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Week In The News: Inauguration, Clinton Hearings, Women In Combat

Obama 2.0. Hillary in the hot seat. Women cleared for combat. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP)

Term two for Barack Obama, off and running this week.  If Beyonce was lip-syncing, the President was not.  It was a clear progressive message in his inaugural address.  We’ve got to succeed together.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Republicans regrouping, looking for their way forward. In the hot hearings seat, Hillary Clinton banged the table on Benghazi.  John Kerry is lining up for Secretary of State.  The debt ceiling’s pushed off a bit.  And the Pentagon clears women for combat.

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

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Karen DeYoung, associate editor and senior national security correspondent at the Washington Post. (@karendeyoung1)

Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent for CBS News. (@majorcbs)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post “Sen. John F. Kerry, testifying before a Senate committee on his nomination to become secretary of state, said U.S. foreign policy is defined by much more than military intervention abroad and the fight against terrorism, and he called for consensus on promoting American leadership on matters ranging from food security to climate change”

The New York Times “This was a president unbound from much of what defined him upon taking office four years ago, a man clearly cognizant of time already running down on his opportunity to make his imprint on the country and on history.”

Reuters “The Pentagon lifted its ban on women in front-line combat roles on Thursday in a historic step toward gender equality in U.S. armed forces after 11 years of nonstop war. The decision came with important caveats, and sweeping change will not happen overnight for women, nearly 300,000 of whom have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.”

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Here I am again from the Me-Show-You, State of Missouri. This is a link to a site that shows you a pen that is both computer monitor and keyboard. I guess the pen really is mightier than the sword !

     
    http://www.gizmowatch.com/entry/japanese-working-on-a-pen-sized-pc/

  • Ed75

    The media won’t cover it (is the media biased?) but today is the March for Life in Washington. And tomorrow is the March for Life in San Francisco. The crowd in Washington will rival that of the inauguration earlier in the week. Probably the longest annual civil rights march in world history.

    Did anyone see the Mass for Life at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. last night? It was a love-fest, how beautiful, and packed. The U.S. Cardinals were all there at the altar, what great men. They are such different personalities.

    And the March itself will be a love-fest, and by love I mean real love, not a counterfeit.

    • 1Brett1

      Why do you judge love with which you identify as “real love” and love with which you do not identify as “counterfeit”? The love others have is a false love? …So many harsh judgments coming from a man who identifies with Christ…

    • Acnestes

      I wonder how “great” all those men might appear after some serious investigation into their complicity into the never ending child abuse scandals emerging from their fine, fine institution.  Love fest indeed.

    • J__o__h__n
      • Ed75

        Yes, Cardinal Mahoney is in deep trouble, and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The bishops were trying to avoid scandal, and the complex of their situations decisions is not yet fully known.

        At the same time, let’s say 10,000 or even 100,000 children were abused by priests (and it happens in secular society, it just doesn’t make the news). Each year one million plus children are killed in abortion, each year. And abortion is a worse crime than child abuse.

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

      Phew. I’m also wondering if the media is biased. Finally, a man with the courage to type it out loud!

      And how many of the US Cardinals are playing the shell game of “Hide the pedophile priest”?

    • Don_B1

      Yes, the media can appear biased when it plays the stenographer role and does not state clearly the truth of how the deficit is declining with respect to GDP and that Climate Change is REAL and its impacts are GROWING because of man’s use of fossil fuels for energy.

      While it is true that the majority of the American people know that Climate Change is real, they do not yet appreciate the speed at which its affects are building, with the cost of annual climatic disasters rising from averages below $10 billion to numbers of over $50 billion and now nearly $100 billion for the last two years, respectively.

      Now those are actions where the rules set in place at the creation of the universe will actually punish those who violate them. And humans are about to be severely punished.

  • Ed75

    This is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which decriminalized abortion and made the provisional right to choose abortion (‘If the society ever decides that human life begins at abortion, then [the fetus' right to life removes any right to abortion]‘ says Roe v. Wade.)

    It reminds me of the verse in the Psalms:

    Forty years I endured that generation.

    And what Jesus said about disaster:

    It shall come up you like a thief in the night.

    As our government turns more to abortion, I’d say six months more before a disaster.

    • keltcrusader

      Yes, The Catholic Church is so strongly against this EXCEPT apparently when it is going to cost them money for thier malpractise:
      http://coloradoindependent.com/126808/in-malpractice-case-catholic-hospital-argues-fetuses-arent-people

      Not only that but the hypocrite Rick Santorum is the keynote speaker. His wife had an abortion, so its ok for her, but not for anyone else. HYPOCRITES ALL!!!!!

    • Don_B1

      Have you ever looked at the statistics of the DECLINE in deaths of women from botched backroom abortions?

      Considering that almost half of the abortions are by women who ALREADY have children and who will have the same motivation to have an abortion, whether it is legal or not. All the removal of the possibility of a legal abortion will do is create illegal abortions where the woman will suffer death or horrible destruction of her health for the rest of her life.

      Where is the humanity in that?

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

        Now Don, when AbortionsAreIllegalNobodyHasThemThereforeNoWomanSuffersFromBackAlleyQuackery.

        Haven’t you figured that out by now?

  • Ed75

    The young people are turning to the pro-life cause. (Planned Parenthood, as Lily Rose and LiveAction has shown, also does sex selective abortion, right here in the U.S., they just don’t report it as such.)
     
    I invite people to be like Bernard Natanson, who led the abortion right movement, and then filmed ‘The Silent Scream’, and was honest so when he saw it he became a pro-life leader. Wonderful.

    • Acnestes

       “The” young people.

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

      Prove your assertions. Any of them.

      I don’t care that you continually destroy the reputation of the Catholic Church here. But leave the rest of us out of it.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Something that has been in the news that has been bugging me is the outpouring of support for Aaron Schwartz and the supposed overreaction of the government in beginning to prosecute him for breaking the law in hacking into MIT and publicizing their documents.  I as much as anyone regret seeing anyone take their own life.  However, he took the law into his own hands in publishing these documents.  The USA is a nation governed by the rule of law.  If you don’t like a law, the correct recourse is to try and get the law changed, not to ignore it and justifty yourself.  I and many millions of other people are against abortion.  Would those whoso strongly support Aaron Scwartz’s actions to break laws that he disagreed with support an anti-abortionist who advocated shooting doctors who provide abortions?  I think not.  They would be screaming the loudest over breaking of the law.  And yet, that person’s convictions are that abortion is murder and the person is justified in his actions just as attempts to kill Hitler, Kadafi, and other murderers would be justified.  They are acting upon their personal moral convictions in breaking the law.  You can’t have it both ways, just because of your personal political/social convictions.Let’s call Schwartz’s actions what they are:  taking the law into his own hands and breaking it.  When one does that, one should be willing to face the consequences, in his case, prison.  Suicide was a selfish and cowardly act, as he did not think about the pain that he cause other family members, nor was he willing to go to jail for his convictions as people like Nelson Mandella, MLK, and others have done.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Like the laws protecting us from fraud? And the laws protecting us from conflict of interest? His motives were honorable and I have no problem with him being prosecuted, but do have a problem with him being persecuted. How quickly he was brought to justice, but what of all those amoral parasites on wall street who, through fraud, brought our economy to it’s knees? By your standards then, Dubya should be hauled before the world court as a war criminal, and i would applaud.

      By what twisted logic can you compare murder with a nonviolent, victimless act of protest and civil disobedience?

      You speak of acts of great men, yet invoking their name with an intent they would frown upon…

      What psychological pathology drives you to berate an individual who was obviously suffering so much that death seamed a better alternative to life?

      You appear to have neither insight into the depth and breadth of the human psyche, nor compassion or empathy for the suffering of others or the capacity for forgiveness.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        The point I was trying to make is that liberals can justify breaking the laws that they don’t like.  And anti-abortionists consider doctors who perform abortions as murderers, so some can justify the act of murder of one person to stop the murder of many others.  I am not trying to berate him.  Just exposing liberals for what they are:  politically correct hypocrites who can justify their own immoral or illegal actions while condemning those who behave similarly but break laws that liberals personally like.  And I am all for putting the financiers on Wall Street and anywhere else who got us into the fiscal mess in jail.  I think several of them are currently serving in Obama’s and Clinton’s cabinets and administration. The revolving door, that both Democrats and Republicans make frequent use of.  Remember Clinton’s last minute pardon of Marc Rich?  And is the air thin from how high up you are looking down your nose at me from?

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

          You really are overreaching with your summations about Schwartz’s prosecution and, well, persecution.

          If all you’ve got is that slender reed between there and your need to bleat “liberals are PC hypocrites”, that may be a signal for you to do some more reading.

    • Don_B1

      It is my understanding that Mr. Schwartz had not published any of the MIT documents that he had downloaded, and that the downloading was something that the library allowed users to do. What he had done that others, who had published, was to download a much much larger amount of documents.

      What Ms Ortiz, the federal attorney, did was to demand that as a result of his actions, Mr. Schwartz would have to spend at least six months in a maximum security prison (the only facility where he would be able to take his required medications) and not have access to ANY computer for an indeterminate (but long) time after release from prison, which would have been tantamount to denying him his medication.

      That is not to say that his supporters defend his action of  downloading the documents but they are appalled at the insensitivity of the government in dealing with a person with an incredible talent which has now been wasted.

      This is not the only case where Ms Ortiz has been cruel in misusing the power of the law. She was just handed a big loss in a case where she was trying to confiscate the business of a law-abiding motel owner where some drug deals, basically one a year, had occurred in rooms rented by the hotel over a 15-year period. In contrast, a Motel 6 and a Walmart in the same area had equivalent drug violations over the same period and were not investigated. The investigation began in a section of the DEA where drug crimes at places where there is significant money to be “recovered” are searched for, and, as this motel had no mortgage, well over a $million was available and this “attorney” saw this as a great example to develop to convince all motel owners to get X-ray vision so they could take steps to prevent drug deals from occurring in the rooms they rent.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    It’s funny that Hillary’s husband is never with her.  I wonder if “he was still not having sex with that woman…Ms. Lewinsky?”

    • Shag_Wevera

      I’d say it is none of our business.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        As David Geffin, a very liberal Hollywood-elitist said, “the Clintons lie so naturally.”  And actually, engaging in what Clinton engaged in in the Oval Office, which is owned by the public, makes it our business.  Plus, he was supposed to be a role model.  He sure was.

        • Gregg Smith

          Didn’t someone of note call Hillary a “congenital liar” back in the day?

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

            “Of note”? No.

          • Gregg Smith

            Safire.

    • sickofthechit

       Ignore

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

        On any other media site, ignoring FR’s post is the proper thing to do. But not on an NPR forum. That doesn’t work in public radio. I wish it did.

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

      Hey, as long as we’re making shit up: I wonder if you’re still having sex with that boy on your son’s soccer team.

    • Don_B1

      What does that have to do with the issue at hand?

      Whether they like her and what she has done or not, Hillary has always done her own thinking and worked hard for what she wants to do and thinks will help the country. She took a lot of heat right from the beginning for NOT being a “house-mouse” and always doing the bidding of her husband. Is that how you treat YOUR wife if you are lucky enough to have one?

  • 1Brett1

    Thoughts on Roe v. Wade:

    The 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade was this past week. My hope is that abortion stays legal, safe and accessible to all women who choose to consider that as an option. 

    In my native state of Virginia there are a number of restrictive rules for women seeking an abortion. Two that are potentially troublesome: 1) A woman must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided. and 2) A woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must offer her the option to view the image. If the woman lives within 100 miles of the abortion provider she must obtain the ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion.

    Also troubling: the Va. Board of Health passed abortion clinic regulations in September. Regs. that do not apply to any other medical clinics; ridiculous regs. like what size windows and doors should be, how many stalls are in bathrooms, etc., effectively shutting down many clinics and limiting access.

    There have been attempts to legislate forced vaginal probes in a number of states, including Virginia. There are also a number of other states  that have attempted to undermine Roe v. Wade in very similar ways as Virginia. This must stop. Abortion must remain legal, safe, and accessible. 

    • Ed75

      In one sense I see your point. The problem is not only the law, which is a big problem, but it’s the whole culture of death. The whole culture has to be renewed to support life. I wonder what it will take to do that?

      • 1Brett1

        In which sense, specifically, do you see my point, Ed? With all due respect, it seems rather cowardly on your part to pretend as if you and I agree on Roe v. Wade being a problematic law in some way.

      • 1Brett1

        To address the law itself: if the the law were overturned; if abortion were made illegal, how would women who still choose to have abortions respond to their situation? To address our culture:  how should the culture change to prevent women needing/wanting to have abortions? 

        • Ed75

          That’s the main part of the problem: that women and men choose to have abortions. It should be an unthinkable choice. But society has to be reoriented to support them (see Hungary and Poland today).

      • PithHelmut

        Life while in gestation is not a life that is under the dominion of anyone except the mother carrying it. Women have to stand up and stand strong and define when life begins themselves and not leave it to men. Human life begins from first breath. That is the only way it makes sense. If life begins at conception, where is the document to state the date so that the human can claim human rights? If people believe that life begins at birth then spilled ejaculate is killing the seeds of life. Why do women continue to act like doormats? They are being taken back to barefoot and pregnant days. It’s being done deliberately by those clinging to power who see women as inferior.

        • Ed75

          Well, I have to disagree. Once an ovum is fertilized, that cell has all its genetic material and it is just a question of development. (AMA 1890s states human life begins at conception.) It’s true, the fetus is in the mother’s body, of course, but it is everyone’s brother or sister. Ejaculate, etc., is not human life since it’s not fertilized yet, it is part of the man’s body. Women are more aware of truth of the human-ness of the fetus more than men since the fetus lives in their body.

    • hennorama

      1Brett1 – so it’s easier to buy a firearm in Virginia than to terminate a pregnancy?  Or rather, there’s no waiting period for an individual to buy a firearm in Virginia, but there is one for an individual who wants a medical procedure?  You mean that an individual buying a firearm in Virginia does not have to receive state-directed counseling, but someone wanting to undergo a medical procedure does?  You mean Virginia firearms dealers have no regulations regarding where they conduct their business, but some medical care providers do?

      You mean that a Constitutionally protected right involving potential loss of life can be severely restricted by an individual state?

      Wow.  Who knew?

      • 1Brett1

        Yes…absurd, isn’t it? The waiting period on abortion puts undue stress on the woman. By the time she’s ready to have an abortion, I’d bet Phyllis Shlafly’s money that the pregnant woman has thought about it for longer than 24 hours! It’s a kind of legislated, anachronistic paternalism (oh, she doesn’t know what she’s about to do; she needs someone to tell her how wrong it is). 

        The forced ultrasound is even worse. The woman has to get the procedure from the same doctor who performs the abortion (and that has to comply with the 24 hour rule, not always a task that is possible or logistically feasible), not to mention many doctors will have scheduling conflicts that render compliance impossible. 

        Also, it doesn’t matter if the woman has already had an ultrasound and has been counseled, if those are not within that 24 hour rule it’s not legal. (Many woman have already had ultrasounds in deciding to have an abortion: not within the 24 hour rule, it’s a no go!) 

        So, these restrictions aren’t even about ensuring women get what conservatives say they feel is necessary counseling but more about increasing the stumbling blocks and imposing undue hardship on women, particularly with women who are poor…talk about an insidious form of class warfare cloaked in some pseudo-attempt to “provide” women some necessary choice or “offering” them some sort of alternative.

        Of course, as repugnant as all of this sounds, Virginia seems progressive on this issue compared to states like Texas or Mississippi. 

    • JGC

      I was distressed to read about the putsch organized by the Virginia state Republicans to take control of the legislature by ramming through a “radically gerrymandered map designed to hand them control of the 40-member state Senate, which is now evenly split between the two parties”  (from a Washington Post editorial) on the day one of the Democrats was away from Richmond to attend the Presidential Inauguration. That is really politics at its most absolute worst. Will Governor McDonnell do the right thing and veto it?  If not, make way for those vaginal probes, and even more restrictive abortion laws.  

  • Jasoturner

    I really liked when Hillary finally got exasperated and pointedly asked “what difference does it make?”  I work with enough score-settlers and grudge-holders to know exactly what she means.  Uh, people, can we worry about results instead of making ourselves feel good for a few minutes at the expense of the larger enterprise?

    • Gregg Smith

      The larger enterprise is we have a government who lied to us. How is that irrelevant?

      • sickofthechit

         Gregg, do you really think it would have been wise for them to be putting out information that might have tipped the terrorist we were on to them before we had a chance to pursue them?  This was supposedly more of a CIA location and hence the low apparent security.

        • Gregg Smith

          I’m not sure I follow, do you mean beefed up security would have tipped the terrorist  off? Benghazi was the hottest of hotspots and I don’t know why Stevens was there at all. Or do you mean we lied about the video to fool the terrorist and capture them?

          • keltcrusader

            Stephens was there because he put himself there. He knew what the dangers were and choose to do it anyway. He was the type of Diplomat who felt he was more effective when he was embedded with the local people rather than locked inside an embassy. Don’t you think those who attacked didn’t know that???
            “Ex-CIA Director David Petraeus told lawmakers Friday that classified intelligence showed the deadly raid on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a terrorist attack, but that the administration withheld the suspected role of specific al-Qaida affiliates to avoid tipping off the terrorist groups.
            Petraeus also said it initially was unclear whether militants infiltrated a demonstration to cover their attack.”
            “Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said Petraeus explained that the CIA’s draft points were sent to other intelligence agencies and to some federal agencies for review. Udall said Petraeus told them the final document was put in front of all the senior agency leaders, including Petraeus, and everyone signed off on it.” AP 11/16/12

          • Gregg Smith

            If that is what Sickofthechit was referring to then at least it’s an explanation of why they lied. But they still lied.

          • keltcrusader

            “I don’t know why Stevens was there at all. Or do you mean we lied about the video to fool the terrorist and capture them?”

            Why do you even ask questions if you do not want them answered or refuse to accept the reality of the answers. Just so you can justify your constant barrage of anti-Obama rhetoric?

          • Gregg Smith

            Sorry, I don’t accept your claim. Stevens was begging for help.  Ambassadors don’t assign themselves to duty. BTW, I’m bashing Hillary at the moment.

          • keltcrusader

            It’s just another attack on the current administration for you. Good god are you really that willfully blind?

          • Gregg Smith

            Washebegging for help or not?

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

            He is. Projecting his non-bigotry onto the right’s base is his one irrefutable skill.

          • 1Brett1

            The main difference between Gregg and Stephen Colbert is that Colbert is only pretending to be an idiot partisan hack. But, hey, that doesn’t make Gregg any less funny.

          • Don_B1

            If you had read anything but your radical right-wing sources, you would have known that Mr. Stevens was working with groups in the area who wanted to build a responsible, democratic government that would meet the needs of the people of Libya. He had moved from the Embassy to this consulate to be “where the action was,” as it were.

            Unfortunately, those opposing his goal and that of the groups he was working with, turned the heat up higher. That is why his death was mourned so greatly there.

          • Gregg Smith

            I understand that completely. There were even counter protest early on. He still can’t assign himself. 

      • Jasoturner

        Not irrelevant, but priority one should be enhancing the safety of our diplomats who serve us in harms way, not pointing fingers.  Plus, you can only assert there were lies.  Many things go wrong in the fog of chaos.

        Eels.  & a 6 lb bass is one big fish.

        • Gregg Smith

          I think the best way to make sure it doesn’t happen again is to be honest about the situation we are in and the ruthlessness of the enemy.

          Yea, it was a nice one but I had to fish all day to get it. I’ve never tried eels, thanks.

    • William

       I wonder why she did not reveal the name of the person that denied the request for additional security.

      • Jasoturner

        Let’s figure out how to protect our diplomats better first, then worry about blaming somebody, shall we?  Thanks for accentuating my point.

        • William

           Four months? It is that hard to fire someone in government?

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    A news article on cbsnews.com this morning reported that those who smoke will be charged a 50% higher premium under Obamacare.  I am certainly against smoking and believe in taxing it so that people are discouraged from smoking certainly starting it.  But are other types of risky behavior such as unprotected sex, gay sex (aids), pot smokers (many carcinogenic poisons that harm lungs), etc. going to result in higher premiums as well?  Or does it only a apply to politically incorrect behaviors?

    • sickofthechit

       Depends how actuarialy sound they want the program to be.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      It was never about health care.  It is only about power. 

      • Don_B1

        Bullpucky!

        The cost of health care has been rising at nearly double the cost of living for decades, principally because health care costs are not amenable to market forces in the way that other goods and services are.

        1) When a person becomes sick, it is a matter of life or death whether they get adequate care or not.

        2) The individual patient does not know enough, and cannot be expected to, to be able to choose the needed care on either an individual case or on an insurance coverage basis. That does not mean that each patient does not need to be involved in their care; far from it, but it needs to be clear that patients cannot LEAD in that care.

        3) Some 80% of the costs of care, which would swamp the finances of all but the most wealthy, fall on 20% or so of people. Thus if you are lucky, and no one is going to know beforehand for most diseases, great; but for those who are struck down, do we really want to say, bad luck and “good riddance?” That was all that could be done until recently but it is not true now and should not be. What has to be done is find the ways to make reasonable effective health care affordable by the society.

    • PithHelmut

      What about pollution from gas driven cars?

    • hennorama

      Fiscally_Responsible – it’s unnecessary and unproductive to single out any particular group when discussing unprotected sex and HIV/AIDS.  HIV/AIDS does not discriminate.  Anyone of any age, race, sex or sexual orientation can be infected.  For example, here’s some info from the CDC:

      “… men and women over age 50 account for 17 percent of all new HIVand AIDS diagnoses in the 40 states that have longterm confidential name-based reporting.”

      “In 2009, people aged 50 and older accounted for 23% of AIDS diagnoses”

      “In 2005, Persons Aged 50 and Older accounted for

      15% of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses [1]*
      24% of persons living with HIV/AIDS (increased from 17% in 2001) [1]*
      19% of all AIDS diagnoses [1]
      29% of persons living with AIDS [1]
      35% of all deaths of persons with AIDS [1].

      The rates of HIV/AIDS among persons 50 and older were 12 times as high among blacks (51.7/100,000) and 5 times as high among Hispanics (21.4/100,000) compared with whites (4.2/100,000) [2].”

      http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/over50/resources/factsheets/over50.htm

      http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/HPW/HIV_AIDS/toolkit.aspx

      http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/HPW/HIV_AIDS/docs/HIVAIDS_Factsheet.pdf

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

    It has been two days and the western media, neither NPR, CNN or even Drudge, have covered the murder of  21-year-old Lubna Hanash who was shot in the face by Israeli soldiers outside the Al-Arroub College near the West Bank.   No coverage for this palestinian girl.

    The western media is filled with nonsense news. The monthly story du jour (school shootings, hurricane Sandy, etc.), lipsinking Byonse, sports, and vacuous political banter.  The only foreign news in the US is consistently biased and propagandized.

    • Mike_Card

      I heard that story on either NPR or the BBC yesterday.

      You will continue to be disappointed until you accept the fact that most of the Western media exist to sell soap, not to satisfy your needs for information.

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

        Google the story and nothing will show up from a major network.  It may have been mentioned as you say….  but I havent seen it on any sites.

      • hennorama

        Not to mention the fact that most people are most interested in events occuring near them, and are far less interested in events occuring far far away.  This is true worldwide, not just in the quite insular and chauvinistic US.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      The state of journalism is disgraceful, of that there is no doubt.  “If it bleeds it leads” sells copy but does not enlighten or educate.  How are you working to change that? 

  • 1Brett1

    From a behavioral standpoint, one can never really say with absolute certainty why something has happened. 

    Why was JFK assassinated? Why did 9-11 occur? One can speculate, even raise very plausible possibilities of what compelled people to act in violent ways, but we can never really know why things happen.

    We can, however, assess how given moments have transpired, and even how we can respond differently to events in the future with the hope of producing different outcomes to events similar to those endured in the past. It’s all we can do, really.

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings are supposed to get at what happened in Benghazi, how it happened, and what steps can be taken in the future to anticipate everything possible to ensure it will not happen again. 

    Yesterday, the interest seemed to be more of a desire to skewer Sec. Clinton than get at how the failures can be ameliorated to prevent such tragedies in future. Most of the questions coming from the congressmen were rhetorical in nature and merely platforms so they could offer their opinions, either condemnation or praise for Sec. Clinton. Our tax dollars are not paying these questioners to use their position and time during the hearing to spend it on grand standing.

    Hindsight will always produce an analysis of how a better approach during the past event could have produced a better outcome. There is no evidence, however, of gross incompetence or negligence, albeit there were weaknesses in the system, which is quite different. 

    • William

       Mrs Clinton wanted the job and with it goes the responsibility to answer questions about a major terrorist attack which took the lives of four Americans. I wish there would have been more hard hitting questions like “who did your fire or who said no to the request for more security” instead of praising her, but that is what the government elites sometimes do.
       At the end of the day, it is sad to see once again, nobody in government is held accountable, nobody is fired, just ask for more money and move on.

      • 1Brett1

        For one thing, she addressed firing procedures and how authorization for those works, so…Secondly, the questions she was asked from Republican “leadership” were more rhetorical in nature and in the realm of grandstanding. Ostensibly, they were not designed to solicit any genuine information. Those “leaders” just wanted to stand on their soapbox and self-aggrandize while attempting to get their desired pound of flesh–that wasn’t at all productive.

        • Gregg Smith

          Psshhh, accountability. What difference does it make?

        • William

           No, they wanted answers and after months, yes, months of stonewalling it was time to get in front of the American people and start talking. Of course, she lied, like always, and like most government officials she never held anyone in her dept. accountable for their failure. The take away is “What does it matter…”…that defines Clinton and Obama concern about a major failure in leadership and accountability.

  • sickofthechit

    Dear Members of Congress,

    You seem to have forgotten that your
    approval rating hovers at or around 15%. I simply can’t believe
    that each of you is not on C-SPAN, MSNBC, FOX news, CNN, NPR, etc.
    everyday apologizing to the American public for your collective
    incompetence. Your recent “change” to the Filibuster Rules is nothing more
    than further manipulation by both

    sides to continue the stranglehold your
    partisanship has had on the American public, our economy, and our
    futures.

    Many of you complain that there isn’t
    enough “certainty” in this or that program of the other party or the
    President. You all collectively are the root cause of that uncertainty. How
    else can we view a three month extension to the debt limit which is
    necessary to pay the bills for programs you have already “approved”? How
    else can we view a two year limit on the

    “New” and “Improved” Filibuster
    rules? We finally have an instance where using a “Nuclear Option” would not
    harm anyone and would actually help the country and it isn’t deployed.
    Behavior like that certainly doesn’t lower our “uncertainty” level any. Your
    unwillingness to to work together for the common good, to engage in actual,
    intelligent, substantive debates is a complete dereliction of your duty and an insult
    to hundreds of millions of hardworking Americans.

    Some of you like to imagine that the
    President has committed some sort of impeachable offense. With an approval
    rating of 15% I’d have to say that over 400 of you deserve to be facing
    impeachment hearings yourselves. I double-dog dare you to enact recall legislation!
    “We, the People…”, would decimate your ranks!

    I’m Fed Up!,

    Charles A. Bowsher
     

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      If you believe as you have written:

      “Your unwillingness to work together for the common good, to engage in actual, intelligent, substantive debates is a complete dereliction of your duty and an insult to hundreds of millions of hardworking Americans.”
      Then you must work hard to replace sitting members of congress.  It is most effective if you can primary sitting politicians.  It tends to get their attention.  It also focuses them on constituent service as opposed to DC drama.  This advice works regardless whom practices it.

  • Shag_Wevera

    A question for “Ed75″ or anyone who would like to act as his surrogate…

    If I gave you a pen and paper and the authority of a totalitarian, how would you re-write our reproductive laws?  Please be detailed and specific.  Cover abortion and birth contol please.  Consider this an opportunity to tell us how it oughta be.

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

      Oh, if only this were a hypothetical. So many “Jobs are Job N+1″ Tea Party state leges are in session. I’m sure we’ll hear which ones are DTLW (Doing the Lord’s Work) from Ed.

  • Duras

    This week, union membership as a percentage of all employment is at the same level as it was in 1936 (before unions got power and while people were being shot dead in the streets and called “communists” among other things for that power). 

    Nice going baby-boomers–thanks for losing most of what the Greatest Generation fought for.   

    • NewtonWhale

      You’re wasting your time blaming it on a generation instead of the real culprit: conservatism. What’s worse, you’re playing right into the hands of conservatives, who have rode to power attacking the “liberalism” of baby boomers and are ROFLAO that you now give them cover by blaming so many people in their 60′s and 70′s who have fought against conservative prejudice, hatred, greed and stupidity their entire lives.

      • Duras

        I often wonder why the hippie generation voted for Reagan and the Bushes. 

        • NewtonWhale

          They didn’t.

          Baby boomer’s are defined as those born between 1946 and 1964. They would have been 16-34 when Reagan was elected in 1980. Obviously, only the 18-34 year olds could vote.

          Here’s a demographic breakdown of that election:

          http://www.gallup.com/poll/9460/election-polls-vote-groups-19761980.aspx

          • Duras

            Pretty interesting demographics.  Thanks.

      • William

         Liberalism killed off the unions. They forgot we are in a free market and not a closed market. We greatly expanded trade around the world and many unions did not accept the new reality. I would have thought after Bill Clinton signed NAFTA the unions would have changed, but they did not. Like Obama said, times have changed and we must change with the times.

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

          Hey William, how’s your plan to reinstate the Poll Tax going?

          • William

             You still think some people in society are too stupid or lazy to get a photo id?

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

            “Keeping blacks from voting” is the feature of these laws, not a bug. I love it when righties no longer pretend about it. You’re doing yourself proud (sic) here.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t agree that blacks are too inherently poor, stupid or corrupt to obtain an ID. Is there another explanation as to why the laws only affects blacks? I think the notion is sick.

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

            Keep JAQing off, Gregg. It’s been proved elsewhere that racist Teabaggers’ only chance to hold onto power is to keep America’s vote from following America’s demographics. And a big part of that is keeping white people from voting.

            If I wanted to read shite that sounded like Fox and Friends, I’d go there.

            Funny how you are such a pure Tea Party sort you don’t know who you’re in bed with.

          • Gregg Smith

            I just don’t think blacks are stupid, that’s all.

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

            Greggg, keep posting that racist Fox crap here.

            Nobody of any worth believes you.

            And this space ain’t The Nightly News, so you ain’t moving the needle.

          • William

             No, encouraging people not to get a photo id keeps them out of the mainstream of society. Which, sounds like a old Democratic ploy from the Jim Crow era.

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

            Wow, you even tried to pretend Dixiecrats are not all basically Republicans now.

            You’re making so many bad excuses you can’t think straight.

          • Duras

            Do you really believe that voting should not be free…?

          • William

             Do you really think the Supreme Court was wrong on this issue?

          • Duras

            It hasn’t been brought to the Supreme Court yet.  Only appellate courts have made decisions and it what struck down in a state or two.  

        • Duras

          Free trade agreement killed the unions, nothing else.  In Japan, unions are so powerful that they can fire the CEOs.  Japaneses companies can only expand into global markets, they can never leave because the unions have, in your mind, too much power.

          • William

             Actually, in Japan the unions work with the companies and not against them like we see in the states.
             The unions here failed to change with the times.

    • PithHelmut

      And we’re losing women’s rights as well. Women fighting in combat is another example of discrimination despite the false equivalence. There’s no equality with women fighting mens wars or abiding by mens rules.   Women must have full reproductive rights and access to contraception and abortion without men having any say over their bodies. That’s where women should be in combat. And how strange that this “equality” was won without protest or even a whisper from activists.

  • Gregg Smith

    I am amazed at the lack of outrage over Benghazi. Much of it comes from the passing of time and an uninterested press. And now I am actually seeing people, on faithful cue, follow Hillary’s lead and act as if it was a just security SNAFU, let’s make sure it doesn’t happen again. As if! There is a war on terror that rages on despite the killing of Bin Laden. Algeria and Mali are the next two examples. The Arab Spring is spiraling out of control. Al Qaeda is a threat. 

    The coordinated lie about the video is appalling. No one has ever said what the evidence was that led them to say WITH CERTAINTY that the video was the culprit. No one. The pat answer is , they were working on the best intelligence available. One commenter did back flips to avoid answering and after a few ridiculous dodges quit replying altogether. We were lied to and most on this blog are excusing it. They are parroting taking points. It’s embarrassing.

    The soldiers creed has always been to leave no man behind. Obama hung them out to dry in Benghazi. 

    • Duras

      The placing of the embassy was obviously a poor decision  and there was apparent ignorance of the threats.  Say what you want about Clinton.  I can see how the government may have thought it was a video that incited riots because it was a reason for the riots in Egypt.

      My only problem is with your last two sentences.  A nice attempt at establishing a mark of valor and juxtaposing it with Obama and his apparent disregard for human life, but it really doesn’t work.  Good try, though.  I especially like the “hung them out to try”; it has a kind of military history quality. And of course I like the dreaded word “Benghazi” which was unnecessary and superfluous but, oh, can a sentence devoted purely to rhetorical ends do without?    

      No, Bush, who was given repeated warnings about a major terrorist attach before 9/11 hung America out to dry.  Whoever chose the location of the embassy, although knowing it was dangerous, nevertheless, made a gross miscalculation that was never given second thought hung them out to dry.

      • Gregg Smith

        I’m not following you down the Bush road.

        My last 2 sentences were referring to the SEAL who painted the target for the air support on station. It was called off. The laser identified the SEAL and he was killed. Both SEALs repeatedly called for help. It was denied. IMO, they were hung out to dry… as was Stevens who also made many request for security.  

        • Duras

          Who denied help?

          • Gregg Smith

            “Only two places could have called off the attack at that point; the WH situation command (based on POTUS direction) or AFRICOM commander based on information directly from the target area.”
            Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/10/bombshell-benghazi-targets-painted-air-support-overhead-obama-calls-off-strike/#ixzz2J02XeqW4

          • Duras

            Which one was it?  You are accusing the president, right?  Are you saying that the Seal on the ground called for help and the request for help was deferred all the way to the President who then said “no”?

          • Gregg Smith

            I do not know, I wish I did. This is why the Republicans suck. No one asked the important questions.  

          • Duras

            No, the republicans suck because they feed peoples heads with the appearance of a reality instead of reality.  You bought it, and the only thing I did was deconstruct it.

          • Gregg Smith

            Are you not curious who called off the support? Do you think it’s good that no one is asking? Or are you saying the whole thing is made up?

        • jefe68

          And yet GW Bush is relevant in the context to all of this.
          This kind of thing happened under his watch a fair amount. And yet you right wing spin misters seem to think that era never happened. It’s amazing how you live in a world that seems to be more about navel-gazing than reality. 

          • Gregg Smith

            No, the situations are not analogous. I can see why you want to change the subject though. Do you have anything relevant?

          • Duras

            The situations are not analogous because Obama didn’t leave anyone out to dry.  Bush did. 

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not going there.

    • jefe68

      Yawn.

      • Mike_Card

        With both Paul and Cheesehead Johnson; they don’t even belong in the same room with her, or any Secretary of State.

        I’ll repeat for the last time:  The HOST country provides security for consulates; embassies provide their own security–typically Marines, in our case.

        Sorry to butt in, jefe.

        • Gregg Smith

          So is the Muslim Brotherhood supplying security in Egypt? It was Benghazi for Pete’s sake. 

          • Mike_Card

            All I know is what I read about protocol; I imagine that consulates are established only when State has confidence in the host country’s security capabilities.

            The short answer is, I don’t know.

    • nj_v2
  • Gregg Smith

    I am not in favor of women in combat. I just can’t go there, maybe that makes me a chauvinist. Still….

    • Acnestes

      In truth, I’m really not crazy about the idea either, probably for pretty much the same reasons as you.  But, it’s not like they’re being drafted or coerced, and history is chock full of women warriors.  If they really want it, my hat’s off and more power to them.  Freedom of choice!

      • Gregg Smith

        I can see that but my fear (beyond my visceral reaction) is standards will be lowered.

        • Duras

          “…Standards will be lowered.”  Did you ruminate on that one yourself, or did you hear if from a conservative pundit and ran with it?

          May I suggest looking up other times women taken on new jobs in the military in positions that have been traditionally male and see if it is the military’s habit to lower standards for the sake of women….

          • Gregg Smith

            I might have heard it somewhere but no, it’s my rumination. The military has been lowering standards for over a decade to meet recruitment goals. Police lower standards for women. It’s not an original or particularly insightful notion.

            Maybe it was an accident but the way you wrote it, it looks like I am saying “Standards will be lowered”. It’s just a concern, that’s all.

          • Duras

            I heard an army officer on NPR yesterday talk about how the military has never lowered standards once women have taken positions that were exclusively male.

          • Gregg Smith

            The recruitment standards being lowered were not related to women but they were lowered in 2006 and 2008. I could have been more clear.

    • Kathy

      You realize they’ve been in combat throughout the last decade. They’re just not “officially” in combat.

      • Gregg Smith

        I don’t like it, sue me.

  • Gregg Smith

    Assault weapon to the rescue!

    “By the time I had it out and ready, one of the men came at my door, slowly opened it, saw that there was a barrel on the other side and from there backed out,” Raymond said.

    The two men fled the apartment. 

    Nothing was taken and no shots were fired.
    http://www.13wham.com/news/local/story/Homeowners-Scare-Off-Burglars/7yaLSXAvCUGBkwgAZpGO4g.cspx

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      A gun with a 10-round max would have worked the same.

      • Gregg Smith

        It wasn’t even loaded.

        • Duras

          A hand gun that wasn’t loaded could have done the same.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sure, but hand guns are involved with much more violence and death than assault rifles. It’s not even close. Maybe we should ban them.

          • Duras

            If you would actually listen to what Obama says instead of what republicans say Obama is saying–you would know that the purpose of the assault weapons ban is to mitigate the carnage from mass shootings.  He makes that point every time he talks about assault weapons ban because he knows that people will try to deflect just as you are doing now.

          • Gregg Smith

            I did not mention Obama.

          • Duras

            That’s the argument, Gregg.  Liberals are trying to make sure that people can only pick up low-power weapons with minimal amo when they decide to go amok.

            You need to make up your mind whether it is more important for a hand full of redneck idiots own high powered weapons with lots of amo than whatever the carnage may be of the next mass shooting.

            For me, I rather save the life of one person than give someone the legal right to own a weapon that is beyond what is needed for defense.

          • Gregg Smith

            I would agree if I thought it would save lives. We tried it and a decade of data shows no affect.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Just like every cold day proves that there is no global warming, every rare occasion of self-defense with a gun wipes away all the drunk spousal shootings and suicides in the righty mind.

          • Gregg Smith

            I sure could use a little global warming this morning or I’d be out in it by now. But I disagree with your claim, it’s the opposite. Every hot day we hear from liberals it proves AGW. Ditto every hurricane, snow storm, drought or flood.

          • Duras

            Actually, you can go on the NASA website and look at the science.  We don’t need to point at warm days, we have effing science on our side.

  • NewtonWhale

    The Republicans at Hillary’s hearings demonstrated once again that their first, indeed, their only priority is to gain and keep political power. All the questions they asked were about fixing blame, in an attempt to damage a potential Hillary candidacy in 2016.

    This is always the party that responds to snafus of their own making (9/11…Iraq…Katrina response…etc.) by insisting that “America doesn’t want to play the blame game”.

    Then, when something bad happens during a Democratic administration, they only have time for the blame.

    What’s more, they seem to employ their most despicable attacks against minorities and women. Especially minority women. Then they wonder why their numbers with those voters are horrendous.

    • Gregg Smith

      Who were the ones that made a fool of Susan Rice (a minority woman) by sending her out to lie? 

      • NewtonWhale

        That would be an interesting point if, you know, she actually lied:

        CIA documents supported Susan Rice’s description of Benghazi attacks

        http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-10-19/opinions/35501083_1_cairo-benghazi-attack-safe-roomReport: CIA Documents Support Rice’s Accounthttp://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-presidential-campaign/report-cia-documents-support-rice-s-account-20121021Petraeus Testifies the CIA Approved Susan Rice’s Talking PointsRight wing still going nutshttp://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/41202_Petraeus_Testifies_the_CIA_Approved_Susan_Rices_Talking_Points

        • Gregg Smith

          The CIA reports were edited before she got them. The DNI Clapper took the blame but he is a proven patsy. Time came out the same day as Ignatius with those stories to run cover. Petraeus testified that the CIA knew Al Qaeda was involved.

          Susan Rice said with certainty it was the video. 

          • Ray in VT

            No she did not, at least not on This Week:

            RICE: “Well, Jake, first of all, it’s important to know that there’s an
            FBI investigation that has begun and will take some time to be
            completed. That will tell us with certainty what transpired.

            But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have
            at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous
            – not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In
            Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest
            that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was
            disseminated.

            We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the
            embassy to — or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of
            challenge that was posed in Cairo. And then as that unfolded, it seems
            to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of
            extremists who came with heavier weapons, weapons that as you know in –
            in the wake of the revolution in Libya are — are quite common and
            accessible. And it then evolved from there.

            We’ll wait to see exactly what the investigation finally confirms, but that’s the best information we have at present.”

            Those are some pretty couched statements, and they were based upon what information had been cleared to come out by the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

            How quickly should the government release any and all information regarding a ongoing investigation into an attack?  Six days seems a little short.

          • Gregg Smith

            Even your account (1 of 5) says: “…in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous 
            – not a premeditated…”. That’s certainty but not what I was referring to.

            “But what sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful very offensive video that has offended many people around the world.” Rice on to Chris Wallace.

            “What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many other parts of the region…
             … was a result — a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated, that the U.S. government had nothing to do with, which we have made clear is reprehensible and disgusting.” -Rice to Jake Tapper
            There’s no wiggle room there. And she reiterated it. If you go through all the transcripts she make the point over and over… with certainty.

            http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/11/16/flashback-what-susan-rice-said-about-benghazi/

          • Ray in VT

            … and in all of them she references ongoing FBI investigations into the attack and that known facts may change.  Most of her statements do couch her statements with terms like “our current assessment” and “what we think then transpired”.  Her statement that you quoted, which is somewhat contradictory, in terms of tone, with what she had just said a minute or two before, notwithstanding, I don’t read her as saying “this is the final word”.  Given what had happened in Cairo and what some initial ground reports said, it was not such an outlandish proposition, although Benghazi did have some unique characteristics.

          • Gregg Smith

            Please watch the first minute and a half of this interview so as not to be confused about the context. She said it was the video with certainty. 

            http://video.foxnews.com/v/1843960658001/

          • Ray in VT

            There certainly is some certainty there, but, just as you pointed out with my reference, if you go further there are references to an ongoing investigation and waiting for the results where her tone and words seem less certain.

          • Gregg Smith

            She wasn’t nearly as certain about what turned out to be the truth.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s true, which is why people speaking about issues in such uncertain situations should be cautious with their words.  People often don’t want to say “I/we don’t know now/yet”, even if that is the best answer at that time.

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          And what of bush and rice feigning ignorance of planes used as missiles? Go search on genoa g8 conference 2011 Italians deploy missiles CNN bbc…

          And there’s a huge difference between being misinformed and lowing.

          • nj_v2

            Where were all the mindless, partisan drones our conservative friends when BushCo was lying—repeatedly, blatantly, demonstrably—out multiple orifices about the whole “planes as weapons” thing?

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

          Amazing that Johnson at LFG, and Larrison (sp?) at AmCon have regained their sanity.

          • NewtonWhale

            Yes, Charles Johnson did that 3 years ago, when he realized that the right is not conservative, it’s crazy:

            Why I Parted Ways With The Right

            1. Support for fascists, both in America (see: Pat Buchanan, Robert Stacy McCain, etc.) and in Europe (see: Vlaams Belang, BNP, SIOE, Pat Buchanan, etc.)

            2. Support for bigotry, hatred, and white supremacism (see: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Robert Stacy McCain, Lew Rockwell, etc.)

            3. Support for throwing women back into the Dark Ages, and general religious fanaticism (see: Operation Rescue, anti-abortion groups, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, the entire religious right, etc.)

            4. Support for anti-science bad craziness (see: creationism, climate change denialism, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, James Inhofe, etc.)

            5. Support for homophobic bigotry (see: Sarah Palin, Dobson, the entire religious right, etc.)

            6. Support for anti-government lunacy (see: tea parties, militias, Fox News, Glenn Beck, etc.)

            7. Support for conspiracy theories and hate speech (see: Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Birthers, creationists, climate deniers, etc.)

            8. A right-wing blogosphere that is almost universally dominated by raging hate speech (see: Hot Air, Free Republic, Ace of Spades, etc.)

            9. Anti-Islamic bigotry that goes far beyond simply criticizing radical Islam, into support for fascism, violence, and genocide (see: Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.)

            10. Hatred for President Obama that goes far beyond simply criticizing his policies, into racism, hate speech, and bizarre conspiracy theories (see: witch doctor pictures, tea parties, Birthers, Michelle Malkin, Fox News, World Net Daily, Newsmax, and every other right wing source)And much, much more.

            The American right wing has gone off the rails, into the bushes, and off the cliff.

            I won’t be going over the cliff with them.

            http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/35243_Why_I_Parted_Ways_With_The_Right

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

            Thanx for the “history” lesson from way back in 2010. I was vaguely aware of it.

            “Conservative” is a word which used to have meaning. Perhaps someday it will again. But that’s a fight for other people to have in other places.

      • Mike_Card

        Are you insisting that all are entitled to receive fully disclosed answers to any questions asked of the government?

        • Gregg Smith

          I am insisting someone sent her out to lie on 5 news shows. 

          • Duras

            Are you insisting that the CIA told her to lie? Or, that someone told the CIA to lie to Rice to lie to the world?

          • Gregg Smith

            Someone redacted the CIA talking points before they got to Rice and she was not curious about why. Petraeus testified they knew it was a terrorist attack.

          • Duras

            That was what was inferred, right?

            Do you understand the definition of terrorism?

          • Gregg Smith
          • Duras

            Did you even read this article?  If anything the article suggest that Rice was right in line with the CIA including Petraeus.

          • Gregg Smith

            She said it was the video. She did not mention Al Qaeda.

          • anamaria23

            Define “terrorist”.
            Al Queda  or local militias (Al Quada wannabes) of which there are many.

          • anamaria23

            You need to prove it with credible sources.  Including access to classified info, I guess.  All your saying does not make it so, just be cause you want it to be.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I would insist that government secrets are too dangers to leave in the hands of politicians and known liars.

        • anamaria23

          Florida Rep Alan Grayson asked Sec Clinton a most pertinent queston:  In light of the dangers known, the need for increased security at Benghazi not forthcoming, why was Amb Stevens there at all in that day?
          It was designated a “listening post”, not even a consulate, which Amb Stevens   visited only from time to time.  Did the attackers know he and others  would be there and planned accordingly? 
          Was he ordered to go there and why? 
          What kind of protection would he have needed to defend against the morters?
          Was it a failure of intelligence? 
          Some reports such as from David Kirkpatrick,NYTimes Cairo bureau chief, , after interviewing locals did link the attack to the video.  Too many unanswered questions in this tragic event.
          I guess the Repubs are keen on an admission of a cover up, thus putting into  question the legitimacy of the Obama win.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Who cares? The damage was already done. OTOH, the fools who sent condi rice and colin powell out to lie contributed to starting the iraq war, which, rand paul to the contrary, is the greatest tragedy since 9/11. Were you screaming about them?

    • William

       What questions were out of line?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Exactly. This is nothing but politics. They want to take a shot at Hillary for 2016. They didn’t care when condi and powell were “sent out to lie” about WMD, just like the deficit didn’t matter back then.

  • nj_v2

    Sorting through the Rethuglicon horsecrap on Benghazi…

    http://www.juancole.com/2013/01/republican-benghazi-clintons.html


    Top Ten Republican Myths on Benghazi that Justify Hillary Clinton’s Anger

    Copy, save, and repost whenever some conservobot drone regurgitates moronic claims of “lies” or other such nonsense.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Excellent Krugman column. I agree 100%. He notes that The President ignored the big bad deficit in his inaugural address, and continues:

    “Why have the deficit scolds lost their grip? I’d suggest four interrelated reasons.

    First, they have cried wolf too many times. They’ve spent three years warning of imminent crisis — if we don’t slash the deficit now now now, we’ll turn into Greece, Greece, I tell you. It is, for example, almost two years since Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles declared that we should expect a fiscal crisis within, um, two years.

    But that crisis keeps not happening. The still-depressed economy has kept interest rates at near-record lows despite large government borrowing, just as Keynesian economists predicted all along. So the credibility of the scolds has taken an understandable, and well-deserved, hit.

    Second, both deficits and public spending as a share of G.D.P. have started to decline — again, just as those who never bought into the deficit hysteria predicted all along.

    The truth is that the budget deficits of the past four years were mainly a temporary consequence of the financial crisis, which sent the economy into a tailspin — and which, therefore, led both to low tax receipts and to a rise in unemployment benefits and other government expenses. It should have been obvious that the deficit would come down as the economy recovered. But this point was hard to get across until deficit reduction started appearing in the data.

    Now it has — and reasonable forecasts, like those of Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs, suggest that the federal deficit will be below 3 percent of G.D.P., a not very scary number, by 2015.

    And it was, in fact, a good thing that the deficit was allowed to rise as the economy slumped. With private spending plunging as the housing bubble popped and cash-strapped families cut back, the willingness of the government to keep spending was one of the main reasons we didn’t experience a full replay of the Great Depression. Which brings me to the third reason the deficit scolds have lost influence: the contrary doctrine, the claim that we need to practice fiscal austerity even in a depressed economy, has failed decisively in practice.

    Consider, in particular, the case of Britain. In 2010, when the new government of Prime Minister David Cameron turned to austerity policies, it received fulsome praise from many people on this side of the Atlantic. For example, the late David Broder urged President Obama to “do a Cameron”; he particularly commended Mr. Cameron for “brushing aside the warnings of economists that the sudden, severe medicine could cut short Britain’s economic recovery and throw the nation back into recession.”

    Sure enough, the sudden, severe medicine cut short Britain’s economic recovery, and threw the nation back into recession.

    At this point, then, it’s clear that the deficit-scold movement was based on bad economic analysis. But that’s not all: there was also clearly a lot of bad faith involved, as the scolds tried to exploit an economic (not fiscal) crisis on behalf of a political agenda that had nothing to do with deficits. And the growing transparency of that agenda is the fourth reason the deficit scolds have lost their clout.

    What was it that finally pulled back the curtain here? Was it the way the election campaign revealed Representative Paul Ryan, who received a “fiscal responsibility” award from three leading deficit-scold organizations, as the con man he always was? Was it the decision of David Walker, alleged crusader for sound budgets, to endorse Mitt Romney and his budget-busting tax cuts for the rich? Or was it the brazenness of groups like Fix the Debt — basically corporate C.E.O.’s declaring that you should be forced to delay your retirement while they get to pay lower taxes?”

    • nj_v2

      Krugman on Moyers:

      http://billmoyers.com/segment/paul-krugman-on-recessions-and-recovery/

      Paul Krugman Explains the Keys to Our Recovery

      [[ Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argues that saving money is not the path to economic recovery. Instead, he tells Bill, we should put aside our excessive focus on the deficit, try to overcome political recalcitrance, and spendmoney to put America back to work. Krugman offers specific solutions to not only end what he calls a “vast, unnecessary catastrophe,” but to do it more quickly than some imagine possible. His latest book, End This Depression Now!, is both a warning of the fiscal perils ahead and a prescription to safely avoid them. ]]

      • Gregg Smith

        Krugman on Moyers?! And you think Fox and Rush are bad. That’s hilarious.

        The fiscal 2003 deficit was about $377 billion, or 3.4% of GDP. Krugman worried “that the 10-year deficit will be at least $3 trillion” and about “the future liabilities of Social Security and Medicare.”Cut to the present. The deficit hit $1.4 trillion in 2009, or 9.9% of GDP. It’s expected to climb to $1.6 trillion in 2010, part of an $8.5 trillion shortfall over a decade. With baby boomers now starting to retire, the liabilities of Social Security and Medicare aren’t much in the future anymore. But now Krugman claims, “The long-run budget outlook is problematic, but short-term deficits aren’t — and even the long-term outlook is much less frightening than the public is being led to believe.”http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/1372-paul-krugmans-breathtaking-hypocrisy

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

          Yeah, linking to Investors’ Bidness Daily blogs doesn’t prove what you think it does.

        • nj_v2

          IBD hacks. Good source. Don’t you have anything from Limpballs?

          Debt as percentage of GDP has been much higher in the past (WW2). How did it get reduced? Progressive taxation and public investment/expenditure.

          That’s Krugman’s main message. But feel free to post more deflective irrelevancy.

          • Gregg Smith

            It was Krugman’s own words. Two presidents, two opposing positions, one hypocrite.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Come on. Econ is not an exact science and economists do change their positions. You have to keep score, ask what’s the batting ave, instead of cherrypicking every error or flipflop.

            The economists you like wrongly predicted massive job creation from the bush tax cuts, have for YEARS wrongly predicted that inflation and high interest rates were coming due to the deficit, and have wrongly predicted that the euros would get good results with their disastrous austerity policies. Krugman has been correct on those matters. I’ll take his crystal ball anyday.

          • Gregg Smith

            Please, what economist do you say I like? There could not haves been massive job creation after the cuts because nearly everyone was already working. But the unemployment rate did   drop for years after the rates were lowered anyway.

            There were 2 things that changed between Krackpot Krugman’s statements. The severity of the problem is one. Deficits are much higher now (and he’s calling for more) than they were when he was freaking about Bush. The other change is the party of the President. 

          • Mike_Card

            Tell us.  What economists do you think do a good job?

          • Gregg Smith

            The late Milton Friedman is God.

          • Mike_Card

            I’m going up top.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Really? Krugman and Moyers don’t scream and foam at the mouth, to the best of my knowledge aren’t drug addicts, and Krugman is an actual highly distinguished economist. Rather different from rush and faux.

  • nj_v2

    Criminal corporations’ political contributions…

    http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/news/200/2012/07/

    Corporate Criminal 2012 Contributions to Democrats and Republicans Top $18 Million

    http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17764-study-90-of-criminal-corporations-are-republican

    Study: 90% of Criminal Corporations Are Republican

    • DeJay79

       contributions to Democrats and Republicans…
      As I look at the list every company contributed to both parties. This tells me that they are just buying the whole system regardless of wins.

      but on the other hand

      most all of then spent twice as much on Repub’s than they did on Dem’s. and Dem’s keep winning more votes. If I were a republican I would stop taking corporate money.

  • nj_v2

    Rethuglicon/right-wing jackassery of the week…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50139497n

    McCain jokes about “waterboarding” Kerry at confirmation hearing

     [[ “We look forward to interrogating him at his hearing next week, mercilessly…”

    “We will bring back, for the only time, waterboarding to get the truth out of him.” ]]

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/21/powell-republican-leaders-should-stop-idiot-presentations-from-palin-and-birthers/

    Powell: Republican leaders should stop ‘idiot presentations’ from Palin and birthers

    [[ “The Republicans have to stop buying into things that demonize the president,” he explained. “I mean, why aren’t Republican leaders shouting out about all this birther nonsense and all these other things? They’re silent. We should speak out.” ]]

    http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/01/22/foxs-ablow-obama-favors-disempowering-the-indiv/192353

    Fox’s Ablow: Obama Favors “Disempowering The Individual” With Government Solutions Because He Was “Abandoned” As A Child

    • Ray in VT

      I thought about your weekly post yesterday when I saw this:

      New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortions After Rape As ‘Tampering With Evidence’

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/new-mexico-abortion-bill_n_2541894.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

      “Tampering with evidence shall include procuringor facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.”

      Is a woman who does not want to carry a pregnancy caused by rape of incest attempting to destroy evidence if she is seeking an abortion of her own free will?  The language could be problematic.

      • nj_v2

        It’s a lot to keep up with. Tracking political idiocy is a multi-person job. 

        • DrewInGeorgia

          It takes a Country. No wonder we fail continually.

      • JGC

        Just when you think you’ve heard it all…couldn’t the New Mexico legislature just seize all aborted fetuses after rape charges and keep them in a jar of formaldehyde on the shelf of the local sheriff’s station to use as evidence? Didn’t the Santorums keep their miscarried fetus in a jar to show the family, or something like that?

        • Ray in VT

          I heard that they took it home, although I’m not sure of the circumstances surrounding the whole event.  I thought that it was a bit weird, but I wasn’t going to criticize their decision.  In the late 19th century people were known to dress up their dead children as though still alive and have them photographed.  That is super creepy.

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 – Those jokes about interogation and waterboarding are soooooo funny, right?  What’s next – hilarious stories about captured US servicemembers having parachute cords wrapped around their arms as tourniquets, then the same cords being used to hang them up by their thumbs?

      Still, Sen. McCain gets a pass on this is due to his POW experiences, IMO.  But his outrage over the film Zero Dark Thirty’s depiction of  waterboarding, combined with this episode, is the absolute limit.

      • nj_v2

        It’s time for Gramps to declare it a career and retire gracefully before he loses it any more.

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

          “Gracefully”? How far up does he have to climb to get to doing anything “gracefully”?

          His actions since losing in ’08 remind me of the country music title: “It’s a little too late to do the right thing now”. Just one bitter tantrum after another.

        • hennorama

          nj_v2 – I used to give Sen. McCain tremendous respect for his service to our country, and his independent spirit, despite almost always disagreeing with him. This respect ebbed a great deal with his backpedaling and flipflopping in the 2010 Arizona Republican primary. He changed his long held stances on immigration and the border fence, DADT, and practically avoided the issue of climate change after being a leader on the topic for years.

          Presumably, the Straight Talk Express bus has long since been mothballed or sold off for scrap. Sen. McCain seems to now be a sad shell of his former self, no longer deserving of respect. It’s a sad end to what was a distinguished career.

  • Davesix6

    Now that women have been cleared for combat, will all women over the age of 18 now be compelled to register with the Selective Service System?

    Or do women have a gender based “choice” to serve or not to serve in the event of a draft?

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

      Looks like all this forum’s hacks have their new failed bumpersticker.

      • Gregg Smith

        What difference does it make?

        • jimino

           None in the real world.

  • ToyYoda

    Hillary asks, “What difference does it make?”  From a security standpoint, I think it makes a whole lot of difference.  If it’s a protest, well that’s something you could prepare for and even anticipate, especially on sensitive dates like 9/11.  If it was random, well, you might be  able to take  another course of action.

  • Coastghost

    “What difference at this point does it make?” Indeed: barely a week has passed, and already we hear that alumni of the Benghazi episode have been busy in Algeria and/or Mali. What difference does it make that the consulate compound in Benghazi was breached? (Hint, Madame Secretary: it wasn’t perpetrated by a bunch of guys out for a walk intent on killing Americans.)

    • hypocracy1

      Pointless hearing was Pointless.

      • Coastghost

        It was “pointless” perhaps only to the degree that Susan Rice’s nomination to succeed Hillary was withheld. And why not? since Hillary, Rice, and Samantha Power led the Obama Administration’s formulation of US response to the Arab Spring events in Libya.
        It’s not the case necessarily that the Benghazi episode led directly to the BP facility attack in Algeria; but the Algerian attack gives full voice to the view that NO ONE IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION (perhaps including our late US ambassador Chris Stevens himself) kept too close an eye on events in Libya, to hear of all the weapons that have flowed in all directions since Qaddafi’s overthrow. 

    • Human898

      You might ask yourself why this sounds so familiar, but for those who were attacked.  

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17995427

      It would appear in unstable nations where all manner of weapons are in the hands of all manner of people, it does not take a whoile lot of political “anti-American” terrorist activity for an angry armed mob to go looking to do some harm.  

      I daresay in this nation, one does not have to be a terrorist to do things like overturn autos and light them ablaze.

      http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/kentucky-final-celebrations-turn-violent-16048219

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YMV2HJ2TBKMCN2QRAVI3I2OOGM Jim Jim

    I don’t see what the big deal is with the presidents speech  The president always stands up and says something that appears really “liberal”, but when its time to act hes always very moderate or even conservative. I’m taking the wait and see attitude. 

    • jimino

      Although I thought, for the first time, that he actually sounded like he believed the progressive things he was saying, he can’t do much without Congressional action and less than 20% of them agree with his proposals. 

    • StilllHere

      Well, at least we agree he’s a liar.

  • PithHelmut

    A CEO of a company must give a business plan with very detailed descriptions of what the company plans to do and how it plans to achieve it. Yet The People don’t know what the President intends to do. Yes he makes a speech. He’s made a few and hasn’t lived up to them (remember closing Guantanamo and reducing the influence of lobbyists in Washington?)  Why do our leaders get away without having to give a detailed plan of what they intend to do, how they intend to do it and the time frame that it will be brought about? We ask for so little and boy do we get it.

    • MrNutso

      Government is not a business.

    • Duras

      The Chinese run their country like a business, maybe you would like it there.

    • Human898

      What corporation do you know has people within that corporation openly stating their “top priority” was to remove a CEO who was elected to their position by the public?

  • JGC

    Obama Unchained!

    • StilllHere

      racist

  • burroak

    Good observation Jack.

  • Gregg Smith

    Commenter Fiscally Responsible reminded me that someone called Hillary a congenital liar. It was William Safire in 1996. I looked it up, it’s worth reading for some context of her testimony. She has a record.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/08/opinion/essay-blizzard-of-lies.html

    • nj_v2
    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      That says more about William (Didn’t he used to be an intellectual) Safire and the War on the Clintons than it does about the Clintons.

      • Gregg Smith

        Safire was respected by all, it was an informed opinion. Did you read it?

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

          Yes, I remember it. And he used to be respected. He lost it years ago, and his attempts to make the War on the Clintons “respectable” was a big piece of that.

          He’s a usedtabee intellectual who went all in when the right-wing decided to go bezerk because Bill Clinton beat George HW (Bred to Be President) Bush. I think I know why you like him.

          • Gregg Smith

            I did like him but all I’m saying here is his evidence was damning. It was not a flip accusation.

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

            His “evidence” was bullflop. Kindly stop your polite fluffing.

          • Gregg Smith

            Alrighty then.

          • StilllHere

            Seriously, that one is crazy. Stay away.

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

            Another righy who has these applets telling them things nobody can divine from mere pixels.

            Keep projecting. It’s one of your best defense mechanisms.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Wouldn’t habitual or compulsive been more appropriate terms? I guess they wouldn’t be as much fun though because they don’t have the word genital in them. Does someone have audio of Secretary Clinton telling her first lie as she exited the womb?

      • Gregg Smith

        Rosemary Woods erased it.

      • StilllHere

        There is no evidence she exited a womb.

  • Davesix6

    President Obama said he was not out to destroy inexpensive coal fired electricity.

    Yet it is becoming clear that he intends to do just that not through our elected leaders, but rather via regulatory agencies.

    Of course the media is not going to let the people know the true cost of this radical policy. 

    Just one more lie.

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

      “Inexpensive coal-fired electricity”?

      A real quote on that, please. And don’t forget the “inexpensive” is the direct result of the bidness plan: “Privatize the profits, socialize the costs.”

    • nj_v2

      Coal is only “inexpensive” if the externalized costs—pollution, environmental destruction, health impacts, global warming—are ignored.

      Hacks like Davesix6 don’t care much about those things.

      • jimino

        I expect in his own mind he is a valiant “libertarian” but his obvious inability to comprehend how the true costs of something like the use of coal to produce electricity are not part of the market’s equation makes it clear he has no idea what he’s talking about.

    • Duras

      Nor does the media talk about what pollution does to our national health and life expectancy. 

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

        The Media doesn’t live in Cancer Alley, downhill from coal mine slag heaps, or down wind from those powerplants. There’s a connection in there someplace.

    • keltcrusader

      Business itself is the primary movers behind the switch from coal to natural gas due to its abundance and low prices. Electricity-generating businesses move to the lower cost whenever possible. Sounds like good business practices.

    • Pointpanic

      Notice how Obama has not come out against teh XL pipeline? How can he claim to be concerned about global climate change if that vile project is still on the table?

      • JGC

        The headline in the business section of the Globe and Mail today is, “Kerry Dodges Keystone Question”.  Do not be surprised if they allow the pipeline through, and try to assuage the anger of the environmentalists by tossing some other bone their way.  Also, these Transcanada supporters are so hellbent on getting their oilsands crude into the U.S., they are going to send it by railway tanker if necessary, cars and cars and cars filled with crude chugging along the U.S. railways, which may cause even bigger environmental problems.  

        • Pointpanic

          Makes me wonder how much difference there really is between the gOp andthe Dems. I’m voting Green

          • JGC

            You know, I cannot disagree with you there.

  • Coastghost

    Much daring from our Dept. of Defense: just as the decision to incorporate women into combat units is announced, it begins to dawn on us all that our Army as presently constituted will probably be about half its size in another decade; so those hundreds of thousands of positions supporters were salivating over with the announcement will also likely decline in number comparably.

  • Wahoo_wa

    Hillary should have been elected President instead of the wiener we currently have.

    • hypocracy1

      I’m sure you will get a chance to vote for her in 2016

      • Wahoo_wa

        I hope so.  I voted for her in 2008 in the primaries.

        • Wahoo_wa

          NOOOOOO Joe Biden for VP.  He’s a wiener too.

        • Gregg Smith

          I did too!

  • Coastghost

    “Deflective outrage”, we could say of Hillary’s dander.

  • Coastghost

    Exactly and specifically: what does the “responsibility” that Hillary claims she takes for the Benghazi episode ACTUALLY consist of?

  • Davesix6

    Hiliary Clinton ” what difference does it make at this point”?

    What if Nixon had asked that question?

    • hennorama

      Davesix6 – please at least TRY to be accurate when quoting someone. Sec. Clinton’s complete sentence was “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

      As to a comparison to Nixon, assuming you’re referring to Watergate – get real.  Watergate involved the resignation of a President, and 40 officials indicted or jailed.  There’s nothing even close involving Benghazi, and Sec. Clinton.

      http://watergate.info/analysis/casualties-and-convictions
      Here are a couple of Watergate quotes out of Nixon’s mouth:

      “You must pursue this investigation of Watergate even if it leads to the president. I’m innocent. You’ve got to believe I’m innocent. If you don’t, take my job.”

      “Watergate had become the center of the media’s universe, and during the remaining year of my presidency the media tried to force everything else to revolve around it.”

      http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/watergate.html

      • Gregg Smith

        No one died in Watergate so no, it isn’t as big a deal.

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

          Just the subverting of democracy. Nothing to see here.

          • Gregg Smith

            I wouldn’t say that but we had that AND four deaths in Benghazi.

          • Human898

            You might note all deaths in other years and other places, yet not a peep from the same people and poltical party who suddenly, in an election year, turned it into a political issue.   

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorist_attacks_on_U.S._diplomatic_facilities

            Why the sudden interest in deaths at U.S. Diplomatic facilities?   An election year explains a lot, as does losing the election in spite of attempting to use the tragedy for political gain.

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

            Yeah, funny how some things pass right by Greggg.

          • Gregg Smith

            Get a clue.

          • Gregg Smith

            When was the last time an Ambassador was killed. 40 years? Were we lied to about it?

            I disagree in the strongest terms with your assertion Republicans used the tragedy for political gain. Obama covered up the truth for political gain. 

            This was a shameful, needless tragedy.

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

            Keep whitewashing that fence, sucker.

          • Human898

            Are you seriously going to try to suggest that there is some sort of hieracrchical importance to tragedy and deaths that occur as a result of such tragedies?   I’m sure the families of 241 American and 58 French servicemen killed by terrorists in 1983 in Beirut would like to know their deaths don’t count as much as an ambassador in an American Presidential election year.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombing

            Plus all those in service to America since who have also died, but weren’t as you seem to consider, “worthy” of concern for how they died unless they carried the title of “Ambassador”.

            What remains shameful is the continued efforts some to grandstand and try to politicize it as some sort of “cover-up”.   Every tragedy, is needless as far as most people are concerned, every life lost in a tragedy, equally tragic.

    • StilllHere

      Exactly.

  • Rex Henry

    Do you think Republicans grilled Susan Rice to let John Kerry walk right through to open up a potential seat in the Senate?

    • Pointpanic

      yes, I do. THe GOP was attempting to set the stage for Scott Brown to walk right in. So far, the Mass. Dems have noone to match Brown’s “satr power” in Ma. I may be voting Green in the next election.

    • keltcrusader

      yes, they want the open seat in MA for Scott” I’m a loser” Brown.

    • StilllHere

      Please, if Dems in MA can fix one election and get some lying psycho elected, they can do it again.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YMV2HJ2TBKMCN2QRAVI3I2OOGM Jim Jim

    Who was there to Grill Colin Powell over his lies to the UN? Compared to that this is a very small lie.

    • Mike_Card

      Or Condi and her mushroom cloud of doooooooom?

      • Gregg Smith

        Hussein had 500 tons of yellowcake and nucular ambitions. The inspectors had been kicked out for years when she said that. And she wasn’t alone.

        “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
        – Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

        • Mike_Card

          The junior senator from New York repeats the lies she has just been told by the National Security Advisor.  Is there a point?

          Hans Blixt refuted the yellow cake story as fanciful.

          Hussein had aspirations for nuclear weapons, as did/does every “leader” of non-nuclear armed nation.

          • Gregg Smith

            Blix? Please. Here:
            http://articles.cnn.com/2008-07-07/us/iraq.uranium_1_yellowcake-uranium-cameco?_s=PM:US

            Was Hillary repeating what her husband said? Here’s some quotes from before Bush.

            “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”–President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

            “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”–President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

            “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”–Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

            “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”–Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

            “[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.”Letter to President Clinton, signed by:– Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

            “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”-Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

            “Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”– Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

    • Pointpanic

      And Jim, where was “public” radio during Powell’s lying? Conducting critical inquiry? Not a chance. It was uncritically promoting Powell’s lies. However, I’m not sure Powell was aware that he was a dupe for the neo-cons in the vile W’s administration.

    • StilllHere

      What lies?

  • burroak

    What is the relevance of denied embassy funding from the House of Representatives before Benghazi and just this week?

  • matractor

    Will this whole issue now make the release of information going forward even more limited, since “official” information will now need to be vetted even longer?

    • hennorama

      matractor – interesting point.  Imagine if the public would have to wait until every investigation on Benghazi, or any other controversial event, was final before any government official could make any comment.  Not exactly workable, right?  An alternative would be to have only people with direct knowledge of events speak about said events in public.  This too is impractical.

      It is disingenuous to criticize a spokeperson for repeating talking points about topics of which they have no direct knowledge, but this is exactly what happened and continues to happen relative to Benghazi and Amb. Rice.  It’s absurd.

      I for one hope this does NOT have a chilling effect on future releases of information, even if such release is preliminary or filled with significant qualifying phrases, such as “the currently available information suggests  …”

  • lbgatt

    Don’t your guests or John McCain read the news?  My understanding is that it has been pretty well established that the intelligence agencies redacted Rice’s statements so not to tip to the militants that their communications were being monitored. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.riberdy.3 Jeremy Riberdy

    The biggest disappointment for me this week was the 3 month extension of the debt ceiling. Let’s resolve this, with a multi-year extension so we can focus on the plethora of other issues facing our country – job creation, gun control, etc…

    • Kathy

      I suspect the Republican far right thinks the climate will be better to destroy medicare and social security the further they can get from the election and inauguration.

      • StilllHere

        Except you’d be wrong. Sequestration.

    • hennorama

      Sorry for being so technical, but this is not yet a done deal.  This extension has only passed in the House, although Sen. Reid has indicated that the Senate will soon take up (and pass) the bill, and Pres. Obama has said he will sign it.

      One issue that may need to be resolved is the “no budget, no pay” provision which seems to be in conflict with 27th Amendment, which reads:

      “No law, varying the compensation for the services of Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

      Regardless whether this is a real or potential hangup, the extension is not a done deal, yet.

      As to the debt ceiling, my opinion is that it is a useless anachronism and we would be best served by eliminating it completely.  Short of that, a multi-year extension is preferable.

  • Human898

    It seems quite strange that some are telling others what happened, yet they have no proof of their allegations.  I believe a part of the problem is timelines and the events of that day where there WERE protests in Cairo, but no specific ones, related to the events Benghazi (although who knows if the Benghazi attackers weren’t watching the events in Cairo, became raged and took their rage out on Americans?). 

    In addition, there is no mistaking a tragedy occurred and an investigation is needed to prevent future tragedies from happening with regard to no-questions asked, no costs considered when it comes to security.  This was not an attack on an embassy and as most ambassadors will tell you, their job is not isolating themselves in embassies, but getting out into the populations of the nations they are stationed.     I’m not sure how many people are aware of all the deaths in around American state department outposts in years previous to the Obama administration, where there were no grandstands about “coverups” or even the deaths then.    How many are aware of a policy or hiring local people for security purposes?    If a different statement was made about what occurred that was more in line with what some seem to know happened, even thought they don’t have all the facts and that statement was wrong, would there be any less criticism?   

    Let’s check this out, lets find out what went wrong, let’s be realistic to try to prevent this from happening again and leave the political grandstanding out of it, especially by people who speak as if they have all the facts, at the same time they admit they don’t.

  • Wahoo_wa

    WOW! The caller is really working the “rape” angle.  It’s a little creepy.

    • DeJay79

      maybe he really wants to rape other people’s women on the front line

    • DrewInGeorgia

      A little creepy and A LOT misogynistic.

    • keltcrusader

      You would think he would be more concerned for the rapes that happen now within our military on our female personel.

      • JGC

        I was thinking along the same lines when he said that;  that female personnel have more reason to  worry about being assaulted by their fellow male soldiers, than by enemy fighters.  Of course, if Caller had his way, undoubtedly he would choose to go back to an all-male force.  The rape thing is a MacGuffin to shock people into denying full and equal treatment and benefits thereby accrued to women soldiers. Phyllis Schlafly used the female soldier argument to very effectively beat back the Equal Rights Amendment 30 years ago when it was on the verge of passing. 

        • JGC

          And will that make it more likely for female soldiers’ insurance benefits to finally include coverage for abortion as the result of rape? And will they be entitled to being awarded the Purple Heart under these circumstances?  These issues should be addressed at the same time as they work to implement the new guidelines over the next few years. (I would hope the answers from the military hierarchy would be “yes” and “yes”.)

  • Matt Wade

    This guy must be GOP, he’s got rape on the brain!

  • Ray in VT

    For those who are critical of women in combat rolls, can one define a combat roll anymore?  That was reasonably possible when there were front lines and trenches and nation-states going toe-to-toe.  But now, when we are increasingly engaged in fights against smaller groups that don’t play by the traditional rules of warfare, isn’t just about any military job in an active theater a combat role in practice?

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

      “Combat roll”? Is that hardtack?

      And I’d like to chime in about how the Army has had to relax its physical standards for males because our decades-long practice combination of all-volunteer military and increasing child poverty has resulted in a predictably less-fit populace who are inclined to enlist.

      Having examined that, why not women in combat?

      • Mike_Card

        Its chipped MRE on toast.

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

          That’s the polite word for “chipped” anything on toast, IIRC.

    • Mike_Card

      I don’t claim to be the final source, but there are 3 “combat arms:”  infantry, armor, and artillery.  Further, there are 3 “combat service support arms:”  signal, engineer, and military police.

      My understanding is that women have been previously precluded from serving in those 6 branches of the army, thus would be characterized as combat roles.  I don’t have enough familiarity with the navy, marines, or air force to comment on those.

      Edit: It just occurred to me that women have been serving in the combat support branches, but not in combat zones.

  • Davesix6

    So I repeat my earlier question.
    Will women now be compelled to register with Selective Service just like men?

    • JGC

      Ask Phyllis Schlafly.

  • Only1drvibes

    Tom,

    1)Beyonce took out her ear piece in the middle of her solo and continued singing, because it was interfering with her singing. She was not lip synching.

    3)There is a long concept of women warriors and warrior queens in history, e.g. the Amazons in Homer and Athena the warrior goddess, also, in Nubia which had basis. In fact. in the ancient Silk Road areas female burials were found with weapons.

    2)Watching a PBS Aviation program on warplanes last night demonstrated that government and industry can cooperate to accomplish great things when necessary. Even competing corporations worked together.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WDIOY7RQ3F5EAR4EAP5FKRS52M bethrjacobs

    ww2 russian female snipers and aces

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WDIOY7RQ3F5EAR4EAP5FKRS52M bethrjacobs

    better to be able to defend self-country then wait passively to be raped dor to die

  • MarkVII88

    I got quite a hearty chuckle out of the caller who was freaking out to Tom about women in combat roles.  Now our women in uniform will have to start fighting and trying to bayonet men who are stronger and with more endurance…our daughters will subsequently get killed and raped.  I mean it’s no laughing matter certainly but that guy made no sense on the phone.

    • Matt Wade

      He obviously never met a female soldier. Tough, tough ladies wouldn’t take any of his nonsense.

    • jefe68

      That’s an absurd take on this. 
      A lot of women are in front line combat situations and they are not being paid the same nor do they have the same designation. 

      As to being raped, well that’s already a huge problem in our military and it’s not a foe that’s doing the assaults.

      • Human898

        In combat, one expects trouble.   In a functional, as opposed to dysfunctional society, trust is built and people do not expect trouble from their own fellowship (soldiers, neighbors, friends, etc.) 

        With allowing women official combat roles, a better case can be made for paying them the same and giving them equal designations where applicable.

  • Human898

    Where was all the GOP “outrage” in the years before the Obama administration?   Why is the “outrage” largely along political lines?    Was there no upcoming presidential election where those that stated their “top priority” to refuse a second term to the current president could try to gain political advantage?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorist_attacks_on_U.S._diplomatic_facilities

  • Human898

    Very good point Mr. Ashbrook.   People who volunteer for combat duty should probably be and in my experience are, well aware of the potential risks they take.

  • Human898

    I left the party too, before what you have listed became the new “neo” “republican”
    “conservative” dominated the philosophies and policies of what used to be more of a GOP.

  • sjw81

    “what does it matter at this point” Hillary said ?! Doesnt the truth matter to these people? are we that lost??

    • Human898

      The truth does matter, that is why some might want to pay attention to the truth of what Secretary Clinton was referring to when she said, “what does it matter?”  Since you appear to suggest you know what the “truth” was, what was it exactly and why exactly would someone try to cover it up in this instance?

      • anamaria23

        Exactly. 

      • anamaria23

        I wish I could remember what Hillary said exactly about how we get our information, that we should have some means of getting credible information out vetted by those closest to any event.
        Right now, any body can come up with any story and find support for it in a source, however legitimate. 
        Wise counsel that I have received in my life is not to present as fact anything that I would not be willing to defend with evidence in a court of law.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WDIOY7RQ3F5EAR4EAP5FKRS52M bethrjacobs

      It is a probably a cover up many Deplomats are cover for CIA we may have burned some one?

      • hennorama

        bethrjacobs – while I would quibble with the word “coverup,” it is highly likely that we will NEVER know all the details of the Benghazi incidents due to the CIA station having been there.  I have said this from the very beginning.

    • hennorama

      sjw81 -  please at least TRY to be accurate when quoting someone. Sec. Clinton’s complete sentence was “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

      • Gregg Smith

        What difference does it make? 

        Why are you more concerned with the accuracy of sjw81′s quote than with the accuracy of the video meme?

        • StilllHere

          Exactly.

    • StilllHere

      Not to the likes of her, she’s got a campaign to run.

  • Ray in VT

    I’ve been hearing a bit this week about some GOP attempts to change how electoral votes are allocated.   Here are some visuals that show how the proposed changes would have affected the 2012 election:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/republican-vote-rigging-electoral-college_n_2546010.html

    Thoughts?

    • Wahoo_wa

      Simple pimple…elections by popular vote.

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t like the Electoral College, in part because it has the potential to produce a winner that receives fewer votes, and I think that that has happened 4 times.  I would prefer a popular vote, and it would seem that we could create a system that could provide us with an accurate, valid result.

        • Gregg Smith

          I disagree and believe the result is more valid than letting NY and CA decide everything. However, it’s a valid debate as long as it doesn’t happen after the votes have been cast.

          • Ray in VT

            Don’t forget Texas.  You may not want New York and California “deciding everything”, which they can’t anyways, but I sure as hell don’t want Texas deciding either.  I just want a system that most accurately produces a result in line with the desire of the populace.

            I don’t like the idea of doing things by district due to my concerns regarding Gerrymandering, and I also don’t like the idea of it happening in some states and not others.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sure, I agree about Texas. The EC solves both issues. 

          • Ray in VT

            Not under the proposed changes.  Would you feel fine with the result if your guy got 3.5 million less votes but lost?  I also think that if the system was based upon a popular tally, then some states would probably become more competitive.  What is the current incentive for a GOP candidate to campaign in Massachusetts or California?  None, unless they’ve got money that they want to burn.  Same for Democrats in Texas or Tennessee.  New Hampshire would get less attention, but really this last election mostly just boiled down to a half dozen swing states anyways.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t think it’s possible to win the popular vote by 3.5 million and lose the electoral college. 

            Regarding MA or CA, the elections are more than for President. Romney was Gov. of MA, Reagan in CA. Ma Richards was governor of Texas. So there is a purpose to vote.

            BTW, i’m not picking a fight. I don’t like the idea of a popular vote but that doesn’t mean the system is without flaws.

          • Ray in VT

            But if you look at current proposals for changes in electoral vote allocation, then that is what would have happened.  I agree that there’s a lot going on in state elections.  We elected a Republican Governor in 2008 while supporting Obama.

            My concern with these proposals is that they could further distort the popular vote, and the Electoral College, for what flaws I see it as having, has gone that way all but 4 times.  I would not want to see it happen more often, and I’m concerned that one party is pushing this so as to increase their likelihood of winning an election.

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

            We can remember what the press corpse said about Obama: When even they couldn’t deny he was going to win the EVs, they were fascinated by the idea of him  not getting half the popular vote. They dwelled on it like crazy.

          • Ray in VT

            I also have a problem with the idea that the voters need some special group to stand between us and the actual choosing of the highest office in the land.

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

          Yep. The idea of disenfranchising Democrats in Texas becomes a lot more attractive to the National Laboratory of Bad Government (the Texas lege) if every vote they can scrub off there cancels out a vote that a Democrat gets in California.

          In theory, getting rid of the EV is a good idea. Thanks to Teabaggers who can’t be trusted to govern, in practice it’s a bad idea.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT – the last time was in the 2000 Presidential election, when Al Gore won the popular vote by 543,895 votes, yet lost in the Electoral College to George W. Bush.  Gore got 266 EC votes, Bush got 271, and there was one abstention.

          Of course, it took more than a month of legal wrangling, with two US Supreme Court rulings overturning the Florida Supreme Court and stopping the statewide manual recount.

          The 2000 election was one for the books, although stranger stuff has happened in US Presidential races.  My favorite for weirdness is 1872, when Pres. U.S. Grant was handily re-elected.  His opponent Horace Greeley died on Nov. 29, 1872, shortly after his wife died.  This was after the popular election on Nov. 5, but  before the Electoral College met to cast their ballots.  This remains the only time a Presidential candidate has died during the electoral process.

          http://www.livescience.com/24582-strangest-presidential-elections-us-history.html

          • Ray in VT

            I had forgotten about that oddity from the 1872 election, as I don’t find the 1865-1900 era of U.S. history to be as interesting as either the Colonial Era or the 20th century.  Thanks for sharing that.

          • hennorama

            YW. I too had forgotten all about Horace Greeley’s run for the Presidency, and his demise.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that I mostly remembered his anti-slavery position and his career as an editor.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      If redistricting doesn’t work, try Electoral Re-Allocation!
      Despicable.

    • jefe68

      The GOP wants to steal the next general election, that’s the agenda.

    • pete18

      ” ‘Rigging’ the election is only bad when it hurts democrats.”

      http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/01/rigging-the-electoral-system-only-is-bad-when-it-hurts-democrats/

      • Ray in VT

        I don’t like the idea of an election being rigged in anyone’s favor, but ask yourself this:  Which is a more accurate representation of the will of the voting electorate:

        62,611,250 Popular Votes vs. 59,134,475 Popular Votes

        In the first case the former wins 332-206 where it counts.  In the latter the former loses 273-262.

        • DrewInGeorgia

          It’s only three and a half million people give or take Ray, what difference does it make?
          tee-hee
          Sorry I couldn’t resist.

          • Ray in VT

            Those votes were probably all fraudulently cast anyways, right?

        • JGC

          See what’s going on in the Virginia State Legislature this week, for a real lesson on how to rig an election.

          • Ray in VT

            That was, in part, what prompted me to make my original post.

    • 2Gary2

       Ray–what do you expect the republicans to do?  You are lucky to have Bernie Sanders while we in WI are stuck with the dolt ron johnson.

      • Ray in VT

        Bernie is pretty awesome.  I’m not going to argue with you there, and, interestingly enough, he won in elections when the state elected a Republican Governor, so there was likely some cross over voting going on there.

      • hennorama

        2Gary2 – at least it was entertaining to watch Sen. Johnson (and others) getting “posterized” by Sec. Clinton during her Congressional testimony on Benghazi.  Sen. Johnson is up for re-election in 2016 so you’re probably stuck with him until then.  Maybe Russ Feingold will run again.

  • Duras

    Gregg, whoever denied backup (if someone indeed did deny backup) during the raid, that person should be questioned by congress. 

    But it obviously wasn’t Obama as you initially thought. That is just ridiculous and a product of ideological manipulation of reality, an undisciplined willingness to jump at what you want to be the truth of republican propaganda. For our entire exchange, I only defended Obama. Nothing more.

    • Gregg Smith

      Well, I could certainly accuse you of defending Obama at all cost because of an ideological manipulation of reality but I won’t. 

      If I accused Obama of calling it off (I might have) I was referring to him in a “buck stops here” kinda’ way. But obviously, I don’t know of sure. And that is my point, no one is digging into it. The Republicans and Democrats are weenies.

      I agree with you whoever denied the backup should be questioned but first someone has to ask who denied it.

      Where was Obama?

      Edit: To follow up, why isn’t Obama furious about it?

      • Duras

        “Where was Obama?” … you just won’t give it up, in some way all the negativity in the world has got to be at least indirectly caused by Obama, right?

        Give it up.  It is stupid.  I’ve called the cops before and they didn’t show up for 20 minutes and I live down street from a police station.  Give it up.

        And by the way, just in case you think I’m an Obama-bot as you are implying, the most devastating criticism of the Obama Administration have come from the left, the progressives.  Most of right wing criticism of Obama has very little substance and it is often out of context, it is often declarative without being comparative with history, its often ahistorical, among other things. 

        Dodd-Frank for example has a much harsher criticism from the left than it does by the lame argument of “over-regulation” by the right.  I’m not going to elaborate because I’m long-winded as it is and I want to get off the computer.   

        • Gregg Smith

          Are you serious? Obama is Commander in Chief and was absent for the entire incident. It’s a valid question. 

          • Human898
          • Gregg Smith

            I mean during the 7+ hour attack.

          • Human898

            Unlike the speculators and those anxious to try to make some political hay.  Mr. Obama was more than likely receiving and assessing intelligence reports before he reported.   Some people may have noted what occurs in this nation when some Americans blame the religion of some people on acts of terrorism by others,  

            As you may have noted, the Libyan PM’s office was attacked in a similar manner as Ambassador Stevens and his party and it had nothing to do with a planned terrorist attack on those of a foreign nation or different religion, it had to do with compensation.

            Despite attempts to define it otherwise, terrorism is any act that terrorizes people, from “displays of shock and awe” to beating someone with a whip, etc.   That is why it is called terrorism.   It is not only individuals or small groups of individuals that can sponsor or engage in acts of terrorism.

            Mr. Obama called it what it was the morning after as far as any one could possibly know without an indepth investigation and capture of those responsible to bring them to justice to gain more insight as to their actual motives, connections and where, they recieved their commands from, if not from spontaneous anger and being aware Americans were in the neighborhood to take their anger about an American made film insultiing their religion out on.   Americans have attacked and even killed Muslims in America simply because they related them to terrorist acts.  Just in the last year, people who were not Muslims, but who wore turbins were shoot and killed by someong who didn’t even care to distinguish any difference before opening fire. 

          • Gregg Smith

            We don’t know where Obama was. It has been reported he went to bed.

            He did not say it was a terrorist attack in the Rose garden the next day. He didn’t. Candy Crowley tried to run cover for him in the debate. Read it again. The clear message was it was the video. That was a lie and they knew it was a lie.

        • 1Brett1

          Does any of us believe Gregg is just interested in, as he says, “no one is digging into it”? …I guess it’s just a coincidence that 99.9% of his comments on this are to bash President Obama and demand a pound of flesh from Sec. Clinton…

          • Gregg Smith

            Okay, I’ll change it up. Please tell me what I think. Why would I bash Obama just to bash him? That makes no sense. I’m eager to know how I feel about this.

      • 1Brett1

        “Well, I could certainly accuse you of defending Obama at all cost because of an ideological manipulation of reality but I won’t.” 

        submitted without comment; the tactic speaks for itself. 

        • Gregg Smith

          I don’t know about tactics, you’re the expert on what I’m up to but I will say one of my observations of liberals is they are what they accuse others of being.

          • jefe68

            Wow, delusional to the extreme.

          • 1Brett1

            I could accuse you of yet another pat response of “I know you are but what am I” but I won’t…

          • Gregg Smith

            You’re very sweet.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            That’s one of my observations of human beings. Also, humans are really annoyed when other humans behave as they do.

    • jefe68

      Good point, but I doubt this chap is interested in the way the State Department works. He will turn it around to make it seem as if you’re the problem. Everything is taken out of context and based on the talking points of conspiracy theorist such as Rush Limbaugh. It’s his MO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arttoegemann Art Toegemann

    This isn’t what women, or we, need.
    For real equality, women need to be required to register for the Selective Service at the age of 18, just like men. That women are not now so required is held against them, a disparity no amount of combat corrects. This is a silent cheat. Serving in combat without it plays into the gun culture.
    Still, it is right that makes might, not guns, not combat.

  • Duras

    It amazes me that republicans think that there is liberal bias all over mainstream news.  Actually it doesn’t amaze me–the general republican voter Ayn Randian, utopia-seeking ideologues.

    Here is a conversation that would never occur on CNN, NBC, CBS, etc.:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSozyO0HDOQ&list=LLe23KQy4yMdph6WkwyYvF0w

    It’s about a “robin hood tax.”

    • William

       The CBS News Director wrote an article advising Obama to destroy the GOP. Is that a Liberal bias enough for you?

      • Mike_Card

        The article must have been intercepted by the GOP, because the GOP is doing a dandy job of immolating itself.

        • William

           It’s difficult for the GOP. They don’t get a free pass from the press like the Liberals do when they do something dumb.

          • Fredlinskip

            Media didn’t seem to worry about much fact-checking leading up to Iraq War- that would be in the dumb category, wouldn’t it?
            Or is that more in corporate-owned media part of it (as TomK mentions above)?

          • William

            You think they would have learned from their mistakes huh? They just figured out Obama is a hard core Liberal.

          • Duras

            You say that like it is a bad thing.  Lincoln was a liberal, both Roosevelt were liberals, and these are our greatest presidents. 

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Yeah, his actions are SO liberal, LOL.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Exactly. The corporate media acted as cheerleaders for the iraq disaster. Worst was judith miller of the NYT, who put every bush admin scare story on the front page. You’d be hard pressed to find any skepticism about the dire threat posed by saddam, who in fact could barely keep the lights on at that point. 

            What really burns me is that the media were burned by swallowing the tonkin gulf story justifying the vietnam disaster, and it seems they learned nothing.

      • jefe68

        Well given how the GOP is doing a good job of self destruction on their own, all President Obama has to do is just sit back and watch.

      • Duras

        I thought that was political analysis.  Obama seems to be all in with liberalism (we’ll see…), so if republicans don’t modify their positions like Eisenhower did after FDR transformed the country, republicans will disappear, and likely a new party representing a different formation of conservativism will fill the political space.  Otherwise, Obama is taking a bit of a risk and if he loses the national debate, republicanism will dominate the political economy for the next 30 years or so. 

        Moreover, most journalists don’t talk about political economies.  If you look at the history of American political economies, Obama has governed as a conservative despite what Fox News and the republicans say; those people almost invariably argue in an ahistorical vacuum.  No doubt, Obama is really, surprise surprise, a liberal and wants America to move back to a political economy that made this country great instead of the Reagan economy which has only deteriorated the middle class.  In order to change the political economy, this brand of republicanism needs to go back to something like Eisenhower’s ideology.  When Eisenhower was president, Ronald Reagan and Berry Goldwater were the whack-jobs who were in the closet with greed.  Hopefully, we can put Reagan in a closet and throw it out to sea–let those neo-liberal capitalists in Russia keep him.  

        • William

           The CBS News Director is just like the majority of the MSM, very Liberal and very pro-Obama. We have seen it since Obama first announced he was running for President.
          The idea of going back to some Liberal dream of an economy with 90 percent income tax rates, vast number of workers in unions, various factories reappearing, is not going to happen. Times have changed and like it or not so has the American economy.
           

          • Duras

            I think you need to get the idea of Fair and Balance out of your head and realize that reality is neither fair nor balanced, that there are material conditions out there and one politicians platform is a better subscription.  The biggest business magazines, Bloomberg and The Economist, both endorsed Obama.  The New Yorker endorsed Obama.  There are material conditions in the world in other countries where conservativism would work. 

            I don’t look at news through the lens of left or right (I think the whole “liberal bias” argument is ridiculous).  I look for empirical methods and intelligence.  CNN has dumbed-down for several reasons, but if they return to the way they were, the “liberal bias” echos would be even louder.  PBS New Hours, in my opinion, is the best on American television–and conservatives want to get rid of not because it takes up the budget, not because they perceive “liberal bias,” but because it is intelligent and it is grounded in the material conditions and it contextualizes issues within history.  Conservatives don’t like media that is secular and empirical because they don’t want people looking at material conditions–they want people to invest their energy in Football and Jesus who will give them a better afterlife. 

            I dare you to watch that entire video I posted because it is about completely different political economies. 

            And what I actually think is going to happen to American labor is this: machines have already started to build the machines that work in manufacturing, which means that the concentration of wealth at the very top is going to be more and more.  While employment will move to retail and other service industry.  Most retail is not unionized: in fact, Walmart, where 4 Walton family members are in the top 10 richest in the world employes 1.5 million American workers who are mostly subsidized by the American tax payer.  America subsidizes 2/3 of Walmart’s employees.  The CEO of Walmart, Mike Duke, gets paid around $19 million which is relatively low for a company that size.  If Walmart unionized, the stock holders would take a hit, but the majority stock holders are the Waltons and they would become multi, multi, multi, millionaires instead of billionaires if they actually paid their employees enough to live decent lives. 

            Where would Walmart go?  Where would any retailer go?   Walmart has stores in Europe and they pay their employees there–do you want to know why?  Because even though they would make less money in Europe than America, they would still make money!

            The economy will be different than the 1950s–but the core principles, the principles laid out in Wealth of Nations do not change.  There is even an older economic principle that underlies all my arguments: “money’s gotta flow.”

            And like it or not, as neo-Feudal as you are, in a secular world increasing inequality leads to revolutions of some kind or despotism of some kind.

            The economy has to give either on unions or taxes on the rich, otherwise it is going get even uglier in the next 30 years. 

            But it is nice that you acknowledge that this country has moved to the right–if only you can see that we have gone too far to the right instead of not enough to the right (a symptom a political pathology towards a utopia), this country, our middle class, would recover.

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

            I would submit that CNN, with its naked play towards Tea Party enthisiasts, co-sponsoring a debate with the TP, and continued spaces for hacks like Erick Erickson and John King, has not only dumbed down, but has tilted rightwards. No ombud or jounalism defense can be made for this.

            As they’ve sown, so they’ve reaped: It’s a shallow ratings grab, and even by its own standard is failing badly.

            To paraphrase the axiom: When given the chance between two “advocacy media”* cable channels, right-wing viewers will choose the real Fox News every time.

            *The politest term I’ve heard for FoxNews.

          • Duras

            John King gets on my nerve because he postures himself as an observational journalist but is constantly editorializing with very subtle word choices.

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

            Yep. jes another “straight shooter” whose every day seems like an audition reel for Fox News.

    • 2Gary2

       thanks I found the video to be refreshing.  too bad the American media is so terrible.

    • Gregg Smith

      I admittedly don’t like the arguments that begin with the word “if it had been a Republican”. But, I’ll throw out a couple anyway.

      Sandy victims are still freezing and the only place I see it reported is Fox. You may consider that an indictment of Fox (or not) but I think it’s news. It was certainly news during Katrina.

      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/25/sandy-victims-left-out-in-cold-during-arctic-blast/

      And this is just good:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2vMUHpAdwo

      • Ray in VT

        I guess that you aren’t listening to NPR much.  It’s been mentioned several times this week.  There is this on CNN:

        http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/25/us/cold-weather/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

        Plenty of text plus some videos.

        • Gregg Smith

          Yea, I may have been a bit narrow but I was trying to compare to the national outrage and relentless drumbeat over Katrina. It’s a bit different with Sandy but there is just as much suffering and incompetence.

          • Duras

            I think the outrage is pretty consistent.  For one, we now have a president who is reacting with urgency and a congress who is impeding help.  That seems to be pretty consistent with Katrina: those who are angry are angry with the people who are lackadaisical. 

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Yeah, exactly. I think of the “mainstream media” as the corporate media, as they ARE owned by big corporations. So we get the voice of the corporate establishment. Follow the money. 

  • Fredlinskip

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a country where our Representatives in Congress were actually determined by the VOTERS  instead of by those who create computer programs to guarantee the outcome through gerrymandering? 
    Alas, free and fair elections is FAR too great an expectation in America.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that Iowa has a commission that draws the districts, and their district lines are fairly clean and straight.  They may jut out, and I don’t know if those are town or country lines or what, but the races were all largely competitive in 2012.

      • Fredlinskip

        Well that’s a start. 
        I understand in Va., because a dem representative was absent, GOP pushed through a redistricting bill that should cause gain of a few more GOP seats in 2014.

        • JGC

          It’s even worse than that. The Democrat was absent to attend the Presidential   inauguration of Barack Obama, which was held on the Federal holiday of Martin Luther King Day, and the reason that Republican State Senator John Watkins (“the mastermind of the ruse”) gave for the bizarre mid-decade shuffle was that it “would likely yield one additonal black state senator.” A real low point in hypocrisy and partisanship; in fact so low that I can’t help but wonder that Virginia State Senator Watkins will soon be thinking about running to be a member of the U.S. Congress…

          • hennorama

            Virginia State Senator Henry Marsh (“The Democrat [who] was absent”) is not only a Democrat, he’s a 79 year old African-American civil rights advocate and attorney who has been involved in civil rights since testifying before the Virginia General Assembly while he was a senior in college, in 1956.

            The outrageous and despicable use of his absence while attending Pres. Obama’s public Inauguration ON MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY is virtually unprecented.  Unfortunately, this new low will likely soon be eclipsed by some other even more underhanded action.

            Nice job, Virginia Republicans.

          • Gregg Smith

            What is the obsession with race? That’s weird. 

          • JGC

            I agree. Why is Virginia State Senator Watkins so obsessed with race, to force an out-of-synch, possibly unconstitutional, mid-decade gerrymander, just to obtain an additional black state senator?

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not up on it but that sounds like CYA to me. I thought Republicans wanted rid of blacks… or so it goes. But yea, if any decision was based on the color of skin then it sucks.

            Ah but you know what I meant. I was referring to Henna’s obsession. To me, if this is all true (nothing personal), then the tactic is sorry enough by itself though hardly unusual for either side. Gerrymandering gets obnoxious. We’ve had some doozies in NC.I see no significance (as it relates to the issue) at all in the fact that Marsh was black or a civil rights leader. I see no relevance whatsoever to the fact it was MLK day. As a matter of fact I think it’s rather racist to imply it’s a holiday for blacks only. Perhaps I inferred it but she put it in caps.

            In other words, this may have nothing to do with race and everything to do with power. It seems to me that race was injected. But that’s just me. I guess I’ll look it up.

          • JGC

            I have run into the  Disqus squeeze zone, so will have to reply further up. Back to the beginningof the thread at Fredlinskip…

          • jefe68

            One could ask the same of you.

            To quote Malcolm Tucker, your so dense light bends around you.

          • Gregg Smith

            And if your brains were dynamite you couldn’t blow your nose!

            I just thought I’d try your level of discourse but I’m not a fan.

          • Gregg Smith

            What is Gov. McDonnell’s position? Will it stand?

          • JGC

            He said, “I certainly don’t think that’s a good way to do business.”  (Understatement of the New Year!)  Whether he will veto it or not, is not clear. 

          • Gregg Smith

            I’d guess he will but who knows? He’s done a great job for VA.

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

            You would say that. Spread wide for the state-mandated insertion of this thing up your anus, no matter what your doctor says.

          • hennorama

            JGC – Virginia State Senator John Watkins may is not an attorney, but he has plenty of colleagues who are, and who understand the basic tenets of professional conduct.  One such tenet is that although the legal system is adversarial, competition must still be fair, and with good faith and respect for the legal system.

            For example, an attorney should not take up claims that are frivolous, or file frivolous motions, wasting time and money for all involved parties.  Here is another example from the Guidelines of Professional Conduct of a Superior Court in California:

            “An attorney should not serve papers solely to take advantage of an opponent’s known absence from the office or at a time or in a manner designed to inconvenience the adversary, such as late in the day (after normal business hours or on the day preceding a religious holiday), so close to a court appearance that it prohibits the ability of opposing counsel to prepare for that appearance or to respond to the papers (if permitted by law), or in such other way as would unfairly limit the other party’s opportunity to respond to those papers or other matters pending in the action.”

            http://www.sfsuperiorcourt.org/general-info/guidelines-professional-conduct

            Certainly politics are different from the legal system, and the ideals of ethics and fairness generally are thrown out the window, but this action by Virginia State Senator John Watkins is undeniably underhanded.

            Imagine an alternative scenario. Mr. Watkins has owned a plant nursery for more than 40 years.  This business has been in his family for five generations.  How might Watkins have felt had a Virginia legislator rushed through a bill, on an issue Watkins opposed, taking advantage of Watkins’ absence in 2009, when he received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects?

            Or imagine a Virginia legislator who was a lifetime NRA member, and had worked to support and advance NRA positions throughout his career.  Imagine if this legislator had attended Gun Appreciation Day, and the Virginia legislature has rushed a bill to a vote on that day,  taking advantage of the legislator’s absence.  (I realize the legislature was not in session that day but this is an imaginary scenario).

            As Louisiana Gov. Jindal said recently, Republicans need to “stop being the stupid party.”  This is just another example of how they self-inflict damage to their public image.

    • Human898

      Interesting to see our “evolution”.   In the early stages, undefined limits allowed competition amongst people, political parties, etc.  Because of violence and failure of individuals and groups to be honorable, fair and compromising, rules for a “civilized” society were put in place to level playing fields and reduce competition to fair andf just competition where everyone plays by the same rules, cheaters play some other game.      Sports contests and competitions became outlets for more aggressive behavior.  One could “beat” a rival in a sportmanlike manner with referees to make sure the competing teams play by the rules.  

      Now, we appear to have been devolving, where common interest has been replaced by individual or special interests.   The very things the founders of this nation feared, unchecked and unbalanced power and influence, have gained in dominance due to the accumulation of great wealth by a very few.    That along with no shortage in the supply of those who will accept payoffs to do the wrong thing have created many of the problems we are experiencing.  It’s just another era where money rules until society once again sees the evils that a main focus on money create as has been spoken of for millennia and more.

      Money (or trade) is necessary in any society as a means for people to obtain the basics in life.  The basics and massive excess, greed and gluttony are not the same and oftern create conflicts of interest and a culture of payoffs by the wealthy to maintain power and influence.

      It would appear our government is no longer governing, but engaging in an internal competition against one another rather than a competition to see who can do the most positive things for the nation.     Instead of our representatives acting as if they are at a fundraiser for the U.S., they are actiing as if they are fighting a bitter rivalry for the sake of their own (rather than national) posterity.   There is no common national goal.  Instead, the only interest appears to be in political popularity, however one party appears to deny their part in their own losses.

      As some representatives block positives for their nation because the other “team” will score (and get credit) the nation crumbles and grumbles.    The U.S. of A. would never have been founded with the current Congress.

      • http://www.facebook.com/gary.kay.7777 Gary Kay

        Well said! The problem is that most people either don’t understand or don’t care. America is just one more empire headed in the same direction as all the empires of the past.

    • hennorama

      It didn’t occur to me yesterday when half the topic was “Polarized Politics” but one solution to the polarization might be what’s now happening in California. California has both the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, and a Top 2 primary system.

      Now fourteen people – nearly all non-politicians (currently 5 Dem, 5 Rep, 4 Decline To State) – draw the voting district boundaries in CA.  This is one way to avoid the entrenchment of incumbents and may lead to more moderates being elected, and fewer political extremists.

      In the Top 2 primary system, the top two vote-getters for each office, regardless of their party, go on to the general election.  This may result in more moderate candidates, since they will need to appeal to voters of both major parties, as well as independents, just to get out of the primaries.

      http://wedrawthelines.ca.gov/faq.html
      http://myvoteourfuture.org/voter-registration/resources/californias-top-two-primary/#top_2

      Currently, there’s a crazy quilt of something like 13,000 different voting districts nationwide, each with its own set of rules.  This makes it much easier to make mischief.  A Right To Vote Amendment might also solve a great deal of the pre-election nonsense from both major parties, but this is a long shot.  If we didn’t get it after the 2000 Florida Fiasco, it’s unlikely now.

      See:http://www.fairvote.org/four-reasons-to-support-a-right-to-vote-amendment

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

      Redistricting is so often illegally undertaken by the GOP and/or invalidated by the courts that it doesn’t even sound newsworthy anymore.

    • JGC

      Reply to Gregg Smith, continued:  First I had to look up CYA – it is either Canadian Yachting Association, or Cover Your A$$…Not sure which makes the better sense….If it is true, meaning about the shenanigans in the Virginia State legislature, well it is only from what I read in the Washington Post editorial. I consider them to be a publication of record, so if they get it (willfully) wrong, then I have no underpinning for my opinion. I agree that  Virginia Governor McDonnell is mostly well respected, and I think is trying to tow a line between being a leader within the Republican party and trying to kick the craziness under the carpet. Not any easy path for a Southern politician in these times.

      As to any racial aspect to this sorry episode, try asking your minority musician friends about this:  here is a state politician who sees and engineers a place where he can gain control over the legislature because one person has gone to attend the inauguration of Obama on Martin Luther King Day. And then shrugs and says (more or less) “What are they complaining about? Yes, I changed the voting districts.  But even though I get another 5 or so extra representatives in my column, they get one more black representative in their column. Progress. Why can’t everyone see that?”   Really, ask them. Curious to know their opinion, too. 

      • Gregg Smith

        I meant no disrespect when I wrote “if it’s true”. I just had not read the story. I had no reason to doubt it or I wouldn’t have responded at all. But I was going purely on what you, Fredlinskip and Hennarama wrote. 

        It looks to me like Watkins knew he was being underhanded and made a really bad excuse to make it sound like he was only trying to help a black person. That’s what I meant by Canadian Yachting Association.

        I still do not understand the significance of the color of skin of anyone. I do not understand how MLK has anything to do with it. It would be nice if you told me but I don’t think you can… with all due respect. It seems to me to be an implication. So let me put my interpretation in actual words and see if I’m close. Watkins is a racist who took advantage of a black man on a day that’s more holy for blacks than it is for whites. Maybe I’m wrong but it’s certainly easy to infer. And I have to infer because no explanation is given. 

        As to my friends, that’s disturbing. Again, why would anyone have more insight about this because they are black? I don’t get it. And no, I’m not going to conduct a survey. I can tell you my black friends do not have a chip on their shoulder. They do not look at the world through the lens of race. If they did then they would not be my friends. I’m not talking about acquaintances, I mean dear friends.

        • JGC

          I am sorry to have made an out-of-line comment in regard to my suggestion that you ask your friends about things like this situation in Virginia.  I guess it was my misguided way of trying to find more authentic voices, to see if this should be viewed through a racial lens.  But you are right in that everyone’s voice is authentic. Hope we are back on good terms, and enjoy the rest of your weekend. 

          • Gregg Smith

            We’ve never been on bad terms as far as I’m concerned JGC. I do get a bit exercised over this issue though, sorry.

  • Fredlinskip

    Relevant to gun discussion is how often it is in America that a person isn’t labeled “mentally ill” until AFTER they start pulling the trigger.

    • Gregg Smith

      Good question. In my view, unless it’s a clear case of self-defense (or protecting loved ones) anyone who murders is mentally ill.

      • Fredlinskip

        My point was along lines of: Since we can’t determine in advance who might one day “snap”, maybe it’s best to eliminate future access to “AW’s” and multiple round clips.

        • anamaria23

          We can put armed guards around schools and  a fortress, but the next attack will be at a playground, a carnival or the beach.  Can we guard them all?

          • Gregg Smith

            No, we can’t guard them all and we should not, IMO, turn our schools into prisons. We also cannot “eliminate future access” them. 

            There was an assault weapons ban from 1994 to 2004 and it did not reduce squat. We have the data. That does not matter to ideologues. Tyrone’s point was correct. It’s a diversion and it won’t help. It muddies the waters. 

            There was also an assault weapons ban in place in CT when the tragedy occurred. I am not clear on whether the gun in question was banned. Certainly the gun free zone did not work. 

          • anamaria23

            But Tyrone misrepresented the facts in an  effort  to promote his argument.
            The shooter’s mother brought the weapon from another state.
            There were too many loopholes in the former   ban to be effective.
            So, we should all go around with a Glock just so that a segment of society can get their kicks blowing targets to smithereens?
            Tyrone’s point was incorrectly correct.
            The waters have been muddied, but with false info.
            My father and other fathers  took the bb guns away when a kid in the neighborhood got  his eye shot out.  Should they instead have
            said that all the kids should wear protective goggles? 
            Before we get into the Twilight Zone, here, let’s just agree to disagree.  You are  entitled  to  your opinion and so am I.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t argue that his facts were incorrect. I’m saying his point was not incorrect.

            And no one is suggesting we all go around shooting people with glocks.

          • anamaria23

            No one suggested that and you know it, but there is an argument by the NRA that if everyone was armed, there would be less chance of being overcome by a shooter able to kill 26 people in 10 minutes.
            I say we would all be safer if those kind  weapons were unavailable.

          • Gregg Smith

            “So, we should all go around with a Glock just so that a segment of society can get their kicks blowing targets to smithereens?” 
            Where does that come from?

          • Fredlinskip

            What do we need AW’s for? 
            Escalation of the problem will not help solve it.

    • TyroneJ

      The whole gun debate in this country gets muddied by bad reporting by the news media, then amplified by politicians to push their agendas. The assault rifle ban is a great example. At the Newtown massacre, the assailants assault rifle stayed locked in the assailants trunk. He did all of the killing with pistols. But making gun control of pistols stricter than it is now is near impossible, so the easy road is to muddy the story so that the average citizen thinks he went in with an AR-15 as that allows a push of an assault rifle ban.

      • anamaria23

        You have been misled.
          State Police spokesman Vance came out with a statement yesterday, Jan.24 to put to rest the reports that handguns were used in the death of children and teachers at Newtown.  All the victims were shot with .223 caliber assault rifle.
        One child alone was shot 11 times.
        Vance said he had stated which gun was used a dozen times after the shooting and still false rumors persist.
        The gunman used a handgun to kill himself. 
        A rifle was found in the trunk of the car.
        You  can check it out at CTPost.com
         

        • hennorama

          anamaria23 – The irony of a “fact-challenged” comment deriding “bad reporting by the news media” is likely lost here, but your effort is nonetheless appreciated.  Well done.

  • Gregg Smith

    Will somebody do me a favor and tell me how much of a nut Jonah Goldberg is while ignoring his very valid points… please.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/sns-201301241430–tms–jgoldbrgctnjg-a20130125-20130125,0,7777260.column

    • TomK_in_Boston

      You are obsessed…oh well, at least it keeps you off debt ‘n deficit.

      • StilllHere

        And you are evasive and fact-free.

    • jimino

      Since Benghazi was the only successful attack that occurred on the 9-11 anniversary, despite the fact that there were scores of other identical targets with the identical motivation for terrorists, what sort of congratulations for a job well done  by the Obama administration for preventing all those other attacks do you think would be appropriate?

      • Gregg Smith

        Oh, a hearty one of course.

    • OnPointComments

      I like the title on Goldberg’s column that was in my paper better:
       “Hillary’s dodges and lies pay off again”
       
      Excerpts:
      “…Democrats, almost uniformly, seemed singularly interested in celebrating Mrs. Clinton as a global diva who somehow manages to carry the burden of her awesomeness with humility and grace. If smoking were still allowed in the Capitol, one could easily imagine her removing a cigarette from a gold case, tapping it nonchalantly on the witness table, and the entire Democratic caucus leaping over their desks for the chance to light it for her.
       But just to be clear, Clinton lied and is still lying. When asked about the claim that the attack was sparked by a protest over a video, she responded, “I did not say … that it was about the video for Libya.”
       
      That’s simply untrue. When she stood by the caskets of the four Americans killed in Libya, she directly blamed an “awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.” Afterward, she reportedly told the father of Tyrone Woods, the former Navy SEAL who was killed in the attack, “We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” Why tell the man that if the video had nothing to do with it?”
       
      *****
      For me, the end of her sentence “What difference at this point does it make” should be “that we lied to the American citizens about what happened.”

      • Gregg Smith

        I’ve seen a few articles and several pontificators list many reasons (beyond my initial ones) why it matters. But I really thought Goldberg nailed it best.

        It was an astonishing look into Hillary’s deviousness, especially when she interjected, “at this point”. You are right, what else could she mean by “at this point” other than “so what, we lied and got away with it long enough to call it old news”. 

  • Gregg Smith
    • Fredlinskip

      Perhaps you should consider a career move and become a Gangsta?
       Flexible hours. Lots of opportunity for upward mobility.

  • tmmeyer1321

    Equality issues, like women’s role in the military and gay marriage, ought to have been dealt with years ago. This baby boomer generation of politicians have mastered the great art of prolonging solutions and creating static to pull attention away from big $ issues like: Should we continually expand the military to no end? What are the military contractors’ budgets for yet another year?

    Let’s give ‘em a few more years to debate these past-due issues into the television cameras. I hope they help the major network political talk shows sell more Huggies and Tide detergent. They should do some marketing research; don’t they know that Gen Y is going to be buying discount groceries at Dollar General? 

  • Duras

    Corporations have one word in their vocabulary: “more.”

    If you look at corporate profits to average income, Americans have lost so much ground that the ratio is back to the level it was right before the Great Depression.  CEO wages to average earner wages have a ratio of 385:1 in America.  That same ratio is 10:1 in Japan.  If anybody has given ground, it has been the unions.  Quit talking out of your rear, quit having faith in republican propaganda, and look this stuff up before you make a claim. 

    • William

       When I lived in Japan and worked at Nissan teaching people English I saw how their unions were much more pro-business than our unions here in the USA. They did not try to destroy the company and are very aware that Japan was in a global economy and the work force, i.e. unions, had to adjust to that reality.
       Our unions don’t care to face up to that reality and are shrinking.
       

      • Duras

        Look at the ratios.  Unions have a lot more power over in Japan.  Do you seriously believe that the average unionized worker is anti-business?

        No one is anti-business when CEO to average wage ratio is 10:1.  But in America where the wage ratio is 385:1, we are “anti-business” for asking for a better wage ratio…? 

        By the way, if the wage ratio is as it is in Japan, we would be able to sustain the relatively flat taxes we have now.  Otherwise, we would have to be more like Germany.

        If unions in America had the power to fire CEOs, not one American Company would be able to move most of their operations over seas.

        You need to see that the 385:1 ratio is the real cause of antagonism.  By the numbers, the actual numbers that exist instead of your imagination of unions–unions in America are far more generous to CEOs, executives, and Corporate Profit than Japan.  If you knew anything about business, science, and the material world at large, numbers trump anecdotal arguments. 

        Over the last 30 years, by the numbers, CEOs have gotten more and more while unions have gotten less and less, but you think CEOs haven’t gotten enough and union labor is still overpaid…?

        Read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations–I beg all conservatives to read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and contrast your logic against his.  I’ll give you a hint: your logic creates a wealthy class, not a wealthy nation.   

        During the 30s, people were shot dead in the streets trying to unionize. They were called “communists, anti-business, anarchists, rioters,” ect. but they had a great president at the time, and they built the middle class and the wage ratio was a lot better than it is now. Labor won and America thrived.

        Reality is, we don’t have lower and lower wages because free trade agreements started popping up since the Reagan revolution hit–we can have the wage ratios Japan has, even though every CEO would call it “anti-business.” But we have to break your neo-Feudal mindset.

        • William

           Yes, the average American union member is anti-business, or anti-taxpayer. Look at the riots in WI by union workers against reforms that would help the budget and taxpayers. The union members in MI went crazy when MI passed a right to work bill.  The big 3 auto companies for decades had been warning unions that eventually the healthcare costs demanded by unions were going to put them out of business but to no avail.
           I grew up in NE Ohio and witnessed the various unions run wild demanding ever increasing wages etc..with little regard of the increasing competition from Japan.
           The difference in pay between the CEO and the bottom rung of the company is not encouraging but it not something government should regulate.
           Americans want cheaper products and while it hurts American wages and companies they are still buying cheaper foreign made products. To me, the various trade agreements are very bad for us, but both Democrats and Republicans signed off on them.
           The real danger to me is the elite government and political class that has taken over our government. They can pass regulations and taxes with little regard to the damage they will cause to the private sector. They enjoy very good medical insurance, salaries, etc…while the private sector cannot afford anymore. There is a huge booming real estate market …in Washington DC…lots of money flowing to those connected to or working for the government.
           Just look the disaster of 9-11 and we did not see any government officials fired. Not one. Then comes the housing disaster, massive fraud and once again, nobody in government is fired and nobody on Wall Street or in the various banks is charged with a crime.
           

          • Duras

             “The difference in pay between the CEO and the bottom rung of the
            company is not encouraging but it not something government should
            regulate.”

            But government actions have caused the huge gap in wages.  What do you think “right-to-work” is about?  You just saw the Twinkies company go out of business, but did you see the pay raises the CEOs gave themselves, did you see how much money the CEOs are making off of liquidation.  America can have laws against that.  America can have a law that says if a company liquidates, all the remaining profits go to non-executive staff.  That would cut the golden parachutes, cut CEO pay and decrease the wage gap.

            You are talking about “anti-business,” but does anti-worker ever cross your mind? 

            You said, “Yes, the average American union member is anti-business, or anti-taxpayer.”

            Well, as I noted above, wasn’t the fight to unionize antagonized from the beginning by business leaders?  I don’t see how wanting to have better wages is anti-business?  So is business anti-human?   This is what kills me about republicanism: there is no place whatsoever where you can say “Enough is enough, labor has taken enough wage cuts and stagnation while CEOs and executives have only increased their wages; it is time for the reverse to happen.”  Seriously, when will you say that kind of thing?  How bad does it have to get for the average American worker, and how good does it have to get for the CEO before you say “enough”?  I wonder.  I seriously wonder.  And I have put this kind of question to many republicans over the last few years and they have never attempted an answer.  I would seriously appreciate it if you would give me an answer.  Please.

            I’m not a fan of Clinton.  But if you look at negative criticism from the left and right of him, it is the left that talks about NAFTA and it is part of republicanism.  Likewise, when Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall–go look up the videos of him talking about it; it is republicanism 101.

            Like I have always said, we need to transition out of the Reagan Political economy.  

            “They can pass regulations and taxes with little regard to the damage they will cause to the private sector.”  Dodd-Frank, the law that Obama brags about that was suppose to replace Glass-Steagall is no where near as tough as GS.

            In fact, mostly because of our corrupted political system thanks to republicans, Dodd-Frank was handed to lawyers who worked for the 5 big banks and they wrote it out to the giant law that it is now.  It is filled with regulations but the 5 big banks now have major advantages over the rest of the banking industry. 

            Do you think big bad Marxist Obama would do that if the political system wasn’t corrupted?  Obama wanted to break the banks up, restructure CEO and executive pay and bonus, just like FDR did.  The difference is that Obama had no spine.  

            It is a corrupted government that is the problem, not government.

            There is a difference in government helping business and government writing housing bills with zero consumer protections so the banks have lifetime interest payers. 

            Government works best when it builds roads, bridges, parking lots so businesses can thrive.  Government works when there is a strong university system that produces the smartest possible people businesses can hire.

            Government doesn’t work when it over-regulates, nor does it work when it deregulates to the point where a company no longer has to look out for the health of the community.   

            Look at what Iceland did.  They had relatively the same problems as us.  Iceland ended up nationalizing the banks, threw 200 bankers in prison, broke up the banks, bailed out not only the banks but also the people, and then gave the banks back to private hands.  Their recovery happened a lot quicker than ours.  And that was something liberal-progressives were arguing for over here in America.

            You also wrote: “while the private sector cannot afford anymore.”  Did you look at that data on corporate profit?   There are large concentrations of wealth, not because 30 years ago a small segment of society started to work harder than everyone else, but because the political landscape had changed.  Inequality is always due to political structures. 

          • William

             Clinton signed NAFTA, Welfare Reform, Glass-Steagall despite his Liberal roots. Despite all this, Liberals still consider him the 1st black president (how insulting is that!) and the greatest President since FDR.

          • Duras

            Does it look like I champion Bill Clinton?

            Have you read what I wrote about republicanism (key syllable, ism)?

            I’m what republicans consider “far-left.”  Republicans spent a lot of propaganda and energy trying to demonize Obama while praying the economy would tank because they know he isn’t a Clintonsonian “liberal.”

            Obama was a harsh critic of Clinton during the 1990s because Obama is an old school liberal.  That is why the republican elite hates him.

            I call Clinton one of the “boys.”  The jury, however, is indeed still out on Obama.  We’ll see if Obama does the right things and reforms campaign financing and the banking industry or is at least a transitional figure that leads to necessary social reforms. 

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

            You didn’t say you were a champion of every “triangulating” Clinton move.

            But Clinton is a Dem, and he did things liberals don’t like, so William fantasizes has you dead to rights in an argument you can’t win.

      • hennorama

        William – there are significant cultural and historic differences between the rise of US labor unions and that of Japanese labor unions.  Given your first hand experience in Japan, you are no doubt familiar with the culture of deru kugi ha utareru – “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.”  Japanese culture has long valued harmony and homogeneity, whereas American values have tended toward rugged individualism.  These cultural  differences explain a large part of the difference in the relationships between labor and management.

        Prior to WWII, Japanese labor unions were almost nonexistent.  There were no collective bargaining rights.  After WWII, US Occupation authorities encouraged the formation of labor unions, and new labor laws were passed.  Union membership rose a thousand fold in less than two years.  Then one of the new unions linked up with the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) and planned a nationwide strike.  The US Occupation leaders freaked out, banned the strike, and later purged many union leaders tied to the JCP during the Red Purge in 1950.  Businesses also purged union members tied to the JCP during this time, and management encouraged workers to form more moderate unions.  Then management could pick and choose which unions to negotiate with, and of course they negotiated with those unions most closely aligned with management interests.

        This led to the rise of moderate unions in the largest companies, called Enterprise Unions.  These unions are specific to the company, and are not nationwide unions.  They includes all non-management employees regardless of the work they do, and are often led by white collar workers who have not yet risen up to management.  These unions work together with management, and allow for the hiring of contract workers, who cannot become union members.  This allows for the union members to enjoy very strong job security, and relatively high pay and benefits.  It also allows greater flexibility for rmanagement.

        http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/188901/enterprise-unionism

        During the 1950s and 1960s, Japanese industry moved quickly to reduce the number of defects in their products, and to increase efficiency through the adoption of the statistical process control (SPC) teachings of W. Edward Demings.  This increased quality and efficiency led to a sharp reduction in the need for blue collar workers, and the Enterprise Unions became more and more white collar.  Manual labor increasingly was done by non-unionized contract workers.

        US labor unions do indeed tend to be more confrontational compared to Japanese unions, but the concerns of management are increasingly factored into union decisions, and there is much greater cooperation than your characterization describes.

        • Duras

          I think part of the reason for the cultural differences is that the Japanese don’t have the Protestant Ethic as part of their conception of capitalism or Spirit of Capitalism (to overtly allude to Max Weber). 

          In America, the Protestant Ethic has permeated society.  

          • hennorama

            Duras – it’s unsurprising that an island nation would develop ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural homogeneity, and general societal solidarity. Even with this isolationist tendency, Japanese society has welcomed foreign ideas and techniques, and have adapted and adopted those judged to be superior. Deming’s SPC is one obvious example.

            Still, the conflict between internationalism and isolationism persists, and Japanese society is somewhat paradoxical.

            It is difficult to argue that the Japanese work ethic differs greatly from the Protestant work ethic. But I agree with you to the extent that Japanese society generally works together for the good of the whole, whereas American society generally celebrates the success of the individual. There are also significant differences in the attitudes about failure. Japanese society generally severely stigmatizes failure, which leads to risk-aversion and much less entrepreneurship.

        • William

           There is a very good book written several years ago comparing Ford vs Nissan with an good look at the unions. In the past, the various unions in Japan were very radical and got nearly everything they demanded. But starting in the mid 1980′s their leadership started to soften their approach and looked ahead. The various Japanese car companies were moving more production overseas and so were many electronics companies.
           I had a wide range of English students from IBM engineers, Nissan union workers, electronic suppliers etc…the topic of labor costs often came up and with few exceptions they knew the days of highly paid union workers was quickly going away.  Being Japanese they were more stoic about their future.
           In a way, it was so sad to see many of my students graduate from high school, college etc..with almost zero chance of every having a good career.
           Watching the latest economic news from Japan I don’t see the political leadership doing much more than spending money and talking up the economy.
           Japan will remain a big economic player but for many Japanese they won’t enjoy a good career like their parents and grandparents enjoyed.

          • hennorama

            William – you’re probably referring to David Halberstam’s “The Reckoning” from 1986. It’s a bit dated now, but still interesting. W. Edward Deming’s teachings figure prominently.

    • hennorama

      Duras – more evidence to support your argument:
      1. Corporate Profits as a percentage of GDP are at or near an all-time high of just under 11%.  Since 1970, corporate profit’s share of GDP has more than doubled (from 5% to almost 11%).

      2. Wages and Salaries as a percentage of GDP are at or near an all-time low of just over 44%.  Since 1970, Wages and Salaries’ share of GDP has declined by nearly one-fifth (from 54% to 44%).

      3.  Coincident to the above, since 1970 union membership as a share of the U.S. workforce has declined by more than half (from about 25% to a bit over 11%).

      This chart shows Wages as a percentage of GDP (in red) and Corporate Profits as a percentage of GDP (in blue) using Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED).

      • OnPointComments

        A consequence of presenting a chart that shows wages and corporate profits as percentages of GDP is that it might lead the reader to infer that corporate profits have risen only because workers have been unwillingly forced into wage concessions.  How many of us would happily return to the 1970 ratios if it meant we had to give up the forty years of advances and global choices we have now that have reduced the quantity of labor and the amount of wages paid in the US?

        • Duras

          But weren’t most of the problems of the 1970s concerned with energy and over-regulation?

          • OnPointComments

            I was referring more to technological and global advances, not problems.  Would you restore all of the lost jobs and wages of postal employees if it meant you had to give up email?  Would you rescue Kodak from bankruptcy if it meant you had to give up your digital camera?

          • Duras

            To your questions, no.

            I would make sure we have a postal service whose aim is to break even and where politicians don’t take their profits to pay for other things.  I think the postal service is still crucial for our economy.

            My concern is wage gaps in any industry.  I think manufacturing in America is going to be machines building machines, which means we will have to unionize the retail industry and other service industries and devote revenue to government services.  That’s pretty nutshelled, but hope we can get passed the paradox of technology as we have in the past. 

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

            Even more: It’s a service. At some point, it’s something we do because we do it. It’s not a business.

            And if UPS or FedEx thought they could deliver a letter for 50 cents, wouldn’t we be hearing the living crap out of their “let the entrepreneurs compete” meme on Fox Business News?

          • hennorama

            OPC – ironically, in 1975 an engineer at KODAK invented and built the first digital camera.  His name is Steven Sasson.  KODAK’s patented technologies are incorporated into many of today’s digital cameras.  Unfortunately for them, they completely failed to take advantage of being the first with the technology.  This is not surprising, since digital camera technology threatened to destroy their core film business.

            It’s akin to IBM initially failing to recognize the potential of the PC.  The difference is that IBM adapted, while KODAK did not.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Sasson

        • hennorama

          OPC – TY for your response.  The data is the data is the data.  The reader is free to draw whatever inferences or conclusions they wish.

          Your point, as I interpret it, is that the US economy has changed a great deal since 1970, and that labor is less of a factor in overall economic output.  Presumably you are referring to greater labor productivity primarily as a result of technological revolution of the past three decades.  Please correct me if I’m wrong.

          One point of clarification.  I used the shorthand “Wages” for the technical term FRED uses – “Compensation of Employees: Wages & Salary Accruals.”  This is ALL employee compensation, including management, and not simply a chart of non-management (aka. “blue collar”) compensation.

          Extending the chart back as far as possible, to 1947, shows that Compensation of Employees: Wages & Salary Accruals (WASCUR) peaked in 1970 and has declined steadily since, rising only during the economic boom years of the mid to late 1990s.

          Corporate Profits After Tax (CP) have ranged between 4 and 7 percent of GDP from the mid 1950s thru the mid 1980s.  They broke out of that range only recently, in the early/mid-2000s.

          These three charts shows Wages and Salaries as a percentage of GDP (in red), Corporate Profits as a percentage of GDP (in blue), then both of them together.  Each chart uses FRED data and goes back to 1947.

          • OnPointComments

            I don’t deny that there is a relationship between corporate profits and wages, however, I don’t think that a simple graph of corporate profits and wages can adequately explain the changes that have occurred from 1970 to 2010.  The most profitable company in 1970?  General Motors.  I’d ask you to guess where it is 2010, but I’m sure you have a pretty good idea.  Likewise for Chrysler, the 6th most profitable company in 1970.  Microsoft comes in at #2 in 2010, but didn’t make the list in 1970; WalMart is #3 in 2010, but isn’t in the top 100 in 1970.  I’m sure you get the picture — the world has changed a lot in 40 years.  Labor-intensive manufacturing isn’t as important as it used to be.

          • hennorama

            OPC – Indeed, but I make no claim about that whatsoever.  As I said, it’s just data.

            The relationships may mean something, and they may not.  For example, there may have been a shift away from labor-intensive activities and towards capital-intensive activities, as you said.  Or it may mean that there are other contributors to GDP that have absolutely nothing to do with labor or capital.  And it may all simply be a big coincidence.

            But there’s no doubt that the economy has shifted over the past 40+ years.  Generally speaking, as a share of GDP, personal consumption has grown, combined government spending at all levels has dropped (yes, you read that correctly), business investment has risen slightly, and net exports have been variable, but have actually been net imports.

            In 1970, Personal Consumption was about 64% of GDP, rising to 70% in 2010.  Business Investment went from 11% in 1970 to 13% in 2010. Total Government Spending dropped from 29% of GDP in 1970, to 20% in 2010.  Net Exports (Imports) changed from (4%) in 1970, to (1%) in 1990, and (3%) in 2010.
            Source:http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=9&step=1 Section 1 Table 1.1.6

            For more on the components of GDP see:
            http://useconomy.about.com/od/grossdomesticproduct/f/GDP_Components.htm

        • hennorama

          OPC – one final chart.  This shows Wages & Salaries (in red), and Corporate Profits After Tax (in blue), both as percentages of GDP.  The green line shows the difference between the two.

          As you can see, the green line stays in a wide range of 40 to 50% of GDP, then drops out of that range in the early/mid-2000s, as Wages & Salaries make up a lower share of GDP, and Corporate Profits make up a larger share of GDP.

          Simultaneously.

          Make of it what you will – it’s just data.  Or to paraphrase a famous tagline – “FRED reports, you decide.”

    • Gregg Smith

      You say corporate profits like it’s a bad thing.

      • Duras

        Corporate profits while the 99% of the country is in decline.  What is business for?

        • Gregg Smith

          Actually Washington DC is booming.

          • Duras

            Yeah, because of corrupting influences that republicans fought so hard to be apart of our political system.  Thanks.

            Who do you think is benefiting from the corruption?

            This is why I tell you to write to your elected representatives about a constitutional amendment that would reform campaign financing. So our politicians would stop representing industries and start representing us.

          • Gregg Smith

            I agree with you in theory but, as you might guess, I blame Obama and his bloated government, partying like it’s 1999 a good bit. 

            I don’t know what reform you want but my view (in a nutshell) is McCain/Feingold was awful and I don’t have a big problem with Citizens United. If it were up to me I’d have no limits, no matching funds and full disclosure. I vehemently oppose public funding of campaigns.

            So, believe me I’ve written letters already. I just hope that’s what you meant.

          • Duras

            Democracy is all about equal power of voice.  Thus I believe that an individual should be able to buy more voice than the what the majority of individuals can afford to donate. 

            Entities that exist on paper should have zero buying power.

            Money is the corrupting influence; the more money we take out of politics, the more our politicians represent the voters instead of certain industries (this is the primary reason for the gridlock).

          • Duras

            It kills me how republicans never answer questions like “What is business for?”

            Just like William didn’t answer that question about the point when we say enough with CEO pay raises and average worker wage stagnation….

            When do republicans say “enough”? 

          • Gregg Smith

            Business is for profit. Is it a trick question? And I don’t care how much a CEO makes. No limits.

            There you go.

          • Duras

            Ah yes, there it is, the Protestant Ethic.  The idea the unfettered greed is the most moral action and develops the best societies.

            In a word: Wrong. 

      • Pointpanic

        well?

        • Gregg Smith

          Well what?

          • Pointpanic

            well given that many of the corporati9ns and banks who recieved taxpayer funded bailouts are bestowing exhorbitant bonuses on their top CEOs and given the widening CEO- citizen income ratio ,shown by Duras ,I would say, corp. profits are at this point “a bd thing”.

          • Gregg Smith

            I disagree, the bailouts are a bad thing.

    • JONBOSTON

      It’s disturbing when I read posts like yours that display such total ignorance of business, the private sector , and what’s created prosperity in this country. Just look at the results of the past election. More and more people are expressing your point of view which doesn’t bode well for the future of our country. What you’re really saying is that “Business is evil” or capitalism doesn’t work, that it’s unfair, and that the rules or system needs to change. Capitalism isn’t perfect. But free markets are the best system there is for providing opportunity to those with an idea and the motivation to succeed. Yes there are excesses, and that’s why rules and regulations exist, as they should. This hostility to business is insane since few jobs are created in an environment like what we have today. Businesses hire people. Unions do not. And without jobs, the whole thing collapses.

       You focus on corporate profits and CEO Fortune 500 compensation and assume that every head of every company (big and small) is making that kind of money. What total nonsense. And why should it even matter? People are paid what they’re worth. The market sets a value on salaries just like the market determines what can be charged for a product or service. Professional athletes, entertainers, movie stars,etc make tens of millions. Some lawyers charge $200/hr for their services , others $900/hr. Does it trouble you when a pro baseball player earns $8m/yr but the clubhouse attendant makes $30K or minor league ballplayer $40K? Or Oprah Winfrey earns hundreds of $250m but her show’s lighting technician makes $75K? Or some movie star gets $50m a picture but the costume designer makes $150K or that a movie set extra gets $50/day plus food?

      • Duras

        I think you need to learn what capitalism actually is.  In fact, the early theorists of capitalism, most notability Adam Smith, thought unions were a necessary to capitalism.

        It is actually communist countries and other oligarchies that have banned unions.  And if you had followed my argument from the beginning, you would see that I talk about way to tie business to our homeland. 

        These kind of neo-Feudal statements, “Businesses hire people. Unions do not. And without jobs, the whole thing collapses.” is what keeps average earner wages down and CEO wages increasing. 

        I made the point earlier that if unions had the power to fire CEOs like they do in Japan, the company would never move more than half of its production abroad.  That is pretty effing true–but what keeps right wingers from giving power to the people is an ideology that insists upon power being in the hands of a few macro-economic elite despite the quality of life, whether good or bad, for the average American worker.

        Again, this isn’t business hostility.  This is hostility directed at CEOs and executives who insist upon, not only inordinate wage gaps but power.

        As for the how athletes and actors thing: I once brought up an ideas of levying a surtax on those professions of 80%, and it was a republican who rejected the idea of taxing some professions more than others, to which I told that republican “than we shouldn’t tax capital gains at a lower rate than labor,” to which I got no reply.

        I’ve even decried how college football coaches get paid more than any other public employee–but what answer did I get from republicans…?  Oh yeah, that idea that free market principles as a philosophy of everything: football coaches get paid a lot because they bring a lot in (as if football wouldn’t be popular if the best 32 coaches went to the NFL).  You don’t have to tell me we live in a backwards society, where sports stars get paid more than teachers (which absolutely sends a message to our youth).  You think liberalism created that.  Thanks for bring up that issue.   

  • Duras

    The comment below was in reply to William concerning Japanese and American labor. Disqus somehow directed the comment up here.

    • hennorama

      I hate it when such DISQUSting things happen, too.  Sacrebleu et zut alors!

  • JONBOSTON

    Open letter to Tom Ashbrook:
    I’ve listened to you since you started on WBUR what seems like many years ago. I admire your intellect and insight and your ability to distill down complex issues with competent guests debating the night’s  topic. However, ever since you took over the 10:00am 2 hr. slot on NPR several years ago much of your objectivity and fair presentation of both sides of an issue has been lost.  A good example is your Friday news roundup of the week’s events. Rare do you ever have an articulate guest represent a moderate /conservative point of view. Major Garrett  (and the occasional NYT/ WaPo national reporter) is a notable exception. He’s excellent ( and I might add a former Fox News white house correspondent). Often times it’s left to the rare caller ( I can think of the caller from Tenn. who occasionally calls) to express a conservative viewpoint. For every Byron York you’ll have 15 Eleanor Clift (a total idiot) or Mother Jones /Nation mag types. And then there’s Jack Beatty, an evidently decent and learned individual cloistered in Hanover, NH who comes across as a left wing relic of the Eugene McCarthy generation. For Jack, all things bad with the country begin and end with Bush/Republicans.  His idea of criticizing Obama is to complain that “he’s not tough enough with the bad republicans” or such other nonsense. To hear him describe Hillary’s testimony this week as “stellar” is offensive to people like myself who want to know the truth behind the situation in Benghazi. Hillary offered absolutely nothing. I guess to left wing partisans it was great. But four brave Americans died on 9/11 , including our ambassador and two Navy seals. Is it too much to ask what Obama ordered/did during the assault on the consulate, why the security at the consulate was so poor, why American troops and air support were never called in to help, why the administration ( including Obama) continued to blame a filmmaker for the events in Benghazi when everyone knew it was obviously a deliberate attack on the consulate. And what about the innocent filmmaker? Is he still rotting in jail, completely abandoned by all the ACLU-types? To paraphrase Hillary–does it any of this now matter? Apparently not to the NYT and our mainstream media , including NPR..They got their man elected president and that’s all that matters.

    • Pointpanic

      Jon are you kidding? Have you checked his reading lists? They usually include the Wall St. Journal and Forbes or Fortune Mag. WhatMother jones/ nation types are you talking about?  And I take issue with calling Eleanor Clift an “idiot”

      • JONBOSTON

        So what if he reads those papers. It obviously has had little if any impact on his program’s bent. And as far as Eleanor Clift is concerned, she never got over her jealousy for Monica Lewinsky.

        • Pointpanic

          JOn, just who are the “Motherjones’Types that appear on his show? Notice how his guests by and large come from corporate media like the Wash Post and NYT. Where are the socialist voices or citizen advocate voices?

          • Gregg Smith

            Isn’t David Corn a regular?

          • Pointpanic

            I don’t think so ,here, but I think he makes frequent appearances on the Diane Rehm show.

          • Gregg Smith

            I do listed to Diane Rehm most Fridays but I’m pretty sure Corn has been on OP more than once.

          • Gregg Smith

            An OP search yields 10 pages of shows with Corn on the panel.

          • jefe68

            So.

          • JONBOSTON

            David Corn and the Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel have frequently appeared on the show.

          • JONBOSTON

            Joe Klein , who writes for the Huffington Post, and  columnists from Rolling Stone , occasionally appear.

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

            Is that the same Beltway Inbred lefties call Joke Line? Who never met an impasse which couldn’t be solved with Dems being nicer and more concessionary to the right?

          • Pointpanic

            ddoesn’t Joe Klein also write for TIME ? if he’s the same guy, he hardly takes any liberal postions. Sure Tom may feature some writers from Rolling Stone but more often from “The Economist” or WSJ.

        • StilllHere

          Classic.

    • jefe68

      If you don’t like the show don’t listen.
      It’s that simple. 

      • JONBOSTON

        National Public Radio receives $475m in public funding so anyone (or at least the 53% who pay federal taxes), can and should express an opinion. It’s National Public Radio, not National Leftwing Wacko Public Radio.

        • StilllHere

          Although it should be.

  • Coastghost

    NPR’s Michele Kelemen, 22 March 2011: “Women in Spotlight as US Debates Libya Policy”. New Republic (“Obama’s Female Hawks”) and National Interest (“America’s Foreign Policy Valkyries”) published similar profiles in courage contemporaneously.
    MUCH celebration of the Clinton-Rice-Power triumvirate occurred nationally in the spring of 2011 as the Obama Administration responded to the Arab Spring.
    Compare the commensurate LACK OF INTEREST attending the collapse of US Libyan (or more broadly North African) policy as 2012 drew to a close, with no one of our intrepid journalists or MSM outlets pointing out that the failures leading to the death of a US ambassador were a consequence of policies initiated by the Three Weird Sisters themselves, the Clinton-Rice-Power Cabal of Valkyries. Granted, the Valkyries were not responsible for policy implementation all down the line. But the only consequence of the Administration’s failures in this episode has been the failure of Susan Rice to succeed Hillary Clinton at the State Department (are Rice’s protests of innocence in mischaracterizing the Benghazi episode consistent with her own contributions to the formulation of US Libyan policy? No one has told us, no one is telling us). Clinton has famously claimed that she has taken responsibility for the tactical failures surrounding the Benghazi attack, but with the responsibility she has taken she has incurred no penalty whatsoever (her concussion hardly counts). Samantha Power’s candor has not even been consulted since 11 Sep 2012, to hear our intrepid journalists not tell the story.
    At every opportunity over the past four months, NPR for one has gone out of its way to ignore the story outright or bury it at a depth likely to keep it out of sight. Heralded as a triumph of feminine expertise and resolve at its outset, the Obama Administration’s conduct in Libya has unwound enough so that effects are now being felt further afield in Mali and Algeria. A very curious lack of curiosity remains on full display concerning these events, just as a relative lack of accountability has ensued in the wake of the more manifest failures.      

    • TomK_in_Boston

      The righty benzagy obsession is powerful! You guys see a great attack opportunity, huh?

      Did you know the budget cutters has cut the state dept funding for security? Also I know you guys don’t want to pay for mental health services, even tho it’s your #1 talking point to distract from guns.

      LOL

      • Coastghost

        Requisite specificity, please: as budget cuts ensue, attentive managers exercising fine judgment will prioritize the outlay of scarce or fewer resources. Failure to set budgeting priorities properly can well result in operational failure. Id est: Benghazi’s consulate security remained a theoretical possibility and perhaps an optimal policy goal as late as 10 Sep 2012. A trimmed budget explains what ensued? A trimmed budget alone explains what ensued?

      • JONBOSTON

        It would be nice if for once you cited facts instead of just spouting snarky comments. Complaints about budget cuts ignore the fact that existing resources were removed from Libya in the months before the attack. Moreover, Charlene Lamb, the State Dept official who fielded security requests from the Libyan US diplomats, testified before Congress that lack of money wasn’t responsible for the lack of security. Viewed more broadly, the consulate security issue highlights my criticism with most government spending, ie. govt never sets any priorities. Included in State Dept.’s budget is a billion plus dollars for a global-warming initiative. In any normal country, don’t you think that if lack of money truly was a concern, that these funds would have been instead spent on embassy security?

        • StilllHere

          Snark is all he’s got in his playbook.

      • Gregg Smith

        In 2004 we spent $640 million on security. By 2010 it increased to $1.6 Billion. It was $1.5B in 2011 and $1.35 billion in 2012. Keep in mind that in 2004 we were in the thick the wars.

        So we beefed up security in Barbados and cut (yes cut) funding to Benghazi. The consulate had already been bombed twice. Stevens was begging for help. Don’t tell me this happened because of budget cuts. It’s ridiculous.

        Pay for mental health services? What the heck does that have to do with keeping guns away from the mentally ill?

        • OnPointComments

          Where could they have found the money to beef up security in Benghazi?  Maybe, just maybe, they could have used some of this nearly $15 billion for security instead:
           
          – The State Department is considering a $16.5 million, 5-year no-bid contract with Amazon that could include as many as 35,000 Kindle e-Readers and content, an agency spokesman confirmed.
           
          http://www.nextgov.com/mobile/2012/06/state-buys-2500-kindles-165-million-no-bid-contract-amazon/56193/ 
           
          – The U.S. State Department is defending its purchase of $79,000 worth of President Obama’s best-selling books, telling reporters on Wednesday that it’s not an unusual practice to provide books to distribute in diplomats’ host countries.
           
          http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/10/26/state-department-defends-7000-purchase-obama-memoirs/#ixzz2J6kIucdk 
           
          – The State Department has a 50 billion dollar budget. Within that 50 billion dollar budget there was no money for reasonable consulate security in a city rife with Islamist militias who had already attacked the consulate and other diplomats in the city. But here’s what there was money for…

          $20,000 on a portrait of Obama.
          The 770 million dollar Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund for the Arab Spring.
           7.9 billion dollars for Obama’s Global Health Initiative. 
          2.9 billion for international debt relief. 
          2.2 billion to strengthen democratic institutions in Pakistan. 
          469 million for global climate change. 
          587 million for student exchange programs.
           
          http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/state-department-had-no-for-consulate-security-but-it-did-have-for/ 
           
          – A State Department contract from March of this year details the purchase of a Chevy Volt for $47,500 for use at a U.S. embassy in Norway.  The State Department also paid over $108,000 for another contract, dated May of this year, for a Volt-specific charging station at our embassy in Vienna, Austria.
            
          http://nlpc.org/cached/embassies-facing-security-cuts-waste-money-chevy-volts.html 
           
          – While Christian churches are being destroyed on a near daily basis in Muslim countries throughout the world, the Obama administration is investing millions of dollars to rebuild overseas Islamic mosques and minarets.
           
          http://frontpagemag.com/2012/frank-crimi/obama-rebuilds-mosques-while-churches-burn/

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Ah, I see…the mental health talking point will be implemented for free :)

          • Gregg Smith

            What in the world are you talking about?

          • StilllHere

            I think he’s referring to his damaged mental health and need for sympathy.

    • jimino

      Densely word, on multiple levels. 

      21st century history would appear to portend her vainglorious receipt of the Presidential Medal of Honor if she can be burdened with the blame for several more thousand deaths or multiple added intelligence and security failures (Sorry I couldn’t find fit to incorporate the syntactical parenthetical reference to a peripheral thought).

      • Coastghost

        Only in the 21st century CE must we apologize for writing in complete sentences. How antique.

  • Duras

    Sarah Palin and Fox News didn’t renew their contract.  Looks like her 15 minutes of fame are up.  Unless she is finally willing to sit down with a liberal and have her views challenged.  I think she should make an appearance on Stewart. 

    And in other news, Reince Priebus is reelected to chair the RNC despite the drumming they took on election night.  I know one person republicans won’t be preaching meritocracy to: Michael Steele.  I’m sure republicans will cite other factors, but are not those citations of other factors always present but invisible in a meritocracy?   

    • Gregg Smith

      They offered her a contract but she turned it down. Let the bidding begin, she’s a star.

      • Duras

        Hopefully she’ll get a better gig than that reality show she had on the channel devoted to freaks. 

        I’m thinking she can sit down with Robert Osborne on TCM and belt out her erudition on the great landmark films of classic cinema.  Perhaps, she can do a Foreign Films Friday; I hear her breadth on French New Wave is unmatched.  

        • Gregg Smith

          The world is her oyster.

          • Duras

            More like her brain is an oyster. 

          • Gregg Smith
          • Duras

            Ooooo…I suppose she stopped the country’s GDP from contracting at 8.9% as well….

          • Gregg Smith

            No, Bush did that with TARP.

          • Duras

            Oh, yes.  And Obama voted for it, and Obama also saved the auto industry with a much more structured and stipulated bailout that greatly benefited the average autoworker and the country at large.

            Not to mention, the quantitative easing has continued and worked for the economy to the effect that republicans were accusing Ben Bernkie of trying to win the presidency for Obama.

          • Gregg Smith

            Obama ruined everything.

    • hennorama

      Duras – I just can’t get my mind around the pronunciation of the RNC chairperson’s name, so I use “Prince Reebus” instead.  For some reason, this also seems more fitting.

      A quick search shows that the domain name princereebus.com (and .net .org .co and .biz) are available.  Hilarious.  reinceprieCAR.com is available too.

      Decisions, decisions.

  • Pointpanic

    UM… Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction and Saddam collaborating with al qeada against the US.

  • Pointpanic

    HA HA HA HA, thank you for pointing that out, hennorama.

    • hennorama

      Pointpanic – you’re welcome?  Now if I only knew what you were referring to …

      • Pointpanic

        hennorama, weren’t you the one hwo pointyed out the freudian slip of my typo? – Scott browns’ “satr power”?

        • hennorama

          Pointpanic – indeed I was. But since your post was not connected as a reply to any other post, I couldn’t tell which of my posts you had found to be amusing. TY for your kind words, and again, YW.

          • Pointpanic

            Thanks again Hennorama. if you live in the NE as I do stay warm tonihgt.

  • sjw81

     clinton is a liar. just like condi before her about iraq and no credible threats against the us…blah blah…at least the new sect of state kerry, richer than mitt romney and 6 purple hearts in 7 weeks in vietnam is an honest and honorable man…

  • Duras

    Hey Gregg, if Sarah Palin is so smart, how come she is too scared to face a liberal even on the Fox News networks where the dumbest liberals live?

    • Gregg Smith

      Wow, I didn’t mean to set you off. If I answered you, I would be accepting the premise off your question, I don’t… at all.

      • Duras

        Seriously, don’t you think it is curious how she never confronts a liberal opinion on Fox News?

        You didn’t set me off; I find it funny that every time that woman’s name is mentioned you chime in. 

        • Gregg Smith

          I’ll be honest with you. I do like Palin a lot. I probably would have sat out 2008 if not for her and I doubt I’m unique in that regard. But I also love the reactions I get when I publicly embrace her. That’s why I usually chime in when her name is brought up.

          You may have noticed I’m the same way with Rush. After listening for 20 years I’ve gone from being a closet listener to a defender to a “why bother trying to explain him” guy. I finally decided I think it’s funny and refuse to hide from it.

          Same thing with Newt. Libs freak when I express admiration… so I do, but it’s real.

          I so don’t care what people on this blog think of me. So I roll with it and laugh. 

          • Duras

            I would be the same way with Noam Chomsky, but nobody ever attempts an argument against what he says.  They just call him names.

          • Gregg Smith

            Same with Rush, Palin and Newt. Just names. 

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

            You’re selling yourself short w.r.t. Chomsky.

            The Alaskan Quitbull was the fascination and fluff receiver of our media for 4 1/2 years. She was given suuuuch a pass on sooo many things it’s not funny.

            Noam Chomsky? The “serious media” never took him seriously.

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

          Now Duras, it’s January. You can’t rip the roof off the hothouse without destroying flowers.

          (There’s a metaphor in there someplace for many Fox News “stars” who can’t take a disparaging word, it seems, anywhere.)

  • Mike_Card

    Gregg–I can’t even backtrack to the beginning of a discussion of economists on this week’s thread, but I won’t argue with your characterization of Friedman as a towering figure, deserving of his Nobel.  I had the good fortune to study under a few of his disciples in graduate school–really sharp people.

    His monetarist ideas just didn’t translate into public policy; that he spent his entire career at Chicago speaks to his shortcoming, which was his rigid adherence to philosophy.  For the most part, other economists–such as Reich, Krugman, Stiglitz, even Bernanke–acknowledge and admire Milton’s work.  But economic theory is nearly pointless if it can’t be translated into action–that’s why Keynes and Galbraith, etc., get the appointments.  It’s a “scientific art.”

    Friedman was cursed by the phenomenon that has come to be known as Newt’s problem:  He’s a dumb person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.

    • Gregg Smith

      I hear you but disagree. Friedman’s problem was the same as we are seeing today. Self-reliance, rugged individualism and the quest for profit as a force for good are too easy to demonize. It’s too easy to make the practitioners out to be ruthless, cruel and nasty. Meanwhile Keynes is saying,”here, have some”. He is saying, “you are being taken advantage of by the capitalists Friedman champions”. 

      Despite that, many of his theories certainly have been translated into action. That’s one reason all these liberal bloggers are bitchin’.  

      It seems to me your last paragraph is a dig at me because I think Newt and Friedman are (and were) smart as hell. That’s cool, I’m not mad but I have a different view. Plus, I’ve already stipulated I’m dumb. I actually have not heard either one referred to as anything other than near genius and by very smart people like the ones you list. Are they dumb?  

      How about Hayek?

      • Mike_Card

        Again, I’ll confess that I think you’re an honest broker–even tho I think you’re full of shite, mostly!  ;-)

        The continuing conflict is between the monetarists and the fiscal policy believers. 

        From what I’ve learned, the monetarist position is that the economy can be managed by the government’s control of the money supply.  That’s the lynchpin of Friedman’s theoretical stance.

        Bottom line is whether you rely on the Fed, or Congress.  Monetary policy or fiscal (taxation) policy.

        There are lots of historical examples; Hayek and Mises, and even Adam Smith are entertaining now, but they’re mostly foot notes.

        A dig at you?  No. In my world, Newt is smart, but not nearly as smart as he or his world think he is.  Friedman is smart, brilliant is not an overstatement.  But there are several brilliant economists working today.

        • Gregg Smith

          You are much more knowledgeable than I on these matters. I thought Friedman did not like the Federal Reserve and even blamed the depression on it. Maybe that’s not what you mean. To me he was just a champion of capitalism and expressed it eloquently with absolute clarity. He challenged conventional wisdom and made his case by asking brilliant questions that eventually left whoever he was debating without an answer. He had a way of making people convince themselves and he did it with a smile.

          As far as Keynes and his disciples like Krackpot Krugman goes, my view is it has never worked, ever. I hear people cite WWII as Keynesian economics but I don’t buy it. Hell, if that were true we’d be fat city right now with all the war mongering. Unfortunately, I can’t prove my assertion without using arguments I hate. Obama’s big claim is, “it could have been worse”. I think that is total BS, he made it worse than it had to be but how does one counter that notion? So while I believe FDR’s policies prolonged the depression and made it worse than it had to be, I am reduced to arguing “it could have been better” which is equally fantastical as my beef with Obama’s argument.

          I think Bush’s policies (other than the hideous, obnoxious spending) worked to stem the damage of the Clinton recession and 9/11. I think Obama’s policies have failed dramatically. 

          Not to get mushy but I think you are an honest broker too. A few of these jerks (not all or even most) around here are not honest at all. Others do back flips in an attempt to impress strangers as if it matters. And there is overlap. I just call’um like I see’um and let the chips fall. You seem to do the same. I don’t mind disagreeing with the likes of you.

          • JONBOSTON

            Very good post.

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks.

          • jefe68

            He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot. — Groucho Marx. 

            I concur with Groucho, and this last post proves it beyond a doubt.

            I can’t wait for your memoirs: Inane Diatribes and memes for the Clueless.

          • Gregg Smith

            Do I need to go through and post your recent comments again to illustrate your depth of debate?

          • jefe68

            It’s hard to debate someone or even attempt to have an intelligent conversation when they announce they like and support Rush Limbaugh.

            A man who says thinks like this:
            [I]nvasive species in the form of illegal immigration is fine and dandy.

            [T]he nags … the national association of gals, that’s our pet name for the NOW gang … the nags are a bunch of whores to liberalism.

            “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

            “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

            [Obama] obviously has got a new role model, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. The next thing to look out for is for Obama to take the farms. Well, that’s what Zimbabwe, that’s what Mugabe did, he took the white people’s farms.

            To some people, bankers — code word for Jewish — and guess who Obama’s assaulting? He’s assaulting bankers. He’s assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there’s starting to be some buyer’s remorse there.

            Do you honestly expect people to take you seriously when you openly support this man?

            As to me, well I’m not debating you

            I’m berating you. There is a difference.

          • Gregg Smith

            Rush is cool.

          • jefe68

            I rest my case.

    • hennorama

      Mike_Card – Milton Friedman’s laissez faire economic ideas were “translated into action” when his Chicago Boys implemented them in Chile, after General Pinochet launched a military coup in which President Salvador Allende was killed/murdered/assassinated

      The coup happened with CIA assistance, at the behest of US business interests affected by Allende’s nationalization of copper mines, banks and other foreign-owned businesses.  The circumstances surrounding this coup are discussed in detail in the interesting book “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein, and elsewhere.

      (For those who don’t know, the Chicago Boys were a group of young Chilean economists, mostly trained at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger, or at the UC-affiliated economics department at the Catholic University of Chile).

      What was the outcome?  Between 1973 and 1989, Chile’s economy became the most unstable in Latin America, alternating between deep declines and soaring growth.  After averaging out these crazy swings, Chile’s growth during this period was one of the slowest in all of Latin America.  One also needs to examine income inequality, which greatly increased.  Adjusting for inflation, most workers earned less in 1989 than in 1973, while the incomes of the rich skyrocketed.  (Sound familiar?)

      The environment also suffered greatly due to a lack of regulations, and Chile became one of the most polluted countries in Latin America. Not to mention the lack of democracy, and suppression of political opposition under Pincochet’s reign of terror and widespread human rights abuses.

      Somehow, conservatives have come to view Chile as a huge success story. In 1982, Milton Friedman praised dictator General Pinochet because he “has supported a fully free-market economy as a matter of principle. Chile is an economic miracle.”  Apparently it did not matter to Friedman that the economic changes in Chile were essentially implemented at gunpoint. 

      The statistics also do not bear out his claim of Chile as “an economic miracle.”

      Between 1972 and 1987, the GNP per capita fell 6.4 percent, adjusted for inflation.  Per capita GDP was over $3,600 in 1973.  As late as 1993, it had risen from its lows under Pinochet to only $3,170.  Only five Latin American countries did worse in per capita GDP during the era of Pinochet and Friedman’s Chicago Boys.  Chile is far more accurately characterized as a tragic failure of Friedman’s ideas, and the Chilean people are still paying the price today.

      Here are some other things Friedman said about Chile:
      “The real miracle of Chile is not how well it has done economically; the real miracle of Chile is that a military junta was willing to go against its principles and support a free-market regime designed by principled believers in a free market. The results were spectacular. Inflation came down sharply. After a transitory period of recession and low output that is unavoidable in the course of reversing a strong inflation, output started to expand, and ever since, the Chilean economy has performed better than any other South American economy.

      “In Chile, the drive for political freedom, that was generated by economic freedom and the resulting economic success, ultimately resulted in a referendum that introduced political democracy. Now, at long last, Chile has all three things: political freedom, human freedom and economic freedom. Chile will continue to be an interesting experiment to watch to see whether it can keep all three or whether, now that it has political freedom, that political freedom will tend to be used to destroy or reduce economic freedom.”

      Regarding politics and economic freedom, Friedman also said “while economic freedom facilitates political freedom, political freedom, once established, has a tendency to destroy economic freedom.”

      I guess all that’s needed to maintain economic freedom is a so-called “benevolent dictator,” or a dictator willing to “disappear” anyone who opposes him.
      Sources:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Boys

      http://www.cbe.csueastbay.edu/~sbesc/frlect.html

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/mar/03/chile-earthquake

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/10/AR2006121000302.html

      http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-chichile.htm

      • Mike_Card

        I had completely forgotten about the Chile experiment.  Thanks for the reminder.

        • hennorama

          Mike_Card – you’re welcome.  It’s important to point out the irony that  Friedman’s ideas espousing free markets seem completely unable to win out in what may be the most important free market of all – the marketplace of ideas.  His ideas were implemented in Chile under a dictator rather than in a free political system.

          Even more ironic is that The Friedman Foundation For Education Choice’s website has this to say on its “Remembering Milton” page:

          “The voluntary choices of individuals, not the dictates of the state, should be the default mode of human life; government is justified only insofar as it preserves, protects, and defends people’s liberty.”

          How this fits in the context of Freidman’s economic ideas being implemented under a Chilean military dictator escapes me.

          • Mike_Card

            Again–Thanks.  Milton’s brain was bigger than even he was capable of reining in–if that’s a legitimate description.

            If I’m recalling correctly, his guys took what they’d learned and tried to plow a fertile field.  It wasn’t a failure of theory as much as it turned out to be faulty execution.  What a surprise.

          • Gregg Smith

            Thank you.

  • 1Brett1

    ““The new contract offered by Fox, say people familiar with the situation, would have provided only a fraction of the million-dollar-a-year salary. It was then, they say, that Palin turned it down and both sides agreed to call it quits.” -Yahoo News

    “They offered her a contract but she turned it down. Let the bidding begin, she’s a star.” -Straight Shootin’ (Yer Dern Tootin’) Gregg

    (I guess with all of Palin’s success and high popularity at Fox Newz, they  decided to low-ball her?)

    • Gregg Smith

      Or maybe NPR. I love Sarah Palin.

      • 1Brett1

        Of course; how could I have forgotten?!?! After all, NPR would BE the organization to offer her the BIG bucks! 

        They could have her host a hard- hitting, morning, call-in, political talk show! Maybe they could give her two hours everyday; she could tackle two topics a day, with a weekly news roundup on Fridays!!! 

        Unlike Ashbrook, SHE’D have guests on to challenge the liberal-talking-points instruction book (with her fair and balanced approach)!!! Imagine! Sarah, and a cavalcade of neoconservatives on NPR everyday! (Of course, every now and then, they’d have to put an Alan Colmes on the panel, maybe on Fridays, a la Jack Beatty! They couldn’t put Jack himself on, or any of the ‘Mother Jones types’; that would be too unfair of Palin to so roundly put those types in their place time and time again (she’d be unfairly accused of outclassing them; and, besides, it would be an unfair battle, with Sarah being so much more adept).

        –Wait, even better; she could have a show featuring real Americans’ stories: “This Real American Life”! Or a game show: “Wait, Wait, I’m Telling You”!

        • Gregg Smith

          Great ideas! Maybe she could give true meaning to “All Things Considered”. 

          • 1Brett1

            Well..except that they’d have to change the title of the program to “Most Things Rejected.”

          • Gregg Smith

            If you think “All Things Considered” considers all things then… well… nope, I’ll bite my tongue. Maybe you are not a fool and are just joking. I shouldn’t read your mind.

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

            Yep. Basically the shortlist of whatever gets “considered” rarely strays from the narrative of what gets on The Network News and whatever Special Guest John McCain says on Meet the Press.

    • hennorama

      1Brett1 – Potential new NPR shows:

      Mourning Edition – decrying the decline of the Tea Party, featuring elected officials who’ve quit before the end of their term

      All Things Ignored – discussions of “science” and “facts”

      Fresh Hair – self-explanatory

      On The Media – discussions of the paradox of Fox News repeatedly crowing about their high ratings yet decrying other media as “mainstream”

      On Point – discussions of alpha sled dogs

      Talk of the Nation – Palin vs. Farrakhan

      Tell Me More – Palin and psychologists gossiping, dontcha know?

      and many more …

      • 1Brett1

        “…because, seriously, she wants to know MORE!”

        (‘Fresh Hair’ was a personal favorite!)

        • hennorama

          1Brett1 – TY for your kind words. I can only imagine Terry Gross struggling to adjust her famous enunciation of “Fresh Air” to “Fresh Hair.”

          • 1Brett1

            I thought your faux NPR shows comment was funny…imagine Sarah hosting a ‘Fresh Hair’: “From WHYY in Philadelphia, I’m Sarah Palin and THIS is Fresh Hair…Today’s guest is Greg Gutfeld on neoconservative comedy…Greg, how many ways can you condemn President Obama and liberals in general in a 20 minute stand-up routine?” Or, “is it difficult to make fun of President Obama without introducing race into the comedy?” 

            Then it would be, “join us tomorrow, where my guest will be the great political historian and commentator, Glen Beck…on Fresh Hair!” 

            Hey, then there could at least be one point on which Gregg Smith and I could agree: this would be when I say, “cut all government funding for NPR!” 

          • hennorama

            1Brett1 – I was initially thinking more along the lines of having guests who have changed their hairstyles (think Nicki Minaj or Michelle Obama), but that doesn’t work on radio. One seldom hears “I love your hair. It’s perfect for RADIO.” At least not intended as a compliment.

            BTW – I nearly spewed my drink when I read your post. But in a good way.

      • Gregg Smith

        I just think the notion Palin is dumb is hilarious. She is a brilliant and very accomplished woman. That is proved by the vacuous criticisms that NEVER are articulated beyond the spoon fed meme. Thank you for the belly laugh.

        I guess Obama (the freshman Senator who served 1 year before he started campaigning) is the perfect host for your first snark. But your double standard would never let you admit it.

        Duras and I don’t agree on much of anything but he made a great observation about Chomsky that rings very true here.

        • 1Brett1

          Proof Sarah is “brilliant and accomplished” is that people make jokes about her? …Why, you must be a genius!

          • Gregg Smith

            No, I’m not a genius, I’m an idiot. How many times must I say it?

            However, I can write what I mean and read what others write. You just proved the half of my comment that you omitted. Thanks.

            … or was it just bout me? … again.

          • jefe68

            I’m glad were on the same page about you being an idiot.

            As to Sara Palin, well she is smart enough to know how to take advantage of her “moment”. However that says more about media and celebrity in our nation than whether or not she has any intellectual acumen.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes we are.

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

          She is laaaaaaaazy. She hasn’t the intellectual curiousity to even be a “dreamer”, and couples it with whatever the opposite of “stick to it tiveness” is.

          • Gregg Smith

            Her hair is perfect.

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

            You’ve got high standards in a female; good for you.

            That’s all she has to offer. Maybe she and Alan West can go on a Caravan of Losers tour.

          • StilllHere

            You’ll be bringing up the rear as usual.

          • Mike_Card

            So was Lon Chaney’s!

          • Gregg Smith

            I knew you’d get it! Let’s meet at “Trader Vic’s” for a Pina Colada.

            You gotta laugh once in a while, it’s a crazy world.

        • Human898

          Actually Gregg, one only has to look objectively, rather than subjectively, at Ms. Palin’s record, beginning with her education, next with her “morality” comments about what sorts of “morals” and parental guidance America needs to become a better nation, yet her own parental guidance on abstinence and marriage didn’t seem to have much of an affect on her daughter or dealing with the personal squabbles within her own family.  

          Her knowledge of history, her own state in particular, with regard to how it came to be a state and part of the United States, even as she rails against governmment spending and roles in the lives of America is somewhat appalling.

          But for John McCain choosing her as a VP running mate (for whatever reasons anyone can discuss and debate) Sarah Palin was largely an unknown outside of Alaska.   When times got tough, Ms. Palin quit the job she was elected to do and went of the celebrity circuit and money.   Her popularity in her own state nosedived and not that her political usefulness for FOX News is past, what she was looking for in renewed compensation was perhaps no longer justifiable.

          But please, continue to call her “a brilliant and very accomplished woman” if you like.    All things are relative and there are women Ms. Palin might be considered “brilliant and very accomplished” next to, but Hillary Clinton is not one of them.  

          I once belonged to the Republican Party Gregg, when the “neo” influence turned what was once more of a GOP into a disaster.    I am not alone in those thoughts amongst who have both left the party to become independents and those who remain who have and continue to speak out, to apparently deaf ears, about how the “neo” influence, its denial and refusal of its leadership to look inward to its own “neo” policies to find the answers to why it is losing ground (and presidential as well as some other elections)

          • Gregg Smith

            I like her. I respect her. Have you read her book? I really don’t know how anyone wouldn’t admire her story. I also cannot think of anyone else in recent history who has endured more vicious personal attacks so graciously. To me that shows a person secure in her beliefs. I admire that. I’m not sure what you mean by her education unless you consider going town ivy leave school a plus. I don’t. Maybe you are referring to the faked high school records, I’m not sure. I thought her convention speech (the teleprompter failed) in 2008 was one of the most amazing performances ever. I know a little about performing under extreme pressure in front of large crowds. Hitting a home run is hard especially when it’s expected. 

            I have never been a registered Republican and likely never will be.

      • Keepinitreal50

        Well done, but keep the “Fresh Air” name and she can use it for insightful discussions on hunting and fishing.

        • 1Brett1

          Hunting from a ‘copter; fishin’ in a barrel!

        • hennorama

          Keepinitreal50 – TY for your kind words. I had a similar idea, except it involved Ms. Palin sitting on the balcony or by the swimming pool of her home near Scottsdale, Arizona, musing about what she can see from there. But your idea works too, except that getting guests might be a problem, especially at this time of year.

          You can watch a video tour of this house here:

          http://www.businessinsider.com/video-take-a-tour-of-sarah-palins-new-arizona-digs-2011-5

          • Gregg Smith

            The next thing you know you’ll be saying Palin said she could see Russia from her house. That would be rich.

          • 1Brett1

            Come on, Gregg, it was “Vladimire Putin and the Soviet Union rearing their ugly heads” she could see from her kitchen window while she personally cooked moose she killed for her family…Get. The. Quote. Right.

          • Gregg Smith

            More people think Palin said what Tina Fey portrayed her as saying than you might think.

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

    Nice to see that the Keep Out The Vote crap has had some of the effects nobody could ever have predicted the right wanted:

    Analysis: 201,000 in Florida didn’t vote because of long lines

    Way to go, Tea Party hacks!

    • Gregg Smith

      OT: If I’m not mistaken you are a computer wiz, I’m curious. Who are the “guest”? I used to be able to post with just an email address. Back then I came up as a guest if I “liked” someone. Then one day that option was gone and I had to log in with through Yahoo, Discus, Google or a few others. I already had a Blogger account (which is google) so I used it. My last name was added from that point on but I left it because my name is hardly uncommon. Now my name shows up when I “like”. Most do but I still see “guest”. Is there another way to log on or is it the moderators? Or something else? Just wondering.

      • 1Brett1

        Do you see any comments themselves being identified as a post from a “guest”? [I hope not, because it might just be a hallucination.] If you are seeing “likes” themselves being from a “guest,” that is different (functionally, this works differently; it is how DISQUS is set up) and should give you an answer… 

        • Gregg Smith

          The only time I see the comments themselves with the moniker “guest” is when a comment gets removed. That’s why I was thinking it could be the moderators. I don’t know.

          I scrolled down to check and the first comment I found with a guest like was yours:

          Proof Sarah is “brilliant and accomplished” is that people make jokes about her? …Why, you must be a genius!

          TF, Anamaria23 and 1 guest liked it. 

          • 1Brett1

            Don’t know about the comment removal functions. 

            We all get “guest” likes, including you…can’t reply to the comment removal stuff, though…

          • Gregg Smith

            Judging by all the “guest” who are liking our comments, my guess is someone is messing with me. Maybe a guest will like this one.

          • 1Brett1

            I think you’ve created some sort of hint at an issue that doesn’t exist enough to be concerned. 

            The folks who show up here regularly who might readily agree with your comments, generally, are StillHere, William, JonBoston, RWB, maybe a couple of others (you know who they are). The ones who are inclined to “like” my comments are going to be the usual ones who find disagreement with you (and we also know who those are). Aside from that, you and I (and everyone else, for that matter) get a share of “guest” likes. I don’t particularly like the complete anonymity, either.

            Anonymity is part of any discussion online, to some extent; however, those of us who come here regularly do have some sense of who each other is. For those who wish to remain completely secretive in their actions/opinions, the act of not logging in seems sort of cowardly, in my opinion. I do attribute most of it, however, as some sort of innocuous peek by passersby who neither wish to become open commentators nor who wish their movements to be attributable to a particular account. 

            I’ve only seen “guest” on an actual comment once or twice (and as you say, the comment was removed); I’ve not had any of my comments removed, so I can’t say how or why, or under what conditions that happens). 

            I do find it a bit creepy that anyone other than you, myself, or the usual folks with whom we comment, would find these sidebar threads something to follow and “like.”

            I wouldn’t worry about it unless some sort of threat seems attached to any anonymous action. I’ve not seen anything like that; have you?

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t agree with your assessment of who likes who. I  get along with most people here and click “like” on many comments. I get “liked” by many liberals regularly. I have civil respectful debates with several liberals. Mike_Card, Ray in VT, Anamaria 23, Duras, Drew in Ga, Ellen Dibble, Steve_T, and on and on. 

            I can no longer post without logging on as I used to. I don’t know how to post unanimously. I did not think it was possible. I’m not hinting at anything. I’m not concerned about anything. I was just wondering about the logistics of the forum, that’s all.

          • 1Brett1

            Sorry, the people you mention are respectful, but like you? They certainly  do not “regularly” “like” your comments.

          • Gregg Smith

            I get “liked”by many liberals regularly,even the ones  who don’t like me.

        • 1Brett1

          -wait…I just realized Gregg’s tactic: he’s attempting to appear as if he doesn’t know how there are “guest” “likes.”

          • Gregg Smith

            Never mind Brett, I was just asking a question of TF, that’s all. I honestly don’t know the answer. It’s not important. 

  • Gregg Smith

    Diane Feinstein’s assault weapons ban bill exempts congress. DHS is seeking to purchase 7000 assault rifles for “personal protection”. You can’t make this stuff up.

    • Human898

      Sources please and are DHS personel specifically trained to use assault weapons in the “common defense” of the nation, just as other law enforcement entities authorized by Congress are?    Where in the Constitution are specific types of “arms” allowed or disallowed, but for mention and context of: “a common defense” (Preamble) Militia (Article I, Section 8) “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” (common defense) (2nd Amendment)?

      • Gregg Smith

        http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/feinstein-gun-control-bill-exempt-government-officials_697732.html

        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/27/homeland-security-seeking-7000-assault-weapons-per/

        As you know the Constitution does not discriminate between weapons just that the right to bear them shall not be infringed. Of course, I just put out a couple f facts, I did not say anything about the Constitution. As a matter of fact I haven’t even come out against a ban on assault rifles. All I’ve ever said it there should be some basis to say it will help. Grenades and Bazookas are illegal (I think), there should be a line somewhere. I don’t like making knee-jerk laws of this magnitude by EO without debate.

        But since you brought it up, let’s say I decreed: “A well regulated diet being necessary to the security of a healthy body, the right of the people to keep and raise a garden shall not be infringed.”

        Have I decreed that people must have a garden to stay healthy? Have I decreed that people cannot eat unhealthy foods?

        • jefe68

          You do like to spin things a bit.

          “Mrs. Feinstein’s measure would exempt more than 2,200 types of hunting and sporting rifles; guns manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; and weapons used by government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement personnel,” the Washington Times reports.

          In case you have not noticed the weapons are for law enforcement. What is it with you right wingers?

          • Gregg Smith

            “… and weapons used by government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement personnel,” 

          • jefe68

            The meaning of government officials seems pretty vague. The FBI, CIA and Secret Service are all officials of the government.

            Anyway this wont pass, so you can stop fretting.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s not vague it’s broad but not broad enough to include you and I. Congress is exempt, I did not spin despite your contentious accusation. That’s all. And I have yet to get personal about it but I should.

          • Human898

            What body of government is authorized, by state government or on a federal level, how “militia” is defined and who is in service to “militia”, the thing defined in the 2nd Amendment as “being necessary to the security of a free state”?

          • Gregg Smith

            The “personal protection” phrase is regarding the 7000 assault rifles with matching 30 round magazines sought by DHS. Feinstein did not use it. I tried to be clear and thought I was. Apologies.

            DHS seeking more than 7,000 AR-15s and matching 30-round clips “suitable for personal defense use in close quarters”

          • Human898

            I understand how the words “personal defense” were used with what appears to be an intent to suggest that was the intent of Mayor Feinstein’s or the DHS’s “exemption”.     Those in service to a common defense of “the people” have a “necessary” need to have access to “arms” for that purpose and duty.     Is there something barring American citizens from volunteering for service in the common defense of their states and nation comprised of the unity of those states?   All those mentioned in the “exemption” have had or will have training in the use of such weapons under “common defense” situations.   Also included in the “exemption” are those who already own such weapons.

            The concern is “a common defense of “a free state” on 2 levels and in dual rolls. 

            There is more than ample discussion of that, prior to the final draft of the Constitution, the reasons for it and direct references to “a common defense”, Militia and what a “well regulated-Militia is “necessary to”.

          • Gregg Smith

            Are you saying Sheila Jackson Lee is trained on the use of assault weapons?

          • Human898

            You may be interested in reading the proposal about who and what is excluded

            http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/24/politics/feinstein-bill-details/index.html

        • Human898

          The Second Amendment does not only say, “the right of to the people to bear arms shall not be infringed” as would be the only statement necessary to cover an absolute and unlimited right to keep and bear arms.   The first part of the Amendment, which some insist upon ignoring or passing off as fluff, relates a “right” to that which is “necessary to the security of a free state”, “a well-regulated Militia”  It is in the context of a “well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” (and all he well documented history and description of “well-regulated Militia” as well as references to “a common defense”, Militia and the reference to “well regulated Militia” as “being necessary to the security of a free state”.  

          There are no arguments about the already in place restrictions and limitations on the ownership of all and any types of arms one can “keep and bear” and there is no mention whatsoever in the Constitution of “self-defense” which does not describe “arms” or how one is able to defend one’s self.   One can defend themselves with their fists, rocks, a knife, a club, a bat, a stick.   It is very difficult to try to suggest that anyone could have their right to defend themselves taken away since there are a myriad of ways for people to defend themselves that do not include firearms.  

          If a government can regulate the manufacture, distribution and sale of landmines, biological weapons, nukes, fully automatic firearms, rocket launchers etc. for perfectly reasonable arguments, it can do the same regarding all level of firearms regulation.   A CCW is one such regulation.    The argument will come up in court again when there is enough money to fight the arms industry and their lobbyist the NRA and the circular reasoning of regulating the ownership of nukes (which are arms) and other types of arms, while at the same time trying to suggest no limitation is allowed on certain types of firearms or any other arms for that matter.   

          If one really wants to argue for some right to assault type weapons under the premise Americans should be able to “defend themselves” from a tyrannical government, the better argument is in the context of “a well regulated Militia”.  In that way one could argue that U.S. citizens should have, in any era, “arms” that are at some level, a weapon that would be effective against the professional, trained, standing militaries of a tyrannical government.   

          The founders came up with several means of discouraging the worst concerns of a tyrannical govermment.   The very design of the government and it being filled with checks and balances, via different branches of government, elected representatives broken into several chambers (Congress) and an executive who is elected not only by popular vote, but a combination of popular vote and how that vote affects the Electoral College deligates.   Even appointments to the SCOTUS must be approved by Congress so a heck of a lot of conspiracy has to be going on to get past all the checks and balances.   Not that it is impossible, it is just highly unlikely.    In additon, reliance on “well-regulated Militia”, a military of citizen (not professional) soldiers, solved the problem of there being standing armies of professional soldiers for a usurped government to control.    By use of states militias, (citizen soldiers) a dual purpose is served with regard to “a common defense” for individual states as well as for the nation.   

          Professional soldiers in service only to one central federal government are what the founders worried about.   Trained citizen soldiers divided into as many units as there are states will not be easy for a those of a usurped government to order against their own people and each unit is a means of defending their own state and the people of that state in “a common defense” against common enemies of the people, both foreign and domestic.    

          • Gregg Smith

            What is it you think I’m thinking? 

            First, my claims were correct. Right? DHS wants to arm up and Feinstein (who I like BTW) wants to exempt Congress from the same gun restrictions she wants to impose on us. On the surface, that doesn’t look good for a populace against a would be tyranny.

            Bringing up self-defense or common defense or militias or any of the rest of it is just clouding the issue. I gave you an analogy to try to illustrate the grammar. You seem to be the one ignoring half the amendment, not me. I am saying the first half does not set forth demands to form militias or the requirement that one be in a militia to own a gun. And I already said there should be a line and that it may be where Feinstein is attempting to draw it. At least she is going through the legislative process.

            It’s one sentence and it’s clear despite the book you wrote to parse it. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”, is an observation, the reasoning, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is the proclamation.

            But again, you are assuming a lot about my position.

          • Human898

            What does the Second Amendment say is “necessary to the security of a free State”?

          • Gregg Smith

            A well regulated militia.

            I no longer know what we are arguing about. What is your point? Can you reduce it to a sentence or two? I’m not even sure we disagree. 

          • Human898

            Thank you for telling us what is “necessary to the security of a free state”  

            Were the Founders to mean, the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” why would they need to predicate it with any mention of “a well regulated Miliitia and what a “well regulated Militia” is necessary for?

            Where in the Constitution is personal self defense referred to?

          • Gregg Smith

            Sorry, I’m done unless you tell me what you’re getting at. I certainly don’t get the relevance of self defense.

  • davecm

    What I have learned over the years listening to this program.
    Repubs. are held to a higher standard than Dems.
    Democrats can screwup and tell white lies and get away with it by saying “what difference does it make”.
    And when the politicians say “invest” “fair share” only foolish people rush in!

  • Shanghied1

    The presidents speech was the most devisive of any president in history.  He had no solutions to any problems such as debt, illegals walking in the country, the worst unemployment in 60 years, the worst economy in years and his unsustainable spending.  He should resign in disgrace because of the DOJ gun running to criminals and his lack of support for the diplomats in Libiya.

    • JONBOSTON

      Amazing isn’t it. In addition,not one word about economic growth, reducing unemployment or the level of poverty, reducing the number of people on food stamps and federal disability, helping the middle class (since that was his campaign theme) or bringing this country together. Just the usual straw man arguments. You are either with Obama–or you are with the forces of cruelty and bigotry. In Obama’s world there is no middle ground. He is the Voice of Reason and Good Faith. Those who oppose him are the voice of the mob. They are the ones who (to cite just one passage from his speech) mistake absolutism for principle, substitute spectacle for politics, and treat name-calling as reasoned debate.

      As one commentator has said, Obama “is the perfect president for our current political culture. And for all of his self-perceived similarities with Abraham Lincoln, he is the antithesis of Lincoln when it comes to grace, a charitable spirit and a commitment to genuine reconciliation. Mr Obama is, at his core, a divider. He seems to relish it, even when the moment calls for a temporary truce in our political wars.”

      • Gregg Smith

        Politics is politics but he really has no standing to talk about tone, bipartisanship, getting along, or working together. The guy is as nasty as they come. I actually think it’s sad. Very sad.

      • hennorama

        JONBOSTON – our posts both mention Pres. Lincoln, but in different ways.

        Part of my response to “Shanghied1″ and his claim that “The presidents speech was the most devisive [sic] of any president in history” pointed to what could be considered as figuratively “the most divisive” speech in Presidential history – Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural Address from March 4th 1861.

        You too have indicated that your opinion is that “Mr Obama is, at his core, a divider.”

        Given the fact of Pres. Lincoln’s “divisive” speech, would you also view Lincoln “[a}s, at his core, a divider?”  Just curious.

        • Gregg Smith

          The notion that Lincoln was at his core a divider seems absurd to me. The Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation were hardly divisive. 

          • jefe68

            Divisive: Tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people.

            The Emancipation Proclamation was not a speech. It was an order issued to all segments of the Executive branch (including the Army and Navy) of the United States by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War. It was based on the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief of the armed forces; it was not a law passed by Congress. 

            To say that the Emancipation Proclamation was not divisive is absurd.

        • JONBOSTON

          I agree with Gregg’s comments below. Just an absurd question about Lincoln.  Pointing to comments made on the eve of the Civil War is ridiculous. I don’t profess to be a Lincoln scholar but at the end of the Civil War, he reached out to the defeated Confederacy in an effort to remind them and the North that they were all Americans and the nation had to heal. Lincoln’s issue was slavery, not the citizens of the South.

          Obama, on the other hand, takes issue with  certain groups  organizations and individuals.  In the course of his presidency, he has demonized Republicans, the Tea Party, pharmaceutical companies, Chamber of Commerce, the “rich”, Romney “the steelworker’s wife killer”, big oil, insurance companies, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, companies that outsource, etc. I could go on …

          At his core he is a divider. His idea of compromise is to agree with him. Frankly, I think he’s repulsive.

          • hennorama

            JONBOSTON – TY for your response. I appreciate your views. Per established practice, I will refrain from comment related to the other poster you mention.

            My question about Pres. Lincoln was indeed absurd, as it was part of a reductio ad absurdum argument. The point I was trying to make is two-fold:

            1. “Shanghied1′s” claim that “The presidents speech was the most devisive [sic] of any president in history” is false

            2. If Pres. Lincoln made a speech that could arguably be thought of as (using Shangied1′s words) “the most devisive [sic] of any president in history,” then one might also use Lincoln’s speech as part of an argument that Lincoln was (using your words) “at his core, a divider.” This is, as you said, absurd, as is using a single speech as one’s sole evidence about a President.

            Pres. Lincoln was not a divider. Neither is Pres. Obama. Both came to the Presidency during times of great political divisions, and both worked long and hard to overcome said divisions. In contrast to Pres. Lincoln, we cannot yet judge the success or failure of Pres. Obama’s efforts, as his term of office has not yet ended.

          • Gregg Smith

            You’re so funny!

          • JONBOSTON

            You are comparing two speeches in isolation from the rest of the years each president served.My point about Obama is that when viewing his presidency in its entirety, I feel he is the most divisive, partisan and demagogic president of my lifetime.  He is not making any effort to talk to the 48% of the public that voted against him.  I can accept that you don’t agree. 

          • hennorama

            Fair enough. TY for your response.

    • hennorama

      Shanghied1 – did you come up with the idea that “The presidents speech was the most devisive [sic] of any president in history” on your own, or are you merely echoing the ideas of others?

      I ask only because I can think of many other far more controversial speeches given by US Presidents.  One that may be considered as figuratively “the most divisive” could be Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural Address from March 4th 1861.  Here’s the penultimate paragraph:

      “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.”

      http://www.famous-speeches-and-speech-topics.info/presidential-speeches/abraham-lincoln-inaugural-address.htm

    • Mike_Card

      Your post has the smell of “copy and paste” crap that usually accompanies statements like yours.  Did you write it yourself?

      btw:  it would be, “The president’s speech…”
      acquaint yourself with Mr. apostrophe.

  • jefe68
    • hennorama

      jefe68 – favorite line FTA, describing the 2012 Republican primaries – “The Party offered up a Star Wars barroom of oddball characters, each representing a different faction — Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich, Cain, Santorum.”

      Reich is well known as an effective communicator in a variety of media, but I surprised to learn that he did his own illustrations for his book “BEYOND OUTRAGE.”  They too are effective.

  • OnPointComments

    I logged on to read the scathing comments about John Kerry, candidate for the national office of Secretary of State, and his failure to release his wife’s tax returns.  I thought for sure there would be much commentary and opinion about the $500 million dollar fortune of Teresa Heniz Kerry (Mitt Romney’s fortune pales in comparison), and how we can’t possibly decide whether to support her husband’s nomination without seeing her tax returns.  Based on the criticism of Romney’s 13.9% tax rate in 2010, I knew there would be many comments about John Kerry’s tax rate of 13.1% in 2003, the lowest of any presidential candidate who has run since 1987, but there aren’t any comments.  Hmmmm.  For my last search, I thought for sure that there would be a plethora of wails about Kerry docking his 76-foot yacht outside of MA to save $437,500 in MA sales taxes, but no comments on that either.  A cynic might think that the party of the person is what makes the difference.

    • Mike_Card

      Kerry has made financial disclosures as required by law all during his tenure as a US Senator.  What do you think would change as he leaves the Senate and becomes an appointed member of the cabinet?

      • Gregg Smith

        Romney also made financial disclosures as required by law.

        • Human898

          Romney’s father set a precedent with release of numerous years and mentioned that the release of only a few years would not expose a fluke.   Mr. Romney refused to meet the same standard of his father, all the while referring to his father as his inspiration.    

          As a result, who won the election between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama?

          • Gregg Smith

            Is it your view that was the deciding factor? Romney made the financial disclosures required by law. That’s all I said.

          • Human898

            In my view it was not just that, but numerous things that Mr. Romney and the current republican party have adopted as their “neo” philosophy, not even matching his own father’s legacy with number of returns disclosed (Obama and Biden even met George Romney’s precedent) being amongst them.

            http://current.com/groups/news-blog/93860804_hey-mr-romney-weve-got-your-precedent-right-here.htm

          • Gregg Smith

            I disagree, I think the mushy middle candidates like Romney and McCain lose every time. Conservatives like Reagan and GWB win. The Tea Party in 2010 had awesome, historical, unprecedented success. Ditto Newt in 1994. 

          • jefe68

            And yet a whole bunch of them have been thrown out of office. In the House committees John Boehner has been getting rid of the extremist tea party members.

            Your extremist ideology is not in the mainstream.

        • Mike_Card

          Ahh…yes…?

          • Gregg Smith

            “Expected” is one thing a (a meaningless thing), the law is something else.

          • Mike_Card

            One can only wonder how President Romney would explain the difference.  He seems to be unavailable for comment.

    • Human898

      It is Mr. Kerry and was Mr. Romney who are/were candidates for elected or appointed government office, not their spouses.   One could argue for or against financial disclosure for all members of and the entire family of those running for elected office or nominated for an appointment.  

      The basic difference is that John Kerry has not objected to such disclosures or tried to obscure the size of his or his spouses income for tax or political purposes.    Mr. Kerry has not fought additional taxes on himself or his spouse.   Not that he has not run into comtroversy of his own with regard to capitalizing on in-place laws or controversy regarding interpretation of them, just that he belongs to a group of Americans that don’t see a combination of cuts in spending with added revenue as the fastest means to cutting a deficit Republicans helped run up, yet seem to not want to pay for, but by continued borrowing and the cost of interest for that continued borrowing.

    • pete18

       You’re only a greedy plutocrat if you have an “R” after your name. If you have a “D” after your name and are willing to spend an abundance of other people’s money, you’re a selfless populist.

    • hennorama

      OPC – I understand your viewpoints and offer a few counterpoints:

      1.  Your point “about John Kerry’s tax rate of 13.1% in 2003″ is misleading/inaccurate.  According to Brad Plumer of The Washington Post WONKBLOG

      “John Kerry’s overall rate is so low — lower than Romney’s, in fact — because his return is getting lumped together with that of his (wealthy) wife, Teresa Heinz, who had a lot of investment income. On his own, Kerry paid 22.9 percent in federal taxes in 2003 on his $395,338 salary, which included Senate income plus the sale of a 17th-century Dutch painting. Heinz, for her part, had an income of $5.07 million and paid $628,401 in federal taxes, or 12.3 percent.”

      Repeating – “Kerry paid 22.9 percent in federal taxes in 2003.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/tax-rates-of-presidential-candidates-in-one-chart/2012/01/24/gIQAOEEeNQ_blog.html

      2.  Teresa Heinz’ wealth is from her late husband, Sen. H. John Heinz III, an heir to the H. J. Heinz Company fortune.  She hasn’t disclosed her personal tax returns due to family trusts and privacy concerns.  Most of her assets are reportedly in trusts that include her children, and disclosing tax-related info could affect their privacy.

      3.  Sen. Kerry and Mrs. Heinz have a prenuptial agreement and keep their premarital assets separate.

      4.  Sen. Kerry is also wealthy in his own right, and makes all required financial disclosures.  He has released 20 years of his personal tax returns over the course of his Senate and Presidential campaigns.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57473424/outrage-over-tax-returns-a-replay-of-past-campaigns/?pageNum=2

      5. After the controversy over sales and excise tax issues related to his yacht, Sen. Kerry announced that he would voluntarily pay the Massachusetts Department of Revenue the amount of tax that would be due if the boat were docked MA.

      “We’ve reached out to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and made clear that, whether owed or not, we intend to pay the equivalent taxes as if the boat’s home-port were currently in Massachusetts,” Kerry said in a statement released this afternoon. “That payment is being made promptly.”

      I’m confident that you can follow up to see if he actually paid the taxes, were you so inclined.

      See:http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/111217-kerry-will-pay-nearly-500000-sales-tax-for-yacht#ixzz2JEtmlfuq

      6.  Sen. Kerry’s and Teresa Heinz’ income taxes were already discussed extensively during the 2004 Presidential campaign.  Nothing has come to light to make these issues relevant at present.

      7.  Sen. Kerry and Teresa Heinz plan to divest nearly 100 investment holdings to avoid conflicts of interest if Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State.

      http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/01/23/senator-john-kerry-and-terese-heinz-kerry-agree-divest-nearly-holdings-avoid-conflicts-interest-state-department/Es8i9l9Vg3wW58p7eZGZUO/story.html

      8.  In contrast to Mr. Romney and his personal income taxes, Sen. Kerry has not been working to implement policies that would lower his personal taxes.  There’s a difference.

      • 1Brett1

        I also don’t believe I have ever heard Sen. Kerry make any cracks about poor people not paying enough taxes, either, making them some sort of societal moochers for not doing so. I also have never heard of Sen. Kerry purposely having his tax lawyers raise his tax rate because he was running for an office/looking for a position appointment. I don’t think there has ever been a problem of getting Sen. Kerry to also divulge his tax returns, either…why, I don’t see much of a comparison between Sen. Kerry and Romney in the tax realm at all…

        • Gregg Smith

          Romney never ever made any cracks about poor people not paying enough taxes. No one but Democrats have suggested raising taxes on the poor.

          • Ray in VT

            Except for Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, the Heritage Foundation’s 28% flat tax plan with few deductions and those promoting the various tax changes like Louisiana where poor people would likely pay more in raised sales taxes than they’ll save from reducing or eliminating income taxes.

          • Gregg Smith

            I hate grammar cops Ray but I had a hard time following that sentence. Maybe we agree, I’ll clarify. Obviously there are all kinds of people with no legislative power proposing all kinds of things. I don’t consider an entire revamping of the tax code to be on the same plain as adjusting rates. If we go beyond that to sales taxes, which vary from state to state, or other taxes then it’s impossible to make a coherent argument one way or another. It was at first said Romney’s plan would raise taxes on the middle class but it was proven untrue. I do think there were Democrat proposals to let all the tax cuts expire. I’m not sure if they ever made it to the table.

            My comment to Brett was regarding the 47% thing which was not a plea to raise taxes on the poor.

          • Ray in VT

            I thought that my point was pretty clear, but if you do want to play grammar cop, then here is what I think is a clearer, more grammatically restatement of my point:

            No one is talking about raising taxes on the poor, except for Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, the Heritage Foundation’s 28%
            flat tax plan, which has few deductions, and all of those who are promoting various tax
            changes in places like Louisiana, where poor people would likely pay more in increased sales taxes than they’ll save from reducing or eliminating income
            taxes.

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks for the clarification, I was not trying to be rude. 

            I guess your problem was with my 2nd sentence but my comment was in the context of the first. 

            In that sense I should have specified tax rates, not taxes. But still I don’t think it’s true that anyone wants to raise taxes on the poor other than those advocating returning to the Clinton rates. I don’t want to argue the merits of every tax plan out there because it’s too complex to make generalizations.This is evidenced by your use of the word “likely”.We could argue all day.

            My point to Brett was that Romney did not suggest raising taxes on the poor with his 47% comment.

          • Ray in VT

            State taxes rates and deductions vary so much by state that I didn’t want to track down the individual changes for each of the states involved or give a blanket statement about the effects of all of them.  If one is getting rid of a more progressive tax system and shift the burden over to a regressive tax, like a sales tax, then poorer people are going to take a harder hit.  What amazes me is that some states tax food.  That’s just repugnant to me.

            I don’t think that many Democrats wanted rates to go up for everyone, but a few were willing to go over that cliff if the GOP has refused to budge on rates for the highest earners.  I didn’t particularly like that stance, but some were willing to walk that hard line, and I do think that there is a willingness by many, especially within the GOP, to shift tax burdens at the state level towards more regressive taxes, and my view is that they’ll generally pass it off like a bait and switch.  They’ll talk up the income tax cut, but not highlight the increased taxes that people will pay every time that they go grocery shopping.

            Mitt Romney didn’t really talk about raising taxes on the 47% percent who don’t pay federal income taxes.  He just called them people “who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims,
            who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who
            believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to
            you-name-it”, and that they were going to vote for Obama.  I don’t really have any faith that his tax package, which he never explained how he would pay for, would not cut deductions and loopholes in such a way that lower income people would not be paying more.  I have no faith whatsoever in the GOP, much as you seem to lack any sort of faith in the Democrats.

          • Ray in VT

            Also your state’s GOP, which is proposing a sales tax increase, including raising the sales tax on food to 8%:

            http://www.wral.com/higher-taxes-on-food-services-could-replace-nc-income-tax/11993921/?d_full_comments=1&d_comments_page=8

          • Gregg Smith

            BTW, thanks for the link, I had not heard about it. In 2010 Republicans gained control for the first time in 100 years then in 2012 we elected the first Republican Governor in 25 years. I suspect things will get better but if they don’t Republicans own it. That is unless four years from now they can still blame Bev Perdue. It worked for Obama. McCrory was a very good Mayor of Charlotte.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, did Governor Perdue hot foot it out of town as the state’s economy was collapsing in the worst manner in nearly 80 years and leave her successor to clean up the mess?

          • Gregg Smith

            Absolutely she did.

          • Ray in VT

            Funny, it looks like there is job growth and the unemployment rate is going down:

            http://www.deptofnumbers.com/employment/north-carolina/

            Not exactly free fall.

          • Gregg Smith

            Lookat the changethat happenedin2010after100 years of Democrat control.

          • Ray in VT

            Looks pretty much like what the rest of the country experienced following the crash and the recession.  A big dip followed by some slow, and sometimes uneven, upward motion.

      • pete18

        “I’m confident that you can follow up to see if he actually paid the taxes, were you so inclined.”

        I did, he hasn’t:  http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/john-kerry-still-owes-taxes-on-his-7-million-yacht/

        Note the pitiful amount he gives to charity as well.

        • OnPointComments

          “After the controversy over sales and excise tax issues related to his yacht, Sen. Kerry announced that he would voluntarily pay the Massachusetts Department of Revenue the amount of tax that would be due if the boat were docked MA.”  That’s a little like the bank robber who agrees to return the stolen money after he is caught.

        • hennorama

          pete18 – one can only assume that you meant this as a sort of tongue-in-cheek commentary.

          FTA: “A spokeswoman for Kerry said the senator’s accountant had tried repeatedly to get the tax bill from Nantucket, but couldn’t get a response. The taxes, amounting to roughly $100, were finally paid in full last December, according to Kerry’s office.”

          $100. Is this is your best argument? Seriously? pete18, you can do better.

          • pete18

             According to the article in Huffington Post, he’d be liable for $70,000 in excise taxes and a one-time sales tax of $437,500 .

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/23/john-kerry-saves-500000-b_n_656985.html

            I would take that source as being more reliable than “Kerry’s office.”

            I pay over a $100 in excise taxes on
            my car.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for your reply. I can only surmise that you didn’t read everything in the link you provided. The articles contain info that seems to confirm my points.

            The linked article contains a link (under the photos) to another article from May 29, 2012, containing a video.

            (http://bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view/20220529unclear_sailing_for_kerry/srvc=home&position=1)

            Quoting the reporter from that video, who was in Newport, RI in front of Sen. Kerry’s yacht:

            “… he was forced to move it to Nantucket and actually pay about $70,000 in taxes. But here it is in Rhode Island, again. His staff says they are paying excise taxes in Massachusetts … Once again, The Truth Squad gets the real story …”

            The $70K figure is a reference to the MA annual excise taxes, which are referenced in the HuffPo article, and elsewhere. You haven’t shown any failure by Sen. Kerry to pay the taxes at issue. Again, you can do better.

    • StilllHere

      Apparently if Romney had shifted all if his assets into his wife’s name, Democrats would love him.  Whatever.

      • hennorama

        StilllHere – that’s a specious argument.  The tax returns issue is long-lived, and has been used by candidates of both political parties. A reluctance to release tax returns has been used by candidates against members of their own party, and members of the opposing political party or parties. (Remember Ross Perot in 1992?  He never released anything.)

        The fact is that some Presidential candidates and their spouses choose to keep their finances separate and file separate tax returns, for a variety of reasons.  Sen. John McCain and his spouse Cindy McCain are another example.  Cindy McCain also cited her children’s privacy as a concern and the reason for not disclosing her tax returns.  She later changed her mind, releasing both her personal summary Forms 1040 (without any supporting forms and schedules) for 2006 & 2007, as well as the returns for the John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation for those years.

        Teresa Heinz also released her 2003 summary Form 1040 (without any supporting forms and schedules).

        Personally, I think that spouses give up a significant right to privacy when their mates run for office, and that their finances are fair game.  But there is no legal requirement for them to release their info.  Until this changes, this issue won’t go away.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57473424/outrage-over-tax-returns-a-replay-of-past-campaigns/?pageNum=2

        http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/Web/PresidentialTaxReturns

  • StilllHere

    This hour’s photo belongs with next hour’s topic. IMHO.

  • 1Brett1

  • 1Brett1

  • 1Brett1

    Stillhere, you’ve lowered your already low bar of repugnantly fatuous commentary.

    • Gregg Smith

      O come on, that was funny. Lighten up. Look down at the comments made about Sarah Palin. 

      • 1Brett1

        I don’t appreciate your humor and I do think it reveals something about your character. It’s vile. Making jokes that involve people with disabilities is as low as low can get in my book. There is so much wrong with that; it says how you (and StillHere) perceive people with disabilities, for one thing. It also…never mind dimwit.

        • Gregg Smith

          Please, I torture kittens my character is already proven to be in the gutter. 

          So maybe I missed it. Maybe it was Disqus that put your comment up top. It was a reply to Stilllhere but not tied to a particular comment. I assumed it was the comment directly below comparing Hillary to a squid. What am I missing?

          • 1Brett1

            Wow…you are such a sniveling, cowardly piece of…do you expect me to believe you thought this is a joke about a comparison to a squid? 

          • Gregg Smith

            On this this board (“this hour’s show”) there is a picture of Hillary, the next hour is a show on the giant squid. 

            What I expect is that you read what I write and take it a face value instead of telling me what I mean.

            What on earth do you think Stillhere meant? Why are you so nasty? Why are you so eager to assume the very worst about everything?

          • StilllHere

            He’s a complete whacko.  I would suggest ignoring.

          • Gregg Smith

            You are probably right but somebody needs to do it. I cannot imagine anyone being as nasty as Brett seems to assume they are. His accusation was so off base that it took me a couple of replies to actually understand what he was getting at. 

ONPOINT
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Aug 1, 2014
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