?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Oil will continue to go UP, regardless of the excuses that oil finde to do it!
           Can you name a two-year period when oil product prices have went DOWN, nearly as much as previous and post-decrease raises?  In the past 40 years?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Renewable Energy, with Electric-Powered Vehicles!
         Oil is ONLY going to go up each year, on average!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Please?  Cuts to increases in millitary spending are NOT cuts to the Millitary!  They are cuts to the increase in the millitary!   After wars, there is almost always a reduction of millitary forces.  That should equal a reduction of Millitary Budget. 
       I am a veteran, and rather pro-millitary, but this is ridiculous.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    A more agile millitary is always more desirable!  Imaging the millitary of pre-WWI, trying to cope with some of the incidents of the past 20 years.  If we sent planes, materiel, and personnel to wars the way we did then, we wouldn’t stand a chance. 
        Too bad that our millitary gets mis-used so much.  Then, when they are no longer needed, they are mis-treated by not curing war injuries, re-training troops to civillian jobs, cutting benefits, denying benefits, etc…
        A powerful defense rarely gets challenged!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Excellent point.  I was listening to a story tonight from an ex-Marine brass who was recounting his father fighting in WWII at Guadalcanal with a 43 year old rifle.  We were in rough shape back then and we were attacked.  Kind of bolsters your point.

    • notafeminista

      Reagan certainly agreed.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The Iowa caucus made for some humorous listening!  There will probably be more humor from the rest of the political races!

  • Nancy

    Santorum will last a couple of weeks- just as long as every other Republican candidate, now that the spotlight will clue in Republican primary voters to the fact that he’s simply another unelectable idiot.
    Par for the course.
    When will you people face the fact you’re going to get the bonehead Romney, as he’s the least worst of your lot?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Are you for Ron Paul or Huntsman?

    • Gregg

      If an Alinsky idiot radical like Obama with zero executive experience can get elected then it makes the term “unelectable idiot” kind of meaningless.

      It’s funny how some seem concerned because of Santorum’s religious beliefs but were unconcerned with Obama’s indoctrination under Rev. Wright. Go figure.

      • JustSayin

        How true. GWB set the electable idiot mark as low as it should ever get to. From what I heard and saw over ten years, I would estimate his IQ at a generous 75.

        • Still Here

          This coming from a single digit IQ, and I’m giving you credit for knowing how to breathe which is generous on my part.

          • JustSayin

            Well I wasn’t really tempted to make a significant statement as to his voter base, but thanks for nailing it down.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          You are WAY generous, I think.

      • Nancy

        No one buys this sort of tripe except for Glenn Beck flunkees.

        Presdient Obama makes any Republican anywhere look like a Special Ed kindergartener by comparison.

        • ArnoldWalker56

          Wow, I’m ashamed you call yourself a Democrat! 

          • Nancy

            You’re right… what an insult to Special Ed kids!

        • Gregg

          Where do ya’ll get this “Special Ed” intolerance? Never mind.

          Who is Glenn Beck?

    • Hidan

      Jon Stewert made the same points

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cPbjhVhV3I

    • Hidan
    • ArnoldWalker56

      Just like we Dems did in 08, that’s the sad state of American politics.

      • Anonymous

        The Democrats had two good options in 2008. 

        • ArnoldWalker56

          You’ve got to be kidding.  A guy with no record/experience who’s out-Bushed Bush at every turn versus one of the most polarizing people of the 90s and 00s with a ton of baggage from her years in the WH. 

          • Anonymous

            They were both flawed but there was a race between the two of them with people voting in support of one or the other which is a contrast between the establishment vote for the inevitable Romney or the “anybody but Romney” race going on now. 

          • ArnoldWalker56

            I’m a loyalist but I’m not so blind to ignore that people are motivated by the same emotions on both sides.  Hillary got a lot of votes because she wasn’t black and Obama got a lot because he didn’t have her baggage. 

          • Anonymous

            Agreed, but there was an enthusiam for both candidates that is lacking in the Romney supporters. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    How much, of which minerals, would be profitable to bring from the moon? 
       A feasible colony on the moon would be a little insurance of human survival, if something drastic happens to Earth.  That should have a worth of its own.
       Research stations on the moon could gather a lot of scientific data, but there needs to be a commercial venture, to assure continuity.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Have you been talking with Newt?

      • notafeminista

        Hee!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        No, I listened to the news about the new survey craft we now have orbitting the moon. 
            You think Newt has studied the moon for anything but wooing a new wife prospect, before divorcing the present one?

    • BHA in Vermont

      I suspect that transporting it would make it economically impossible.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        That’s why I asked which ones would be profitable to bring back.  

  • Terry Tree Tree

    If we had subsidized honest renewable-energy and renewable resources, as much as we have subsidized oil, coal, natural gas, tar-sands, nuclear fussion, and nuclear energy, we wouldn’t have to worry whether Iran cuts off oil from the Persian Gulf, in my opinion. 
        True Energy Security, anyone?  Higher mass-production and installation of the state of the art now, would do more than the current pet projects.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      We’ve had subsidies for renewables for years.  I don’t need to remind you of the waste of resources on Solyndra.   All of the renewables are fringe technologies because they don’t scale economically.  It makes no sense to ramp up subsidies on something that will break the bank.

      However, your major point is right on.  We need breakthroughs for energy security.  The DARPA-E program  to develop true breakthroughs that will provide electricity as cheap as coal is on the right track.  We almost need a manhattan project to crack this nut.  We spent $800B in importing oil in 2008.

      Personally, I think nuclear has a place too.  I am encouraged with the developments in molten salt thorium reactors which solves the waste issue and some of the other safety issues because it isn’t pressurized.

      • nj

        You’re all dreaming.

        Repeat after me: There are no energy silver bullets. Especially complex, centralized, inherently dangerous ones.

        The search for some Magical Wonder Techno-fix is futile. Any technology has a set of unforeseeable, unintended, often negative consequences.

        Nuclear power would be “too cheap to meter.” 

        Oops. Multi-billions for a new plant. Chernobyl. Fukushima.

        The Green Revolution with its synthetic fertilizers and pesticides was going to solve the world’s food problems.

        Oops. Pest resistance. Poisoning of farm workers. Destruction of soil.

        Automobiles would provide freedom, travel opportunity, connect the country.

        Oops. Drunk drivers. Urban sprawl. Entire settlement patterns now dependent on soon-to-be dwindling and ever more expensive ancient algae and dinosaur remains.

        So what’s the solution to this? Why more amazing techo-fixes—fusion, thorium, solar cells and other “renewables,” etc., etc.

        Most of these (fusion, thorium) haven’t been shown to even be feasible on a commercial scale, let alone sustainable.

        And there are problems with every “renewable” energy technology. 

        Windmills whack birds and bats, have significant siting restrictions, seem to have low-frequency emission health issues…

        Solar relies on materials that are fairly rare, need huge amounts of land to be viable for large-demand industrial uses, isn’t practical in all areas…

        Geothermal drilling is expense, can increase earthquake risks…

        Tidal, too diffused, limited to coastal areas…

        Etc.

        We’ll have to utilize many of these, for sure, since fossil fuels are going to go away fairly soon. But it doesn’t appear there’s any way we can maintain our current (and increasing) energy use levels and have them supplied by any combination of these sources without serious, negative consequences. No matter what the sources, energy will cost more.

        What really needs to happen that no one wants to talk about is how to power down, rebuild or retrofit houses for efficiency, develop local economies, retool manufacturing, etc. so that we use much, much less energy. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          We have NEVER subsidized Renewable Energy as much as we have subsidized oil, natural gas, nuclear, nuclear fussion, and coal!  EACH of those ‘legacy’ energy sources has more problems than most Renewables.
             Many of the problems with Renewables’ problems can be solved, if the interest was there.
             I agree that conservation methods are the fastest way to achieve more Energy Independence, and therefore Energy Security, and therefore National Security!
             I said ‘honest Renweable Energy’ because that technology is here already, and only needs to be increased in scale, and or production! 
              Tesla Model ‘S’ sedans, charged by home, or commercial Wind-Turbines, and/or Solar Panels, would pollute FAR less than any gas or diesel powered car on the market today!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        The concept of a solar-collector that Solyndra was to make, looked efficient.  The executives evidently being corrupt, is a shame.  NOT new to anyone that remembers ‘W’s buddy Kenny Boy Lay, and his company Enron!
           Scam artists exist in any endeavor where there’s a chance for money or other power! 
           That doesn’t mean that the business, or product, itself, isn’t a good thing!

        • TFRX

          Asking “Worried” to remember Enron as anything but a “who remembers who forgot to pick who up from soccer practice” (n/t Homer Simpson) is a fruitless endeavor.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            The enron pukes went to jail and didn’t involve tax payer funds.  We’ll see if anyone involved in the Solyndra mess goes to the big house.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I have said before, frauds, scam artists, banksters, and other criminals should do REAL hard time, NOT Country Club-Fed!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Coal has to be found, mineral rights paid for, roads built, or re-inforced, mining equipment has to be moved in and assembled, miners have to be hired, and/or trained, earth has to be moved causing pollution, coal has to be mined-stripped-deep-or ghastly mountain-top-removal, coal has to be washed, sorted, loaded, transported to coal plant, stored in coal pile, has to be rotated to prevent spontaneous combustion, coal is then transported to coal power plant to be burned to produce steam to drive generator, THEN you get into handling the pollution, and waste products of the coal power plant! 
            The price and erection costs of equivalent KW Wind-Turbines, HAS to be less!  With more mass-production of Wind-Turbines, the costs go DOWN!
            Coal has tripled in price in twenty years. 
         The Wind is still FREE!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Your dreams may come true without subsidies.  Check out Andrea Rossi and E-Cat.  He claims to have developed a ‘cold fusion’ process that produces steam cheaply.  He sold his first 1MW unit last year and plans to market home heating/cooling units by the end of 2012.  He claims to be in talks with Home Depot.

      It is either a huge scam or a technology that will change the world.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        If it’s NOT a scam, Big Oil, Big Coal, or another vested interest will take it off the market! 
           Shell advertises their mpg contest in Popular Science, with the last winner getting the equivalent of 8,870 mpg.  They have been over 4,000 mpg, for over 15 years!  Who sells a vehicle that gets DOUBLE the mileage it did 15 years ago?

        • BHA in Vermont

          Toyota – Prius
          Mid sized car that gets 100% more combined MPG than comparable sized cars :)

  • Yar

    The correct term for the race in Iowa is a statistical tie.  A photo finish, (a term used in horse racing), the difference in the two candidates would amount to about 1/8th of an inch.  Not a measurable distance on a photo of two horse noses.  8 votes is 0.000266578 difference.  To claim a win in a system of hand counted votes indicates lack of  understanding of math, or willing dishonesty.

  • Newton Whale

    Caucus Vote Counter Says Romney Mistakenly Given 20 Votes‏

    Edward True, 28, of Moulton, said he helped count the votes and jotted the results down on a piece of paper to post to his Facebook page. He said when he checked to make sure the Republican Party of Iowa got the count right, he said he was shocked to find they hadn’t.”When Mitt Romney won Iowa by eight votes and I’ve got a 20-vote discrepancy here, that right there says Rick Santorum won Iowa,” True said. “Not Mitt Romney.”True said at his 53-person caucus at the Garrett Memorial Library, Romney received two votes. According to the Iowa Republican Party’s website, True’s precinct cast 22 votes for Romney.”This is huge,” True said. “It essentially changes who won.”

    Read more: http://www.kcci.com/news/30144582/detail.html#ixzz1igD8oic2 

  • AC

    first let me declare: I am agnostic – I don’t have a party of choice, but -
    does anyone else feel like Newt is a plant to promote Romney?

    • Hidan

      Doubtful,

      Newt is going to start burning Romney in NH cause of what Romney Lawyer’s pack did to him in Iowa.

      • Gregg

        Yes, I agree. I think South Carolina will be the bellwether for Newt.

        • Anonymous

          I think santorum is the only anti-Mitt still standing. 

          • Guest

            Ron Paul is anti Santorum!! 

          • JustSayin

            Ron Paul is pretty much anti everything. I like some of his positions, but in his refusal to be rational he comes across as the angry old man yelling for the kids to git off his lawn.

        • AC

          I didn’t know what ‘bellwether’ implied, so I googled it. It said it was the lead sheep in a flock, an ‘indicator’ with the synonym of ‘leader’…..I’ll admit, I’m more confused by your post? Do you mean after SC, we’ll know what’s what in the party, or that Newt really is a plant like I suspect?

      • AC

        every soundbite from him stresses what a ‘moderate’ Romney is. I think the media likes to only show the more extreme ideals/commentary from either party – but I think the overall mood of the country is sick of this and wants someone more moderate….+ Newt has to know he’s not going to win…….

        • Anonymous

          Newt has never let reality get in the way of his infantile sense of self importance.  I had hoped he would have gotten the nomination before his meltdown. 

          • Guest

            yea that would be a democrats dream come true

          • AC

            Haha!!! He still scares me tho…..

        • BHA in Vermont

          Apparently not. 1/3rd want someone more liberal, 1/3 want someone more conservative (both politically and “morally/religiously”). It seems those in the middle have no voice at all.

          I happen to be one of those in the middle and keep thinking (apparently wrongfully) the country would be better off “in the middle” because you will NEVER get even half the people a little bit happy if all you have are RIGHT and LEFT. At least those not far to either side could find some “happiness” with compromise in the middle.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Yes, it seems that the ‘parties’ want to drive into one ditch, or the other!
               What’s best for the country, and its Citizens, is in the MIDDLE!

          • AC

            You really don’t think we’re heading for a new age of reason? This just can’t continue, it’s too stupid.

      • Guest

        Newt will be told to take it easy on Romney and he will….in fact he will end up endorsing Romney once he fades away.

        • AC

          So cliche ! !

    • notafeminista

      Well I don’t think Newt feels that ;)

  • Hidan

    The primaries should all be held in the same week or even day. Iowa or N.H. do not represent the vast bulk of Americans. The electoral college doesn’t work and is anti-democratic and the way the senate is set up it actually dilute votes of large states and gives far more power to low population states.

    • Anonymous

      I think we should have two national primaries.  The first would narrow the field to the top two candidates and then the second should be held two or three months later.  I don’t see the value of retail politics in two states that aren’t representative of the nation in selecting the nominees. 

    • notafeminista

      Ok I’ll bite.  Who represents the vast bulk of Americans?

    • BHA in Vermont

      I agree with everything but the last line. Voting in Presidential elections in small states like mine is may be a “civic duty” but has ZERO affect on the election. No one cares about a measly 3 EC votes. At the VERY LEAST there should be NO winner takes all EC votes. That MORE THAN neutralizes the “minor party” in any given state.

      BETTER: ONE PERSON (not company/union/PAC) ONE vote. We have computers to tabulate votes, we don’t need a bunch of people to go to a smoky room and “decide” who should be President, especially since THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED to vote for the person chosen by the people they are “representing”.

  • Hidan

    How about talking about the new bill obama signed that allows the government to arrest U.S. citizens without due process? New Year eve no doubt

    Of course as we know the government would never abuse a law or powers.

    emo got busted. the laws states that a review will occur every 3yrs.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-3-2012/lockup-everyone

    lol
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/president-signs-controversial-defense-bill,26928/

  • Hidan
    • nj

      Thanks for those!

  • Rob (in NY)

    Tom,
    Here is a positive news story for the day  This is the first jobs report in the past 3 years that has me smiling at least a little.     December jobs were up about 200k including a strong rebound in manufacturing jobs offset by a decline in government jobs.   The problem is that the US needs to maintain monthly job growth of 175k to 300k to make a dent in our long term unemployment problem  (forget about the rate as this can mask people entering and leaving the labor force) and there are still risks regarding the turmoil in Europe.   

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/45898349

  • Anonymous

    NH isn’t going to matter unless Mitt “Landslide” Romney can’t get 40% (which is unlikely).  Huntsman will be out.  Newt will continue to be a pest through at least SC.  If Santorum can get all of the anti-Mitt voters to prefer him then he has a chance to beat Romney but he lacks money and organization.  Perry has money but makes Sarah Palin look like Plato.  Ron Paul’s votes aren’t a factor as he will be in the race until the end and will get no more and no less votes than he already has from his cult.  Good riddance to Michele Bachmann, but I miss the pizza man. 

    • Guest

      Ron Paul is the answer to so many of this countries problems.  Don’t count him out as the media does…..

      • Anonymous

        Ron Paul is a wacky, cranky, racist, gold loving, cult leader not a serious candidate. 

        • Guest

          Come on John!  He is for equal rights for everyone.
          http://www.fox19.com/story/16449477/reality-check-the-story-behind-the-ron-paul-newsletters

          This report explains in detail the news letter  crap.

          I support Ron Paul and would not if he was a racist….like Santorum.

          • kelty

            Unless you are a woman, then he thinks you have no rights over your own body.

          • Guest

            No he doesn’t!  He doesn’t believe that the Federal government should tax those that are pro life to pay for abortions.  he is an OBGYN and a Christian.  He is entitled to his beliefs.  He against Federal laws that tell anyone what they can do to their bodies.  I am very pro choice!

          • Anonymous

            Tax money isn’t used for abortion.  Most of the action to restrict abortion rights is on the state level where pro-life Ron Paul very much supports the government interfering in individuals’ lives.  http://www.npr.org/2012/01/06/144783916/the-nation-progressive-man-crushes-on-ron-paul

  • MarkVII88

    Dana Milbank, in a column published today, asserts that while Romney is
    seen as the likely Rep. candidate, that the support he’s gotten from
    other noteworthy republicans like John McCain is given grudgingly and
    that Romney is barely holding together the momentum of his campaign. 
    Milbank highlights the awkwardness of Romney’s interactions with
    journalists, the stumbling campaign stops in New Hampshire, suggesting
    that he’s totally out of touch with real people.  Can your guests please
    weigh-in on the truth of what Milbank writes?

  • TFRX

    Howard Fineman is the leftmost person on the panel, but we get a two-fer with a WSJ editorial board member.

    Time to play public radio’s favorite game, “Spot the liberal”.

    (And, no, when the Dems are the subject, the right’s Rolodex doesn’t gather dust.)

  • notafeminista

    Oooooh and she’s female to boot.  *chuckle*

  • BHA in Vermont

    Newt is a two faced liar but he is right about Romney being a liar regarding the PACs.

    • Still Here

      Only you can tell when Newt’s lying so keep it up.

  • Still Here

    Obama goes scorched earth on nominees and now has the power to assassinate Americans.  That’ll take care of the opposition.

    • TFRX

      Scorched earth?

      You don’t have the requisite 60% of votes to get your comment out of committee.

      Remember the last decade when the hypnotized media was chanting “upordownvoteupordownvoteupordownvoteupordownvote”?

      • Still Here

        No and neither do you.

        • TFRX

          Your unbalanced media diet (or digestion) is showing.

          • Still Here

            Along with your complete ignorance.

    • BHA in Vermont

      How did John Bolton get appointed as the Representative to the UN?

      Richard Cordray was supported by a majority of the States’ Attorneys General AND a majority of the Senate. Can’t say the same about Bolton.

      And the Republicans are doing their “NO to anything Obama wants”, including appointments just as they did to Clinton.

      Show me how the Republicans have ANY desire to keep the country moving?

      • Guest

        Because he is a blood thirsty Neo-con

    • Still Here

      Ohio didn’t want Cordray and we don’t want some Ohio reject.

      • TFRX

        We hear you loud and clear: “WATB concern troll is concerned.”

  • Terry Tree Tree

    How many of the new Cardinals are Child-Molesters or Child-Abusers, or protected priests that are or were? 
        Did the Pope announce the Child-Molesting and Child-Abuse stance of each  of them?

    • Anonymous

      Don’t you have to wait for Ed’s weekly post?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        OOPS!  Did I jump the gun, reacting to the news about the Pope appointing new Cardinals, before Ed told us how wonderful it is for the Roman Child-Molesting church?
           Should I apologize?

  • Anonymous

    “No real man wants to vote for Mitt Romney”
    Quote of the day.

  • Dave

    Romney joined the NRA just a few years ago to appeal to the gun crowd.  When asked what he hunts, he said …..”varmint”.  This man has never been hunting in his life.  It’s one reason people see him as a phony.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Is the NRA MOSTLY about “hunting and gun safety” or MOSTLY about “If I want a gun, any kind of gun, I should be able to have it”?

      • Guest

        2nd amendment.

        • Guest

          BHA i dont have a gun nor do I want one.  But, the constitution is what made this country beautiful!  Are you familiar with NDAA that Obama signed into law on New Years Eve?  It gives the military the ability to detain any US citizen in the US without a warrant, without a trial….the language is so vague that they could just say you are a threat to the government and haul you in>

        • Raoul

          What does the NRA consider a well-regulated militia? 

          • Guest

            The right to bear arms so that no government can become oppressive.

            Not a gun advocate but respect the founding fathers.  It was the second most important amendment after all.

    • JustSayin

      Well that’s one… but there are so many others!  It’s the presidential image shuffle machine at work. They all become poor huntin’, pickup drivn’, sports watchin’, everyman on the campaign tour.

      -Eastern preppy Bush wearing cowboy boots and looking afraid as hell holding a tiny chainsaw.

      -mega-millionaire Kerry wearing his new hunting garb and looking confused as hell “hunting” for votes.

      -Regan went from upper class riding gear to dirt poor cowboy.

      -Scott Brown so impovershed he only had plaid shirts and an ole pickup truck to campaign in.

      The idiot electorate gobbles that stuff up.

      • TFRX

        “Kerry’s new hunting garb” was a creation of the propaganda press, which echo chambered it to the mainstream press.

        And let’s not forget Fred Thompson’s act of getting into an old pickup truck for the last mile of a trip to a campaign appearance. Scott Brown’s just the latest practictioner of that bit.

      • ruth

        Woohoo!!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’s chain saw, in at least one ‘interview’, was a Hollywood prop!  If ‘W’ had handled that brand of saw as carelessly as he did the ‘saw’ he had, it would have tore him up!

        • JustSayin

          You and I noticed it, but the PR people had have no idea how a chainsaw should be used. It was a comical scene.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Did you notice that for the first four years, when he was ‘giving’ a speech, he would cock his to his right, come back forward with three or four words, cock his head right, come back forward with three or four words, regardless of the broken phrasing?  
                ‘Conservatives’ go on and on about Obama reading a teleprompter! 
                ‘W’ couldn’t read well enough to use a teleprompter, and was radio-controlled! 

          • JustSayin

            Perhaps GWB was a Disney robot? He wasn’t a human failure, but a bad puppet?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Disney wouldn’t let a robot that bad out of the shop!

          • notafeminista

            To Terry et al above:  1)GWB isn’t running
            2)He can’t run again.
            3)I thought whoever the Left put up against GWB (or any other GOP candidate for that matter) was supposed to be BETTER than the other guy.  WHY would he emulate GWB?

      • nj

        Obama’s speech patterns even shift a bit depending on the audience, dropping “g”s at the end of “–ing” words and such. Trying to sound more folksy. It’s especially noticeable during campaigning.

        • Anonymous

          I find that annoyin’.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Which’n didn’t?

  • BHA in Vermont

    When will all these Republican candidates who claim Obama has destroyed the economy going to tell us EXACTLY how THEY are going to fix it?

    • Guest

      You have to make this country an attractive place to do business.  The tax code forces companies overseas.

      • SithResponder

        Boo hoo to companies and their maximum 35% statutory tax rate (although effective rates often end up much lower).  Look around, this nation would likely be much different without these tax rates.  Do you advocate a race to the bottom so we can look more like the “business friendly” developing nations that undercut us?  President Obama, by the way, asked that corporate rates be lowered in
        his State of the Union address last year (in exchange for loophole
        closures, etc.). 

        If corporations and businesses are people, as many seem to believe, then those that are “forced” overseas over a 35% tax rate are the most unpatriotic “people” this nation has ever seen.

        • Guest

          Wrong.  We will never attract new business with an attitude like yours.  The tax rate should be 10% or so.

          Look, the major corporations pay no taxes.  Thats because big government and lobbyists run this country.

          Think of all the lost revenue from Exxon and the like that actually get money from the government.

      • Holly

        …or it asks companies to help pay for the infrastructure they benefit from. How outrageous.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        $Millionaires and $Billionaires paying nearly NO taxes.  Corporations paying nearly NO taxes.  Subsidizing oil, coal, nuclear, and gas.  Cuts to wages and benefits to workers, so executives get $Million BONUSES.
           HOW attractive do they have to have it?   Slave Labor?

  • Anonymous

    Romney makes John Kerry look personable.

  • TomK in Boston

    Wouldn’t it be horrible if we had to cut military spending to the point that we could only fight one mistake war, instead of two mistake wars simultaneously? I mean, if we attack iran, we might have to stop invading afghanistan…such a disaster for the USA.

    Stand by to hear the right arguing that all the offense spending stimulates the economy and creates jobs, although no other gvt spending stimualtes the economy and creates jobs according to the voodoo econ bible.

    • Jediinvestor72

      Ron Paul is the only anti-war candidate…unless Dennis runs again.

    • BHA in Vermont

      Yeah, I just LOVE how the Republicans say “NO TO BIG GOVERNMENT” but want BIG military. Like everything else: CUT, CUT, CUT (unless it is stuff WE care about).

      • Guest

        BHA it is disgusting.  We need to bring our troops home and protect our borders.  Time to restore this countries morality!!

  • Michiganjf

    “Europe, where potential for upward mobility is now greater than in the U.S.”

    Thanks for saying it Tom!

    We have Republican trickle-down and welfare for the Rich to thank for than turn of fortunes!!

  • Anonymous

    Mitt Romney, the man born with a silver spoon in his mouth has the nerve say anything about entitlements.

    Good point Tom about Europe. We are going down while those “socialist” Europeans are doing better. Well they were until the recession. But…   

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    I wish these shows would get more into facts than the BS coming out of campaigning politicians mouths.

    Discussing BS just creates more BS.

  • Jediinvestor72

    What about Ron Paul?  Everyone else mentioned but the Ron Paul.  This is a publicly funded station but it is not reporting who the the public have in a strong second place.  NPR is no different than Fox when it omits Ron Paul from the discussion!

    • Anonymous

      What is there to discuss?  He has a small but not growing share of the votes and won’t get the nomination.  Unless he runs as a third party candidate, he isn’t a factor in the race. 

      • Guest

        he had a 100% increase in voters in Iowa and NH and he is growing daily.  He has more support from active military than all other candidates combined.  When people learn how pure Ron Paul is they are join the team!

    • Kathy

      The question isn’t why a nut like Paul isn’t being taken seriously. The question is why the other nuts are.

      • ArnoldWalker56

        Nice rhetoric.

      • Guest

        Kathy, if honoring the pledge to defend the constitution is nutty than I don’t know what to say to you. 

  • Still Here

    Europe is a socialist disaster and Tom knows nothing about economics. 

    • ebw343

      He knows more than Kimberly Strassel, who still uses “job creators” unironically.

  • Etienne De La Boetie

    How can Santorum, Huntsman and Perry be discussed here as legitimate candidates while the name Ron Paul has yet to be even mentioned? You may not like him but you can’t just pretend he doesn’t exist. This is exactly why Paul’s supporters get so disgusted with the media. 

    • Guest

      Thank you!  People who don’t understand Ron Paul should spend a few minutes to see why the media and establishment, military industrial complex etc are so afraid of Ron Paul

  • Strobaffa

    TOM – don’t let this woman off the hook!  A pure ideologue! 

  • Dpweber83

    I’m officially done with pretending that I respect the intellect of the WSJ editorial board.  

    Tom says there’s been upward redistribution of wealth, Kimberly responds, well, the wealthy pay more taxes now, too.

    They sure do!  That’s *exactly* what you would expect to happen, all things being equal, when a group of people takes home more cash!

    You’re not even trying.  I’m unable to convince myself that you actually, really believe the things you’re saying.

    -dan
    Boston, MA

  • TFRX

    So our host has taken to having to correct the WSJ op-ed bullflop.

    She is just propagandzing; she’s been doing it for two minutes straight. This is what you gave a spot on the panel for? I can get this pobble on any AM radio or most of my cable TV any hour of the day.

    Once she runs out of breath, think about what she’ll say the next time. Sounds like another failed audition for the spot of “reasonable right-winger”.

    • Anonymous

       Without ignorance or deceit the right has nothing to say.  If she believes what she’s saying, she’s ignorant.  If she is familiar with reality, she is being deceitful. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    I am still baffled by this perception that President Obama is the cause of all of our nation’s woes. Was it not the Republican’s stated objective in 2010 to deny the President’s every policy objective without compromise? I wonder what people would think of President Obama’s first term accomplishments if congressional Republicans had come to the table to work with him in good faith for all Americans instead of the “our way or the highway” approach they have dressed up as negotiation.

    • Guest

      HOw about the fact that Obama campaigned on an antiwar platform but is actually more blood thirsty than either Bush was.  I think alot of Obama supporters will be voting Ron Paul this year!!

      • ArnoldWalker56

        I can’t speak for Independents, but Obama’s war/violence/presidential power and other disappointing policies will keep me away from the polls but not voting for a Republican. 

        • Anonymous

          You might as well vote for the Republican as that is the effect of your position.  Obama is by far the lesser of two evils.  Nader voters should have learned that when Bush “won.”

          • ArnoldWalker56

            You vote your conscience, I’ll vote mine.

          • joe

            Ron Paul will defeat Obama because of his integrity, honor and antiwar platform

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

        What did you expect? For Obama to come to office and just say, “OK, we’re done in Iraq and Afghanistan. Everybody come home tomorrow”? That is just silly. You may see it differently but I ask you, would John McCain have put us on a path towards ending these wars? Towards slimming down our massive military footprint? Towards supporting global institutions and global causes instead of doing it all on our own? I don’t think so. Am I all together happy with everything he has done domestically and internationally? No. But, I believe that he is doing the best he can with what he has been given.

        • BHA in Vermont

          “doing the best he can with what he has been given”

          A pile of stinking dog poo and a Congress that thinks their job is to block anything he and the PEOPLE of the USA who support his ideas come forward with?

          • Guest

            BHA  he is the president.  He could have prevented American bombs from falling on 10 nations since he was inaugurated.  We have killed 2000 civilians in Pakistan under his watch with drones.  Imagine that…another country dropping bombs in boston to get a few terrorists and killing 2000 people!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ‘W’ was bombing and killing in Pakistan before.
                That doesn’t make it right, except because one party claims that hand, but it was a continuation of policy set before.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            So TRUE!

        • jediinvestor72

          John McCain would have been worse…i will give you that.  BUT, Obama has troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, off the coast of Iran, just sent troops to Israel…just to name a few off the op of my head.

          Iraq kicked us out…we didn’t leave.

          Osama is dead.  Why are we still there.

          Obama signed into law the NDAA.  If you are not familiar with this new law you may be surprised what it allows the military to do to US citizens.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          My sentiments. Almost to a ‘T’!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        The ONLY troops on the ground in Libya, that I heard of, were target spotters, to make less ‘collateral damage’! 
           Troops are out of Iraq, six or seven years AFTER ‘W’ admin. said they should be!
            It looks now like Afghanistan pull-out will be on schedule!
           Blood-thirsty Obama?

  • Nancy

    Tom,

       Please call your Wall Street shill guest on her nonsense!!

    The wealthiest couple percent now account for over 90% of all income, and she’s belly-aching that the 70% share of income tax they pay is too much???!!!!!!!

    How is it they’re not paying nearly 95% of all income tax when they represent nearly 95% of all income??!!!

    • Still Here

      Don’t let your envy get the best of you!

      • TFRX

        Envy?

        Nice comeback (or is it total projection). Assumption makes an ass out of you and you.

        At least you didn’t refer to Nancy as “less feminine” than the female panelist.

      • Anonymous

        Deceit.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Expecting them to pay their fair share, is envy?  They got the $Money, didn’t create the promised jobs, and WHINE because they don’t get MORE tax cuts, and kick-backs!

    • notafeminista

      Not happy til you get alllllll their money are you.

      Bless the WSJ.

      • Still Here

        The unproductive parasites are plentiful here today.

      • Anonymous

        Ignorance.

        • notafeminista

          Be more specific. 

          • Anonymous

            No one is asking for “alllll their money”.  That’s is a ridiculous, ignorant claim.  Here’s a modest proposal:  tax them at the same rate as someone making ordinary earned income of $30,000 a year, which is 15.3% (13.3% for now due to payroll tax reduction) of their GROSS INCOME, then 15% of their adjusted gross/ taxable income. 

          • notafeminista

            Rather than the 35% now?

          • Anonymous

            You bet.  The 15.2% is of all income from every source, before any deductions whatsoever.  Off the top, just like the working stiff.  The tax rate of every hedge fund manager and those who get their income from cap gains and dividends would go way up, stopping their current preferential treatment, as would the taxes of almost everyone making over $106,000.  You do realize that only income in excess of $388,350 is taxed at 35%, not their total income, don’t you?

          • notafeminista

            You do realize that everyone has adjusted income.  The working stiff as you put it doesn’t get taxes taken out before deductions. Have you ever filled out a tax form?

          • Anonymous

            You bet I do.  Every quarter as a self -employed person.  15.3% off the top, which exceeds what every billionaire hedge fund manger pays right there.  Plus income taxes.

            It seems that you’re the one that needs a course on our tax system.

    • Nancy

      Howard,

         Thanks for addra guest.essing the utter nonsense spewing from the other Wall Street shill of a guest.

      • Nancy

        Correction:

        Howard,
         
           Thanks for addressing the utter nonsense spewing from the other Wall Street shill of a guest.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Surely you don’t expect $MILLIONAIRES and $BILLIONAIRES to pay their own share?  How will they survive?
         They can’t get by on less than $20 Million per year!!  Can you?

  • GeorgeO

    Bailouts and stimulus started during Bush and Barney Frank (both), Barney looking over banking and finance for many years, and agreement of congress So both parties own the origins of those doubtfully successful moves.

  • Suzie in Newport RI

    Wow–Strassel could not be a more obvious shill for the GOP/Tea Party!  A reporter just repeating the same old illogical lies. The Murdoch acquisition of the Wall Street Journal is showing its effects–it used to be a pretty objective newspaper–this from a very progressive liberal who wishes she had citizenship in one of those awful European socialist states.

    • Still Here

      Got it, you’re a shill for the lunatic fringe.

  • Anonymous

    Why is the gay-hating candidate wearing sweater vests?  It is hardly a Scott Brown barn jacket.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Santorum would have us in a theocracy , which is unconstitutional.  If you want to see how well theocracy works look at Iran. 

    • ruth

      Let’s not forget that the “right’, also, represents the most hypocritical group anywhere on the planet, whether you’re talking about the Taliban, or the American Taliban. 
      Santorum’s wife, Karen, had an abortion in 1996.
      I’m hoping that if sanatorum gets any traction, and lasts  through ’til the end of the year, that the left leaves the best attack for last – and brings out his wife’s abortion. 
      He is one dangerous &^%$*  

      • TFRX

        Looks like another “Freedom for mine but not for thine” Republican bumper sticker needs to be printed up.

        I thought knew all the hypocritical acts in the GOP candidates’ past. This is new info to me. I will now hold my breath until David Gregory asks Rick about it.

      • notafeminista

        As opposed to the Left, specifically the National Organization for Women who turned an absolutely blind eye to the fellow in NY who killed the wife who was about to divorce him.

        Remove the beam in your own eye.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The ‘compassionate’ ‘conservative’ ‘Christian’ right, claims the moral high-ground, so when one of them doesn’t live up to that moral high-ground, it needs to be exposed.   HYPOCRICY!!

          • notafeminista

            Right.  Just like the National Organization for Women.  Clean up your own backyard first.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      But they want a ‘Christian’ theocracy, with MANY of the same values of Iran!

      • notafeminista

        Which are what exactly…?

        • Scott B, Jamestown NY

          Making an official religion, banning other religions, their interpretation of biblical law, repressing the rights of anyone that’s not the same as them.

           If anyone thinks it can’t happen here they are misguided.
          -We have had states try to make an Christianity the “official” state religion.
          -We have zealots trying to burn places of worship and burning holy books – And not just those  Islam. Ask Romney and Huntsman about what Mormons  have, endured, and still do). 
          -Army and Air Force generals on record as trying to make them a “Christian force” and punishing soldiers for not attending Christian services, functions, or events.
          -Christian colleges that refuse non-white races, and have “modesty rules” that are far more biased towards controlling women.

          • notafeminista

            As opposed to all women’s colleges that don’t allow men at all?

            Show me any serious attempt in the last 25 years to do any of what you just listed. 

  • Daniel

    The Republicans seem to forget that they didn’t vote for Obama to do the things he’s done, because they didn’t vote for him in the first place.

    • Still Here

      Thank you zen master, now back to the real world.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Don’t confuse Republicans with truth!  The ‘conservatives’ can forget some of their shining stars that were pedophiles, soliciting same-sex sex in an airport restroom, trying to seduce under-age, same-sex, Congressional Pages, a born-again AWOL, and other Sterling examples of their ‘Family Values’, while crying for Whining $Millionaires!

  • Ejmcnu

    Please challenge the rhetorical stridency of the right: your guest just chided Obama for wanting to redistribute wealth from job creators to the rest of that. I believe she was referring to efforts to increase taxes on the wealthy. Not all millionaires are job creators and many, many job creators are far from wealthy. We can’t get beyond the ideological garbage until we push beyond the loaded language.

    • TomK in Boston

      Amen! After 30 years of tax cutting, it seems that a baby step back toward our historical norms when the middle class was  lot more prosperous, is “punishing the rich”, “creating an entitlement society”, “socialism”…I guess we were socialists the whole time we were opposing the commies in DDEs presidency, and one-worker families were sending kids to college with no debt.

      Geez. We have a tax code, sometimes the top rates are higher sometimes they’re lower, we get to fiddle with the dials on our system according to the circumstances and we’re still Americans. With the deficit that the right is so deeply concerned about and soaring the inequality, turning up the top rate is simply doing the obvious.

      • StillHere

        The demise of the middle class is entirely do to their materialism.

        • Fredlinskip

          Isn’t your statement akin to saying middle class demise is entirely due to capitalism?

          Growth of our economy is not the answer, because recent decades have clearly shown that the lion’s share of this growth benefits a privileged few. Such is how “trickle-up” works. Reagan and those who worship his policies claimed that trickle-up benefited the many. History has clearly torn this idea to shreds.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      MOST of the actual Job CREATORS, are NOT wealthy! 

      • StillHere

        Proof?

        • Fredlinskip

          Small businesses and start-ups are the job creators, not mega-corps.

          • notafeminista

            Right, because no one works for Microsoft, McD’s, Wal-Mart and so on.

          • fredlinskip

            In general most large corps have been shedding American jobs over the past decade.

            Just like, in general, average wages of employees have stagnated for 30+ years, while the profits of their labors have been concentrated to the top.

            Their are some exceptions.

            IMO hiring new American workers should be incentivized, such as tax breaks for those companies that do, instead of broadly lowering taxes for all corps as Gop wishes to do.

  • TFRX

    “I have never said that Barack Obama is a Socialist,” says the WSJ editorial member.

    She’s another failed hack. Usually they have to call in; why is she on a mic?

    • notafeminista

      Are you implying that she is not telling the truth?

      • TFRX

        Someone want to explain to notafeminista what a dogwhistle is? Or “teaching the controversy”?

        • notafeminista

          You didn’t answer the question.

          • TFRX

            The WSJ played a great part in “teaching the controversy” about Obama being a socialist? “Who knows? It’s all up in the air?”

            When it comes to “Is Obama a socialist”, the WSJ’s job, for over 3 1/2 years, is not to provide information, but to sow “doubt”.

            Stop JAQing it; this isn’t Foxnation’s website.

          • notafeminista

            Did she or did she not refer to President Obama as a socialist?  It’s a pretty straightforward question and I’d think you’d have no problem answering it.

          • TFRX

            Stop JAQing it. And learn a little about the media, elsewhere.

  • Kathy

    Another example of the media refusing to do its job and just allowing mindless propaganda to be spewed.

  • Anonymous

    Can someone mention the fact that Santorum forced his children to spend the night cuddling with, and singing to, a dead fetus?  It is something to think about, especially when you are hiring a guy who wants his finger on “the button”, who is looking forward to Armageddon, and wants to give the Pope more control over US laws.

    • Anon

      Total hyperbole, out of context comments.  You don’t know Rick Santorum.

    • ruth

      Yeah, as a result of his wife’s (Karen) abortion, in 1996.
      They said, their abortion was “different”!!  A per usual, they feel above the law

  • Marsau2

    His name is really “Rick Sanctimonious”.  Oh that I could be as virtuous as he.  

    • Anonymous

      He wishes that was his name.  “santorum” is less flattering.

  • For_trials

    In what alternate universe is Europe doing better?  Hasn’t Tom ignored his own show’s headlines of financial panic in Europe, austerity measures, etc.? He picks upward mobility?  I don’t think he’s tried to get a good job in UK when he didn’t go to the “right schools”

    • Anonymous

      In the UK people in poverty have more of a chance than getting out of it than in this country. Although that might be changing with this economic downturn.
      By the way the Conservative parties austerity plan is failing big time. 

  • Paul Loefstedt

    To say that the american people didn’t vote for this ‘change’… – what did they vote for?  THey had no confidence in the direction the country was going on Bush – job loss was out of control, and the President was in much the same mode as that of FDR – try and find something that works!  The ‘change’ they wanted was simply ‘get us out of this mess’ – a mess which 8 years of Bush, aided and abetted for much of it by a compliant Republican Congress – got us into. 

    Only an editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal could brashly assert that ‘job creators’ (what a euphemism) are overtaxed, and that’s why we’re in this mess. 

    If ONLY he could win, I’d vote for Huntsman – in spite of my Democratic leanings.  We need a Republican to drag his own party into a more reasonable posture, instead of this disingenuos cow-towing to the far right.

    paul

    • BHA in Vermont

      The change I was HOPING for was UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. NO ONE should have to decide between staying healthy and eating, paying the rent and utilities. What we got after all the Republican fear mongering about the government deciding if Grandma gets to live and what medical services you are allowed to have is at least a SMALL improvement. And, of course, people like Bachmann scream about how she will reverse it.

      Should only the rich and those who are lucky enough to be employed by companies that give them health insurance go to the doctor? Should only the rich peoples’ kids get an education?

      At least my daughter, now eighteen and with medical problems that keep
      her from going to college or getting a job still has health insurance on
      my policy. And if nothing changes, at least when she can no longer be on my policy, she can’t be turned down due to “existing medical conditions”.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    On Pentagon cuts – it’s a little disingenuous to announce a strategy for big cuts in defense spending when the ink on the $662 billion 2102 NDAA is still wet. Though I’m not just blaming Obama – this overspending sailed through Congress with nary a word over spending all this money or how it would be funded.

  • Terry from Franklin

    Don’t forget that Rick Santorum is the EX Senator from Pennsylvania for a reason.  The voters of Pennsylvania decided he was too far right and maybe too nuts for them.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Germany  is highly unionized and doing quite well. Norway is, too, and their education is ranked higher (if not highest) constantly with unionized teachers that aren’t demonized as crippling the economy.

    Let not forget that it was bank  deregulation, championed by Republicans, and the deliberate selling of bad paper, and banks like BoA that cooked the books for Greece, that let the big banks wreck much of Europe’s economies, not socialism.  UK went with hardcore austerity and they’re doing worse!

  • ebw343

    Future week-in-review shows should be no more than 10 min. of Presidential politics, at least until after the conventions. The Pressidential race is too long and taking up too much light and heat.

  • Dana

    Yes, please make it like in Europe – I would not mind universal Health Care, minimum of 4 weeks paid vacations (5 weeks after 5 years of work, 6 week after 10 weeks). Bring it on please President Obama.

    • Anonymous

      That’s going away in Europe.

    • StillHere

      Try reading the papers.

  • TFRX

    Amazing that it takes caller Mark to bring up job figures of private/public job creation during the business cycle.

    Can we get this guy a space on the panel? His level of information seems to best Strassel.

  • Bill

    Democrates once again fail to frame a topic properly. The Republican elitist view that only the rich are able to create jobs.  Redistribute the money to the millions of Americans that would love to start a business.   
    Wealth concentration causes economic and political instability in a Democracy and lead to the financial crash.  The first thing a financial planner tells you to do is diversify and pay down debt.  The US did the exact opposite.  We concentrated wealth and made easy credit to mask stagnating middle class wages. 

    • StillHere

      This is a joke right.  The government’s been pissing money away on pension increases, food stamps, welfare, Medicaid and unemployment benefit extensions like nobody’s business.

      • TFRX

        “Pissing money away”?

        Pathetic rhetoric anywhere from, say, Fox Nation’s site. Go back to Galt’s Gulch. Or maybe look up “bang for the buck” and “government expenditures”.

        • ebw343

          Nobody would want to go back to Galt’s Gulch having left it.

          There’s nobody there who can fix the toilets.

  • Bill

    We need better financial regulation like Canada.  They had no housing bubble because they had good regulation that was actually enforced.  Their banks are no strong and stable.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    I’m so tired of the “turnaround” thing. The economy was not at a low point when Obama came into office – it was in free fall. If it had continued it would have made the Depression look like a cake walk. Credit or blame who you want – the economy turned around.

  • TFRX

    Why is our host asking anybody form the WSJ editorial board about anything now?

    We know what we’re going to get: A Frank Luntz chatter machine.
     

    • notafeminista

      Why heavens yes, why should an opposing viewpoint be heard from? No one should have to listen to someone with whom he does not agree.   Mercy me.

      • TFRX

        The search for a right-wing panelist, who isn’t totally outclassed in (what passes for) verbal jousting on public radio, continues.

        While hacks who think their media sources are journalism pobble on.

        • notafeminista

          Just incredible isn’t it that someone doesn’t think just like you do. 

  • Ccraftrfk

    People fear what they do not understand – and American voters are as good at this as anyone else. What I do not hear commented upon is that the situation/economy we are in was not a straight-line conversion from Bill Clinton to Obama. Are all the talking heads out the committed to the GOP line that this is Obama’s doing? Is no-one willing to talk about the time-line here and the intransience of Republicans to do other than be wagged by their party tail? Yes, he is president and yes, he gets to take the heat. But this is like a bunch of people standing around watching a mugging and saying nothing and it is just nuts. Ren Knopf, Framingham

  • Kbiow

    Thank you, Howard Fineman, for contesting the comments of Kimberly Strassel, which reveal nothing but her own bias against Obama, and her benighted inability to answer a question based on facts, not opinion.  It is commentators like her who spread the propaganda that Obama is a socialist, when, in truth, many of his policies were previously considered to be Republican and conservative.

  • Kathy

    The military cuts are tiny. We should be looking at two or three times as many.

    • Tncanoeguy

      Repubs will milk that issue as much as they can and convince many people that we need to spend obscene amounts of $ on the military. 

  • ebw343

    Someone should point out that even the sequestration “defense cuts” are not actual CUTS but smaller increases than originally planned.

    • ruth

      Eactly:  She kepted saying “30%”.  “0%” f what – 2 dollars?????  Wat a joke.

      • ruth

        (Somehow – typos.  “0%” f what, should have been, “30% o what. . .

    • Anonymous

      Exactly – just like the ‘cuts’ to all of the other programs required by the debt limit deal.

  • Gulftangofox

    As for faith, the founding fathers certainly had faith when they started this country.  They also were a bunch of Rosicrucians and Free Masons.  These guys saw the need for separation of church and state, especially the Christian, Hebrew, Islamic, Hindu and other sects.  We seem to have lost that thread.  Anyone who has been elected to office who is also any kind of minister, pastor, priest, rabbi, mullah, or whatever title they call their insecure selves should be thrown out of our secular government and any of them who decide to run should be reminded that they are committing a conflict of interest and should be prevented from running, period.  “Mother Jones Magazine ” addressed this years ago in an editorial.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1439572620 Joe Lee

    I take major issue with the constant assertion that President Obama has no will to cut entitlements.

    His Big Deal / Grand Bargain he struck with Boehner was unprecedented in the amount of entitlement cuts. I’m disappointed in the Congress for not agreeing to it.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      They DEMANDED MORE ‘entitlements for the rich!

  • Newton Whale

    A good jobs report — and a good year

    The December jobs report is good news. Very good news. 

    And, in many ways, 2011 was a better year for the economy than it seemed at the time. As more accurate data has streamed in, the Bureau of Labor Statistics have revised its estimates upwards for many months. For instance: The December jobs report is the best jobs report since September, when the economy added 210,000 jobs. But we only know that now. When the September jobs report came out, the initial data showed that we added 103,000 jobs. What seemed like a disappointment was actually a very strong month for the economy.  

    If we are adding jobs more slowly than we need to be, that is, in large part, the fault of Republicans and some Democrats in Congress who refuse to sign onto tried-and-tested methods of creating jobs in recovering economies. 

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/a-good-jobs-report–and-a-good-year/2011/08/25/gIQAQqvqeP_blog.html 

    • Guest

      Those jobs were seasonal hires and are only temporary.  The next few months will be bad.  Europe is failing and will spread to the US before April.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      They’ve reduced the labor pool. The unemployment rate is 10.9% if the number of workers was the same as Obama’s first day of office.  They are just playing shell games with the numbers.

      Also, if you factor in the number of under-employed the number is significantly higher.

      I applaud the trend but let’s not kid ourselves. We have a long way to go.

  • adam

    I really wish these guest would stop calling the social security benefits entitlements with such disdain.  We’re all paying for them  with our taxes so shouldn’t we be “entitled” to them when we retire?  There are very people who would stand to have their money taken for nothing in return.

    • StillHere

      It’s a redistribution program like everything else the government runs.

      • BHA in Vermont

        Exactly HOW?
        How much you get FROM  SS depends on how much you put IN. Not 1 for 1 and people who get SS disability or survivor benefits may have never put anything in but it is hardly a redistribution program.

        • StillHere

          You don’t put anything in (or don’t pay any income taxes) and yet you get something … sounds like redistribution to me.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Wage-earners, and the companies they work for, Pay in to the Social Security Insurance, and Medicare Insurance plans! 
               Because some people scam the system, like $Milliionaires and $Billionaires, doesn’t mean that an Insurance pay-out is a ‘give-away’ to those that paid into it!

          • TFRX

            So poor they don’t pay income taxes is pretty poor.

            Why don’t you try it for a year before you open your yap about it?

            Otherwise you run the risk of not being taken seriously in the real world.

        • Anonymous

          How much you get *per month* is based on what you put in, but there is never any cap to it.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          It is very much a redistribution program: from the young to the elderly.  Every study has shown this.

  • Suzie in Newport RI

    How many does Strassel think really want “entitlement programs” cut?  And could express more disgust when she says that word, “entitlement”?  I guess it’s a good thing that she has found her perch at the WSJ, writing pure propaganda for the 1%.  Just recently cancelled my overly expensive newspaper.  At a recent Congressional hearing with the so-called super committee designated to cut the budget, old statesmen, Dems and Reagan Repubs alike, told the committee that DEFENSE spending is out of control and must be cut, and after that, escalating hea;th care costs must be controlled.  That is not the same as saying Medicare should be cut (if anything, it means the profit angle must be taken out of health care).

    • StillHere

      How many people want something for nothing?

      • Anonymous

        Oh please moda.

      • BHA in Vermont

        No one I know.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        $Millionaires and $Billionaires!  Company-bankrupting executives, Wall Street banksters, phony ‘financial instrument’ creators, Republican Congressmen that are doing ‘NO’ government!
           Need more?

    • BHA in Vermont

      Bet she changes her tune if the WSJ lays her off and she can’t find another job :)

      I bet she has health insurance. Does she think the company should cut her off as soon as they pay out as much as she has paid in?  Now THAT would be a proper capitalist thing to do.

      • TFRX

        She “can’t find another job”?

        You’ve shown yourself a wise and sufficiently skeptical sort, but let’s not forget that wingnut welfare works wonders. Someone will be there to take her (theoretical) copier-paper box of personal effects to a waiting limo headed to the Heritage Foundation.

        Unless, of course, she says the correct things about the wrong people. Then all bets are off.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Or tells the truth?

  • Bill

    America is still the best country in the world to get ahead.  We just need to make sure meritocracy rules.  Get rid of corporate well fare, reform entitlements, and redistribute wealth to allow all the creative innovators in this country to rise to the surface.

    • StillHere

      Wealth redistribution just allows the lazy to continue to do nothing.

      • Anonymous

        Nothing but right wing BS.

      • BHA in Vermont

        Boy, that’s for sure. All those people working 2 or 3 part time, minimum wage, no benefits jobs, 40 or more hours a week and still need food assistance, can’t afford to go to a doctor and will die working because they can ‘t make ends meet now let alone save for retirement.
        What a bunch of lazy @sses!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          As opposed to StillHere’s ‘hard-working’ banksters, credit-default-swap, mouse-moving, company-bankrupting, crime-committing, job-exporting, people-exploiting, low-tax-paying examples?

  • MikiS

    Kimberly Strassel’s comments have been strikingly misinformed and full of propaganda.  Her comments have been highly irresponsible for a journalist.  Please don’t ever invite her back on the show. 

    • StillHere

      Cite one example with factual references.

      • Anonymous

        Why don’t you site what was factual to back her up if your so into her right wing rhetoric. With references of course.

  • rojo49

    From Iowa: The only clear message – Republicans haven’t figured out what they want to be.  The only commonality is opposition to Obama.  They have a fear of “the other” as Jack noted.  They won’t say they’re racist, but Obama bothers them in ways no white man could.  (Stereotypes about welfare and hard work conceal more racism.)  They won’t say they are anti-Mormon.  But they have to embrace the fundamentalist Christians (who don’t see Mormons as Christian).  Without the Christian right, they have no hope of electoral majority.
      Romney – probably the best hope to beat Obama.  But nobody is enthusiastic.  Republicans desperately want someone who is more like them – whatever that is.
      Santorum – It took failed surges from a bunch of the others, but finally the fundamentalists decided to rally around him. Those who want an un-Romney alternative fell in line.
      Paul – there is a yearning for an intellectually strong argument for America, devoid of pandering to the rich and the religiously conservative.  Many independents and liberals were attracted by his true constitutional approach (if we want to punish Iran, let Congress declare war, etc.)
      These three factions are at odds with each other.  There’s no common ground.  Christian teaching calls for an almost socialist advocacy for the poor and needy.  Republicans want a “pure”, faith-based ideology that sidesteps this.  They have a huge task in finding someone who can actually stand for something and beat Obama.

    • William

      Who is Obama? Chris Mathews called him the “4th Kennedy brother”, then he was pictured as FDR, Truman, Reagan and now Teddy Roosevelt…when is Obama going to be Obama?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’ claimed to be like Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Abraham Lincoln, and almost every other President that wasn’t impeached! 
           FDR’s FIVE sons served in the millitary durring WWII, which the U.S. entered after Pearl Harbor Attack!  FDR’s son James, served in U.S.Marines, in Carlson’s Raiders!  Marines that went behind the Japanese lines to fight often.
           ‘W’s daughters ‘served’ in the war their daddy started, based on the lie that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 attack, by sneaking away from their Secret Service detail, and getting DRUNK, while under legal drinking age!  ‘W’ admitted that he didn’t show up for duty in his Texas Air National Guard unit, because he was DRUNK.

  • Suzie in Newport RI

    Sorry for all the typos!  I think I still made my point.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Cut entitlements – but expect the economy to go south as a result. We are a consumer based economy. Entitlements are almost exclusively spent on consumption. Millions of jobs exist solely for going after those entitlement dollars.

    Look at any country with small/no entitlements and I’ll show you a 3rd world country.

    • TFRX

      Yep. “Bang for the buck”, or for those who took more economics classes than I, “multiplier effect”.

      And guess where “lower taxes for millionaires” ranks among gov’t dollars (spent or untaxed) on that scale.

      • Guest

        I am not a millionaire but how much do you think we should tax them?  They are already paying more than 40%.

        What is the incentive to expand business if you pay nearly half of your profits to a corrupt government who is hell bent on starting WW3?

        • TFRX

          Nice to see Dave our libertairan caricature has a new handle.

          I’d suggest Reagan’s rates, if it would only shut up the right wing liars and the clueless “nonaligned” folk who get all their talking points from Fox news.

          • Guest

            My name is Joe.  I am the furthest thing from right wing.  I vote both sides of the isle.  I vote my conscious every time.  I despise Fox news.

            I support Ron Paul for his positions on War and the economy.  The media smears him because they are owned by the people who run the world.  They control the news and they are afraid of Ron Paul and what he stands for.

          • Anonymous

            Conspiracy theories don’t help combat the cult perception.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          With the revelations about many corporations paying NO taxes, or GETTING money instead of paying taxes, how can you say this?
              WHY should someone that only moves a computer mouse, or employs others to do it, pay LESS taxes, than those that risk our lives and health to earn wages? 
             Paper-cuts from all those stiff $Million dollar bills?  Such a risk!

          • Guest

            Okay Terry.  How else do we attract capital back into this country?

            No capital= no new jobs
            no new jobs= end of the American dream
            unemployment benefits running on two years now.

            T

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Pay me the money that the U.S., and business pays the ‘experts’, that are failing at it NOW, and I bet I can do it!
               Why do you expect me to do their work for FREE, when they get $Millions for it?

          • Guest

            Maybe we are on the same page….not sure.

            The tax code is a joke…..written for the uber rich.

            the Irs spends 1/2 of the revenue they collect, collecting it with an iron fist. 

            The rich don’t pay taxes.  The poor don’t pay taxes.  we get to pay for everything.

            The Big Dig is just one example of how inefficient government projects are.  But hey, the congress has an unlimited check book and China keeps buying our debt.  Scary!

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            “the Irs spends 1/2 of the revenue they collect, collecting it with an iron fist. ”

            I don’t understand that statement.  The IRS budget is large but tiny relative to the revenues they collect.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Mostly on the same page, according to your post!
               So are many more, that let their ‘religion’ lead them against their own best interests, AND what they claim to believe in!

        • nj

          What are you talking about? The highest marginal tax rate for individuals has been 35% since 2003.

          Why don’t you tell us what the highest rate was during most of the period after WW2 when economic expansion and the middle class grew at the fastest rate ever.

          • StillHere

            How did higher tax rates create that economic miracle you allude to and why should we believe conditions are equilavent now? 

    • Guest

      The country has no where to go but south.  With out jobs we are done for.  We need to make the tax code more attractive to do business.  Ron Paul offers an economic plan that will work.
      Bill Gross and Jim Rogers both endorse Ron Paul!!

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        No, Bill Gross still supports Obama.  He just likes Ron Paul amongst the GOP and then when asked by MSNBC about Ron Paul’s federal reserve and monetary policy he said it was ‘crazy’.

        I wouldn’t really call it support.  He just likes the idea of decimating the military.

        • Guest

          Thanks for correcting me.  I thought he endorsed him.  Erin Burnett mentioned that he was the only one who had a clue.  How could such an intelligent man support Obama.  A lot of people are going to be unhappy with Gross when their pensions are a fraction of what they thought they were going to be. 

          The only way to fix the economy will be to destroy the $$. 

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            It is like the Boston Globe endorsing a GOP candidate.  He picked Dr. Paul as the ‘best’ of the GOP.   Apparently, Bill Gross is a partisan democrat.

  • Holly

    You want to talk about entitlements, Kimberly? How about the health care for military servicemembers and their families, which is basically FREE, as opposed to the exploitative health insurance the rest of us are forced to buy? How much of the military budget covers military family entitlements?

    And to be honest, we have had SO MANY politicians who think it is unpatriotic to even examine military spending (Pentagon audit, anyone?)…I think it’s high time that the military establishment receives the same kind of budgetary analysis and cuts that the rest of our government bodies do.

    • Anonymous

       Military members give up a lot of their rights and freedoms for that care – they also can be ordered to go into combat and be shot at – there is really no other job like it in the country.  I’m OK giving them great health care considering the risks we demand of their health.

      • kelty

        I would think Police & FD would also fall under that definition also, but they are getting demonized as greedy self-serving union members. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          By GREEDY CEOs, that have pay and perq packages for leading a company into bankruptcy, that would cover the costs of many of those workers’ compensations.

  • Just the facts, ma’am

    Did you hear the glee in Ashbrook’s voice when he said, “Write-in Sanders”?
      Ashbrook is anti-Obama as always.  The truth of the matter is that anyone who is left of Obama voting for anyone other than Obama is choosing to make the country go back George W.’s politics.  I don’t think that will help this country at all.
     
    The Republicans have no new ideas, because they refuse to acknowledge the harm their old ideas caused.  It’s called stuck on stupid (sorry for being insulting but it’s true). 

    But hey, I am wearing a “flag pin”.  I’m sure that will make them happy.  They love that flag pin.

    • Guest

      Ron Paul has plenty of new ideas.  You might take a few minutes to research him.  You will find an honest man with a pure heart who loves this country and the constitution that made this country the land of the FREE!

      • Just the facts, ma’am

        I don’t believe libertarians are practical people.  They paint a picture of the world where everyone lives in log cabins and survives off of the crops in their fields.  This is the 21st century. There are no Utopias.

        • Guest

          We are far from Utopia.  I am an independent and vote for both parties depending on the person.

          perhaps you would like to war our way out of this mess we are in.  Yea, lets bomb Iran, then Syria, then China.  Good for the economy, right!

          Give me a break, Ron Paul is antiwar because it is immoral. 

          • Anonymous

            He is against paying for it.  People are projecting admirable values that he doesn’t have onto Ron Paul. 

          • Guest

            No John.  It is against the law to go to war with out a declaration from Congress. 

            You would have us continue to borrow money from China to attack Iran. 

          • Anonymous

            Where did I advocate that?  More proof that Ron Paul supporters are a cult.  It is like discussing L. Ron Hubbard with a Scientologist.

          • Guest

            John, your slander is quite surprising.  How is support for a popular candidate a cult following.  I suppose all those crying people for Obama were a cult as well.  Your world scares me!

          • Anonymous

            Some of the Obama supporters had/have that same uncritical belief in him too. 

          • nj

            Disingenuous, lazy, presumptuous, insulting response: Because one opposes Ron Paul as a candidate, one must then necessarily support bombing Iran, et. al.

          • Guest

            Obama has war ships in the straight of Hormuz and all the other republicans support taking out their nuclear facilities.  Who else is trying to stop another war?

            How is that a lazy and presumptuous response?

      • BHA in Vermont

        The problem with Paul is that some of his ideas are good and others are WAY BAD.

      • nj

        I’m going to keep doing this. 

        Supporting some of Paul’s positions on the issues (foreign intervention, government waste, wars, etc.) is one thing. Supporting the totality of the man’s candidacy is another.I think all these links are working now.http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/05/extreme-ron-paul-president-2012

        http://wwjv4.com/republicans/10-reasons-not-to-vote-for-ron-paul-159

        http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/01/04/10-reasons-not-to-vote-for-paul/

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de_CSuJCsfY&feature=player_embedded

        http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2007/11/ron-pauls-record-in-congress.html

        • Guest

          Support any other candidate and we are living 1984- perpetual war.

          I looked at the MJ article and understand your concerns.

          Ron Paul is against the Federal Governments size.  He believes that most of these issues should be handled at the state level.  So even if he eliminates these federal jobs the states can do what they want.  Our federal taxes will be cut and our state taxes will have to go up.  But so much money is lost to waste athat if the money stays in state a lot of the useful jobs will need to be filled.

          Thanks for your reply.

  • Daniel

    Privatize. Isn’t that the Republican answer to everything? We don’t trust the government with all that power, but Walmart? Absolutely!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You can trust Kenny Boy Lay, and ALL the Enron ‘privatized’  executives?

  • Jim Carter in PA

    Entitlements? Really?  I have paid in to Social Security and Medicare my entire working life.  I have earned the payment in my retirement!

  • Bourbononthrocks

    I’d like to know why Social Security is called an entitlement? I’ve been loaning the government my own money for 30 years. How am I entitled by calling in that loan when I retire? Would the Republicans rather I not get that money back???

    • StillHere

      Let’s just call it a tax and cut the charade.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Someone who retired in 1980 got all of their contributions back in 2 1/2 years yet their life expectancy is to live for another 20 years. 

      This scheme belies your contention that it is not an ‘entitlement’. It is system set to transfer wealth from the young to the elderly.  The irony is the elderly group is much wealthier than the young.  We need some honesty in the discussion and the need for reform.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Do you NOT expect to get back more than you pay in to ANY Insurance policy?  Or benefit MORE from it, in some way? 
           Social Security Insurance.   Medicare Insurance.  Premiums paid in, benefits paid out.
            Mis-use, abuse, scams, and fraud, should be prosecuted, with NO statute of limitations!

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I’m not one of the those who say we should eliminate these programs.  I just call for honesty about the unfunded liabilities the politicians have created.  We need reforms to fix these unfunded liabilities.  It isn’t fair to our  children or grand-children.

          • Guest

            217 trillion in unfunded liabilities. 

            14 trillion $ economy.

            15 trillion in debt as of 2012.  100% debt to GDP

            Guess what?  We are screwed.  Time for a change and Ron Paul is the only one brave and honest enough to make those changes.

          • JustSayin

            Paul’s rigid and inflexibility is what makes some of his positions salient, but it is also what makes most of the others look irrational.

            I see a headline in the near future: Paul defeats Paul

      • Anonymous

        I have paid for fire insurance for 40 years and never had a fire claim.  My neighbor paid for 5 years and got their house paid for when it accidentally burned down. Have I been screwed somehow. 

        Social Security, like insurance is based on actuarial concepts, so some will get more than they paid in and others less.   What you are “entitled” to is the government that collected your hard-earned money, with the promise that it would be used for benefits, keeping its side of the bargain.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          “actuarial concepts”?   Real insurance companies and plans use real actuarial principles.  Ask any actuary what they think of the SS balance sheet and they would laugh you out of the room.

          Again, we need honesty and real reform.  It will be tough because the politicians on both sides have been selling us a lie.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

        Honesty and your logic is an oxymoron.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      No, the Republicans would rather have YOUR money in THEIR pockets, and they are doing everything possible to make that happen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Entitlement? Entitlement is being a multinational corporation, using huge amounts of US infrastructure, and then either by not showing a profit or juggling your profits overseas not paying any taxes for all that you used.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      HOW TRUE!!

    • StillHere

      Your grasp of the taxcode is pathetic.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        How so?

  • Mfetissenko

    When Kimberly Strassel claims that the economic growth is slow “because job creators are overtaxed,” she completely destroys her credibility. That WSJ employs people who apparently know nothing about the basics of economics is bad enough. NPR does not need to give them yet another platform for spouting old tired lies. And if they do appear on your show, please do challenge them when they say something so patently false!

    • StillHere

      Then refute her with facts not with your own baseless opinion.

      • Anonymous

        So when you post baseless opinions it’s OK and when someone who does have your right wing ideological bent it’s not, what a joke.

        • nj

          Leather Dave is losing it.

      • BHA in Vermont

        The MAJORITY of the rich create ABSOLUTELY NO jobs other than maids, gardeners and pool boys. They DO NOT HAVE companies that employ people. Warren Buffett creates NO JOBS with all his billions. He has said as much.

        And those rich that do create jobs? MOST of their “companies” hire a few people and the profits from the business they do is funneled to the rich owner’s personal taxes so they can PAY A LOWER RATE.

        And the rich pay the LOWEST *TOTAL* tax rate of anyone. Their “non income” related taxes are a MUCH smaller percentage of their income than anyone else. You simply CAN NOT spend that much money year after year.

        • Guest

          Actually, people with money stimulate the economy in many ways.  They buy more things, they eat in more restaurants, they paint their houses more frequently, they hire landscapers, and basically pay someone else to do everything.  Basically, they spend more money than those of us who do these things ourselves.

          When they die the government takes 50%.  Now the super rich are another story.  They don’t pay taxes on much at all.

          • Anonymous

            No, people at the bottom spend money.  The rich hoard most of it. 

          • Guest

            Wrong john.  Unless you consider the rich the 1%.  Then yes, you are correct.

          • notafeminista

            So therefore, they must not need it, and someone else is more deserving of their money.

          • Anonymous

            I just observed that it would provide more economic growth to have more money at the lower levels as they spend it.  I didn’t get into who needs what or is more deserving.

          • notafeminista

            Then why not use the word save instead of hoard.    Words mean something.

          • Anonymous

            I meant hoard. 

          • notafeminista

            Yup.  Like Scrooge.  Hardly an impartial observation

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Levels of $wealth, for each category you are stating.
               The people with how much $ do the buying? 
                The Super-rich start at $?

          • Scott B, Jamestown NY

            1% of the people are not going to eat out often enough, get their houses painted often enough, landscape enough, etc., to get us out of the bad economy. 

            The government only gets the “death tax” when it’s over $5 Million.

          • notafeminista

            If (as the Left would love to do), all the money was taken from even the richest 10% in the US, it would not make enough of a difference.

            Stop the spending.

          • TFRX

            Nice strawman on the left wanting to take all the money from the richest 10%.

            Except this time; you’re not in your little media bubble.

          • notafeminista

            No actually the Left wants to take all the money from those they don’t feel deserve it.  Which as near as I can tell, is anyone who has more money than they do.

          • Fredlinskip

            It’s apparent you are not capable of intelligent conversaton.
            But that’s okay it’s a free country – and you’rer free to be as uninformed as you choose to be.

        • StillHere

          Nice factfree diatribe.  I guess lowlifes create all the jobs: drug dealers, conmen, prison guards…

      • Mfetissenko

        I thought it was rather obvious, but if you insist: American businesses are not operating at full capacity because there is low demand for their product. You can eliminate corporate taxes altogether, and that would do nothing to stimulate growth and to create more jobs. Economists on the left and right agree on this basic point. To claim that “job creators” are overtaxed is ridiculous when tax rates are at historic lows.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    With the news coming out of Iraq, who’s convinced that we made a positive results there, with the invasion?
       Do you really the news is going to get better there, before news doesn’t come out of Iraq? 
       ‘W’ sure made Iraq a much easier target for Iran to take over!

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      You can thank George Bush for the strategic blunder of the century. That dirty criminal.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I, and many others DO agree with you on that!

  • Tina

    You can tell which guest works for a Rupert Murdoch-owned company.  Thanks to the other guests for speaking back, and Tom, thank you for speaking back, too!  Let’s hear Howard Fineman a lot more on the show; he is clear and cuts thru the propaganda with REAL, factual history!  The caller who called to say that Obama was not a Socialist was great!  And, I really appreciated the woman who said that she might write in Bernie Sander’s name!  I DO wish that we’d found out what the man who voted for Obama for change, but without it might go Republican …. WHAT did HE expect change would mean?  Not many of us asked that at the time, I guess is clear.  The woman who might vote for Sanders and I sure wouldn’t be disappointed in Obama’s delivery of change to the point that we started to vote Republican, yet I’ve heard two additional callers on other NPR shows suggest that they, too, would vote Republican because Obama did not deliver the change they expected!  Can you ask people who say they are disappointed that Obama did not deliver the change they expected, WHAT KIND of CHANGE did they expect:  to the Right?  or to the Left? Thanks!

  • StillHere

    I love Ms. Strassel, please have her on more often!  She’s really got a lot of peoples’ panties in a bunch this morning.  NPR posters are generally so close-minded, see below …

    • TFRX

      Pathetic troll.

      • StillHere

        Right back at you loony lefty nutjob.  Sorry if I’m disrupting your echo chamber.

        • TFRX

          The threat you think you pose might mean something it if didn’t come from someone who couldn’t “intellect” their way out of a soap bubble.

          • StillHere

            You fact you feel threatened says a great deal about your own intellectual inadequacies; that and your pathetic posts.

          • TFRX

            You can’t even read a simple sentence about “the threat you think you pose”. The penny-ante psychological talk is hilarious. Keep doing it.

          • StillHere

            You described it as a threat; do I need to remind you of the obvious.

          • Anonymous

            Yawn.

          • Still Here

            Didn’t mean to wake you Shirley.

          • Anonymous

            Oh boy, what a maroon.

        • Anonymous

          Well, well, showing your true nasty colors.
          To use the word troll too describe your act is being to kind.

        • TFRX

          NPR’s an “echo chamber”. Hahahahahahahaha.

  • Ed

    A ticket of President Obama nnd Hilary Clinton would be hard to beat, because of their popularity. From the pro-life point of view, it would be like the devil and his sister, or the devil and her brother.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Pro-Life, to give more victims to Child-Molesting and Child-Abusing priests?  Aren’t there enough children in the world for them to abuse?  With ‘moral-high-ground like this, Catholics say anything worthwhile about morals?

  • Stephen

    I found today’s discussion of the presidential race from about 10:45-11 AM unusually helpful.  Tom Ashbrook’s sometimes impatient interjections to force his speakers and callers to defend their assertions with data were a more than welcome.  
    So much of the political discussion and commentary is “fact-free” opinion that one cannot assemble an informed opinion even if one listens carefully to all sides!  That was not the case today, thank God.Do it this again soon!!  No, do it this way all the time.  

  • Anonymous

    Ms Strassel,  are your views and opinions that weak that you feel you have to use cheep debate tricks to sidestep questions. I’m a liberal Democrat, and will probability never agree with you, I do value what you think and what you believe.  Listening to sound bites and spin is a waist of my time.  If possible move your game up to a higher level.                      

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

    I invented iFacebook started on 12/27/11. my own personal news broadcast on Facebook. I hope Mr.Z does not steal my idea. Happy New Year to everyone!!!

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    We can applaud the news of a lower unemployment rate of 8.5% but let’s not kid ourselves.

     The unemployment rate is 10.9% if the
    number of workers was the same as Obama’s first day of office.  They are
    just playing shell games with the size of the labor pool to make it look better.

    Also, if you factor in the number of under-employed the number is significantly higher.

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

    Iran will intimidate America and there is nothing we can do about it. I bet the US Navy will not fire the first shot nor the Iranian. it is a war of intimidation but it will cost the world big time on gas prices. Sure bet Mitt Romney will be the Republican Presidential candidate but will he beat a Obama/Clinton partnership.

  • mikey

    Obama is the most conservative president in US history. 

    We have MORE credit default swap contacts than ever before. We had the lowest number of SEC prosecutions ever last year. No one went to jail for the mortgage mess while 1000 executives went to jail for the Savings and Loan crisis. Obama has significantly LOWER Taxes than Ronald Reagan (look it up). He appointed Geithnar and reconfirmed Bernenke. Bernenke was chair of the Fed during the mortgage mess. How is that for change? What about the 7 Trillion dollar FED BAILOUT? That even dwarfs Bush’s 1.7 Trillion dollar TARP package.

    Goldman Sachs (Obama’s biggest campaign contributor) must love this president. Goldman  can pretend to get regulated. Obama can pretend to care and everyone can cash another big check. The Democratic and Republican parties are just lobbying organizations for Wall Street. It amazes me that any of these progressives can support Obama. Obama hits a few liberal social issues and everyone jumps in line. He has discredited real financial reform and is in danger of discrediting Keynesian economics. 

    • Still Here

      $400 million from unions and we know who he’s working for

      • mikey

        You think unions have any power? J.P Morgan and Citigroup were also in his top 5 contributors.

  • AJNorth

    Strassel’s snide and petulant comments on job creation being held-back by “redistributing wealth” away from the top percent or so of our economic oligarchy, and about the “welfare state,” are as offensive — and patently absurd — as are the people she works for: the Murdochs.  As always, Messers Fineman and Beatty articulately represent the overwhelming majority of this nation with great insight, not to mention basic decency.

    Speaking of decency, Santorum is a vile, nasty and hate-filled bigot and ignoramus. His preoccupation with sexuality in general — and homosexuality in particular — belies a profound personality disorder. Shakespeare hit that nail on its head with a line from arguably the greatest work of the English language, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” (Hamlet: Act III, Scene II).Three and a half centuries later, Carl Jung would refer to this as the “shadow” or “shadow aspect” — a part of the unconscious mind consisting of repressed weaknesses, shortcomings and instincts. Instinctive and irrational, the shadow is prone to projection: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.Finally, the claim by Santorum, and his fellow travelers, of being “Christians” is a monumental obscenity of the first rank; the word literally means “Christ-like” — a quality NONE of them even remotely possess. They are nothing more than bible-beating bunko artists disconnected from empirical reality whose view (“understanding” would be an inappropriate term) of the Constitution would make the Founders throw-up.

    • Douglasklewis

      More Howard Fineman please !

    • notafeminista

      As in the tyranny of the overwhelming majority?  Heaven forbid someone might disagree with the civil and tolerant left as they refer to people as vile ignoramuses who are probably mentally ill for no reason other than having a differing viewpoint.

      Re-education camps can’t be far off.

  • Potter

    bravo to Howard Fineman for cleaning Kimberly Strassel’s clock. I have not heard a better calm response to such out and out propaganda that she seemingly mindlessly spreads without regard to the facts. This line depends on ignorance.  

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Strossel is a bad guest. I get that there are people on all sides, but she’s soooooo partisan and more and ideologue spin-doctor than a pundit for those on the right.  The program, and those on the right, would be better served with someone else.

    • MollyMcBee

      Yes, only the guests we agree with please.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        I don’t feel that I have to agree with a guest. I LIKE hearing opinions that differ from mine, even greatly differ. But I want to hear it from someone that isn’t trying to spin everything, or bend it to an ideology;  or that spouts “facts” that aren’t fact, and are easily proven otherwise. 

        Case in point – The stimulus packages. First, lets not forget that the first round was done under Bush, something that many on the Right conveniently “forget”.  He got it from China, and gave it to the banks with NO STRINGS! And what happened? The banks changed nothing and did the same exact business as usual and what resulted? Record foreclosure, robo-signings, finding out that the deliberately sold bad paper, kept on paying execs huge bonuses, refused to lend… 

        Obama’s stimulus package covered the auto makers and unemployment benefit, and it came with strings.  CEOs lost jobs, millions of workers (direct and indirect) didn’t. The car companies changed the way they operated and American cars are having gains they haven’t seen in decades.  Money from unemployment benefits got into the economy immediately, keeping business going.  

        The economy under Bush had already  lost hundreds of thousands of jobs, even before the recession, and the economy follows a President for about a year.  But, somehow, when Obama came into office, all those lost jobs were on his watch? How does that math work?  Ideology can bend, but that’s just snapping reality.

        • notafeminista

          Well.  Unless it’s your ideology.

    • TFRX

      Was it a Freudian slip that you misspelled her name, almost calling her “Stossel”?

      (Mind you, I agree about her needlessness on this hour. Likewise, this panel needs John Stossel like it needs a hole in the head.)

      • Still Here

        You’ve got plenty for everybody.

    • Potter

      This is evidence of what the Wall Street Journal has become under Rupert Murdoch’s ownership

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    The way entitlement reform is being talked about by the right makes me wonder if they’ve ever talked to anyone from before we had Social Security and Medicare, or even studied history.  Over half of seniors (if they made it over 50 to begin with) were living in poverty, malnourished, and without any medical care.  The country was rife with poor houses and the destitute. That why we have these programs.  They aren’t people that didn’t work. They’re the people that literally built this country, and it’s identity, and couldn’t afford, like so many of us now, to live more than paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth.

    Save for retirement?  Save what? 10% of what’s already too little? Save for medical care? Seniors are already rationing medicine, choosing between medicine or eating; or taking the medicines they need to live in half doses, or alternating days, if they have medicine at all. 

    Whose to take care of them? Their family, if they have any. The family that isn’t around, and probably in the same boat the rest of the 99% is in with a bad mortgage, out of work, deep in debt for college loans…? 

    • William

      The average Social Security check in 1940 was 40 dollars a month. The myth that millions of senior citizens were living in poverty prior to Social Security is just not true. The Social Security program was built on a lie. It never was a insurance program but just another tax on the employer and employee. It provided the people in Washington a huge slush fund to be spent on any pet program they desired. The end result is we have a huge financial obligation that we might not be able to pay. Additionally, Medicare might have been a good idea, but it has become unaffordable.

      • Anonymous

        I’ll remember to tell my 82 year old mother that the next time I talk to her. That her SS check is built on a lie.
        I can already tell you she would give you tell you what for in uncertain terms. This is from a person who grew up in the Great Depression.

        • William

          Study it. During the 1950′s the government was sued and their defense was that Social Security was a tax and not insurance so they could make everyone pay it.

  • StillHere

    Jack should probably just stop when he says “I may be biased on this…” because he clearly is.

    • Anonymous

      or “I’m not saying it’s racial” but he sure is heck willing to imply it.

      • StillHere

        Exactly.  Pathetic.

  • Stephen Nelson

    Concerning the comments already posted primarily those focusing on Strassel’s boilerplate rants (and that maybe is too polite a term), let me add a few reactions and facts. First, when the caller noted how off base she was in arguing that Obama is a socialist and the rest, Tom turned to her and she said something to the effect of “I didn’t call him a socialist,” and then proceeded with the big “but” to return right back to the blather about he is a European leaning. . . fill in the blanks. Mercifully Fineman came back shortly after and took down her nonsense. But Tom should have immediately confronted her in the first place that she was resorting to the same tropes. More could be said, but Fineman was right on.

    Let’s add more flesh to the bones of what to say not only to Strassel but what should be said to any of the current Republican candidates (and Boehner, Cantor and McConnell and the rest) who equally rant on about job creators, an unstable economic set of parameters and policies (I though entrepreneurs were the type of people who love that kind of swashbuckling environment). Where were the jobs under Bush II? Here are the facts: During Clinton’s eight years in office (let’s not argue who all should claim credit), the tax and budget policies that he drove led to over 20 million new jobs or about 200,000+ per month for those eight years. Under George W. Bush a net in the same eight years time frame of 700,000 new jobs or approximately 7000 per month. These were with the Bush tax cuts, the rich (the job creators?) getting richer and government spending going through the roof because of and we can say this repeatedly as a fact: two massive tax cuts, two wars, and the prescription drug benefit unpaid for. So if Obama and his policies have re-righted the ship so we are in the 125-150,000 per month new jobs created situation we are at least headed toward the Clinton years’ accomplishments.

    Also, TARP: passed by a Republican President (as Fineman pointed out in his response to Strassel) with bipartisan congressional support and all paid back except for the Fannie and Freddie portions and we know in what bad shape they were and why. And the auto “loans”: fully paid back with interest. That is, as taxpayers we made money. And Romney opposed it as did many other conservatives. So let’s see: maybe his business acumen isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Obama will not have a tough time iterating and reiterating these “facts.”

    • Still Here

      You should listen again, because her point wasn’t, as Fineman’s strawman attempted, that Obama was the first to take any of the actions but that he did so to an unprecedented scale and scope.  

      As to the link between taxes and job creation.  Flesh that out some.  What taxes created what jobs?  

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Santorum forgets that his savior, Jesus, called for the separation of church and state:

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” – Matthew 22:21

    That wasn’t Jesus just telling his followers to be good citizens and  to pay their taxes.  (Yes, Jesus said to pay taxes. Does Norquist know this?) He was telling those that follow him that God is concerned with your soul, not your politics. Maybe Santorum, and company, should read other chapters than Leviticus…?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Selective reading and quoting of the Bible, the mantra of the ‘conservative’ ‘Christian’, ‘right’?

      • Gregg

        I happen to believe the “Christian left” exist too. I don’t think it’s a partisan thing.

    • Gregg

      Does Grover Norquist advocate no taxes? I don’t think so. Would you have a problem with Santorum’s religion if he went to Rev. Wright’s church?

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        My point about Norquist is that people do their civic duty and pay the taxes they should be paying. Turn down your “Literal” dial a notch or three, it’s on “11″ now. 

        As for Santorum: It’s not that he’s a religious, or that he’s Catholic. It’s that he would have this country as a theocracy. The part that really galls me is his talk (and the talk of other’s) about how our founding fathers established the US based on Christian values and we have deviated from that. That’s not true. Just read the Constitution and, while it does refer to a “Creator” and “In the year of our Lord” , they clearly state the separation of church and state.  Many state representatives did think we should be a theocracy, and fought for that, but in the end they all ratified the Constitution as we read it today. If you read the private papers of Jefferson and others, they wanted a divide of church and state.  By the way, many of those we think of as the fathers of the Constitution, and those that inspired them, were agnostic, diest, or athiest, including Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Washington, Allen, Madison, and Monroe. 

        Moreover, our Constitution was largely inspired by the laws and ideas – foreign, ancient, or other. Roman, Greek, Iroquois Indian, Babylonian, and more all played a part. You won’t find a biblical law anywhere in the Constitution.  And you won’t find the way we elect our representatives, and how we go to war,  in the Bible.

        • Gregg

          Regarding Norquist, a pledge not to raise taxes does not conflict one iota with your statement. “…that people do their civic duty and pay the taxes they should be paying.” I don’t get your beef.

          I hardly think Santorum wants a theocracy. With all due respect it’s your literal knob that’s wacky.

          You wrote: “… they clearly state the separation of church and state”.

          That phrase is nowhere in the Constitution so I disagree it’s clear. This is what it says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”. What law has Santorum proposed?

          What about Rev. Wright? Even Oprah knew better than to be associated with him. I’ll tell you what galls me, President Obama sat in that God forsaken, America hating abomination of a church for 20 years and no one cared.

  • William

    I thought Bush 1st stimulus was a refund to taxpayers? Anywhere from 300-1200 dollars.
    Obama’s takeover the GM/Chrysler has not proved to be successful. Taking the assets of those companies and giving them to the UAW vice the bondholderes/shareholders was a very shameful act. The idea that keeping paying unemployment check to stimulate the economy has failed. That money will have to be paid back by employers via their unemployment insurance and those rates have been going up. This will prevent employers from hiring more workers.

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Actually, they didn’t “take over” the companies. They did hold a majority of stocks, and did demand that the people that were running the companies deep into the red go, but the government wasn’t running them.

      Also, both companies were able to pay off the loans ahead of schedule and with interest.  Both companies have just reported that they are doing just under 30% better than they were before being bailed out. In fact, where Chrysler was being propped up by Fiat, Fiat is now being carried by Chrysler sales because the of falling Fiat sales because the European economy tanking.

      Bush’s took a good chunk of the surplus Clinton’s policies gave us and gave it away in hundreds-of-dollars chunks, but he also borrowed from China to bail out the banks.
       Funny, how when Obama bails out the auto makers it’s “stimulus” and a “bailout”, but when Bush bails out the banks it’s Obama bailing out the banks. Apparently I didn’t get the memo that Obama was President in 2008 and 2009.

      • William

        Clinton’s “surplus” was created by Congress not Clinton. Bush tried his failed idea of a stimulus to the taxpayers and TARP for the banks. Both were bad ideas. Business Week and WSJ said GM did not pay back the loans from the USA and Canada. The government was running GM when it took 10 billion dollars worth of assets and gave that to the UAW. The UAW was never entitled to anything.  

    • Gregg

      And now they’ve recalled all the Chevy Volts. Sheesh.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Do you really think the top of the ‘W’ tax-cuts was $1200?  If so, why would anyone begrudge a $Billionaire getting back $1200?

  • Osullivan

    The military stuff is refreshing. A few months ago there was an OnPoint show about 2 military guys (not top brass) who wrote a paper on future US military strategy. They wrote it under the pen name Mr.Y and in it, they essentially suggest what the pentagon has just announced. The point being that this change appears to be coming from inside the military rank and file. remember Gates, Mullen and Andrew Bacevich have been saying the same. 

    A positive move, I think, I hope!

  • krein

    Unbelievable, Tom! I can’t believe you let Kimberly Strassel get away with the statements she made in the 32nd minute of this program today when she was railing on President Obama in such a way that was so deceitful and jingoistic. She was using terms like “Obamacare”, “Socialism”, “Redistribute..take their money and use it for priorities I think are better”, “you have a government dramatically increasing in its size and scope”, “taking money away from job creators”. You did to your credit spar a little with her, but in the end, you let her win “yep,yep,yep” I just replayed it. This jingoism cannot take the place of serious discussion, but you let the propaganda happen on your watch. Not objective in-depth discussion, only spitfire sound bites and false challenges to the irrationality or illogical thinking used by idealogues like this guest. She must have been hand-picked by Rupert Murdoch when he bought the WSJ.

    • Still Here

      So sorry to upset your sensibilities, but she is right on.

      • Roy Mac

        “Jane–you ignorant slut.”

        • Still Here

          I’ll take nonsensical references for $1200 Alex…  What is Roy Mac?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            SNL, Akroyd’s news character.

    • Roy Mac

      To OP’s credit, at least they’ve moved away from Continetti.  Tho I’m not sure OP didn’t put Strassel on just to show us how really awful it CAN be.

      • Still Here

        Are there no intelligent leftwing ideologues here?

  • Mark S.

    Revolution against the right-wing, theofasict, Ayn Randian (the social insurance hypocrite), authoritarian monsters taking over this country cannot happen soon enough for me.  I suggest that the bagger, god-guns-&-gays, tinfoil-wearing nutcases might want to consider the seeds they are sowing.  If this free-range asylum of a country keeps lurching toward Social Darsinist theofascism, OWS will only be the beginning.  That’s all I have to say on that score, but I will be proud to be in the front lines when it happens.

  • Upper West

    The best rebuttals of Strassel were from the callers.  Feinman was good on rebutting the “European” nonsense, but then he went on to spout the Beltway crap about “entitlement reform” and actually praise the innumerate and heartless Ryan Plan.  What was shocking was that Ashbrook went along with that, and complained that no one was doing anything about reforming “entitlements.”

    The truth is that social security with no changes can pay full benefits until 2037 and 75% for 50 years after that.  With slight changes like increasing the cap on payroll taxes, it can be solvent through the next century.

    There real problems are with Medicare and medical spending in general, but that is beginning to be addressed by the “dreaded” Obamacare, which is already demonstrating savings.  Medicare and other healthcare spending crises are caused by the grotesque overspending on healthcare in this country.  (twice as much as most dreaded “European” countries, with 40 million not even getting coverage.

    It infuriates me that not just Strassel, who is an over the top ideologue but Feinman and even Ashbrook keep blithely talking about “entitlements” without even mentioning the real life effects of cuts in these programs.

    The policies of the likes of Strassel, abetting by acceptance of some of them by “insiders” like Ashbrook and Feinman would impoverish millions.

    I don’t mind that people like Strassel are on shows like this, but if they are on, there must be others who can immediately rebut their lies.  Jack Beatty is often good, but even he dropped the ball on the entitlements issue tonight.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Do you understand the concept of UNFUNDED liability?
      The SS unfunded liability is about $15T.
      The Medicare unfunded liability is about $80T.
      The bush prescription drug unfunded liability is about $20T.

      The total of all three is $117T.  This comes out to about a million dollars per taxpayer.  I guess we are all anti-millionaires.

      So, I guess you have a point that the SS deficit is the smallest of the three but it still equals the annual GDP of the country.

      Actuary analysis  shows this is theft from our children and grandchildren until we reform the system.

      • Upper west

        Wrong.  The SS liability is funded by (a) present contributions of FICA taxes; (b) the social security surplus trust fund.

        The trust fund consists of bonds owed to SS no different than bonds owed to e.g.,  China.

        The true theft would be reducing SS benefits, thereby stealing the contributions we made for the last 25 years.

        Medicare is underfunded, not unfunded and as I wrote, requires reduction in health care costs, as the ACA is beginning.  Further reform will be needed.  However, Medicare is much more efficiently run that private health care.

        Medicare D is an unfunded liability, and considerably more expensive because of higher prices paid to drug companies.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Someone who started receiving SS in 1980 received back their entire lifetime contributions in 2 1/2 years.  How is that a sustainable system?

          • Upper west

            SS has been sustainable for 75 years, and with minor adjustments, can be sustainable till the end of this century.

            It’s the social security actuaries themselves who predict what I set forth. 

            It’s not semantics.  It’s reality.

            If our debt to China etc. is not “unfunded,” neither is our debt to the SS trust fund.

            Predictions that no SS will be available for younger people are part of a successful propaganda campaign to frighten people into cutting it.

            And don’t forget about the non-elderly disabled and others who receive benefits.

            The Bush tax cuts created the deficit that the right now seeks to use to eviscerate social security and other so-called entitlements.  if it happens, it will be a massive transfer of wealth from the vast majority to the wealthiest.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            If the Bush tax cuts were restored today what would the impact be on the deficit?

            Answer: $400B w/ static analysis (if it didn’t contract GDP)

            So we would still be borrowing 30% of every dollar spent this year.

            If we implemented Obama’s proposal and only rescinded the Bush tax cuts on the >$200K we would only save $100B.

            We still have a huge spending problem.

            btw – you still don’t understand unfunded liability and its meaning.  Yes, it can be made solvent with adjustments with either revenue increases or benefit adjustments but until we do we are not funding it properly and that represents generational theft.

            The truth is generational theft has already occurred.  The only question is when do we stop it.

          • Gregg

            It is shameful how any attempt to address the unsustainability of entitlements is demonized. It happened to Newt in the 90′s and to Ryan last year with the “grandma over a cliff” thing. There is no money, only IOU’s and our credit ain’t so hot lately.

          • Still Here

            Math is hard for Democruds.

          • nj

            Social Security has nothing to do with the general budget. 

            Upper West eats your lunch on Social Security and you go off blathering about tax cuts which have nothing to do with it.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I think you didn’t understand the facts I was laying out and you seemed to be caught up in semantics.

            The “unfunded liabilities” are an actuarial measure of current underfunding of these programs.  In other words this is the monetary value of generational theft of current promises  unless these programs are reformed.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Then, talk about the ‘generational theft’, by Congress and Presidents, of the monies!  The IOUs to the fund, are like the monies owed to China!

  • Roy-in-Boise

    My response to Ms. Strassel’s position is what I read on a bumper sticker last week: “There are only two kinds of Republicans, Millionaires and Suckers”

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Tom, there are many complaints vis a vis Ms. Strassel on this board.  I for one enjoyed her contributions even though she a bit too timid and muted for my taste.

    There was a bit a 3 on one tag teaming between Tom, Jack and Howard on one side.  However, as always, have both sides represented makes the show much more interesting.

    Thank you.

    • Gregg

      I agree with you. On Point does not air until 7PM here so most of the time I’ve read comments before I hear the show. I am always amazed at how much more fair the radio show is compared to this blog. I think having one conservative on with three liberals is fair enough I suppose. But oh how they howl here. If it were up to NPR commenters there would be but one worldview allowed.

  • JonS

     I also worry for the future of this country if the extreme left views expressed by many posters on this board reflect any more than .0001% of the voting public. I have never read such delusional illogical thinking in my life but then again , I don’t bother reading any of the garbage spewed on Move.org or daily kos.

  • Common Sense

    The impact of President Obama’s recess appointments (CFPB and NLRB) on credit creation, business confidence, and further extension of the payroll cut, or any additional progress on issues like mortgage credit (see Fed white paper), is unlikely to be positive.  In other words, if the working environment in Washington was already strained, Wednesday’s ‘recess’ appointments seem to have only added to the tension. 

    • JonS

      More than exacerbating the conflict in Washington is the question whether Obama’s actions are constitutional. He can make “recess appointments” provided the Senate was in recess ,which is very doubtful. Unreported by the mainstream media is that when Bush was president , Senate Democrats did the very thing that Senate Republicans did over  the XMAS break, namely they held daily “40 second” sessions in order to prevent Bush from making any recess appointments.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I remember those reports from somewhere!  After the John Bolton recess appointment, wasn’t it?

  • gslouch

    My blood boils whenever I hear detractors of so-called entitilements.  I understand the concept of a serious deficit but, if the government doesn’t do this, who will.  This nonsense of privatizing social security is just that, nonsense.  Who will be able to do this?  The top 1%?   Apparently your female guest(don’t know who she was) has no experience in the health care field where the elderly scramble to afford equipment just to take a shower or just to maintain their homes.  If “entitlements” were to be reduced it would have a devastating effect on those already struggling for a modest way of life!   

    • Gregg

      No one has proposed anything that could legitimately be called privatizing Social Security, it’s fear mongering.  Not addressing it spells doom, not the other way around.

      • Roy Mac

        “No one has proposed anything that could legitimately be called privatizing Social Security…”

        Ever hear of that dude, George W. Bush?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘W’ proposed privatizing Social Security, then dropped back to ‘privatizing part of it’, so people could invest it in the stock market, to get a bigger return.   When the stock market took such a  hit, that idea quietly vanished!

        • Gregg

          The option to invest a small amount ($1000/year I think) of your own money is not privatization.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            That was the fall-back position, when the ‘privitazation’ talk got quick response!

          • Gregg

            I don’t remember that part, are you sure about it?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            VERY!

          • Gregg

            I clicked the word “very” but the link didn’t work.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Mercury an lead in your past, too? 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            What was, and is to stop someone from doing that with the same amount of money, above what they pay into Social Security, into an investment of the same type? 
                You can invest ALL that you receive after taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and other paycheck deductions, if you want, and can afford to!

          • Gregg

            What stops them is the “same amount of money” means twice the money.

      • Robert Long View

        Those that forget history are doomed to repeat their same mistakes.  Could be the definition of insanity too,if you are expecting a different result. But as a bluff it gives a man hope…. .

  • Gregg

    Dollars to doughnuts she’s not a Democrat.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/01/06/video-mother-with-a-gun/

    • Hidan

      bhahahahaha hot air link? you kidding right? That site is crap.

      here’s some of some people one should read(according to hot air)

      Michelle Malkin
      Laura Ingraham
      Rush LimbaughSean HannityLars Larson

      • Gregg

        I don’t see what Hot Air has to do with anything. Gee wiz.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/04/mom-kills-intruder_n_1183336.html

        Are you telling me you don’t like Michelle, Laura, Rush, Sean and Lars? Really?

        • Hidan

          “I don’t see what Hot Air has to do with anything.”

          Of course you wouldn’t not like you linked it or anything. Funny how the second link provides far more detail than the first.

          Besides your dollars to donuts comments have no bearing on the story.

          The comments should be about the bravery of the women defending herself and her kid. Instead you attempted to use it as a dig against democrats as if the only reason she did what she did was that she’s not a republican.

          Kind like me saying dollars to dollars to donuts priest who touch little kids are not a democrat. So the veil meaning is priest who touch children are republicans.

          http://www.necn.com/02/04/11/Worcester-Priest-accused-of-rape-is-free/landing_newengland.html?blockID=404398&feedID=4206

          • Gregg

            I just bet she’s not a Democrat, that’s all. There’s no need to get all dramatic.

            It was a snarky dig however, sometimes it gets the best of me. You’re right about that, I’ll try to refrain in the future.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thanks for saying you’ll try.

          • Gregg

            …or not.

  • Hidan

    Just reading the post below should tell people how delusional the right-winger are. Kimberly Strassel was hardly speaking any true to power and was full of crap when she did speak yet we have the typical crowd below believing otherwise. Even some calling for Tom to bring on people even more extreme and full of it.

    Obama is not a socialist or anything close to it, obama was backed by Goldman Sachs and most of Wall Street in 2008. Doesn’t sound to socialist there does it? Obama isn’t trying to Mirror Europe, his health care plan was mostly mirrored off of the republicans in the 90′s and Mitt Romney which is nothing close to what Europe has. Single Payer was dropped without a fight.  Obama has mostly carried on his Foreign policy as a republican would have, has cut services and deported more illegals than bush did it two terms. Has extended the Bush tax cuts and even the payroll tax cuts.

     Right-wingers love to crap on Europe until they start crying how Europe has a lower Corp Tax rate than the U.S. and how the U.S. most lower it’s Corp Tax rate to be just like Europe(the Irony)

    What should be pointed out is the Right Wingers can’t handle dissent esp when there views are proven to be completely false and has failed. They like to double down as if it being more extreme will solve such failures.

    Lets not forget the hyperbolic outcry about Obama’s appointment yet these same freedom loving republicans didn’t raise a peep about the Bill that just passed that allows the government to arrest U.S. citizens without Due Process.

    Gotta love the rightist(opp of leftist)reality lacking authoritarians crying about others calling one of there own on fact free views often stated as somehow facts.  

    • JonS

      The problem with your comments is that Kimberly Strassel did not describe Obama as a socialist . So why do you? What she said was that many of his policies were simpatico with traditional European social democratic governments in Europe , like France, Spain , Greece, etc.  There is a difference. And I think many people , myself included, would agree for the reasons cited by Ms. Strassel. Obama’s outright support of re-distributionist policies, his incredible expansion of the role of government in economic policy, his pro-union and  markedly anti-business slant , and most importantly his determination to expand  greatly the “welfare/entitlement” state. The problem with his policies is that ultimately , the check comes due as Greece, Spain , and Italy have unfortunately begun to realize. Many on this board are in total denial about the economic realities facing this country if entitlement spending is not reined in. They believe there is a bottomless pit of money available to the US and that hard choices never need to be made. Their response –just keep printing more money, borrowing from the Chinese , and taxing the 1%. Utterly clueless and stupid thinking. At some point , as Margaret Thatcher said , you run out of other people’s money.

      • Hidan

        “Obama’s outright support of re-distributionist policies, his incredible
        expansion of the role of government in economic policy, his pro-union
        and  markedly anti-business slant , and most importantly his
        determination to expand  greatly the “welfare/entitlement” state. The
        problem with his policies is that ultimately , the check comes due as
        Greece, Spain , and Italy have unfortunately begun to realize.”

        Few things,

        -The gap between rich and power are wider now than in 2008
        - Obama extended the bush tax cuts
        -Wall Street is back to making big bonus and big profits
        - extending the welfare state? yea by cutting heating to the poorest, cutting aid to the poorest.
        -Taxes have dropped not increased under obama
        -Again the health care bill models what the republicans wanted in the 90′s
        -No push for single payer
        -No push for joining the kyoto protocol under obama they actually fought against what Europe wanted
        -No push for regulations that Europe wanted to create under obama they actually fought against what Europe wanted
        -Again Wall street are paying high bonuses

        But I get it Strassel claims obama says/acts like a socialist but is not calling him a socialist but everything he does is as a socialist.

        Claiming the vast majority of Americans believe what Strassel does is naive to say the least or just dishonest on your part.

        Again Defense spending is going up despite the cries it being cut, The government gets bigger under republican than democrats despite you claiming obama has vastly expended it

        Lastly and even Rob stated government jobs are getting smaller not bigger

        • Hidan

          “Lastly and even Rob stated the amount of  government workers are getting smaller not bigger”

      • Upper west

        Jon S — do you make over 100K?  200K? even 800K (in a state affected by the AMT).  Then you should probably not attack “entitlements” because odds are you or your family will need them.

        Have you considered that there may be causes other than overly beneficial social programs for the problems of Greece, Spain and Italy?  Like the effects of the Euro?  Have you considered why countries like Germany, which are extremely generous in “entitlements” are doing quite well?

        Do you think the ER is OK as primary care for 40 million of your fellow citizens?

        Did you have any problem with Bush using “Other people’s money” to overpay drug companies with Medicare D, to fight a war based on a false pretense, to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest?

        Wealth has been redistributed upward, not downward, aided and abetted by victims of that redistribution who think that their taxes are being wasted on undeserving poor.

        • JonS

          My responses to your many comments:

          First , wealth cannot be re-distributed “upward” unless you believe everything   earned is owned by the government and through their good wishes “citizens” get to keep whatever the “state” feels they should. Your point is illogical.

          Second, the problems in Greece, Belgium, Italy, and Spain have absolutely nothing to do with the Euro. Just the opposite –by being part of the EC they were able to borrow against the strength of the Euro and postpone their day of reckoning. What’s caused their problems are a bloated govt. sector ( nearly 40% of all Belgians work for the govt.); a declining birth rate that can nolonger support the past generous welfare benefits ; and a failure to enact policies supporting economic growth. I also coincidentally work for a very large German company. Germany ( like the Netherlands) has prospered because of strong pro-growth policies , support for free trade, relaxed labor rules , and most importantly a decidedly capitalist work ethic.

          As it happens, I live in Massachusetts where we have universal health care. I support it because everyone should have decent medical care and Massachusetts is a relatively prosperous state that can afford to have such coverage. My problem with Obamacare is strictly that we cannot afford it at this time . Obamacare expanded coverage–it did nothing to stem health care costs. When the economy is humming , by all means , let’s have it. But forcing employers to pay more for medical coverage does absolutely nothing to incentivize new hiring. Just the opposite.

           I have a problem with any president’s  message that sets the “99%” against the 1%. I think such partisan attacks are divisive , destructive, and shameful. Totally un-American and absolutely disgusting. Do you really believe that the budget deficit (let alone $15 trillion public debt) would be impacted significantly by “taxing the rich”?

          I support the social security system and realize many people rely on it. But unlike the early thirties, we have fewer people working to support the increasing number of people who will collect SS and live longer. At some point , as I’ve said in my post, you run out of people to pay for such benefits. What do you propose we do then?

          Lastly , please don’t spout the Bush lied crap. All it does it make me wonder if it’s even worth responding to people like yourself.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            You missed ‘W’s campaign promise to make the Budget Surplus BIGGER?
               You missed ‘W’ claiming Medicare ‘D’ would make it better for Medicare qualified, then allowed 30 companies to offer confusing, disparate, mis-leading policies?  You missed that that increase of expenses was unfunded?
               Do you NOT see how the ‘W’ wars, with tax-cuts, and the resultant losses, wounded veterans, loss of revenues from Reservists and National Guard troops, that were called away from higher-paying jobs, the Fed $Trillions loans to banks and the bail-outs,  and other ‘conservative’ actions of the ‘W’ admin., CREATED a large part of those $Trillions?

          • Robert Long View

            Somebody Greek, American, or German) needs to pay income (revenue) taxes, unless the TEA Party can come up w/ a better plan… and they ain’t

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I agree on all three points!

          • Robert Long View

            Oh they see all the above. TEA knows it all too well.  Of voters 50% are apathetic the remaining 25 % are Republican.  It is a numbers game — if u are bold enough to run the bluff.  A flim-flam man knows his mark better than anyone.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I agree with you here!

          • Robert Long View

            Reaganomics, glass half-full bluff, u can’t have anything the consumer doesn’t give u, ayn Rand — a novleist????????

      • Terry Tree Tree

        MUCH of Greece’s problems, come from the wealthy, and others NOT paying their taxes!  Tax collectors have been exposed for taking bribes, to allow people to NOT pay their taxes!
           When the wealthy, who can afford to pay taxes more than the working-class, DON’T pay their taxes, the attitude SPREADS! 

        • Robert Long View

          dog whistle,(tweet-tweet salivate!) Pavlov proved that for psychology. They don’t study Pavlov at the Virtual univirsity or Home-schooled, do they?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Care to explain?

      • TFRX

        She dogwhistled about “I’m not calling him a Socialist” or some other right-wing bullflop.

        I’m not calling you a child molester, by the same hyperbolic device.

  • notafeminista

    To jimino:  It is not off the top.  All taxpayers figure out their deductions and exemptions and then pay tax on that.  That’s what adjusted income is.  A taxpayer may not be eligible for anything more than the standard deductions (such as myself) or may not have children (such as myself), but that ain’t the rich guy’s fault. 

  • JL

    Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul Ron Paul RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hello, who came in third in the Iowa caucus?  Who is in second in NH?  More mention of Perry(!!) and Gingrich than Ron Paul.  I can’t stand the media bias anymore, I feel like I am living in the twilight zone.  Really, you don’t have to agree with his positions (and there are several where I disagree), but the blatant ignoring of Ron Paul is sickening.  Are we all living on the same planet here?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I agree that coming in third, should get more media attention, than Ron Paul has received.   I hope that when he gets it, he doesn’t regret it, as many have.
         I doubt that I would vote for him, but I believe he has earned some recognition.

  • Jim Draper

    Although solidly part of the establishment, The Wall Street Journal was revered for many years for its straight reporting.  I guess that’s changed since the Murdoch Empire acquired it. I assume you invited Kimberly Strassel on your show to provide some insight, and analysis. Instead Kimberly Strassel chose to be a stand-in for the Republican National Party Chairman.  She offered no analysis, but just spouted the Republican, anti-Obama talking points.  She is obviously a partisan Republican. but I believe on your show she should have made an effort to be somewhat objective.

    • Upper west

      Actually, the WSJ has always had a far right editorial board.   What Murdoch has done is begun to infect the news part of the paper with right wing ideology.  Strassel and/or her far right colleagues have been writing very conservative editorials for years.  The news division has not been completely corrupted by Murdoch yet, but give him time.

      • Common Sense

        Sounds like they’re taking a page from the NYT playbook, the editorials start on the front page and work their way back.

    • Common Sense

      Your criticism is guilty of the same tactics you ascribe to Strassel.  

    • JonS

      You demonstrate a profound lack of understanding. As noted in her bio above, she is a columnist and member of the editorial board and therefore is tasked to express opinions  which you happen to not share. She is not a reporter. As it happens , in my opinion, the WSJ is the single best newspaper in America. You should direct your charges instead to the NYT which under its current ownership has sacrificed much of its credibility. It’s ironic that nearly one year ago the NYT ran a story on its front page attempting to link the Gabby Gifford shooting to right wing talk radio, etc. They did this despite not having a single shred of evidence demonstrating any such link. And before that the numerous articles attempting to portray the Tea Party movement as racist. 
      The NYT has long lost its journalistic integrity.

      • Gregg

        They did the same thing with John McCain’s “affair”. They also tried to blame McVie on Rush. But when it came to John Edwards, zip. Since Safire died there is no conservative at the NYT. Brooks ain’t it. I don’t here many complaints around here about NYT editorial writers Paul Krugman or Maureen Down.

        Speaking of Gabby Giffords, NPR first reported she had been killed. I understand mistakes happen but I can’t help but think the zeal to blame the right wing caused them to be less careful.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Was NPR the ONLY news organization to report Gabby Giffords dead?   Did they get the info from a source, or make it up themselves?
              The only difference I make in the ‘affairs’, sexual, romantic, or other, that I make about politicians, public servants, and others, is whether they claim the ‘moral highground, and insist on DICTATING the morals of others!
             An ‘affair’, is a betrayal of your partner.  The HYPOCRICY of one crucifying someone else for an ‘affair’, when you have had one, or are having one, compounds your own sins, in my view.

          • Gregg

            I don’t remember if NPR was tho only one or one of a very few. It happens.

            My point isn’t about adultery (everyone hates it), it’s about fair coverage in the media. There is clearly a double standard.

            I knew a guy decades ago in Gainesville, Fl. He was a well respected and admired drug counselor. He spent most weekends shooting up coke, locking himself in the house with his Great Dane and hiding under the bed in fits of paranoia. A bigger hypocrite never existed. He was also a hell of a counselor and affected many lives for the better.

          • Gregg

            Here’s another angle:

            Who would be better at discouraging young president wannabes about the arrogance of getting a hummer while discussing Bosnian strategy on the phone than Bill Clinton? Sure he would be a hypocrite but there is no better authority on the serial abuse of women. I think hypocrisy can work.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            He wouldn’t be a hypocrite, if he explained that he did it, and the damage it did, BEFORE he told them they shouldn’t do it. 
               My children heard, from me, most of the mistakes that I made, the price I paid for them, and why I was advising them NOT to do it.  
               If children catch you in a lie, you lose MOST of your credibility with them.   Mine avoided most of the mistakes I admitted to.

      • Robert Long View

        Sarah Palin painted the Cross Hairs on AZ… .

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Then, tried to say that the ‘huntress’ didn’t know the difference between a gun-scope sight, and a surveyor’s transit sight!

      • Christopher

        The Journal is a great paper.  (I’m not so sure about its editorial page.

        The Times is also a great paper.  (I’m not so sure about its editorial page.)

        This is the great thing about newspapers.  (There editorial pages are separate from their news pages.)

    • Robert Long view

      caricature politics, 50% of the voters love it too,

  • AC

    Also, I’ll admit, I once met Romney. I was slightly impressed, but for a president? Not enough……

    • Robert Long View

      Slightly impressed, for a moment, first impressions are sweet but soon wear thin, no dobut…. what a hoot… .

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I’ll admit I once played hoops with Obama at Harvard.  Nice enough guy but the smokes slowed him down.

      I’ve seen him as President for 3 years.  Four more years — not so much ….

  • Mark

    Your guest, Kimberly Strassel, is perfect for Fox TX. Why isn’t she there, INSTEAD of on your show.

    • notafeminista

      Isn’t it awful that a right wing female have an opinion and be allowed to express it.

      End of times it must be.

      • Christopher

        Notafeminista,

        This is not an effective reply.  When women participate in political debates, they will get criticized.  That’s pretty much how it works.  I think you need to sit down, have a glass of milk, and decide whether you can handle it.

        I thought Strassle was a poor guest too, not because she’s conservative but because she spoke in buzzwords and hackneyed cliches.  She might as well have been chirping that stuff on Fox and Friends.

        I strongly support there being conservative voices on Public Radio.  I want to hear what they have to say.  But they do have to have something to say.  I’m not interested in hearing slogans chanted at me.

    • Michaellong100

      Reagan had significantly higher taxes than Obama. This is not an opinion it is simple fact. When the Wall Street Journal and Fox consistently repeat the lie about “high taxes” it discredits both organizations. I respect Ron Paul because he doesn’t have to make up statistics to defend his position. I think America needs a Republican candidate who can make an honest argument for the philosophy. I blame Limbaugh for turning the Republicans into a circus. We are not going to get anywhere unless we get more honesty from both parties. It is really sad to hear an entire debate centered around a false premise. We don’t have a press corp anymore. We have a public relations corp. We have really fallen a long way. I could easily make the same argument about the left. They pretend to want financial reform but are just as corrupt as the right.

      • Robar Long View

        Just wait, soon the educated will all possess degrees from online universities.  Due to economic free mkt competitive pressures America will no longer be able to afford a “real” educated workforce.  So we will become the “virtually educated”  as in Virtue-Ed Civics BS… no pun intended.

    • Robert Long View

      Rupert Murdoch, FOX-TV News, & Wall ST Journal — one and the same!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    CAPTIVTING HYPOCRICY!!  ‘Christian Values’, ‘Family Values’, ‘Conservative Values’, and other ‘Slogans’, that DON’T match the actions of those that proclaim them!
       Disect the life of almost ANY of them, looking for the hypocricy, and you don’t have to look hard.   Yet, they insist on DICTATING to others how they live?
        If you have EVER paid for, insisted on, had, or otherwise influenced someone to have an abortion, you are PRO-ABORTION!  Unless, of course, you preface EVERY anti-abortion statement you make, with your previous Pro-abortion words, or deeds.  How many seriously handicapped, minority children, that are the results of rape, are YOU raising?  Does your church make sure that ALL children have a decent life, with that church’s money, or do you build a huge, fancy edifice to your glory?
       If you oppose homosexuality, don’t do homosexual acts, or watch it.  That has worked for me, for over forty years!  I am tolerant, as Christ said, but NOT interested! 
         Women DON’T have to be be wrapped in layers of formless ‘clothing’, for me to to avoid a lust for raping them.  I have several lady friends, that I’m sure would attest to that.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      Homosexuality is not yours to “tolerate” or not. Some people are hetero, some homo, deal with it.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        JasonA, that is the best phrase that I have come up with, to explain my position about homosexuality, quickly, and concisely.
           I am tolerant, and have homosexual friends, and of course, family members.  We get along quite well.
           I feel a need to tell homosexuals that I am NOT homosexual, to try to prevent unwelcome advances, and mis-understandings.   I have had to end some friendships, because the guys wouldn’t take NO for an answer, the first two times.  I am NOT interested in homosexuality myself, and don’t want to be bothered by someone about it.
           Please, if you know a better phrase to convey this quickly, let me know!

        • Gregg

          Wow, you must be some hunk of man love! I’m just wondering, do you also inform the beauty impaired females your are not interested to avoid unwanted advances? Is it best just to walk into a room and get it out of the way with an announcement?

          “I am not gay and and prefer pretty girls so please don’t flirt with me unless you are a beautiful, straight woman”.

    • Robert Long View

      The real reason Christian Evangelicals fear Romney (outside their innate fear mongering psyche & SUnday as the most segreated hour in America) is rooted in the fact that they wish to impose their religion on every 300+ million Americans so they reflecively expect the President to dot that… .  And there is currently a Christian in the White House — he like Romney is not “good Enough.”

  • Christopher

    Great show.  However, I have to say Ms. Strassel’s contribution was just boilerplate Fox News she’s grown used to chanting on Fox News.  Is there anyone left alive who doesn’t roll his eyes whenever someone refers to the wealthy as the “Job Creators”?    It’s always great to hear Major Garret’s analysis, and I’m sure there are plenty of conservative pundits out there who can contribute something original and something based at least in part on fact to the show. 

  • Robert Long View

    Only a Partisan Hack uses the term “Obamcare.”

  • Ken Hammer, Barnet, VT 05821

    To:  Tom Ashbrook                                                                                                                                                          1/8/2012

            On Point radio          

     

    Dear Tom,

     

    I listen frequently to “On Point” and enjoy its range of topics.  Your breadth and depth of knowledge in
    discussion with your expert guests is often remarkable.  Your obvious belief that big government
    serves the people is usually just a minor distraction.  Last Friday’s discussion of the Republican
    race in New Hampshire was an exception.

     

    Guests who were critical of Republican positions received your joyous
    support.  Those who would commend a
    Republican position encountered your immediate challenge.  Any criticism of Democrat positions met your
    rejoinder that there was precedence in some earlier Republican (like Regan)
    behavior.  Past behavior doesn’t justify
    present error.  Then you went over the
    top.  Your reaction to a suggestion that
    Obama preferred and intended a European socialist body politic was far beyond a
    comment.  Your plea sounded as a desperate
    wail; “that can’t be true!  Is there any
    factual support for that?  Is that anything
    beyond political philosophy?” or words to that effect.  You then collected comforting opinion from
    Obama supporters.

     

    Yes, Tom, there is factual support. 
    It is a matter of record and contained in the President’s own
    actions.  As President he is charged with
    forming a plan for the government and committing that plan to a budget for
    Congressional consideration.  His first
    budget for FY 2010 is usually described as reducing the deficit by about $1.5
    trillion.  The annual deficit is about
    $1.5 trillion, so the 10 year reduction goal is at best about a 10%
    solution.  But another dimension of his
    plan was to increase the national debt by about $8 trillion over those 10
    years.   His spending for bigger
    government creating only an $8 trillion debt addition is a consequence of a
    pie-in-the-sky forecast of average GNP growth of 4.5% during those ten
    years.  The tax benefit (to government)
    of that growth won’t happen.  So his plan
    was (and is) for government spending wildly beyond what we experience now.

     

    Of course the President didn’t encourage a Congressional vote on his FY2010
    budget despite overwhelming control of both Houses of Congress by his
    party.  He preferred avoiding the issue
    of the economy.  He kept Congress
    occupied on his addition of health care control to the range of government
    domination in our society.  That plan was
    promoted as cost saving but those savings were only to the government with the
    plans’ additions shoved off on the private sector. 

     

    The President has submitted two more budgets since that first effort.  Both contain dimensions similar to the
    first.  We still have no annual budget.
    We have a President who has formally deflected the obligation for budget creation
    off onto Congress.  So Tom, there is
    factual evidence that the President intends a European socialist style of
    government for the US even as it is becoming apparent that it does not work
    there.  

     

    In your declared pursuit of impartiality, I have suggestions for future
    “On Point” discussions.

     

    1.      1. 
    Why has
    the national media been so willing to overlook the trivial size of the
    reduction proposals and leave the American public generally uninformed of the
    size of the planned future additions to the public debt?

    2.      2.
    Why have the Republicans been willing to join in
    an argument over the content of such a trivial approach to our problem of
    deficits and debt?  Why not attack the
    insufficiency of the President’s plans?

    3.      3.
    Has the “political class” hijacked the
    government of the US to the benefit of its members?

    4.      4.
    Is autocratic control by the government the
    inevitable consequence of spending which drives the government close to
    insolvency?

     

    I don’t hear your program every day but I’m sure I will hear of it if
    your programming touches anything like that agenda.

     

    Thanks for listening,

     
    Ken Hammer,  Barnet, VT  05821  
    kfh777@earthlink.net

       

    • Christopher

      Lovely tone poem, Ken.  But none of your “factual support” actually substantiates the claim — which is, as the caller averred, utterly ludicrous — that Obama is a “socialist.”  

    • Robert Asherbraner

      Tom, i for one am glad u don’t do conservative code talk.    IF being liberal is being s, s, shh,sshh, shooo woooo, woooo oh no…  
      socialist,  and wrong…  THEN i don wanna be right.  AT least u r fair & balanced!  what with the partisan hack code talk or was she a plant?  as the worm turns… .

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Jul 25, 2014
Pallbearers carry a coffin out of a military transport plane during a ceremony to mark the return of the first bodies, of passengers and crew killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, from Ukraine at Eindhoven military air base, Eindhoven, Netherlands, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP)

Secretary of State Kerry to Israel. Obamacare back in the courts. Mourning as remains of Malaysia Flight 17 victims come home. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

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