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Week In The News: The State Of The Union, The GOP Race, SEAL Team 6

Romney-Gingrich, neck and neck in Florida. Obama kicks off his own campaign. SEAL Team 6 back at work, in Somalia. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

President Barack Obama gestures while giving his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listen at rear.  (AP)

President Barack Obama gestures while giving his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listen at rear. (AP)

Well, now we’ve got Cayman Island millions and a moon base in the Republican presidential rumble.  Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich squaring off hot this week in Florida.  Going at each other hammer and tongs.  Gingrich wants a space colony.  Romney backers tarring Newt as “erratic.”  A huge vote on Tuesday.

President Obama talks fairness in the State of the Union, and gets a finger wag in Arizona.  A downsize coming for the Army and Marines.  Seal Team 6 strikes again, this time in Somalia.

This hour, On Point:  Hot times.  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Major Garrett, White House correspondent for National Journal.

Carl Hiaasen, author and columnist for the Miami Herald.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

National Journal “President Obama, like every president, wants to be the former. And he began his campaign for reelection with the trappings of a State of the Union address promising to be the latter—to be the fair man. Obama’s address was designed to portray him as a partner who can break a two-decade-long cycle of rising economic output but near-stagnant wages. Not a New Deal, but a Fair Deal.”

The New York Times “The Pentagon took the first major step toward shrinking after a decade of war as it announced on Thursday that it wanted to limit pay raises for troops, increase health insurance fees for military retirees and close bases in the United States. ”

New York Magazine “It’s going to get ugly—it always does, and this year, it already has. But by almost every measure, the 2012 election is going to be the most negative in the history of American politics. In this, the post-hope election, the promise of Obama’s last campaign has been turned inside out. For all the Republicans’ attempts to emphasize the virtues of austerity, the animating force of their party is hatred of Obama, his “Kenyan” ancestry, his “socialism” and Chicago associates, and the charge that he took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and landed us in an anxious, alien landscape that doesn’t feel anything like what people used to call “America.””

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  • Roy Mac

    Carl Hiaasen–really?  I wouldn’t miss this one for anything!

  • Ellen Dibble

    The CNN debate:  As to health care in Massachusetts, after Romney said that people who didn’t want to buy insurance under his plan could pay a fee (a tax payment) to compensate the state for the (federally mandated) hospital care that they are entitled to, and Santorum countered by saying that the number of people who choose to pay the fine has gone up by a multiple of five, given that the cost of insurance has gone so high under this cover-everybody system.  He offered that five times as many people have decided to go bare, uninsured, and pay for just the federally mandated hospital care (through the extra tax; I think it might be $1,000, not more anyways).  He didn’t say where he got that “five times as many,” but then he added that those going bare are then buying something that sounded like Medicare gap insurance, to cover the non-hospital expenses, which made it sound as though there is a special kind of coverage cooked up by Massachusetts financiers for those who want sort of off-the-books, non-credentialed coverage.  (Really?)  Romney didn’t answer to that, except to say that if he were governor he would have the system working right (Surprise…), but he said if coverage has gone from 92% to 98% (his facts), how could those paying the fee have quintupled.  
    I’d like to know the answer.  I certainly know the answer to Ron Paul, who said back in the day no one went uncovered because insurance was so cheap (because the government hadn’t gotten involved, was his theme).  Yes, and the available care was far, far less costly, and probably far, far less profit-oriented.

    • Hidan

      The fees in Ma for not having Health Insurance goes up the more you make as well as the cost.  The whole Health Care debate and holding up Ma. as a example was a lie. I recall TOLN had a few show showcasing some Ma Doc claiming such and when callers called in to say otherwise they were dismissed/cut out. What’s happening for many in Ma are the being forced to downgrade there coverage yet pay the same each year so in a since are getting more and more closer to the point of having Health Insurance but not being able to use or afford it.

      I’ll bet if there was a poll on how many people that are forced to buy health Insurance in Ma but not able to use it would be a pretty high %.

      The only thing I could find atm was this

      http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/romneycare-facts-and-falsehoods/

      Claiming base on the way things are worded Ma coverage is 98%

      The Ma plan in my view is an give away to the medical industry and there ample loop holes where even having insurance will still cause one to go bankrupt and the most recent thing is the forced Health saving accounts that’s run by J.P Morgan where one is forced to open an saving account, pay month and yearly fees to keep it open and after 1000 $ can invest it in the stock market of course of some more fees. If one switches or losses there job to maintain the account or close/switch it more additional fees are required.

      Pretty much it’s a program that allows our politicans to pat each other on the back while at the same time the people it’s supposed to be helping can’t afford to use it and are nickle and dime in the process. I’ll be one of the first to file suit if the mandatory health care is deemed illegal.

      Romney really screwed us before he left.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      We know MA health costs are very high but they were high before Romneycare.  I just saw a study that MA health insurance increases have been slightly lower than the national average since Romneycare.

      My recollection, it the primary motivator of Romneycare was to clear out ER of non-urgent care patients.  I heard a report on NPR news just last week that ER wait times are way down.  I can also attest to a personal anecdote.  I took my daughter to the emergency room just before Romneycare and it was packed.  She had a severe case of lime disease that required an emergency spinal tap antibiotic infusion.  Our wait was about 6 hours.  I had to use the same ER last year, post Romneycare, and there was zero wait.

      I find it interesting that there is a supposed explosion in wait times for normal care.  I have not personally experienced this.  In some ways it doesn’t make much sense since the number of insured have only gone up by 4-6%.  In a state like Texas, where the current level of insured is only 75% I would expect a large increase in wait times.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        I just realized I misspelled Lyme. 

        • TFRX

          Hope your daughter’s okay. A doctor dad of a friend was a pioneer in Lyme disease–including getting it–in the mid ’80s.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      GOOD QUESTIONS!   I would like to ask Ron Paul What Day, was EVERYONE covered?  The day of his dream world?  
            I KNOW we had NO insurance, a LOT of the time, because we couldn’t afford it.  Most of the ‘doctoring’ was done at home, because we couldn’t afford that, either.   I survived, and ‘doctored’ my children, mostly.  If I saw that I couldn’t handle something, I used a doctor.  My children survived, and seem to be thriving.

      • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

        Ron Paul’s point wasn’t that everyone is covered by insurance, but that more people got superior care before the government got into the market and messed it up.

    • Gregg

      I don’t think the profit is the main reason for high medical cost. Bureaucracy and lawsuits put the cost over the top.

      I don’t know where Santorum got the 5X’s but there’s this:
      http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/1696-four-million-americans-to-pay-obamacare-fine-in-2016

      • Ray in VT

        The number that I heard a while back put the cost to the health care system of frivolous lawsuits at somewhere around 5%.  That number is unacceptably high, and it should be addressed, but many of the tort reform efforts that have been pushed have been flawed.

        Bureaucracy can be both costly and frustrating.  There’s nothing like paying a bill and then having the hospital send you a check back because they over charged you.  Do you think that advances such as electronic health records will make some impact there?

        • Gregg

          Don’t for get what Howard Dean said:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdpVY-cONnM

          I’ve heard that number too but I don’t believe it. I do not think it possible to calculate how many test and procedures would not be done but for fear of a lawsuit. That was one thing I liked about Perry, he was big on tort reform. In Texas thy have “loser pays”.

          As for advances, I think so but there are issues. Newt has suggested letting Visa or American Express do it.

          • Ray in VT

            Dean often spoke the truth, and that has sometimes gotten him into trouble.  Once again, the power of various constituent groups muddies the waters.

          • Hidan

            Dean also gets paid and supports the “people’s mujahedin of iran” which is labelled as an terrorist group.

            Even know if us common folk were to advocate and do what he does we could be subject to arrest and jail time but Dean seems to be allowed to do such according to the rulling passed a year or 2 ago.

      • nathan

        Texas is one the states which has strong tort laws to minimize frivolous lawsuits, but health care costs remain quite a high in the state still.

        Dr Atul Gawande explored the reasons in this much discussed article from about couple of years back.

        http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/06/01/090601fa_fact_gawande

        • TFRX

          You beat me to linking to that article. I swear it will never go out of style in my lifetime.

      • Anonymous

        Lawsuits have no or minimal effect on costs.  And only a tiny portion of malpractice is ever acted upon by its victims.  The biggest bureaucracy by far is in the convoluted underwriting and billing process, which would be eliminated in a single payer system.   Read T.R. Reid’s “The Healing of America” if you really would like to be informed of why our system is so expensive and ineffectual compared to its cost.

  • Hidan

    Will Onpoint talk about the recent Human Rights Report that claims the TNC are torturing and murdering prisoners and civilians while having the aid organization treat these people before they once again torture them?

    Libyan detainees die after torture, says Amnesty International

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-16741937

    Meanwhile, charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has suspended operations in Misrata after treating 115 patients with torture-related wounds.

    The UN says it is concerned about the conditions in which patients are held.

    “The torture is being carried out by officially recognised military and security entities as well as by a multitude of armed militias operating outside any legal framework,” a spokesman for London-based Amnesty said.
    ‘Exploited’

    “After all the promises to get detention centres under control, it is horrifying to find that there has been no progress to stop the use of torture,” Donatella Rovera, from the charity, said.

    Medecins Sans Frontieres said it was being “exploited” as some patients were being brought to them between interrogation sessions.

    “Our role is to provide medical care to war casualties and sick detainees, not to repeatedly treat the same patients between torture sessions,” said general director Christopher Stokes.

  • Hidan

    US Press freedom falling?

    Reporters without Boarders have the U.S. press freedom rated as 47 with the likes of Tawian,Ghana, El Salvador,Mali beating the U.S.

    http://en.rsf.org/press-freedom-index-2011-2012,1043.html
    Led by President Yoweri Museveni, Uganda (139th) launched an unprecedented crackdown on opposition movements and independent media after the elections in February. Similarly, Chile (80th) fell 47 places because of its many freedom of information violations, committed very often by the security forces during student protests. The United States (47th) also owed its fall of 27 places to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests.

  • Michiganjf

    13,000 Americans living in the 51st State of the Union ON THE MOON!!!… AND WE’LL FOUND THIS PERMANENT COLONY IN EIGHT YEARS TIME!!!

    GINGRICH IS A MORON, yet the truly clueless were the idiot, hypocritical, Republicans clapping full-bore at every contradictory set of remarks every minute of the debate (as usual)!!!

    Tell you what, GINGRINCH… you want the space program to be taken over by the private sector because it’s such a potential goldmine?
    Well, Obama pretty much just eliminated government as the driving force in space exploitation, if not exploration… so space and the moon are now WIDE OPEN for the private sector to cash in on all the profits awaiting them.
    I suppose we should be seeing Gingrinch’s moronic blather come to pass right now, before our eyes… or else you brain-dead Republicans can wait until the government steps up to blow another couple of trillion on another idiot Republican boondoggle!

    CAN ANYONE IMAGINE, IN THIS POLITICAL/ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT, JUST HOW BADLY A DEMOCRAT WOULD GET REAMED FOR MAKING THIS UTTERLY ASININE PROPOSAL?!!!!!!

    … YET THE GENIUSES IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY CHEER AND SCREAM ANY TIME ONE OF THEIR OWN PROPOSES ANY STUPIDITY WHATEVER!!

    Republicans aren’t and have never been interested in what is good for America and Americans… instead, they’ve been utterly brainwashed into caring only that their side wins, no matter the consequences to our country.

    • Still Here

      I thought there were 57 states, moron.

    • SteveV

      I swear Newt could, after whipping a crowd of rabid supporters into a frenzy,
      make any outrageous statement and they would applaud. But that’s where he lives
      and thrives, in front of these people. Put him in front of an audience of
      independents and watch him self destruct.

      • nicholas04

        an independent:  mythical creature invented by people to hide the embarrassment of their support for one of the two establishment party candidates

        • Brett

          Why don’t you reduce your carbon footprint by reducing all your comments to: “pfft!” It would do us all a favor.

          • Hidan

            Kind of agree with Nicholas about the independent thing. An recent example was after the 2008 election and run up to the 2010. Many Hardcore republicans were claiming they were independents yet still working for the republicans establishment. This allowed (with the lazy media) the Tea Party to at first paint itself as an independent movement even know the vast majority were all former/current republicans.

            Or Just watch the clips of CNN and interviews with Independents who seem to know very little if anything at all. Of course not all independents are like such but I was say the majority tend to not follow what’s going on and make decisions as to who to vote for on sound bites(not to say that this is not the case for dem/reps).

            Also remember Bill ‘O says he’s an independent

          • Brett

            That has been my experience, as well, with many independent voters. Independent voters (with a capital I) seem to be a different breed than the garden variety independent voter, though (which, most are really indecisive Repubs). The “undecided” voter, which is what most who say they’re independent voters really are is what mystifies me. I especially hate the polling of the “undecided” voter two days before the election. They say things like, “he makes a lot of sense, but I’m not sure…” By that time, one should have enough information to either vote or not vote. 

          • Gregg

            In NC we are called “Unaffiliated”.

          • Brett

            Yeah, but I’d bet you can make your mind up by the time the conventions are over! 

          • Gregg

            I already have in this order:
            Newt, Santorum, Romney, Paul, Obama

          • Brett

            Are you saying that if Newt, Santorum, Romney and Paul are all hit by a turnip truck while accepting Paul’s challenge to a 25-mile bike race, then you’ll vote for Obama? ;-)

          • Gregg

            It depends on if the turnip truck runs in their place.

          • Brett

            Even not knowing who the turnip truck’s running mate would be?

          • nj

            In Mass., it’s “unenrolled.”Which can be confused with unregistered,but it just means you’re not a Democrocan/Republicrat.

          • nicholas04

            I follow your lead.

          • Brett

            You seem to be a follower, so that makes sense. 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Your opinion.

      • JustSayin

        Mixed nuts…

        Newt: “If elected president, I shall reform the flat earth into a sphere, as proof of my power!”

        Crowd: “Boo!” – “Now he’s gone too far!”

        Romney: “Whatever shape it has, it was made that way by investment, and I will let you live upon it at a reasonable rate.”

        Crowd “Send that socialist commie packin’, we are only free if you folks tell us we are!”

        R. Paul: “We need to stop bickering over the earth, and deregulate gravity so that people have THE LIBERTY to power their cars with ANTI-GRAVITY!”

        Crowd: “That guys a nut! There is no gravity!”

        Santorum: “John 15-19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is,
        you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.
        That is why the world hates you. ”

        “If elected president I will bring the rapture, and the world will be destroyed!”

        Crowd: “Yahoo! — He’s the one!”

        • Gregg

          Actually said:

          “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.” -Obama

          Implicitly replied:

          “You’re nucking futs”

        • Patrik

          I had a good chuckle from your post, thanks.  Poor Ron Paul is like the cookey grandpa that is lovable but never taken serioulsy.

        • Nancy

          Nice!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I AGREE with your cute skit!

      • Anonymous

        To be truly in character, he would have to throw in some “yeah, that’s the ticket” phrases. 

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  • Winston Smith

    As countless testimonies from former players, colleagues, U.S.
    presidents, and numerous other national figures have said, Coach Joe Paterno
    was a truly great man who had a profoundly positive impact and influence on
    millions of lives throughout his 60+ year career at Penn State.  He truly was an irreplaceable icon.

    Joe’s misfortune was to be born into and embody an era where
    people confined their physical relations to that of a monogamous heterosexual
    marriage for life.  Unfortunately,
    society has been deteriorating morally over the past 40 years, epitomized by
    the fact that homosexual perversion is becoming accepted as normal behavior.  Joe Paterno was told in very vague terms
    (“some sort of horseplay”) sometime after the incident (a day or two later) of what
    turned out to be a situation of unimaginable perversion.   As societal
    barriers to homosexual activity were lowered, it became much easier for grown
    men like Sandusky to rationalize crossing another line and abuse underage boys
    as well. This type of thinking was foreign and inconceivable to Paterno.

    In terms of whether or Paterno handled the incident
    properly, it is perfectly reasonable for Paterno to have addressed the
    situation by referring it to people whom he believed would better know how to
    address the unspecific situation.  We
    have seen countless times how people who have been trained to handle difficult,
    complex situations such as law enforcement officers/etc. have botched criminal investigations.  How much more likely is it for someone
    untrained and unfamiliar with how to handle a situation as bizarre and vague as
    the uncertain one that Paterno faced?  Such
    homosexual perversion was so foreign to him, that it was an impossible
    situation to deal with adequately.  IT
    WAS ACTUALLY MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIM TO REFER A SITUATION OF SUCH
    UNFAMILIARITY AND  UNCERTAINTY TO HIS
    AUTHORITIES AS HE WAS LEGALLY REQUIRED TO DO RATHAN THAN TO TRY AND CONDUCT THE
    INVESTIGATION HIMSELF AND RISK MAKING PROCEDURAL ERRORS. 

    Regarding  Paterno’s 
    handling of  the report given to
    him by Mike McQuery, Phil Knight, founder of Nike, stated it eloquently at
    Paterno’s memorial service yesterday. 
    Commenting on those events, Knight said, “it turns out (Paterno)
    gave full disclosure to his superiors, information that went up the chains to
    the head of the campus police and the president of the school. The matter was
    in the hands of a world-class university, and by a president with an
    outstanding national reputation.”  Knight
    added, “This much is clear to me. If there is a villain in this tragedy,
    it lies in that investigation and not in Joe Paterno.”  Paterno, being the classy guy that he always
    was, did not express any bitterness despite the very unfair treatment that he
    received.

     

    Now that he has passed away, the vermin who have been
    spewing out hate-filled poison of unimaginable scope over the past two months (especially
    as posts to internet articles on ESPN) will fade away.  Paterno’s true legacy will become even more recognized
    and appreciated than it is today.  Also,
    in time, as the facts of the case come out, the premature, sensationalistic judgments
    that have based on assumed guilt rather than being based on the actual facts
    will be proved to have been wrong. 
    Hopefully, those who so publically and prematurely aired their incorrect
    conclusions and opinions will have the guts to publically apologize.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Colleges have the assanine mandate that ALL crimes be reported to the College Police, that are NOT equipped, and most NOT trained to handle moderate to serious crimes!  Colleges have a poor record for reporting the serious crimes to the REAL law enforcement!
         Like the Roman Child-Molesting and Child-Abusing church, colleges CLAIM they handle problems.  The major way they handle problems, is ignore them, hoping they will go away!   VICTIMS are VICTIMS of this system, AFETER being VICTIMS of the original crime!   These systems CONDONE, and ENCOURAGE the criminals, in this manner!
          Joe Paterno was ‘in charge’.  VICTIMS exist, that were made to be VICTIMS, on his watch.   No matter how much evidence to the contrary, there will be a certain amount of blame laid on him.  Maybe the good that he did will eventually out-weigh that in most peoples’ minds?
         You rail against homosexual Child-Rape, as a result of acknowledging that some people are NOT heterosexual.  Do YOU CONDONE heterosexual Child-Rape, as a result of heterosexual behavior?  If you are that warped, please go bend over for a pope-sicle!

      • WINSTON SMITH

        No, I am for limiting physical relations to heterosexual monogamous marriages as was widely accepted for most of mankind’s history prior to the last few decades when things have slid downhill at an accelerating speed.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that you will find that there has been a broader range of human sexual relations, but in the western and non-western tradition, than you suggest has been the case.

          • Ellen Dibble

            When you get to northern Africa, where female circumcision is still traditional, it seems to me someone thinks that women cannot be satisfied by the normal male, something like that.  A woman is expected to think of marriage as being totally supported in exchange for permanently nongratifying intimacy.  This kind of prevents men from figuring out intimacy.  Unless many they found a compatible male partner.  I’ve been thinking.  I think the pope, soon after he became pope, bent a little on the idea that bodies are meant to love, to tend one another, to reverberate in every cell.  There was a document put out.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            That ‘female circumcision’ thing is SOOO repulsive!  I’m male, and it makes me near vomit, each thought of doing that to a woman! 
               I guess that some ‘men’ cannot stand the beauty of a woman, and must disfigure them.  Like burning a beautiful tree, just because you can’t stand the beauty?
                Like priests, they probably are perverts?

        • Brett

          Don’t you mean to add “for the purposes of procreation ONLY” to “limiting relations to heterosexual monogamous marriages”? 

        • Terry Tree Tree

          THEN CLEAN UP THE CATHOLIC CHURCH FIRST!  HYPOCRICY IS HYPOCRICY!

        • Anonymous

          Pedophilia is defined as sexual feelings in adults toward prepubescent children; it has nothing in common with homosexuality beyond the fact that the adult can be of the same gender as the victim. Get over blaming homosexuals (who empirically are LESS likely to be pedophiles than heterosexuals) for pedophile crimes.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          There are some very ‘interesting’  results of that ‘monogamy’, from the slave-holders, especially!
              Catholics believe in homosexuality, or they would NEVER stand for ONE priest molesting a boy!   The evidence KEEPS surfacing in MANY countries!   WHY would anyone listen to a Catholic about ANY sexual propriety?

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

      Joe Paterno, ultimately late in life,  had his epiphany. 
      He realized all this flag waving and Hoo Rah Rah was the facade of a nasty profit driven of clutch of immoral and disgusting people.

      He should have stayed in Italy and became a great soccer coach.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t let the facts get in the way of your bigotry and ignorance. 

      • WINSTON SMITH

        What I am citing are the facts.  I’m sorry that you don’t like them.  

        • Anonymous

          I think that he doesn’t like the implication you draw from your “facts.” The definition of marriage has been changing since it was the primary vehicle for cementing treaties between states (common law marriage for the serfs) to marriage for love. And that last move made certain that homosexual love would eventually be recognized as its rightful consequence.

      • nicholas04

        You’re one to talk.

  • Ed

    The March for Life in Washington on Monday drew 300,000+ people in the rain. It’s the start of the 40th year of legalized abortion: 55 million abortions in the US, 450 milllion in China since 1979. Lots of killing going on.

    Fr. Jenkins is the president of Notre Dame who invited pro-abortion President Obama to speak at Notre Dame and who prosecuted the pro-life demonstrators (Sycamore Society). Sister Keenan is the sister who got the few extra votes needed by President Obama to pass the health care bill.

    Last week the administration refused to expand the religious exemption on conscience grounds for people who don’t want to pay for contraception and abortifacients and abortion in their taxes, a real strike against religious liberty.

    Fr. Jenkins and Sister Keenan both said they were very disappointed. Dupes. President Obama pushes abortion.

    Even Archbishop Dolan, no dupe, who had given President Obama the benefit of the doubt in a meeting where he had been given reassurance about conscience protection, was very disappointed. This an unprecedented attack on religious freedom which the pope even commented on.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The Roman Child-Molesting church marches against preventing their VICTIMS being born?   Priests don’t have enough VICTIMS to choose from, already?  They have moved into Africa, where VICTIMS will be less-able to defend themselves!
          The pope has been implicated in CONDONING Child-Molesting and Child-Abuse, when he was a cardinal!  He has NOT done any substantial thing to fix the problem!  Therefore, he CONDONES the Child-Molesting and Child-Abuse, as the most powerful member or the Pedophile church!  Catholics CONDONE the pedophilia and abuse, by not DEMANDING the mess be truely be properly handled, to the benefit of the VICTIMS, NOT by sweeping it under the carpet, and using mis-directions!  Catholics can withhold MONEY, until this is PROPERLY resolved, and donate it to the legal and counselling services for the VICTIMS!  Instead of giving it to the Child-Abusers and Child-Molesters!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      WHY aren’t Catholics CONSTANTLY  marching on Catholic churches and the Vatican, for the VICTIMS of the Catholic church?   Get that FIXED, and then I’ll give you another challenge to your ‘FAITH’!

    • Gregg

      CBS has a slideshow of the event and the pictures they chose showed only pro-choice protesters.

      http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/cbs-pro-life-slideshow-features-only-pro-choicers/341916

    • Brett

      The term “anti-choice” describes the “pro-life” position much more accurately than “pro-abortion” serves to describe the “pro-choice” position. I wouldn’t begrudge you your bigoted views on anything; in fact, they entertain most on this forum, so they serve some positive social purpose. I would say that your characterization of Obama as a “pro-abortion president” is either a laughable attempt at partisanship or it is what happens when someone looks at the world through such a warped lens: they can’t look around them with any kind of honest assessment of reality. 

      • Ellen Dibble

        Cogito ergo sum.  I think therefore I am.  
        Or:  I inflict my thoughts and inflicts on others, by sheer rote repetition, by emotional heft.  So I shed my thoughts as if I were a light source, a thought source.  Therefore I am.  Are there people out there who are killers of such entities?  I make you think the same, therefore I am?

    • Anonymous

      Why should taxpayers be forced to subsidize religion as churches don’t pay taxes and donations that are deductible?  That is far more money than you are being taxed for contraceptives. 
       

      If a doctor, nurse or pharmacist can’t perform his or her job because of religious beliefs, it is time to find a new career and not deny services to patients.
       
      This week it was announced that fetal stem cells improved vision of nearly blind patients. 

    • Anonymous

      Abortions had been DECREASING until about 2002-3 when the Bush administration moves against contraception and family (planning) support began to take hold.

      The current economic distress will push many women to have abortions for a wide spectrum of reasons, some of which I would agree with and some I would not. But I am not one to say that the ultimate decision was wrong; that  is best left to the woman and her doctor and her family if she chooses.

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

    I have been on these forums for a little while now and each day the discussion starts strong. Multiple points of view. Solid and articulate posts. Good all around debate. But, each day at around the 30 minute mark the discussion takes a turn for the worse. Certain commentators begin to chime in with jokes, jabs, and general nonsense that deprive the majority of us of a chance for a coherent debate. So as we wrap up this week I make this appeal that though we come from all walks of life and all facets of the political spectrum I think we can all agree that through it all, Navy SEALS Team 6 remains the best of the best. The tip of the spear for the Pax Americana and an example in teamwork and cooperation that all Americans should aspire to. Thanks folks. Have a great weekend.

    • nj

      Yep, it happened again: [[ Certain commentators begin to chime in with jokes, jabs, and general nonsense that deprive the majority of a chance for a coherent debate. ]]

      Most of the usual suspects. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Two well-known Republicans have a  BIG interest in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?  How many MORE? 
       Taking money from an organization that they PUBLICLY ATTACK?
       A diversion from their LARGER interest in the organizations that committed crimes, for FAR LARGER amounts of money and power?
       Isn’t it disgusting that they point out inappropriate actions, to divert attention from BIGGER INAPPROPRIATE ACTIONS?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Will the high-paid, millionaires and billionaires of Congress and the Senate, vote to give me HALF of the monies that has been given to ‘experts’, plus a 5% of the verified savings,  to SOLVE certain problems that have hurt this country for decades?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    If we had an Interstate Commerce Commission, they could provide a standard form, and proceedure that states MUST meet, or exceed, to keep risky truck drivers off the road.
       This includes the forms for physicals, to keep heart-risk people from the big rigs!

    • Gregg

      I already am required to carry a health certificate (renewed every 2 years) to drive a truck.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I was referring to the news this morning, that there is a new effort to keep people with risk of heart attack, or stroke, from behind the wheel of big trucks. 
           I was poking a little fun at the ‘new’ standard, considering the low standards imposed on Mexican truck drivers, coming from Mexico, and going anywhere in the U.S.!

      • Anonymous

        I certainly hope you do not fit the stereotype, but a physical exam every two years may not be enough considering the general weight problem that exists. Have you seen the articles in TNYT:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/health/a-hard-turn-truck-drivers-try-steering-from-bad-diets.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=truck+drivers+and+obesity&st=nyt

          http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/better-health-for-the-nations-truckers/?scp=3&sq=truck+drivers+and+obesity&st=nyt

        I do have deep sympathy for the lifestyle truck drivers are forced to live and while some aspects are certainly attractive, others inflict collateral damage. The point is to try to keep the latter to a minimum without overly hindering the benefits.

        This industry will be under extreme pressure over the next decades as the cost of fuel increases as the world approaches and passes peak oil. The switch to natural gas is the most attractive today but that could change with new developments. And the competition from rail may increase.

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

    Was listening to John McCain discuss the US and Israel provocation of Iran.  

    I am convinced this man is insane and under severe coercive forces.  I suspect that upon the fall and chaos of the USSR, the Israelis got hold of John McCain’s vintage Saigon Hilton interrogation films.  Obligingly, “Singing and Signing” as you will. 

    • nicholas04

      What’s Barry’s excuse then?

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

        Don’t kid yourself.   They got the goods on Obama too. 
        Plenty, including Frank Marshall Davis and photo shoots of Anne Dunham… and they are real.

        • mary elizabeth

          What does that have to do with anything?
          Anne Dunham has been dead for years.

    • TFRX

      You were listening to that sore loser? Let me hazard the guess: He was in his near-perpetual spot on Meet The Press.

      Between being smacked by the race-baiting in 2000 (the whispering campaign over his out-of-wedlock Asian baby) and having to appeal to the crazies in 2008, then having the press fluff him as “still that maverick” who can make Republicans moderate, I don’t know what to believe out of McCain’s mouth any longer.

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

    I do not trust any story regarding Seal Team 6.   Okay, they released two hostages by killing a bunch of doped-up Somalis.

    BUT WHERE IS THE PROOF OF OSAMA BIN LADEN ???????

    • nicholas04

      Don’t ask too many questions!  He’s got the power to off Americans now, willy nilly.  At best, you’re risking an audit.

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

        A have nothing to hide in an audit.  They will have to get me to take a ride in a small plane or place cancer producing agents in my favorite food or chair.

    • Newton Whale

      Prove there is a Somalia.
      Then tell me about the time Ike told the space aliens:”Give us technology, we’ll give you all the cow lips you want. ” http://www.metacafe.com/watch/an-PqQNJmYJuhbJmm/sneakers_1992_party/ 

      • Hidan

        BBC reported that this was a success but last year attempt failed where 4 of the hostage were killed  and none rescued.

        I’m glad those 2 were saved but there’s probably more to the story than reported

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Of course there’s more to the story!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The National Electrical Code sets NATIONAL standards for the safe use of electricity.  States, counties, and municipalities may set HIGHER standards, but NOT lower.
       The FCC, ICC, U.S. Department of Education, and ALL other Federal offices should act in the same manner.
        Dept. of Education should set MINIMUM standards of education level, for each grade, and enforce them.  States could set HIGHER standards, but NOT lower!
      Federal Offices Should spread the word about PROVEN methods or mechanisms that WORK, and the ones that DON’T!

    • nicholas04

      You won’t get anywhere with that with the AFT.

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

    Election campaigning charades….. please Mommy… make it stop.

    • nicholas04

      Sorry this ride don’t stop till November, then we break for lobbyist-paid vacations, and then we do it all again.

      • Ray in VT

        The ad barrage was bad enough last time around.  It will probably only be worse this time.  In 2008 my parents basically just stopped watching tv in order to avoid the ads.

        • margbi

          How many political ads do you think will be on the Superbowl? I agree, this is getting really stupid and eventually will be self-defeating. I agree with your parents – don’t watch the dumb stuff and maybe, just maybe they’ll stop.

          • Ray in VT

            Probably too many!  I will not be sad to miss them.

  • Newton Whale

    Looks like the GOP is stuck with a choice between a Plutocrat and the guy who wants to make the moon our 51st state. And neither of these space shots is Ron Paul.

    Last night was a good night for Mr. 1%. I’m looking forward to the inevitable release of more of his tax returns:

    Tax Lawyer: Romney paid no capital gains tax in 2009

    “In 2010, Romney carried over $4.9 million in capital losses from 2009. But as tax lawyer Ed Kleinbard told reporters during a Tuesday conference call organized by the DNC, ‘that means he paid no tax on any of his capital gains in 2009, including tax on his carried interest in 2009′ That’s not necessarily because Romney actually lost money in 2009 either. ” 

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/25/1058385/-Tax-Lawyer:-Romney-paid-no-capital-gains-tax-in-2009- 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Nissan, a Japanese auto manufacturer, will build a third auto plant in Mexico, for $2Billion, which will build autos ‘Made in America’, since Mexico is part of North America, and Central America!  Products made in the southern tip of Chile, are ‘Made in America’!  That’s South ‘America’, for those that think that the U.S. is ‘AMERICA’, and got a substandard education?

  • Brett

    Romney won the debate last night. Newt’s tactics didn’t quite get the sting he’d hoped for; in fact, Romney seemed to deflect them well, to the point of the spillage splashing back on Newt in most of those exchanges. Santorum seems to improve with each debate performance; he’s broke, though, and is sure to be third or fourth. I think Paul did well last night, as well. Wolfe did better than I thought he would as moderator…All and all, it was a good debate. It was short on substance; more than anything it shows that the candidates are learning how to hone their debating skills. 

    • nicholas04

      Lack of substance … they appear to be paying attention to Barry’s SOTU.

      • Brett

        Yeah, lack of substance, kinda like your reply, Nickie.

      • TFRX

        Because there’s nothing that wins over the mainstream press, unaffiliated voters, and moderate Republicans like a knowledgable Democrat reciting a laundry list.

        False equivocate much?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Short on substance?  Typical politicians?   EVERY politician says they will ‘CREATE JOBS’ , balance the budget, decrease government, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, etc… , WITHOUT being specific about how! 
         They act like they’re afraid that someone else will steal their ideas and make the U.S. better!   Why be afraid that you would make the country better, SOONER, by sharing the solutions?   Experience has taught me that these vague promises, are because they usually DON’T HAVE a real plan!

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

      Yes indeed… they all seem to be master-debaters.

    • Gregg

      I think Santorum won but now I’m reading he also supported the mandate in ’94.

      • nathan

        That is because ‘mandate’ was a Republican idea, till a Democrat decided to adopt and then it became associated with communism and all other evils.

        • Gregg

          No, it was Hillary’s and Obama excoriated her for it.

          • lefty

            Try again – its a R thing going way back

          • nathan

            If I remember correctly, “Health Insurance Mandate” came out of the Heritage Foundation, as a republican alternative to “Hillarycare” in 1994.

          • Gregg

            That’s not how I remember it but I certainly could be wrong. It doesn’t matter, the mandate is unconstitutional.

          • Ray in VT

            I thought that it was a Republican idea dating back to the Nixon administration as a private market alternative to nationalized health care.

          • Gregg

            A little googling tells me Nathan is correct. It was Heritage in 1989.

          • Ray in VT

            My mistake.  I was relying on my memory.  Nixon proposed a “comprehensive health insurance program” for the U.S. in 1974, but quickly skimming through it I didn’t a mechanism for implementation that would prevent people from only paying in when they got sick.

          • Anonymous

            You are wrong.  The mandate was a Heritage idea promoted by Republicans for what it is:  A market approach to health care coverage, using the private insurance sector instead of a single-payer system.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    De-briefing , de-compressing, and training for civilian jobs, should be done for the troops, now that down-sizing is coming to the Millitary!
        Taking care of their medical, dental and psyhological problems should be a priority of the companies that have profited so handsomely from these front-line citizens!

    • Hidan

      This downsizing talk is a smoke screen.

      1-It doesn’t happen until 2013 if it happen at all
      2-The budget will still be increasing
      3-The claimed cuts are really the reduced cost from not  occupying Iraq anymore
      4-Ron has it right defense spending is not actually being cut
      5-Contractor cost are still there and will actually be increase quite a bit with the new State Department in iraq and those 15k(that we know of ) Contractors.
      6- If Mitt or god forbid newt won the white house both stated there going to increase the military budget.
      7-Obama history of reneging on promises is well known.

      I do agree that there should be programs to help the troops switch from the military to the civilian life, with the expection there should be tougher requirements for returning vet to get on the police forced. Since any of the above you mention could put civilian lifes at risk.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thanks.  I agree with you about on most of this.  I was commenting on the ‘announced’ down-sizing, and some things that NEED to be done for returning troops, male and female, Jade.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Thanks and congratulations to Seal Team 6, for completing your mission sucessfully!  Pirates have more to worry about!
       Providing honest, sustaining, and sustainable jobs to Somalis would probably cut down on the piracy, and the pirate leaders would have to go elsewhere?

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

    Tom,  you should do a show on the connections between wealthy contributors like Las Vegas Adelson and their buddies in the Media and political Advertising groups who ultimately pocket this money. 

    Campaign funding is the scurge of democracy and seems to have a circular reciprocal dynamics.

    I digress to say the show on Verdi and Vagner was excellent.

    • Hidan

      Adelson display is yet another disgusting form of buying politicians and how citizen united should be overturned. He donated 5 million his wife another 5 million to a Pac that is claimed not to be working with Newt yet before the first donation Newt meet with Adelson.

      Colbert has a great piece on Newt and Romney Super Pac’s

      Newt’s a race baiting won him SC

      Check Newt views back in 2005 on the palistians? turns out 5 million will get newt to say anything others like.

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

        Keep in mind, that a “NEWT”  is a reptilian creature.   Interesting.

  • Anonymous

    The death of Accountability? It started with birtherism. Systematically promoting lies about Obama’s birth certificate, and then his religion. Then Joe Wilson called the president a liar in Congress. Then Jan Brewer wagged her finger in public. IN the same week Newt Gingrich attacked John King for asking Gingrich to account for his hypocrisy with respect to his infidelity. What’s with the party of moral family values? They don’t give no respect. The only moral standard that they hold themselves to is how far Right they are, not how forthright they are. Forget about independents, are Republican voters asking themselves how much more of this nonsensical serial hypocrisy and racism they are willing to tolerate?

    • Dave

      Hmmm. Still waiting for the Obama administration to throw one housing bubble scamming politician or banker in jail.

      Accountability. Right.

      That’s the only accountability most Americans are cynically waiting for right now.

      The two parties protect the elite at all costs, and the milking and debt/inflation scam goes on……

      • JustSayin

        Yep. Rule of law has differrent meanings that are proportional to personal wealth and power.

        We are still waiting for Obama to send any portion of the massive government investigative agencies to do ….. well anything in the name of justice. Obama protects the membership.

        • Dave

          People need to rediscover/understand what “Rule of Law” actually means, and has meant classically, historically. This, IMO is a big part of the problem in our misguided electorate.

          Rule of Law is the idea of clear, predictable laws that are equally applied to all, define RULES not ENDS, and are meant to PREVENT ARBITRARY DISCRETION.

          This, combined with the sound money/monetary policy issue, is why any honest and rational analysis puts Ron Paul’s positions far above Obama and the other Republican candidates with regard to REAL accountability, REAL free markets, and a REAL understanding and chance of future prevention of our financial crisis.

          Honest and rational analysis has been replaced by knee-jerk partisanship and some perverted knee-jerk rejection of the “liberty” message, even though it speaks directly to the anti establishment concerns of both honest progressives and honest conservatives.

          • Dave
          • Anonymous

            What is Ron Paul’s “liberty” message on national protection of civil rights? 

          • Dave

            You mean civil rights like Paul getting a better rating from the ACLU than Obama?

            You can hate the man, but his actual constitutional view protects us all.

          • TFRX

            “Protects us all”?

            Pfft. He just wants a federal government too weak to do anything about states denying rights.

          • Dave

            That’s your paranoia issue.  Don’t hold back the rest of us because you are afraid of freedom and the protections afforded by the Constitution for those who go too far and infringe on our own liberty.

            The system and vision of the Founders, even if never fully realized yet, is not that hard to appreciate, if your willing to think rationally.

          • TFRX

            Paranoia?

            I don’t have to worry about being less of a citizen when I cross state lines.

            My niece, who may get pregnant in Mississippi, gets to wait for your utopian, “never fully realized yet” rights.

            Tough choice. Reeeeeeeeeeealy tough choice.

          • Dave

            You’vestill never elaboratedand sustainable alternative that protects our freedom and solvency.

          • Anonymous

            I agree with Paul more than Obama on a handful of important issues but his extreme libertarian positions would be disastrous on most issues.  What is Ron Paul’s position on the civil rights act?  How does his position differ from that of George Wallace?

          • Brett

            Let’s see, what would Dave say….uh, how ’bout: “if you hate liberty and freedom then don’t support Paul. 

          • Dave

            The point is you can disagree with his personal or religious or whatever beliefs, but he is defending a system in which your right to think for yourself is protected.

            Do you really want to enforce your collection of ideas and judgements that your life has led you to think is “right” for the rest of us?

            Do you think this benevolent dictatorship idea of letting the “right” or “good” people define what we think and how we live, as long as we don’t infringe others constitutional rights, is a long term peaceful way to coexist in a society?

            If individuals do things that infringe on others constitutional rights, they have standing to sue in court for redress. Thats the whole point of a Constitution.

            Discretion leads to corruption, chaos and conflict.

          • Anonymous

            http://www.aclulibertywatch.org/ALWCandidateReportCard.pdf - I looked at the study and Obama has more torches than Ron Paul.  If you vote no on everything the government does, occcasionally you are correct. 

            He only protects certain individual rights on a national level.  He thinks that state governments should be able to discriminate. 

            How is a view that the federal government protect constitutional civil rights projecting my views on everyone?  Free market values and states rights aren’t enough to protect civil rights of minorities. 

            Once again you refuse to state his position on the civil rights act.   

          • nj

            Don’t get him started, J_o_h_n.

          • Fredlinskip

            Bring back the guillotine.

      • Anonymous

        I’m a life long D and I too am totally frustrated by this lack of accountability.  Unfortunately, it’s just one in a long and seemingly never-ending line of disasters (9-11;  Iraq intelligence;  Iraq occupation; etc.)  that no one has been held accountable for.  On the other hand , very serious people keep telling us nothing illegal was done, just people taking advantage of cracks in the system. 

        Name a few people you would have prosecuted, and for what, if you were in charge.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Does make you wonder, doesn’t it?

  • Still Here

    Obama is thin-skinned putz who likes to pick on old white ladies.

    • Brett

      Who would have thought you have ever heard a Yiddish word!?!?!

      • Kelty

        “Thin-skinned” being today’s buzz word in the Republican ranks – they can’t go anywhere without their daily marching orders from Faux News 

        • Still Here

          I thought putz was today’s word, fits you perfectly.

          • Kelty

            I believe there is a Yiddish word that describes you so much better – I will have to suffice with LOSER to describe you and your infantile posts 

          • Still Here

            All caps, that’s all you and your band of knuckle-draggers got.  Pathetic.

          • Kelty

            Here’s a thought – look in a mirror and hold your right hand up (you do know which that is, correct??) with your thumb out and your index finger pointing up-perfect! that’s you! good boy!

          • TFRX

            Yeah, someone who goes off like that about ONE word of three lines being in caps seems a bit sensitive to be a right-winger, doesn’t he?

          • lefty

            yeah well I did screw up – it should be the left hand, but he’s probably cut it off as left is so evil in his extremely tiny world 

    • Ellen Dibble

      Are you suggesting “old white ladies” aren’t able to stand up for themselves, assert valid points, even retaliate forcefully?  Oh, Margaret Thatcher.  What did Queen Elizabeth say to Sir Walter Raleigh when he spread his coat across the puddle so she could step on that rather than in the mud?  Was she “gracious”?

      • Still Here

        I didn’t say she couldn’t take it, but Obama’s a misogynistic ageist for doing it just the same.  He was looking for an ego boost and got it thrown right back at him, so he stomped off in defeat. 

        • mary elizabeth

          To say nothing of  Brewer’s duplicity regarding the whole issue.  She came out after the meeting with the President cooing how cordial it was, then in her book stated him to be condescending  and  elitist during the very same meeting. 

    • Gregg

      Commenters may not know what you are referring too.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/25/jan-brewer-obama_n_1232367.html

  • Anonymous

          Why do the American people lend such credence to presidential debates? Surely we must be smart enough to know that these candidates are prepared well ahead of time. We must know that their handlers have already peppered them with every question they could possibly be asked and then told them how to answer. Surely we can’t really believe that a one minute long answer to a question about a very complex issue can, in any way, indicate a thorough understanding of that issue.                I’d like to believe that my next president, when confronted with a matter of urgency, will exercise caution. I’d like to think that he’d consult his staff and look for consensus among his advisers. A solution reached as a result of patient, thoughtful deliberation will usually be more successful than one suggested in some off the cuff answer, designed only to appeal to potential voters. That’s what debate responses are, political soundbites. The only thing political debates offer that is of any value is the comic relief.

    • Dave

      So look for principled answers and principled records.  

      Who displays that?We suffered under the discretionary shenanigans of establishment tools for too long.

      That’s what the Constitution was for in the first place. How far we sheep have strayed, handing over so much power to pandering promise-makers and utopian welfare and warfare snake oil salesmen, in our desperate hope for a benevolent dictator type person or party to do the right thing for us.

      And of course all that pandering and power accumulation only made possible by the leveraging effects of unsound money and the discretionary policies of the Federal Reserve.

      Constitution and Self Government or China model.

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

      https://www.montpelerin.org/montpelerin/documents/Toby%20Evans.pdf

  • Ellen Dibble

    Reading through, I wouldn’t know where to paste this, but it’s a link to where the Republican/Democrat gridlock is dissected as a split in psychological types, the conservatives being the better suited to an age of austerity, where it’s not about who can have more but about who can have less; these people tend to think of us and them, of providing for me and my friends; whereas the liberal types have a hard time being cruel like that, or ignoring the not-us like that.  It was an interview on the PBS NewsHour on Wednesday, with Tom Edsall, author of the Age of Austerity.  From transcript:  “The economy and battles over government spending in a time of belt-tightening are not only helping shape the 2012 presidential campaign. They’re also redefining American politics, and potentially the United States’ place in the world.
    “That’s the argument in a new book by former Washington Post political reporter Thomas Edsall. He’s now a professor of journalism at Columbia University. And he writes a column for The New York Times. The book is ‘The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics.’”  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june12/ageofausterity_01-26.html

    • Anonymous

      See Thom Hartmann’s take on the austerity: never has accelerated recover. His position is not about economic fairness, it’s about economics 101: historic reality.  So on what factual basis do Austerians base their faith? None: taking our foot off of the accelerator will not accelerate the Bus. The corporate passengers will not make up the difference… not in this atmosphere. 4 out of every 5 jobs that corporations create are overseas, so favoring corporate job creators has a really, really bat ROI: reward them more and they’ll just invest more overseas.
      http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/phaedrus76/blog/2012/01/austerity-designed-contract-economy-fails-create-expansion

    • Anonymous

      He’s right that scarcity will remake American politics, but I don’t think in the way he does. Scarcity will make the “Lesser Depression” into a second Great Depression. The currently unemployed will not find jobs as those with jobs will save as much as possible to prepare for possibly losing their jobs and with that drop in spending companies will tighten up on hiring and buying new capital equipment.

      That is just what happened in the first few months after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. That was only stopped by the TARP, which gave banks credibility in their intra-bank transactions, and then the ARRA which gave states and localities money to not fire teachers and policemen and to maintain and build infrastructure. The chronology of the 2009-mid 2011 stimulus was examined by Michael Grabell of ProPublica in his book “Money Well Spent” and on NPR’s Fresh Air on Thursday.

      While he gives the claims of the Freshwater economists (wrong, austerity) versus the Saltwater economists (correct, Keynesian) he apparently did not try to evaluate them on the merits. But just consider: the vast majority of the private sector has cut spending, and your income is someone else’s spending. That last is what makes a country and its government DIFFERENT from the finances of a household (its spending is NOT its income). And government, certainly within 250% of its GDP can borrow and spend to create demand for goods which will make up the current low demand and get businesses to buy capital equipment and hire workers. Then the workers return to spending taking over the spending of the government which can then back off.

      Workers no longer become unemployed, miss mortgage payments and get foreclosed on, further depressing the housing market and putting even more homeowners under water on their mortgages. The growing population either rents or buys the foreclosed homes and demand for new housing starts to grow again.

      Growth in housing has been the engine for strong recoveries and is what has been lacking in this Lesser Depression, because of the overbuilding of the housing bubble and the associated debt. This has been the aspect where every attempt Obama has made to help has failed because of restrictions placed on them by opponents to avoid “moral hazard.” The latest proposal, in the SOTU speech, could do a lot of good if it is big enough.

      The White House discussion of the size of the ARRA (stimulus) is detailed in “The Obama Memos” by Ryan Lizza in the January 30, 2012 issue of The New Yorker:

      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/30/120130fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=all

      Back in the November 14, 2011 issue, James Surowiecki tried to make the case of a “Deleveraging Myth” [that the household debt increase was not holding back the economy as many asserted]:

      http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2011/11/14/111114ta_talk_surowiecki

      But he admits that the increase in consumer spending for (just) the last nine months is not strong enough to generate the previously (e.g., 1981-2) “V-shaped” recovery. Therefore Paul Krugman’s analysis that “the debt did it” and several other’s and his analysis that the stimulus was too small for a projected $2 trillion GDP decline over two years still holds.

      Because the economy is finally at least creeping up, but with big threats visible on the horizon, a small additional stimulus might be really effective now and borrowing is still cheap (next to nothing!). Improving the nation’s infrastructure is a need recognized by both sides. How often do you have to have your car’s wheels aligned to avoid uneven tire wear and at what additional cost because you drove through a pothole or worse? How many hub caps do you see on the side of the road from another car that went through that pothole?

      Then consider the high school, college and graduate school graduates who cannot get a job other than “flipping burgers” or the equivalent. They are NEVER going to recover their lost earnings which for many will mean a lifetime loss of well over $1 million for the lowest earners and more for the higher earners. That is a real “debt” the country is “leaving” them, well above any higher tax level cost. So much for decrying the “leaving the debt to our children.”

      But the real canyon between the parties is that the Republicans don’t want their money “debased” by inflation (which would force them to spend it before it lost value) and the (Keynesian) Democrats who want to get the unemployed back to work so they can help reduce the deficit (paying taxes and not drawing on the safety net) and not become permanently unemployable as long-term unemployed tend to do. Note some employers ads saying “if you are unemployed, don’t apply.” Which says that the Fed should set a target of 4% or 5% for inflation instead of the traditional 2% for at least four years, which would be another way to help those with underwater mortgages.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Right now I’m at Newt, Romney, Paul, Santorum, Obama.

    • Gregg

      We agree on first and last, thanks for posting. I’d be interested in others rankings as well. It’s easy to complain about any of them but they are the choice.

    • Brett

      You’d vote Newt?!?!

      • Ellen Dibble

        I always work out the difficult parts first; Santorum and Paul were really good last night, maybe not as president, but as presenters.  Obama is always where he is, given this group.  I would move to the Cayman Islands before voting for Newt.

        • Brett

          Whew, I thought I was going to have to check my blood sugar levels…

          • Ellen Dibble

            Just checking to see if you were really there and alive and kicking.  Hi.

        • Gregg

          I agree with you (again) about Santorum and Paul last night. And if you go to the Caymans see if you can spend some of Romney’s money.

      • Gregg

        Seriously, your Beatles reference aside (love’m), it’s easy to gripe but harder to take a stand. For instance, one can easily accuse Newt of being for big government but if you follow that with “So Obama gets my vote” then you’ve just jumped the shark. What’s your preference?

        • Brett

          I think that a vote in a presidential race is, at best, a tactical maneuver. Between the Electoral College and voting being a matter of limited choices, our true vote is in where/how we spend our money.    

          I feel that whomever will be president should be a centrist (if they are truly going to represent all citizens). 

          Romney and Obama are both centrists, with Romney being the “slightly right of center” to Obama’s “slightly left of center.” I’d like to see Paul drop out and become a third-party candidate, t’would make the race more interesting if it were among Romney, Obama, and Paul. If nothing else the dialogue would be of a higher caliber than if Newt sticks around much longer. I think he has, while perhaps voicing some of the residual anger of the day, served to reduce the race to its lowest common denominator of political debating. 

          This may be the first presidential election I don’t vote in since before Carter, I haven’t decided. The issue with Romney, Paul or Obama is whether or not they are effectual managers. I believe they all have the ability to step up to the plate and govern while looking at a bigger picture than power for the sake of power, ideology for the sake of ideology, and so on, but will they be able to get anything done? 

          Paul talks in big, sweeping statements about things like our involvement in the administration of other countries or in the break down of  our own political system, etc., but he’ll have to put his pants on one leg at a time just like every other president if elected. This is a good thing, not only for him but for anyone put in the White House. 

          Newt would treat his office in the same way Cheney did: with extreme disregard/respect for the office. Newt’s abuse of power would come from ego; Cheney’s came from, IMO, severe paranoia. 

          I will probably vote for Obama. I am interested in seeing how he’ll perform not having to worry about a second term.       

          • Anonymous

            Romney probably is “moderate-right” but he is making campaign commitments to do things which will be deeply destructive to the American economy. His budget plan adds a couple hundred billion dollars to the deficit, at least some of which he is genuinely in favor of, will NOT generate additional jobs, but will turn demand down, reducing jobs.

            Even great businessmen cannot always grasp the differences between running a business and a country. How many CEOs run businesses so horizontally integrated that the divisions only buy and sell between THEMSELVES. When the division heads are told to REDUCE costs (buying from other divisions) but INCREASE sales (to other divisions), how will that be accomplished? And remember, that trade with other countries is still a relatively small part of the U.S.’s $15 trillion GDP, so the analogy mostly is accurate.

  • Brett

    I prefer John, Paul, George and Ringo. ;-) 

  • Dave

    “Why do the American people lend such credence to presidential debates? Surely we must be smart enough to know that these candidates are prepared well ahead of time. We must know that their handlers have already peppered them with every question they could possibly be asked and then told them how to answer.”
    -fetttothefire

    So look for principled answers and principled records.  Who displays that?We suffered under the discretionary shenanigans of establishment tools for too long.That’s what the Constitution was for in the first place. How far we sheep have strayed, handing over so much power to pandering promise-makers and utopian welfare and warfare snake oil salesmen, in our desperate hope for a benevolent dictator type person or party to do the right thing for us.And of course all that pandering and power accumulation only made possible by the leveraging effects of unsound money and the discretionary policies of the Federal Reserve.Constitution and Self Government or China model.

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

    https://www.montpelerin.org/montpelerin/documents/Toby%20Evans.pdf

    • Anonymous

      See my response to Ellen above and maybe you will see that “austerity” is one of those nice theories that appeals to those in search of a simple solution but which does not deal with the real problem.

      The current Europroblem is basically an attempt to put the EZ on a “gold standard” (the euro) where all the countries have a common currency but no way to adjust between areas with different growth and inflation rates. The U.S. does this by transfer payments (SS, Medicare and Medicaid) that mean that the Blue states pay more in taxes to the federal government than the federal government spends within their states while the opposite is true for the Red states (Texas being the notable exception: big oil wealth).The countries that went OFF the gold standard after 1930 the soonest started to recover the soonest, because they could inflate their currency and make themselves more competitive.

      And the longest period with the highest growth without major recessions occurred between the 1950s and 1970, with much higher marginal taxes and a semi-floating currency.

  • modavations

    liberals

    • Still Here

      blow

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You two are finally getting your together act together?

      • JustSayin

        Pick yer partner, and do-se-do.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Why doesn’t it surprise me that Mitt Romney has no interest in building a base on the Moon?  He strikes me as the kind of boy who wanted to be an accountant since his earliest days.

  • Anonymous

    If Mitt would fire Newt for his Moon idea, why doesn’t he use his business experience to evaulate himself.  What company would hire Romney to be the brand representative? 

  • Joe in Philly

    Let’s face it the Republican field is pathetic. None are electable: Romney embodies the evils of corporate America; Gingrich is a Mr. Potato Head incarnate; Santorum is a demagogue; and Paul is a blatherer. Let’s build that moon base and put these four as the base’s first residents!

    • Dave

      The coherent analysis just gets better and better around here…..

      …talk about blather.

      • Joe in Philly

        Dave, you, sir, are humorless. That aside, do you honestly believe that (i) these four Republicans represent the best and brightest of America and (ii) they can beat President Obama? Electability in my view, means a connection with the majority of the electorate. None of these have the capacity to do this. In all likelihood, we are looking at four more years!

        • Dave

          I agree that the figureheads, and frankly most of the neoconservative ideas are stale and protective of the same old status quo.

          I think that a more telegenic, smoother talking person delivering the Ron Paul message would catch fire, and will be the future.

          Apologies for skimping on the sense of humor… its just the cynicism around here is so thick hard to laugh sometimes…

          • Joe in Philly

            No worries! If only Ron Paul were younger and coachable; it’s clear that Paul listens to nobody. I think John McCain in ’00 would have been excellent but unfortunately he was Bush-whacked in the SC primary. He did father an illegitimate black child?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          ‘W’, the self-admitted AWOL, 15 minutes to  ‘decider’ that he needed to quit being read to, when told “the country is under attack”, who evidently CANNOT read a teleprompter since he was radio-controlled in his speeches, was the BEST the Republicans had to offer in 2000?   You expect them to get better?

    • Fredlinskip

      Can we send them on Mars mission ewith W & friends?

  • TFRX

    Nothing yet about Politifact taking a dump all over the good name of “fact”?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Human beings are explorers.  The fact that America has given up on space for the time being is a sad commentary on the state of our nation.

    • Dave

      Start a space business.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Obama is talking now to college students in Ann Arbor, at whitehouse dot gov.  He seems to me to be walking BACK the natural gas hype, and emphasizing that we’ve subsidized oil and gas for a century and need, for the sake of a clean planet, to give the same boost to wind and solar — “renewables.”  “There has never been more promise” (for renewables). 
         I am wallowing in relief.  Did someone point out to him that frakking is a high-energy enterprise in itself?  He’s not giving up the 600,000 jobs for now, but presents that now as more of a temporary step towards something else.  I’m going to listen to every speech till he gets it right.

  • Patrik

    I’m a Democrat and Obama supporter.  What I have gathered from this weeks GOP debates is that these candidates are weak and the standard candidates of old.  The Republican party needs to do serious soul searching. They dismissed a very intelligent, well rounded candidate in John Huntsman.

    • Anonymous

      His budget proposal was right inline with Romney’s and would only increase the deficit. But he might be more favorable to cutting CO2 emissions although a Republican House would prevent any movement because it is an article of faith that AGW doesn’t exist. Too bad Nature doesn’t punish those who taunt it without punishing everyone along with them (and sometimes those others suffer more than the instigators).

  • TFRX

    Aren’t Reagan Republicans supposed to be sunny and destroy their opponents with laughter?

    Not sure anyone on stage counts.

  • John in Amherst

    Gingrich’s style of bombastic name-calling did much to abolish civility in congress by teaching GOP members how to use invective and insinuation to vilify the opposition.  His MO was picked up by Roger Ailes as the media style of FOX.  This has diminished the country’s ability to engage in civil debate of political issues, and hence to find solutions to a myriad of problems.  (see NYT today for a history of Newt’s tenure as speaker).  There is no reason to suspect that he would change his tone as president.  Is THIS what the GOP wants, or what the country needs – the politics of hyperbolic rhetoric and personal attacks substituting for reasoned discourse?  And if we end up with Newt as President, will he run the country or an endless series of inquisitions, cheered on by FOX and the rabid right?  Time for everyone to the political left of the KKK to wise up.

    • Michiganjf

      Not to worry…

      If Gingrich becomes their next would-be messiah, he’ll get every single vote of the Rabid Right… and he’ll lose the election by a better than 3 to 1 margin, with the lunatics suckking their thumbs in dismay.

      …Any of these capital R Rodeo Clowns are doomed to lose, they’re all so pitifully inadequate and laughable, but Newt and Santorum would tie with the same, inevitable last place finish.

      • John in Amherst

        Oh how I’d like to believe you are correct.  It would be a mistake to underestimate the country’s lust for perceived certainty & rectitude and its capacity to be deluded

    • Anonymous

      The Republican (financial) elite (with Andelson the notable exception, at least by wealth) is near panic at the prospect of a Newt presidency. But they have few levers of power now and may have to just sit back, watch and worry as the primaries carry the party to its selection. They wanted Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United and now they may rue the consequences.

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

    The Republican party today is as disorganized and rudderless as the Democrats were in the lead up to the ’04 elections and whomever wins the primaries, Romney or Gingrich, neither are strong enough candidates to beat President Obama in the general election. My prediciton is a 55%-45% split in the popular vote in favor of Obama with a 30+ lead in the electoral college.

  • nathan

    Amazing thing about Newt is, he is being slammed around almost always by republicans. I don’t think I have seen a republican(other than Newt himself) on TV or print in the past 2 weeks, who has not taken a shot at Newt. 

    • Gregg

      It is amazing. People I respect very much are freaking out. Folks like Ann Coulter, Krauthammer, Glenn Beck, Bob Dole, Chris Christie and on and on.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You missed Newt taking a shot at Newt?

  • Gregg

    It’s sad people were more upset with Joe Wilson saying “You lie” than they were at Obama for lying. Go figure. Someone should have called him out on these from the last one:

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/fact-checking-the-sotu-corporate-taxes/

    • Chris

      You are laboring under the delusion of one side working for the people. THEY BOTH ARE LYING, my friend. They both work for the elite. You are just the rabble they lie to to get elected.

  • Gregg
    • Anonymous

      @327b60c55221432e499267aebfb70c09:disqus 
      You have outdone yourself with that one. And the WSJ has confirmed, for all the world to see, that it cares not one wit for its own integrity. See:

      http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/01/29/413961/panic-attack-murdoch-wall-street-journal-finds-16-scientists-long-debunked-climate-lies/

      for a monster take-down. Note that Forbes, no shining exemplar on this issue carried a stinging rebuke:

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/01/27/remarkable-editorial-bias-on-climate-science-at-the-wall-street-journal/

      The WSJ, after refusing to publish a letter endorsed by 225 members of the United States Academy of Sciences on the realities of climate change and on the need for better, serious debate of climate issues, published the piece of lies you link to. It is like someone refusing a ribeye steak cooked at Daniel in NYC to scrounge in the garbage at the local dump for the feces of rodents. If that finally makes the WSJ a %#&* in everyones eyes, THEY did it to themselves. Its editorial page, if not its news pages, is not worth the amount of paper a single letter occupies. And people should beware linking to such articles. Don’t let yourself be contaminated even inadvertently, if that was the case.

      Please read Peter Gleick’s essay in Forbes, and then read the two letters as Mr. Gleick recommends.

      Even a Koch Industries funded study, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) Study concluded last fall that the earth was warming up at rates on the HIGH (faster) end of scientists predictions. And that WAS published in the WSJ! I guess the editors felt bad at giving the real climate scientists an acknowledgment of correctness. The fossil fuel people must have been climbing all over their backs with heavy sandpaper.

      There have been studies showing that for every $1 not spent to reduce emissions between now and 2020 will require the spending of $5 or more later. Of course towns and cities destroyed by hurricanes and floods [or their occupants driven away by the lack of water (e.g., Texas)] don’t “have” to be rebuilt, but …

      And the insurance companies will see that everyone pays for today’s neglect through increased premiums.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    As opposed to the thousands on the other side of the climate change subject?

  • Jemimah

    Carl, I love you!  (Sorry, I know it’s not “on point” but I just had to say it.

  • Anonymous

    Good thing “corporations are people my friend.”  Corporate money is keeping Newt’s campaign against Mitt alive. 

  • TFRX

    Carl Hiaasen informs us that Florida is a non-crossover, “closed” primary.

    As I’ve asked before, why don’t all news orgs make this part of their hourly briefing with every new state the traveling road show goes to?

    There are only so many times to hear the “play by play highlights” of the last debate between now and when the polls close Tuesday. A closed v. open primary can make a difference.

  • Bruce

    What aired on CNN last night?  I thought I had tuned to the Republican Candidates Debate, but what I saw was more like a rerun of the Wizard of Oz with the GOP contenders stumbling aimlessly down the Yellow Brick Road until they finally reach the Emerald City where they have the following exchange with the Wizard:

    MITT:  How can I rebound from my humiliating defeat in SC?
    WIZ:  Your team made two strategic mistakes.  First, they misrepresented your Bain Capital experience in a futile effort to portray you as the only candidate capable of turning around the economy.  Second, they permitted Newt to beat you to the punch by releasing his tax returns while you evaded and stonewalled incoherently.  You should now take a page from Newt’s playbook by demanding the resignations of your staff en masse, going on a Mediterranean cruise (you can afford better than Newt), and returning ready to go on the offensive depicting Newt as he really is:  another corrupt elitist, revolving door, DC insider, bottom feeder.

    NEWT:  How can I convince the GOP establishment that I don’t have an “electability” problem?
    WIZ:  Impossible!  During the last SC debate, the “pious baloney” you handed John King regarding your “open” marriage proposition may have appealed to the numerous yahoos in that audience, but won’t fly with the broader swath of voters across the country who still value moral character in their elected leaders.  In addition, your popularity in one of many southern Red States, where residents receive substantially more in Federal spending than they pay in Federal taxes, can only be attributed to ignorance.  These voters obviously don’t understand that they are being subsidized by those of us in other states who contribute more in Fed. taxes than we receive back.  If Obama became the “Food Stamp” President after Bush tanked the economy, I guess you could be called the “Dead Beat” Candidate whose poor southern state constituency is being subsidized by the rest of the country.

    RICK S.:  How can I parlay my belated Iowa caucus win into a serious bid for the nomination?
    WIZ:  As the darling of so-called “values voters,” you should have exploited the weaknesses of the two frontrunners in the last SC debate.  Didn’t you receive the memo from one of the debate’s biggest sponsors, the National Organization for Marriage?  When Newt began his Spiro Agnew shtick, that was your cue to defend traditional family values against the two top-tier candidates–one who appears to be genetically predisposed to adultery and the other inclined to strap the family dog on top of the car for long road trips. 

    WIZ:  Who else is there?  Come forward.  I thought there were only three of you lost souls.  Speak up man.
    RON:  How can I regain the momentum that I had after my strong finish in the NH primary?
    WIZ:  What Newt’s win in the Tea Party-dominated state of SC should tell you is that the Tea Party has been a charade all along.  As the most forceful GOP voice for individual liberty and limited government, you should have garnered the lion’s share of SC’s anti-government, Tea Party primary voters.  Instead, they moved in droves to a cynical practitioner of cronyism and influence peddling who has enriched himself sucking on the government teat.  You would do better by jettisoning the GOP, running as a third-party candidate or dropping out altogether, thereby freeing you and your minions from Republican Party hacks who acquiesce to what you’re constantly railing against–the nefarious interests of military/industrial war mongers, police/welfare state enablers, debt crazed central bankers, and corrupt crony capitalists.

  • Edalsey

    What about Santorum’s final comment where he said “the Global warming Hoax”?  He sure has some extreme positions. 

    • Ellen Dibble

      I try to remember that once someone gets in the Oval Office, there are actually informed rational people there to provide information and advice.  And certain conclusions get moderated, shall we say.
         Of course, the opposite can happen.  The big money can manage to steer their point men into those advisorships, and the president can hear the advise with the Biggest Money behind them.  I consider the health care bill, Obamacare, a perfect example of this.  I’m afraid the bank regulation bill may also reflect the bias of bankers, but I’m not in a position to know.  People say that too-big-to-fail banks will still exist, and the price we pay for our semi-monopolies in this as in other aspects of our capitalist democracy will persist.  So maybe a president Santorum would move ahead with blinders on, until one too many floods, globally, with claims on our defense department and on our foreign aid — then he might pretend to keep his position but actually wisen up. 

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

      tell him it is already February and we still have no snow in Massachusetts.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Mitch Daniels in his response to the SOTU seemed to me to suggest that the Republicans would be working on balancing the budget, and it sounded to me like he was putting forth something like Simpson/Bowles.  And I was hugely relieved, because it seems to me that Obama doesn’t want to pay the political price of making a bold stand that way.  Democrats, AARP, would revolt.  The irrational wing of the Democrats would revolt.  So fine.  Let the Republicans.  Will they or won’t they?  Are our Republicans in Congress worth their salt or not?  Get ON with it.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Cut, cap and balance was passed by the House on July 19, 2011.  The Senate has not allowed that bill to come to the floor for a vote.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Oh, expletive deleted!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Ellen!  I’m surprised at you!   Such language!

      • Gregg

        The same is true of 25 jobs bills.

  • nj

    It’s unfortunate and depressing that so much time, effort, money, air time, etc. is wasted on all these political theatrics, hysterics, and bloviating. More than half the show is over, and they’re still on this nonsense.

    Presidential election campaigns ought to be limited to about two months, publicly funded, everyone gets the same amount of air time.

    This current system sucks.

     

  • Terry from Franklin

    What does your panel think about the birther challenge to Obama to Obama in Geogia?

  • Joe in Philly

    Ah, yes, it’s the helium three! Finally, something I can believe in!

  • Anonymous

    There are many causes for the lack of enthusiasm for Romney and Gingrich.  Perhaps most important – the Republican party is more committed to being anti-Obama than to standing for something.  The need to throw out red meat to the masses discourages articulating thoughtful positions on the issues.  Obama is not wonderful but he’s not the devil.  20 years of Reagan-Bush-Bush promoted Republican beliefs that they were entitled to owning the presidency (even if they did nothing to help the vast portion of middle America).
      Also important – money has poisoned even the Republican electoral process.  Both Romney and Gingrich PACs are wildly spending on attack ads.  Maybe even conservatives will come to see the corrupting influence of big money on democracy.  (I’m not holding my breath.)  We desperately need a constitutional amendment to fix the dysfunctional influence of money on electoral integrity.

  • Jon

    The republicans know what they’re doing. They’re using the debates to vet Romney for the independents. They’re preparing him for general elections debates. There is no way the GOP will let Gingrich be the candidate. 

    • Brett

      Yeah, you’re probably right about that. 

    • Anonymous

      Naw – this is uncontrolled and unplanned for. Newt, & Perry before him, forced Romney to the right, to spend more money, and risk exposing his foibles. 

      One could hope the more they tear each other up, the more this party’s obstructionism  and say  anything-to-get-in-power platform will come into question by everyday/independent voters.     

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

    We all now that Newt Gingrich is hated by the majority of the Republican Party. A lot them say that Newt has one thing in mind to rule both parties especially his own party. he can never be trusted.

    • Anonymous

      Right. The fact that he’s getting any traction all seems to point to how much the party has been radicalized, gone nutty – or is certainly in a situation where the center does not hold. 

      • Dave

        Just what is this mushy, corrupt center that prints more money to placate both sides of the 2-party charade?

        Where is the principled, rational “center” between democratic socialism leaning corporatists and neoconservative militaristic corporatists?

        More corporatism, nanny state pandering and military industrial complex pandering?

        How refreshing.

        • Anonymous

          Try as I might, I don’t get your point. 

          The “center” I was referring to would be that in the GOP. But “moderate” republicans have no voice or, do not exist. 

          If you are talking about the center of congress/government I think I agree. A balanced point of view, and certainly a forward looking one, is non-existent. Obama tries – but he shape shifts too much in my opinion.

          What do you mean by refreshing? 

          • Dave

            sarcasm for more of the same…..

            I wouldn’t want an unprincipled amalgam of that group. All but Paul are Neocons warmed over or state corporatist status quo figures. They would do nothing fundamental that would prevent or punish regarding the last bubble crisis.

            Moderate schmoderate. I don’t want Santorums preaching or Newts Republican Big government any more than Romney’s more of the same.

            Paul has a platform that challenges the status quo, starting at cutting off the source of all our military and debt madness, the fiat money printing and unsound monetary policy of the Federal Reserve.

            That source of funny money funds and leverage is the head of our two party establishment status quo corrupt problem.

  • JustSayin

    I be rich now, I got da guberment subsidies for my helium-3 farm on da moon!

  • JAMESDTHOMPSON

    The 2012 GOP presidential primary, in my opinion, are like to mix of 1964 & 1980, with Gingrich being the Goldwater and Reagan man and Romney being Rockefeller and GHW Bush.  When Romney was asked about the “heart and soul” of the GOP and why he was the conservative he flopped.
    Expecting today’s GOP to support a candidate in Romney who denied voting for Reagan and called himself a “progressive”, well…that’s like the Pope denying the Blessed Mother and the Holy Trinity.

    Jim in Fort Mill,SC

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Hmmm.  Newton was state party chair for Rockefeller in 1968.

      There is slim difference between Newt and Mitt on policy.  GOP voters will select between the two on leadership, skills, and electability.

      Since there is so little difference on policy they can really only attack each other on character and trust.

      Newt attack line is since Mitt is from MA so he must be liberal and you can’t trust him.

      Mitt’s attack on Newt is that Newt showed unsteady, chaotic leadership as speaker and was fired by his conservative caucus and he had many departures from conservative positions after he left congress.

      • John in Amherst

        Gingrich’s style of bombastic name-calling did much to abolish civility
        in congress by teaching GOP members how to use invective and insinuation
        to vilify the opposition.  His MO was picked up by Roger Ailes as the
        media style of FOX.  This has diminished the country’s ability to engage
        in civil debate of political issues, and hence to find solutions to a
        myriad of problems.  (see NYT today for a history of Newt’s tenure as
        speaker).  There is no reason to suspect that he would change his tone
        as president.  Is THIS what the GOP wants, or what the country needs –
        the politics of hyperbolic rhetoric and personal attacks substituting
        for reasoned discourse?  And if we end up with Newt as President, will
        he run the country or an endless series of inquisitions, cheered on by
        FOX and the rabid right?  Time for everyone to the political left of the
        KKK to wise up.

  • Terry from Franklin

    On: Georgia:  the birthers challenged Obama as a “natural born citizen” because his father wasn’t a citizen.  Since Romney’s father was born in Mexico could he be subject to the same challenge?

    On Newt:  Newt has long be impressed by the positive effects of a Grand National Challenge and the effects of the Manhattan Project and the space program.

    • Anonymous

      According to the law so long as Obama’s mother (or father for that matter) is an American, he could have been born anywhere – and presto – no question, no debate. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        WOW!  My grandchild, born in a foreign country, to a member of the millitary, is a U.S. Citizen?  Like I read in Civics in the 60′s?  Could run for President?  Same Civics?
            There are people that don’t KNOW this?  Do they have a name for themselves?   Someone that uninformed would be dangerous to give the vote to?  They might fall for any lie?

        • Anonymous

          The challenge then, is to inform (delicately, I might add) the ill-informed.  

          I would have hoped, that long ago, members of the media would’ve pointed this out. But the media – by  in large – seems as ill informed and misguided as anyone – and if not, willing to perpetuate stupidity.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Unfortunately!

  • Ellen Dibble

    An economy where some do really well?  Or else it’s class welfare.  Just pretend that ever since you were three years old you knew you wanted to have mansions on five continents, whole squads of maintenance people readying private quarters for you in the farthest greenest countryside and the most distinguished corners of the greatest cities.  You never need to worry about goods and services.  Only about your relationships.  Oh, that’s the position 3-year-olds are often in anyways.  All that matters is the relationships.  Hmm.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    I LIKE the price of an airline ticket quoted, BEING the price I pay!
        EVERY airline exec that doesn’t should have to take last-minute  flights, without luggage, and without money or credit cards in their pocket, to EVERY important meeting they need to go to, with a few major problems thrown at them, randomly!

    • JustSayin

      It should show the subsidy that makes the airline bid-nez  possible. That would be truth in labeling.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I LIKE exposing the subsidies!  Oil? coal? gas? nuclear?

    • Nicholas04

      Only GREEDY rich elitest snobs fly.  Why don’t you drive like all of us in the 99%?  Maybe that would keep you more in touch with the plight of the rest of us.  Until then, stop your GREEDY pontificating.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Driving across oceans is difficult, NOT enough fuel stations!

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    “No Need to Panic about Global Warming”
    ‘There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to debarbonize the world’s economy’

    This piece in today’s WSJ was signed by 16 scientists.

    • Worried for the country(MA)
      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Again, many thousands of scientists recognize global warming as a problem.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Interesting, because there aren’t ‘thousands’ of scientists  studying climate.

          • John in Amherst

            The exact tally is up in the air.  There are certainly hundreds here in the states, and more around the world, and a survey of them indicates 95% believe in the problem and its source (man burning fossil fuel).  The US is alone in the educated industrialized nations in NOT recognizing anthropogenic climate change as a major, compelling problem.  So a couple guys the WSJ dug up (btw, who funds their research?) make a splash with their notion that anthropogenic climate change is nothing to worry about, and we are to believe them over years of scientific evidence to the contrary and the analyses of scientists and politicians from around the world….. RIGHT 

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Read the article.  They make a compelling case the science is being corrupted.  The evidence it there.

          • TFRX

            The WSJ editorial page so often needs to be scraped off the sole of my shoes that if it’s actual and factual, someone else will have the same idea.

            Otherwise, they have a shite track record, and people are wise not to trust them.

          • Ellen Dibble

            Is Bloomberg News giving the WSJ a run for its money in terms of business coverage?  Pre Murdoch I somehow absorbed the impression the WSJ was the unscrupulous side of covering Resources (monetary) being maneuvered here and there. Now it seems people are trying to laugh the WSJ out of town.  That was quick.

          • Gregg

            If 16 top scientist come forward with something like this, what’s a news outlet to do?

        • Gregg

          Define “Scientist”. Here’s 30,000:

          http://www.petitionproject.org/

      • TFRX

        For anyone perusing who hasn’t clicked, the link is to the WSJ editorial page.

        Nuff ced.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Many Democrat politicians have written op-ed pieces in the WSJ.  What is your point?

          • TFRX

            “Democrat”. That is so cute.

        • Still Here

          Gotcha, your belief system is closed for business, you just come here for reinforcement.

          • TFRX

            Pfft. The WSJ editorial page is typically a shill for whatever the hacks at Murdoch want.

            The news pages used to be much better, but the Murdoch propaganda needs are infecting the “real news” part of it.

            I still don’t know how Thomas Frank got there.

          • notafeminista

            More in line with your world-view does not mean better.

          • Anonymous

            Unlike yourself, who comes here to have meaningful discussions on the days topics. I have to say, you are hilarious.

        • Gregg

          The 16 scientist were fake?

    • Anonymous

      You can find 16 fools to agree to almost anything.  This issue is MORE than settled.  Thousands of scientists agree.  Global warming is happening.  See http://www.skepticalscience.com/ for thoughtful review of the evidence.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        I suggest you read the article.  They make a compelling case.

    • John in Amherst

      and “no need to worry about the Murdoch media empire shilling for big oil”  FOX, WSJ, and the rest of Murdoch’s ventures in search of the lowest common denominator in civil discourse and in favor of a “do-nothing ’cause it might jeopardize profits” approach to climate change.  Try reading something other than a right wing big biz propaganda rag for your insights into climate change.  Virtually every prestigious science journal and organization weighs in on a regular basis with more evidence of climate change and it’s anthropogenic nature.  With something as potentially disastrous as global warming, you’d think conservatives would want to err on the side of caution, even if 95% of all scientists surveyed didn’t endorse the ideas that climate change is real, and largely due to burning fossil fuels.

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

    The economy is doing great – the problem is that after the last crash, many of the 99% have not been invited back. And they won’t be until more is done to put money into consumers hands. And unfortunately for the 1%, that means raising taxes.

  • Dave

    Can’t we just print more money and all get along?

  • TFRX

    Per Tom, “Maybe Obama isn’t trying the big action levers because he tried that with Congress and nothing happened.”

    There’s “nothing happened” and then there’s “nothing happened”. Between Jack Beatty and our host, someone on the panel could mention that “60 is the new 51″.

  • Still Here

    Obama blew all his political capital making under-the-table deals with Nebraska et al for Obamacare.  He can’t get anything through his own party.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Seals are NOT in the Army! 
       U.S. Navy S.E.A.Ls
    SEa Air Land

  • Ellen Dibble

    In Massachusetts, our governor’s state of the state speech pointed to half the unemployed have jobs waiting for them, but no skills to match the jobs.  The cost of maintaining them unemployed is huge.  The benefit in terms of taxes paid to the Commonwealth if those unemployed could actually CLAIM those jobs is huge.  Huge.  So how to match the needs.  Governor Patrick was proposing a unified community college system, better coordination.  He has also denominated some of the universities.  I think I heard Obama, addressing the same situation on a nationwide basis, talk about enabling employers to train up their own workers.  He had someone in the First Lady’s box who had been a maker of yachts (yots of lachts, he almost mispronounced it) who had been able to get the training to do something even more useful to the economy.  I forget what.  I thought I heard lab technician in a research lab.  Anyway.  Instead of everyone on both sides sitting there hopeless, in hiring or being hired, get ON with it.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Such a SIMPLE, sensible solution?  Can’t you complicate it greatly, and become a politician?

      • Ellen Dibble

        By the way, I have great faith in grassroots democracy.  I think our leaders respond to what comes up from the likes of us.  If you look around, there is plenty that is percolating up to people like Gingrich and Romney that one has to wonder about.  To me, that is the level where the real debate is at.  Politicians may now be responding to lobbyists and campaign donors.  Sad to say.  But we can at least try to make sure that the electorate talks to one another and tries to find solutions.  

  • Tncanoeguy

    She’s a US citizen.  What we don’t help our own? 

  • PaulCJr

    See the problem here, no matter what you tell the American people, they don’t get it. They have no true knowledge or no knowledge at all of our history, so they think nothing has been as bad as they are today. Most Americans don’t know anything about economics, so they can’t understand why the economy is taking so long to recover. And Americans don’t understand that manufacturing has changed, the world economy has changed, and they are not keeping up with the skills to compete. For example there are a lot of high-end, high skilled technical manufacturing jobs here in Connecticut, but these employers here in Connecticut have to import overseas labor to run their plants. We need to see the president can’t save those that aren’t helping themselves. Everyone thinks he can just wave a magic wand and the unemployment numbers will fall below 3%. Americans need to take responsibility for themselves as well as get government assists and update their skills. Go to a community college and take some courses. In some cases you can get your courses for free, and if you can get that,  you can take the money you paid for your course off your taxes. 

    • Anonymous

      Growing up I was told the “We the People”, in the end, always choose wisely when electing their government – as if there was some reservoir of inherent wisdom particular to Americans.   

      I doubt it was true even then – but I am convinced it is certainly not true today. 

      • Dave

        Who are you nominating for benevolent dictator?

        • Anonymous

          Touché Good point. One must have faith in the “inherent wisdom” of the voter at long last.  But the sheer lunacy along the edges is not reassuring.

  • TFRX

    Considering how out of it Strom Thurmond was in his dotage, why do the D’s have to give up Gifford’s seat?

  • Gisscottheron

    Obama is running on the MTV model Punked platform.
    Give the Top ione percent a big tax cut then call them Aholes for not paying enough. Using the middle Class’s most vulnerable those who will rely on Social security to fund his jobs recovery act where he spends 175,000 dollars to create one job. Forcing the FED Bankers to give Warren Buffet sweetheart deals on Bank of America  and accepting huge layoffs in that corporation for a campaign sound byte.

    Appple computer the company that has 79 billion dollars in excess reserves more than any other company in America, told Obama in no uncertain terms that they will never ever manufacture their product in America.  Not as long as they have Chinese labor living in company housing at their beck and call 24-7 365.  No american plant can wake their workers at  4am to change the screen on an iphone from plastic to glass.

    And Obama has punked the rule of law by voting against Habeus corpus. but meanwhile we all focus on the clown car that is the Republican party.

    Oh and if Obama wants everyone to play by the same Rules he should lock up the Goldman Sach’s  golden boy  Jon Corzine for stealing 1.2 billion of our farmers seed money and allowing  Jp Morgan and Goldman Sachs to lay claim to the money Corzine stole for them. Punked  again.

  • Sawyerfarm110

    Why is it that the commentators always have a expectation that anything President!! Obama says on the stump or State of the Union is going to be done. I have never seen this expectation on any other administration.

  • Terry from Franklin

    Governments have been fighting pirates for a long time.  When did we first send Marines to Tripoli to rescue hostages?  Protecting our citizens from illegal imprisonment where ever they are is a basic function of government.  This is done through diplomacy and the military when diplomacy is not effective.  Or just by convincing everyone else that kidnapping American citizens is not a good idea.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Another Terry knows some history of the Corps!

  • Anonymous

    In 2008, when I was living just outside of Tucson, Arizona, I was happy and  encouraged by Obama’s bid for the presidency. So, I headed to the nearby Democratic party office in Green Valley to anything I could to get him elected. As efficient organizations do, I and my fellow volunteers were put to work calling independents,undeclared, and even some Republicans to see if they wanted to know their representative’s actual views on the issues. Gabrielle Giffords was running for re-election and she had a fight on her hands. I was disappointed at first, that I wouldn’t be talking about Obama’s views. But, talking with conservatives about Gabby really opened my eyes. Almost all of them knew her, had seen her and actually chatted with her at events on issues that affected border people, older people, and they liked her. A lot. She was the quintessential Representative: she listened to everyone, she got out there, where people are each day, living their lives. She asked questions, good ones, and got to the kernel of things that made life difficult for people in Southern Arizona.  Then, she took this to Washington, and pushed for changes. Not just changes to help Republicans, or Democrats, or rich  folks or poor folks, or even old folks. For the people she represented. We may never see the likes of her again, unless she can come back someday. What a great day that would be.    

    • Ellen Dibble

      I don’t think you should count that out.  My nonmedical suspicion is that what we’ve heard about recoveries from similar injuries is true, that there are steps forward and steps back, and she probably knows that.  But she may be figuring out something along the lines that you can’t ask for a month of rebooting time, of sick leave, when you really don’t know if your body needs a week or three months for this particular hiccup along the way.    

    • Anonymous

      Funny, that’s how a our representatives are supposed to work. The shame of this story is that shes an exception, not the rule.

      • Gregg

        That’s how mine (Virginia Foxx) is. She always responds and is very approachable. Is your representative different?

        • Anonymous

          Yes, that was the point of the story. Gabby was actually doing her job. What a concept for an elected official. Kyl and McCain have essentially hidden out for the bulk of their terms as senators.

    • Gregg

      Here’s hoping she make a full recovery. Her progress is amazing and in the end she will be stronger even more special.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Arizona was SOO fortunate to have her as long as she was able.  Arizona will have a chance again, after she recovers.  I respect her choice to get herself back, as much as possible, because she could NOT do both, and she needs to recover, to be able to be a public servant!
          Let’s hope her replacement is as good!

  • Joe in Philly

    The Giffords story is yet another sad example of the collateral damage inflicted by our gun culture. 
    And, what did Congress do in the wake of Giffords: nothing!  Regarding handgun murders, Canada has less than 5 murders per million people per year. The US rate is 31. I find it unbelievable that the majority of people here in the US find this level of violence acceptable. I wonder what James Brady would say? 

    • Ellen Dibble

      Where is the firearms lobby?  Apparently not present at the State of the Union message.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        After ‘W’, they realized there are more important issues?

        • Ellen Dibble

          Something like that, mm-hmm.

    • JustSayin

      Hurm gr far beh seg dalla

      I feel bad about this….

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Millions of lives have been saved by a law-abiding citizen having a gun, or convincing a criminal that she did!

      • Joe in Philly

        The argument that would we would have fewer gun deaths if only everyone was armed is fool’s logic! Sure, the gun industry would love this scenario but can you honestly say that it would result in fewer deaths?

        • Gregg

          Crime rates are much lower anywhere they have concealed carry. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            And HIGHER in gun-controlled spaces.   Little old ladies aren’t much of a match for a 6’6″ 300lb guy or gal with a baseball bat, or other ‘non-gun’ weapon!  UNLESS she has a 357?

          • Joe in Philly

            That is a bald-faced lie. The Chinese are highly restricted on their use of firearms. Get your facts straight!

        • Terry Tree Tree

          AND rapes, and robberies, and broken bones, AND disfigurements?   YES!

          People armed with a gun, STILL respect that the person they would rape IS armed!

          • Joe in Philly

            Canada has less than 5 murders per million people per year. The US rate is 31. Explain that Terry Tree Squared.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    25 years ago, an oil/gas driller told me that it costs $40,000 to drill a gas-only well, and $80,000 to drill an oil/gas well.  That’s whether its a dry hole, or a producer!  I’m sure that CEO pay has increased to nearly double those prices!
       $40,000 worth of Solar Panels and Wind-Turbines wouldn’t be ‘dry holes’, as they would be producing, unless a scammer sold them to you!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      We sunk $500M of tax payer money into that dry hole called Solyndra.

      • Still Here

        I thought it’s return was measured in campaign contributions!

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Good one.

          Sorry Terry but it was too easy.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I appreciate the humor, too!

      • Gregg

        The destroyed millions of dollars worth of panels. They are just one example. It’s amazing.

      • TFRX

        And a lot more into the Mineral Mining Service fiasco under Bush.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Didn’t I warn against scammers?

        • Still Here

          Gotcha, we’ll just avoid any company that takes government money or whose officers/directors/investors/employees/vendors make political contributions….

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Like oil, coal, gas, and nuclear?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Don’t be too surprised to see a profitable company with the Solyndra style collectors.
           Bad business-people can mess up a good business!   Look at Rick Waggoner at GM?

    • Gregg

      Land isn’t free and nobody wants it in their back yard.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You prefer a noisy, smelly oil/gas well in your backyard?
           The land for oil, coal, gas, nuclear is FREE?
            With much MORE of it required?

        • Gregg

          You sure jump to a bunch of conclusions. Solar or wind cannot compete with fossil fuels at this time.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Because of a hundred years of oil, coal, gas, and nuclear SUBSIDIES?
                Because the ACTUAL expenses and costs of the above are NOT paid by them?
                Because fossil fuels have high-paid lobbyiests?
                 Because fossil fuel vehicle makers like GM botch the Volt, AFTER 5 years of Tesla sucess?

               I KNOW wind and solar CANNOT compete with fossil fuels for POLLUTION!       (Maybe that’s what you mean)

          • Gregg

            They can’t power the grid, too expensive.

          • Still Here

            Plus I only need to be able to turn the lights on when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            How long to power-up a nuclear reactor, from a ‘scram’?

          • Gregg

            If it were viable some greedy rich person would be making a killing on wind. Boone
            Pickens tried. It’s not viable.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            T. Boone Pickens built his wind farm with NO access to the grid.  Is that the moves of an astute businessman?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Then wind and solar FITS you!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            T. Boone Pickens built his windfarm AWAY from the grid, and didn’t get a right-of-way, BEFORE building it?
                Does that sound like he was making a REAL effort?
               Last I saw or heard of him, T. Boone was FAR more interested in selling natural gas?

          • Gregg

            His plan alway was based around Natural Gas. He put up millions, he was serious. It won’t work.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            How serious was he, when he built without an outlet for the electricity?

          • http://profiles.google.com/sustain.spaces Christina Snyder

            Actually in the European countries that have no subsidies for fossil fuels & have built the environmental costs of fossil fuels into their price, renewable energy is already cheaper. That’s why there have been years when we couldn’t buy Unisolar panels from the plant about an hour from my house – the German’s had bought up the entire year’s production before the year ever started.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            What conclusions?  This stuff comes from somewhere?  Your backyard?  Your neighbors’? 
               Between the alternatives, which would you want in your backyard?

      • Robar

        I want an “XL” pipeline in my Neb. corn field

      • http://profiles.google.com/sustain.spaces Christina Snyder

        I have it in my backyard & its my favorite view, to see nature making my energy. If I could afford a utility scale windmill and get permission to put it up, I’d love to have that in my backyard, too. I also have a natural gas compressor station & arterial pipeline nearby (and a gravel pit), and those are far more scary neighbors; if they destroy my ground water, there goes my home’s value as well as the security of having running potable water on tap, & maybe my health. Fracking shouldn’t be allowed unless they can get the permission of every landowner beneath whose land the web of fractures will spread, not just the jerk who betrays his neighbors by selling his land for the drilling of the access well on. Also the frackers should have the burden of proof to show that they absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt didn’t cause the harm to other’s property when adverse environmental harms occur in the wake of their activities. They have the money for lawyers, whereas the civilian neighbors don’t, and  if they had to build the cost of lawsuits into their plans then that gas would be less profitable than renewable energy, and our children might still have some potable ground water left.

    • Dave

      The question is what is the real total cost of the development and production of the solar panels or wind turbines. If its 40,000+, its a dry hole. More +, a green hole.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Gas and oil dry-holes, are 3 to 1 producer!  About 10 to 1 good producer, or gusher. 
        $10 solar panel produces enough to charge flashlight batteries!
           In the time it takes to set up a drilling rig, and start drilling, you could erect a wind turbine, and be producing electricity.  Same with solar panels!

  • JustSayin
  • Anonymous

    yeah well i screwed up it should be his left hand but he has probably cut it off being left is so bad lol

  • Dave

    Debt, Inflation, Market-rigging and failed utopian Central Management of our society, all made possible by our unsound fiat money, are the biggest causes of the disappearing middle class.

    The pandering politicians and fee and interest collecting bankers love it, and laugh all the way into office and the bank.

    Meanwhile we play D-R ping-pong and stroke ourselves in our partisan echo chambers.

    • nj

      Most Many people might well agree with you, LeatherDave of a Thousand Handles, on the problems you describe. And many in the electorate—i think about 30% of all voters do not register as either Ds or Rs—no longer have any implicit faith in the main parties.

      But you continue to alienate and turn off potential sympathizers by assuming that any and all who disagree with your Libertarian fantasy solutions, and support (bordering on idolization) of R. Paul for president are necessarily supportive of the status quo, and are not responsive to the issues we face.

      • Dave

        I am totally open to others describing alternative, non-status quo visions/mechanisms. Just don’t see many doing that around here. I don’t agree with Bigger government, centralized, “benevolent dictator” or Philosopher King solution, and am supporting the vision I see as most pragmatic and historically supported in Western Civilization.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          What politician ran on an open plan to make government bigger? 
              A friend proposed the ‘benevolent dictator’ idea 15 years ago, and I saw NO advantage to it, even if the dictator STAYED benevolent!
              6 people having the wealth of 30% of the population, when the primary accumulator of that wealth, said that he did that wrong, bears looking into?

        • nj

          You continue to fabricate straw men and argue against them.

          “Philosopher King”? WTF?! Who’s invoking “philosopher kings”?

          Same with “benevolent dictators.”

          It’s not a matter of “bigger government” or “smaller government,” it’s about the proper roles that government should take; limiting waste, fraud, and corruption; etc.

          You constantly couch the issues in flatulent, irrelevant terms that have no bearing on reality, divert attention from the real issues, and make people yawn.

        • Zero

          The big problem with Paul supporters is that they think our freedoms are compromised by consumer protections, environmental regulations, and a global average tax rate on the rich (which is around 50% I believe).  We have democratically elected officials, so I don’t understand where this “benevolent dictator” stuff comes from–the only thing in America right now that is eroding democracy is corporations’ liberty to influence politics.  One corporation can drown out thousands (perhaps millions) of American voices.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I agree with nj’s response below.

  • Gregg

    Obama told us in the SOTU we were recovering. The next day we learn 2011 was the worst year in house sales ever. Bernake signals no recovery by not raising interest rates. Today we learn GDP for 2011 was 1.7%.

    Dang that Bush!

    • Zero

      It came out today, GDP is now at 2.8%.  As for 2011′s 1.7%: I read recently that GDP got down to .3% at the height of the Euro Crisis–how much blame can you put on Obama?

      Remember Bush left office with GDP contracting at 8%–boy those Bush tax cuts really stimulated growth!

      • Still Here

        The growth rate for GDP in the 4th quarter was 2.8% at an annualized rate.  Do you understand the difference from what you said.  Good thing that Euro crisis thing is over…
        Think how much worse it would have been without the tax cuts….

        • Zero

          There was some Mexican billionaire that lost a few billion during the Euro crisis–If that billionaire was paying 39% at the time, would he be bankrupt now?  Would he have stopped his investing?  Would he had slowed down his investing?  Or would he have invested even more to make up the difference…? (Which would have probably mitigated the damage from the Euro crisis.)

          You gave me the 1.7% GDP average for the 2011 year in order to pass off blame on Obama.  I pointed out were it dipped the most, which really wasn’t Obama’s fault. 

      • Gregg

        Oh yea, a contracting 1.7 (or 2.8 if you like) is better than a contracting 8%. The Bush tax cuts certainly did stimulate the economy. We weathered the Clinton recession and 9/11. Revenues went up for 4 years (we still have yet to match those record revenues) and unemployment went down for 53 straight months after the tax cuts. 

        Don’t you guys know another song?

        • Robar

          Cindy Walker “Bubbles in My Beer”  turned into drool in my empty glass and “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth, come to my foggy mind.   

        • http://profiles.google.com/sustain.spaces Christina Snyder

          It takes a while for any economic policy to turn this huge ship of our nation, just like the challenge of turning a mile long battleship. For at least the first term of any administration, the economic situation you see is probably due more to the policies of the previous administration than the current one. While we may have weathered 9/11, we didn’t weather Bush’s knee jerk reaction to it where he started two virtually simultaneous wars in the middle east and tried to hide the effects of those wars from the public by refusing to include their cost in the budget (and forbidding the filming of troop’s coming home in boxes). That resulted in him thoroughly bankrupting our country in record time before he even left office. Yet even with the crash occurring on his watch instead of his successor’s, people still won’t recognize that it would take more time to repair the damage than it did to cause it.

          • Gregg

            Look at this chart of unemployment and it’s plain to see the “ship” has had ample time to turn around compared to other recessions.

            http://blogs.bostonmagazine.com/boston_daily/files/2011/10/Recession-Duration1.jpg

            Obama owns this economy.

            I don’t know how you can call 12 years of build up, 17 UN resolutions, approval from Congress 5 years after Clinton made regime change in Iraq U.S. policy, “kneejerk”.

        • Zero

          If the the Bush Tax Cuts stimulated growth, how come GDP did not improve?  And revenue did not go up.  The revenue-to-GDP percentage went down while GDP remained the same.  Remember, the American population grows about 1 million people a year–that is a lot more tax payers (whether through income or sales tax, etc).  Graph the Clinton tax rates over the Bush years, and we would have had about a few trillion more in revenue.

    • Robar

      i disliked “W” so much i actually thought about burning the American Flag in protest!!!!!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        America has a single flag?   Canada, U.S., Mexico, Panama, to the tip of Chile?   Is it a conglomerate of the flags of ALL the countries of North, Central, and South America?

  • nj

    Haters at large:

    http://aden4arkansas.com/?p=964 (Democratic Congressional Campaign Manger’s Family Pet Killed, Painted With ‘Liberal’

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2012/jan/24/images-rifle-crosshairs-found-senators-office-door/#comments (Police investigate rifle cross hairs stickers found in Capitol)

    http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2012/01/25/missouri-capitol-heightening-security-after-legislators-were-targeted/ (Senators and representative ‘targeted’ after debate over controversial bill)

    http://crooksandliars.com/richard-rj-eskow/death-ordinary-housecat (Death of an Ordinary Housecat)

    Ann Coulter who Greggg “respects”:

    Ann Coulter said “the only way to talk to a liberal is with a baseball bat,” that “We need to execute people like John Walke… to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too,” and “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.””Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do,” said Coulter. Sure, she’s getting increasingly strident as her star continues to fade. But she’s got plenty of company.And drug-addled gasbag Flush Limpballs, another of Gregg’s heros:“I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils …”
    DemocraticCongressionalCampaignManager’sFamilyPetKilled,PaintedWit

    • nj

      Sorry for the formatting mess. Disqus at work, again.

    • Gregg

      Seriously now NJ, are you saying you don’t like Ann Coulter or Rush? I find that hard to believe.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Such a model ‘compassionate’, ‘conservative’, ‘considerate’, ‘Christian’, ‘mild-mannered’, ‘turn the other cheek’, ‘Love your fellow man as you Love God’, group of examples you present? 
          Why wouldn’t EVERYONE join such a party?

      • Gregg

        I could make a list (starting with the unabomber) of every vile act perpetrated by crazy Democrats and then paint ALL Democrats with the same brush too. But then I would be as nasty and ridiculous and you and NJ. It’s not my nature.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Republicans keep claiming to be the party of Jesus!  Claiming the moral highground! 
             So when 1 of them with National recognition, commits a ‘democrat’ act, I have to expose it!  HYPOCRICY?   I just trust most Democrats a little more, NOT much.
             The U.S. is what I care about, and what public servants are supposed to care about.   Political Party? 
              When political party becomes more important that what is good for the country, I turn away.

        • Anonymous

          Oh boy Gregg. Talk about grasping at desperate straws. The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski? That’s a laugh. You know what I notice about your reply, you don’t condone the out right disgusting and outrageous viewpoints that Anne Coulter has the nerve to say on TV and in print. To say that the NY Times should be blown up? I’m not sure you believe in what she says, I doubt it. What decent person would.

          I really disliked President Bush, but I would never, and I mean never have wished him or his family any harm. Nor would I want to see the likes of Newt Gingrich harmed even though I find his politics abhorrent and him to be nothing short of a demagogue. Still, I would never stoop the level of Coulter, who for some reason gets away with these cheap shots without being taken to task. A lot of people might find themselves on wrong end of the law with such language.
          She’s the worst kind of coward who hides behind the 1st Amendment and abuses it for her own petty gains.

          • Gregg

            I like Ann Coulter, sue me.

            BTW neither of us actually want to blow up the NYT building.

          • Anonymous

            You like her because she’s witty? Or do you really believe the stuff she says. I know she does not really want to blow up the NY Times building, at least I hope she does, but she should refrain from that kind of verbiage in the public arena. It’s nothing short of using shock to get some air time. Shameless really.

          • Gregg

            I think she’s very smart and accomplished. I agree with most of her positions. Not always. I don’t think she is being fair to Newt but few are. I enjoy her books. Her satire is biting and a bit harsh but it’s honest. What specifically has she said that was not true?

          • Gregg

            Do you like Bill Maher?

          • Gregg

            Must’ve hit a nerve.

          • Anonymous

            Yes I do, but he’s never to my knowledge used threatened anyone with a baseball bat.
            I also like John Stewart who unlike Coulter uses wit and brains.
            The bottom line for me is this says it all bout who you are.
            Quite frankly you’re a fake.
            You come this forum and act like you are all for fair and open discussions and it’s really just a an act.
            You comment about me liking Bill Maher sums it up. Instead of trying to have some argument to back up Coulter, which there is not, you come back with Bill Maher as if that means anything. Bill does not go around saying Republicans should be killed.
            That’s really pathetic.

            As to hitting a nerve, I’m trying to stop wasting my time responding to people like you.

        • nj

          Greggg doesn’t have the basic decency to just condemn these acts and admit his heros are vile instigators of violence, and now he wants to pretend that Kaczynski was some kind of leftist, when, in fact, he cited “leftism” as the source of the problems he claimed afflicted society.

          Ignorant and weasely, hard combination to beat.

          • Gregg

            Do I really need to condemn killing cats? Are there no lefties that ever killed a cat? What does that say about lefties?
            Your entire train of thought is stupid.

          • Robar

            abortion clinic bombers

          • Gregg

            I condemn abortion clinic bombers.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Thank you for that.

          • nj

            Your train of thought never pulled out of the station.

          • Robar

            the ends justify whatever means

        • Terry Tree Tree

          My list that you are referring to?  HYPOCRICY doesn’t bother you?
             You don’t see the HYPOCRICY?

          • Robar

            shameless

      • Robar

        because if u don’t join the Party of No “they” will take your guns… that’s “their” plan… .

    • Robar

      Coulter would be the another mother of the other brother of “let ‘em eat pizza Cain”? or did i get her mixed up with the FOX-TV journalist from Wasilla?

  • Ben Millstein

    I’ve been struck by the tone of the republican opposition to Obama from the beginning of his presidency and their pledge to prioritize his status as a one term president.  Have democrats ever consistently used that kind of insulting tone toward a president of the opposing party? I certainly don’t recall it.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I can remember back to JFK, and DON’T remember such vitriol, and dedication to getting one person out of office, to the GREAT detriment of our country!

    • Gregg
      • Robar

        Remember the Dixie Chicks?  Even they were ashamed of “W”!

        • Gregg

          I was at their first concert in America (Greenville, SC) after the remarks in Europe.  The silly juveniles were absloutely great.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Have you heard of Bush derangement syndrome?

      • Zero

        Did not liberals end up being right about Bush on every single policy except perhaps Day Light Savings Time.

        • Robar

          CDST In Mitch Daniels Indiana where cows awake and milk before the Cock Crows thrice or Taxas USA?

        • http://profiles.google.com/sustain.spaces Christina Snyder

          He got that one wrong, too. When he decided to change Daylight Savings even more than when it was created, it wasn’t properly scientifically calculated & actually ended up causing more energy use.

        • nj

          He pumped some money into AIDS relief, actually had a sensible stance on immigration, and help set up an ocean conservation program. That’s about it. The rest was an unmitigated disaster.

    • Still Here

      Rip vW., let me be the first bid you good morning.  We hope that you’re 40 year slumber was truly restful.  In order to acquaint yourself with the politics of our time, please google Bush Pelosi Reid and Bush Gephardt just to get started.  Once complete, I’ll have some additional resources for you.  Again, welcome to the 21st century.

      • loler

        If I were a republican(god forbid0 I would be embarassed 
        by the disgusting behavior of the current batch of candidates as well as the likes of Gov. Brewer.

        • Still Here

          Republicans would be embarrassed if you were a Republican, g-d would be embarrassed as well.

          • Robar

            IF God were Republican?

        • Anonymous

          The most amazing thing to me is the outright pride so many of their supporters seem to take in their ignorance, incapable of understanding our country’s history and the process that got it to this point, and resorting to childish sniping as their primary form of debate. 

      • Robar

        Pluto and his lovable cast of characters in that old backfiring jalopy. I don’t guess the US is going to pluto, it’s been downgraded you know, Trickle Down Disney Space Tourism for the 1%, eh?  The last Cowboy President we had run our mule team into the ground.  How about Nixon shining on the Hill, now that was a Rhinestone cowboy with real sparkle… .

  • Still Here

    The combination of Tom and Jack is an unlimited source of Helium-3 here on Earth.

    • Michele

      It’s a radio TALK show.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Some, must be told!

  • Still Here

    US manufacturers manufacture more in the US now than they ever have before, but it doesn’t take nearly as many people as before because of automation.  So let’s fire the robots!

    • Robar

      yeah, mfg as we KNEW it is gone Welcome to the Space Age, Florida tourism, is the new Mickey Mouse economy… .

  • Brett

    …Newt and his idea-generating brain; I just heard that he wants to take poor, Black kids and send them to sweep up the moon?!?! 

    • Robar

      God bless his Jim Demint soul too, he is truly a blessing in disguise for Obama.  U didn’t know Mitt had a soft belly?  
      Remember Will Rogers & Mark Twain — politiicians?AKA Lay Dee Gah Gah (red meat wardrobe and all,) Born in Gee-Or-Gee Tour.  Gone to the Mickey Mouse state.  

  • Still Here

    What was also terrible about the events in Tucson was the rush to judgment by some talk show hosts and how quickly they forgot the lessons of that tragedy.

    • Robar

      lame stream media (CNN or FOX News) come to mind

  • TomK in Boston

    What drove me crazy this week is how the right and the corporate media call NOTICING the devastation of the middle class “class warfare”. Hello? The voodoo economics policies that are destroying the middle class are the real class warfare.

    We have been cutting taxes at the top and deregulating corporations since 1980, and the result is a 1929-like oligarchy. According to the media, the COMMON SENSE reaction of “We went a bit too far with the tax cutting, let’s back off a bit” is socialism, class warfare, punishing the rich, punishing the job creators, yada yada. Geez, you’d never guess that the economy worked better for most of us when taxes at the top were a lot higher.

    If I give a kid 100 toys, realize I can’t afford it, and say sorry, you can only have 95 toys, is that punishment? Child abuse? Toy warfare? 

    Can we just have a rational discussion of tax policy without the ideology? Can we look at our history and notice how the economy has performed vs the tax rates, ie, take the radical step of looking at the facts? Anywhere but the wingnut universe, it IS possible to screw up and set the rates too low. Correcting such a mistake ought to be possible.

    • Still Here

      Maybe you should make the kid work for his toys, instead of stealing them from me. 

      • Brett

        We can now know the etiology of your condition: some kid stole one of your toys when you were little…explains a lot, actually.

        • Robar

          don try to anal eyes too much, it’s Naked Greed &  Blind Ambition; 
          just things Jesus was sent to earth to save our souls from… amen. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Evidently ‘compassionate’, ‘conservative’, ‘Christians’, don’t believe that is what Jesus was about?

        • Bruce

          Funny you should mention “stolen toys.”  In her book, “Ayn Rand and the World She Made,” that’s exactly what author, Anne C. Heller posits in her attempt to trace the roots of Rand’s radical libertarian philosophy.

          According to Heller, at age five or so, Rand (whose given name was Alissa Rosenbaum) was told by her mother to put away her toys including some of her favorite possessions for a period of months.  When poor, little Alissa asked her mother to return them, she was heartbroken to learn that her mother had given her toys to charity.

          Heller describes this incident as possibly Rand’s first encounter with what she would later call “injustice masquerading as altruism.”

          More likely, however, the evolution of Rand’s extreme, narcissistic, anti-govt. worldview had more to do with discrimination that her family faced under the czars and expropriation, later on, under the Bolsheviks. 

          There is a similar story of how early childhood deprivation influenced the personal development of anti-tax wingnut, Grover Norquist.

          These two cases would be an interesting and potentially valuable subject of psychological research.  Maybe someone is aware of studies that have already been conducted–studies that could shed light on the origin and spread of extreme ideologies and their deleterious effects on our political discourse. 

          • Brett

            I smell a dissertation ;-) Thanks, Bruce, for your reply; Ayn Rand would be an interesting psychological profile, for sure. Everyone’s views of the world (to generalize an array of beliefs, behaviors, sense of fairness, etc.)  are in part influenced by both good and bad events in their lives, but then I’m a behaviorist…Newt seems to be playing out some form of “little man syndrome” to me, and I’ll bet he’s looking to settle a few scores from his days as Speaker. That’s just a hunch, mind you…My suspicion is that ‘Still Here’ is also ‘Notafeminista’ (a regular commentator on this forum). He/She has a tone that is at once curt, presumptuous and reactionary. 

      • Robar

        I got a brown cardboard panhandling license for me big boy toys, bossman… .

  • Mfcarr

    Having had high hopes for (and faith in) Obama in 2008, I’ve definitely been disappointed with some things he did during his first term (hiring Geithner, bailing out banks with no strings attached, not closing Guantanamo, not fighting more for the public option, expanding presidential powers to assassinate, etc.)

    That being said, I am not in the least bit surprised that a caller from an ultra-wealthy suburb like Lincoln, MA would not have appreciated Obama’s State of the Union speech the other night.  Perhaps Obama’s suggestion that the wealthiest need to pay their fare share didn’t sit well with him.

    As for me, while I am more wary about Obama now than I was in 2008, his recent speeches concerning basic fairness in taxation have given me hope that he is finally starting to recognize and take to heart the struggles that so many middle class families are facing.  For this alone, he is a much better choice for President than Newt, Mitt, or Santorum, all of whom seem eager to continue George W. Bush’s failed policies of lower taxes on the wealthy and decreased regulations on business.  We tried  W.’s approach for the better part of 8 years, and an economic debacle resulted.  Yet somehow, Mitt, Newt and Rick want to double down on those failed policies.

  • Gregg

    Yesterday saw an unrelenting merciless attack on Newt from his own. It was amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for our candidates being vetted. It would have been nice if Obama got an iota of vetting but that’s a completely different matter.

    Elliot Abrams is of impeccable integrity but wrote this. It was thoroughly rebutted here. R. Emmit Terrel piled on. Ann Coulter is freaking. Glenn Beck is apoplectic. Even Bob Dole who tried to loan money for his fine dumped on him. All (and more) on the eve of the debate. BTW, Newt was totally and completely exonerated from any wrong-doing.

    I understand Newt ruffled feathers, revolution usually does. See Scott Walker being excoriated for saving Wisconsin. Enemies are made. But this is getting creepy.

    • nj

      Greggg’s riding the clown car with the rightie nutcases and he’s wondering the vehicle is careening all over the place. Fun for the whole family.

      • Gregg

        I see the fifth cocktail kicked in.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Gregg, I am serious, when I ask you why you prefer Newt?
          Of course you don’t have to answer.  I will make NO comments about your answer, other than an advanced ‘Thanks’, if you do.
          You know that I cannot speak  for anyone else, so I will understand if you don’t reply.

      • Gregg

        Obama is a no go from the start with me. Paul’s foreign policy is unacceptable. Romney is a very nasty snake in the grass. I like Santorum a whole lot. I have followed Newt since the 90′ and been a member of his “American Solutions” since it began. I think he has the best answers and vision. 

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Romney is one of the most honorable men to run for President.  He learned last time you can’t just sit back and take it. He learned this from the snarky McCain.

          I’m sure you don’t like the attacks on your guy.  I believe most of the attacks have been very fair. Newt is a K street lifer but he is running as a Washington outsider.  It is stunning.

          However, the attacks by Newt have been flat out lies and major distortions.  He keeps throwing things until he finds something that sticks.  He is all over the place.

          Read Joe Scarborough’s piece in Politico.  It is linked on Drudge.  Joe describes in detail how Newt was run out by conservatives as speaker because Newt abandoned the contract with America.  I wasn’t just Joe.  Steve Largent and Tom Coburn and others had major problems with Newt.

          • Gregg

            I just disagree about Romney and mostly formed that opinion in 2008 with his tactics. Huckabee and McCain both called him sleazy. I didn’t like it and they weren’t my guys. I didn’t like his first ad when he was unfair and deceitful about Obama either. Obama is certainly  not my guy.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zXi_AZv14A

            It would be premature for me to say the coordinated attacks Wednesday were orchestrated by Romney but I have my suspicions given his past. I have a hard time imagining it wasn’t orchestrated because it was overwhelming. Ann Coulter, Emmit Terrel, Abrams, Bob Dole and others all on the same day.

            BTW, Ive read Scarborough’s piece too. Lots of people had problems with Newt, I don’t deny it. He was very very aggressive and that rubs people the wrong way but his success speaks for itself.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            It is interesting that both McCain and Huckabee are now defending Romney.  They were equally nasty to Romney last time.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            At the time, McCain’s big issue with Romney was $$$.  Since he was Mr. campaign finance reform he hated the Romney wrote a $40M check for his own campaign.

          • Gregg

            I understand politics is a nasty business and I am fully prepared to vote for Romney if need be. so there’s that.

            I googled “Romney lies” and “Newt lies” and can tell you there is a much longer more documented paper trail on Romney. Try it.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            I saw the Romney -superPAC ad from Iowa that Newt decried.  The only true distortion was that Newt funded overseas money for abortion.  Everything else was fair game, like Newt sitting on the couch with Pelosi.

            Everything Newt it doing since Iowa to Romney is in the same category as the abortion funding charge to paint Romney as a moderate/liberal. 

            Newt knows Romney isn’t a liberal.  Even Santorum says Romney is a conservative.  He just isn’t an hard right ideologue except as a fiscal conservative. 

            Contrast Newt with Santorum.  Santorum is going after Romey solely on the Mitt’s defense of Romneycare in MA.  That is a fair argument.

            The one attack Mitt is leveling on Newt of late is on his ethics violation.  This might be over the top because the IRS cleared Newt.  However, everything else that imploded Newt’s speakership is fair game. I feel Newt’s failed leadership in that period is the primary disqualifier because I see no evidence he has changed.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Rich Lowry has a defense in NR today of Eliot Abrams.  He completely shot holes into any kind of coordinated attack on Newt – at least from Abrams.

      Also, Lowry took apart the Jeffery Lord rebuttal.  Maybe Lord is trolling for a job in a Newt administration?

      Like everything else Newt — it’s complicated.

      • Gregg

        I saw that too and I respect Lowery… and Lord… and Abrams. I’ve read all 3 articles and am not sure what to think but I do know this much. I was paying attention and I don’t remember any schisms between Newt and Reagan. I also understand that if late trains were our biggest problem then Newt would see no problem with singing the praises of Mussolini. Glenn Beck would then call him a Fascist. He splits split hairs so context is key. That’s one thing the Lord article pointed out to me. Further, The attacks and vendettas are not entirely rational.

        I agree, it’s complicated.

        • Gregg

          Michael Reagan’s endorsement and Nancy Reagan’s quote about “Ronnie” handing the torch to Newt, have meaning.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Nancy’s quote was about handing the torch to Newt AND the GOP congress.  Newt was speaker at the time and thus figurehead.  I wouldn’t read too much into that.

            Michael Reagan is making his own judgement on based on the facts as he sees them.  Ron Reagan has a completely different view of Newt if you want to poll all the sons.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Newt’s problem is he overstated his relationship with Reagan.  He could have run on his record in building the ’94 revolution and he would have been fine.

          You should read the Pat Buchanan perspective.  Also the Al Hunt interview with Reagan biographer, Lou Cannon.  They are both linked on Drudge.

          Buchanan states the Reagan White House considered Newt an opportunist and Cannon isn’t even sure if Reagan really new Newt.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sustain.spaces Christina Snyder

    The problem with Newt’s moon idea isn’t the $ cost, but that it could destabilize the world power balance to the point of triggering another world war. We’ve been fortunate so far to have nations cooperating in space for the purpose of science that benefits us all, but that could come to a screeching halt of one nation tries to colonize the moon or put any weapons in space. And “Star Wars” won’t be cool airshow movie scenes, it could be targeted strikes on any dissenter, including us, or worse yet, if weapons of mass destruction get into space, nuclear radiation, microbes or chemicals released up there could wipe out large portions of life on earth, including us again. That a candidate for POTUS could consider this is shocking in the extreme; militarized space could finish off humanity faster we will with any of the other environmental damage we’ve be letting loose here on earth.

  • http://profiles.google.com/sustain.spaces Christina Snyder

    If there are things humanity needs from the moon (H3 or otherwise), than any work done there to harvest the materials had better be a joint venture of many nations, not just one. If China looks to be gearing up for a mining colony there, we should get the UN to insist that it be a global joint venture. It definitely won’t be good for business anywhere if people start fighting over the resources in space and start hauling weapons up there.

    • Robar

      It will turn into the next Climate Change debate, no doubt… .

  • david

    Obama is a master of illusions!
    For weeks now, Obama has been touting that the rich do not pay their “fair share”. During the State of the Union he had Buffett’s poor secretary sitting by the first lady. An example of the grave miscarriage of economic injustice, so he alludes, between the rich and the working class.
    I felt so sorry for her!!!!!! Darn those rich people!
    But!!! has anyone asked about that injustice????? NO!
    All we have heard is that Buffett pays a lesser tax than she does. 
    In fact, in a ABC interview, Buffett and Bosanek disclosed their tax rates. Buffett paid a little over 15% and poor Bosanek paid 35.8%.
    What a crying shame, Obama has a point, or does he????
    Bufffett  has a salary of $100,000 at regular tax rates while his investment income is taxed at 15%, the same WE pay for our capital gains.
    Yet! poor Bosanek pays a whooping 35.8%!!!!!
    IRS tax tables by income state this….
    Rate on adjusted gross incomes of $100,000-$200,000 is a avg. 12%
    Rate on adjusted gross incomes of $200,000-$500,000 is a avg. 19%
    Something is really wrong here, she is paying 35.8%!!!!!!!
    Is poor secretary Bosanek being cheated by the IRS and the rich getting away with paying less OR is that secretary sitting by the first lady one of those 1% people!!!
    http://brianekoenig.com/2012/01/how-much-does-warren-buffetts-secretary-make/
     

     

  • http://profiles.google.com/sustain.spaces Christina Snyder

    Shame on Tom & the commentators for facilitating the blame the victim mentality of the questioner: Buchannon was there to help remove land mines that were killing civilians. she wasn’t a tourist, she wasn’t working in a refugee camp or doing other unskilled labor that nationals in the country could do easily, she was saving the lives of children from a horrifically painful death or maiming. We should protect aid workers no matter what they are doing because they are courageous to be trying to save lives in time of war; if we don’t, we are letting criminals and extortionists tell the humanitarian aid volunteers of the world that they shouldn’t risk their lives for others because the world will just shrug and write their lives off if they do and get caught in the cross fire. If someone ignores warnings and goes into a war-torn area for a personal visit or tourism, perhaps we should think hard before authorizing a rescue attempt and risking lots of lives for one, but there is a principle to be preserved in the case of aid workers and maybe the press, who  risk their lives to save others.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Then, I thank Seal Team 6 even more, for completing this important mission! 
          I did not know the lady’s mission there, and was glad that she was saved!
          With your information, I am VERY glad that she was saved.
          Warriors take a certain kind of courage!
          Volunteers that save lives, by putting themselves at risk, takes a LOT more courage, of a different kind!

  • david

    If you cannot stand those sorry rich people who do not pay their “FAIR SHARE”, Well! it appears they are a dying breed here in the USA.
    http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/27928.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TaxPolicyBlog+%28Tax+Foundation+-+Tax+Foundation%27s+%22Tax+Policy+Blog%22%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
     
     

    • JustSayin

      No, it means that the market picks winners and losers, only if they aren’t subsidized by taxpayers for their losses.

      “But recent IRS data for 2009 indicates that the recession did more to reduce the number of millionaires than any surtax.
      Comparing the 2009 data to the pre-recession data for 2007 shows that
      not only did the number of millionaires fall by 40 percent, but the
      overall income of millionaires fell by 50 percent.”

      Should the poor and middle class have been put on the hook with more Chinese borrowing, to keep them ALL on the profit side? I would guess that those millionaires who didn’t get bailouts, are no fans of the ones who did.

      • david

        My point is wealth is leaving the USA.

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    Another show covering the election horse-race instead of covering issues that matter. One of the interesting stories was a US senator being detained by the TSA.

    Want a higher salary? Google JobWaltz; we’ll help you find a better job.

  • Gregg
  • Gregg

    Nancy Reagan 1995: Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec_Nunb6izo&feature=related

  • JonS

    To the usual Obama apologists that post here, help me understand why any reasonably intelligent moderate voter would ever vote to re-elect Obama.

    (1) Obama is the most divisive, partisan president in my lifetime. He is a master of the big lie, either by his usual resort to strawman arguments , like rolling back the onslaught of Fed regulations would bring back the dark ages or his disgusting attack on the so-called 1% for not paying their “fair share”(whatever that means). The  CBO found in that in 2007 ( pre-Lehman days) , the top 1% paid an average rate of 29.5% of all Fed taxes ( including payroll taxes) , the “middle class (21st to 80th percentile) paid 15%  and the bottom 20% paid 4.7%. The point is that the effective tax rate on the richest 1% is already twice as high as that of the middle class. If one looks at income taxes paid, the top 1% paid 18.8% income tax rate , the middle class 4.2% , and the poorest 20% paid a negative income tax rate of -5.6% because of the checks they receive for tax credits that are “refundable”. These are essentially transfer payments redistributing income from the rich and middle class to the poor. No matter how many times Obama drags out Buffett’s secretary, she does not on average pay a higher tax rate or less in taxes than do the “rich”.

    (2) OBAMA’S campaign to increase taxes on ” millionaires and billionaires” would do very little to reduce our annual budget deficit and practically nothing to reduce the national debt. Assuming an effective rate of 50% on those with incomes between $1-10m would reduce the deficit by 8% and debt by 1%. If those earning over $10.0m were taxed at a rate of 100%, it would reduce the deficit by 12% and debt by 2%.  So why does Obama keep trotting out this garbage if it would accomplish nothing significant from a fiscal standpoint. Might I suggest is because he can’t run on his “accomplishments ” over the past 3 years so why not appeal to the envy and resentment harbored by your base and get them motivated enough to get behind your candidacy. Appealing to the worst instincts of people and setting one set of Americans against another is disgusting and unworthy of anyone occupying the Oval office.

    (3) The whole Buffett tax campaign is premised on the fact that capital gains are taxed at 15%. Does anyone on this board realize that when you invest capital, you’re using money that’s already been taxed at ordinary income rates ( which could be as high as 35%) so in effect , you’re investing money taxed at nearly 50% . Or that when you receive dividends , you’re receiving money already subject to a corporate tax of 35%? At some point , if the tax on capital gains is so high that the potential return doesn’t merit the risk , then you don’t invest and then everyone is hurt.

    (4) I’ve yet to understand how taking more from the “rich” will actually improve anyone’s life or get someone a decent permanent job. Rick Perry is an idiot but he did say something that merits repeating, namely after Obama spent nearly $5 trillion over the past 3 years, are the lives of those who are suffering today any better?

    • Brent

      (1) You must have been asleep or comatose for the eight years of the Bush administration to make such a contention.  Any divisiveness, partisanship has been largely engineered by the Right and the Teabaggers, by their own repeated insistence, primarily by disgruntled, white, thuggish males put out by the outcome of the election and abruptly deprived of the illusion we were living under for 8+ years.   Your clever inversion of the narrative, with statistics no less, is fully in keeping with the shell game the Republicans have mastered over the past 35 years, so, well done, very persuasive.  But the argument masks the way the 1% have engineered the tax system and the market to redistribute wealth UPWARD, privatize every sphere they could get their hands on, and extinguish any structure to the financial system so they could conjure baroque “instruments” and “products” out of their *%#$ so they could gamble with the national wealth, apparently in the full expectation that when, surprise, privatizing the ENTIRE commonweal didn’t pan out for them, they could become “socialists” just in time for the rest of us to write the biggest welfare check ever.

      Appealing to the worst instincts of people and setting one set of Americans against another disgusts you?  Unworthy of the Oval Office?  Is this a new sentiment?  Pertains only to the Democrat holding the office?  Again, you may have missed the first decade, but setting Americans against one another was great blood sport for Bush, and continues so with the House & Senate Rethuglicans.  Fear-mongering and bomb throwing seems to be perfectly acceptable so long as the targets aren’t on your own side of the aisle.

      Republicans have ZERO credibility, and if anyone seems determined to drag us back to the dark ages, literally, look at the crop of Republican candidates. Cripes.

      • Gregg
      • JonS

        Please provide me with a single instance during Bush’s presidency when he set one group of Americans against another. And please don’t confuse policy differences with personal attacks! On the other hand Obama during his 3+ years in office has demonized : the Tea Party, right wing talk radio , Republicans, insurance companies, drug companies , physicians, millionaires and billionaires, private jet owners , oil companies , companies that outsource, Fox News, Wall Street , banks, US Chamber of Commerce, US Supreme Court, US House of Reps, the top 1% ,etc.

        You’re point about re-distributing wealth upward is illogical –frankly nonsensical unless you believe it’s  government that owns all wealth and parcels it out to favored constituents.  Wealth is distributed down, not up. Obama practices crony capitalism but it involves taking the “haves” money and giving it to favored donors.

        Your comments are typical of what the left so often posts.  No facts  ( or just ignore stats as you’ve done) , just baseless opinions devoid of any logic.

        Probably what I find most objectionable about Obama is his cynical view of the American public. His appeal can only succeed if the average citizen is ignorant , ill-informed and unable to grasp serious issues so they buy into his demagoguery. I guess in your case it worked.

      • JonS

        Please provide me with a single instance during Bush’s presidency when he set one group of Americans against another. And please don’t confuse policy differences with personal attacks! On the other hand Obama during his 3+ years in office has demonized : the Tea Party, right wing talk radio , Republicans, insurance companies, drug companies , physicians, millionaires and billionaires, private jet owners , oil companies , companies that outsource, Fox News, Wall Street , banks, US Chamber of Commerce, US Supreme Court, US House of Reps, the top 1% ,etc.

        You’re point about re-distributing wealth upward is illogical –frankly nonsensical unless you believe it’s  government that owns all wealth and parcels it out to favored constituents.  Wealth is distributed down, not up. Obama practices crony capitalism but it involves taking the “haves” money and giving it to favored donors.

        Your comments are typical of what the left so often posts.  No facts  ( or just ignore stats as you’ve done) , just baseless opinions devoid of any logic.

        Probably what I find most objectionable about Obama is his cynical view of the American public. His appeal can only succeed if the average citizen is ignorant , ill-informed and unable to grasp serious issues so they buy into his demagoguery. I guess in your case it worked.

        • TFRX

          “When he set one group of Americans against each other.”

          He, in particular?

          I don’t know if Cheney was the overlord, but if you don’t remember when dissenting against the invasion of Iraq got one called a traitor, you’ve gone around the bend.

          • Gregg

            Urban myth.

          • JonS

            Another example of the left’s big lie . Please link here one instance when Cheney or anyone in Bush’s administration claimed IRAQ dissenters were traitors. If you can’t ,then sorry,but it’s you and the left suffering from incurable delusions.  

          • TFRX

            “You’re either with us or agin us.”

            And it’s a little late to narrow this down to just the admininstration when they had all those useful fools to, say, go ballistic over the remarks of the Dixie Chicks.

          • Modavations

            Have another cocktail,oh shrillest of the leftist shills.This guy spit at the vets when they came back from Vietnam

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I am a Vietnam Era Vereran, and never spit on anyone!  Any issues I had about Vietnam, I had with the civillians that sent troops there!
                And your service?

          • TFRX

            You’ve been flagged, dipshite.

            And you must have been in Hong Kong for that era.

             

        • Zero

          What was more demonizing than Birtherism?

          • Modavations

            Gabby was shot by a leftist hippy.The Kennedys were assinated by leftist loons

          • Zero

            How the hell can you conclude he was a leftist?

        • Brent

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-23kmhc3P8U
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/28/allen-west-liberals-get-out-florida-primary-2012_n_1239247.html-admitedly not from the Bush admin, but consistent with the Rethuglican rhetoric of the past decade…
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbw4pdxVSOg
          http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2008/04/why-are-liberal.html
          http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=19437

          As to the rest of your tired pablum, back at ya’.  Though, it’s curious that of your list of supposed victims of “personal” attacks, most are corporate entities or abstractions…Hmm, recall that corporations are not people. 
          I believe in this country, we “are and of right ought to be” the government, even if only nominally.  I’d rather be ruled and have my laws determined by my fellow citizens, even such as yourself, than a corporate oligarchy answerable, LEGALLY, only to its shareholders, and obliged ONLY to deliver a profit.  But, you’ve got your favored Fox News talking points, so I’m wasting my time here…

          • Gregg

            C’mon man! Bush was talking about other nations not Americans. Is a 20 second edited sound byte all it takes to fool you? It’s dishonest.

          • Gregg

            JonS was asking for something more along these lines.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kuTG19Cu_Q

    • Gregg

      Marco Rubio describes the divisiveness perfectly. I hope he’s veep.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUD_jxv5ygw&feature=player_embedded

    • Zero

      How the fuck is asking the rich for a 3% tax hike demonizing?  Have you read the New Testament?  Have you seen the history of the American tax code? 

      P.S., the CBO says the the Bush Tax Cuts are the leading driver of the deficit.  Your example of “if the rich were taxed at a 100%” is pure propaganda.  Nobody is saying fix the deficit in one year with a 100% taxes, but nothing reduces the deficit faster than a very modest tax hike on the rich!

      If we tax the rich at 49% (which is modest if you look at the last 100 years of American tax rates), got out of the war, and reform Medicare Part D (which is what Obamacare does in 2014), we will have a surplus. 

      Your “(4)” : “I’ve yet to understand how taking more from the “rich” will actually
      improve anyone’s life or get someone a decent permanent job.”

      Did you see the jobs bill Obama proposed? Do we have to raise tuition, lower scholarships, lower teacher wages, lower police wages, fire fighter wages, to save the rich from a tax hike? 

      The housing market will be bad until 2014 when population will have increased enough to demand more housing…until then is it not feasible to tax the rich to employee construction workers to work on infrastructure project (after all America use to be #1 in infrastructure, but now we’re #15)…could not the construction industry need that…?

      How about the Rick Perry comment you finished on…?   GDP was contracting at 8% before the stimulus, and it hasn’t contracted since the stimulus.  You don’t have to have more than room temperature IQ to realize that letting GDP continue to contract would have been tragically devastating.  Obama inherited $1.2T deficit and the bulk of his spending went to bailout Bush’s failed economy, pointless Iraq war, and the Afghan war, yet he is this Big Spender. 

      I’ve got a question for you: how can any sensible voter believe that making the rich a little richer will trickle down high paying jobs with benefits?  

      • Modavations

        Herr Carville.It’s the spending stupid.I’m with Buffet.No one should pay more then 18% taxes.Nice language!!!!

      • Gregg

        Mighty harsh language young man. Try to be less emotional and more factual. You have work to do.

        • Zero

          Try formulating an argument.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        When the CBO talks about the Bush tax cuts they are referring to the entire Bush tax cuts.  75% of the Bush tax cuts were for the middle class and below.

        • Zero

          Who says I was for the entire Bush tax cuts.  And you are dead wrong about his tax cuts 2/3s of his tax cuts went to the wealthy, even John McCain said that.  And if you look up Bush’s speech, selling the tax cuts to congress, he says that.

          John McCain proposed tax cuts for only the middle and lower class, and to leave the upper at 39%–in all likelihood, that would have ran a deficit.  I’m not for running deficits, I am for the lowest possible tax rate that will fund the necessary government–which it should be higher than it is now. 

          • Gregg

            When the new 10% rate was introduced along with the EIC, 6 million of the poorest saw their tax liability disappear completely. The rich’s rate was lowered less (from 39.6% to 35%). In the end the rich paradoxically paid a larger percentage of the bill.

            Whoever you get your news from is failing you.

      • Gregg

        Please show me where the CBO factored in the Clinton Recession and 9/11. The CBO projected $200 billion deficits as far as the eye can see for Clinton. How’d that turn out. The CBO projections of revenues are meaningless.

        • Zero

          Clinton recession…?  Get real.  The CBO projected surpluses in 2000.

          • Gregg

            There was a recession (even Clinton says so because it’s true) and a surplus which cozy up nicely without contradiction.

            In 1993, before the ’94 takeover and tech bubble, the CBO projected $200 billion deficits as far as the eye can see. But they don’t calculate tech bubbles and congressional takeovers just as they don’t calculate things like 9/11 or bursting bubbles that cause recessions.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I realize that kind of language is used in public more and more.  I don’t think it is appropriate for a national forum, that children may read.
           I raised my children with the premise that resorting to four-letter-words shows a lack of vocabulary, and a lack of imagination.
           I used them in the Navy, and on construction sites, so I’m NOT trying to be a ‘prude’, just asking for consideration for the children.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I agree with most of your comment but I do have a question.  I’ve seen this before, but I don’t get it.

      “invest capital, you’re using money that’s already been taxed at ordinary
      income rates ( which could be as high as 35%) so in effect , you’re
      investing money taxed at nearly 50% .”

       Let’s say I invest the proceeds from muni bonds that were taxed 0%, then your calculus doesn’t work.

      Even so, I’m not sure why it matters.    It really isn’t double taxation like corporate dividends.  Only the gain is taxed so it is NOT double taxation.   Capital gains do suffer from inflation so there is an argument to only tax the real gain.  Of course, that complicates tax collection.

      The primary argument for lower capital gains rates is to create incentives for investments.  The argument is this incentive serves the greater good because the economy will grow faster as a result.

  • Pingback: California Medicare News

  • Gregg

    The latest data shows no warming in the last 15 years. Warnings of a new ice age. Anybody want to talk science?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2093264/Forget-global-warming–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Quick, we must release all CO2 to stave off the next ice age.

      • Gregg

        I left my tractor idling all night.

  • Modavations

    Ray from Vy wants to invalidate Prof.Lindzer because he claims MIT is a second rate school.Some other joker says AYN Rand is invalid because she accepted the Social Security check that she paid for.Another of the intolerant Left claims she’s invalid because she’s really named Rosenberg and you know what that means

  • Modavations

    The first thing Pres.Obama did upon election was shut down the voucher program in Wash.D.C..1700 mostly black parents ,had their dreams dashed.

  • Modavations

    Friday Spain said we will no no longer subsidize phoney-baloney, Green Projects.Canada pulled out of Kyoto.

  • Modavations

    FDR’s family was almost as filthy rich as the Kennedy’s,or Jay Rock’s.Terry Tee Pees Greedy,Greeeeeedy rich

  • Modavations

    Thec Governor of Wisconson now has an approval rating of 56% and headed up.So much for the ledft and the Union Storm Troopers.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      That’s why they got over 700,000 signatures to recall him?  

  • Modavations

    My congratulations to to the Liberated State of Indiana.The newest entry into the “Right To Work” States.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    When you erect a Solar Panel, or a Wind-Turbine, you can start getting power within minutes to days, depending on the rest of your system.
        When you erect a drilling rig, for oil OR gas, you are just starting a long process, that takes many steps, and has a LOT of transportation costs, BEFORE you can utilize the power of the oil.  MANY of those costs are SUBSIDIZED, or just ignored until the health damage is done!
       Dry holes come in MORE than producing wells! 3 or 6 to one producing well! 
       HOW can anyone maintain that wind and solar are more expensive?

    • Modavations

      Young lady,first it was global warming,then global climate change,now it’s human enhanced climate change.Goebells(?) is blushing

      • Terry Tree Tree

        CAN’T adress the information?  Stood in an asphalt ‘heat island’ waaaay too long?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Cape Wind signed a contract with the local utility to sell their wind power at 3x market rates.  The state reviewed the contract and said the costs were justified.  We are not allowed to opt out.  We are forced to buy this expensive wind power.

    • Modavations

      Young lady,Cape Winds will cost me 3 times as much as regular electricity and that’s before the Dem.Hacks start with the endless graft,embezzlemets,etc,.Mass. is so bad ,the hacks even embezzle the Welfare programs.

  • Modavations

    Just talked to my mate in Denpasar(look it up).He’s from Maastricht.He said that as of Jan.1 all muslim headgear is banned and that learning Dutch is mandatory.Evidently the socialists make the immigrants into dependents for a vote.Same thing Dems. to to blacks in this country

    • Anonymous

      11 rambling posts in an hour. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

  • joan

    To hear Obama articulate the country’s problems at the State
    of the Union last week was another painful reminder how unfit the GOP hopefuls are to run against him in the Fall and should bow out.
      
    I have heard college kids articulate the country’s problems more clearly than they have in the debates. Plus, they all seem clue-
    less to the fact it was their party’s free market policies and tax
    cuts to the rich which caused the financial meltdown in 2008 to begin with (See the URL below… )
     
    Perhaps the problem is the media that doesn’t hold their party
    policies accountable for the economic downturn in 2008…

    How can Carl Haissen talk about the “cesspool” of bipartisan politics going on in Washington and not trace this back to the  
    GOP and The American Biparitsan Political Monopolies ? http://www.democracyisnotfreedom.com/bipartisanmonopoly01.asp
     
    In addition, consider the failure of the media to point this out as columnist Bill Press complained about last year in his column Paul Ryan’s Dangerous Plan. Ryan proposed slashing the Deficit by 6 trillion dollars and gutting the Medicare program, plus appealing Obama’s Healthcare Plan-even though the CBO said it would save some 260 billion dollars in healthcare cost in the coming yrs.  
     
    Luckily, Newt Gingrich had it right when he called Ryan’s Bud-
    get nothing more than “recycled Right Wing social engineer-
    ing left over from Reagan…”
     
    This was essentially Bill Press’s assessment too. Although, he was outraged by how the media exalted Ryan’s budget Plan
    and even the NYT said it warranted “serious” consideration.
     
    Just when are people in the media going to uncover the news and stop exalting like it did with Ryan’s Budget Plan or indeed Colin Powell’s presentation of the evidence in 2003 showing  
    falsely Iraq had WMDs when it was later proven wrong? Nor
    had the Iraqis any connection with alleged ” masterminders”
    of 9/11″ the Al-Quade group.  Joan

    See Arthur Levitt, jr’s column Regulatory underkill, 2009
    The Wall Street Journal, 2009…..

    Pual Ryan’s Dangerous  Plan , Bill Press 2011…..

    http://www.democracyisnotfreedom.com/bipartisanmonopoly01.asp

    • Gregg

      The CBO did not say Obamacare would save money. The preliminary summary said it cost just under a trillion and was deficit neutral. Then the vote was taken. Then the final report came out and the nightmare was revealed. Just wait until 2014.

      Newt said no such thing. Look it up.

      Tax cuts for the rich had nothing to do with our woes. Nothing, the case cannot be made.

      The Democrats plan to keep spending while unsustainable entitlements are ignored is what throws Grandma off the cliff.

      No one ever said Iraq was responsible for 9/11. Hussein gassed his own people with WMD he evidently did not have? And what was the 500 tons of yellow cake for?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      “tax cuts to the rich caused financial meltdown in 2008″

      Intellectual heavyweights like Nancy Pelosi say this all the time.  Please explain how the lowering the top rate by 3% caused the housing bubble, too big to fail, and exploding oil prices?

      Didn’t think you could because there is zero relationship.

  • http://buysteroidsuk.co/ Buy Steroids

    so much for team 6 being outed.

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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.

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Jul 25, 2014
Guest Renee McLeod of Somerville, MA's Petsi pies shows off her wares. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

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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.

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