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Week In The News: Palestinian Statehood, Tax Pledge, Susan Rice

Cracks in the GOP tax pledge. Obama and Romney do lunch. Palestinian statehood at the U.N.  Uproar in Egypt. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

UN Ambassador Susan Rice, right, smiles as she is applauded, as President Barack Obama says what an excellent job she has been doing, before meeting with his cabinet, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Earlier, Rice continued her fight on Capitol Hill to win over skeptics in the Senate who could block her chances at becoming the next U.S. secretary of state. (AP)

UN Ambassador Susan Rice, right, smiles as she is applauded, as President Barack Obama says what an excellent job she has been doing, before meeting with his cabinet, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Earlier, Rice continued her fight on Capitol Hill to win over skeptics in the Senate who could block her chances at becoming the next U.S. secretary of state. (AP)

The happy talk and camera grins fading off the fiscal cliff negotiations this week. It’s colder and tougher again in Washington. The president says high-end taxes are going up. John Boehner says “get serious.” Some Republicans wavered on the no new taxes pledge, but the cliff comes closer.

At the U.N., observer state status for the Palestinians, and the US and Israel lonely in opposition. We’ve got uproar in Egypt. Obama and Romney in a quiet White House lunch. Powerball mania. Susan Rice, grilled again.

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

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Kristen Welker, White House correspondent for NBC News.

Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs.

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Foreign Policy “The Israel-Hamas war has refocused international attention on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and increased the stakes surrounding U.S. President Barack Obama’s handling of the Palestinian bid for recognition at the United Nations as a non-member state. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas intends to submit that bid on November 29th — the 65th anniversary of the U.N. resolution to partition the territory of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.”

Daily Beast “It’s a gracious move that makes the president appear bipartisan just as he is calling on the Republicans to compromise on his tax plan to avert the fiscal cliff, a central issue in the campaign. But it also presents Romney with a stark choice.”

New York Times “Fast-food workers at several restaurants in New York walked off the job on Thursday, firing the first salvo in what workplace experts say is the biggest effort to unionize fast-food workers ever undertaken in the United States. The effort — backed by community and civil rights groups, religious leaders and a labor union — has engaged 40 full-time organizers in recent months to enlist workers at McDonald’s, Wendy’sDomino’sTaco Bell and other fast-food restaurants across the city.”

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  • Ed75

    In 1998 two embassies in Africa were bombed and many were killed and injured, including a dozen Americans. And who was in the State Department and head of the Africa section at the time?

    Susan Rice.

    And there is a record that before the bombings the embassies had asked for more security, and not received it. But Ms. Rice doesn’t remember the situatation.

    And Ms. Rice had access not only to what she was told to say, but apparently to the President’s briefing and the whole intelligence report before the Libya attack.

    • anamaria23

      In 2001, 3000 Americans were killed on our own soil under a Republican President and Congress, who presumably believe as you do in matters of religion.

      • Ed75

        That’s a good point. But I remember wondering what would happen when the U.S. hit the 40 million mark in abortions, and we hit it in the late spring of 2001, a few months before 9/11.

        I think that the reason so few were killed on 9/11 (hundreds of thousands would have been killed or injured if the towers had fallen over as the plan indicated) was that the president was pro-life. He had in August 2001 just put a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The plane aimed at the White House or Congress didn’t get there, but went down over then pro-life (Governor Casey) Pennsylvania.

        • Ray in VT

          That has got to be one of the most boneheaded things that I have ever read here, Ed.  I respect your right to hold and express your opinions, but I do not think that they are at all based in the real world, similar to your claim that Roe versus Wade caused us to lose in Vietnam.

          • Ed75

            I’m not really claiming that Roe v. Wade caused us to lose in Vietnam. I’m arguing that whether personally or as a society, if one does very bad things, some kind of bad things will happen to that person/society. No telling what the bad thing would be.

            And President Obama was the most radical pro-abortion person in the Illinois Senate, and in the U.S. Senate.

            But I agree, we have to get back to the specific topics of the day.

          • Ray in VT

            But having a pro-life president in office caused fewer people to die on 9/11?  Also, I have never met someone who is pro-abortion.  I’ve never heard someone say “You know what we need more of?  Abortions!”  I’d like to see there be no need for abortion, but this is the real world, and I don’t think that that will happen, and in this country no political or church official should be able to make those tough decisions for my wife and I.

          • nj_v2

            It’s kind of funny watching everyone respond to Ed as if he were a sane, rational person.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            I don’t know if any of us are sane and rational, myself included, but there are a surprisingly large number of Eds out there. So I pay attention.

          • Mike_Card

            I think I might have mentioned this elsewhere, but we’re all in it for the entertainment value, aren’t we?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Entertainment, yes, but this does point up an internet-only problem.

            If this were real life, Ed’s missives would clear out a 200-foot circle at a picnic or cocktail party, and everyone would know how much a lunatic he was.

            If this were real life, Ed’s little speeches would met by stunned silence, and that would suffice to anyone not way over on the autism spectrum for how disengaged and meaningless his chatter is.

            But all we have are pixels. Not even an “ignore” or “dislike” button. So we respond with words sometimes.

          • 1Brett1

            That just gets back to your ideas promoted over and over, and are that the whole of society will be punished by God because of the actions you (and presumably “He” as well) don’t like from some in society. 

          • Mike_Card

            How does it work that everyone except you can influence God?  Or are you really Satan?

        • J__o__h__n

          Perhaps Bush should have spent his time reading reports like “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US” instead of worrying about the fate of cells.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          You know Ed, why even bother? I mean seriously, everything is your God’s Will so what impact will your commentary have? It is all predetermined and running according to plan so just sit back, enjoy a nice glass of sparkling grape juice, and watch the world die.

    • J__o__h__n

      It wasn’t her fault.  God was mad as there were more abortions and gay marriages.

    • Don_B1

      The “protection” of U.S. Embassies, etc., may not be in the direct purview of policy heads, such as Susan Rice was for Africa in Clinton’s administration, and certainly seems to be the case in Obama’s.

      Since the days of Jesse Helms (R, NC), who led big defunding of the State Department during his days in the Senate, which was only partially reversed by Sec. of State Madeleine Albright, the State Department has been woefully underfunded, resulting in many of its functions being absorbed by the Department of Defense.

      Note that a not often raised question is, as Tom Ricks points out, how many of the “contractors” defending State Department personnel have died in the line of duty or have killed foreign civilians causing hatred from the populace? The State Department has been forced to hire these “contractors” because the Defense Department does not do Embassy security for personnel, only for documents and structures.

      But the questions of how the State Department defends its real estate in foreign countries have not been much discussed because of the Kabuki dance of the Sen. John McCain led ‘three amigo” distraction group. And you seem to be supporting them in some misbegotten agenda to support a view of a “God” that a lot, probably a good-sized majority, of Americans do not recognize.

  • Ed75

    Since the election of someone who supports abortion, embryonic stem cell research, restriction of religious liberty, same sex marriage, and euthanasia (forthcoming), what has happened in the Middle East?

    The leader of Egypt, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood (connected to Hamas) claimed dictatorial powers.

    The Palestinians got state status at the U.N. (The U.S. protested, but it could because they knew it would pass.)

    Hamas bombed Israel and barely missed a war, which has probably only been postponed.

    Would this have happened if Romney were elected? Would they have dared? But the president has said that he sympathizes with the Muslim cause. He even said in 2001 that the 9/11 attack was the result of poverty and lack of education, when the leaders of the attack were educated at colleges in the U.S.

    Moral evil leads to conflict.
    “The greatest danger to peace is abortion.” Mother Teresa
    “A country that kills its children has no future. ” John Paul II

    • anamaria23

      The leaders of the 9/11 attack may have been well educated, but their followers who did the “dirty” work were easily recruited from the impoverished after brainwashing by these perhaps psychopathic leaders.

      • Gregg Smith

        No, the hijackers were well educated and had money.

        • anamaria23

          You are right about the 9/11 hijackers, educated, monied and idle.

        • J__o__h__n

          and religious.

          • Gregg Smith

            Just like Baptist?

      • anamaria23

        .

      • anamaria23

        .

    • NewtonWhale

      Yes, I’m sure the sight of Mitt Romney in the oval office would have deterred the bad guys, lowered the price of gas, and cured bovine flatulence.

      • NewtonWhale

        After all, who would not quake before the inspiring tower of strength that is Willard Mitt Romney.

        • Gregg Smith
          • NewtonWhale

            Hey, I recognize him! 
            That’s the guy that killed Bin Laden!

          • StilllHere

            And now there’s peace in Benghazi …

          • NewtonWhale

            Right. We should have left it to Gaddafi:

            Gaddafi Tells Rebel City, Benghazi, ‘We Will Show No Mercy’

            Muammar Gaddafi told Libyan rebels on Thursday his armed forces were coming to their capital Benghazi tonight and would not show any mercy to fighters who resisted them.”It’s over … We are coming tonight,” he said. “You will come out from inside. Prepare yourselves from tonight. We will find you in your closets.”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/17/gaddafi-benghazi-libya-news_n_837245.html

          • StilllHere

            Apparently all we did was open it up for Al Qaeda who hasn’t skipped a beat.

          • Gregg Smith

            … and Al Qaeda is decimated, there is no Islamic Jihad and the Middle East is not spinning out of control. 

          • jimino

            Gosh who would have ever thought that the plan of the right-wing neocons, you know, the same guys that created a militarily capable Taliban, would end up disastrously in the Middle East.  And you would prefer to have them calling the shots. Utterly foolish. 

    • jimino

      Ed ,you forgot to point out that as soon as gays in the military became accepted policy, the marriages of Petraeus and others broke apart.  Maybe you’re on to something.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I dunno, I never got that “hate the gays closet case” from Petraeus.

        Of course, that we’re sitting here discussing the (relative)  merits of a Republican (therefore FamblyValues) man destroying his marriage with a woman rather than a man shows how obsolete irony is. (Or should I wait to say that next hour?)

    • brettearle

      C’mon, sir, admit it:

      You have evidence to suggest that Obama’s birth certificate proves ancestral linkage to the roots of Al Qaeda.

      C’mon, sir, fess up….we know you’re waiting for the right time to spring it on us.

      No time like the present, sir.

      Give it your best shot.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

         Brett, that is Ed’s best.

        • brettearle

          ‘Best’, might be a Euphemism, no?

          [Ha. Ha.]

  • StilllHere

    The need to raise the debt ceiling is the only thing keeping these guys even somewhat honest.  The President thought the “fiscal cliff” was a good idea and maybe we should take him at his word; he’s brilliant right?

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I totally agree.  The Democratic proposal to eliminate the need to vote to raise the debt ceiling is so irresponsible, but so typical of the Democrats.  Make them vote to raise the debt ceiling and so plunge our country into a deeper hole than we are already in, as unfathomable as that is.  Make those bums work 24/7 until they come up with a solution to this problem that they have dragged their feet on for the past 30 years.

      • Mike_Card

        Well, that is so awesomely responsible-sounding.  Spend like a drunk, then refuse to pay the bills in the name of fiscal responsibility, because “we need to just snip up the credit cards, and that’s the best way to reduce the debt.” 

    • NewtonWhale

      Having a separate vote on raising the debt ceiling is a charade that allows cynical politicians to dupe voters like you into thinking they are trying to control spending.

      They already passed the underlying legislation that bought the goods and services that make up the debt. Having a second vote on whether to pay for them is nothing but a ruse, because those obligations do not disappear. Instead, we would default, which would impose a tax on us all in the form of higher interest payments.

      Wake up and recognize when you’re being had.

      • Don_B1

        Even Allen Greenspan is on record as saying that the Debt Ceiling Limit is a stupid, irrelevant thing.

        But as you indicate it works as a great talking point for those who want to hide their complicity in having created the “excess” size of the debt.

        The only battle in Washington is one over who will be the beneficiaries of government spending.

        The rich want it all; the middle class and poor want a reasonable share.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    It also cracks me up when anyone in government talks about “reducing the deficit”.  The only thing that they are doing is slowing the rate in the increase of the federal debt from “absurd” to “ridiculous”. Reducing the debt would be putting tax/spending policies in place that would reduce the debt from the absurd $16 trillion and counting to something less than that.  Congressspeak is the only language where a slight (if that) slowdown in an increase is a decrease.

    • jimino

      The fact that every claimed deficit hawk fears the “fiscal cliff”, which would actually address the big bad deficit, makes it obvious that they’re only using the deficit issue to advance their true goal of making sure their true constituency pays lower taxes.

  • Gregg Smith

    That Susan Rice is being considered for Secretary of State shows the arrogance and “in your face” style of President Obama. He sent her to do his bidding and now says he is not particularly concerned that she misled the Country. It’s time to reward her.

    This woman is not qualified, she doesn’t have the temperament and she has a track record. Last week at least one commenter condemned the notion that criticism of Rice had to be racist. I wonder if, now that the meme is being repeated ad nauseum, that commenter still thinks the same way. Lindsey Graham and John McCain are not racist. It’s a despicable but typical sick lie. We had years of Democrats calling Colin Powell and Condi Rice liars and never once was it suggested the intent was racist. 

    • Ray in VT

      So a woman named Rice who goes on some Sunday talk shows and gives intelligence that ultimately is proven to be incorrect should not be made the Secretary of State?  Senators Graham and McCain certainly had different positions when that woman’s first name was Condaleeza.

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-november-28-2012/legends-of-the-fault

      • Gregg Smith

        She was sent to lie. The “intelligence” did not suggest a protest. There was not a protest. It was a lie. She didn’t just say it was the video, she said the best evidence was that it WAS NOT a pre-planned attack. That’s just flat out BS. She was either a willing dupe or incompetent.

        Jon Stewart is despicable. He said Condi knew what she did not know. I’ll tell you what, if you can give me one credible source that cites ANY evidence, no matter how small and from any time, that Stevens’ murder had anything to do with the video then I will give you 3 sources of evidence that said it was not. And for each one I’ll also give you 5 Democrats singing doom and gloom over Hussein’s WMD and nukes. Evidence make a difference.

        • Ray in VT

          Evidence does indeed make a difference, so I would be concerned if she stuck to her original statements now, but facts have become clearer since then.

          She was sent out to talk about the situation, and she used points from the intelligence community.  There were initial reports that there had been a protest first.  She also did couch her statements in saying that investigations were still going on and that information might change.  Patraeus said that some stuff was held back for national security purposes, but initial accounts did differ.

          Jon Stewart and his team, although comedians, often do a far better job of tracking down video and holding people to what they have said than the sources that you often cite.  It’s a good thing that your magic hindsight powers work so well.  Maybe you could have talked to Condi back in the day and told her that the Nigerian yellowcake and aluminum tubes stuff was all bs.

          It least here we have an immediate response and some initial confusion.  The Bush administration sent Condi out to put out info when there was doubt from within the intelligence programs that cast some serious doubt.  How did that work out?  Susan has caused a tempest in a teapot with her remarks.  Condi’s position led to the deaths of 4,000-5,000 Americans and maybe 100,000 Iraqis.

          Also, what did you expect the Democrats to say on the intelligence when they were being fed the same stuff that Powell presented to the U.N. and Condi put on the talk shows?  It would be like if I faulted you for repeating the crap about Obama’s war on domestic drilling, despite the fact that he’s issued the same number of permits as Bush did during his first term.  I mean, it’s not like I would expect you to track those numbers down for yourself.  It’s far easier to talk about that and the war on coal or to imagine General Patraeus’ wife imploring him to come clean and spill the dirt on the dirty, corrupt Obama administration who could no longer hold the affair over his head.

          • DrJoani

            Thank you for that. Maybe the “writer” a few comment spaces above will read what you wrote and become informed
            As the French say, it’s all blih blih blah blah, time to create another issue so that the REAL problems we face here and abroad will be ignored by us, the people who care and try to remain informed.

          • Gregg Smith

            And still you cite no evidence it was the video. BTW, I can stipulate the 5 Dem quotes about WMD will come from before Bush was President. That’s old news though. I am itching to confront you with the mountains of evidence from minute one (and before) that the “best intelligence” was it was a terrorist attack. I’m waiting for any sliver of credible evidence it was the video and will up the deal from 3 to 5 for every 1.

          • Ray in VT

            There was an initial intelligence report cited by the CIA, talking to people on the scene, that said that there was a mob prior to the attack, which is in line with this quote:

            “Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said
            the four Americans were killed when the angry mob, which gathered to
            protest a U.S.-made film that ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, fired
            guns and burned down the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.”

            I’m sure that there was some bad intelligence when Clinton was President, but he didn’t go blowing up an entire country over it.  The neo-cons appeared to have Hussein in their sights early on, and the intelligence community ignored contrary evidence.

            Go ahead, put out your stuff.  Some of it’s probably credible.  Benghazi was certainly of a different character than the Cairo incident, but guns aren’t exactly scarce in that part of the world.  Mortals more so.  There were some claims on social media by groups claiming responsibility, but who ever knows if those are legitimate?  I still think that you’re Monday morning quarterbacking and that all of this is being trumped up against Susan Rice.  Again, how many Americans died based upon the bad intel from when Condi was the NSA versus what Susan Rice said, and at what point should an administration go out and blab everything that it knows, even the contradictory evidence, regarding an particular intelligence situation.  Is the proper time some time after we’ve invaded a country over that poor intelligence?

          • Gregg Smith

            1) There were four attacks in Benghazi targeting diplomats in the months leading up to the murders before the video.

            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/14/diplomatic-western-posts-targeted-repeatedly-in-benghazi-in-run-up-to-deadly/

            2) Within 24 hours the CIA Station Chief in Libya cabled Washington to say there were eyewitnesses saying it was an attack carried out by militants.

            3) “… the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted”

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/revealed-inside-story-of-us-envoys-assassination-8135797.html

            4) The libyan President said so.

            http://www.npr.org/2012/09/16/161228170/consulate-attack-preplanned-libya-s-president-says

            5) (please forgive the snark) It was the first anniversary of 9/11 since the new regimes (“Arab Spring”) came into power. Duh!
            ________

            Due to space here’s 5 in 1:

            “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” — From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

          • Ray in VT

            1.  Previous attacks don’t “prove” anything about this one.

            2.  Yes, and other information contradicted that, plus Patraeus said that some info was kept back for intelligence purposes, not due to White House suppression, while the attack was being investigated and those responsible pursued.

            “In the immediate aftermath (of the assault), there was information that
            led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests
            earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo,” spokesman Shawn Turner said
            in the statement. “We provided that initial assessment to executive
            branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to
            discuss the attack publicly.” Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/28/170078/intelligence-office-says-it-got.html#storylink=cpy

            3.  An unnamed official, citing something that everyone should know.  You mean terrorists might want to strike U.S. targets.

            4.  “The attackers used the protesters outside the consulate as a cover, he says.”

            5.  Also should have been a duh.  Who would think that terrorists would attack on 9/11 with or without the Arab Spring.

            And yes, there was Democratic support for some sort of regime change.  Much of that intelligence turned out to be wrong.  Tenet got a medal.  Condi got a promotion.  Contractors got billions, but at least Iraqi oil paid for the war, which only cost $100 billion tops anyways.  Bush’s people worked the intel hard for two years, some based on some very shaky sources, and they pulled the trigger.  He was the Decider, so he should have paid the political price.  If Benghazi is Obama’s Watergate, then I don’t think that there’s a historical scandal big enough for Bush’s Iraq war failures.

          • Gregg Smith

            You can poo poo the evidence but any one is more convincing than what you submitted. Do you want 5 more?

            Susan Rice was sent to lie.

            BTW Clinton bombed Iraq. I’m happy to give 100 or so more quotes on that if you like too. the Iraq war was just legal and unavoidable. We and the world are much better for it. Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Albright, Berger, Pelosi, Reid, Daschell and the rest were right.

        • 1Brett1

          Your constant “she lied” meme has turned into a three-week rant. 

          • Gregg Smith

            It kind of upsets me when someone pisses on my leg and tells me it’s raining. Americans are dead and Al Qaida is alive.

          • Ray in VT

            It kind of upsets me when people go on and one about how the administration supposedly said something like “Oh, now that Bin Laden is dead Al Qaeda isn’t a problem”.  Only a real dope would believe that, and I think that the administration is realistic about the current capabilities of those groups.  We lopped off the head, but, like the Hydra, others have emerged.  Saying that we’ve severely harmed them doesn’t mean that they’re gone.  They’re just wounded, and they can still lash out.

          • Gregg Smith

            He campaigned saying “Al Qaeda is decimated”. They are not. They (or their offshoots) killed our Ambassador. Egypt is more anti-American than ever. The entire Middle East is being taken over by the crazies. And we’re being told it’s our fault because a silly movie made them mad. His administration won’t even use the word “terrorist”. We are not being told the truth about the dangerous world we live in. I am angry as hell about it.

          • hennorama

            Please point out Amb. Rice’s lies.  The transcripts from all of her appearances on Sun. 9/16/12 are available.

            Otherwise, you may want to use another term.

          • Mike_Card

            He said, “Osama is dead and GM is alive.”  Don’t take liberties with quotes.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Hey, sometimes a real quote can’t be misparsed like Gregg wants. At that point, wholesale fabrication is required.

          • Steve__T

             Since you care about American deaths, can you tell me, how many died since then, and where?

        • DrJoani

          Keep using the word lie and you lose all credibility. Oh, and don’t bother watching Jon Stewart because you obviously don’t want to be informed.
          Rice’s info came from CIA sources and was redacted beforehand. Get with the program.

          • nj_v2

            As with many subjects, Greggg is clueless about the whole Iraq/WMD situation. He clings to fantasy and carries forward his misunderstandings, applying them to current events, laying distortion upon distortion. Disqus should provide an “ignore” button.

          • Gregg Smith

            It was Clinton who made regime change in Iraq US policy because of the threat of WMD in 1998. “Ignore” that.

          • Ray in VT

            And whose administration was it that built the final case and moved on it, even when there were concerns from Ambassador Wilson and from people in the weapons inspection community.  Clinton may have laid out the policy, but who actually did it, and why did Condi Rice get to present a bunch of bad intelligence and still get voted Secretary of State 83-15, because, in John McCain’s rough words, the President should get to make his pick.  Why was that good in 2005 and bad now?

          • nj_v2

            As if “regime change” necessarily involves invasion and occupation.

          • Gregg Smith

            The CIA said it was a terrorist attack. She said there was no evidence it was a terrorist attack.

          • DrJoani

            Sur e, and that was AFTER she gave the “reports” whch had been redacted (altered, words eliminated for her presentation .  Keep in mind she is the UN rep and not State Department. Yu need to scroll down and check out a lengthy comment made by someone who will inform you further

          • Gregg Smith

            Do you think Clapper redacted the CIA assessment? The guy is out of the loop, he’s a buffoon. Rice may not have been given all the information but she was not given the best information. She was sent to lie. 

          • hennorama

            Please point out Amb. Rice’s lies.  The transcripts from all of her appearances on Sun. 9/16/12 are available.
             
            Otherwise, you may want to use another term.

        • Steve__T

           You sir are a Hypocrite, or are blind to truth, watch the video, and maybe you will change your attitude, and understanding of what others see, and the truth that it holds. Forget about racism for just a minute, and look at the real facts that others see.

      • nj_v2

        A real issue with Rice (current version) is that she owns hundreds of thousands of dollars in TransCanada stock, the company wanting to build the XL pipeline, a decision over which she would preside.

        http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/28-8

        As usual, real issues get buried under ring-wing clatter and Obama-bot apologia.

    • Mike_Card

      If not she, who?  Graham & McCain haven’t suggested anyone.

      • Don_B1

        The implication, mostly if not all by others, is that Sen. John Kerry would be easily accepted, although Bill Kristol maintains he has not supported enough wars to be acceptable.

        This recommendation supports the idea that Republicans want another opportunity to elect Scott Brown to the Senate from Massachusetts.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Bill Kristol? Someone with a good name to protect is still steering their ship with his “always points south” compass?

      • Steve__T

         And who would take their suggestions? IMO McCain & Graham couldn’t pick a good Dog catcher.

    • 1Brett1

      For someone who thinks “racism” is over-emphasized, you sure bring it up a lot.

    • brettearle

      Colin Powell did Bush II’s bidding, in the UN, parroting false Intelligence.

      That incident, which partially led to an invasion of Iraq, cost thousands more US lives, than what happened in Benghazi.

      Your political bias is striking.

      • Steve__T

         I think that’s why he quit, he didn’t like being used.

    • Acnestes

      I don’t ever remember anyone calling Colin Powell a liar.

      • Don_B1

        The members of Congress probably have not used the word, “liar,” but there certainly have been many statements from widespread sources that what he said was false and that he should have known it at the time, even if he didn’t know better.

        • Acnestes

          I think he took on faith what his “superiors” told him and dutifully passed it on, which in itself could be seen as a lack of judgement considering who they were, but I don’t think he’s guilty of anything more than that, certainly not deliberate falsehood.

          • Steve__T

             I’m not saying deliberate, I find him an ethical  person and did the right thing when he found out, he left office.

      • Steve__T

         Their were too many that did just what he did, they thought they had the truth and repeated it as many others.

         I like the fact that when you point a finger at someone there are three pointing back at you on your own hand.

        • Acnestes

           Sorry, I don’t get your point.

          • Steve__T

            Too many said the same things. To call him a lie or point out his untruths would be pointing a finger, with three pointing back at them. For just repeating what he was told, and thought to be factual at the time.

      • Gregg Smith

        He was called a liar.

        • Acnestes

           By whom?  Source, please.

    • NewtonWhale

      That’s because truth is a defense:

      Powell Calls His U.N. Speech a Lasting Blot on His Record

      The former secretary of state, Colin L. Powell, says in a television interview to be broadcast Friday that his 2003 speech to the United Nations, in which he gave a detailed description of Iraqi weapons programs that turned out not to exist, was “painful” for him personally and would be a permanent “blot” on his record.

      “I’m the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world,” Mr. Powell told Barbara Walters of ABC News, adding that the presentation “will always be a part of my record.”Asked by Ms. Walters how painful this was for him, Mr. Powell replied: “It was painful. It’s painful now.”http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/09/politics/09powell.html

  • Ray in VT

    I could not believe my eyes earlier this week when I read that Pat Robertson said that people should stop denying science, and he seemed to say that believers should abandon the notion that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, given what we know regarding radio carbon dating.

    • brettearle

      Maybe some crazed science executive from the National Science Foundation, just forked over a hefty donation to the “700 Club.”

    • JGC

      Somebody, get Pat Robertson to have a word with Marco Rubio.

      • Ray in VT

        Come on man, he’s not a scientist.

    • Acnestes

      Now we KNOW the Apocalypse is at hand!

  • 1Brett1

    Really, Graham’s and McCain’s public vehemence against Susan Rice (now fast becoming a pile-on tactic by other Republicans) ostensibly has more to do with a strategy than a genuine concern for her competence/the way she behaved just after the Benghazi attacks. They would really like to see John Kerry as Secretary of State as opposed to Rice because that would open up a Senate seat in Massachusetts. Hey, potentially one less Democratic seat? That’s worth at least a little grandstanding and a few tantrums.  

    • Mike_Card

      Do they really think the voters would go for Scott Brown again, having just rejected him?

      • 1Brett1

        Considering many of the other lame-brained strategies they’ve come with to try winning elections…I’d say, “yes”!

      • brettearle

         Yes, I think they could–though it’s less likely than in the last special election, against Coakley.

      • Acnestes

        They’d run him because he’s basically the only Repub in Massachusetts with any name recognition whatsoever.

        • brettearle

          Brown still has a fair amount of political traction in the state.

          He could, conceivably win.

          It’s not simply his name recognition–although, perhaps your comment implied this.

          • Acnestes

            I meant they’d run him because he’s pretty much all they’ve got.  They don’t exactly have a deep bench in Mass.

          • keltcrusader

            If it happened at a mid-term or special election, Brown would most likely win.

        • sickofthechit

           Rmoney has great name recognition in Mass doesn’t he?

          • Acnestes

             Much like Leprosy!

    • J__o__h__n

      McCain picked Sarah Palin for his VP.  Does anyone value his opinion on nominees?

      • Gregg Smith

        Palin is awesome.

        • Acnestes

           The irony discussion is in hour 2.

    • brettearle

      To my namesake: 

      Excellent analysis.

      But I would also argue that a fair chunk of their bluster is also your basic Right-Wing political bias, directed toward the White House.

      • 1Brett1

        Sure, a little of that thrown in for good measure.

    • StilllHere

      I think they’d prefer the liar they know to be Secretary of State, simple as that.

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

    Is the emperor really wearing cloths?Here is the impressive list of countries that voted against Palestinian statehood:  Canada, Czech
    Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama,
    United States.  

  • JGC

    One way to reduce the national debt:  If a state were to leave the union, most of their residents would still hold dual U.S. citizenship, and still be liable for reporting wordwide income to the IRS for the rest of their lives.  According to the WSJ, under current law, U.S. citizens who expatriate are treated as though they sold all of their property the day before they renounce, even if they will continue to own it.  Capital gains are taxed at the current top rate of 15%, after an exemption of $650,000.  The tax on some assets like an individual retirement account, will be taxed at ordinary income rates up to 35%. These exit taxes apply to U.S. taxpayers whose net worth is greater than $2-million or whose average annual income tax for the past 5 years is $151,000.  

    Texas, just for example, has about 400,000 millionaires, including four new ones who just won the Powerball yesterday. Couldn’t the exit tax raise a whomping big pile of money that could go a long way toward paying down the U.S. national debt?

    • hennorama

      If they did not renounce US citizenship. they could use some or all of the “foreign” taxes paid in their new “nation” as a credit against their Federal Income Tax.

      Your main point is well made and well taken.

  • JGC

    On cost of higher education:  From Bloomberg, “From 1993 to 2009, U.S. universities added bureaucrats 10 times faster than they added tenured faculty.” 

    “J. Paul Robinson, chairman of the Purdue University faculty senate, walks the halls of a 10-story tower, pointing out a row of offices for administrators. ‘I have no idea what these people do,’ says the biomedical engineering professor.  Purdue has a $313,000-a-year acting provost and six vice and associate vice provosts, including a $198,000-a-year chief diversity officer.  Among its 16 deans and 11 vice presidents are a $253,000 marketing officer and a $433,000 business school chief.  The average full professor at the public university in West Lafayette, Indiana makes $125,000…Purdue is among the U.S. colleges layering up at the top at a time when budgets are tight, students are amassing record debt, and tuition is skyrocketing…In anticipation of new president Mitch Daniel’s arrival in January, and without his knowledge, Purdue renovated the president’s 4000-square-foot suite at a cost of $355,000, enough to send 15 Indiana residents to Purdue for a year.”

    • brettearle

      Excellent point.  Why hasn’t this matter been up for national debate–or have I simply missed it?

      And, if it hasn’t been discussed as a significant factor in tuition increase, one would think that those who champion the cause of fiscal responsibility would have screamed loudest, about this, many months ago….

      Which hypocrites should we be calling out?

      • JGC

        I don’t know if it’s a significant factor in tuition increase, but it is one factor.  Public universities must answer to the taxpayer, and so yes, I am curious about the extent of administration larding up the education bill, and this at a time when colleges are appointing more “adjunct” professors, which is  a work around for not paying them full salary and benefits.  I heard on Vermont Public Radio about an adjunct professor who goes on food stamps part of the year because her part-time “adjunct” status does not pay the freight of life.

        There is ongoing student unrest in Quebec, and although there is a lot with which I do not agree, I can get behind their contention too much money has been directed toward administration and construction of new administration buildings. When I look at the hiring advertisements in the back of the business section of the Globe and Mail, it is absolutely filled chock-a-block with quarter-page advertisements for university administrative positions that “need” to be filled. I bet the same thing is going on in the U.S.

           

        • brettearle

          Some places simply don’t impose restrictions on their own institutions.

          That is one of the primary reasons [not the only one] that Obama put together the Affordable Care Act.  It may be flawed, but it might be a step in the right direction.

          Health Care industry costs have been out of control, for years.

          Obviously, we can ascribe the same pattern  to college tuition–which saddles students, with loans to pay off, for up to decades after they graduate.

          There clearly needs to be some cost controls imposed on the system–even if it is done with private institutions of higher learning.

          Otherwise, colleges will only be affordable to the Forbes, to the Lodges, and to the Cabots.

          • JGC

            Cost controls on public universities, OK, but how could that be implemented in private institutions? Private universities are also engaged, and more successfully, in an arms race that drives the public institutions further into the ditch. 

            And the deep pockets of the private school donors help fund their pet projects for a select few, while requiring the rest of us to subsidize their charitable deductions on their 1040.

        • JGC

          Here is an advertisement to fill “Director, Professional Development” at Humber College:  With our broad range of career-focused post-secondary programs, we are proud that Humber is known for the high quality of our 550 full-time and over 1000 part-time faculty and instructors.  In this hands-on role, you will conceptualize, create and deliver professional development to our faculty and instructors as you work across disciplines to support the pursuit of excellence…

          Any takers?  

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

    Proof in Syria that the
    Al Qaeda bogyman is really Al CIA-da.  

     How is it that “Al CIA-da” can shoot down THREE aircraft with shoulder-fire
    missiles in just ONE DAY.  But in over a
    decade in Iraq, and Afghanistan, these “bad guys” have not shot down not even
    one US plane with this weapon, which was already provided, care of USA, to the Mujahadeen
    (Al-CIA-da) against the soviets.   

  • toc1234

    perhaps discuss the timing of today’s giant front page NYT pro-tax piece given Obama’s tax proposal annoucement yesterday?  You think Axelrod actually wrote it himself or just told the Times when to print it?

    • brettearle

      Sure, toc1234, the Times is nothing more than a shill for Obama, sure…..

      Almost EVERY single day I could cite, for you, point after point, of comments in the Times, which candor is critical of the Obama administration.

      If you were to give me a dollar, for every example that I could isolate, I’d be able to enjoy an extended junket in Vegas.

      The typical Right-Wing propaganda about the NYT being the media voice of the current administration is simply that:  Propaganda.

      But not SIMPLY propaganda, it IS IGNORANT, and even, at times, malicious propaganda.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I was just thinking “Boy, the NYT is in the tank for Obama, when they’re not providing him false cover to move leftwards.

        That occurred to me while skimming the Times’ front-page, above the fold story about how Bowles and Simspon have become the new Martin and Lewis, hot celebrities whom everyone loves, except poltical, and reasonable. And how the Cut the Debt people are so nice giving us their defacto brilliance (they’re millionaires), and so totally not a front for huge-ass corporations.

        • toc1234

          ??

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The Times has no problem fluffing  Simpson and Bowles as hot and politically sexy, without the slightest input from real economists raining on their parade.

            The Times has no problem pimping the fake cover story behind the “Cut the Debt” multimillionaires as a bunch of George Bailey wannabees who are just in this to keep Bedford Falls together.

          • toc1234

            I’m going to have to point to my reply above quoting the pulic editor of the NYT.  (and I get the nyt home delivered – so I’m not coming from some fox echo chamber)

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The Fox echo chamber? You’re still downstream from bullsh*t mountain, you just don’t acknowledge it.

            It’s infected every mainstream media outlet afraid of being called “liberal”. Which means every crackpot idea floated there makes up “half the story” unless you’re reading, say, “The Nation”.

          • toc1234

            what’s up with left-leaning people always lashing out?  perhaps, it b/c that as a class/movement they subconsciously realize that they are intrinsically impotent?  by this I mean, by and large their rasion d’etre is to make other people do stuff.  “I want gov’t to do this!”  “I want those rich people do that!”  “I want those corporations to do this!”  It kind of a pathetic way to go through life – always depending on the actions of others to carry out your wants.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Lashing out?

            We’re not all Alan (Coma) Colmes and Joe (Droopy Dog) Lieberman.

            Are you just another righty who can’t deal with Democrats who don’t mumble and apologize with every breath?

            And why is it every righty on this board has an app which reads my vocal tone and facial expression?

          • toc1234

            fyi my app is giving an ‘unstable’ reading on you right now..

      • toc1234

        “The executive editor of the New York Times is disputing an accusation of liberal bias made by her very own public editor, Arthur Brisbane.
        In his final column for the Times, Brisbane wrote that his fellow staffers “share a kind of political and cultural progressivism” that “virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.” Brisbane even argued that Times reporters approached some liberal issues, like gay marriage and the Occupy movement, “more like causes than news subjects.””

        • brettearle

          You are TOTALLY missing the point.

          WORD FOR WORD, I could point for you, places where journalistic reports, in the Times, depict facts and incidents that show the President in disfavor or in a bad light….BASED ON THE ACTUAL WORDS THAT REPORT THOSE FACTS.

          This kind of point, that I am making in the  above paragraph, goes on, every single day, or almost every day, in nearly every major city newspaper in the United States.

          YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

          If Brisbane were making comments–about factual reports of what politicians say on both political sides in Times’ articles, or about incidents around the world–the New York Times would SHUT DOWN TOMORROW.

          Your understanding of journalism is ignorant to the Nth degree.

    • StilllHere

      Times editorials start at the front page and move back.

    • GreeningBlueHillAveRoxbury

      Sorry I did not read this first — it is a fascinating piece but misses the spending side, entirely. NYT bias. But perhaps I just missed another piece earlier on where taxes are distributed and the growth of key budget lines…

  • Coastghost

    Obama “couldn’t be prouder” of Ambassador Rice’s accomplishments. Too bad his candor failed to specify what he sees those accomplishments consisting of.

    • StilllHere

      It’s in the folder with his details on his proposed spending cuts.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “Boehner (was) dismissive of what the administration submitted.”

    Tom, isn’t “Boehner dismissive” just shorthand for “Republicans didn’t get 90% of what they wanted”? What the hell does that indicate about anything?

    Remember the last time Boehner said “I got 90% of what I wanted; I’m happy.” How long did that last?

  • ewetopia

    Yesterday it was reported that polar ice is melting faster than previously thought. Could your commentators talk about this grave threat to millions of us?

    • Flytrap

       You’re just a shill for the snow shovel industry.

  • Rex Henry

    Why are Congress and the President putting on a show for us? Shouldn’t they just be in the Capitol making something happen instead of whining about it to the general public for us to argue about it?

    I thought this political crap would end with the election, but the he said/he said finger pointing has gone into full Reality TV mode.

  • toc1234

    strange how the media didnt pick up on the “people spoke” argument after the 2010 elections…

    • Rex Henry

      I heard all about it, and all I listen to is NPR. The republicans wouldn’t shut up about their mandate.

  • J__o__h__n

    The Republicans have a majority in the House due to gerrymandering.  (I’m not claiming that both parties don’t do it.)

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      According to what the courts have invalidated, Republicans do it worse. And according to the last decade, Texas (at least) gets as many bites as it wishes, Constitution be damned.

  • Coastghost

    The Republican-controlled House of Representatives was elected and re-elected just as much as the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House. Does Obama want to be our Mohammed Morsi? Sounds like he’d be congenial to any power-grab coming his way, if he wants to relieve the House of its responsibilities.

    • StilllHere

      The House is the only representative part of this government.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Why didn’t they hash this out over the last 12 months rather than waiting to the last 12 days? They kicked the can down the road and have failed to make use of that time. Clawback on their salary.

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

      Because you can’t push through back room deals with the light of day shining on them. This is about throwing bones to special interests, not about doing anything good for the economy or the country.

    • MrNutso

      Because Republicans deluded themselves into think they would win the White House and Senate, thus giving them Carte Blanche.

  • suequeue

    Come on Tom, raising the debt ceiling is not a power grab by the White House; rather, it is simply allowing the government to pay the bills that have ALREADY BEEN APPROVED by the Congress. It has nothing to do with future budgeting. Many countries don’t even have debt ceilings and, in fact, some argue that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional via the 14th amendment, which says, in part, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned”. The shameful behavior here is on the side of the Republicans, who are threatening to use this as permanent blackmail.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      There’s just something about modern-day Republicans. I wonder if they’d sit on this so hard should the Federal gov’t accounts payable delays were threatening their famliy business. Way to run government like a business, GOP!

      I mean, in my town, we have squabbles, but I don’t remember a vendor or contractor cutting the municipality off because one of those fights mean the town didn’t pay in the agreed-upon # of days.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    What’s going up and up? And why is it news now?

    Because there wasn’t a peep out of the press when the debt ceiling went up more than annually under Bush II. And much of that was in the midst of a 5 year expansion, when “Fiscally Repsonsible” righties should be (among other fairy tales) submitting balanced budgets.

    An economist, please. Someone from outside the Beltway, please.

  • J__o__h__n

    How is the Republicans willingness to raise taxes on 98% of Americans to prevent increased taxes for 2% fulfilling Grover’s pledge?

  • Wahoo_wa

    President Obama hardly has a mandate regarding the budget….he won reelection by 1.45% of the population in the United States.  That is hardly a sweeping mandate.

    • brettearle

      Nevertheless, the President’s re-election gives him clear political traction, in negotiations with Congress.

      • Wahoo_wa

        Agreed…he would not being doing his job if he did not strongly advocate his position.  my point is that barely….just barely…half of the voting public put him back in office.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, so?

          Were you beating the drum at all the right-wing sites telling us how few votes Bush the Younger got in 2004?

          Count the EVs. Or bask in the irony that’s Mitt’s final count: 47.x% of the votes.

        • Mike_Card

          But well over half the voters rejected his individual opponents.  Winning has to count for SOMEthing.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Now Mike, we all know that when a Democrat wins it confirms that we’re a center-right country serving at the behest of McCain, Graham and Blowmentum Ayotte.

            I mean, it’s Sunday morning, my proof is all over TV.

      • GreeningBlueHillAveRoxbury

        Perhaps. But if he has such traction, and mandate, how come he is dilly-dallying with all those special interest groups visiting the WH? Why not just have Pelosi, Reid, et al, plow ahead with their legislation? Me thinks the mandate is not so good… We do need to raise taxes — prob. down below the 250k level. That will have neg. impact on spending (US Economy is 67-70% consumer-driven). My sense is taxes alone is not enough; thye should talk about curtailing SSN/Medicare and other entitlements, ALONG WITH DEFENSE, beginning in, say, 3 years. That calculus would make the net deficit 10 yrs from today look much nicer…

    • MrNutso

      There are no real mandates.  Americans elected their representatives to govern for them.  That is what they should do, not act like a bunch of elementary school kids arguing over a kick ball game.

      • Wahoo_wa

        I absolutely agree.  The lack of leadership ability on both sides is clear.

    • Mike_Card

      He won 50.9% of the popular vote; his closest rival got 47.36%.  Only a loser says “Well, it’s a mandate, but it’s not sweeping enough.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “Forty-seven percent”?

        If irony weren’t dead, that number might mean something.

        • sickofthechit

           I’d say irony were very much alive and sniggering!

  • Duras

    I should have posted this last week, but if you haven’t heard: The Congressional Research Service concluded that “changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth” but do “appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution.” 

    Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, prepared a list of complaints about the methods, conclusions, and language (finding, for instance, the phrase “tax cuts on the rich” to be objectionable).  On September 28th, in an unprecedent move, the Congressional Research Service acted against the advice of its economics division and withdrew the report.

    From The New Yorker, Nov. 26, 2012.

  • NewtonWhale

    I think it’s a hoot that Republicans are “shocked, shocked” that Obama gave them a tough opening bid. What did they expect? He ran on raising taxes on the rich and won by nearly 5 million votes. And, all he has to do is wait till January and the Bush cuts expire.

    Boehner is like a salesman trying to sell Obama a car a month before the new improved model is released.

    It’s not impossible, but it would have to be a really sweet deal.

    Obama is finally negotiating without making concessions as his opening gambit. I say it’s about time.

    • hennorama

      Republicans will make a deal before year end, since their position and power will be lessened in the next Congress.  They lost 2 Senate seats, and 8 seats in the House.

      In the event they are foolish enough to not make a deal and trigger a new recession, the House Republicans and Senators up for reelection in 2014 will be in serious jeopardy.  Causing a recession is the sort of thing voters do not forget.

  • Mike Gaige

    Hi Tom,

    Doesn’t paying off debt REQUIRE a decrease in GDP? In other words, That borrowed money was spent on PAST GDP growth. So it should be of no surprise to lawmakers that increasing revenue for debt payments will ever so slightly decease GDP.

    Mike
    saratoga springs ny 

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    McCain essentially nominated Sarah Palin to be Vice President of the United States. Picture that narcissistic knucklehead beauty queen making life and death decisions for our troops! Now he’s assaulting Susan Rice, a highly accomplished woman in her own right, for repeating the CIA’s talking points on talk shows? Why is this not about the CIA and defense provisions for embassies?

    • DrJoani

      Remember when McCain said, some 10 years ago, that the OTHER Rice  (anyone remember HER?shouldn’t be criticized  or castigated for telling lies about Irak’s nuclear power  and getting us into a horrendous never-ending war.
      He didn’t actually say it that way but…you get the idea.

    • DrJoani

      Remember when McCain said, some 10 years ago, that the OTHER Rice  (anyone remember HER?shouldn’t be criticized  or castigated for telling lies about Irak’s nuclear power  and getting us into a horrendous never-ending war.
      He didn’t actually say it that way but…you get the idea.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yup. I’m sure the Alcoa people (Big Aluminum) are a bit embarrassed that their fine product was dragged into that lie about the refined tubes with “only one purpose”.

  • Coastghost

    Obama’s pleasure with Ambassador Rice’s UN performance duly noted, should Americans assume that President Obama actually favored yesterday’s UN vote on Palestinian recognition?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.goodwin.771 Tom Goodwin

    Not only did Obama win his re-election by a decent margin, the Democrats gained 2 seats in the Senate and 8 or 9 in the House. The Republicans, delusional as ever, use the word mandate because they still hold the House (though by less members). It’s like claiming victory in a boxing match when you lose with a broken nose and say, “Look, no broken arm.”

    • brettearle

      Look, I’m a strong Obama supporter–and the demographics clearly do not look good for the GOP, now and in the future…unless they break apart their inflexibility.

      However, a true Mandate, it was not.  That’s a liberal spin–and I consider myself to be a Liberal.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Bit of a tangent, and I’m serious: What is a mandate in this age?

        How do the numbers add up?

        I ask that in all seriousness because about a decade ago, the invasion of Iraq was fluffed to a faretheewell in the press, about a decade ago, that I was “agin us” once the public polling for invading Iraq reached 50.0001%. (With nary a skeptical mainstream media outlet or figurehead inside the Beltway to say “Slow down” who wasn’t called  a traitor.)

        At 50.0001% it was a done deal.

        But in 2012 we have ~70% of people wanting normative tax rates on the well-off, and it’s almost crickets from the press.

      • NewtonWhale

        He had a mandate in 2008: Republicans ignored it. What’s your point?

        Now he is about to become the first 2 term President since Eisenhower to get 51% of the vote twice.

        Fix the filibuster so he can get his nominees approved and stick with the agenda he won with. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Get his nominees approved”?

          I’d settle, in 2013, for the last echo which is ringing in my ear from every reasonable, mainstream newsreader from the middle of the last decade:

          “Up or down vote! It’s unAmerican to not have an up or down vote! Stop being so obstructionist, Senate minority!”

        • brettearle

          If the filibuster was implemented to protect the country, from the Tyranny of the Majority, then, at least theoretically, it may be proving a point.

          Filibusters are argued or advocated, one way or the other by Congress, depending on who is in power at the time.

          As to your point about mandates and Eisenhower, some elections since Eisenhower have been `saddled’ with strong-enough 3rd party candidates to make a final difference, statistically–so as to diminish the perception of a Mandate or at least to discourage the perception of a stronger victory.

          • NewtonWhale

            The filibuster is not in the Constitution. It grew up out of a suggestion by Aaron Burr and has been changed from time to time as the Senate saw fit.

            As for protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority, that’s why the Constitution allocates 2 senators per state, regardless of population. Thus, the senate is already profoundly anti-democratic:California has the same number of Senators as Wyoming even though it has 66 times the population.

    • Wahoo_wa

      But Obama won with 5 million fewer votes than the election that brought him into office.  I venture to say the analogy you propose applies to BOTH political parties.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Let’s ask Presidents McCain and Romney about that.

        • brettearle

          Why doesn’t Wahoo-wa have a good point?–as much as I do not like to admit it?

          Less people, who voted for Obama 4 years ago, voted for him this time around.

          You can’t ignore that.

          Obama has to take some responsibility for this kind of discontent.

          I think that while Congress’ stubbornness is  palpable, Woodward’s new book, that may depict Obama’s own inflexibility, cannot be ignored.

          When it comes to us, as citizens, the country’s solvency is the priority.

          Our political allegiance must be secondary.

          • NewtonWhale

            Fewer people voted for him, not less. Details matter. Like why his total was down.

            Many of those who stayed home or switched fell prey to the heckler’s veto.

            Rather than cooperate with Obama after a resounding win in 2008, Republicans obstructed him at every turn. 

            Thanks to the 60 vote cloture rule, they were able to obstruct many pieces of legislation that passed the House, like cap and trade. What they could not derail they delayed and watered down, like the stimulus bill and Obamacare.

            How different would the last 4 years have been if he had been able to get an up or down vote in the Senate on his agenda?

            How many voters were turned off because Obama “failed to change Washington”, when Republicans were determined to deprive him of any success whatsoever?

            Republicans have systematically depressed the vote by refusing to accept the legitimacy of any Democratic president. 

            They count on some voters throwing up their hands in hopeless resignation.

            Do not fall prey to their strategy.

            Read what an insider said about this:

            Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

            “A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.”

            http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/3079:goodbye-to-all-that-reflections-of-a-gop-operative-who-left-the-cult

          • brettearle

            I am not falling prey to Right Wing propaganda.

            I could cite for you, countless numbers of comments, where I have vilified the stubbornness of Congress.

            I have gone on record, in many places, to announce the strong support that I have personally, and politically, for the President.

            But if you need to see Obama’s leadership qualities as unblemished, then you, yourself, are exercising noticebale bias.

            The President has been especially delinquent in leadership, as a communicator–especially in his inability to articulate some of his policies clearly and forthrightly.

            Not the least of which was when he failed to present a crisp and understandable summary of the Affordable Care Act.

            If we, as Democrats, do not shed light on the President’s shortcomings, then not only do we fall victim to our own bias, but we also discourage room for any improvement, by the Commander-in-Chief.

          • NewtonWhale

            Of course I believe in criticizing him, primarily for overestimating Republican willingness to put the country’s interest ahead of partisan politics and for failing to recognize the unique opportunity he had in 2009 to discredit conservative policies that were proven to be disastrous. Instead, too often, he has embraced them, as when he rejected single payer health care and adopted Romney’s individual mandates instead. How’d that work out, politically?

            I reject your criticism that he was somehow too inflexible in his dealings with republicans. I’ve been paying attention. He wasn’t.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Because I am, at heart, a lefty and a media crit. I’m here because I consume regular media, and it’s failing us completely. Everybody with a source to not piss off (that includes Woodward as of late) or a panel show to maintain good ties to is singing the same tune. And that includes NPR.

            When the modern GOP wants to show it believes in government, I’ll listen.

            For me, the record number of filibusters and anonymous holds shows who is and is not interested in getting together and solving the country’s problems.

            Also I’ve followed the whiplash engendered when any mainstream-righty Republican idea which makes policy sense is held up by President Obama. He’ll say “This is a good point, let’s talk about it”. And they’ll break their necks disavowing something they were slobbering over ten years ago.

            As a lefty, I’ve done more than my share of bipartisaning. It’s someone else’s turn, for once.

          • Wahoo_wa

            I think the “winner-takes-all” mentality is a bit naive, inmature and takes the “people” out of “We the people….”  It happens on both sides of the aisle.  Many poster with extreme political opinions (again on both sides) such as TF and his/her ilk are the reason why compromise and good political leadership cannot be achieved in our current culture.  They are the problem.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Pfft.

            Again with the false equivalence.

            Every GOP win was “winner take all” according to the narrativizing. That means, for just one obvious and important example, the current idea of “tax increases on the wealthy” means “all the way to 39.6″, a historically low amount until the temporary Bush cuts.

            When the Dems win it’s “The center is the place to be!!!” (Time magazine cover, 2006). When the GOP wins, it’s elephants stampeding rightwards (Time magazine cover 1994.)

            Bipartisanship? If it’s such a great idea, let’s let the GOP do it first, for once.

            The far fringe ideas are whitewashed for polite consum ption to be part of every mainstream media conversation. The left’s normative ideas? Not hardly.

            And any time you want to press for more unaligned economists to be on TV and part of the conversation, I’m game. That’s how screwed up our media’s Rolodex is right now.

          • brettearle

            But NOW I believe that YOU are spinning.

            Right Wing Bias is MUCH more palpable, extant, and acrid–than MOST Left-Wing bias.

            Left-Wing bias is clearly evident–BUT it pales in comparison to the deplorable Right Wing attack machine.

          • Wahoo_wa

            brettearle I think it’s a matter of subtly.  The very evident screaming and bullying of the right is matched only by the subtle smug, holier-than-thou narratives of the far left.  Unless you are TF in which case you combine the bullying with the extreme left politics. It’s quite comedic. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Bullying? You ought to get out more.

            You must have missed the Texas succession show. Actual threats of physical violence.

            These are pixels; the internet scrubs off all manner of vocal inflection and non-verbal/body language communications.  That you call me a bully means naught.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      The words I hear are: “It’s only a flesh wound!”

  • Duras

    A debate on inequality.  Pretty good.  Put on by The Economist.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fddPt3Y83-c

  • J__o__h__n

    The Founders didn’t want a dysfunctional system.  They wanted checks and balances not filibusters. 

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       Real filibusters are fine – it is the anonymous cowardly intended filibusters that must be eliminated.

      Neil

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I intend to complain about your comment at length, but I’m really gonna down a bottle of whiskey and then take a nap. Don’t do anything until I’m back.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Why is there debate here? From UPI – 40% of republican voters support higher taxes on those making $250,000 or more.

    Couple Republican voter support for it and overwhelming Democratic support and it’s clear that the Nation wants taxes to be raised on the Wealthy!!! This is the will of the People.

    The blockage is by Millionaire Republican congressmen and women who don’t want taxes raised on themselves.

    • OnPointComments

      Are we going to extend poll-based policy making to include how the public feels about Obamacare?  A November 2012 Gallup poll has found that a majority of Americans are opposed to government-run healthcare.  How about relying on the polls to make the decision whether to allow gay marriage? 
      Entitlement reform?  A majority favors changes.  How about obeying the polls on capital punishment?

      • toc1234

        right.  how about having a poll that asks… everyone with last names that start with O have to pay 90% tax rate and everyone else can pay 5%. agree?  HOw you think that would poll?

  • Coastghost

    Obama: the Tinker Toy President . . . . or: should we give him a set of Lincoln logs to play with?

  • Wahoo_wa

    On a brighter note (as compared to the budget debate)…yay Palestine!  What a great step for them!

    • DrJoani

      Checkout the connectiion between the money and Grover Norquist’s wife (I’m implying nothing…it’d just interesting to know about her background. I  too am cheered about the UN vote. It may be another beginning)

  • PaulfromHydeParkMA

    The Fiscal Cliff was carved entirely by the Republicans! George Bush told the wealthiest people they did not need to contribute to the revenue flow in the nation, AND he fought 2 wars at the same time. Americans are SCREAMING at the Republicans that FAIRNESS is OUR goal! The wealthiest has to pick up the slack and get with the program. Boehner/Mumbles McConnell, etc. have NOTHING to stand on with the absurdity of their saying the President is not meeting them 1/2-way! They haven’t DONE SQUAT for 4 Years to Work with President Obama! The LOST the ELECTION RESOUNDINGLY BECAUSE OF THAT! We The People want the Doorknobs in the Republican Party to EARN THEIR $175,000 SALARIES EVERY YEAR and DO SOME WORK FOR THE BENEFIT of ALL, NOT JUST THE 2% at the TOP. We’re sick of these idiot elitists, and WE SAID THAT on 11/6…WHY AREN’T/WON’T/CAN’T THEY HEAR THIS?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Bernie Sanders speaks my mind on the deficit:

      “This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem,” he said to about 200 people packed in the Senate Budget Committee room.

      “But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars — unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we’re going to balance the budget on backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That’s wrong.”

      So, two unfunded wars, magic trickle down tax cuts, and totally failure of oversight of Wall Street all combined to turn a *surplus* (that Bush inherited from Clinton) into a record deficit.  How’s that policy stuff goin’ for you, Republicans?

      Neil

  • MrNutso

    Well you heard it from the puppet masters mouth, oppose the President’s agenda.

  • adks12020

    Grover Norquist needs to go away! He and his stupid pledge are detrimental to the proper function of our government.  He wasn’t elected by anyone.

  • sheryltr

    Is this a government “of the people, by the people” or is it for the lobbiests by the lobbiests? Throw Grover Norquist to the curb!

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Did the Republicans not retain control of the House through gerrymandering? Democrats won the popular vote in Congress too, but gerrymandering had took its toll on the Democrats in the House.

  • disqus_9XCAfjxegs

    Tom, you ask what about the Reps in the House?… don’t they have a lot of people behind their opposition? I say Gerrymandering. They call it redistricting.

  • Flytrap

    I think the biggest disappointment with all these “talks” is that they are not taking place in the Senate.  You know the Senate, the place that hasn’t debated a budget in over 3 years.  Jeff Sessions said this:

    “”I rise today to express my reservations about the fiscal cliff
    negotiations that are currently underway,” said Sessions. “Over the last
    two years, Congress and the President have held an endless series of
    secret negotiations. There have been gangs of six and eight, a
    supercommittee of 12, talks at the Blair House and the White House. But
    the only thing these secret talks have produced is a government that
    skips from one crisis to the next. Everything has been tried but the
    open production of a 10-year budget plan as required by law and open
    discussions of the difficult choices.”

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/senator-blasts-secret-fiscal-cliff-negotations_664187.html

    • jimino

      And why isn’t Grover Norquist, to whom every Republican has sworn fealty , involved in the talks?

      • Flytrap

         Maybe because he wasn’t voted into office.

  • MarkVII88

    Tom and Jack’s reference to the new Spielberg movie LINCOLN, was very appropriate in relating to the fiscal cliff negotiations going on right now.  Hindsight is 20/20 and, having seen the movie myself, all the Democrats that voted against the 13th amendment in 1865 can rightly be classified as being on the wrong side of history.  In another 150 years when Americans look back, will Republicans like Boehner, McConnell, and conservatives like Norquist also be on the wrong side of history when it comes to their actions for the good of the country?

    • StilllHere

      Only if Oliver Stone makes the movie.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Tangent: I don’t remember all the media fussin over historical dramas when Republicans were in the White House.

      I do remember the phrase on everyone’s lips after Obama’s trouncing of McCain in ’08: “TeamofRivals! Appoint some Republicans!”

      • Mike_Card

        Ray LaHood?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yes, that’s one. I don’t remember any little temper tantrums from BoehnerCantorRyanMcCainetc, so I’ll just figure whatever he’s doing he must be doing okay at it.

    • sickofthechit

       It won’t take 150 years to know that.  I knew it 12 years ago.

  • Peter Van Erp

    I think the President ought to watch The Godfather, Part 2, and learn from Michael Corleone:  
    My offer, Mr. Boehner, is this: Nothing, and I would appreciate it if you raised the top tax rate to the rate proposed by President Kennedy.

  • GreeningBlueHillAveRoxbury

    Read front page of NYT re impact of Bush tax cuts — 350k and over can do more. (and I was pretty close estimating that there were about 1mm taxpayers in this zone, as roughly calculating impact of raising that category +5bps in marginal tax rate.

    But buried in article are sentiments of pro-Democrats saying “don’t tax the middle class” — what Obama is saying — but notice all of the quotes and pix are of working people. Working. Some even admit spending must come down. Recession past, or double-dip looming, notwithstanding, just how long does a growing bloc of people receive entitlements? Tax strategy is discussed as “10 year” impact — what is the related impact of no cuts in spending over that same period; as an annual budgetary deficit figure, and the net impact on our 14T debt today?

    These hard figures are being avoided by leadership. Numbers are our friends — tells us the full picture. Like the woman on A21, Anita Thole: “I want, I want, I want. I want Big Bird” but can’t identify what she does not want. Many of us will have to give up something; ignoring these horrific trends in spending and low tax rev. is not Big Bird stuff; it is Ostrich-like!

  • Duras

    It’s been fun watching Norquist the last two weeks or so.  He’s down to his last marble.  And you know it has nothing to do with the fact that he will pay more taxes, but more to do with diminishing power.

    • brettearle

      Power is obviously a very big part of it.

      But the stubbornness is so remarkable, we can’t ignore the possibility of a distinct pathology of the Ego.

      [I realize these concepts are inextricably linked, but hidden personality disorders can contribute to radical conviction.]

      • StilllHere

        Sounds like a self-diagnosis, good luck with that.

        • brettearle

          Purest projection–that I’ve ever seen in a comment–was posted, right above this comment.

      • Duras

        I agree about the pathology part.  I’ve had the thought for the last two years or so that republicans have grown autocratic and absolute because 30 years of Reaganism has taken America pretty far to the right.  Paul Ryan seems to embody their privatized vision of America, a utopian vision of sorts.  And the closeness of that vision has either energized their determination or – because identity is tied so closely with ideology – the Ego is suffering since it is so close to self-realization per se.  

        That’s why republicans were scared of the slightest move to the left over the last four years, crying “the slippery slop to socialism.”  However, republicans are stuck in a two-valued logic, instead of infinite-valued logic where the correct answer rest between the two poles and depends upon conditions.  So, they could just be stupid instead of autocratic…. 

        As you can see, I am still trying to work these thoughts out.

    • StilllHere

      and the diminishing power of the taxpayer with him.

      • Duras

        Capitalism creates a lot of wealth, and with that wealth comes responsibility.  Even Adam Smith said something exactly to that spirit.  Don’t worry.  American wealth is secure, but American greed is going back into the closet where Reagan and Goldwater used to be after FDR. 

  • OldDoug

    The UN made Israel a nation, and it can make Palestine a nation.  If there cannot be two states, the UN should repeal the 1947 partition and let all the residents of Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza vote on whether there should be two states or one state with a representative government and where all people have equal standing without regard to ethnicity or religious faith.

    • brettearle

      Israel has a right to its OWN borders.

      So does Palestine.

  • MrNutso

    Moderate Republican is an oxymoron.  If Collins was moderate, she would say she is happy give fair consideration to anyone the President nominates.

    • J__o__h__n

      Does she have any accomplishments she can point to as being a moderate?  She almost always appears to fall in line when the Republicans need votes.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I point you to “Invisible Boy”, from the movie “Mystery Men”: He was invisible as long as nobody was looking at him.

        I wouldn’t trust Collins to be moderate as long as anyone was looking at her.

        And let’s not forget “60 is the new 51″.

      • Mike_Card

        She voted not to impeach Bill Clinton.

        Does she have a medical condition?  Her voice sounds like it quavers more and ages more every time I hear her; she’s not old, she’ll be 60 in a week.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yes, that’s true.

          It’s also funny that that could be the measuring stick of what a moderate GOP senator does. (Not the bit about your saying it here, but that voting to not impeach Clinton amounts to a laurel wreath laid at the Statue of the Unknown Moderate.)

  • sickofthechit

    Susan Rice, the only reason these Repugnicans (Republicans in name only) are pursuing this is because they want to keep any focus off the truth that they voted against $300 million in funding for security at the State Department facilities.  Why isn’t this fact being brought out each time Rice is mentioned?
    charles a. bowsher

    • Gregg Smith

      They beefed up security in Barbados. They have guards armed with machine guns in Paris.

    • OnPointComments

      10/10/2012  Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb, testimony before House Oversight Committee regarding Benghazi attack:  
       
      Question from Rep. Rohrabacher:  “It has been suggested that budget cuts are responsible for a lack of security in Benghazi, and I’d like to ask Miss Lamb.  You made this decision personally. Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?”
       
      Answer from Ms. Lamb: “No sir.”

  • Alan Krinsky

    The caller claimed that it cannot be that the US and Israel are right and the rest of the world is wrong. However, most of the world believes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are genuine, rather than forgeries, and the world is wrong. And for centuries, most of the world believed in the blood libel, the false and horrible claim that Jews murdered non-Jews to use their blood to make matzah for Passover, and the world was wrong. So, numbers do not make wrong or right. The criticism of Israel is out of all proportion when we consider other conflicts in the world. Israel is trying to protect its citizens, is willing to start negotiations now (the Palestinian leaders are insisting on preconditions). For Hamas, Israel’s very existence is a provocation.

  • Coastghost

    –and just who in the Obama Administration OUTSOURCED security to a FOREIGN contractor?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       This was started at a huge scale under Pres. Bush (#43).

      • Coastghost

        Requisite specificity, Neil: who in the Obama Administration OUTSOURCED security to the FOREIGN contractor “protecting” the US Ambassador in Benghazi?

    • jefe68

      You are aware that security for our consulates falls to the host nations, right? Their are some that have Marines on the other side of the gates, but security is usually done by the host nations.

      That’s why when you go by a foreign consulate in NYC there are NYPD posted.

    • jefe68

      You are aware that security for our consulates falls to the host nations, right? Their are some that have Marines on the other side of the gates, but security is usually done by the host nations.

      That’s why when you go by a foreign consulate in NYC there are NYPD posted.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Did the Republicans rip on General  Powell for his false statements regarding the WMDs that Iraq did NOT have?

    I didn’t think so. And what is the difference? Rice was providing the information as she received it. So was Powell. The difference is Powell was lied to and GWB started a war.

    • Steve__T

       Don’t forget, that the same republicans against Rice are the same ones on the floor of the Senate screaming about nonexistent WMD’s that started the longest war in our history.
      But the smart money is that it has nothing to do with this kind of political scheme. It is likely the “flak jacket” crack by Susan Rice during McCain’s run for president, that made him look bad.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The vote for Palestinian observer state status gives an important boost to the diplomatic approach to peace in that Gaza could be and was (in a political cartoon posted by someone in Muslim India) as a David and Goliath success, by violence, targeted violence, underdog wins by rockets, not by diplomacy.
        It was said that the PA, Abbas, was the loser, in that the violent approach was the definite victor in the latest flare-up in Gaza.  The fact may be that Morsi was the victor, and that he has used his resulting political credentials immediately to try to protect the revolution’s constitutional redrafting from the legacy honchos from Mubarak’s regime.
       To say that states in the General Assembly were just checking off a kick-down-the-road vote, no.  Listen to what Turkey had to say (Davutoglu, I believe), and weep.  Listen to what France had to say, or Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, especially.  The world sees this move as an important indication that stalling for half a century has costs.  The world — “mankind” per the current GA president, Vuk Jeremic, a Serbian —  is saying, GET ON WITH IT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1195701328 Mary Ellen Slater

    Tom is there any substance to this idea that the Republicans are trying to engineer and opportunity for Scott Brown by pushing Kerry?

    • Ellen Dibble

      Maybe they want Kerry for Secretary of Defense?

    • John_in_Amherst

       GOP chicanery and Machiavellian machinations?  Oh surely you jest.

    • StilllHere

      Yes, they look at November’s election where a lying, liberal academic won handily and see opportunity.  You’ve figured it out.

      • John_in_Amherst

         Liberal and Academic may me invective in GOPland, but a lot of Americans think Academic means intellectually gifted and inclined to share that with others , and Liberal means being opposed to the mendacity, avarice, fundamentalism and hard-heartedness that pass for current GOP ideology.  As for Lying, Scott Brown was the first Tea Party darling elected to congress, and his campaign this cycle involved obscuring his ideology and was aided and abetted by the GOP senate leadership who allowed him to skip votes on “tough issues” so that he could tout his ability to be bipartisan.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          One more “public sector” and I’ll be shouting “StillHereBingo, beeyotches!”

  • ttajtt

    we know who the weenier is.
    Now one must face the texas.

    we will get weak kneed, drop one at best in this slow down of supply and demand.   Oil/water food utilities will eat u$, recycling will fed us.  

    the divide must sieve out or separate more of the rich and poor in a global market chestonomics’.  so the richest will become rich once.

    How will, things must change to remain the same.

    its also what them wants to keep going/pay off… 

    My vote says no to raising the debt.   

    what of the vote of 2014

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The Susan Rice kerfuffle is probably Republicans’ trying to get John Kerry out of his Senate seat, so Scott Brown can run again for the Senate.

    On the other hand, Mother Jones is reporting that Susan Rice owns millions of dollars of Keystone XL pipeline stock?  If that is true, then she should have to sell it before being sworn in as Secretary of State; where she would have the final say as to whether that happens or not.

    Neil

  • sickofthechit

    I hope the President continues maintaining a hard line on raising taxes on the upper income earners.  I want him to know we have his back all the way on this.

    It is ludicrous for the Repugnincans (Republicans in name only) to claim that they have any real mandate or directive in trying to continue their trickle down, protect the “job creators” economic theories which as far as I can tell from bush’s Temporary tax cuts record have only created invisible jobs.

    The richest 20% have seen their share of our nation’s wealth increase from 75% to 88% in the last 30 years.  It is high time this trend was reversed.  Allowing the tax rates on the top 2% to return to Clinton era levels is a minimal step in the right direction. Charles a. Bowsher

    • brettearle

      Unfortunately, the plutocracy may be here to stay.

      And advance of Technology has a lot to do with it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1215476366 Andrea Sloan

    RE Susan Rice & Libya: If only the same microscope had been turned on the Bush/Cheney administration during and in the wake of 9/11/01. The hypocrisy is staggering. 

    • notafeminista

      So what were the Democrats waiting for?  Congress voted.  It passed – easily…handily.  Oh wait.  Now’s the part where the smart kids claim the dumbest man on the earth duped them.   God love ya.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ACI7P63PW424ZI4SMC32L6GRGE yahoo-ACI7P63PW424ZI4SMC32L6GRGE

    It continues to amaze me that the Republicans who oppose Ms. Rice as Secretary of State participated in sending Colin Powell before the United Nations with incorrect “intelligence information” regarding “weapons of mass destruction” to support our request for their support of our initial war on Iraq. How quickly they think we forget about their own lies and the lives, civilian and our own soldiers it has cost. 

    • brettearle

       If you read below, you will see that I, and others, are right there with you.

    • StilllHere

      It took years to discover the intelligence was wrong and had been wrong for years including what the Clinton administration had believed.

      In this case, however, the “intelligence” didn’t pass the sniff test and the lie was quickly revealed.

      • BHA_in_Vermont

         The WMD “info” was suspect from the get go.

      • brettearle

        Your revisionist history is stunning.

        There was DOUBT about the Intelligence, almost from the beginning.

        What’s more, BEFORE 9/11, the New Yorker ran a story, in April of that year, indicating that the Neo-Cons were gearing up to possibly invade Iraq.

        Their public proclamation, before commandeering the White House, stated SPECIFICALLY that they would need to find a way to get the American people behind their plan.

        • StilllHere

          The NeoCons in the Clinton Administration?
          The NeoCons in British intelligence?
          The NeoCons in Israeli intelligence?
          The NeoCons in Iraqi intelligence?

          There is always doubt, but Rice knew she was lying.

  • John_in_Amherst

    Yesterday’s disqusion included comments about health care in which one author, of conservative bent, argued that there is no such thing as single payer – that the cost of healthcare comes out of the economy, and funding it would prevent growth.  I responded to him personally, but would like to re-enter my remarks for the benefit of those who do not pour over the On Point archives:

     Right.  So the choice is between a compassionate society in which at
    least a modicum of health care services are available to people,
    (whether or not they have the ability to foresee the inevitability that
    sooner or later, they will need care, regardless of their income and/or
    ability and/or willingness to save or pay for insurance), OR a society
    in which we have to sidestep sick and dying people on the sidewalks. 
    Personally,
    I have only visited countries where I have seen lines of those who are
    legless & destitute on wheely carts, the crippled with flies landing on exposed
    fistulas, and mothers desperately pleading for the infants in their arms
    with suppurating eye sockets outside gilded cathedrals begging for
    charity.  And I prefer to live in a country where I can part with some
    of my hard-earned money to pay for single payer health care.
    With
    your attitude toward health care, I assume you are republican, and of
    the stripe who believes in a wrathful judgmental God, rather than a
    Jesus (Allah, Buddha, etc.) who commands compassion toward the sick,
    poor and imprisoned.
    If a vision for economic growth means giving up on the fundamental teachings of every religion, the price is too high.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I just want to know who’s gonna lease armored limosines and move into compounds with machine-gun-toting guards until such time as they actually go Galt altogether.

      But you’re forgetting, John, there are NoRepublicansHere. Just TruePrincipledConservatives. Like Atlanta Thrashers fans, they exist, but in no meaningful number. (And with a helping hand from our mainstream press, think they can take over the Man U fanbase for numerical domination.)

    • Ellen Dibble

      John Boehner came out yesterday and said that Democrats are dedicated to opposing wealth creation.  I think he said wealth creation among the rich.  At any rate, I bristled because even with single payer health care, people in America can only be secure if they have had an opportunity for “wealth creation,” enough to get them over the next fiasco, either created by the banks, the corporations, something unforeseen about the economy, the weather, etc., etc.  
          If the Republicans would gear their sights toward the essentials of wealth creation among those who are not already wealthy, then the safety net wouldn’t have to be so large and costly to national coffers.  Fewer would need it.
          Wealth creation yes.  Wealth maximization for those already pretty well cushioned, both by money and the influence that goes along with it — hey, that “influence” seems to shine through his proclamations.  Safe savings and opportunities to have rainy day funds among each and every one of us.  I’m all for wealth creation, and cheaper safety nets.  Including cheaper national health care if people can care for themselves like that.

      • John_in_Amherst

        Not a few people who had worked hard to prepare for retirement and put money into financial vehicles that included stocks found in 2008 that their “wealth creation” was for naught.  I for one will be working longer than anticipated thanks to a bubble economy that was fueled by derivatives and real estate speculation that provided more money to the top earners than they knew how to spend wisely.  A rising tide may raise all boats, but when you are in a skiff, best watch out for the bilge pumping of the yachts….
        Even if “middle class” people can pay their own way in the hyper-inflated health care market, membership in that class is tenuous, and those who are working poor in jobs that do not provide healthcare, or just plain poor can’t afford any insurance. Do we help them, or triage?

  • Dee

    Israel’s days and the US relationship is over….This 
    was a shameful display of neocon politics at the UN
    by the US Ambassador Susan Rice and the Secretary
     of State Hillary Clinton.

    This was John Bolton and Right Wing Think Tanks in
    US women’s clothing at the UN…Shame on those 2
    women for being a party to this lowly US/Israeli
    policy… contrast this with this young Israeli activist
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTAvst5mxW4&feature=relmfu

    • brettearle

      Only `1 like’, for the above comment, in 7 hours.

      Wonder why?

      Isn’t so very intriguing that the Right regard Obama as anti-Israel–and yet here we have a comment above, explaining to us, all, that inDEEd, Obama is pro-Israel.

      My…my….my….my…my…my….my….my….my…..Where, just where is the Disconnect?

  • bmkelly

    Hello.  I have listened to the program for many years, and now listen from Zurich, Switzerland via livestreaming. I believe the screening of callers has been really off in the last 6 months or so.  Not sure if the program (or NPR in general) is trying to be more “balanced” politically, but I find myself shaking my head at some of the comments or questions by callers.  I listen because I want a balanced “intelligent” conversation about a variety of subjects.  I don’t mind someone having a different opinion than my left-leaning one, but some of the callers have been really awful. 

    • StilllHere

      Let me guess, the ones you don’t agree with? 

    • brettearle

       Callers can easily deceive screeners.

  • Rich11

    That argument about could the whole world be wrong is so dumb! I hear it all the time – could a million or whatever number you want people be wrong - Answer yes. For example when Galileo told the world the planets went around the sun the whole world was wrong save a few other scientist/scholars.

    It’s your basic herd mentality – use your own BRAIN – don’t follow a HERD!!!! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.kollars Chuck Kollars

    Covering only the _current_ news leaves even further behind many of the rank and file citizens who are already somewhat behind. Good grief, why can’t you say: “the satellite link was in Washington D.C. – Susan Rice was in New York City”. Not explicitly stating the obvious disenfranchises listeners who aren’t news-hounds. Surely there’s a better strategy than paternalistically ignoring questions that are about something previous rather than this week’s news.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    In all of The Fiscal Cliff hoo-hah where is the direct connection to the obvious? There have been reports hinting at the fact that failing to beat the self-imposed deadline need not be Apocalyptic. The only reason it could (and unfortunately likely would) be Catastrophic is the manner in which we react. We whip ourselves up, snatch up our antes, and head off to the races. It’s The Stock Market Stupid. 2008 wasn’t enough? The past four years of hell for Millions of us (that were NOT a result of the Sitting President) weren’t enough? What will be enough? We all see the problems whether we acknowledge them or not. Our Banking and Investment Systems no longer serve US. We should no longer serve them.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       Right – after the deadline passes, we just pass a middle class tax cut, and means testing for Social Security and Medicare, etc.  Let the military cuts go through.  Start a jobs program to rebuild New York, New Jersey, the Gulf coast, and all the places we had tornadoes and fires and floods – and actually invest in our infrastructure.

      Sounds good to me!

      Neil

  • jefe68

    The GOP lives in an alternative universe. They go on about taxes as if this is some kind of deadly foe to be beaten.

    In the real world the US income tax rates are now lower and have been lower for most Americans than they were in the 80′s.

    On corporate taxes they just out right lie on this when they say the US has the highest taxes in the world, they are not dealing with the facts.

    Corporate tax receipts as a share of profits are at their lowest level in at least 40 years. Total corporate federal taxes paid fell to 12.1% of profits
    earned from activities within the U.S. in fiscal 2011, which ended Sept.
    30, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That’s the lowest
    level since at least 1972. And well below the 25.6% companies paid on average from 1987 to 2008.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/03/30/456005/reminder-corporate-taxes-very-low/

    • Ray in VT

      You mean that the Democrats are not in fact attempting to tax away every last bit of income and wealth that the 1% owns, as is suggested above.  I can’t believe it.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      The TeaOP talks about taxes as if they were high. Every discussion of taxes should start by explaining the extreme lowness of taxes in the USA for the rich and the corporations. Asking the rich to go from absurdly low rates to low rates is, in righty newspeak, “punishing the rich”. In the real world, it’s simply common sense.

      When the “deficit hawks” insist on lower taxes, how dumb do you have to be to not realize the real agenda is to make the rich richer? Geez, even a texan should be able to figure that out.

      • Ray in VT

        I would say that a part of the agenda is to keep pushing down revenues in order to force cuts.  Gotta starve that beast.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Starve the Beast is alive and well in the TeaOP

      • hennorama

        While I’m confident you were referring to TAXES when you typed “as if they were high,” one could also read your comment as referring to the “The TeaOP” talking “as if they were high.”

        I agree on both counts.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Susan Rice.  Sometimes I think the press, the media, and Americans are seen as judging her in ways appropriate to a politician but not a diplomat.  I weigh heavily the stated trust the president has in her.   In the Benghazi statements in mid-September, by the time she was making the assertions about a demonstration that had gotten out of hand, it was pretty clear that the demonstrations around the infamous video trailer were of a different ilk, and that Libya, and Benghazi in particular, were not hotbeds of anti-Americanism.  Pockets, yes.  Libya’s administration and citizens there, they were not conspiring to murder our people.  So I took Rice’s statements as an effort to stop the chatter, to say we don’t know, we’re working on it.  It seemed to me by the end of five days, “they” could have interviewed the many, many Americans who had been there and were rescued, and “they” would have some idea.  It would have been a mistake to scapegoat one militant group, or “all” Libyan militant groups, so many of them armed, and not coordinated, ruffling the feathers, as we say, of a newborn Libyan regime, interfering with efforts to find the truth.  All that.  Why didn’t the Secretary of State come out and say that to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and whoever else?  Didn’t it occur to anybody that the people most likely to know were the ones not coming out?
        Fast forward to the US position as to yesterday’s vote in the UN on observer state status.  The proclamations of reporters were to the effect that Palestine will now be able to participate more in the UN, but if you look at the link at PBS Newshour from the UN I think via Foreign Affairs — I’ll find it — you can see that Palestine has had a unique and very integrated status at the UN for a long time.  This is not a new seat at the table.  This is a “birth certificate,” and I suppose could be rescinded, if the standard is a “contiguous” Palestinian state, since by my map either Israel is contiguous or Palestine is, but there is no possibility of both being contiguous.  So why would Susan Rice say the measure approved could interfere with negotiations?  “Could” not necessarily “does”?  Canada voted with the US and had a lengthy statement along similar lines.  My take?  Can you imagine us voting otherwise?  And leaving Israel with the state of Nausea of whatever it is, footprint islands in the South Pacific?  Sorry, Nauru, your name is new to me.  Marshall Islands, Czech Republic, Canada, Panama… Would that kind of team guarantee a safe future for Israel?  If we dropped the ball right now?  We say we stand with Israel and optimally protected negotiations, which is square one in any negotiator’s style manual.  So I hear that, and I think I know “where she’s coming from.”

    • Ellen Dibble

      Council on Foreign Relations “backgrounder” at PBS Newshour site:  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/11/palestinian-statehood.html

      • Ellen Dibble

        An excerpt from that backgrounder about the PLO and PA at the UN:  “The Palestinian Liberation Order won observer status in 1974, a position which is not formally provided for in the U.N. Charter, but relies entirely on precedent. As such, the rights and privileges of observers vary case by case. Varieties of U.N. observers include “entities” (like Palestine), intergovernmental organizations, national liberation movements, and non-member states — the status pursued by the PA, and currently only held by the Vatican.
        As an observer, the PLO was invited to participate in General Assembly sessions and conferences of other U.N. bodies. In 1988, the designation of “Palestine” officially replaced the “Palestinian Liberation Order” within the U.N. system. In 1998, the General Assembly extended Palestine privileges that had previously been exclusive to member states, including the right to participate in the general debate at the beginning of each General Assembly, and the right to cosponsor resolutions. According to the U.N., the decision “upgraded Palestine’s representation at the U.N. to a unique and unprecedented level, somewhere in between the other observers, on the one hand, and Member States on the other.”
        (End of excerpt)

        • Ellen Dibble

          And another excerpt, following on that, and saying European states are pulling back from statehood support perhaps as a gesture to Washington (I suppose that means the Czech Republic, but also some abstentions):  “An applicant state needs to obtain a simple majority vote of the 193 members in the General Assembly to win non-member state standing. Unlike a proposal for full U.N. membership, the Security Council — and the threat of veto — is absent from the process. The revised Palestinian statehood bid is set for a vote in the U.N. General Assembly on Nov. 29 and a majority vote in favor of the resolution is widely expected.

          “What countries support Palestinian statehood?
          “More than 120 countries diplomatically recognize Palestinian statehood (as declared by the PLO in 1988), a bloc that would seem to ensure a successful vote at the General Assembly, if and when this occurs. However, these numbers may be overly optimistic, writes Yezid Sayigh for al-Monitor, as “much depends on the European position.” Unlike 2011, when the EU promised to support Palestine in a non-member state bid, Palestinian officials say some European nations have come out strongly opposed to the campaign in 2012, perhaps as a gesture to Washington.”

  • Adrian_from_RI

    Of course we should tax the rich. It might not be justice, but it certainly is social justice to tax the rich. It is utterly proper for The 99% to vote for taking every last penny from The 1%. After all we are a democracy now. An eloquent and articulate defender of the 47% Obama style democracy can be listened to at:
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tpAOwJvTOio 
    Tom, you should invite this lady and Jack Beatty to some follow up show on economics and reality (and the Declaration of Independence).

    • jimino

      Well it would be more than proper if the 1% were trying to take all the money of and enslave the 99%, wouldn’t it?

      But we know my theoretical possibility is as unrealistic as yours, right?  You can’t possibly believe that anyone is calling for “taking every last penny from The 1%” unless you are truly a brainwashed moron.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Taxing the rich is simply the American system that once brought us middle class prosperity that was the wonder of the world. It wouldn’t be new, it would be a RETURN to what worked before we started drinking the voodoo economics Kool-Aid. It wouldn’t be “punishing” the rich – how can a class that are better off than they have been since 1929 be getting punished? It would be asking them to go from an extreme low contribution to the USA to a slightly higher, but still low, contribution. (Q. Why aren’t all the “deficit hawks” on board with that? A. Because they don’t care about the deficit, they care about the rich.)

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/31/Effective_tax_rates%2C_US_high-income.png/220px-Effective_tax_rates%2C_US_high-income.png

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.kollars Chuck Kollars

    Yep, call screening and show content need to be coordinated. If your call screening is going to let through bamboozled callers, then respond to those callers comments _directly_. If you prefer not to answer their question, then don’t let those callers through your screening in the first place.

    I find it very frustrating when the news outlets talk only about the “latest” development. I don’t think like that. I think in terms of the “whole story” -the old parts as well as the new parts. And sometimes I need somebody to re-describe the whole story, not just to talk exclusively about the latest development. Surely the “scoop mentality” has died  …or has it?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      There is a bit of politeness that goes with being in public radio. At some point it affects what the hosts are allowed to say to bamboozled callers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.kollars Chuck Kollars

        In the case this morning, a direct, very simple, (yet polite) answer _was_ possible. They could have just said that the satellite view was in Washington D.C. while Susan Rice was in New York City. Nothing impolite about that, and it would have _directly_ addressed the bamboozled comment. If they’re not prepared to at least do that, I go back to my suggestion of screening the caller out _before_ they get on the air. That way there’s no need to even consider anything impolite.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Oh, if there were a test before get callers on the air. I’m with you pretty much there.

          What I call “public radio polite” isn’t testing the boundaries of actual politeness, but seeming politeness. That’s where the sheen of polite conduct gets in the way of telling the truth or stopping someone lying.

          At some point in the continuum the public radio hosts’ jobs isn’t to granulate and countermand the faux facts callers come here with, or to call lying callers liars, or to countermand the caller’s ignorance. It takes a lot to set a host off to do these things, to upset their on-air equilibrium.

          And the preponderance of lying callers is, well, asymmetrically distributed across the spectrum.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    to TOC1234 from below (Disqus squeezed out the space):

    Mere words scare you, don’t they? You really ought to get out more and read from a Democrat who isn’t Droopy Dog or “Coma” Colmes.

    • toc1234

      fyi my app is flashing an ‘unstable’ reading right now…

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        You oughta get out more.

        Mere words do scare you.

        • toc1234

          good use of italics – as words in different scripts really terrify me…

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Go to the Texas secession thread if you think if I represent a threat to you.

            You really have led a sheltered lfe.

          • toc1234

            what’s up with all the ‘scare’ and ‘threat’ talk?  go back to my earlier post – the part about about the impotency of liberalism.  and after you read that go yell at a cloud or something…

          • StilllHere

            He’s abusive, you would do well to ignore.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Abusive?

            Pull yourself off the fainting couch, and take a trip through the sewer of any right wing site for what abusive really looks like.

  • jimino

    I couldn’t listen to the show yet, but did anyone explain why the spending cuts and federal income tax increases on “the 47%” that have ridiculously been termed  a “fiscal cliff” are any different from what the Republicans campaigned for this year?   These two things are EXACTLY what they ran on, but now they’re being seen as some sort of disaster?

    Has there ever been a more intellectually dishonest bunch at the helm of government than the current Republicans?

    • Ray in VT

      Well, those people need skin in the game, but they shouldn’t have their taxes raised.

      • jimino

        How do you propose they get “skin in the game” except by having their taxes raised?

        • Ray in VT

          I was being facetious in my statement.  Given that a good proportion are elderly and that most of the rest are the working poor who pay other taxes, I think that they already have “skin in the game”, whatever that means.

          • Mike_Card

            Wasn’t that type of skin described in Merchant Of Venice?  A Republican named Shylock?

        • Gregg Smith

          By getting a job, contributing to society and beginning to pay taxes for the first time.

          • anamaria23

            I know so many people who have jobs, yet do not make enough to pay federal taxes under the current policy.  Believe me, they would like nothing better than to make enough to pay taxes.
            In my work in human services, I have interacted with thousands of people of all income levels.  I met NOT ONE  who wanted to be poor enough not to pay taxes.
            Your black and white limited worldview is highly offensive to those underemployed, underpaid, uninsured  who struggle, while 406 billionaires  with  four homes upgrade their private jets every year and pay politicians to make sure they
            don’t pay 4 percent more taxes., 

          • Gregg Smith

            I want them to earn enough to pay taxes too. 

    • Gregg Smith

      No one campaigned on letting all of the Bush tax cuts expire. No one. That’s the fiscal cliff.

      • jimino

        So just “the 47%” should have their taxes raised?

        What about the spending cuts?

        • Gregg Smith

          If the Bush tax cuts expire as they will without a deal then every single taxpayer will get a hike. Even six million who don’t pay taxes will get a hike. The Bush tax cuts were not for the rich, they were for everysinglebody. The poor made out better. It’s undeniable. 

          The spending cuts are needed but I don’t think starting arbitrarily with the military is  the right priority.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The Bush tax cuts were loaves for the rich and crumbs for the rest.

            And, spending cuts? I’ll settle for every balanced budget enacted the last time the GOP was in the White House. Ooh, I forgot: No Republican ever was a conservative. That must be how the GOP managed to explode the deficit during a 5-year expansion.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Bingo. The “cliff” (typical righty scare framing used mindlessly by all the corporate media) will raise taxes on the 47% and cut gvt spending, so we better get a deal to raise taxes on the 47% and cut spending to avoid it. Yes, typical idiocy EXCEPT never forget:
      1. The #1 righty agenda is to grab more for the rich, and taxes are NOT supposed to go up on the 1%
      2. The #2 righty agenda is to protect the mil-indu complex, and mil spending is NOT supposed to get cut

  • Ray in VT

    So, I sort of asked this before, but only got an attack on the source that I used, but can someone provide me with a good reason as to why it is not hypocritical for Senators McCain and Graham to have supported Condaleeza Rice for Secretary of State, despite her public statements regarding Iraq intelligence that ultimately proved to be incorrect, while currently taking a harsh stand regarding Susan Rice’s potential elevation to that same position in light of her statements regarding the Benghazi attack.  Also, as for despicable, this is one of the worst that I’ve seen:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpFC9uziVhE

    • TomK_in_Boston

      It is a fine case of hypocrisy. 

      Maybe it’s OK if your misstatements are part of a major disaster vs a smaller incident?

    • Mike_Card
    • Steve__T

       Sorry not 1 and yes that vid is as stated. I guess hes a doctor now, and knows all about Parkinson’s disease, and its symptoms.

    • anamaria23

      Could it be that Repubs don’t generally eat their own except in primaries as they did Gov Romney?  They are into personal ruthless destruction, however,  of Dems.

      They got rid of Van Jones early on.  The swiftboating of John Kerry, the outing of CIA agent.  The ongoing slander  of Barack Obama’s character.  Now, Susan Rice.They couldn’t just question and wait for  a full investigation, but
      have denigrated her integrity as a human being.
      Senator Collins remarks reeked of  political posturing, rather unlike her in the past. 

      Dems are not above attacking, but seem to stop at attempts at  total destruction of opponents.

    • anamaria23

      In no other civilized society would Limbaugh be entrusted with a voice on the public airways. 
      He is very spiritually  ill.

      • Gregg Smith

        I could tell you about Nina Totenberg saying Jesse Helms’ grandchildren should be stricken with AIDS and I would be accurate. Susan Rice was still sent out to lie.

        • anamaria23

          Does Nina Totenberg rant daily?   Your defense of Rush Limbaugh speaks volumes of your  sad worldview.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes, she does and I pay her. I am not concerned with your opinion of my worldview. You have a sweet spot and I think you are interested in the truth, there’s hope for you. Verify my claims, think about their implications and hate me all you want.

          • anamaria23

            I do not hate you.  I disagree strongly with your positions and am moved to respond as I am to no other on this site.

             

          • Gregg Smith

            Well, that’s encouraging. I try to make my positions clear but it would be very difficult to accurately determine my worldview from them. 

            I was talking to a Libertarian who supported Gary Johnson about the Middle East. He opposed any action anywhere because he was a “peace-loving guy”. I am too. I support American involvement in a leadership role when needed. I strongly believe there has ever been a nation using so much power for so much good. Caveat: I don’t want to argue the point, you may disagree, fine. Here’s the thing, My friend and I have polar opposite “positions” but we are both “peace loving guys”. Our “world view” is the same in that regard. 

        • hennorama

          Please point out Amb. Rice’s lies.  The transcripts from all of her appearances on Sun. Sept. 16, 2012 are available, as are the CIA talking points and the ODNI’s statements.  Go ahead, use Amb. Rice’s words against her, and show how she knew something else as of the afternoon of Sept. 15, 2012, when she taped those shows.

          Otherwise, you may want to use another term.

          • Gregg Smith

            She said there was no evidence of a terrorist attack when the CiA said there was; When the Libyan President said there was; When the State Department was informed eyewitnesses said it was militants. That’s not “no evidence”. She was sent out to lie. She may not have personally lied and instead is embarrassingly incompetent. Did I say she knew better? Susan Collins is saying she did because she was briefed but I chose my words carefully. She was sent out to lie. 

          • OnPointComments

            In my opinion, at a minimum Ambassador Rice is guilty of being willfully blind to the obvious circumstances.  She may have read the talking points that were handed to her, but she has an obligation to have a critical mind and to be appropriately skeptical.  During the days after the attack, and before Ambassador Rice appeared on the news shows, a number of On Point commenters said that it defied logic to believe that the attack was the result of spontaneous mob gone wild over a video.  If we had the prescience to question the story, why didn’t Ambassador Rice?  It seems that by now everyone would know that “I was just following orders” (or in this case, “I said what they told me to say”) is not an excuse.

          • Gregg Smith

            Further, who are “they” and why isn’t President Obama spitting nails mad about being given bogus intel?

    • StilllHere

      Did Condi know she was lying like Susan did?

      • Gregg Smith

        That’s what made Jon Stewart’s analogy ludicrous. And he swore she knew it was false. Despicable.

        • StilllHere

          In no other civilized society would Stewart be entrusted with a voice on the public airways.  
          He is very spiritually ill.  

    • Gregg Smith

      You really ought to quit letting others (who also don’t listen to Rush) tell you what to think of him with out of context, old as the hills, dissected every possible way, incidences that he in the end came out smelling like a rose on. It wasn’t despicable at all and Michael J. Fox admitted to purposely being off his meds to make the testimony dramatic. It was a political sideshow. The truth is not despicable. But I don’t need to defend him.

      That’s not the point. Okay Rush is Godawful and as nasty as NJ. So what? There is no analogy between the Rices, it’s manufactured by a comedian. But say there is, a greater hypocrisy has never been heard of. So what? How does that discredit what McCain, Ayotte and Graham are saying? Why haven’t you or Stewart examined or cited what they are saying? Why, please why? Does it matter? Not to most. There is no adult conversation, her attackers are old and white, they’re hypocrites, they’re racist. That’s all we need to know.

      • 1Brett1

        You are completely wrong about Michael J. Fox not taking his medication on purpose; you are also wrong that he admitted he purposely did so. See my reply to Ray. 

        I’m not interested in addressing your broken record about Rice or Benghazi; you’ve already heard from me on the matter, and we’ve heard from you ad nauseam on this topic, and I don’t really care what your take on it is, at this point. I was interested in your initial opinion a few weeks ago, but after three weeks of Gregg spew, it’s gotten tiresome. You have a right to express yourself, and I have a right to tell you your incessantly repeated prate on the matter has become annoying; in fact, it became annoying weeks ago, not only to me but to anyone who at least affords you the undeserved respect to read your tripe. Spare me your concern over Americans getting killed, as well. We’ve also heard that ad nauseam, to the point where you appear not as concerned over that as you are to continue throwing shit against a wall and hoping you can get it to stick. 

        • Gregg Smith

          So, he purposely over medicated himself. It was years ago, I’m going by memory. Same difference.  He admitted it. It was ginned up. It was fake. Limbaugh’s point was valid. It was not mean. My point remains unchanged.

          You guys wanting to debate Rush or Iraq or Bush is hilarious.

          • StilllHere

            Stuck in the past.  Democrats can’t face the issues of the day.

          • 1Brett1

            You’re like the goading person in an old B movie who stands beside the person in a dispute and says, “listen to that, are you gonna take that! Are you gonna let him say that to you!” 

          • Gregg Smith

            Stilllhere is much smarter than I, I appreciate him/her. I do plenty of cheering too. It’s beautiful.

    • 1Brett1

      Michael J. Fox did nothing of what Gregg or Limbaugh claim. Sinemet causes the dyskinesia that someone of ignorance associates with Parkinson’s. The symptoms Fox displayed aren’t quite the symptoms of Parkinson’s; much of those are unwanted effects of the medication. So, G. Smith’s assertion that Fox purposely didn’t take his medication is completely false. Fox often overmedicates himself before any public appearances, not because he wants to exaggerate any symptoms or his Parkinson’s but to assure he can function. The true symptoms of Parkinson’s make voluntary movements akin to moving a stone with one’s mind, where one tells oneself to move one’s arm, yet it won’t move, and it may take ten minutes to move one’s arm, if it happens at all. 

      Conversely, involuntary movements become uncontrollable, often making it impossible to sit or stand (while Sinemet doesn’t completely prevent this, it reduces it so the person can make some attempt to “stay in frame,” to borrow Rush’s parlance), and it’s nearly impossible to speak without medication. Speech is so cluttered, it makes the speaker with Parkinson’s sound incomprehensible. Between erratic rhythm, scrambled syntax, hyper-rapid speaking rates, and words or groups of words unintended in speech that have nothing to do with what the person truly wishes to express being uttered (not to mention debilitating tics that sound like a series of loud clicks, spits and sputters), the person could not endure any public speaking engagement. 

      Michael J. Fox is completely aware of how he looks on Sinemet, and while he was also aware of how that might have played to his advantage in his commercial segments, his reason for taking his medication is not to gin up sympathy. G. Smith’s and Limbaugh’s suggestion that he doesn’t take his medication to exaggerate his Parkinson’s symptoms just makes them both look ignorant, mean-spirited and willing to belittle a person with a serious condition so they can further their narratives. It’s unconscionable.

      • Gregg Smith

        Yadda yadda, you haven’t a clue any more than you do a source. It was all about politics, stem cell funding and Claire McCaskell. It’s the Dem playbook of emotions. Trot out Max Cleeland or Cindy Sheehan or Fox who cannot be challenged because of sympathy. It’s bogus and shallow just like throwing grandma over a cliff. And the subject is only raised as a distraction to Susan Rice. You are the one who is duped. I’m belittling no one you nasty nasty man.

        • StilllHere

          Totally transparent motives for the Dems.

        • 1Brett1

          I have two links. The one from Piers Morgan (Donny Deutch is the substitute interviewer) contains the 1996 commercial with MIchael J. Fox (which, btw, was before he had an intrusive operation in 1998, to improve his condition, called a thalamotomy). It also contains Rush’s vile comment (which you still defend) and Rush’s apology, which you have omitted here. Fox also gives his opinion.

          The Donny Deutch interview with MIchael J. Fox is from March of 2012. Since you are a huge fan of Rush, you know he apologized, so you are the nasty, nasty man! So, I offer two links, one from the mouth of Michael J. Fox; one from the Washington Post…You have Rush Limbaugh? You’re own willful/unwitting ignorance? Your bigotry? What do you have to back up your claim? 

          Your idiocy grows larger with every one of your comments. This is typical of you: you are proven wrong over and over, yet you still beat the same offensive drumbeat. Because Michael J. Fox did a political commercial that goes against your ideology/political/social views, you disparage him by combining lies with disturbing ignorance. You epitomize bigotry. You also epitomize the egocentric brat who is so self-involved you lose sight of how far you take your tactics/bigotry. You also epitomize the neocon movement itself -its politics and tactics

          http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/15/clips-from-last-night-michael-j-fox-on-rush-limbaugh-meredith-vieira-and-richard-cohen-on-living-with-ms/

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/24/

          AR2006102400691.html

          A person with scruples would give pause, maybe even apologize; you’ve done neither. At least showing some scruples would be warranted; you’ve not even done that -in fact, you’ve doubled down…you’re sick. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Cut to the chase and correct me if I’m wrong. Your claim is Rush is an insensitive mean-spirited person (among other things). What that is supposed to prove, I don’t know. I’ve listened since 1991 and that’s just BS. Laughable. The dude’s a harmless lovable fuzzball. 

            So you google or watch a show on CNN or MSNBC and think you know all about it. You weren’t listening that day and the months before. You were not following the debate as it related to Fox. You don’t know the context outside of the sound byte you’ve been fed. You were not listening to the subsequent debate either. You did not hear his apology. You did not even approach the crux of the issue, the nub of the point, the adult conversation. Someone stirred up your emotions and you were gone.

            Why is Deutch doing a piece on Rush and Fox anyway? Answer: the same thing you guys are. That is, changing the subject to something totally irrelevant.

            Susan Rice was still sent out to lie.

          • 1Brett1

            ? I provide you with credible links then you accuse me of only knowing about this because I just Googled it? I’ve been following issues of people with Parkinson’s for 20 years (I used to be a case manager in human services and I’ve had two different friends with Parkinson’s).

            Again, all you’ve offered is Rush and your despicable opinions. You are such a hack and a creep. You’ve not substantiated your position on Fox with anything other than a lot of nasty cheap shots.

          • 1Brett1

            Your problem, Gregg, is that you listen to Rush’s take on events, consider them as gospel and defend them while looking no further.

          • Gregg Smith

            Look in the mirror bub. I’m a junkie, I look wide and think deep. You have no idea.

            You have established beyond all shadow of doubt that you think I’m an idiot, a creep and mean-spirited. Why the redundancy? You spend a lot of effort to make that point.

            Others may agree and many who don’t particularly like me may disagree. People don’t typically consider me an idiot but we get it, go back to defending the Obama disaster.

          • 1Brett1

            You remind me of a childhood friend who kept telling people he had depth. Like you, he never displayed any.

          • Gregg Smith

            Already established.

          • Gregg Smith

            I have offered evidence that Susan Rice said did not exist. I have tried to take the focus off the attacks on McCain/Ayotte/Graham and put it on to their charge. I didn’t bring up Rush and it’s pointless to debate him other than I am a brainwashed idiot which you have already established.

          • 1Brett1

            Glad we can agree that you’re a brain-washed idiot.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s was not about Parkinson’s it was about stem cell funding and a publicly, emotionalized dramatic hearing to get it. And I’ll give you another whack at my ungoogled details (which won’t change my point). As I recall stem cells don’t work as a cure for Parkinson’s anyway. It was all a farce and Rush is just a punching bag.

            To recap: I said Susan Rice was sent out to lie. Ray said (via Jon stewart) that Graham and McCain were hypocrites because of their treatment of Condi. That was the first irrelevant departure. Stewart repeated that Condi knew she was lying (another irrelevant departure). I called the flawed analogy “despicable”. So Ray essentially says, “yea but look at Rush”. So now you’ve got your knickers in a twist about Michael J. Fox. Think what you want, I don’t care. Waller in the weeds.

            Susan Rice was sent out to lie.

          • 1Brett1

            Michael J. Fox’s end WAS about promoting his foundation on Parkinson’s research.

          • Gregg Smith

            You should google up, “Magic Negro” or “Doctor Shopping” or “Donovan McNaab” or “Dog Food”. That’s what we need as the mideast burns, the economy crumbles, American corpses are paraded through the streets and our politicians are lying to us: A debate about some radio guy.

          • 1Brett1

            Nice way to avoid the fact that you have engaged in the worst kind of propaganda regarding your statements about Michael J. Fox.

          • Gregg Smith

            My point is still true. The propaganda was from MJ Fox manipulating his meds for political affect. My sincerest apologies for confusing the over under thing. And BTW, I have nothing against MJ Fox and don’t blame him a bit but propaganda is tough business. He needs to take his medicine (pun intended). 

            Ooo, ooo, I know, I know, add “Chelsea Clinton”. How could I have forgotten? And I’ll save you some time, go straight to Molly Ivans. Anything you find will ultimately lead back to her anyway. Once you get your google timeline you’ll find plenty. Never mind that she is completely false in her  recounting of the incident. The actual transcript is much hard  er to find and I feel sure you were not watching (neither was Molly) as I was so you can’t draw on that. History has been rewritten, all you need to do is reach out and swallow. Eat it up.
            And as a bonus, if you look back far enough you’ll get a hold of the whole “Bone in your nose” thing. Have fun!

          • 1Brett1

            That’s just it, Michael J. Fox doesn’t manipulate his meds for political effect. Like most Parkinson’s patients, he increases the dose to get through public situations requiring speaking,  sitting, and standing.Can you get that through your little brain?

          • Gregg Smith

            HE SAID HE
            DID!!

          • 1Brett1

            Proof?

          • 1Brett1

            Gregg (and your humpbacked sidekick named StillHere who stands beside you and says, “tell ‘em, Gregg”), funding-stream sources become strong due to exposure in advertising of some sort. Often celebrities lend their time, effort and money. In this case, it is an issue intimately close to Michael J. Fox. Often, legislation is designed to support citizenry, particularly those who have a need, and there is a particular need in this case.

            It is the ultimate hypocrisy for you to claim I and they are being political. First, I’m commenting here to condemn you and Limbaugh. Second, yes, they were engaging in reasonable politics to try getting legislation passed and funding for an organization. You, however, are engaging in the lowest form of politics for what reason? To further your sick, twisted agenda, and to bash liberals and extol your love for Rush Limbaugh? Such an ignoble endeavor.

          • anamaria23

            What sets Gregg apart is his apparent glee in other’s “downfall” .  He wants Susan Rice to be proven a deliberate liar. He wants Michael J. Fox to have pulled a fast one.  He wants President Obama to fail just as Limbaugh does.  He wants the poor to be deprived  under the guise of
            ” their  greater good”.
            Most people I know (Democrats)  give Colin Powell and Condi Rice the benefit of the doubt while acknowledging as Powell himself does that their testimony led to  a prolonged and unnecessary war, that they did not deliberately lie, that they are fine people who were  caught up in a tricky situation.
            That is why Condi went on to become   Sec of State.   
            I and others I know would feel deeply sorry if it turns out that Susan Rice deliberately lied, risking her reputation and a lifetime of good work.
            I suspect that it would make Gregg’s day.

          • 1Brett1

            You’ve delineated a distinct difference between most liberals on this forum and Gregg. We will give people like Condi and Powell the benefit of the doubt. He, periodically, will tell you what an upright, impartial guy he is; his daily actions say otherwise.

          • Gregg Smith

            Did you give George Zimmerman the benefit of doubt? Or Herman Cain when he denied allegations against him? Or Romney when he said Bain didn’t outsource under his watch? How about Todd Aiken?  

          • Gregg Smith

            I want the truth and I want the best for America and her people. I care deeply for my fellow man. What you’ve described is a monster. 

          • Gregg Smith

            We’ve already established I’m a hypocrite. Move on.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Interesting thing is that polls show strong opposition to cuts (in rightyspeak = “reform”) in medicare, even among republicans. However, the TeaOP really, really, really wants to “reform” medicare so bad it hurts. They’re gonna fight for that “reform” to the last bullet.

    Shouldn’t this be suicidal? We can only hope…

    • pete18

      I’d be more worried about a dishonest president who
      isn’t at all serious about solving the countries fiscal problems. But hey, who cares as long as we can beat up on rich people and republicans:

      http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/112912-635124-obama-democrats-unserious-on-spending-cuts.htm

      • TomK_in_Boston

        The top tax rate on ordinary income is second lowest since 1929, financial schemers like romney get to pay 15% max because they claim their profits from scamming are dividends and capital gains, the estate tax has been gutted, the effective total tax rate at the top is at a post-ww2 low.  The only times the income of the 1% hit 23% of total were 2007 and 1928. Corporate profits are at record highs and the corporate share of the total tax burden is at a record low.

        If you could think for yourself and avoid the righty echo chamber you would realize that it is ludicrous to call a small tax increase under these conditions a “beat up on rich people”. If it was up to me the top rate wd be a hell of a lot higher than the clinton rates.

        I would call ending the wars in iraq and afghanistan, making a start on controlling medicare costs in the ACA (“death panels” to you) and raising taxes at the top are a fine start on our fiscal problems. It is a very serious approach compared to morons who propose LOWER taxes and “loophole closings to be named later”. Give me a freaking break.

        • pete18

          “The top tax rate on ordinary income is second lowest since 1929……”

          The echo canyon calling the chamber a
          loud reverberation. Funny.

          40 billion (the amount you get by taxing the rich) is 4% of one trillion. That’s not even a rounding error. You’d need to get four trillion in ten years to begin to make a dent in the debt.

          Even the New York Times can’t overlook Obama’s lack of seriousness: He “has barely discussed
          how he would pare back federal spending, focusing instead on the aspect
          of his plan that plays to his liberal base.”

          • jimino

            The Republicans have been running  on their plan for reducing the size of government (increasing its size throughout of course) and have had 35 years to think about what they would cut, and they can’t identify even ONE thing they would cut.  Yet still here, they have people that believe anything they say and trust them.

          • pete18

             Actually, they put out quite a detailed and serious plan last year: http://budget.house.gov/fy2013prosperity/

          • StilllHere

            Ouch, you got him there.

          • jimino

            98 pages of fluff and propaganda and it does not identify one specific program it would cut.

          • Mike_Card

            Oh, yes!  That piece of Ayn Rand-inspired fiction that even the GOP candidate himself refused to endorse. 

          • pete18

             So what specific part of it do you think is fiction?

          • Mike_Card

            Same as Willard:  all of it.

          • pete18

            A complete non-answer, of course. And I take it you think the Obama budget isan honest documentthat will solve our financial woes?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            The low taxes on the rich are facts, very important facts. Apparently it doesn’t sink in, so I repeat it. A fact is not a talking point. Saying that taxing the rich can’t get serious $ is a talking point.

            Total USA income is about $14 trillion and the 1% get about 20% of that for $2.8 trillion. An extra 10% – maybe the “shared sacrifice” that the right asks for when they want to cut medicare – would be $280 billion/yr. I can’t help it if Obama won’t raise taxes enough at the top. I know you guys throw around that $40 bil figure and I have no idea of its validity. 

            Do you say “it’s not even a rounding error” to all the little cuts the right propose?

            I repeat, you want non-serious, how about CUTTING taxes and claiming you’ll fix things with unspecified loophole closings? ROTFL. A 10 yr old wouldn’t buy that scam.

          • Zenplatypus

            Ending Bush-era tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans would raise in the neighborhood of $80 billion next year, including estate tax provisions:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/ending-bush-tax-cuts-for-rich-would-save-just-28-billion-in-2013-analysts-say/2012/07/19/gJQAW0m0vW_story.html

            The current annual budget deficit is north of $1.1 trillion. Are you genuinely unable to grasp the vast gulf separating these figures?

            I for one have no problem allowing the aforementioned upper-bracket rates to expire, but absent entitlement and other domestic spending reductions, this could hardly be said to constitute meaningful fiscal reform.

          • Gregg Smith

            But even so, why should we trust the government with another $80 billion? 

          • pete18

            “Saying that taxing the rich can’t get serious $ is a talking point.”

            Actually that’s a fact. So is Obama’s completely frivolous budget negotiations.

            By the way, since you’ve set the example that
            the repetition of a fact that hasn’t sunken in is an attribute,
            you never answered the question I asked in the previous thread, how large a percentage of the total tax burden would the rich have to pay before you would consider it too much?

            2007 rates:

            The top 1% earned 22% of national income and paid 40% of the share of federal income taxes.

            The top 5% earned 37% of national income and paid 61% of the share of federal income taxes.

            The top 10% earned 48% of national income and paid 71% of the share of federal income taxes.

            The top 25% earned 68% of national income and paid 85% of the share of federal income taxes.

            The bottom 50% earned 12% of national income and paid 3% of the share of federal income taxes.

             

          • hennorama

            You may want to use some newer data, plenty of which is available from numerous sources.

            Citing your source might be a good idea as well.

          • pete18

            It was cited the first time I posted it. This post was a reminder to Tom who has yet to respond to this difficult reality. I’m using pre-recession numbers to reflect more normal averages. The tax rates are still the same.

          • StilllHere

            Reasonable assumption.

          • Gregg Smith

            Too much sense.

          • hennorama

            Thank you for the clarification.

          • pete18

             No
            problem.

          • StilllHere

            Great points.

      • StilllHere

        Greed and envy, the Democrat playbook.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          You forgot to call us lazy public-sector moochers.

      • Mike_Card

        And the last president who didn’t worry you similarly was…?

        • harverdphd

           W

  • Potter

    Mr. Rose- I do believe that the Palestinian achievement at the UN was not a sideshow. Why  did Israel and the US get so ruffled about it? Clearly this is a message from the world community. There has been no peace process.

    • G V

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      I agree.  Mahmoud Abbas was totally justified in bringing his case before the United Nations because the Palestinian question is not an internal matter for Israel; it is an international matter.

      Here are a couple more obvious “on-points” for Mr. Rose to consider:

      1.) The illegal and inhumane Occupation of the Palestinian territories has been going on for forty-five years.

      2.) Netanyahu hasn’t made a single step to advance the peace process; neither has the Obama Administration put forward a comprehensive peace plan.

      So, what was Abbas supposed to do?  Wait another forty-five years?  Cave in to Israeli bullying and U.S. blackmail?  Beg?

       

       

      • Potter

        To retaliate for this supposed “sideshow” the Netanyahu government just moved to build more settlement housing near East Jerusalem. This is how they show appreciation to Obama. A poke in the eye—- again. 

  • gslouch

    Apparently it’s not enough that there was a Republican beat down in the presidential election.   They still refuse to admit thta the American people are for ending th tax break on the super rich.   I’ve listened c;losely and this would only ampount to a few thousand extra bucks for the wealthy.   It’s ludicrous!  Yet they can talk straight faced about reducing so-called entitlements which will affect middle and lower income individuals and families.   Unbelievable! Time to work for the working American people.   What phonies!!

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Well said! The rich are richer than ever, their taxes are lower than ever, the right is screaming about the deficit, and their proposal is….cut medicare. They’d actually prefer EVEN LOWER taxes at the top. To hell with them.

      • Gregg Smith

        Forget about myopic rates, when has the top 10% ever paid a higher percentage of the bill?

        • StilllHere

          Great question, still waiting for a response.

          • Gregg Smith

            It won’t be forthcoming.

          • Gregg Smith

            It won’t be forthcoming.

    • Gregg Smith

      250K is not “super rich”. If there was support to raise their taxes it would have been done years ago.

    • Gregg Smith

      250K is not “super rich”. If there was support to raise their taxes it would have been done years ago.

    • harverdphd

       U R rong

    • OnPointComments

      For tax returns that had income, the Top 10% starts at average earnings greater than $245,000.  Although the Top 10% earns 43% of reported income, they pay 70% of all federal income taxes.  The average tax rate paid by the Top 10% is 18.05%.  For the remaining taxpayers (the Bottom 90%), they earned 57% of income reported to the IRS, paid 30% of taxes, and had an average tax rate of 5.75%. 
       
      So, in summary, the Top 10%’s share of taxes was 63% more than its share of income, and their average tax rate was more than 3 times that of the bottom 90%.  Sounds like progressive taxes to me.  And it also sounds like the Top 10% are paying way more than their fair share.

      • hennorama

        As usual when purporting to discuss “tax fairness,” this ignores all taxes other than Federal Income Taxes (FIT).

        If you want a true “tax fairness” discussion, you need to include ALL taxes, such as sales, payroll, excise taxes, corporate taxes, estate taxes, etc.  A focus only on FIT leaves a significantly distorted picture.

        Repeating data I’ve quoted numerous times -

        Here’s the data for the shares of TOTAL taxes paid vs. income received, by quintile:

        Lowest 20%: TOTAL Tax:  2.1%  TOTAL Income  3.4%Second 20%: TOTAL Tax:  5.3%  TOTAL Income  7.0%Middle 20%: TOTAL Tax: 10.3%  TOTAL Income 11.4%Fourth 20%: TOTAL Tax: 19.0%  TOTAL Income 18.7%Top 20%:     TOTAL Tax: 63.1%  TOTAL Income 59.6%

        There is some progressivity to the overall picture, but it is not enormous. This is due to the fact that State & Local taxes tend to be regressive, which counters much of the progressivity of FIT.

        source: (the charts in these 2 articles)
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-taxes-americans-really-pay-in-two-graphs/2012/04/16/gIQA6o4yLT_blog.html
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304356604577338122267919032.html

        Limiting the discussion to only Federal Income Taxes (FIT) paid by individuals also limits the overall Federal Revenue picture, since FIT is not the only source of Federal Revenue. There are also payroll taxes, corporate taxes, excise taxes, estate & gifts taxes, etc.

        Here are ALL the sources of Federal Revenue, by percentage (2011):
        Individual Taxes 47.4%
        Payroll Taxes      35.6
        Corporate Taxes  7.9
        Customs & Duties 5.7
        Excise Taxes         3.1
        Estate/Gift Taxes  0.3

        Source:http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/federal-revenue-sources

        • OnPointComments

          Ah, but there is a difference between federal income taxes and payroll taxes.  You can turn on the TV almost any night and hear someone say about Social Security and Medicare “How dare they call them entitlements!  I paid for these benefits.”  And they’re right — they paid in, and they get a check in return.  If we’re going to count payroll taxes as part of everyone’s tax burden, even though this money is eventually returned directly to them, then we need to count the money put into IRAs and 401ks as part of the tax burden.

          • hennorama

            Thank you for your response.

            Two counterpoints:

            1. Not everyone who pays into Social Security and Medicare gets their money back in the form of benefits. For example, undocumented workers using false SSNs, and those who die before collecting any
            benefits.

            2. One’s own “money put into IRAs and 401ks” is not “part of the tax burden.” Unlike Social Security and Medicare taxes, own’s own money put into tax-deferred retirement accounts remains one’s own money, and is not distibuted to other unknown individuals.

          • OnPointComments

            I was being somewhat facetious in my example.  In my opinion, however, there is a difference between the taxes collected to run the general operations of the government and the payroll taxes.  For the former, the taxes benefit everyone by providing government services to everyone; for the latter, I expect a direct personal benefit based on the amount of taxes I paid and how long I paid them.

          • hennorama

            Fair enough. However, regardless of your opinion or expectation as to future benefits, Social Security and Medicare taxes (and Self-employment taxes for that matter) are still taxes, and therefore part of the overall tax picture.

      • StilllHere

        True, Democrats like to talk about fairness but never get to the details you’ve revealed.  It would be great if someone conducted a poll using this data and asked Americans about fairness.

      • hennorama

        OPC could you cite a source for your first sentence? (“For tax returns that had income, the Top 10% starts at average earnings greater than $245,000.”)

        The data I’ve been lookiing at show the following cutoffs for 2009:
        (Minimum AGI for tax return to fall into various percentiles, not adjusted for inflation)
        Top 0.1% $1,432,890
        Top 1%    $343,927
        Top 5%    $154,643
        Top 10%   $112,124
         You may be correct using “average earnings.”  Perhaps it’s more precise to say “The top 10% had average incomes of $245,000?”

        Sources:http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html

        http://taxfoundation.org/article/summary-latest-federal-individual-income-tax-data-0#table4

  • Mike_Card

    When was the speaker of the House a worse incumbent than Boner?  He is unable to lead his own party, let alone represent the country’s more directly-elected chamber.  Even more disheartening is their bench, where Kantor is the best the GOP could put forward as majority leader(?)!

    What has become of the tradition of McCormack or O’Neill or Rayburn?  Has the national approval of Congress crept back into double digits yet?

    • harverdphd

       Puke

      • Mike_Card

        Thank you for your considered response.

  • harverdphd

    I hope we go over the fiscal cliff…I can’t wait to see the administration blamed for everything…

    • Gregg Smith

      Republicans will be blamed… one way or the other.

    • StilllHere

      The Democrat media will blame Republicans.

    • jimino

      Isn’t raising taxes on the mooching 47% and cutting spending EXACTLY what the Republicans just ran on?  What am I missing?

  • Michael Bristol

    For Gideon Rose the 138 majority happened because this UN resolution is not a real issue. Real issues are really real and follow a bell curve. The voters checked off their box ruminating on yesterday’s lunch.
    The long, loud applause before and after Abbas’ speech.
    And again when the result was announced.
    You won’t hear it in Foreign Affairs.

  • JCat5

    The republicans must want to get their hands on the honey pot that is the payroll tax revenue stream.  It drives them crazy that the payroll taxes pay for socialist entitlements instead of “moral government” like defense spending and corporate welfare.  The revenue generated from payroll taxes is almost as much as the revenue generated from income taxes.  Republicans want to divert the payroll tax revenue stream to their preferred version of government so they are pretending entitlements are related to our debt (which they are most definitely not.)

    • OnPointComments

      The Social Security and Medicare trust funds are spent the moment they come into the treasury, and are replaced with intergovernmental IOUs.  Where does the government get the money to repay these IOUs?  I bet it borrows it.

    • OnPointComments

      From the 11/29/2012 Charles Krauthammer column http://www.humanevents.com/2012/11/29/charles-krauthammer-cliff-jumping-with-barack/ 
       
      “Dick Durbin, the Senate Democrats’ No. 2, says Social Security is off the table because it “does not add a penny to our deficit.”  This is absurd. In 2012, Social Security adds $165 billion to the deficit. Democrats pretend that Social Security is covered through 2033 by its trust fund. Except that the trust fund is a fiction, a mere “bookkeeping” device, as the OMB itself has written. The trust fund’s IOUs “do not consist of real economic assets that can be drawn down in the future to fund benefits.” Future benefits “will have to be financed by raising taxes, borrowing from the public, or reducing benefits or other expenditures.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Ah, more Krackhammer. Have you just run out of stuff of your own?

        Last I heard this board wasn’t here just to link when you are all out of ideas.

        • OnPointComments

          Krauthammer confirmed my initial post.  You can talk about trust funds all you want and claim there’s no effect on the national debt, but the fact is that the only assets in those trust funds are IOUs without a source of funds for repayment other than borrowing, taxing, or reducing benefits.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Pfft.

            I liked it better when righties like you and Krackhammer were pretending they wanted to not destroy Social Security, rather than cry crocodile tears while planning its needless demise.

            Soc Sec will be fine as long as people don’t listen to anyone you’d read to “reform” or “strenghten” it. It takes people who actually believe in doing the goddamn job to do it. And you’ve really ruled yourself (and your favorite media link sources) out on that score.

  • Gregg Smith

    In case anyone missed it, the Democrat controlled Senate just blocked closing Gitmo… again. It was never going to happen.

    • 1Brett1

      Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) of N.H. introduced the Amendment that was voted on yesterday preventing funds from being used to close Gitmo and move prisoners to prisons in the US. The vote was 54-41. Your buddy, Lindsay Graham, voted for the bill (to prevent Gitmo closing) as did the other 53 Republican Senators. Dems didn’t have enough votes to defeat the bill because of some Independents (e.g., Lieberman) and a few blue-dog Dems. Contrary to the way you are spinning it, moron, it is the Repubs who have consistently blocked the closing of Gitmo. Obama signed an Executive order to close Gitmo the second day he was in office (first term). Repubs have spend the last four years coming up with all sorts of ways to block the closing of Gitmo, from attaching other legislation to its blockage that can’t be voted down resoundingly, to ginning up fears that terrorists will be escaping Federal prisons in the US and killing people in suburbia. Again, your idiot perspective shines through.

      • Gregg Smith

        Democrats control the Senate.

        Lindsey Graham is raising good questions and did good work as a manager during Clinton’s impeachment but he mostly infuriates me. He’s not my buddy.

        Er… ugh… Obama had majorities in Congress when he signed the EO. It’s funny you blame Republicans. And you call me a moron. I get a kick out of you! The truth is, it was never going to happen because it was a horrible idea. It was an empty campaign promise for the sheep. Many of us knew better even before the inauguration.

        “Don’t deal in things that aren’t real. Don’t get yourself worked up about something that isn’t gonna happen. We got real things to get worked up about here. But closing Gitmo isn’t gonna happen. It is not gonna happen. It is not going to happen. They’re not gonna close Gitmo.” – Rush  1/16/2009

        • Mike_Card

          60 is the new 51.  The Senate is under no one’s control, with respect to non-budgetary legislation.

          • Davesix6

            Really? Just wait till Harry Reid uses the “Nuclear Option” and prevents filibusters.
            You remember the “Nuclear Option” don’t you, the one the dems were saying a few years ago would be an affront to democracy itself? 

          • Mike_Card

            “Prevents filibusters?”

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            How many were there? Seven hundred?

            The numbers on the “filibuster card” were worn off by the GOP in the Senate. Stop giving us that false equivalence crap.

          • Gregg Smith

            But there were no filibusters regarding Gitmo, were there?

          • Mike_Card

            Don’t honestly know, and am too tired to do the research.  Seems likely that there would have been more than one.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll look it up sometime but there was stout opposition from both sides of the aisle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/miles.petty Miles Petty

    I would like to make a suggestion for a future show– after the fire last week in a garment factory in Bangladesh that killed over 100 people, it was revealed the factory was producing clothes for Wal-Mart, Sears, and other American companies.  The companies said they didn’t know the factory was being used for their products. But they all contract for the work and from what I understand of the industry, the contractors really get squeezed on the margins.  While any employer has a duty to safeguard his/her employees, a lot of the blame for this fire probably lies on the shoulders of American consumers who demand lower and lower prices and are disconnected from how they get those prices.  I would love for you to take up this story.

    • StilllHere

      That makes no sense whatsoever.  If the factory owners are putting the profits into their pockets instead of into the factory, that is their fault and their fault alone.  

      • Janet Conover

         Business owners to not just stuff all profits in their pockets.  They use the revenue to expand the business, create more jobs and improve working conditions.  Consider that for a women in a third world country, a factory job is heaven compared with being a house slave. In our own industrial revolution, New England farm girls jumped a the chance to work in the mills. The progression from undeveloped to develop is a process.  Don’t disrespect the small employers who are taking those first steps that free poor rural women from poverty.  The fire was tragic, but don’t tar all employers with your broad brush

        • JGC

          I don’t know if “Janet Conover”  is real or just a cartoon character like the ones done by Michael Ramirez and Tony Auth, but “her” comments this evening are a chilling piece of work.  And if you haven’t already deduced that by what “she” wrote above, take a look at “her” thoughts on hiring autistic people in “Jobs for the Autistic”.  

          Is it Irony run amuk?  A joke gone awry, or just “her” truth?  Yikes, Janet Conover is like a drone destroyer targeting disabled people.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Like those immigrants burned in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, those laborers in Bangladesh are free to take a job in the factory across the street.

            (Wow. Can’t believe I finished that with a straight face.)

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri
    • Davesix6

      Wow, nice!

  • StilllHere
    • Davesix6

      Outstanding StillHere, it’s all a matter of science, namely the science of math.
      So here’s an opportunity for Obama to “restore science to it’s rightful place”, whatever that means!

      • StilllHere

        He loves corn-based ethanol so science is not his strong point.

        • OnPointComments

          100 years from now people will wonder how, in a world where people are starving, we chose to burn food for fuel.

          • Steve__T

            Not so.
             http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2011/03/30/food-and-fuel-debate-important-to-all-ethanol/

          • hennorama

            Indeed, it’s not smart to be converting food crops into ethanol used in transportation fuels.  Something like 40% of the U.S. corn crop is going to ethanol production this year, at a time when corn production is lower due to the drought.  This is great for corn growers, but not so great for consumers who are paying higher food prices.

            The politics of reducing/eliminating various corn ethanol subsidies, some of which have been around since the 1970s, had made the switch away from corn ethanol difficult.

            The subsidies have now expired, but corn ethanol has an even better
            support mechanism – the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which has been in effect since late 2007.  According to David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., of The Heritage Foundation, the “RFS sets a floor on the volume of ethanol that must be included in the U.S. gasoline supply. This floor ratchets up every year. Because cellulosic ethanol from non-food sources, such as switch grass and wood chips, has failed to develop as hoped, nearly all of the mandated ethanol is distilled from corn.”

            Source:http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/the-renewable-fuel-standard-ethanol-use-and-corn-prices

            Clearly, until cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, and advanced biofuel production ramps up, a large part of U.S. corn production will be converted to ethanol, supporting higher corn prices.  Corn growers have figured out that this “quiet” support is much better than the “loud” subsidies and tariffs, which is why these expired with nary a peep at the end of 2011.

            The resultant higher corn prices have had a worldwide impact, pushing food prices up around the globe.  This has led to increased inflation, higher poverty rates and more malnutrition and disease associated with food shortages.  Angry citizens have rioted over price hikes on staple foods, leading to political instability.

            Let’s hope we get better results out of the non-corn renewable fuels soon, or these problematic trends will continue.

    • OnPointComments

      A very entertaining and informative video.  The video points out a basic tenet of progressives:  they really don’t want to set a tax rate of 40%, 50%, 60% or more because they think it’s “fair.” They want something much more variable.  If you gave progressives free reign to set tax rates today, and tomorrow they discovered that a corporation or individual still had more money than progressives thought was needed or fair (using their own socialistic standards of course), they’d want even more.   Witness President Obama’s harping about the amount of Exxon’s profit in the video; you’d think he’d praise Exxon for being successful instead of chastising it.

  • StilllHere

    Disqus error

  • noslack2327

    I just listened to the rebroadcast of Friday’s show. I am amazed with the nonchalance with which Mr. Ashbrook and his guests dismiss our embrace of Israel. Mr. Rose, does anyone in Congress care about the United States and the United States people more than pro-Israeli votes and largesse? Israel lost the moral high ground at Deir Yassin. Backing Israel  diminishes U. S. standing, puts the American people at risk, and is morally bankrupt. Note just some of the actions by our “ally” Israel. 

    • the perfidy of Jonathan
    Pollard, a spy for Israel

    • Israel’s air attack on
    the U. S. S. Liberty in which U.S. sailors were killed and wounded

    • the massacres fomented
    and abetted by Ariel Sharon at Sabra and Shatila

    • the land grab of
    Palestinian territory

    • the on-going
    colonization of the West Bank with so-called settlements

    • war crimes in Gaza – yes,
    war crimes

    • Palestinian civilians
    killed in the Qana bombardment.
    If the foregoing points are unimportant, explain so to the Corries, whose daughter Rachel, a witness for peace and justice was crushed by an IDF bulldozer. 

     

  • 1Brett1

    Here’s a chart comparing a company that treats its employees well to one that treats its employees poorly. The company that treats its employees well does better financially.

    • Gregg Smith

      Who woulda’ thunk?

  • JONBOSTON

    I’m always amazed at the comment that a majority support taxing the upper 2% of wage earners. The number cited in Friday’s call was 60%. What’s surprising is that the number isn’t greater, ie., that 98% of all voters would support this. Why would anyone who pays little or nothing in federal income taxes ever oppose “someone else” being stuck with the bill and paying for their benefits? This is what class warfare is all about. It is undemocratic, un-American, abusive, divisive, and shameful. Talk about tyranny of the majority. If this is where America is heading, this country will no longer be a beacon of  freedom, hope and prosperity.

    Taxing the upper 2% of wage earners with the Clinton marginal rates will raise each year about $90 billion in additional taxes (per the CBO). This amount will operate the Federal government  for about 6-7 days. It will do practically nothing to address our annual deficit of $1.3trillion and have absolutely no impact on our $16 trillion national debt. It will not help the middle class, does nothing to create economic growth or reduce unemployment, nor will it alleviate poverty. To those left wing drones who blindly support our awful demagogue president, do you ever ask why he continues to promote this divisiveness? Do you ever stop to think if it’s good for our country that we set one group up against another? Can you recall any American president ever doing such a thing?

    • OnPointComments

      I’d be willing to lose the class warfare battle waged by the President and Democrats and accept the Clinton tax rates if spending returned to a reasonable level.  If spending was at the same dollars as it was in FY2007 before the financial crisis, it would be one trillion dollars less than FY2012.  Pair that with a tax increase and the US might actually have a chance to reduce the national debt.  It’s incredible that additional TARP and stimulus spending to address the one-time 2008 financial crisis has become a permanent part of every yearly budget since 2008 and all of the projected budgets into the future.

      • JONBOSTON

        I would also support paying more in taxes if everyone shared in the burden. It is terrible for our country, let alone the economy, to divide up this nation along class lines and set one group up against another. This is (our used to be) the UNITED States of America. For Obama the campaign never ends. It’s the only thing he does well. Obama has demonstrated that a divisive ,disgusting campaign targeted to the most basic resentments and envy of those most unfortunate can succeed during a time of economic uncertainty and insecurity. Rather than seek to heal this country by reaching out to the nearly 47.5% who voted against him and his destructive policies and rhetoric, he’s only made things worse. It’s hard for me to have any respect for him as president and I think I share that sentiment with many.

        • OnPointComments

          One columnist’s view on class warfare:

          The Working Class & the Government Class  
          November 30, 2012
          By Daniel Greenfield

          http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/the-working-class-and-the-government-class/

          Excerpt
          “Our class warfare is not determined by paycheck size.  The United States has only two classes:  the working class and the government class.  The government class is dependent on the working class, deriving its income from their income.  The government class turns from the symbiotic to the parasitic to the extent that its demands on the working class become unsustainable and exploitative, that its functions grow bloated, its spending programs reek of corruption and its government contracts emerge out of backdoor deals with friendly politicians.  A host and a parasite of equal size cannot both survive for long.  Either both the host and the parasite will die.
           Or the parasite will die and the host
          will live.”

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Really depending on the can’t-miss-a-paycheck types (most all of us in the working and middle class) to go all Stockholm-syndrome with the well-well-off, aren’t you?

    • hennorama

      Ummm … it’s not “the upper 2% of wage earners” but rather the upper 2% of TAXPAYERS.  The term “the top/upper 2% of wage earners” is misleading in that it excludes the other sources of income of the top 2% of taxpayers.  You’re far from alone in using it, however.

      While it’s certainly true that most of the top 2% of taxpayers are either “wage earners” or high-earning professionals, not everyone in the top 2% does any actual work for wages.

      Here’s a discussion of the top 1%, which shows the diversity of this group.  The top 2% would no doubt be even more diverse:

      http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2011/10/25/beyond-the-1-percent/

      By the way, many of those so-called “small businesses” included in the top 2% have ZERO employees.  In other words, these “small businesses” are simply self-employed individuals, such as medical professionals, financial professionals, etc.

      This is not terribly unusual.  According to the Census Bureau, “About three quarters of all U.S. business firms have no payroll. Most are self-employed persons operating unincorporated businesses…”

      So much for them being “job creators.”

      Source:http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html

      • JONBOSTON

        In my haste, I used “wage earners” as shorthand for the wealthy. I realize the bulk of the income for the superwealthy is “unearned income’ from dividends and capital gains taxed at the 15% rate. 

        The point of my comment was not to argue that the top 1 or 2% avoid a tax increase because it could impact unemployment , even though our demagogue- in- chief continued the Bush tax cuts in 2010 for everyone citing the weak economy in 2010 ( when economic growth was greater than it is today). My point is it is disgusting for a president to attack the top 1-2% for no reason other than to stoke the envy and resentment of those less fortunate.  The amount of increased taxes raised by raising the wealthy’s marginal rate to 39.6% is  so negligible that there cannot be any economic justification for his attack on the rich. We deserve better from a president.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          It’s not “raising the rates”. Read your history. The tax cuts are temporary. If we want to talk about raising the top marginal rates, let’s talk a real raise.

          And “attack”? Poor, poor rich folk.

          They’ve got a decade of an incredible tax cut. We got the crumbs, they got the loaves. It’s stopping, as planned, as pinky-swore up, down and ten ways til Tuesday when it was enacted.

          The rich have made out pretty goddamn well, as they do in every era. They can put on their big boy pants and quidtherbidgchin.

          Why do I say this? I’m just counting every instance where any rich person, rich person’s thinktank or Beltway Inbred has “turned the corner” over Obama. He compromised umpteen times in his first term, and the most reliable narrative we can get out of this is “both sides are stubborn and need to compromise”.

        • hennorama

          Thanks for the response.

          As I said, you are far from alone in using the “wage earners” term in place of “taxpayers,” so no worries. Politicians of both major parties do it all the time, as do many others. I simply wanted to be as precise as possible in the discussion.

          I understand your perspective that you feel that Pres. Obama is somehow “attack[ing] the top 1-2% for no reason other than to stoke the envy and resentment of those less fortunate.” However, I find it difficult to characterize a proposed tax increase on that small segment of American society as an “attack.” I also seriously doubt that the President is trying “to stoke the envy and resentment of those less fortunate.” I further disagree that the added Federal Revenue (FR) from the President’s proposed tax increases is “so negligible that there cannot be any economic justification…” for it.

          We’re talking about added FR of between $800B and $1.6T over 10 years. That seems far from negligible to me. Do you think we should simply do nothing about adding FR, or start elsewhere, or add a greater amount?

          • JONBOSTON

            $80 billion/yr is about enough to fund the government for 6-7 days; it’s a trivial number compared with a $1.3trillion budget deficit.Making the books balance is not Obama’s goal. In 2008, when it was pointed out to Obama that Clinton’s cut in cap-gains rate increased the revenue from the tax ( because lower rates encouraged more transactions),Obama was unmoved. 

            You probably wouldn’t know this but tax revenue in 2012 is up 6.4% and at $2.45trillion is close to an historic high. All this is occurring under the Bush tax rates that Obama so desperately wants to raise. Individual tax payments are up $233billion over the last two years or 26%. Imagine how much more revenue the Feds would have if we had decent economic growth instead of a measley 2.2%.  

            What’s my point? If Obama was more concerned with growing federal tax revenues to fund the very programs that so many of the left wing drones advocate for, rather than re-distributing income and punishing success,he’d promote different policies, ie. pro-growth policies. But that’s not his goal. The real irony is that the very successful will not be hurt by whatever happens. But many if not all of the 50.5% that voted for Obama surely will be when the economy tanks.

          • hennorama

            Thanks for your reply. I understand your viewpoint. Clearly we disagree.

            Dismissing $800B to $1.6T in added FR as “trivial” is not constructive to finding solutions to these problems. We need to start somewhere, right? As I’ve asked you – Should we simply do nothing about adding FR, start elsewhere, or add a greater amount?

            As to your comment about capital gains tax rates, I think that one could better argue this about capital gains tax rates – transactional timing has much more to do with any near-term increase/decrease in revenue from capital gains. When a rate changes, whether up or down, it prompts those sitting on gains to either accelerate sales to avoid a higher rate, or delay sales to take advantage of a lower rate. Over time, revenue from capital gains more closely tracks the changes in stock markets.

            As to your comment “You probably wouldn’t know this …” – my knowledge of tax matters is actually quite extensive, as you could easily determine by reading many of my other posts.

            Your comment that estimated 2012 Federal Revenue (FR) “is close to an historic high” is true, yet it is STILL going to be nearly 4% lower than the 2007 peak.

            Going through the Great Recession (GR) has obviously had massive impact on FR, as have the various fiscal changes that have been implemented since the GR.

            I do agree with your premise that we need greater economic growth, and greater employment growth especially, to make a big dent in the Federal deficit. Higher employment will result in added FR from income and payroll taxes, as well as greater profits for consumer-oriented businesses. It will also result in lower FS, as less income, housing, food, and medical care support will be needed by those changing from being unemployed to employed. We certainly need BOTH increased Federal Revenues AND decreased Federal Spending to narrow the Federal deficit.

            Unfortunately, there is no magic wand able to produce higher economic growth or higher employment. Practically everything that can be tried has been tried. Fortunately, this led to a quick recovery from the GR. But the recovery (which I’ve termed “The BBQ Recovery” because it’s been “low and slow”) has felt a lot like a recession, due to persistent high unemployment and low GDP growth. But we HAVE recovered, and risking another recession due to the various “fiscal cliff” consequences is foolhardy.

            My main point however, is not about any specific tax rate or fiscal change, but that to get to balance in Federal Revenue and Federal Spending, we need BOTH revenue increases and spending cuts.

            We have to start somewhere.

          • JONBOSTON

            Although $80billion is a start, it is so insignificant when you consider we spend $3.4 trillion with a $1.4trillion deficit. Which leads to the point I’ve been trying to make but you simply ignore–namely that Obama’s pursuit of higher taxes on the wealthy is ideological –it has more to do with his re-distributing wealth and making his supporters believe that their struggles are caused by the wealthy getting more than their “fair share” of the pie. Just read the numerous left wing posts on this board–they usually assume it’s a zero sum game and if the rich are getting richer, it’s at been the expense of the poor.This is totally misguided and ignorant. But it wins votes –about 50.5% of the electorate. By setting the rich against everyone else, Obama is able to escape blame for his failed policies and avoid any responsibility for the rotten economy…It worked because the mainstream media refuses to judge Obama like any other president (especially Republican) and so much of the electorate is uninformed, ill-informed, totally consumed with their needs and the country be damned, or just plain stupid…Sad but true in my opinion.

          • hennorama

            JONBOSTON – Thank you for your response.

            One might sum up your views as that Pres. Obama’s proposals are simply politically or ideologically motivated “divide and conquer” or “decoy and distract” tactics. You’ve made your views clear, which is all well and good.

            Whether Pres. Obama’s proposal to let the Bush II tax cuts finally expire for those in the top marginal tax brackets is a political or ideological tactic, or is fiscal prudence is debatable. Whether Pres. Obama’s prior actions are truly “failed policies” is debatable. You have presented your views. They are all debatable.

            The principal reason I’ve largely ignored your comments along these lines is that they neither change the problem, nor propose or promote a solution. My goal is not argument per se, but rather to work toward solutions.

            The economy was the top concern of voters in the recent election process. Federal spending was at or near the top of the list of voters’ concerns. So it’s not as though voters did not consider these issues prior to casting their ballots. You do not agree with the majority, and have significant disdain for a large part of the electorate. You are far from alone in this, as demonstrated by Mr. Romney’s “47%” remarks. I understand. Losing sucks, especially if you feel those who won are going to “tank the economy.” I get it.

            Regardless of the truth of the matter, we have a problem to solve. Namely, we need more Federal Revenue and less Federal Spending. We need to start somewhere.

            Where do you think we should start with Federal Revenues? Should we leave tax policy completely unchanged? Should we look at getting more revenue from somewhere other than income taxes from the highest-income individuals? What about Federal Spending? Where do you think we should cut? (please be as specific as possible)

            Let’s work on solutions, together. We need to start somewhere.

          • hennorama

            JONBOSTON – Thank you for your response.

            One might sum up your views as that Pres. Obama’s proposals are simply politically or ideologically motivated “divide and conquer” or “decoy and distract” tactics. You’ve made your views clear, which is all well and good.

            Whether Pres. Obama’s proposal to let the Bush II tax cuts finally expire for those in the top marginal tax brackets is a political or ideological tactic, or is fiscal prudence is debatable. Whether Pres. Obama’s prior actions are truly “failed policies” is debatable. You have presented your views. They are all debatable.

            The principal reason I’ve largely ignored your comments along these lines is that they neither change the problem, nor propose or promote a solution. My goal is not argument per se, but rather to work toward solutions.

            The economy was the top concern of voters in the recent election process. Federal spending was at or near the top of the list of voters’ concerns. So it’s not as though voters did not consider these issues prior to casting their ballots. You do not agree with the majority, and have significant disdain for a large part of the electorate. You are far from alone in this, as demonstrated by Mr. Romney’s “47%” remarks. I understand. Losing sucks, especially if you feel those who won are going to “tank the economy.” I get it.

            Regardless of the truth of the matter, we have a problem to solve. Namely, we need more Federal Revenue and less Federal Spending. We need to start somewhere.

            Where do you think we should start with Federal Revenues? Should we leave tax policy completely unchanged? Should we look at getting more revenue from somewhere other than income taxes from the highest-income individuals? What about Federal Spending? Where do you think we should cut? (please be as specific as possible)

            Let’s work on solutions, together. We need to start somewhere.

  • Coastghost

    Obama has as much of a mandate to tax his way to Federal fiscal health in 2013 as he had to close Guantanamo Bay in 2009. –As much as, no more of, and perhaps possibly maybe (or probably) much less than, given that he won re-election with a few million fewer votes.

  • Davesix6

    During the Presidential debates it was established, by President Obama himself, that he knew the attack in Benghazi was an “act of terror”, and called the attack an “act of terror” the morning after in his now infamous “Rose Garden” comments on September 12, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by his side.

    Ambassador Rice was sent out by the White House on September 15 to make a series of untrue and misleading statements on Sunday morning “news” programs.

    The question is not did President Obama lie to and attempt to deceive the American people concerning Benghazi, the question is why are President Obama, his administration, and his campaign not being held accountable by the American press?

    President Obama by his own claim and therefore his own admission has lied about Benghazi!

    And the democrats and most of the press are all party to that lie. 

    • OnPointComments

      My prediction:  if Republicans can get close to the truth of what happened in Benghazi and afterwards (and it will have to be the Republicans because the sycophantic media has abandoned its responsibility), there will be another claim of Executive Privilege (ala Fast & Furious) to thwart uncovering what happened.

      • StilllHere

        Guaranteed.

  • OnPointComments

    A nifty chart from the data of the “2012 Economic Report of the President” that shows the effect that the Bush tax cuts had on revenues and the deficit.

  • hennorama

    Regarding tax breaks, there’s an amazing visualization of “Who Gains Most From Tax Breaks” by the New York Times, from April 13, 2012.  It shows the 5 largest Federal “tax breaks” from 2011, and who benefits from them.  (Hint: it’s not the botom 80%).

    Over $202 billion (out of $939 billion) went to the top 1%.  That’s over 21.5% of the benefits to the 1%.  The next 19% got almost $400 billion of benefit, amounting to 42.6% of the total.  So, the top 20% received 64.1% of the tax breaks.  Pretty sweet deal, no?

    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2012/04/13/opinion/sunday/0415web-leonhardt2.html?ref=business

    • OnPointComments

      It’s not surprising that the groups that benefit most from tax breaks are the ones that actually pay the most federal income taxes.

      • hennorama

        Thanks for your response.

        The visualization of “Who Gains Most From Tax Breaks” is solely about income groups, and not about groups that pay taxes. Not to split hairs too finely, I think what you meant was “It’s not surprising that the groups that benefit most from tax breaks are the ones that [have the highest incomes]” and NOT “the ones who actually pay the most federal income taxes.”

        Here’s an example of the difference:

        Collectively, in tax year 2009, taxpayers with incomes under $75,000 paid $194.67 Billion in Federal Income Taxes, whereas taxpayers with incomes over $1,000,000 paid $182.37 Billion.

        As classifed by the IRS, the single group “who actually pay the most federal income taxes” were those in the $100,000 to $199,999 income range. They paid $230.63 Billion in 2009.

        Source:http://www.irs.gov/file_source/pub/irs-soi/09in35tr.xls

        David Cay Johnston pointed out some of this in his article:

        http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2011/10/25/beyond-the-1-percent/

        • OnPointComments

          I agree my wording was poor.  Better wording would be that those who pay a higher income tax rate benefit more from the tax breaks than those with a lower rate.  The households with income of $1 million or more “paid” a federal income tax rate (before credits) that was more than twice as high as the households that made $75,000 or less, consequently they benefited more from most of the tax breaks.  I put the word “paid” in quotes because this is a misnomer since it is only the initial tax calculation, and is not the final tax amount since it doesn’t take into account tax credits.  It is also more likely that many of the items included in the NY Times chart that are “exclusions,” which is the largest part of the chart, will be on a high income return than a lower income return, and in larger amounts.
           
          While it’s true that the initial tax calculation for households with income of $75,000 or less is $194 billion, and for households with income above $1 million is $182 billion, a person really has to look at the tax calculation after credits to get a complete picture.  After tax credits, the “$75,000 and less” households paid $139 billion, and the “$1 million and above households” paid $177 billion; the tax burden has switched between the two groups.  After tax credits, the income tax rate for the “$75,000 and less” households is 9.3%, and for the $1 million and above households is 28.3%, more than three times the lower rate.
           
          I feel merely stating the “collective” tax amounts, without including the number of households in the group, doesn’t present enough data for a thorough understanding.  David Cay Johnston’s article states that households making less than $75,000 collectively “paid” more federal income tax (again, it’s before tax credits) than those making $1 million or more; this isn’t surprising since there are more than 75 million households in the $75,000 and under group, but only 236,000 households in the $1 million and above group.  And although averages can distort an evaluation, I’ll state the averages anyway:  the final average federal income tax bill for the $75,000 and under households is $1,800 per household, while the average bill for the $1 million and above households is $752,000 per household.  Having this additional information may change the conclusions that someone reaches.

          • hennorama

            Thanks again for your reply.

            Indeed, tax breaks are much more valuable to those in the highest marginal tax brackets. And, as you said, those with higher incomes are much more likely to take greater advantage of the “exclusion” items on the chart, as well as 4 of the 5 largest kinds of “tax breaks.”

            And of course there are many ways to slice and dice data, and to present it in ways favorable or unfavorable to various positions. One can also include or omit various bits of data, such as the number of tax returns in a particular income group, as you point out in your post.

            Still, it is interesting to see that those with relatively modest incomes DO pay a significant share of the total FIT. In fact, if one includes taxable returns reporting incomes under $100K rather than under $75K, we get income taxes paid after credits of more than $219 Billion, far exceeding the amount paid by those with incomes over $1 million.

            Also, as your post points out, the number of tax returns reporting incomes over $1 million of income is quite SMALL, and so raising taxes or limiting “tax breaks” on those with the highest incomes directly impacts a very small part of society.

            [One point of further clarification - using the term "household" is not quite accurate, as many households have multiple Fed. taxpayers and file multiple Fed. tax returns. Sorry for the nit picking, but there it is.]

    • JONBOSTON

      Agree with OnPoint that those who pay income taxes would actually benefit from exclusions and deductions. 
      What’s really sweet is that the bottom 40% of all income groups pay little  or nothing in federal income taxes and share in 60% of the $122 billion of earned income tax credits. To those left wing drones who post here, that’s nothing more than a welfare payment transfer to the working poor. According to the IRS, in 2011 this tax refund averaged about $2300 per eligible taxpayer.

      • hennorama

        Thank you for your response. I respect your views.

        However, you are flat out wrong.

        You have conflated the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) with the total of the 3 refundable credits listed – Child Tax Credit ([CTC] the refundable part is the Additional Child Tax Credit [ACTC]), EITC and American Opportunity Credit. Less than half the $122 billion total was from the EITC, and these 3 credits do not only go “to the working poor.”

        The appropriations for the EITC and ACTC in Fiscal Year 2010 were $54.7 billion for the EITC and $22.7 billion for the ACTC. Actual refunds for the ACTC processed in Fiscal Year 2010 totaled $28.3 billion.

        Source:http://www.recovery.gov/Accountability/inspectors/Documents/201141061fr%20FINAL.pdf

        Regarding the EITC, according to the Tax Policy Center “An estimated 26 million households received a total of $55 billion in reduced taxes and refunds in 2010 (Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center Microsimulation Model, version 0411-2). The IRS estimates that in 2009, the credit lifted nearly 7 million people out of poverty, including over 3 million children.”

        For 2012, married couples with three or more children and earned income up to $50,269 can receive EITC, up from $49,078 for 2011. This is not simply “the working poor.”

        Source:http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/key-elements/family/eitc.cfm

        To receive the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), you first must qualify for the CTC. If your CTC is limited by your tax liability, you may be able to claim the ACTC if your earned income is less than the limits for the year. The limits are up to $110,000 for married couples filing jointly.

        Again, this is not simply ” the working poor.”

        Source:http://www.1040.com/federal-taxes/credits/additional-child-tax-credit/

        The American Opportunity Credit is available for a taxpayer whose modified adjusted gross income is $90,000 or less ($180,000 or less for joint filers).

        Also, not simply ” the working poor.”

        • Janet Conover

           I attempted to help a poor family fill out the forms for these programs: cross cutting references to documents they did not have; circular references; inconsistent terminology.  I have an MBA and research accounting issues for chuckles.  I am amazed that anyone successfully applies for these programs; the applications are mind bending. Wiping the slate clean of all these incomprehensible programs would probably be a blessing.  If you really want to help families of low skill folk, unwind the costs and regulations that make hiring anyone so painful. The best social program is a job.

          • JGC

            Chuckle on, Janet Conover, chuckle on…Hey, was that you at the Romney fundraiser in Florida last May?  You look so familiar…

          • hennorama

            Thank you for your response.

            I agree – we certainly need more jobs. However, these 3 credits are NOT just for “families of low skill folk” or the working poor, by any measure, as I’ve shown.

            The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit ([CTC] and the refundable Additional Child Tax Credit [ACTC]), and American Opportunity Credit are claimed on one’s Federal Income Tax Return. I presume you meant the various tax forms required to claim the credits, rather than “the applications” you discuss.

            Tax return preparation can certainly be confusing and is unnecessarily complex. However, one is warned to beware of anything called “tax simplification,” as it tends to be the exact opposite. For example, beginning in Tax Year 2005, Congress, in their infinite wisdom, established a “Uniform Definition of a Child” to determine qualifications for the Head of Household filing status, dependent exemption, the EITC, the CTC, and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. Let’s just say it did not simplify much, and led to enormous confusion for many, many tax filers.

            The IRS offers and provides considerable help to those needing assistance filing their tax returns, and there are also a sizable number of locations nationwide where IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation for people making $50K or less. This is called the VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).

            Here’s a link to the IRS EITC Home Page:

            http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/EITC-Home-Page–It%E2%80%99s-easier-than-ever-to-find-out-if-you-qualify-for-EITC

            You can find more info on the other credits on the IRS site as well as the other links in my original post. Thanks again for your response.

  • Gregg Smith

    Brett (with apologies to the blog), you wrote:

    “Michael J. Fox doesn’t manipulate his meds for political effect. Like most Parkinson’s patients, he increases the dose to get through public situations requiring speaking,  sitting, and standing. Can you get that through your little brain?” (I particularly liked the “little brain” part)

    Please choke on this excerpt from Michael J. Fox’s book “Lucky Man”:

    “I had made a deliberate choice to appear before the subcommittee without medication. It seemed to me that this occasion demanded that my testimony about the effects of the disease and the urgency we as a community were feeling be seen as well as heard. For people who had never observed me in this kind of shape, the transformation must have been startling.”

    Rush’s allegation was rational and had a basis in history. It was totally appropriate for those interested in the truth. Again, I don’t blame him but he admits to manipulating his meds for effect. You said he did not. You are wrong.

    • 1Brett1

      I was referring to Michael J. Fox’s 2006 campaign ad commercials, you are now referring to something else, as ‘Lucky Man’ is from 1998. However, I’ll stand corrected in this instance you describe here. Sorry for the misunderstanding or confusion. I was also mistaken, for which also I apologize, when I said Rush apologized for his comments about Fox, which he did not.

      Rush, however, WAS referring to the 2006 ads and not Fox’s appearance before the subcommittee in 1998. Rush made an assumption that since Fox went off his meds in 1998, he must do this all the time to gain sympathy, which isn’t true. My point remains that there was no attempt at fakery on Fox’s part. Is this the scandal you’ve made it out to be because Michael J. Fox wanted members of the 1998 subcommittee to see what Parkinson’s is like? You now say you don’t blame Michael J. Fox…yet your many posts on this have sounded like you were blaming him.

      You also earlier accused me of not knowing about the issues with Parkinson’s (yet I do) and that I just Googled the issue. I hadn’t, I was operating on memory. Considering you are quoting whole passages from Fox’s book, I’d say you’ve spent some time today Googling…but, whatever.

      You are being petty and trying to quibble about your insensitive treatment about a serious disease and the trials and tribulations of someone with the disease.

      Ann Romney has sure used her MS as a politically sympathetic topic; I have never made any disparaging comments about that.

      • Gregg Smith

        No, I have no reason to question your parkinson’s credentials. I questioned your credentials for the context and firsthand knowledge of the Rush thing. I could not remember every detail but I did remember my conclusion and knew I was following it all closely at the time felt comfortable stating what I did without looking anything up. You see, if Rush were the things you think he is he would have lost credibility with me long ago. I don’t like or respect bigoted, mean-spirited people. I could not care less that you are so eager to believe the worst about people and will never believe it.  I’d be a sick puppy to buy into what you think Rush is about. 

        • 1Brett1

          Fair enough. And you’re right in that I don’t have the familiarity with any of Rush’s threads that a regular listener has.

          My general point is that Rush made an assumption regarding the 2006 ads based on how Michael J. Fox handled a 1998 event, which I feel is unfair. And what he was saying wasn’t necessarily true but was based purely on that assumption. 

          To give another example, I don’t fault Rush for his previous addictions to opiate narcotics; I don’t think that’s fair. (Some liberals do this, but I think they are not being fair.) He had a problem, it became public, and as far as I know he’s overcome his problem. That’s his business, as far as I’m concerned. To use that against him is unreasonable and should be off limits, and any reference to that because someone doesn’t like his politics, is disgusting, no matter what anybody thinks of him. 

          Wouldn’t it be unreasonable for me in assigning any criticism of Rush to use that? In other words if I said, “oh, Rush, he’s just a doper, a junkie, you can’t believe anything he says because he’s doped up all the time. He’s a drug addict, and he’s admitted he manipulated doctors just to get opiates. Junkies relapse all the time; it’s as sure as the sun rising, so when he rants about something, everybody knows it’s just because he’s jacked up on pills; he’s even admitted he regularly abuses drugs.” And then I did an awful impersonation of a junkie high on opiates to imitate Rush. That would be pretty unfair to the man and a cheap shot. I feel that’s what he did to Michael J. Fox, and I felt that Rush crossed a line, that’s all.

          • Gregg Smith

            Fair enough back atcha’ but there is a difference. For one, Rush didn’t write off MJF as a loon at all. He made an observation about the actor in a political ad, in the political arena, on an issue of the time. The issue was stem cell research and it’s funding by taxpayers. MJF was supporting candidates with the implied message that not supporting it’s funding meant he would suffer. That is not honest in my view and given his history it was perfectly reasonable for Rush to ask the question. When you step into the political arena it’s a whole new ball game. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Not to beat a dead horse but to come full circle, allow me to ask a logistical (devoid of emotion) question. On the merits, did Limbaugh mischaracterize Fox’s appearance in the ad? Here it is:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9WB_PXjTBo

  • pete18

    I think this chart does a good job of putting the tax and revenue issue vs the spending issue into clear context, particularly when you compare Bush to Obama: http://reason.com/blog/2012/11/30/the-bush-tax-cut-issue-in-one-chart

    (Note that the source of the chart is the White House OMB)

    • hennorama

      What is your point?  That Federal Revenue (FR) declined during the 2nd worst financial crisis in recent U.S. history, or that Federal Spending (FS) rose during and after the 2nd worst financial crisis in recent U.S. history?  Or both?  Or something else?

      We have simultaneously experienced BOTH lower FR and higher FS.  Do you think we should only work on one of these factors, and completely ignore the other, or should we work on both factors at the same time?

      Which approach is more reasonable in your view?

      • pete18

        If you read the comment under the chart you can see what the point of the chart is:
        ” A few notes: George W. Bush and supporters of the tax cut said federal revenue would go up after passing the cuts and it appears it did.
        In fact, federal receipts reached Clinton-era levels without Clinton-era tax rates in 2006, not long after all the cuts went into effect (passed in 2001 and 2003, they were tweaked with in
        2005). Bush passed a tax cut as stimulus in 2008 and Barack Obama’s trillion dollar stimulus package in 2009 included some type of tax
        cuts as well, but does that chart look like a revenue problem or a spending problem?”

        • hennorama

          Thank you for your response. I understand and respect your views.

          I read the entire article in the link. As to your question, the chart clearly shows that we have BOTH a Federal Revenue (FR) issue AND a Federal Spending (FS) issue.

          It also show quite clearly that there have been nothing but Federal deficits since the Pres. Bush II tax cuts were enacted.

          It took 5 YEARS for FR to exceed the peak FR of the Pres. Clinton era, and FR has yet to exceed the 2007 peak, still 5 years later. FR for 2011 was $2.303 Billion, more than 10% below the 2007 peak of $2.568B, and the estimated FR for 2012 of $2.469B will still be nearly 4% below 2007.

          Please answer my questions – Do you think we should only work on one of these factors, and completely ignore the other, or should we work on both factors at the same time?

          Which approach is more reasonable in your view?

          • pete18

             “Which approach is more reasonable in your view?”

            I think we need to work on both but that the bigger problem is clearly spending, as the chart shows. On the revenue side, we need to do everything possible to expand the economy, which is why I think raising the rates on the top two rates is such a bad idea. First of all, if it brings in any revenue it will be miniscule and irrelevant to solving the debt or the deficit (it is being sold as a false bill of goods) and those receipts will more likely than not be offset by the adverse effects that increased taxes will have on growth.  

            Obama has spent at an astronomic pace over the last four years and that spending has put the country in an incredibly difficult situation. Bush also spent too much and that was one of the reason he lost so much support among Republicans, and was rightly criticized by the left. However Obama has piled onto the Bush spending, with his stimulus bill, cash for clunkers, healthcare plan, expansion of the children’s health insurance plan, “omnibus” spending bill, etc. and we have nothing to show for it. Growth has been anemic and the dangerously low unemployment rate has not budged at all in four years,

            I think both the spending and revenue realities, demonstrated in part by the chart, reveal what a dishonest politician Barack Obama is and how hypocritical many of his supporters are (this is not to say that Republicans don’t also have their share of hypocrites on a variety of issues).

            Obama chastised Bush on his spending, calling money added to the debt under Bush “unpatriotic,” yet Obama has added to that debt in astronomical amounts, while he continued to tell us how everything was Bush’s fault. Most of his (Obama) supporters, who were painting Bush as satanic for all his deficit spending, reacted to Obama’s more egregious spending by giving us a disinterested yawn and yammering on about the 1%.

            Obama also constantly said during his campaign that we shouldn’t go back to the Bush (Republican) fiscal policies because that’s what “created this mess,” by “costing” the Treasury revenues and “blowing up the deficit,” but that is quantifiably untrue and he was completely disingenuous for saying so. After the Bush tax cuts, federal receipts went up rather dramatically and although spending under Bush also climbed steeply between 2001 and 2006, it leveled off between 2006 and 2007. The deficit gap had been closing under Bush and before the subprime mortgage crisis, the CBO had actually predicted surpluses (spurned from the Bush policies) after 2012 through 2018. Bush’s tax cuts also put an even bigger share of the tax burden onto the wealthy (a reality that, since being posted here earlier, seems to have sent TomK into hiding).

            None of this is based on reports from the Heritage Foundation but has actually been demonstrated to be true by Obama’s own economists (after the election, of course). Read this eye-opening article in Investors Business Daily:

            http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/113012-635352-bush-tax-cuts-did-not-cause-deficits.htm

            The reason that we are nowhere near 2007 revenues is because the Obama recovery has been non-existent. His policies have been antithetical to growth, which is what is needed and there are no signs that he is offering us anything different.

          • Gregg Smith

            Excellent analysis. Be warned, the only rebuttals will be that Bush messed things up much worse than anytime in the history of the universe so this is different, or how much better things certainly would have been if

            I would add, his most recent “offer” was beyond ridiculous with no chance of support from either party. It is not serious.

          • pete18

            Yes, very true. It will also be stated that the Republicans
            prevented Obama from saving the country by being opposed to his policies. From
            that point of view, Obama is seemingly the only president in history to have
            faced a difficult economy or a hostile opposition party, so he can’t be judged
            by the historic fecklessness of his programs.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – Thank you for your well considered reply. It’s good to have some expansion of views rather than simple posturing.

            OK, so we have some agreement that we need to work on both Federal Revenues and Federal Spending. Great. Now, where should we start?
            Let’s work on solutions, together.

            We’ve had GDP growth since the end of the Great Recession (GR) in 2009 Q2. Not great growth, but growth nonetheless. Real GDP in chained (2005) dollars, seasonally adjusted at annual rates, peaked in 2007 Q4. We’ve exceeded that in each quarter since 2011 Q4.

            Source:http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=9&step=1# (Table 1.1.6)

            The actual reason that Federal Revenues have not exceeded the 2007 peak is not due to lack of economic growth, but rather that Federal Revenues (FR) as a share of GDP have fallen so dramatically. This has been both as a result of the massive effects of the GR, and by design. Various fiscal changes were made in response to the GR, as you know. With so many more unemployed, there’s been a double whammy from declines in income and payroll taxes, and an increase in various Federal support measures for those impacted.

            In 2007, FR as a % of GDP was 18.5%, and 17.6% in 2008. For 2009 to 2012 these rates were 15.1%, 15.1%, 15.4% and 15.8% (estimated), respectively. This is far below the historical average. For example, FR from 1981 through 2008 averaged 18.23% of GDP. Under Pres. Obama, they’ve averaged 15.35%. Had revenues under Pres. Obama been at the same average rate as during 1981 – 2008, there would have been more than $1.7 TRILLION in added revenue.

            Federal Spending since Medicare came into existence has averaged a bit under 21% (20.89%) of GDP, from 1967 thru 2012. Federal Revenues during this same period have averaged just under 18% of GDP (17.94%). So on average, we’ve had deficits amounting to 3% of GDP for 45 YEARS! This did not happen overnight, and will not change overnight.

            I’d be happy to go back and forth on these topics, to argue over who should get credit or blame or whatever, but none of that will change the current circumstances or the problem. Regardless of the truth of the matter, we have a problem to solve. Namely, we need more Federal Revenue and less Federal Spending. We need to start somewhere.

            Where do you think we should start with Federal Revenues? Should we leave tax policy completely unchanged? Should we look at getting more revenue from somewhere other than income taxes from the highest-income individuals? What about Federal Spending? Where do you think we should cut? (please be as specific as possible)

            We need to start somewhere. Where do you suggest?

          • pete18

            Well, not surprisingly, I’d disagree with you about a few
            things. You said that our problem was not growth but the dropping of revenues
            related to GDP. I would say the two cannot be separated and for revenues to
            move back up, growth has to be large enough to offset the other factors brought
            by a recession.  Although the
            growth rate at the peak of the 2007 revenues was 2.5%, that was one of the low
            quarters of the Bush recovery. From the last quarter of 2003 into the second
            quarter of 2006,

            growth had averaged 3%, and at the beginning of 2004 there
            were three quarters of growth averaging just below 4%. The high revenues of
            2007 were a result of growth that had been happening over a number of years. Obama’s
            growth rate has been tepid at best and one of the lowest in history after a
            recession.

             

             

             

            “Had
            revenues under Pres. Obama been at the same average rate as during 1981 – 2008,
            there would have been more than $1.7 TRILLION in added revenue.”

             

            You make it sound like Obama had the misfortune of bad
            weather rather than he had any responsibility for the consequences of his
            policies. The reason there has been inadequate growth, dropping revenue and a
            frozen unemployment rate is because he’s enacted policies that have been
            predictably converse to expanding the economy.

             

            During Reagan’s recovery, between 1983 and 1986, there was
            dramatic growth for 5 straight quarters, peaking at over 8% in the beginning of
            ’84 then leveling off to 4% from ’85 into ’86, where it then averaged 3%
            through 1987.

             

            A good place to compare these stats is here http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-growth-annual

             

            I would suggest to you that the growth during the ‘80s was
            mostly due to Reagan’s tax and monetary policies and that Obama will continue
            down the slow growth trail if all he is offering is more stimulus spending,
            increased taxation and minor cuts to spending.

             

            My approach would be to start with the Ryan budget, cut the
            capital gains rate and apply a flat tax reform that would simplify the system
            and aim to cap revenues at the historic average of 18.5 % . I would also
            grandfather in a spending cap at the same percentage of GDP plus inflation.  

             

            And you?

             

          • hennorama

            Thanks for another well-considered reply. I appreciate you taking the time to discuss both of our views. Thanks for the link. It’s interesting in that it is comparing year-to-year changes rather than the more typical quarter-to-quarter changes.

            I do not mean to imply that Pres. Obama’s policies have had no impact on Fed. Rev. as a % of GDP. I said “This has been both as a result of the massive effects of the GR, and by design. Various fiscal changes were made in response to the GR, as you know.” By this I meant “fiscal changes” to include both stimulus spending and tax reductions and incentives intended to be stimulative.

            What I was trying to point out is that FR as a % of GDP have been very low for Pres. Obama’s entire term. This is unprecedented in the post-WWII period, and therefore highly noteworthy.

            Certainly the post-GR recovery has been tepid, as we both have said. But comparing the Great Recession to other more recent recessions is quite difficult, as the GR was nearly unique in US history. The GR also has come during quite a different period of global economics, with the rise of large competitors to US economic domminance, and the economic globalization enjoyed by massive corporations.

            With the rise of China especially, and other major economies in general, the US has a much more difficult time finding growth. Corporations certainly haven’t suffered since the initial shock of the GR. They’ve cut employment and other spending, and have used their ability to adjust their operations globally, employing capital wherever it is most profitable. They also have played various tax authorities against each other, looking for the lowest taxes and highest tax incentives.

            There has been enormous downward pressure on wages and employment, partly due to the ability of corporations to quickly adjust around the globe. US employees are effectively competing with much lower paid employees around the world, as well as the unemployed here, and the influx of undocumented workers.

            As to GDP vs. tax rates – there has been no direct correlation between top marginal rates and GDP over time, either in the US or worldwide. Here’s some charting of the 2:

            http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/signal/does-28-top-marginal-tax-rate-mean-175706337.html#pm9TOeo

            http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/stats-on-human-rights/statistics-on-gross-domestic-product-correlations/#23

            To me, it makes no sense to cap either Federal Revenues of Federal Spending as a % oF GDP. A Spending cap would severely limit any fiscal response to economic downturns (or other emergencies such as war or natural disaster), and turn the Federal budget automatically into an austerity budget during these periods, exacerbating the downturn. Conversely, a Revenue cap would limit the ability to pay down accumulated debt during the best economic times. I like the concepts of conditional tax cuts during peak economic periods, but hard caps seem unworkable over the long term.

            As to Reagan’s tenure – we had deficits averaging 4.23% of GDP, which is far from great, followed by Bush I’s deficits averaging 3.98% of GDP for his 4 years. Things turned around under Clinton, but we still had a deficit on average, of 0.76% of GDP.

            I cannot agree with either the Ryan budget or a flat tax. They would both hurt the least advantaged and benefit those at the top.

            As to the immediate problem of the “fiscal cliff,” I would say there’s room for compromise. Let the top rates go up a bit less than Pres. Obama’s proposal – say to 35.5% and 39% rather than 36 and 39.6, on AGIs over $200K (Single) or $250K (MFJ). One could even move this up a bit, say to $250K and $300K respectively.

            I’d phase in (over 5 years) higher dividend and LT cap gains rates to limit the impact to the markets, and classify carried interest in the same way as qualified dividends. I’d move these rates up for EVERYONE, moving the current ZERO rate up to 5% for the lowest 2 tax brackets, and up to 20% for all others. Just move it by 1% per year, again to limit the market impacts.

            I’d also begin to phase out the 2% payroll tax reduction, moving it up in .5% increments every 6 to 12 months, contigent on employment levels. The Social Security tax earnings limits should also be adjusted upward, significantly, over 5 to 10 years. I’d move them up to at least double the current limit of about $110K, perhaps to $250K. Together, these will greatly extend Social Security viability. Medicare taxes could also be adjusted slightly upward.

            Various credits, such as the EITC, CTC and ACTC could be trimmed slightly, either by lowering the credits or reducing eligibility. I’d say these could easily be reduced by 5% overall, with greater reduction at higher AGI levels.

            (See – I’m trying to spread these impacts around a bit).

            Other tax reforms will have to wait until 2013 due to time constraints: an overall limit on deductions, the “Buffett rule,” AMT indexing, FUTA reforms, etc.

            As to spending – defense can certainly be reduced significantly. I’d also want to look at Social Security and Medicare and definitely make them more means-tested. Mitt Romney, Warren Buffett, Donald Trump et al do not need Federal support from either of these programs. The Heritage Foundation has some interesting ideas on these programs, which I’d explore.

            As to encouraging growth – the various tax incentives Pres. Obama has included in his budget, such as extending 100% depreciation, and other special incentives for manufacturers and small businesses have merit. Anything that is specifically targeted to get the long-term unemployed back into the job market would get my vote. Same thing with incentives for military service veterans.

            As I’ve said, it took a long time to get into this position, and will take time to get out. There are no magic solutions.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    It’s time even the slow learners figured out that the real agenda of the GoP, and also the conservadems, is to make their paymasters, the superrich and the corporations, richer. At this point you have to be dumb or naive to vote for a romney:

    http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/7/4/w/4/GOP-Message.jpg

    In the real world, if you do something for 30 yrs and don’t like the result, you try the opposite. We’ve been cutting taxes on the rich and deregulating the corporations for 30 years and the middle class has been devastated. Absent the corporate media propaganda, there would be no debate on what to do next.

    • pete18

       I guess when you can’t respond to any factual questions, cartoons and ad hominem attacks are all that are left in the tool bag.

  • davecm

    Obama rides to a second term on another trojan horse of promises. His trojan horse is loaded with govt. teets and the masses flock to the feast. He promises more govt. STUFF and tells the masses, don’t worry about paying for it, we are going to force those unfair rich people who make over $250k to pay for it. In other words, a free ride for 99%.
    Well!! let us look at some facts!
    If we let the Bush/Obama tax breaks drop for the rich.
    If it nets $824B over a 10 yr. period or $82B a year.
    That is enough to run the govt. for 8-9 days in Jan, 2013.
    Wow!!! If we use it just to pay down the Nat’l debt it will take nearly 194 yrs. to pay it off, again wow!!
    Who do you think will start to pick up the tab on Jan. 10, 2013.
    Out of the belly of this trojan horse of promises will come tax increases for the middle-class. You can count on it!!!!!

    • hennorama

      Please list the “more govt. STUFF” Pres. Obama “promises” and demonstrate how, when and where Pres. Obama “tells the masses, don’t worry about paying for it…”

      Please also show how there is “a free ride for 99%.”

      One can infer from your post that you believe $824 Billion is a small sum.  How much added Federal Revenue (FR) do you think is an appropriate amount?  Do you believe that there should be no add’l FR, or do you think there should be more than $$824 Billion?  Do you think we should simply give up on getting more FR, or should we start somewhere other than by raising Fed. Inc. Taxes (FIT) on those having the highest incomes?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Are you just sore that yet another Republican president failed to cut the deficit during the good times* in the middle of the last decade?

      *Disclaimer: Actual good times implied, not guaranteed. The presence of a mainstream media saying that “increase of corporate profits, and income of rich people, means the good times are here!” does not mean you, or your middle-class and working-class peers will make more money. Actual “good times”, not represented by the recovery under GWBush, typically indicate median income not dropping during a five-year economic expansion, or an executive branch failing to get budgets which cut the deficit, yet being given credit for being FiscallyResponsible.

    • Mike_Card

      $82B is such a trivial amount that it’s not worth the effort?  What color is the sky on your planet?

  • d_arcy_2

    The question is, as usual, when did Ms. Rice become aware that the “talking points” given to her by the White House for the Sept 16 talk shows were made of whole cloth?

    Your guest Gideon Rose describes Susan Rice and Barack Obama in a mutual loyalty society.

    If she knew before she went on those shows – why wouldn’t she if she were “in the loop” — and she spread the lies anyway out of that loyalty, she lied for him and he owes her big time. If she only figured out the truth about Bengazi after those shows, then Obama counted on her loyalty and used her.

    Either way, the loyalty Mr. Rose refers to Ms. Rice having toward Obama was abused. As for any loyalty Obama has for her, forget it – Obama has loyalty only to Obama.

    • hennorama

      Actually, “The question is, as usual,” – what were Amb. Rice’s “lies?”

      Please point out Amb. Rice’s lies.  The transcripts from all of her appearances on Sun. Sept. 16, 2012 are available, as are the CIA talking points and the ODNI’s statements.

      Here are the links, to make it easier for you:

      http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/week-transcript-us-ambassador-united-nations-susan-rice/story?id=17240933

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57513819/face-the-nation-transcripts-september-16-2012-libyan-pres-magariaf-amb-rice-and-sen-mccain/?pageNum=1

      http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1209/16/sotu.01.html

      http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-news-sunday-chris-wallace/2012/09/16/amb-susan-rice-rep-mike-rogers-discuss-violence-against-americans-middle-east#p//v/1843960658001

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49051097/ns/meet_the_press-transcripts/t/september-benjamin-netanyahu-susan-rice-keith-ellison-peter-king-bob-woodward-jeffrey-goldberg-andrea-mitchell/

      Here’s the statement from the ODNI:

      http://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/96-press-releases-2012/731-statement-on-the-intelligence-related-to-the-terrorist-attack-on-the-u-s-consulate-in-benghazi,-libya

      The CIA talking points are contained in a very helpful article from “the Atlantic wire” that compares the CIA talking points to Amb. Rice’s words on 3 of the 5 Sunday news shows on Sept. 16, 2012.  You might want to start here:

      http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/11/what-susan-rice-said-versus-what-cia-gave-her/59094/

      Good luck with your quest.

      • JGC

        Thanks for your links for those that may be interested. I really admire how you always try, hennorama!  For me, this whole Benghazi/Susan Rice affair is a big, fat Republican MacGuffin.  My ears glaze over (can ears glaze over?) whenever I hear another attempt at making this an important issue to discredit our Foreign Service and the Obama Administration.  Even now, I have to keep pinching my arm and slapping my face to stay awake long enough to register my disinterest in this topic.  And I suspect most Americans feel the same way.  So squeak away, Benghazi Cover-up Conspiracy Theorists, maybe I’ll be ready to listen to you soon.  Meet you at 6 A.M., Jan. 1st, 2013 at the bottom of the Fiscal Cliff…

        • hennorama

          You’re welcome; thank you for your kind words. I’m only trying to move the discussion from simple posturing to something a bit more evidence- and fact-based. I fully realize this is may be a fool’s errand or windmill tilting, but I’m determined to continue, in an effort to promote a more complete understanding of various positions and topics.

          Thanks again for your kind words.

        • hennorama

          You’re welcome; thank you for your kind words. I’m only trying to move the discussion from simple posturing to something a bit more evidence- and fact-based. I fully realize this is may be a fool’s errand or windmill tilting, but I’m determined to continue, in an effort to promote a more complete understanding of various positions and topics.

          Thanks again for your kind words.

        • OnPointComments

          The priorities of some in this country amaze me.  I won’t reiterate the details of what we know about Benghazi, but suffice it to say that four brave Americans were killed, nobody did anything to stop it, and most seem uninterested in pursuing the truth.
           
          We’re told that there shouldn’t be public comments, and questions shouldn’t be asked because an investigation is ongoing.  Yet members of Congress stand in the well of their respective houses and lament that “there still has been no arrest,” “What more does it take?” “[this] death is a tragedy,” “Our job is to understand the legislative and legal concepts that exist to consider what can be done to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.”  Nancy Pelosi called the incident shocking.  A member of the House even donned a uniform similar to the victim’s to show support.  Even President Obama said that “as Americans we are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”
           
          Oops.  Sorry, I got my quotes mixed up.  The preceding paragraph was about the aftermath of the death of Trayvon Martin, not the deaths of the US Ambassador and three others.  I guess I had my priorities wrong.

          • JGC

            The priorities of some in this country amaze me, too. Hey, there you go:  common ground!   I am very concerned,for example,  with the reports about compounding pharmacies in the U.S., which had a direct hand in the agonizing deaths of over 32 Americans this past autumn, and the devastating illnesses of hundreds more.  I would like to have our policy makers address this egregious gap in the healthcare system. 

            As to our Foreign Service, these folks are just as patriotic and just as much in harm’s way as anyone in the military. They never signed on for foreign duty from the safety of a 5-star hotel.  They are out there using their smarts to gather information and to persuade locals to our side.  It has been an aberration in the past decade that they have to be protected and excluded from interaction with the local populace.  Ambassador Stevens was doing the work he needed to do for the U.S., and he knew it.  The Foreign Service has had its budget squeezed to the choking point by folks like Grover Norquist and his loyal posse of Norquist anti-tax pledge signatories, who have no interest in the important groundwork laid by people like Stevens and the on-site operatives in the CIA. 

              

          • OnPointComments

            10/10/2012 Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb, testimony before House Oversight Committee regarding the Benghazi attack:

            Question from Rep. Rohrabacher: “It has been suggested that budget cuts are responsible for a lack of security in Benghazi, and I’d like to ask Miss Lamb. You made this decision personally. Was there any budget consideration and lack of budget which led you not to increase the number of people in the security force there?”

            Answer from Ms. Lamb: “No sir.”

          • JGC

            Keep studying the transcripts. I am confident you will find that smoking gun. Do not give up. Do not even pause a moment from your work on this important issue to change your underwear or take the dog for a walk.

            Time now for me to e-mail my congressman,  Rep. Boehner’s office, and President Obama on the Fiscal Cliff issue.

          • Gregg Smith

            Take a deep breath and get ready to jump. That’s my approach anyway.

          • OnPointComments

            Apparently you think Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb was lying in her testimony before the Oversight Committee.  You may be right; lying appears to be par for the course for personnel in the Secretary of State’s office.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I love how the usually suspect righties here have decided this molehill about Rice is the mountain they wish to die on.

          • StilllHere

            Lying and ignoring the lying are all the lefties here have.

        • Gregg Smith

          Thank you JGC for illustrating so vividly what I was trying to get across to Hennorama above. 

          • JGC

            My pleasure, Mr. Smith…

      • Gregg Smith

        Hennorama, OnPointsComments and I both replied to your question a couple of days ago. Both replies to you went unanswered (it’s hard to keep track once the comments start adding up) so I am moving them up here with an added observation to boot:

        OPC- In my opinion, at a minimum Ambassador Rice is guilty of being willfully blind to the obvious circumstances.  She may have read the talking points that were handed to her, but she has an obligation to have a critical mind and to be appropriately skeptical.  During the days after the attack, and before Ambassador Rice appeared on the news shows, a number of On Point commenters said that it defied logic to believe that the attack was the result of spontaneous mob gone wild over a video.  If we had the prescience to question the story, why didn’t Ambassador Rice?  It seems that by now everyone would know that “I was just following orders” (or in this case, “I said what they told me to say”) is not an excuse.

        I replied to OPC:

        Further, who are “they” and why isn’t President Obama spitting nails mad about being given bogus intel?

        My reply to you:

        She said there was no evidence of a terrorist attack when the CiA said there was; When the Libyan President said there was; When the State Department was informed eyewitnesses said it was militants. That’s not “no evidence”. She was sent out to lie. She may not have personally lied and instead is embarrassingly incompetent. Did I say she knew better? Susan Collins is saying she did because she was briefed but I chose my words carefully. She was sent out to lie.

        This happens very often and it’s hard not to write a book about it so I’ll focus but not on the details. Back up a notch and correct any mischaracterizations of your position.  You seem to be hung up on the accusation that Rice lied when that is not the accusation. However, it’s the perfect deflection because it creates a victim the press can glom on to. Meanwhile the actual accusation goes unanswered and the ensuing circus over a false premise complete with racism, sexism and hypocrisy not only continues to run out the clock on the American conscious but makes it more difficult to even ask (much less get answers) the important questions. Each time they manage to kick the can holding the inevitable truth, the gravity of the situation causes less collective angst. Kick kick kick, tick tick tick.

        So we debate semantics blissfully unconcerned with very serious situation in the Middle East… just like Obama wants us.

        • hennorama

          Gregg, for some reason (a DISQUS issue?) my response did not show up “in here.” (This has happened 3 times now. It shows up briefly, then disappears).

          It was almost identical to my reply to d_arcy_2 from yesterday. Here is the portion that’s different:

          “Thank you for your response.

          So now the contention is that Amb. Rice “may not have personally lied” but instead “was sent out to lie.” Can you cite any evidence of this conspiracy, using any non-classified info from the period prior to when Amb. Rice taped the 5 Sunday news shows?

          Please also demonstrate, using Amb. Rice’s words from any of her TV appearances on Sept. 16, 2012, where she “said there was no evidence of a terrorist attack when the CiA said there was.”

          [the rest was the same as my reply to d_arcy_2 from yesterday, including all the links, etc.]

          ———————————

          Obviously, there are limits as to what a Federal official can discuss in public. Amb. Rice very carefully limited her televised remarks to the CIA talking points. There were significant conflicts in the intelligence information at the time, and assessments included in the talking points were being revised vitually simultaneously with Amb. Rice’s taping of these shows. Further, since the Benghazi incidents involved a CIA operations center, it’s virtually certain that we will never know the complete truth of what happened.

          I do not know what “false premise” you are referring to – perhaps you can demonstrate whatever this is as being false, using some evidence.

          You also claim “she was sent out to lie” without citing any evidence of what must have therefore been a conspiracy of some sort. Please demonstrate that there was/is a conspiracy, if you can.

          I completely agree that the Benghazi incident has been misused for political purposes, starting with Mr. Romney’s unforunate statement. I futher agree that the issues of inadequate security personnel and fortifications at the Benghazi mission have been ignored for political purposes. The intelligence failures have also been virtually ignored, with virtually no criticism of David Petraeus, for example.

          This politicization of the Benghazi attacks did not work during the Presidential race, so now it seems that Republicans wish to use Amb. Rice as a pawn in Senate politics. If she is not nominated to replace Sec. Clinton, Republicans want Sen. John Kerry to be nominated instead – the goal being to get former MA Sen. Scott Brown to replace Kerry.

          I agree – it’s a circus.

          • Gregg Smith

            No, it is not “all of the sudden”. I’ve used those same words from the beginning. Look at  D_arcy_2′s comment, same thing. Listen to Graham, McCain and Ayotte, same thing. She was sent out to lie. It is you who are twisting what is said into your own perceived “gotcha” questions. So, I’ll waste my time and meet your specific challenge on the merits.

            “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned,”  Rice on Face the Nation

            They did have information. They were warned 3 days in advance, they had the opinion of the Libyan President, they had the cable from the CIA Station chief in Libya, they had evidence of the embassy being suspiciously photographed (staked out) they had the view of Petraeus and more but the real question is, where is the evidence it was a protest over a video? Where is the evidence there was even a protest? I’m getting ahead of myself, here’s another lie (from MTP):

            This is a response to a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world.”

            Set aside the definitive nature of the statement which is itself a lie, it was not “widely disseminated” before 9/12/2011. It was not, that’s a lie. click the little graph beside the views for stats. Here’s a couple but search them all out and see for yourself. We promoted it through blame.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmodVun16Q4

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAiOEV0v2RM

            I can do this all day but I’m not going to parse through all the transcripts for you. I watched them all when they happened with on objective and engaged eye. I’m not googling my opinion, I saw what I saw, heard what I heard and put it in the context of the larger arena of which I was also engaged. Stevens was assassinated on the eleventh. Sure there are limits to what she can discuss so she should not have blamed some silly video. 

            Look at the transcripts again. Notice how many times she uses the word “Spontaneous”. See how often she reiterates: “As I said, this IS a response to a– a very offensive video.” She was clearly pounding a message. Pay attention to how she so carefully couches any comment about a “pre-planned” (she can’t even say terrorist) but is definitive about the silly video. We know the talking points were vetted by several agencies. We know Petraeus’ opinion was redacted.

            She said: “I think, the American people fully understand that this is an administration led by a president who said when he ran for office that he would take the fight to al Qaeda.  We have decimated al Qaeda“.  And there lies the big lie. That’s the message. That is the cover-up and the attempt to plant seeds of misdirection before an election. Susan Rice was sent out to lie but she wasn’t the only one. Look at Jay Carney’s press briefings, he pounded it. Hillary promised the parents of a slain SEAL they would not rest until the video maker was behind bars. I find that disgustingly insulting. And President Obama himself blamed the video over and over again. Based on what? To the exclusion of what?

            All of this is a big coordinated lie.

          • hennorama

            Gregg you have revealed that you made up your mind about this issue long ago, and now seem only to be able to see evidence that reinforces your initial opinion, and anything contrary to be “a big coordinated lie” or “the cover-up and the attempt to plant seeds of misdirection before an election.”

            You typed: “I can do this all day but I’m not going to parse through all the transcripts for you. I watched them all when they happened with on objective and engaged eye. I’m not googling my opinion, I saw what I saw, heard what I heard and put it in the context of the larger arena of which I was also engaged.”

            “I’m not going to parse through all the transcripts” and “…I saw what I saw, heard what I heard…”

            So, contrary evidence be damned?

            As expected, you provide no evidence of any sort of conspiracy, which one would need to conclude was in place if, as you claim:

            A. Amb. Rice’s “may not have personally lied” but instead “was sent out to lie” and her comments were instead part of some “big lie” or “a big coordinated lie,” or “the cover-up and the attempt to plant seeds of misdirection before an election.”

            You say this “big lie” is:

            “We have decimated al Qaeda.” PLEASE demonstrate how this statement is a lie.

            B. Some unnamed party or parties would have needed prior knowledge of some definitive differences between the CIA talking points and whatever you think is “the truth” in order for Amb. Rice to have been “…sent out to lie.”

            Please demonstrate how any of this is true, in any way other than 20/20 hindsight. Tell us who was/is part of this conspiracy/cover-up/big lie. Was the CIA involved? The DOD? The DNI? What about Congressional members who got the same CIA talking points? Is it the media? The President? The entire administration? Show us how they got together, and how Amb. Rice was “sent out to lie” on behalf of the conspirators.

            Your own selected quote by Amb. Rice on FTN contains words that you simply ignore. “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.” She did not say there was no information, but only that they did not have information that “LEADS US TO CONCLUDE that this was premeditated or preplanned.” [emphasis added].

            YOU may CONCLUDE something else, but she did not say “They did [NOT] have information.”

            I’m guessing you didn’t bother to read the article comparing the CIA talking points to Amb. Rice’s remarks.

            http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/11/what-susan-rice-said-versus-what-cia-gave-her/59094/

            Not surprisingly, your next select quote from MTP completely ignores the context. Here’s the complete exchange, showing how Amb. Rice was not discussing Benghazi specifically, but rather responding to video that had just played, which was described as “Turmoil in the Middle East” and David Gregory’s remark about “this turmoil” and “the scale of it across not just the Arab world, but the entire Islamic world.”:

            “GREGORY: The images as you well know are jarring to Americans watching all of this play out this week, and we’ll share the map of all of this turmoil with our viewers to show the scale of it across not just the Arab world, but the entire Islamic world and flashpoints as well. In Egypt, of course, the protests outside the U.S. embassy there that Egyptian officials were slow to put down. This weekend in Pakistan, protests as well there. More anti-American rage. Also protests against the drone strikes. In Yemen, you also had arrests and some deaths outside of our U.S. embassy there. How much longer can Americans expect to see these troubling images and these protests go forward?

            MS. RICE: Well, David, we can’t predict with any certainty. But let’s remember what has transpired over the last several days. This is a response to a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world. Obviously, our view is that there is absolutely no excuse for violence and that– what has happened is condemnable, but this is a– a spontaneous reaction to a video, and it’s not dissimilar but, perhaps, on a slightly larger scale than what we have seen in the past with The Satanic Verses with the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Now, the United States has made very clear and the president has been very plain that our top priority is the protection of American personnel in our facilities and bringing to justice those who…

            GREGORY: All right.

            MS. RICE: …attacked our facility in Benghazi.”

            Source:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49051097/ns/meet_the_press-transcripts/t/september-benjamin-netanyahu-susan-rice-keith-ellison-peter-king-bob-woodward-jeffrey-goldberg-andrea-mitchell/

            Your statement regarding “the video” is either willfully ignorant, stubborn or just a representation of how closed your mind is on this topic. You typed “…the statement which is itself a lie, it was not “widely disseminated” before 9/12/2011. It was not, that’s a lie.” And you put up some YouTube counters as evidence. Perhaps you simply are unaware that this video was aired on Egyptian TV and widely shared via smartphone and social media throughout northern Africa and beyond. It was condemned by the Grand Mufti of Egypt 2 days before. All prior to Cairo and Benghazi and all the other protests at US embassies and other facilities that came soon after.

            I’ve pointed this out on numerous occasions in this forum. Here’s what the BBC said on Sept. 12, 2012:

            “The religious Egyptian TV channel al-Nas showed clips from the video, dubbed into Arabic, and scenes posted online have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.”

            So much for your YouTube video counters as “evidence” of “a lie.”

            Sources:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19572912

            http://www.onislam.net/english/news/middle-east/458983-prophet-film-spurs-egyptian-anger-at-us.html

            Your concern about the word “spontaneous” is laughable. Should Amb. Rice have said something OTHER THAN what was contained in the CIA talking points? These said, in part:

            “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the United States embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against United States diplomatic posts in Benghazi and subsequently its annex.”

            Your rather frequent “they blamed the video” comments certainly do not apply to Amb. Rice’s televised remarks. In every case, she said what was contained in the CIA talking points — that Benghazi occurred after and in reaction to the events in Cairo, and never said the Benghazi attack was caused by “the video” or anything similar.

            Please present your proof of the “big lie” or “a big coordinated lie,” or “the cover-up and the attempt to plant seeds of misdirection before an election.”

            Not simply your opinion, which clearly is immutable.

          • Gregg Smith

            You are not seeing the forest for the trees. I cited two specific lies. You didn’t like one (but it was a lie nonetheless, information is not “no information”) and completely ignored the other. The video was not widely disseminated. Where is the wiggle room in “no information”? If you want proof Al Qaeda is not decimated then I suggest you talk to Stevens family. Or look at the world and I don’t mean the manufactured version Obama wants you to see.

            Somewhere in there you quoted something you said I left out. Look at it. Look at the couching and caveats. Compare that to the definitive statements that “This is” a result of the video. Not even “this was“, she was laying the blame for the continuing unrest as well on the video. it’s nuts. It’s almost like you are not following this at all. There is virtually no one in the press left that has not moved on from the notion lies were not told. It’s established lies were told we just don’t know who the master mind was. DNI Clapper seems to be the fall guy but he’s a puppet out of the loop. The State Department clearly has blood on their hands but Hillary isn’t going down. It’s a mess.I’ll repeat an analogy I think fits to a tee. If my kid got so mad because I made him finish his peas that he killed the cat would the proper response be for me to apologize for making him eat his peas? The idea it was a video is insulting, incompetent and a lie. 

          • hennorama

            Gregg I’d be happy to engage further on this topic, but it seems pointless. You see everything as a “big lie” that al Qaeda is “not decimated.” And everything else is some part of a politically motivated conspiracy and/or cover-up.

            You refuse to consider evidence contrary to your opinions, regardless of the source, and characterize such evidence as more lies or “couching and caveats” or simply ignore it.

            Did you even read any of the articles I provide links to? Did you read any of the quotes, available all over, by those at the Cairo demonstrations and Embassy breach, or eyewitnesses to the initial Benghazi attack, decrying the video as an attack on the prophet? Is everyone just lying?

            Do you think clips of the video were not aired on Egyptian TV, or viewed online hundreds of thousands of times BEFORE the Cairo demonstrations, as the BBC said? Or that the Grand Mufti of Egypt didn’t condemn it 2 days before the Cairo demonstrations? Do you think it was some sort of secret? Why would the US Cairo Embassy personnel send out those remarks beforehand if Egyptians and others were not aware of the video? To stir up unrest?

            Can you not understand how someone may have the same “information” as you, and yet not draw the same conclusion as you from that “information”?

            Can you not understand that if the CIA talking points said “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the United States embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault…in Benghazi…” and Amb. Rice said “We do not have information at present that leads us to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned,” that those 2 remarks can be seen as equivalent things?

            And that there was nothing in these remarks indicating there was “no information” but merely that the “the currently available information suggests…” the conclusions drawn?

            I guess you cannot see a difference. As I said YOU may CONCLUDE otherwise, from the exact same information (which you of course do not have, and never will).

            So you are left with the “big lie” which you say is “We have decimated al Qaeda.”

            Good luck proving the lie.

            This is all political theater. The tactic did not work for Mr. Romney, the Fox News talking heads, and many others, during the election, and has now morphed into a way to get Scott Brown back into the Senate, and a way for disgruntled Republicans to get a political scalp after electoral losses. It’s sad how Sen. McCain is turning his personal emnity of Pres. Obama into such a disgraceful spectacle at the end of his long highly respected career.

            All of this instead of actually working on solving the real problems of the intelligence failures and security lapses that led to the deaths in Benghazi, or any of the far more serious problems our nation faces.

  • JGC

    Grover Norquist is not only against taxes, he is against the military, which is in total accordance with a person with Libertarian views.  So how can certain people in Congress, mainly Republicans, support the Norquist pledge when it also removes the financial support for our military?  Could certain people view blind support for the Norquist anti-tax pledge as unpatriotic in the sense that it does not provide for a strong military?  Norquist does support gun rights; so is he against an organized military paid out of taxes, but instead supports the idea of local volunteer militias, armed with their own personal weaponry, to be called up by the state governors or the village mayors as they see fit?  

  • OnPointComments

    The latest Michael Ramirez cartoon.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      ..

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      We’re just posting cartoons now?

      OK. Tony Auth, giving the mainstream media a lesson in how to make something factual into something interesting.

  • Gregg Smith

    Oops wrong thread.

  • Gregg Smith

    Hennorama, I understand you consider yourself the arbiter of fair debate. I understand you try hard not to be personal. I appreciate that so I assume you have no idea how insulting you are. I understand it is not intentional.

    I do not need to read links provided by you to be informed. You are not my enlightenment. I have read all of it or similar accounts long ago. That is not to say I cannot be enlightened nor do I claim to know all. It’s the arrogance of the assumption I find off-putting. I thought the Atlantic Wire piece was particularly damning for Rice. Even more so when you consider the CIA talking points handed to Rice had already been redacted and filtered by (supposedly) DNI Clapper. I’m sure you see it differently. I have listened intently and dare say I have formed my opinion from a much wider array of sources than you. But that’s a hunch based on your comments, I make no accusations. Please don’t tell me what I have and have not considered as you have no idea. It is also plain you have considered only one side of the equation so coming from you the admonition means little. I find your second to last paragraph especially gratuitously nasty and Bizarre. That’s cool, just so you know.

    Regarding the comparison of the 2 statements, that’s not the point. Sure they can be the same. I want to know what currently available information led them to conclude it was the video. Conclude with certainty. “This is”.

    I will admit your last comment helped me to realize where you are coming from. You seem to be still giving weight to the video as a cause for all of this (AKA the party line few still cling to). It was a factor but a manufactured one. In Cairo it was exacerbated or maybe even created by the idiotic apology from the embassy. Romney was dead on right. 

    In Benghazi there was no protest. We were warned in advance, claim was taken, an Al Qaeda flag was flown, the CIA chief cabled Washington, it was the anniversary of 9/11, we had a President rubbing their collective noses in the fact that he killed their leader, we had the Libyan President saying it was terrorist, we had Petraeus concluding it was terrorist, we saw Libyan guards taking pictures, we had Stevens himself begging for security long before the stupid video and we had it all available at the time.

    Put all that in the context of Gadaffi and his history as well as the rebels, if you’ve followed it. Consider the context of the Ft. Hood terrorist attack being labeled “workplace violence” or Napalotano calling the war on terror “overseas contingency operations”. They can’t even say it. Consider how many times Obama, Carney, Rice and others have said “Al Qaeda is decimated” and that it is never without the companion quote “Bin Laden is dead”. It’s a narrative. Al Qaeda is alive and well.

    And then with the last two paragraphs considered watch Rice on her five appearances, watch Carneys press conferences, listen to Obama’s campaign speeches at the time all spreading this video meme in the face of the evidence for weeks. Look at the totality of the message and it’s impossible to conclude the attempt to lay blame on the stupid video was not the narrative they wanted. It is impossible to objectively conclude they were being forthright about the terrorist threat, the gravity of a terrorist victory against us and the state of the Middle East regarding the war on terror.

    If you can’t even consider that then I can’t help you and will quit trying but I will leave with with this: All the evidence that said it was a premeditated terrorist attack turned out to be right.

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We’ll look at workers trying to live and make a living in the age of TaskRabbit and computer-driven work schedules.

 
Aug 21, 2014
In this November 2012, file photo, posted on the website freejamesfoley.org, shows American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP)

An American is beheaded. We’ll look at the ferocity of ISIS, and what to do about it.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Why Facebook And Twitter Had Different Priorities This Week
Friday, Aug 22, 2014

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

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

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

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Your (Weird? Wonderful? Wacky?) Roommate Stories
Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

We asked, and you delivered: some of the best roommate stories from across our many listener input channels.

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