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Week In The News: Sequestration, Immigration, And Chinese Hacking

Sequester debate. Immigration backlash. A new hard line on Chinese hacking and theft. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines

U.S. Capitol building at night (Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. Capitol building at night (Wikimedia Commons)

We’re about to become the sequestration nation, and Congress was out of town this week. The debate went on anyway. How, and how not, to deal with our finances.

Immigration talk, too. Pushback now, after the push. Joe Biden says get a shotgun if you’re nervous – not an assault rifle. Chinese hacking gets tracked to the Chinese military. Washington says stop it.

We’ve got another a big snow, coming across the plains. Jesse Jackson Jr. with sticky fingers. Whispers of an American pope. Obsession with Oscar Pistorius. This hour, On Point: Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

John King, chief national correspondent for CNN. He is a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. (@JohnKingCNN)

Laura Meckler, White House correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. (@laurameckler)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

National Journal “The idea of John Kerry living it up in Cartagena, drinking and dancing with his State Department colleagues and locals as his predecessor Hillary Rodham Clinton once famously did, is hard to imagine. But their policies might not be as different as their individual styles.”

Wall Street Journal “The sequester is a wave of deep spending cuts scheduled to hit on March 1. Unless Congress acts, $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will occur this year, with another $1.1 trillion coming over the next decade. There is nothing wrong with cutting spending that much—we should be cutting even more—but the sequester is an ugly and dangerous way to do it.

By law, the sequester focuses on the narrow portion of the budget that funds the operating accounts for federal agencies and departments, including the Department of Defense. Exempt is most entitlement spending—the large portion of the budget that is driving the nation’s looming debt crisis. Should the sequester take effect, America’s military budget would be slashed nearly half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. Border security, law enforcement, aviation safety and many other programs would all have diminished resources.”

Politico “Prepare for the end of food safety as we have known it. For a breakdown in public order. For little children languishing in ignorance. If only Edward Gibbon were here to chronicle the devastation. On March 1, the fabric of our civilization begins to unwind.
That’s when the economy begins to stall and we turn our back on our values, all because the federal government will have to begin to cut a few tens of billions of dollars from the largest budget the world has ever known.”

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  • Ed75

    Last week a 27-year old kindergarten teacher in White Plains was advised by doctors that her child would be born with medical problems (how often they are wrong). She went to Maryland to get a late-term abortion from the butcher Carhart. She bled to death, and Mr. Carhart didn’t respond to her calls for medical assistance.

    In a related story, Governor Cuomo is pressing to pass the FOCA law in New York. This would make abortion an absolute right: tax money can be used for abortion, no restrictions such as parental notification or ultrasound viewing are possible, non-doctors will be allowed to perform abortions.

    Governor Cuomo kept repeating ‘Because it is her body’. He should read Roe v. Wade. It is indeed her body, but when a man and woman agree to have sexual relations, they both say yes to the possibility of pregnancy and its responsibilities.

    May Jennifer Morbelli rest in peace.

    • http://wh.gov/IVp4 Yar

      Ed, you make a pretty good case why safe medical practice should be available close to home. Do you really want to push women into the back alley to receive the medical care they seek?  If so, their deaths are on you.  We are called to love the sinner, not to judge.  God will judge all of us.  What is in your heart? Love or hate?

    • J__o__h__n

      What about the Catholic hospital that is claiming that a fetus isn’t a person as it helps them defend a malpractice suit? 

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

      how often they are wrong

      I dunno. You tell me.

      Hey, can someone verify what Ed says about a FOCA law? It’s not that I don’t trust you, Ed, but I wouldn’t follow you out of a burning building.

  • tdburley

    Instead of these self-imposed destruction schemes that put the well-being of the country at risk, why doesn’t congress offer up their own jobs to force compromise?  Rather than sequestration on the line, top ranking members of each party would be fired and all of congress gets massive cuts to their own paychecks.

    • hennorama

      tdburley – one problem with your idea is that Congress cannot change their own compensation (up or down) until another House election has taken place.

      That’s due to the 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.”

      The idea of this Amendment, which took 203 years to be ratified, was to reduce the obvious potential conflicts involved in Congress being able to raise their own pay at any time.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    It seems to me that most of the talking heads believe that the long term fiscal problem that we as a nation face is the cost of runaway entitlement programs, especially medicare and medicaid.  Since virtually all of the large entitlement programs were initiated when Democrats were in charge of the executive and legislative branches, based on Democratic cost projections, it is time for the Democrats, particularly the White House, to show some leadership and put forward their plan for resolving this problem.  The reason for the sequester (which the Democrats agreed to) was to force the White House to show some leadership on this issue, even if it involves difficult decisions.  If they believe that the answer is to raise taxes to accommodate higher spending, then they ought to show some backbone and propose that rather than hide.

    • jimino

      Social Security does not and by law can not add one cent to the deficit. 

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I understand that (I did not list it above).  In fact, up to this point, SS has generated a surplus, which the government has included in the bottom line number and therefore used to report a lower number than the real size of the deficit.  It should really be excluded from the calculation and not touched.  Instead, the federal government has borrowed that money and stuffed the ss cashbox with a bunch of iou’s.  If you look at this stuff long enough, you see one fiscal/accounting principle after another violated with federal governmental reporting.  If the private sector did their accounting this way, people would be charged with criminal offenses.  But the federal government gets away with it.  It is easy to understand why people like myself are skeptical of federal governmental financial responsibility, regardless of which party happens to be in office.

    • margbi

      The sequester was not some strange procedure produced by aliens. Both R’s and D’s agreed that it would be so drastic it would never come to pass. Is this the case now? Not so much.

    • J__o__h__n

      They are advocating raising taxes in the form of closing loopholes. 

    • Don_B1

      To “show leadership” is not just caving on the Republican demands for big cuts in entitlements and no revenue increases.

      It appears that the “leadership” that is being requested is actually “follower-ship” that does what the Republicans demand.

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom Ashbrook:

    If the purpose of your program is to inform and not advocate Obama talking points , then you need to lay out for  your listeners the facts surrounding the sequester. Your program will lose all credibility if you promote the false “sky will fall” narrative regarding the sequester. According to the CBO, the actual spending cut in 2013 will be roughly $44billion, not $85Billion , from a $3.5 trillion budget. Expressed differently, that’s $44 billion less from a budget of $3500 billion. All that is happening is that the sequester will slow the growth in federal spending–nothing more.  Even with the sequester, the federal government will spend a little more in 2013 than in 2012, $3.553 trillion vs. $3.538 trillion. Welcome to the Age of Austerity! It is not an actual cut the way a  “normal” taxpayer would define the word. You would never know this from how the pathetic mainstream media portrays the situation. If this government can’t survive on a 1.25% reduction in the federal budget (or a reduction of one quarter of 1% of our GDP), then this experiment in democracy is doomed.

    Also , your program should at least address the national conversation this past week involving how passive the mainstream press coverage has been  of Obama. But why do I doubt you will?

    • Gregg Smith

      We are traveling 100MPH towards the cliff and Obama says we should slow to 99MPH. We should put it in reverse.

      I’va always thought it was whiny to complain about the press because they aren’t going to change. I’ve underestimated the damage they do. I now think something must be done to counter the propaganda and lies of omission. MSNBC has yet to label Jesse Jackson Jr. as a Democrat. 

      Here’s the first paragraph in a story about Robert Menendez:
      WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Robert Menendez’s office said Wednesday night that he reimbursed a prominent Florida political donor $58,500 for the full cost of two of three trips Menendez took on the donor’s plane to the Dominican Republic in 2010.

      Here’s NPR’s opener for Larry Craig:
      In hopes of salvaging his political career, conservative Republican Sen. Larry Craig and his legal team are seeking to withdraw his voluntary guilty plea for disorderly conduct in a Minneapolis airport bathroom.

      The examples are legion.

      Obama has been governing 4 years and somehow skates on the economy. How is that possible? People actually believe he’s doing all he can to fix the problems Republicans caused. It’s nuts.

      We still don’t know where he was on the night of Benghazi and no one cares. 

      I find myself getting angry as hell at the destruction enabled by the press. I can no longer assume a large percentage of people won’t fall for the crap sandwich the press serves daily. Something has to give.

      • JONBOSTON

        Greg, 

         As someone once said, when things can’t go on forever, they won’t.  I used to believe like you did that most people would see through Obama’s act and realize how destructive his policies have been for this country. But unfortunately so many people are so tuned out to everything, they believe all the garbage that the media permits Obama to get away with. What’s truly sad about the mainstream media is that they are sowing the seeds of their own destruction. Or irrelevance. Our country is going down the tubes but it took being denied access to Obama last weekend while he golfed with Tiger to stir up the white house correspondents. Funny how the real problems are totally ignored. No concern about Benghazi. Nor 7.8% unemployment. Or the growth in the level of poverty. Not our failing schools. Not the lack of  growth in our economy. Not a $16 trillion national debt. Not looming national fiscal collapse if interest rates inevitably rise. Just pathetic.

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          Boy do you guys just eat up fox and rush propaganda like chocolate chip cookies or what? You really don’t want to lay any blame at the feat of the republican wing nuts or Dubya, do you?

          Protect Welfare for the wealthy at all costs? Dubya will not go down as the worst president of the US, ever; the rich will save us all; History will be proven wrong, and pigs will grow wings and fly being ridden by some new species that will evolve from monkeys as posited by Sarah Palin.

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

            Is that your dog? He is cute.

          • Gregg Smith

            W is not the President and it was his spending that started the Tea Party. 

          • Ray in VT

            But I thought that W, like Reagan, was the sort of real conservative that won elections?

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

            …until he starts losing and screwing up.

            Like Stalin’s ex-cronies being edited out of official photographs on reviewing stands after falling out of favor, now GWB wasn’t ever then a true conservative, no matter all the standing Os at CPAC, or anything you’ve been led to believe about him.

          • Gregg Smith

            He did win now he’s gone. He cannot be blamed for this mess.

          • Ray in VT

            Yeah, we’ve just been left trying to clean up the mess that he left us with.  I will give him some credit, though.  At least he didn’t stand by in the waning days of his administration and allow things to totally go down the drain like some laissez-faire ideologue.  Despite his flaws as a president, at least he saw the wisdom in the government taking action in a crisis in order to stave off a catastrophe.

          • sickofthechit

             You mispelled George W. Bush’s middle name.  When asked how he spelled his name in a spelling bee he said
            “d-u-h-b-u-h”  duhbuh!

        • nj_v2

          All of those issues are clearly, entirely Obama’s fault, of course.

      • Vandermeer

         It’s time to hold the Repulsicans responsible for their view of protecting the “job creators” instead of finding more jobs for people who go to work everyday to provide for the common welfare. We need to continue public services. Let’s cut corporate welfare to agribusiness and oil companies that don’t need our hard earned dollars. Let’s increase the cap on Social Security tax– let people pay more if they make more than the $113K which is currently the cap on SS wage taxation. That’s right… we need a balanced approach which the President is willing to have happen… but not the other party of the privledged.

        • Gregg Smith

          I have criticized Rush and others for making hay over the payroll “Tax” increase. The payroll tax cut just defunds SS, it’s not a tax on income. It’s paying into a program that pays you back. I don’t think punishing achievement is moral or prudent. I have no problem with the cap as it is.

          The President’s approach is anything but balanced. What spending cut has he ever advocated? 

          • Vandermeer

             You must be watching Fox with your Rep talking points… check out the President’s plan that he won the 2012 election on!!!

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll take that as a “none”.

          • nj_v2

            Greggg lives in a parallel universe somewhere.

            http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/06/federal-reserve-economic-data-chart-real-government-spending-obama-recovery.php

            CHART: The Gobsmacking Drop In Government Spending Under Obama

            [[ The conventional wisdom that President Obama has overseen a dramatic surge in government spending has always been shaky. But it faces perhaps its starkest rebuttal in new figures that reveal the sharpest decline of the last half-century in real federal, state and local spending during this presidency. ]]

      • DrewInGeorgia

        “We are traveling 100MPH towards the cliff and Obama says we should slow to 99MPH. We should put it in reverse.”

        What will throwing it in reverse at a hundred miles an hour (or 99mph for that matter) do to the transmission? Your Heroes don’t want to apply the brakes any more than your Nemesis does. In fact, your Heroes are screaming “FLOOR IT!”.

        • Gregg Smith

          I saw that one coming, so I’ll answer my hypothetical analogy. The result would be a car with a trashed transmission that didn’t go over the cliff. We can rebuild the transmission. It’s way too late to avoid any pain.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            So a seized tranny is going to stop the car when it’s at the cliff edged and rolling a hundred miles an hour? Even the emergency brake won’t stop us in time….Unless we’re not really that close to the cliff edge. Or we’re not really rolling that fast. Not saying either is the case, just saying.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s the best hope. I don’t know how close we are. For instance we have plenty of time to fix Social Security. That does not mean it’s demise is any less inevitable if we do nothing.

            Slowing down a smidge is futile.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Social Security needs “fixing”? Perhaps you meant Rigging. I thought SS was the only reasonably functional Program amongst our myriad failures…

          • Gregg Smith

            It is unsustainable but can be tweaked.

          • Don_B1

            Because of the growth in inequality of incomes that has been sending so much of the growth in profits to the rich, the incomes of middle and lower income workers has not grown as estimated by the Greenspan Commission (back in 1983, when the SS “Lock Box” was created), but that can most equitably be done by raising the Cap on the F.I.C.A. withholding.

            But beware the “tweaks” that Gregg will espouse.

    • NewtonWhale

      If you want real figures, based on the latest CBO estimates, read this exhaustive Washington Post article from 2 days ago, which reports:

       

       “The CBO estimates that the combined federal fiscal tightening taking place in 2013 is knocking 1.5 points off GDP growth for the year. Of that, about 5/8 of a percent (or 0.565%) is due to the sequester. Macroeconomic Advisers
      similarly estimates that the sequester will shave off 0.6 points from the year’s growth rate.”

       

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/20/the-sequester-absolutely-everything-you-could-possibly-need-to-know-in-one-faq/

       

      It’s a simple rule: Do not believe claims that are not sourced. Especially when they come from someone who has previously written this post on this site:

       

       

      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.

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

      How passive the mainstream press corps has been of Obama?

      NOW: Politico, doing what Politico does: “The White House Press Corps neared rebellion…” over not being invited on a golf game with the President.

      THEN: *Elizabeth Bumiller, quoted here and elsewhere, of the WHPC , before the Iraq invasion: “I think we were very deferential, because in the East Room press conference, it’s live. It’s very intense. It’s frightening to stand up there… You are standing up on prime time live television, asking the president of the United States a question when the country is about to go to war.”

      Now they’re having an official shit fit about golf. They bowed to Shrub and now bitch about this? Screw them.

      (*Edited cos I forgot to link.)

  • JGC

    Here was a paragraph from the Jesse Jackson, Jr. guilty plea from David Ingram’s (Reuters) article that made me feel the heaviness of the moment:

    ‘In accepting Mr. Jackson’s plea, Judge Wilkins went through a series of questions that are routinely asked of defendants but that took on poignancy because of Mr. Jackson’s father’s career as a civil rights champion:  Did he realize he would no longer be able to vote, serve on a jury or own a firearm due to his felony conviction?  Mr. Jackson said he did and wiped tears from his eyes.’

    Irony, guilt, regret, the sweep of history all compressed into a few words. Really great reporting.

    • Ray in VT

      I’m continued to be amazed that some people in positions of power and influence continue engage in such activities, given the potential long term harm that they can cause for themselves.  They pretty much all think that they’re smart, savvy or sneaky enough to get away with it, I think.  Maybe it’s just a part of human nature, and some just can’t resist the temptation to try to use what they have in order to get more.

      • J__o__h__n

        I wonder how Michael Jackson’s $4,000 hat looks when paired with an orange jumpsuit. 

        • Ray in VT

          Bad.

          • J__o__h__n

            I wonder how much Gaddafi paid for the rest of his wardrobe.

          • Steve__T

             LOL

      • JGC

        There is also the mental health aspect to this sad, bizarre story. Just like the actress Winona Ryder who was a compulsive shoplifter – there were more conventional and legal ways to get the objects, but that wasn’t the point. Can’t even say it was because Jackson didn’t have access to mental health care; I’m sure his government health policy is as gold-plated as the $40-K Rolex watch he bought with stolen campaign funds. People in a mental health crisis (of any sort) can’t recognize they need help, so it becomes a burden on the people around them to try to convince them to get the help. I don’t know why his wife abdicated her chance to force him into help instead of becoming a willing participant in the thefts.

        I can’t help but feel sad for most of their extended family, even as I recognize the need for the punishment  and laugh at J_o_h_n’s  orange jumpsuit comment below.   

        • Ray in VT

          It is very sad that some, if not many, people who have substantial mental health issues don’t even realize that they are sick.  It does go a long way towards explaining the actions of some.

          I also think that it’s sad when people take this sort of fall.  I look at these people who are sick or flawed and just wonder what they might have achieved.  For instance, I feel bad, in a way, for Richard Nixon.  The guy had some decent ideas and policy positions, but his own personal demons led him down a destructive path.  It’s easy to see in some of the creative fields as well.  Just look at all of the artists and musicians who have destroyed themselves due to their own personal shortcomings.

          • JGC

            I am really excited about Obama getting on board with  BAM  (Brain Activity Mapping). Maybe when there is more physical evidence for some of the mental disorders, that will permit earlier detection and better treatment design. And less stigma, more support.  

        • Gregg Smith

          I want to agree with you because you describe a dynamic that certainly exists and is often ignored. The Sandy Hook inspired obsession with a useless ban on assault rifles is but one example.

          Perhaps I’m skeptical to the point of cynicism but I question the validity of his mental problems. Getting caught and labeled as a thief does wonders for suddenly becoming mentally ill. I admit the accusation may be unfair but I’m not entirely convinced. If I’m correct, JJJ is making a mockery of those with very real problems.

          • JGC

            I find it very plausible that Jackson,Jr. has a mental disorder. Sometimes when people do crazy things, maybe it is because they are crazy. (I still don’t understand the implication of his wife’s actions; in fact, she should possibly be in more hot water than him.)

            And now I know exactly what to do if I see my husband come home with a pair of $8000 stuffed elk heads.

        • sickofthechit

           Bi-Polar is not like anything most of us  have ever experienced mental health-wise.  Until you or a loved one has gone through it, you just can’t imagine the twisted outcomes that can result.

          • JGC

            I have a cousin who married a lady who was belatedly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This was his first marriage and her third. She was “erratic” at times but beautiful and fun. He came home from a business trip to find she had totally emptied the house and the bank account, and she also demanded a divorce. Later, she repented and wanted to come back, but he said no. She went head-spinningly quickly to her fourth marriage. It was such crazy, self-inflicted damage, and for everyone around her, most especially the children she had with the various husbands, who also got dragged into new adventures as she was cresting in her high phases.

      • sickofthechit

         I am not surprised that members of congress can be bought, what surprises me is how cheaply they can be bought, while it winds up  costing us so friggin much!

    • William

       It is rare, but nice to see members of the political elite class go to jail.

    • Coastghost

      JJJr. won’t even be able to own the kind of shotgun “Shotgun Joe” Biden has enjoined upon us all? This IS a week of dire news!

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      I’m surprised that The Reverend Al Sharpton hasn’t played the race card yet and accused the judicial system of prejudice and bigotry.  He’s probably just waiting to make sure that his flamethrower has an ample supply of fuel before he fires it up.

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

       Good riddance to him from Congress, I guess.

      It is interesting how every Dem caught doing something is automatically
      promoted way out of their accomplishments and resume because the
      Foxholers have to equivocate the Wm Jeffersons (D-freezer money guy from
      LA) with the Newts and such.

      And Tom DeLay went to fekking prison. But Jackson Jr is as bad because
      Jackson Jr is, what, the 60th most powerful Dem in the House?

      • Gregg Smith

        Jesse Jackson Jr. and William “freezer” Jefferson were both reelected after the scandals. What does that tell you about the electorate?

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

          You don’t want to play the game of “which crooked pol was reelected”. You will lose.

          And the embarassment of Todd Akin getting on the (R) ticket? Republicans condemning his statement falls distinctly into “little too little, little too late” category.

          The squabble is between all those wingnuts who primary what’s remaining of the normal GOP into extinction?

          That’s a “you” problem, right-winger and Tea-partier, not a “we” (Dems, moderates, actual journalists) issue. You made your bed, and now that not every Beltway Inbred is making excuses* for your kind isn’t our fault.

          (*”The energy belongs to the right wing, no matter how non-fact-based! They can take the enthusiasm but pare away the homophobia, racism and misogyny for a new tomorrow!”–Jeff Greenfield, and countless others.)

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

            So you consider yourself a moderate?

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

            Read my post again.

            I believe I wrote plainly enough to put myself in the “everyone who is not a self-professed right-winger”, which encompass several distinct groups, including the people who report on and edit our news, and to distinguish that the RW’s concerns are something that the press corps should be covering, not making excuses for.

          • Gregg Smith

            Todd Aiken was not elected, he was shunned immediately after the comment. Republicans don’t accuse Democrats of thinking Guam will capsize. I don’t think they reelect many felons either.

            Marco Rubio was too conservative to win so the establishment endorsed Crist who is now a Democrat. McCain and Romney were both centrist and they lost. Thanks, but no thanks for the advise.

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

            Keep thinking that! I hate to let the secret out, but whenever the right thinks “A real conservative woulda done better”…I’ve done my job.

            PS Whatever you want to believe about McCain, and his crazy idea for VP, I can’t talk you out of.

          • Gregg Smith

            I love Sarah Palin, sue me.

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

            Anyone who’ll say that about themselves in public is insulting their own judgment and political acumen more than I could.

          • Gregg Smith

            Back atcha’.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            “which crooked pol was reelected”

            All of them?

      • sickofthechit

         Tom DeLay should still be in prison.

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

    Our current level of spending is unsustainable.  Spending will decrease, either voluntarily or involuntarily.  The sequester is a reduction of less than 2 percent.  The current federal budget is $3,600 billion and the actual cuts would amount to $41 billion.  If we in the Tea Party had won complete control of the government, we would be implementing the cuts differently.  Frankly, we would cut more humanely, because living up to our responsibilities is a core value of the Tea Party Movement.  But we don’t.  There is not a majority of Representatives that subscribe to our principles in Congress.  In our government Congress can only appropriate funds; it doesn’t run the departments and agencies that spend the money.  Our Constitution grants that power and that responsibility to the executive branch alone.  If the Obama administration’s response to a 2 percent cut is really to let all the criminals out of the jails and end food-safety inspections, then it is no longer disputable he values political gain above the welfare of the citizens of our nation.

    • J__o__h__n

      Living up to responsibilities is not a core value of the so called tea party movement or they wouldn’t vote against raising the debt ceiling to pay for money that has already been spent. 

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

        Thank you for reading my comment.

        • JGC

          Story from Bill Cornwell of Florida Weekly, about his first meeting (job interview) with Eugene C. Patterson, editor of the St. Petersburg Times, and a “lion of American journalism”:

          ‘Everything I know about writing a newspaper column I learned in one afternoon late in the fall of 1978 from Eugene C. Patterson…As we sat in his office (the last and most intimidating stop in the process of nailing down a job at his newspaper) and discussed this and that, I informed Gene that I felt as if I knew him, although we had never met.

          “How so?”

          “I grew up in Atlanta,” I explained, ” and I  recall many mornings when my father slammed the paper down on the breakfast table and said, ‘Man, that Eugene Patterson is one Grade A son of a bitch!”

          Gene’s hand flew heavenward as he roared with delight. 

          “Well, at least your dad read me,” he said after the laughter had subsided.  “That’s what counts.” ‘

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

        Why?

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

        That’s how they roll.

        Your link is a very short trip from the CDC’s “zombie statement”.

        To wit: Enough idjits following enough low-information “advocacy media”, and then the CDC–those actual doctors who have flu and other things to worry about–have to countermand the idiocy by making an official statement that zombies aren’t coming to eat everyone’s brains.

      • Steve__T

         I don’t know how he got the job of chairman, since his statements show he never got out of third grade. Meteors don’t exist, Dinosaurs aren’t real? Really?  No wonder we can’t get $hit done.

    • Gregg Smith

      I went to a couple of Tea Party rallies in 2010. I think it is one of the best examples of a true grass roots movement fizzed up out of discontent with politicians of both parties. The reason, IMO, for the unprecedented success is the simplicity of the message: Smaller government, less spending and more freedom. For that reason many people with diverse opinions on a host of social issues found common ground. I think it’s sad they have been so maligned but that’s the way today’s Democrats roll. It’s not enough to debate the merits. The politics of personal destruction rules the day. 

      As a card carrying organizer, what is your feel for where the movement stands now? I get the feeling they (we) are still shell-shocked by the election. I myself am devastated by the result. I’m afraid it’s too late to stop the devastation ahead. People voted for more of it and that makes me want to curl up in the fetal position and cry. Are they really that stupid or don’t they care? I’m lost and don’t know how much fight I have left. It’s awful. Through all of that I still understand nothing good can come from my current attitude. I’ve always refused to allow anything in Washington to dictate my approach to life but they are in my face. I’m tired.

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

        My first thought is: “We get cards?”

        I have spoken to many people that have expressed the same feeling that you have.  We are all emotionally invested in this struggle.  People get involved because they care.  That is both good and bad.  Sometimes it spurs us to action.  Sometimes our passion gets the better of us.  At other times it can seem hopeless.  Only you can decide what you will do.  I don’t believe that we have America is a lost cause.  I believe that all the problems we face are of our own making and therefore we can fix them.  I believe that we can do better.  I believe in the American form of government.  I believe in the American people.   So I believe all we need to do is communicate better.  It seems as simple to me as when the coach told me the first rule of baseball, “Swing as hard as you can, and if you hit the ball, run as fast as you can to first base.”  

        • Gregg Smith

          Thanks RWB. I’m not so sure that all we need to do is communicate better. I thought we made a good case. I thought we went over the head of the MSM. Maybe we need to communicate differently but I don’t know how. I certainly don’t want to employ the tactics of the left but it works. I guess that’s the rub. 

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defeated but I’m not hopeful either. I’m glad you’re out there.

      • sickofthechit

         The tea party wouldn’t be able to buy enough tea  to make a teapot full if it hadn’t been for the Koch Bros. support.  Who paid for all their buses? all their rallies?  Follow the money. I think your starry-eyed remembrance is a little false.  Here in Kentucky we had a tea party supporter of Rand Paul step on  a woman’s head who had fallen to the ground as Randy arrived for his debate with Jack Conway at the local Educational TV Station offices here in Lexington.  Randy never spoke out against what the guy had done.  I guess that is more of the “self-reliance” attitude so highly touted by the t-pers.

        • Gregg Smith

          “It’s not enough to debate the merits. The politics of personal destruction rules the day.” -Myself

      • sickofthechit

        Gregg Smith, Your call for smaller government, less spending, and more freedom brings to mind what happens when that occurs.  Smaller gov. to me means less health inspectors, less security personnel at airports, less border and harbor security, less national security.  Less spending means inadequately funded programs, national parks that close down in mid-season, less benefits for veterans, lower benefits for seniors, Social Security Benefits at risk in the stock market.  More freedom translates to less regulation of dangerous industries.  Ones that pollute our streams, our air, our land.

        When are CONSERVATIVES going to learn that the root of Conservative is “CONSERVE”, as in Conserve our natural resources, save something for future generations of our clean air , clean water, clean land.  It really isn’t that hard to figure out, that if we continue exploiting our natural resources as we have been these last 50, then 20 then 10 years we will run out of safe places to live, safe water to drink and safe air to breath long before our national debt sinks us. charles A. Bowsher

        • Gregg Smith

          It’s a matter of priorities. It’s a matter of structuring. We can have our cake and eat it too. Smaller government does not mean rancid meat and no national parks. It’s an emotional diversion.

          For one example look at the results of the San Francisco Airport. The privatized security and are safer, more efficient and no one complains about delays.

          • nj_v2

            Greggg takes an anecdotal example and implies that it can be extrapolated.

            Generally, government services are more efficient than privatized ones.

            What else would Greggg privatize? Roads? Water? Police? Fire protection? Food safety? Aviation? Broadcast media? Motor vehicle standards? 

          • Gregg Smith

            Did you mean to say broadcast media?

          • notafeminista

            The government is a monopoly.

          • nj_v2

            Really, that’s the best you can manage?

          • notafeminista

            Do you disagree?

    • nj_v2

      Except that the sequester wasn’t Obama’s invention. It’s telling how often the Baggers weave misinformation into their arguments.

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

        No he didn’t invent the sequester.  But he did propose this one and signed it into law.  It is telling that you are attempting to obscure that fact.  It is also telling that you fully embrace innuendo and personal attacks instead of addressing the arguments I put forward in my posting.  (Baggers? Funny, why does he think I work in a supermarket?)  

        • NewtonWhale

          Paul Ryan took credit for the sequester:

          “What conservatives like me have been fighting for, for years are statutory caps on spending, legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money. And if they breach that amount across the board, sequester comes in to cut that spending and you can’t turn that off without a supermajority vote. We got that in law. That is here.” 

          http://aattp.org/sniveling-liar-paul-ryan-gets-stomped-on-sequester-hypocrisy-video/

        • nj_v2

          There could actually be some common ground between people who recognize government waste, fraud, inefficiency, etc. and the Tea Baggers if only they weren’t so blatantly simplistic, and, so often, racist, ignorant, and regressive.

          As for the simplistic part, just look at Greggg’s nearby post: “Smaller government, less spending and more freedom.”

          “Smaller government…more freedom” Sounds wonderful, but it’s meaningless. Smaller how? What do you want to cut?

          The Baggers in Congress want to hack at social programs, Medicare, etc. but i never hear them talking about corporate subsidies, making corporations and the rich pay fair share of taxes, etc. Except for gun ownership, i never hear them talk about civil rights.

          Ron Paul sums it up well for me. I agreed with much of his stance on U.S. military intervention and foreign occupation, somewhat on the bloated size of some agencies, but he “wasn’t sure” that climate change was anthropogenic, or that evolution was a settled matter. Plus the long history of racist material published in a newsletter with his name of it.

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

            There could actually be some common ground between Tea Party members who are working to preserve our freedoms, defend the constitution, expand our economy and strengthen our nation and some of those people who listen to NPR if only they weren’t so blatantly simplistic, and, so often, racist, ignorant, and regressive.

            I’m not thinking you and I are going to star in a buddy movie anytime soon.

          • nj_v2

            I like the way you stop short of addressing any of the substantive points i asked about.

            And you wonder why some people don’t take the TPers seriously.

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

            I don’t expect you to take me seriously.  I see that as one of your short comings.  

          • nj_v2

            Serious ideas i take seriously. Try it sometime.

        • nj_v2

          Okay, fine, Obama staff proposed it, and the House Republicans approved it. 

          Now what?

          The entire leadership is corrupt and duplicitous and works for Wall Street and the elite. Why are you intent on making it partisan?

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

            If you agree that there is plenty of blame to go around.  And that both parties are corrupt and duplicitous.  Then we have only to discuss how to remove them from power as effectively as possible.  
            I am not sure I understand how you see me as making it partisan.  I am a partisan yes. I post here as a member of the Tea Party movement.  But if you are conflating that with being of either political party then you are mistaken.   This is not a zero sum game. There are not just red and blue checkers on this board. 

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

    When it comes to reporting on the Middle East, particularly Syria,  I thought the BBC were extremely excessive in their propaganda and slanted reporting,  but Deborah Amos of NPR is just as bad. The validity of her reporting is insulting to people of even moderate intelligence.

    After the carnage brought to Iraq, Afghanistan and Lybia, the people in the USA should realize by now, the death, pain and suffering that their country, along with the UK, Israel and now France, is instigating and supporting in Syria.   Backing the Al CIAda in Syria while supposedly chasing them in Mali.  What a joke.

    I wonder how people like Deborah Amos can sleep at night.

  • Jasoturner

    This would be a great Friday to do two hours of news analysis and skip the arts segment.  We’re talking sequester and Chinese infiltration of US computers among other things, and then we’re supposed to segue to the Oscars.

    Really, On Point?  Really?

    • Coastghost

      Arts segment? “Arts segment”? Oh, you mean the second hour devoted to the Oscars. Oh, that.

    • nj_v2

      Agreed. Should probably be SOP. One hour for the headlines, one for under- or un-reported stuff.

    • JohanCorby

      They are produced as two separate episodes since some affiliates only air one hour.

  • Coastghost

    For any who missed it in yesterday’s second hour: if Wikipedia is to be trusted (cf. their article: “Income tax in the United States”), Ape Lincoln’s Administration indeed imposed a personal income tax on US citizens:

    “In order to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War, Congress imposed its first personal income tax in 1861.[35] It was part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800).[36] This tax was repealed and replaced by another income tax in 1862.[37]“

  • JGC

    The Oscar Pistorius case is looking more O.J. everyday. The bloody cricket bat instead of the bloody glove. Inept police investigation and prosecution mistakes. All that is missing are the size 12 Bruno Magli prosthetic legs.

  • toc1234

    if you have time, perhaps touch on the hypocrisy of Obama’s nomination of Jack “I know nothing” Lew for Treasury?  oh, what’s that, Tom?  no time for that today?  or any day? 

    “Investor in Cayman Islands tax haven? Check. Recipient of a bonus and corporate jet rides underwritten by taxpayers at a bailed-out bank? Check. Executive at a university that accepted student-loan “kickbacks” for steering kids toward a favored bank? Check. Excessive compensation with minimal disclosure? Check.”  wsj today

  • sickofthechit

    SEQUESTER
    Stupid Egotistical Queer-eyed Useless Egomaniacs Shite Technique Erasing Recovery.  Charles A. Bowsher

    • Gregg Smith

      -0.1% GDP. What recovery?

      • jefe68

        Yeah, and laying off up to 700,000 people will help with that.

        • Gregg Smith

          It’s a lie.

      • sickofthechit

         Patience, there may yet be a restatement….

        • Gregg Smith

          What policy do you pin your hopes on?

      • nj_v2

        More pathetic weaselry from Greggg.

        • Gregg Smith

          Thanks.

          • nj_v2

            I thought your standard deflection when you lost a factual argument or got called out on your horse excrement was “all right, then” or “allrighty” or something like that.

          • Gregg Smith

            I was thanking you for proving my point. Do you call that a recovery?

    • William

       Minor cuts that are actually allow greater investments in education, medical research, 1st responders.

  • sickofthechit

    Everyone keeps talking about how we need a smarter “Grid”.  I can’t help wondering with the power and sheer force the Chinese and others seem to be able to bring to the Cyber Battle whether we wouldn’t be better served to “dumn down” parts of it so that it still requires some manual operations, some personal oversight as it were.  Remember three or four years ago when millions were without power because some switch or sensor didn’t operate properly? 

    Its just like how I am against allowing the telecommunications companies to quit maintaining their copper network.  The more we centralize (think cell towers) the more vulnerable our communication network becomes.  Risk Management needs to operate on several levels, and have several backup systems to assure continuity of operations. charles a. bowsher

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

      I would like to see more decentralization.  It would seem ideal to have multiple styles of communication.  And hardening the infrastructure against another Carrington Event.

    • DeJay79

       Computing good, networking bad. ah-la Battle Star Galatica

  • Ben Cornforth

    Just a quick update for people: while the thought of Chinese Hacking is important, do not make the failed assumption that ALL corporate or government hacking is from China – Eastern Europe and South America also have interested parties, and would gladly like us to believe that China is the sole hack attacker

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

    Just like the fiscal cliff, the sequester is getting a lot of hype. And just like the fiscal cliff it will likely all be changed/postponed with 2 quick votes and a signature at the last minute.

    It’s just what happens when those in charge of playing the game are also the ones in charge of making the rules.

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

    Truth be told, the greatest contributions and the hardest work ever done in US history, to this very day, was performed by people with foreign accents.

    Therefore it is very curious indeed, that the 7th, 8th, 9th, etc. generations of unhyphenated Americans in particularly the southern states are most violently opposed to immigration.  One has but to note the lack of progress in their respective states to  understand the innate abilities of the real authentic “merkins” BTW “”Killen injuns” [sic] doesnt count as real work.

    • William

      Most legal residents are opposed to illegal immigration.

      • MrWakiki

        ‘most’? Not sure what that means. But if you say legal residents want to clean up how we are doing immigration now, I would agree. There is something that is corrupt when a government doesn’t go after businesses that hire illegals and a government that taxes illegal aliens (i.e. profiting from this group)

        • William

          “Most” means the majority. Cleaning it up means allow legal immigration and bar illegals.

          • Doop1969

            My guess is most is your guess, which might be right..

            What do you say about the guy (congressman) who needs a country to bar illegals, but hires an illegal maid?

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

            I think that’s telling, but doesn’t go far enough.

            A congresscritter could surely hire a maid with a green card or a citizen or someone legit.

            But there are great swaths of industrial agriculture where disposable workers go in healthy, get injured, and are fired. No unions, no OSHA, a quiet labor force who doesn’t ask a lot of questions because of their iffy status.

            It keeps down costs, and makes it a miserable job to have for anyone with options.

            The result is, what once was lucky happenstance which lowered the costs at a slaughterhouse or during harvesttime is now part of the business plan, and until that’s addressed there won’t be any headway.

        • Steve__T

           Businesses and individuals, but then half of congress would be in jail.

      • hennorama

        William – you likely mean either “legal IMMIGRANTS” or “legal resident ALIENS.”  These persons are commonly referred to as “Green Card holders” despite the fact that US Permanent Resident Cards are no longer green.  They’re now more of a yellowish white, like this:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GC_Altered.JPG

        In contrast, the term “legal resident” includes US citizens as well as resident aliens who have legal immigrant status.  For Federal tax purposes, even a non-resident alien is a lawful permanent US resident if they have permanent legal immigrant status.

        An alien is any person who is not a United States citizen.  In other words, a foreign-born resident who has not been naturalized and is still a subject or citizen of a foreign country.

    • hennorama

      Paolo Caruso – I generally peruse the older Week In The News OP comments on Saturdays, and nearly spewed my coffee onto the screen in front of me when I read your post, based on your use of the term “merkins.”  Your intended meaning is a colloquially slurred “Americans.”

      The reason I nearly did a spit take was that the word “merkin” has the following definition, per M-W.com:

      “Definition of MERKIN

      1 obs : the hair of the female genitalia
      2: false hair for the female genitalia”

      Don’t ask me how I knew this – I just knew.  It’s one of those “Inside Hollywood” terms.

  • William

    Tom, That is a very Liberal Democrat Jessie Jackson Jr. going to jail.

  • OnpointListener

    From thinkprogress.org:
    “Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major corporations were able to pay no federal corporate income tax, despite making a combined $205 billion in profits. According to a new report from Citizens for Tax Justice, Facebook joined that illustrious club last year, receiving $429 million in tax rebates …”
    Corporate loopholes and preferential tax treatment on certain types of income account for an historical decline in revenues.
    Where were the Republicans during the 3 Trillion dollar siphoning of US Treasure during the two Bush wars?

  • toc1234

    people will believe Obama b/c Tom, Jack and their ilk in the media will give him cover.

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

    “I don’t know that Bowles and Simpson are going to define where this thing goes.”

    Hey, until someone inside the Beltway ignores them, and stops slobbering over their “rockstarness”, they will. Can we get an economist on this show to ask about, say how the new SB plan asks for much more spending cuts than their old one and less revenues?

  • MrWakiki

    one more time… the country is not a household… if it is, where is my Earmark to build a new driveway!!??!

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

      What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.

      http://www.adamsmith.org/quote

      • Doop1969

        You need a new link that one doesn’t work.

        Are you saying you believe that the way people run their home, is how government should be run.

        Does that mean I need to start researching the cure for cancer? Seems like that is a good endeavor for the U.S. but not John Q. Public

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

          Does that link work better? 

          In principle, Yes a government needs to conform to economic reality the same way that every family does.  If you spend more than you take in you are heading towards bankruptcy.  If you promise more than you can deliver no one will have confidence in you.  

          I definitely shouldn’t try to cure cancer anymore than I should try to raise all my own wheat so I could bake all my own bread. 

          • Doop1969

            So the poor families in your country receive aid from you so they don’t attack… I am sure you have your own Military so I won’t ask about that… do you regulate the meat produced in your town, or do you depend on someone else…?

            I don’t see a link in this post…

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

            I must be missing the joke.  Sorry.

              The Wealth Of Nations, Book IV Chapter II, pp. 456-7, paras. 11-12.

          • Mike_Card

            There we go–nothing beats a quote from the 19th century.  How ’bout Dickens?

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

            IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

            A Tale of Two Cities1859Charles Dickens(As you request)

    • hennorama

      MrWakiki – the propaganda point “Every household balances its budget so why can’t the government do it” is effective because it has a RING of truth.

      That’s the best sort of propaganda – untrue but relatable to “the folks” (Bill O’Reilly’s fond yet vaguely dismissive term for the American general public).

      Not only does the US government operate differently and have different needs and aims compared to a family/household, it has an indefinite lifespan, taxing powers, power to issue the currency we use, and can require taxes be paid with said currency.  Show me a household that can do all of that, and then we will compare them.

      This is my “go to” site to refute this nonsense:

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/02/wray-the-federal-budget-is-not-like-a-household-budget-%E2%80%93-here%E2%80%99s-why.html

      And Jon Stewart has a rather hilarious take on the topic.  The entire clip is worth viewing (check out “Dad’s car” at 4:07, for instance), but if pressed for time, one might start at about 1:34:

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-june-2-2011/cantor-won-t-

      Then there’s a forbes.com contributor’s take on the topic:  “How to Destroy the US Economy? Balance the Budget”

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntharvey/2011/06/05/how-to-destroy-the-us-economy/

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.reilly.311 Ken Reilly

    Next time you get someone from CNN, please get Soledad O’Brien!

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

      A moment of silence for “CN (Hey, didn’t you used to matter?) N”.

  • MrNutso

    Jack,  the President has proposed a compromise.  Republicans have not.  They claim they have voted on an alternate proposal, but that was in the last congress, and no longer exists.

    • MrWakiki

      One thing that is the most frustrating… when a politician says something that isn’t true… why doesn’t the media call him or her out?

  • MrWakiki

    Yes! the thing that is out of control is not taxes or revenues — it is healthcare costs that is driving the other two

  • Michiganjf

    Is anyone really going to take Republicans seriously about debt??!!!!

    They say what they most want addressed in the long-term is exploding healthcare costs, but they made the ONLY real remedy impossible for Obama and the Dems to pursue: 

    A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM!!!

    Republicans are full of bluster and opposition, but don’t offer or back a single idea that would truly remedy ANYTHING!!

    We really need these CLOWNS out of office!

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    If the economy tanks and the economists are proved right, the right will pay dearly, and deservedly so. The American Taliban are clearly willing to do anything to protect their warlords’ interests. If the economy shrinks, in 2016 we’ll see the Republican party have a near-death experience, as clearly, the only thing that trickles down is pain.

  • clodene

    Seriously, Alan Simpson really has no credibility.  I cannot understand why media keep going to his statements.

    I am always amazed that Simpson always refers to
    those who get Social Security in such derogative terms. We are special
    and great while we are working. However, when we start to claim what we
    were promised for paying our taxes and working so hard throughout our
    lives, we are creepy, selfish, thieves – stealing from our children and
    grandchildren. What kind of society would we have if each generation
    only thought of themselves. I don’t know about Alan, but I spent a lot
    of time caring for my children, parents and other family members. And
    guess what! I did it without charging them. Get off the porch Alan and
    think about all the free labor so many of us have given to this
    country. That is truly our strength and our heart. Give us some
    dignity if you cannot give us respect. Oh and that stealing from our
    children and grandchildren line: put that to bed too. We need our
    promised benefits to not burden our children since the Wall Street, the
    war makers, and the crying Free Marketeers have pretty much already done
    it all.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/H2OXD7NTOLDJZWZMM2DG6W6LC4 CBSSportscom

    Re: the debate on government spending cuts, OnPoint needs to do a whole show on the problems with fiscal accountability in the Department of Defense. The GAO recently released a report stating that the DoD has pushed back its target date to be audited to 2017. This is insane yet no one is reporting on it or pressing the issue. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2H5EOEFLYEBAJLVY2ZSPWP7YKE JB

    I would like someone to please point out that the Republicans keep saying that Obama is asking for another “tax increase.” But Obama is asking for the closing of tax loopholes. By definition a tax loophole was never intended as a tax cut or tax break to begin with, so it’s very misleading (really, a lie) for Republicans to describe it as a “tax increase.” Why is no one – the media, or even Obama – pointing that out?

    • Gregg Smith

      A loophole is the tax code, it’s the law. Closing them is a tax increase.

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

        Facebook got a pretty sweet tax deal this week. If making them pay some taxes gets called a “tax increase”…

      • sickofthechit

        No Gregg, it is simply the closure of a loophole which results in increased revenue, not higher taxes.  Just like letting the Temporary Bush tax cuts expire was not a tax increase.  They were supposed to last only ten years, that is why the Dems agreed to them. remember?

        • Gregg Smith

          Obama extended them because Democrats would not let them expire. Are you saying taxes would not have gone up?

        • nj_v2

          Greggg uses a special dictionary.

          • Gregg Smith

            The dictionary of common sense.

          • nj_v2

            Published in Greggg’s barn. Can only be used after brushing off the horse manure.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s common sense to brush off the horse manure. Really, it is.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Reminds me of the Tax Hike hoo-hah when we we’re facing a return to taxation levels in existence prior to temporary cuts.

    • Fredlinskip

      Closing loopholes increase taxes on those who directly finance political campaigns. It’s no wonder there is so much resistance to it.  The audacity of GOP is unbelievable- Prez and Dem Congressman are poised to negotiate huge spending cuts to programs that most Dems aren’t going to like-Yet they won’t do it, because they want to preserve loopholes?It boggles the mind.
      “Give me Liberty.. and a tax loophole… or give me Death”

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

    Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee has blamed everyone for not leading this – except himself.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Tom just said “We need someone to govern”

    They AREN’T governing now and they haven’t since the election in 2008. How would we be worse off if we turned the lights out in the House and Senate?

  • nj_v2

    Dimocrap regression, authoritarianism, and jackassery of the week:

    http://constitutionschool.com/2012/10/02/big-news-obama-waives-bush-law-banning-child-soldiers/#.URE3rQLLUqY.facebook

    Big News: Obama Waives Bush Law Banning Child Soldiers

    Here’s a headline we’ll guarantee you simply won’t find in the mainstream media –

    On October 3, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law “Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008,” a law that made it a federal crime to recruit or use soldiers under the age of 15. The law also gave the United States authority to “prosecute, deport or deny entry to individuals who have knowingly recruited children as soldiers.”

    …Over the weekend, while most Americans were too busy spending time with their children and keeping up with the latest sporting events to worry about executive orders, President Obama removed the teeth from this law; effectively making it void in the nations most guilty.  The result - thousands of children throughout the Middle East and Africa may be drafted into foreign militaries, with the full blessings of the United States.

    Sunday afternoon, President Obama signed a Presidential memorandum, stating the following:

    “I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA [Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008] with respect to Libya, South Sudan, and Yemen…  and the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of U.S. origin defense articles; and I hereby waive such provisions accordingly.”
    (excerpts)

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-white-conflicts-20130218,0,3774685.story

    Mary Jo White could face conflicts of interest as SEC chairwoman

    NEW YORK — As a lawyer in private practice, Mary Jo White worked for Wall Street all-stars: banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co., auditor Deloitte & Touche, former Bank of America Corp. chief Ken Lewis.

    White, President Obama’s pick to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, even did legal work for former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director Rajat Gupta, the highest-profile catch in the federal government’s crackdown on insider trading, according to disclosures White filed ahead of her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.

    If she wins approval to lead the country’s top financial watchdog, government ethics rules could force White to sit out of some SEC decisions. Potential conflicts of interest — or the appearances of conflicts — could arise from her work at the high-powered New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, and that of her husband John White, a partner at the prestigious firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/02/20/during_huge_climate_rally_obama_golfed_with_oil_giants/
    Obama golfed with oil giants during climate rally

    While 40,000 plus protesters descended on D.C. to pressure the president on climate change, he was with oil men

    [O]n his first “guys weekend” away since he was reelected, the president chose to spend his free time with Jim Crane and Milton Carroll, leading figures in the Texas oil and gas industry, along with other men who run companies that deal in the same kinds of carbon-based services that Keystone would enlarge. They hit the links at the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club, which is owned by Crane and located on the Treasure Coast in Palm City, Fla.

    (excerpt)

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

      Always fun to read Republicans slamming Obama for behaving like a Republican.

      • MrWakiki

        This is true — on both accounts.

        GOP making fun of a guy acting like a republican

        and

        I didn’t vote for a guy to act like a republican

        • nj_v2

          I didn’t vote for the guy acting like a Republican.

          • Doop1969

            did you vote for the guy who was pretending to be a moderate… actually I don’t know what Mitt was pretending to be, since he changed his position so many times

          • nj_v2

            That would be a “no.”

            Anderson/Rodriguez

          • Doop1969

            Good, walking the walk of your talk.

          • nj_v2

            Thanks. Given the current political affairs, third (and fourth, and fifth…) parties are mostly symbolic.

            Not sure what it’s going to take before people wake up to the fact that both parties—or, more accurately, the two wings of the Corporatist/Oligarch Party—aren’t serving their needs and interests.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    “I’m sorry I let em’ down”

    We accept your apology Jesse Junior, now go directly to jail.
    Do not pass GO, do not spend $200K on defense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745185020 Cory Heaton

    When I was in college a professor told me he thought perhaps the republicans were running up the debt during the Bush Administration on purpose. He thought maybe in the future when the democrats were back in the white house they could then use the debt they created against them.
    That seems pretty cynical, but at least now from my view now maybe that was there plan.

    • William

       So, what is Obama/Democrats reason to run up the debt now?

      • MrNutso

        Where’s the data on Obama/Democrats running up the debt compared to Bush/Republicans?

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

        Someone want to introduce William to the term “business cycle”? And its effect on tax receipts?

      • Kathy

        No, we need cuts. I think a 50% shave to the military budget would be a good start. We also need taxes. Perhaps some new brackets at 1 million and 100 million.

        • Gregg Smith

          Warren Buffet suggested $400 million.

      • sickofthechit

        As they say in “Guts” (a card game)
         Never Cheaper!

      • hennorama

        William – you do understand that BOTH Federal Revenues declined AND Federal Spending went up due to the Great Recession (GR), right?  Here’s the answer to your question about “run[ning] up the debt” – to parphrase James Carville – “it’s the Great Recession, stupid.”

        Here are some cumulative numbers, compared to FY 2007 levels (the last pre-Great Recession FY).

        Federal Revenue has fallen a cumulative $1.2762 Trillion during FYs 2008 through 2012.  Net New Spending (NNS) in the 5 year period was $3.7116 Trillion.  95% of the spending increase went to 5 broad Categories:

        The reduced Federal Revenue is highly associated with the Great Recession.  Fewer people were working, business profits dropped, and significant tax credits, rebates, reductions, etc. were part of the initial stimulus and later fiscal stimuli.

        4 of the 5 Federal Spending categories below had significant increased spending due to the Great Recession’s effects and aftereffects.  DEFENSE is the lone exception.

        1. DEFENSE added $888.5 Billion, 23.9% of NNS.

        To get a grip on this number, the added DEFENSE Spending would pay for 4 years of college costs for 12.25 million students.  That’s close to the number of current female college and university students in the US.

        Alternatively, you could have paid off the entire negative equity of all underwater US mortgages ($691 B) and have $197.5 Billion left over, enough to pay for all Federal Law Enforcement, Courts, Prisons, Transportation and General Government activities in 2012.

        2.  WELFARE was up $854.0 Billion, 23.0% of NNS.  This is the part of NNS most directly related to the Great Recession.

        Included are Food and nutrition assistance, Unemployment compensation, Retirement and disability insurance (excluding social security), Housing assistance, and Other income security.  Unemployment ($382.0 B), Food and nutrition ($179.1 B), and Housing ($66.7 B) together accounted for about three quarters of the increase.

        3. HEALTH CARE added $751.8 Billion, 20.3% of NNS.  Medicare accounted for 49% of the increase.  This is a result of demographics and higher costs for health care.  Payment to vendors, mostly to the states for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs, were also about 49% of the increase.  Nearly all of this 49% is related to the Great Recession.

        4. PENSIONS increased $593.6 Billion, 16.0% of NNS.  99% of this is from Social Security.  This is principally due to demographics, with Baby Boomers starting to retire en masse.  However, part of this increase is due to a significantly higher than normal percentage of people opting for “early” SS benefits.  Much of this is due to older persons losing their jobs and being unable to find gainful employment during and after the GR.

        5. OTHER SPENDING added $447.0 Billion, 12.0% of NNS.  This catchall Category includes several items that are “NEC” – Not Elsewhere Categorized.  A large part of this is Stimulus-related, and the net increase accounts for repayment of some Stimulus items.  This is a highly variable Category, with Spending ranging from $71 B in FY 2007 to $377.1 B in FY 2009, at the peak of the Stimulus.

        For sources and more, see my previous comprehensive post on this topic:

        http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/01/04/week-in-the-news-cliff-deal-sandy-relief-hillarys-health#comment-757928646

    • Kathy

      Well, they pretty much said that’s exactly what they were trying to do so it’s not really that farfetched.

    • Fredlinskip

      Which seems exactly the same reasoning behind them choosing not to compromise on “Obamaquester”, which they (GOP) voted for in droves.

  • MrNutso

    Laura, you hit the nail on the head.  If Boehner does the right thing, he’s out of a job.

  • nj_v2

    Hartmann on the old cranks Simpson-Bowles catfooders. Sums it up pretty well. ~ 9-minute video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&list=UUbjBOso0vpWgDht9dPIVwhQ&v=QLY14Lol4Ws

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 – gotta love “The Cat Food Plan” meme.  Very effective.

  • MrWakiki

    Sequestration Idea:How about if you can’t come up with some solutions, you retire as a politician.

    • MrNutso

      I have been advocating for 1 term term limits.  You don’t have to worry about the next election so you can do the right thing.  And if you don’t do the right thing, you can be replaced with some one who will.

      • J__o__h__n

        Or you can govern recklessly as you are not accountable to the voters again. 

        • MrNutso

          They do that now, and thanks to gerrrymandering will only suffer if they go against party orthodoxy.  At least limiting to one term limits their damage.

      • Doop1969

        I think there are some things that take more than one term… that is I don’t know if that is the solution.

        Maybe what should happen is your first term you are elected by your local constituent, but the second term by larger area… That is — everyone hates congress, but likes their congressman

        • MrNutso

          That is true.  However, what are all the congressional staffers for?  I am an engineering consultant for local governments.  We provide information and recommendations in conjunction with the staff, and the elected/appointed officials vote on what to do.

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

            Staffers often stay longer than congresscritters. “Throwing the bums out” doesn’t mean “sweeping clean” often. A n00b needs someone there who “knows the ropes”.

          • Steve__T

             And where the bathrooms are.

          • Doop1969

            First — Thank you. It is good officials don’t shot from the lip, but go for information.

            I have looked at the budget of a New York Representative and there is hundreds, if not 1,000, items like to you that people don’t realize adds to the cost of government.

            Cutting government probably means some of these are cut, which means decisions on replacing bridges will be made without consulting engineers.

            Kind of scary

        • Doop1969

          My point is that congress governs our country, but only have to please 10,000 people in their district.

          Like Newt wanted to cut government spending, but his district was the top earmark receiver… 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/4V552UIAJVDHXWGWUC7PK6LNDM Bill

        See my comment on sequestration solution near the top of the hour

  • NewtonWhale

    Since he lost his evening show, John King has abandoned any semblance of neutrality. He now simply spews Republican talking points. He attacks Obama when he doesn’t put out a proposal, then attacks him when he does. He also spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to blame Obama for the sequester, when it passed both houses before the President signed it. 

  • MrNutso

    Question, what jobs are those who came illegally doing vs. those who went through the system.  Are your Egyptian friends working in landscaping or as itinerant farm workers?

  • toc1234

    Biden – classic liberal… you don’t need this, you don’t need that.  I’ll tell you what you need. 

    • DeJay79

       but he makes a good point, do you need an AR15? Can you give me a good reason other than to kill lots of people?

      • Coastghost

        No one NEEDS to indulge in simple target-shooting. But target-shooting is recreational for many if not most gun owners. Joe Biden’s shotguns can well kill more than one person with one blast, in case you have serious doubts.

        • DeJay79

           so according to you Biden was right You don’t Need an AR15.

          • Coastghost

            Provisionally: but do you and our esteemed VP propose to outlaw target-shooting? What restrictions on target-shooting do you want to impose on gun owners?

          • nj_v2

            Motor vehicles are more regulated than guns. What’s the point of your sophistry?

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

            I’m not saying that Coastghost wants to “catch” a left winger “not denying the desire to outlaw target shooting”.

            But I’m certainly thinking it.

          • DeJay79

             I think the restrictions are clear. Target shooting fine (I’ve done it myself many times) but not with military grade assault rifles, which aren’t good for target shooting anyway.

            as to the rest of your point when multiple events happen where someone kills dozens of people with military grade TV sets, computers, cell phones, et cetra and there is an option for people to still own a TV that is not military grade then I would consider restricting those also.

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

          Biden was talking about defending one’s home.

          There’s a lot of sense I’ve heard behind “shotgun” being the thing, mostly because everyone who thinks their aim, decision-making and adrenaline will be at optimal levels should they have to confront a stranger in their home is based on little more than watching shootouts on cop shows and in the movies.

          Cops, trained to the nth degree on the range, and the course where they have to shoot at the cardboard popup cutout of the guy with the mask and burlap sack with $, but not at the crossing guard, must be near the top of the distribution curve when it comes to reacting in that kind of situation, and they make mistakes at a fair rate.

          But ordinary folks think they can do better.

        • Mike_Card

          Well, sure.  But what about MY need for recreational RPGs and shoulder-mounted stingers and Abrams tanks?  I’m not dangerous, I just think those are arms I’m constitutionally-entitled to bear.

          And don’t pull out that “slippery slope” argument.  I’m only going to use them for recreational fun around red state voting booths.  People die in recreational vehicles–RVs–every day, after all.

          • Coastghost

            Speak with your Congressional Representative and/or Senator(s) about the Army surplus items you need, would be my advice.

          • JGC

            I am sure I would feel extra safe if I  lived in your neighborhood.   ;)

          • Mike_Card

            Ha!  Only if you didn’t get in the field of fire while I was “recreating!”  But I’m not in Kentucky, so maybe you could.

  • ten4nis

    If people are given US citizenship they are not required to bring proof they gave up their other citizenship. Why does America allow dual- and tri- citizenships? Maybe if other countries allow it for expats it would make sense (quid quo…). 

    • JGC

      As a person with dual citizenship, I am going to guess that they don’t really care if a person has renounced any other citizenship, because, no matter what, all U.S. citizens owe the U.S. taxman for all worldwide income, even if they don’t live and work in the U.S.  

  • NewtonWhale

    Tom, what’s so funny about the fact that so many people want AR-15′s they can’t build them fast enough?

    I don’t think your listeners in Newtown, Connecticut were chuckling along with you.

    • MrNutso

      I think he was chuckling in amazement about the situation.

      • Doop1969

        I think when a crazy guy calls up, you either cry or laugh

      • NewtonWhale

        He could have used the time to ask the caller why he needs a weapon of war and who he plans on using it against.

        • Doop1969

          clay pigeons…

          I am sure that is a euphemism 

        • Gregg Smith

          It’s not an abstract, the data is in. The decade long ban on assault rifles did not affect gun violence.

          • NewtonWhale

            Yes, Gregg, it is. You just didn’t bother to cite it.
            Maybe that’s because it proves you’re wrong: 

            Data indicate drop in high-capacity magazines during federal gun ban

            During the 10-year federal ban on assault weapons, the percentage of firearms equipped with high-capacity magazines seized by police agencies in Virginia dropped, only to rise sharply once the restrictions were lifted in 2004, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

            In Virginia, The Post found that the rate at which police recovered firearms with high-capacity magazines — mostly handguns and, to a smaller extent, rifles — began to drop around 1998, four years into the ban. It hit a low of 9 percent of the total number of guns recovered the year the ban expired, 2004.

            The next year, the rate began to climb and continued to rise in subsequent years, reaching 20 percent in 2010, according to the analysis of a little-known Virginia database of guns recovered by police. In the period The Post studied, police in Virginia recovered more than 100,000 firearms, more than 14,000 of which had high-capacity magazines.

            “I was skeptical that the ban would be effective, and I was wrong,” said Garen Wintemute, head of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California at Davis School of Medicine. The database analysis offers “about as clear an example as we could ask for of evidence that the ban was working.

            ”http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/data-point-to-drop-in-high-capacity-magazines-during-federal-gun-ban/2013/01/10/d56d3bb6-4b91-11e2-a6a6-aabac85e8036_story.html

          • Gregg Smith

            As I said, it did not affect gun violence.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Please hurry up and get to the Chinese Cracking!

    Enough w/ pistorius!

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

      One more “like” for the guy who knows “hack” v. “crack”.

      Now excuse me while I go jailbreak my neighbor’s iPod.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        You hear about the Criminalization of Unlocking Locked Devices? It’s insane.

        “Okay, yes the device was designed and engineered by the manufacture to be unlocked for use with various carriers. YOU, however, will NOT use the device for it’s intended purposes or we will press charges…”.

        It’s great isn’t it? In addition to not actually OWNING a device you purchase, you can’t use it for purposes intended by the manufacturer.

        God Bless Corporate Protection.

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

          I’ll have to do it in my clean room, with my vinyl gloves on. It wouldn’t do for me to leave my DNA and fingerprints on it.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Don’t forget to physically disable the GPS in the service menu.

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

            Hey, my clean room is 600 feet below the earth’s surface and lined with a yard of lead. I’m safe.

            (As long as I haven’t said too much already.)

      • DrewInGeorgia

        You should have heard my little Blue Bird screaming this past week. China, Apple, BK, JEEP…I know it’s pointless but I can’t help myself, I get so sick of the mislabel.

  • ajilovec

    Regarding the effects of sequestration:  Have any members of Congress experienced first hand, a major re-organization, downsizing or other massive layoff in their industry? If so, they wouldn’t be quite so quick to embrace the notion of major across the board budget cuts. These cuts will result in mass confusion, loss of morale in the workforce, loss of leadership, and a complete shut-down of creative thinking, not to mention unfinished business, loss of momentum, and work currently underway sliding into oblivion. This is not the approach to re-build our economy so criminally shaken by many of the people some Republicans hold so dearly as a “protected class”; those on whom they refuse to impose increased taxes.

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

    Cyber issues – it all boils down to corporations wanting the government to pick up the tab for improving their security.

  • Doop1969

    Oh great, China steals our jobs, fix prices, work for low wages.

    Now they steal the one thing we have left — ideas

    • Kiep99

      US MGT & pols sent our jobs to China/Mexico/Vietnam/Bangladesh, etc.  via our tax code.

      • Doop1969

        not because those countries offer cheap labor? interesting how our realities differ

  • J__o__h__n

    Bill China for the value of what they have stolen and take it off what we owe them. 

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

      Simple and effective. On this we agree.  

  • toc1234

    Good lord, who writes that crap for Kerry??

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    I generally fall to the left of center but on the Amnesty issue, I go far right. Reagan “fixed” the problem when he granted amnesty to all those who had manged to hide for 5 years or more.

    Only nothing changed. We have twice as many “undocumented” people now than we did then.  And, frankly, this “political correctness” of calling them “undocumented” rather than “illegal” is nothing more than “word-smithing” to make the act of entering ILLEGALLY, or overstaying a visa ILLEGALLY sound like nothing is actually wrong.

    Granting the current “undocumented immigrants” the right to stay with no path to citizenship – ie. they get a “Green Card” is the same as amnesty. Nothing changes from the Reagan era – hide as long as you need to and you will eventually get permanent legal status.

    No Amnesty. Create a REAL guest worker policy. I DO understand that MOST of these people are hard working and contributing members of their communities. Those currently here illegally who are WORKING can be at the top of the list for work visas. But they are STILL temporary work visas that need to be renewed, not permanent legal status. For that, get in line. Of course, when this sequester thing drops like a ton of bricks, I suspect processing of requests for residency will make the crawl it is now look like greased lightning.

    • Gregg Smith

      I think closing the boarders is key. It was part of the Reagan deal that did not happen. I could support any rational path to citizenship if I knew the boarders were closed.

      • Mike_Card

        Borders?

    • http://www.facebook.com/gail.s.dash Gail S Dash

      Why is there no discussion of how a large illegal work force helps to keep labor costs low and profits high for so many sectors of the US economy?

      As long as the wealthiest Americans (regardless of party) can block a living wage for all and reinforce low wages with a steady flow of illegal workers, there will be no real change in immigration or wage policies.

      It’s so much easier for Americans to blame the victims.
      Gail

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4V552UIAJVDHXWGWUC7PK6LNDM Bill

    Sequester
    Politicians long ago traded the public interest for personal and special interest.
    Until the system is changed politicians will continue to betray the messages, which get them  elected/reelected by actions/inactions which thwart the public interest.
    Solution
    Since this version of representative democracy is disfuctional change the system. Start by amending the constitution by removing the  “right of free speech” (either in the form of communication or contributions) for corporations. This would eliminate a politician”s incentive to act on the behalf of special interests by removing their rewards for doing so.
    Alternatively, perhaps a parlimentary system would work better.

    Bill 

  • http://www.facebook.com/luke.held.9 Luke Held

    How/why were democrats in support of “gong over the cliff” in December, but are now sure it would be terrible?

  • pete

    Obama has to hold the line against Republican refusal to approve raising the debt limit to allow payment on spending bills that Congress has already approved and the President has signed into law. If Obama were to cater to Republican demands this would institutionalize a minority veto power after legislation has been voted and signed by the president. This is much worse than the Filibuster and needs to be nipped in the bud. If we need to play this out to see just how bone-headed and anti-American this Republican fiscal hostage strategy is, so be it. It is worth taking the pain now rather than suffering constant last minute second guessing calling into question the good faith and effectiveness of laws past by the US government regardless of which party is in the majority.

  • nj_v2

    Rethuglicon/right-wing corporatism, regression, and assorted jackassery of the week:

    http://www.alternet.org/labor/alecs-plan-kill-union-jobs-everywhere-even-outside-us

    ALEC’s Plan to Kill Union Jobs Everywhere — Even Outside the U.S.

    In Ontario, 465 union workers used to make locomotive engines. Then Indiana passed ALEC’s anti-union legislation, and Caterpillar moved the works to Muncie. And that’s bad for everybody.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/02/oklahoma-hr1674-science-evolution-climate-change

    Insist That People Coexisted With Dinosaurs…and Get an A in Science Class!

    In biology class, public school students can’t generally argue that dinosaurs and people ran around Earth at the same time, at least not without risking a big fat F. But that could soon change for kids in Oklahoma: On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Common Education committee is expected to consider a House bill that would forbid teachers from penalizing students who turn in papers attempting to debunk almost universally accepted scientific theories such as biological evolution and anthropogenic (human-driven) climate change.

    Gus Blackwell, the Republican state representative who introduced the bill, insists that his legislation has nothing to do with religion; it simply encourages scientific exploration. “I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks,” says Blackwell, who previously spent 20 yearsworking for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations.

    “http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/02/19/1607891/unconstitutional-missouri-bill-makes-it-a-felony-for-lawmakers-to-propose-gun-safety-legislation/?mobile=ncMissouri

    Bill Makes It A Felony For Lawmakers To Propose Gun Safety Legislation

    Yesterday, Missouri state Rep. Mike Leara (R) proposed legislation making it a felony for lawmakers to so much as propose many bills regulating guns. Leara’s bill provides that “[a]ny member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States, shall be guilty of a class D felony.”

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/arizona-tea-party-leader-scraps-be-mein-hitler

    Arizona Tea Party Leader Scraps ‘Be Mein’Hitler Valentines

    Stephen Viramontes, the interim state director of the tea party group FreedomWorks in Arizona, canceled plans to distribute Valentine’s Day cards to lawmakers featuring various dictators who opposed anti-union legislation — but not before tweeting about the cards, the Arizona Capitol Times reports.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Do you think that there is any place in the classroom for having an open discussion of the merits of evolutionary theory without the person who challenges the theory having to feel bullied or intimidated for holding a different position?  There are groups, which I am sure you will dismiss such as Institute for Creation Research, that raise scientific objections to the theory.  Have you actually read any of their material, or do you simply dismiss it without even considering it with an open mind?  Did you see the movie made by Ben Stein, a very popular commentator  entitled “Expelled”, which basically presented situations where people who have done fine work in education and industry, had good reviews, etc. were suddenly dismissed or sidelined because they dared question the theory of evolution.  Please keep in mind that there are wackos on any side of an argument and that quoting certain sources to dismiss an entire viewpoint rather than groups such as ICR that do research, are staffed by legitimately recognized scientists, etc. is not looking at the other side of the argument with an open mind.

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

        I know what a scientific theory is. A real theory. Can you explain it to us?

        When the right-wing comes up with one about creation science intelligent design, whatever the next sham is they try to wedge their Bibleness into a science class, let us know.

        Until then, it’s all about being caught out pushing religion into ersatz biology.

      • nj_v2

        There are instances where science cannot offer plausible explanations of the universe. Evolution biology is not one of them.

        Rational discussion of science, its methods, its limitations is a valid curriculum topic.

        Conflating purely religious or faith-based constructs does not serve science.

      • jefe68

        Oh please, we don’t live in the 14th century.

        I guess it was like this:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2bgeq6hAlU

      • jefe68

        Institute for Creation Research
        Really, so these folks are using dogma that dates back to the time of inquisitions and you take them seriously?

    • Ray in VT

      I saw the one about Oklahoma’s plans for science education.  Is this a sign that we as a nation have fallen, or is it that some never rose?  Maybe those opposed to Scopes were just laying low all of these decades.

      Not that this is political, but it is jackassery:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/man-appears-in-court-in-a_0_n_2720643.html

      60 year old guy slaps a 19 month old on a plane and calls the child the n word.  W. Kamau Bell had some funny things to say about it on his show last night.

      • nj_v2

        I saw that, too. The guy was drunk, but hardly and excuse. 

        • Ray in VT

          Bell made fun of that too.  I would recommend checking it out.

    • jefe68

      These links point to the dumbing down of our nation.
      It’s sad really, so very sad. And to figure a musical was written about Oklahoma. I think those lyrics need to be changed.

      OOOOk-lahoma, where the mindless dopes come sweepin’ down the plain…

  • hennorama

    If sequestration goes through as is, (which is highly likely at this point) Republicans are likely to get the negative political outcomes.  That’s partly due to the fact that 202 (59%) of the 343 total votes for the Budget Control Act were cast by Republicans.

    Another significant factor is that public opinion is not in Republicans’ favor. 

    Many Americans are sick and tired of the fact that over at least the last 18 months, Republicans seemed perfectly willing to do everything possible to allow the US economy to crash and burn.  First it was the debt ceiling, then taxes, then the fiscal cliff, then spending, then sequester, etc. etc. etc.  These all blur together in the public eye.

    The effects of all this are already apparent.  The holiday shopping season was weak.  Real GDP dropped in the 4th Quarter of 2012 (although this will likely be revised upward).  Now wage earners are starting to feel the pinch of the expiration of payroll tax cuts.  Now gasoline prices have jumped again.  And so on and so on.

    The patience of the American public has been worn very thin.  The last thread holding it together may be cut due to sequestration.

    • Doop1969

      Worse of all .. if it goes through or not…. it will cost us all. 

      I can’t believe all the time Fed Agencies are spending printing up pink slips about something that might not happen… or might happen, then reversed in a month.

      • Gregg Smith

        Not a dime will be cut.

        • Doop1969

          Not sure what you mean, because money has been spent already AND tons of time wasted — -not by congress but by gov. workers

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s a slow down of spending that has increased dramatically. Not a dime will actually be cut even with sequester. We will spend more just not as much more.

          • Doop1969

            if you don’t get some revenues to pay for our debt… soapbox dancing will not change the dire straights 

            dimes are being cut every millisecond

          • Gregg Smith

            We need jobs, growth and more taxpayers.

          • Doop1969

            I love that Tea Party Mantra. It is beautiful and simplistic .

            Unfortunately Jobs don’t = tax revenue…. and the jobs that are there (10,000,000 of them) are held by illegal aliens jobs no one want to do with pay under poverty.

            If you double… if you triple the $7 an hour job, it will not pay for our war debt, forget the rest… and that is without lowering the tax rate… but lower the tax rate you would have tou 4x the number jobs.

          • Gregg Smith

            I agree with you about illegal aliens. But more Jobs = more taxpayers = more revenue.

            The math works far better with more people paying less taxes than it does with fewer people paying more taxes. It just does.

          • Doop1969

            Explain how 20millionjobsat $7.45 a hourwill cover the deficit

          • Gregg Smith

            It won’t.

          • Doop1969

            makes your point kind of weak then

      • hennorama

        Doop1969 – TY for your response.

        Indeed lots of time, energy and money go into contingency planning, both in governments and private enterprises. I suspect that few consumers have spent much time on any planning, but there seems to be a cumulative impact from the long period of uncertainty.

        The economy does not need any more anxious waiting for the Federal government to do their collective jobs, but that’s practically all we have gotten. Uncertainty is the enemy of action.

    • Gregg Smith

      The Republican controlled House has passed two bills to avoid the sequester. The Democrat controlled Senate refuses to bring them to a vote. If people want to blame Republicans it’s because of ignorance. 

      Gas prices do not have to be high, Obama wants them high (and has said so) to justify throwing money at solutions that are not solutions. There should be an emphasis on flex fuel cars that use natural gas. The pipeline should be built. The effects have deep roots. Wal-mart pays $17/hour in North Dakota.

      The economy shrank because Obama was reelected making Obamacare’s destruction of jobs an issue that cannot be ignored. Businesses are girding their loins.

      • MrNutso

        Those bills were passed in the prior congress.  The bills and the votes no longer exist.  When Republicans pass them again, then it will be time to talk.

      • hennorama

        Gregg Smith – To be as clear as possible (again):

        Gregg Smith – I have not been and will not be commenting on your posts, either directly or indirectly, until further notice. Any comments you make to me are unwelcome. Please stop. This forum allows you to make comments that are not direct responses to my posts. If you must comment on my remarks, please find a way to express yourself in a way that does not involve me directly.

        • Gregg Smith

          You don’t have to reply and if you think your comments should not be challenged ignore me. Fine. But you did reply, didn’t you?

          The talking points you espouse are dead wrong in my opinion, I’ll say so every time. It’s not your blog. Don’t be afraid of the truth, embrace it. Swim in it, that water is fine.

          Does anyone else think Henna’s reaction is a bit odd? I happen to believe open honest debate is good.

          • jefe68

            Open honset debate? Please not that meme again.

          • Gregg Smith

            Here’s the thing Jefe, she is spreading a very dangerous meme. That is, Republicans are responsible for the negative GDP, gas prices (that’s rich) and ending the defunding of Social Security (payroll tax cut). That’s not honest debate. It is demonstrably disproven by the fact the House has passed bills to avoid sequester and the downgrade that never got a vote in the Senate. Republicans have passed a budget every time it’s been required. The Republicans (as weeny as they are) are the only ones who have done their job. Henna is all over this blog excusing the inexcusable. I’ll be damned if I will let this insane fantasy take hold. I’m all about honest debate.

            Now, I fully expect her at some point to say something like, “Since you refuse my repeated request… I have no choice but… ” or play some other dramatic victim card. I guess she’s waiting till I get to 75 or 100, I don’t know. Maybe she’ll flag me, fine. She can write a letter too, whatever. She’s collecting my post and maybe she thinks she has something on me, I don’t know. I’m quite sure I am far within the bounds of this blog’s decorum. I beat you by a mile.

            I don’t want trouble. I want honest debate.

          • StilllHere

            Exactly.  I only ignore those who have zero to offer like the guy below.

          • jefe68

            What do you offer?
            Inanity and bile.

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

          Does that include everyone that disagrees with you?

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY for your response. No. This is particular to the poster named and has nothing to do with disagreement. Rather, it’s a simple case of politely and repeatedly asking someone to cease any direct communication.

          • StilllHere

            Careful you don’t get on her list.

      • jefe68

        This from a guy how likes Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and thinks the Intelligent Design is science. 

        Why should anyone take anything you say seriously? 

        • nj_v2

          And likes Palin.

          And who thinks climate change is a fraud. Or not happening. Or nothing to worry about. Something like that.

          Greggg is quite the Serious Thinker.

          • Gregg Smith

            I love Sarah Palin.

          • nj_v2

            Palin and Greggg, intellectual compatriots.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’m not nearly as smart as her.

          • Steve__T

             That’s obvious.

        • Gregg Smith

          I never said intelligent design was science. It’s above my pay grade.

          Don’t you like Rush?

          • jefe68

            Well, in a word no.

      • StilllHere

        Great, practical ideas.  E15 is going to ruin a lot of engines and enrich Obama’s corn-growing friends. 
        This is Obama’s sequester, no denying that.  Only apologists see it otherwise.

        • JGC

          There are corn-growing friends, and pipeline-building friends, such as the Kochs and many others;  they all have their hands out for taxpayer-funded assistance.

          I asked Dan Mitchell to clarify the “real” private companies comment from the other day, and he e-mailed back,

          ‘There is no official definition of real private sector, of course, but the concept I was trying to express is businesses of any form that rely on markets rather than government.’

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks for asking the question and passing on the answer JGC. Clarification is good. I like his answer and catch your drift. 

            I always figured if a man stood on the corner with a sign that read, “Free Money” then people would line up around the block… whether they needed it or not.

          • StilllHere

            So I guess I was right, it has nothing to do with whether they are publicly traded.  Did he say Koch was the supreme example?

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      I have recently been reading a history of the last decade of the eighteenth century:
           -The Great Upheaval:
             America and the Birth of the Modern World,
             1788-1800 by Jay Wink.

      Not yet finished but an observation that has stuck with me is:
           how difficult it was for the colonists to come together
           as a nation and recognize themselves as the people
           of the United States rather than say Virginians,
           western farmers, New Englanders, bankers ect…

      This thought was perceived as revolutionary throughout the world.

      The confluence of media, money, and power (to name only a few) has me wondering about the disintegration of “we the peolple”.

      I think that both parties have decided that special interest politics presents a more accessible path to power than the hard work and consensus building that would ultimately display a deeper seated love of country.

      Are others on this board finding it difficult to consider themselves “Americans” and more inclined to label themselves liberal/conservative….

      • hennorama

        Steve_the_Repoman – TY for your response.

        One can observe also that the American public has grown much more cynical toward government, especially the Federal government. A good deal of this began in the 1960s, mainly as opposition to US involvement in Vietnam. This was followed by the Nixon administration’s Watergate fiasco (and other scandals), which nearly toppled the Federal government and resulted in the only Presidential resignation in US history. Nixon’s resignation was preceded by the resignation of his VP Spiro Agnew, making this even more unprecedented.

        Cynicism in the face of the above, and subsequent Presidential and Congressional scandals, makes perfect sense. This underlying cynicsim makes the “divide and conquer” political techniques even more successful than ever. Both parties do this, to the detriment of unity.

        For more on Watergate 40 years later, see:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/watergate

  • Coastghost

    Pride and dignity in accepting a confession of guilt. Does only Jackson Jr. have a case of bi-polar disorder?
    Get yer PPACTA mental health coverage here NOW!!

  • MrNutso

    Elizabeth: You go girl!

    • nj_v2

      That’s my senator!

      • JGC

        I’ll trade you one Casey and one Toomey, and throw in a Fitzpatrick as a bonus, for one Elizabeth.

        • JGC

          I’ll even take an Elizabeth Colbert Busch for the lot.

  • http://twitter.com/biblioteq_tress la bibliotequetress

    Re Jackson: Irrational spending sprees are an affect of bipolar disorder. As a matter of fact, it’s often the first indication to friends/family that someone is in a manic phase. That snark was misplaced.

    • StilllHere

      Must be catching then.

  • X-Ray

    Biden suggests buying a shotgun but Feinstein has also included shotguns on her his of dreaded “assault weapons” which she wants banned.

  • Dee

    What a joke by To Ashbrook quoting Rand Paul on “doing 
    what is right” and protecting the private sect while hang-
    ing middle American and the poor out to dry.Just where the Tea Party members like Rand Paul and his GOP colleagues in the House and Senate when Gorge Bush and Dick Cneney ran up an 11 Trillion Deficit on America’s credit with two misled and illegal wars and tax incentivesto the crooks on Wall Streets who never created the jobs they were supposed to (see URL below). And yet Rand Paul and his Tea Party members and the evildoers (GOP) in the Senate under Mitch Mc Connell tried to block this truth and the voters in the Nov. 6th election to favor their Wall Street apologist Mitt Romney&company.The 10 Trillion Dollar Hangover After 8 yrs of Bush http://www.srwolf.com/reports/Stiglitz10trillion.pdfNonpartisan CBO Tax Report Withdrawn after GOP Protest http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/questions-raised-on-withdrawal-of-congressional-research-services-report-on-tax-rates.html?_r=0The victims of this GOP?Wall Street Scam …http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/economy/lingering-unemployment-poses-long-term-risk.html?pagewanted=allRepublics balk and block Obama’s efforts to help those Victim http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/us/politics/13obama.html?_r=0 I am tired of those in the Media such as Tom Ashbrook & JackBeatty dismissing truth repeatedly on their shows and present-ers on NPR and people like John King on CNN and those repre-senting the Wall Street Journal and the Wekkly Journal and a host of others on what Paul Krugman calls The Beltway Fiscal thinkings in the News feeding into this GOP & Tea Party Fear mongering and proganda……I have no doubt it will backfire as people are getting more frustrated without this referring of the Fiscal Crisis to the GOp and the Tea Party Crowd…….

  • sickofthechit

    I can’t believe how uninformed all your guests and you are TOM on the bipolar characteristics, symptoms and behaviors of those suffering from bi-polar?  Yes, outrageous irresponsible spending is one of the symptoms.  Shut up if you don’t know about something, Your snickers and snide comments only point you out as lacking all class!
    pissed off,
    charles A. Bowsher

    • JGC

      When I hear about people doing really incredibly crazy, irrational things, I have to admit “bipolar” does not immediately come to mind, but maybe it should.  Maybe if it was more in the forefront, it would be diagnosed more quickly in those stricken, and save a lot of woe for those people and their families and friends.

    • hennorama

      sickofthechit – I agree.  One can fairly assume that both Mr. Ashbrook and his guests were completely uninformed about BPD, although Ashbrook himself did not mock Mr. Jackson Jr.  He was definitely skeptical and could have challenged the guests on their disbelieving mocking comments.

      There is some evidence that Ashbrook may have had at least some knowledge that BPD and apparently manic shopping can go hand in hand.  Ashbrook started the conversation off with skepticism and by asking if Mr. Jackson Jr.’s diagnosis of “bipolar or something” was “a smokescreen.”  Then Laura Meckler snidely asked “Does bipolar disease make you want to buy stuffed elk heads?”  Ashbrook quickly jumped in, almost interrupting Meckler to say “[It] Could.”

      Admittedly, it’s a weak case in support of Mr. Ashbrook.

  • MarkVII88

    In my opinion, the Catholic Church leadership would probably rather select the American Cardinal O’Malley as the next Pope, with his Spanish language education and connections, than make the leap to actually selecting someone brown or black to lead them.  An American or someone brown though would probably both be hard pills for The Vatican to swallow. 

  • NewtonWhale

    Nobel economist Paul Krugman has been pointing out the lunacy of austerity at a time of record low interest rates and taxation, as low as it’s been since 1950. We have infrastructure that needs repair, people out of work, and an entire political party dedicated to bleeding the patient in hopes he’ll magically recover.

    Then there’s California:

    Californians are more optimistic than they’ve been in six years, with nearly half of registered voters saying that the Golden State is moving in the right direction, according to a Field Poll released Thursday. And their feelings about the future parallel a surge in their enthusiasm for Gov. Jerry Brown.

    In interviews, poll respondents pointed out that hiring is up, housing prices are rising and fewer homes are being foreclosed.

    In addition, Brown last month submitted a balanced budget, while even state legislators appear to be getting their act together, the respondents said.

    After voters in November approved Proposition 30, Brown’s tax-hike measure, the governor had the breathing room to present a balanced budget in January — without many of the drastic cuts that his fellow Democrats have had to make in recent years.

    http://www.presstelegram.com/breakingnews/ci_22636114/mood-californians-is-lifting-new-field-poll-shows

    • Gregg Smith

      Austerity?!

      • NewtonWhale

        Take it away, Wall Street Journal:

        Obama spending binge never happened

        Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.

        As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.”

        Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.

        But it didn’t happen.

        Why do people think Obama has spent like a drunken sailor? It’s in part because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the federal budget.

        What people forget (or never knew) is that the first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress. The president only begins to shape the budget in his second year. It takes time to develop a budget and steer it through Congress — especially in these days of congressional gridlock.

        The 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress.

        Like a relief pitcher who comes into the game with the bases loaded, Obama came in with a budget in place that called for spending to increase by hundreds of billions of dollars in response to the worst economic and financial calamity in generations.
        http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-05-22/commentary/31802270_1_spending-federal-budget-drunken-sailor

        • Gregg Smith

          Obama signed his $814 billion “stimulus” bill early in 2009. The deficit has topped a trillion every year sense. It makes no sense to blame Bush.

          • NewtonWhale

            Take it up with the WSJ.

            Most of the deficit was baked in the cake by Bush’s tax cuts, unfunded wars, and Medicare Part D.

          • Ray in VT

            Not that liberal rag the WSJ?

          • Steve__T

             LOL you got me again.

          • Ray in VT

            You’re welcome.  I’ve always thought that their reporting is pretty good, but I tend to stay away from the op-ed stuff.

          • Gregg Smith

            The graphic was supplied by Talking Points Memo, I’m not sure where the WSJ came in but it doesn’t matter.

            It’s the CBO’s numbers and they calculate the numbers given to them. Whoever gives the numbers shapes the projection. Obama made Obamacare deficit neutral by assuming 5% GDP. Ryan did the same with his plan.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, we all know now that we shouldn’t trust the left leaning CBO, as our friend from Cato told us the other day.

          • Gregg Smith

            I just go by the facts, whoever supplies them. The CBO is left when Obama gives them the numbers to crunch and right when Ryan does. It’s how it works.

            Seriously, where am I wrong?

          • Doop1969

            It is a thing of beauty when a mono-thinker questions facts because they don’t align to what they want to believe

            ++

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t know how many times I have to debunk that graphic. It assumes all that revenue is still sitting there and there was no Clinton recession or 9/11. The wars were funded. It’s pure fantasy.

            It is saying IF taxes had not been cut then all that money would have come in and ignores everything else. The economy is not static, it’s dynamic. It’s an exercise in math in a vacuum. This is the real world.

            Would you say that a business that increases sales by cutting prices and thus survives in a deteriorating marketplace lost money?

            The CBO in the same manner projected $200 billion deficits as far as the eye could see in 1993. That is because they did the math in a vacuum. How did that turn out?

            It doesn’t factor in the tax hike that just happened either.

            The graphic is meaningless.

          • Ray in VT

            The wars were funded.  That’s a laugh, unless you count government borrowing as being paid for.

            The Clinton recession?  Really?  According to the BEA the GDP grew in both the 4th quarter of 2000 and the 1st quarter of 2001.

            Bush slashed revenues, increased spending, and he said that it was all going to magically work out.  How did that turn out?

          • Gregg Smith

            Good point I suppose. In that case NOTHING is paid for. 

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_2000s_recession

            Revenue grew by over a half trillion after the rates were lowered. 2007 still holds the all time record for revenue. That’s not “slashed”. Let it go, Bush is gone.

          • Ray in VT

            Revenue did grow in the lead up to the bursting of the bubble, but, of course, that was a much smaller percentage of GDP, so a smaller piece of a larger pie isn’t really useful for a national budget when the government is spending a larger piece of that larger pie, as Bush did.

            His tax policies also did what had not been done since 1982-1983, namely to reduce federal revenues in real dollars, whereas it happened from 2000-2003, with over a 10% decline during that time, as spending rose about 15%.

            I find it interesting that you said the Clinton Recession, although the Wikipedia article says that the effects of the global economic slowdown didn’t hit the U.S. until 2002-2003.

          • Fredlinskip

            There was no Clinton Recession.
            Bubble that popped under W is drop in bucket compared to credit/housing/
            mortgage bubble.
            Dotcom effected lots of investors and California. Likes of ’08 bubble has not been seen since Depression, which is exactly where we’d be if situatuion wasn’t handled properly. Maybe you’re a fan of Depressions. Me, I care about my country more than that.
            CBO “did math in a vacuum”. You’re right. No one could have predicted that someone like W would come along and work tirelessly to reverse everything previous admin did to restore fiscal sanity.

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

            Talking Points Memo is not the Wall Street Journal.

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

        • nj_v2

          I posted this elsewhere; bears repeating…

          http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/06/federal-reserve-economic-data-chart-real-government-spending-obama-recovery.php

          CHART: The Gobsmacking Drop In Government Spending Under Obama

          [[ The conventional wisdom that President Obama has overseen a dramatic surge in government spending has always been shaky. But it faces perhaps its starkest rebuttal in new figures that reveal the sharpest decline of the last half-century in real federal, state and local spending during this presidency. ]]

          • Gregg Smith

            Are you serious?

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

            Spend by the government has not been reduced in the last 6 years.  That you claim otherwise is dishonest.  That you do so by citing a partisan advocacy website shows that you serve the Democrat party.

            http://youtu.be/EBCJuWNK_lY

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

            First, “Democrat party” isn’t as cute and clever as you think it is. I’ll run it by my “Jew lawyer” friend to see if it’s patently insulting to use an noun as an adjective like that.

            Second, GWB was in the White House for some of that timeframe (And cue the “Waah, he’s not a TruePrincipledConservative”).

            Third, there’s something about “business cycle” and “recession” that applies here.

          • Gregg Smith

            …with state and local spending mixed in.

        • OnPointComments

          It’s amusing to read the rationalization of liberals on President Obama’s spending.  It’s always don’t count this, subtract that, give Obama credit for this but not that, and the result is X.
           
          President Obama’s comments when signing the stimulus bill in February 2009:
           
          “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that I will sign today – a plan that meets the principles I laid out in January – is the most sweeping economic recovery package in our history…I also want to thank my Vice President Joe Biden for working behind the scenes from the very start to make this recovery act possible. I want to thank Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid for acting so quickly and proving that Congress could step up to this challenge.”

    • hennorama

      NewtonWhale – the latest Fleld Poll also found:

      “There is now nearly universal support among California voters to allow undocumented immigrants who have lived here for a number of years to stay and become citizens if they have a job, learn English, and pay back taxes. Statewide, 90% of voters now favor this policy.

      In addition, in a reversal from previous measures, a 52% to 43% majority favors allowing undocumented residents to obtain California drivers’ licenses. In two previous Field Polls dating back to 2005, majorities opposed this idea.

      “Greater than seven in ten also support significantly increasing the number of visas granted to immigrants who are engineers or hold other advanced degrees, creating temporary worker programs for current and future undocumented workers, and allowing documented students to pay the same in-state tuition fees at the state’s public universities as other residents.

      “At the same time, voters are disinclined to relax some of the policies in place aimed at restricting the flow of undocumented immigrants into this country. There continues to be strong majoritysupport for increasing the number of federal border agents patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as for imposing stiff penalties on employers and individuals who hire illegal immigrants.”

      http://field.com/fieldpollonline/subscribers/Rls2439.pdf

      This is in a state where as recently as 1994, 59% of voters approved Proposition 187 (a.k.a Save Our State or SOS), that proposed to require police, health care professionals and teachers to verify and report the immigration status of all individuals, including children.  Prop 187 also would have eliminated access to any public social services, including health care and education, to anyone whose citizenship or legal residence could not be verified.  In other words, guilty until proven innocent.
      Most of CA Prop. 187 was ruled unconstitutional in 1998, and the state’s appeal of this ruling was dropped in 1999.

      Prop. 209, which prohibited affirmative action, was approved by 54% of voters in 1996.  Then in 1998,  61% of CA voters approved Prop. 227, which effectively eliminated bilingual education in CA public schools. 

      What does 1994 have in common with current times?  Both eras involve the unfortunately recurrent phenomenon of scapegoating immigrants for state and national economic problems. 

      Anti-immigrant sentiment seems to have no end.  The countries may change, but the basic theme of a rejection/fear of the “other” does not.

      But Californians’ attitudes seem to be changing, as The Field Poll shows.

      • Steve__T

          “Californians’ attitudes seem to be changing”

        Do you think that that may be, because the Hispanic population has grown from 10% to 37% ?

        • hennorama

          Steve__T – TY for your responce. I respect your views.

          You typed “Do you think that that may be, because the Hispanic population has grown from 10% to 37% ?

          The change in California demographics you describe certainly is not accurate during any recent timeframe. Perhaps you meant something more along the lines of

          “Do you think that that may be, because the Hispanic [portion of California's] population has grown [by over 10 percentage points, from 25.8% in 1990] to [over] 37% [in 2010]?

          If that was your question, then my answer is YES demographic changes obviously have had an influence.

          But keep in mind that The Field Poll surveyed what they say is “a representative cross-section of California VOTERS.” (emphasis added)

          This means their results do NOT include non-citizens and therefore are not influenced by any recent illegal immigrants, or legal immigrants who have yet to be naturalized.

          FYI – over the years, the Census has changed how they identify Hispanic/Latino persons. Prior to the 1980 Census, it was based solely on surname. Beginning in 1980, it is based on self-identification.

          Census figures showed California’s recent overall Hispanic/Latino composition as follows:

          1980: 19.2%

          1990: 25.8%

          2000: 32.4%

          2010: 37.6%

          • Steve__T

            Thank you for your correction, I lived in California for years, and
            was counting from memory of the 50′s Until now. I was not counting non
            citizens, if we count the non citizens the percentages would be much
            higher. I believe the demographic changes are partially due to second
            and third generations born there.

          • hennorama

            No worries, Steve. The Census data prior to 1980 is very difficult to compare to more recent data due to the changes in the way various groups are categorized. For example, “official” data for 1960 showed a category of “White Spanish surnamed.” The term “Hispanic” is a rather recent American invention.

            Here’s the 1960 Census question about race:

            “Is this person – White, Negro, American Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Part Hawaiian, Aleut, Eskimo, (etc.)?

            ____________________ ”

            The respondent filled in their answer on the blank line. Remember, this was in an era when Census Takers went to each address to collect the data and provide any needed help.

            The Census goes to great lengths to try to count everyone, including any and all non-citizens. I can personally attest to this.

            See:http://thehispanicmyth.com/myth_Hispanic_label_has_always_existed.htm

            https://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/items1960.shtml

            http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/03/03/census-history-counting-hispanics-2/

  • MrStang

    Part of the problem here is your guest selection. Why not have experts on the WIC program to describe what it means to cut funding to 600,000 poor families so Warren Buffet and Exxon can dodge taxes.
    http://www.nwica.org/?q=advocacy/1

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Didn’t hear any discussion of Friends of Hamas.  Maybe somebody received funds from supporters who are Friends of TeaPots. No I don’t think that, don’t let that hinder anyone’s Conspiracy Parade though…

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

      Hey, if it keeps just one Beltway Inbred from treating the output of Breitbarters seriously.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I promised to help her put on a play for the “Junior League of Hezbollah”.

    • Ray in VT

      I was going to post something about that, but you beat me to it, Drew.  It’s just amazing.  I love how Breitbart picked up on this, ran with it, spread it to other outlets like a gradeschooler passing a cold around, and now they’re basically standing by it.  Like how the conservative punditry didn’t back down when it was revealed that Obama’s radical thesis was a joke.  They stood by it, because they knew the real truth about him and his views or something.

      Did you see that McConnell and/or his office got fooled by the Onion?

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/mitch-mcconnell_n_2721318.html

      I also came across this quote:

      “There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there
      than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who
      would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing
      the United States government.”
      Care to guess which Tea Party darling offered up that gem?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        Guessing is no fun when stupidity has taken all the guess work out of it… I’ll take a stab anyway, was it Joe McCarthy?

        ;’)

        • Ray in VT

          A few have compared him to ole Tail Gunner Joe, either directly or indirectly.  I wonder what he does have in his briefcase.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            A Dirty Boob maybe? Oh wait, that’s what’s carrying the briefcase not what’s in it…

            (I know, bad Dirty Bomb reference)

          • Ray in VT

            Uh, I hope that that wouldn’t be what’s in the briefcase.  That would be a wholly different cause for concern.  Also, I have no evidence that he is dirty.  I’m sure that he bathes regularly.

    • Steve__T

       Here’s the real story, says a lot about competent critical thinking in congress.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/friends-hamas-rumor-started-article-1.1268284

      • hennorama

        Steve__T – I believe we have a new front-runner for the title of Oxymoron Of The Year (OOTY):

        “competent critical thinking in congress.”

  • MrStang

    Audit the Pentagon! Find the $2 trillion Rumsfeld said he could not account for.
    m.youtube.com/watch?v=xU4GdHLUHwU&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DxU4GdHLUHwU

    • Doop1969

      I think there would be more if you cut Dick Cheney’s kickback to friends

    • hennorama

      MrStang – one minor problem with “Audit the Pentagon!”

      According to a recent GAO report, the Dept. of Defense is “inauditable.”  The GAO can’t figure out where all the DOD assets are, and how the money is being spent.  Select excerpts FTA:

      ” About 34 percent of the federal government’s reported total assets as of September 30, 2012, and approximately 21 percent of the federal government’s reported net cost for fiscal year 2012 relate to the Department of Defense (DOD), which received a disclaimer of opinion on its consolidated financial statements.”  and

      “…serious financial management problems at DOD that have prevented its financial statements from being auditable…”

      But don’t worry.  There’s a plan in place to figure it all out ….. by Sept. 30, 2017. Who knows, pigs may be flying by then.

      http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/651357.pdf

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I’d like to know the cost of all the private contractors doing what GIs used to do. I do NOT believe this saves $. It realized the GoP agenda of redistributing more $ to the top, ie, to the well connected execs of the contracting firms.

  • MrStang

    Why not a Robin Hood tax? (financial transactions tax on Wall Street)
    http://www.robinhoodtax.org/
    ” This small tax of less than ½ of 1% on Wall
    Street transactions can generate hundreds
    of billions of dollars each year in the US
    alone.”

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Should be top priority, and it’s never mentioned by the “serious people”.

  • Dee

    What a joke Tom Ashbrook using a clip from Rand Paul on “doing what’s right” and protect the Private Sector while
    hanging the middle class Americans and the poor out to
    dry.

    Just where was his voice and the Tea Party’s and the GOP
    when Bush ran up 10 Trillion Dollars on the nation’s credit
    card and sacked the US Treasury for the other almost one
    trillion left by the Clinton Camp?

    http://www.srwolf.com/reports/Stiglitz10trillion.pdf

    Here is Mitch Mc Connell blocking the GOP/Wall St
    scam that the Bush 
    Nonpartisan CBO Tax Report Withdrawn after GOP Protest

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/questions-raised-on-withdrawal-of-congressional-research-services-report-on-tax-rates.html?_r=0

    The Victims of this GOP/ Wall St Scam looking for Job 
    never created.This is criminal & there should be arrests

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/economy/lingering-unemployment-poses-long-term-risk.html?pagewanted=all

    Then the Republics balk at Obama’ efforts to help the Victims

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/us/politics/13obama.html?_r=0 

    This is like the evil Goldman Sach broker 2 years ago who
    sold a shareholder stock and then betted against it….

    I am tired of those in the Media dismissing this truth and peo-pple such as Tom Ashbrook & Jack Beatty failing to point out this truth week after NPR presenters glossing over this and 
    accepting the GOP and Tea Party propaganda…

    I have no doubt it will backfire as people are getting more frustrated with media referring the blame for the debt where 
    it belongs and came from…As Bob Herbert a former colum-
    nist for the NYT…”The GOP should go to Rehab….”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/opinion/27herbert.html

    Dee

  • Brandstad

    Krugman averred we “won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes,” possibly including a value-added tax, and “decisions about health care,” which is a nice way of saying rationing.Paul Krugman said: “death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”

    • brettearle

      Death panels DO NOT REFER TO KILLING PEOPLE.

      They refer to how to handle end-of-life suffering.

      If  some Religious Institutions wish to sanction End-of-Life suffering–without entering into dialogue about how to offer palliative care to someone who has been officially recognized as terminally ill, and likely suffering, by MDs–then I would argue that they are making Ideology King, while Compassion becomes a Second-Class Citizen. 

      • Coastghost

        Sure, eliminate “end-of-life suffering” by letting grandpa or grandma die BEFORE their care becomes more of an inconvenience to Baby Boomer ingrates.

        Abortion on the front-end, euthanasia on the back end: now THAT’S consistency! What heartening devotion to logic.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Geez, more canned talking points. You probably can come up with your own ideas, ya know.

          If you want boomer ingrates, you should mean paul ryan, since his groupon plan for medicare would simply make it impossible for many of the kids to afford health care when they get old.

          • pete18

            There he goes again, using a canned talking point (“groupon plan for medicare”) to condemn what he thinks is a canned talking point.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            If you don’t think ryan proposed a groupon, please share your insights.

            If you can’t get past ryan’s plan being identified as a groupon, fine, a voucher. Do you think it’s taking care of “the kids” to offer them a voucher that won’t cover the full cost when we have real medicare? Aren’t the ryan types the real intergenerational greedheads?

          • pete18

             Sure, but first you tell me why you don’t think “cost decisions about health care” won’t lead to a cut back of end of life care for seniors and why that isn’t the equivalent of government “death panels.”

          • Gregg Smith

            Obama forced 2 million seniors out of medicare and into a voucher system. I’m sure you’re outraged.

            Who is Paul Ryan?

          • Mike_Card

            “forced 2 million seniors out of Medicare and into a voucher system”?  Do tell–hadn’t heard that.

          • Gregg Smith
          • Mike_Card

            Up top.

          • jefe68

            There you go again, using BS to make no point whatsoever.

          • pete18

             Good stuff, Jeff.

          • StilllHere

            I suspect he’s a Chinese hacker.  His command of English is remedial at best.

          • StilllHere

            Exactly.  

          • Coastghost

            Sorry, I’m unable to respond, so utterly blown away am I by the originality of your reproach.

          • StilllHere

            That one is a postbot, just ignore.

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

          Can’t you come up with any better schtick from among the crap you can choose from? How about trying to feed us this year’s Lie Of The Year instead of from a few years ago?

    • Mike_Card

      Claims clerks in health insurance companies are the death panels now.

  • Brandstad

    Speaking at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington , D.C. , earlier this month, the economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman also uttered this inconvenient truth about obamacare!

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/19/the-tax-man-is-coming-for-the-middle-class/#ixzz2LeA8zMPL

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

      Edit: Tell me why anyone should you describing The Daily Caller about Krugman.

      This says more about your media choices than reality.

  • Mattyster

    I am sooooo tired of hearing the sequester now be a story about “both sides are blaming each other” when it is clearly the Republicans’ refusal to govern that created the problem.  How about acknowledging facts rather than “what people say”.  For years the Republican strategy has been to accuse Democrats of what the Republicans are actually doing.  It’s cynical, destructive, and does not contribute in any way to a reasoned policy debate.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      You are dead wrong.  The GOP House have passed two alternative budget solutions to the sequester.

      The executive branch has the power to solve this problem IF they were willing to govern.  The cuts required this fiscal year only amount to $44B to meet the requirements of the sequester.  If they tried, they could easily find $44B to cut out of the $3.7T budget.

      • StilllHere

        Especially when they’re spending $4.7T!

        This is Obama’s sequester.  It was his brilliant idea in the first place.

      • OnPointComments

        The first sentences in the story of the sequester:
         
        One day Chicken Little was walking in the woods when — KERPLUNK — an acorn fell on her head.  “Oh my goodness!” said Chicken Little. “The sky is falling!  I must go and tell the king.”

      • J__o__h__n

        Passing budgets that they know are not going anywhere isn’t governing. 

      • jefe68

        Public continues to sour on Congress, GOP But if Americans have tempered the expectations for Obama’s second term, they have soured even more on Congress and the Republican Party.

        Just 14 percent of adults approve of Congress’ job (which is near the all-time low in the poll), while 81 percent disapprove (which is close to its all-time high). What’s more, 49 percent hold a negative view of the Republican Party – its highest negative rating in the survey since 2008. Only 26 percent have a positive view.

        By comparison, the Democratic Party has a net positive rating, with 44 percent holding a favorable view of the party and 38 percent holding an unfavorable one.

        And the conservative Tea Party movement – which took off in Obama’s first year as president – also finds its popularity at an all-time low in the poll, with 23 percent viewing it favorably and 47 percent unfavorably.

        http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/21/16626932-nbcwsj-poll-majority-for-first-time-want-abortion-to-be-legal?lite

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Me too. Their current talking point is “Obama’s sequester” when it’s crystal clear that their hostage taking created this crazy situation.

    • William

       Obama is the President and he is not leading.

      • jimino

        If he was allowed to “lead” in the military sense, he would have those who have had those who vowed to defeat anything he proposed, regardless of the circumstances, shot as a traitor.  Isn’t that what a real leader would do?

        • hennorama

          jimino – I wouldn’t think it would be necessary to go quite that far.

          Your post reminds me of a caller on another show from a couple days ago.  Referring to Congressional Republicans, he said somethng along the lines of  “If I worked for a company that got a new CEO, and every day I said “I disagree with everything the new CEO says” and worked every day to thwart all of what the new CEO wanted the company to do, I wouldn’t have a job.”

          Not a perfect analogy of course, but a reasonable facsimile of how many Americans feel.

        • Gregg Smith

          “… those who have had those who vowed to defeat anything he proposed, regardless of the circumstances,…”

          Who said that? Are you referring to McConnell’s harmless comment? No one said that. 

      • StilllHere

        so true!

  • pm05

    So, the guy in Kentucky wants an assault weapon to play shoot it up in the back yard!!! When people stop thinking that guns are toys instead of deadly weapons, I will stop working for, hoping for very strict gun control and very strict background checks. Guns are NOT toys and there is nothing in the Constitution that supports this nonsense!

    • hennorama

      The caller indicated he had a 20 round capacity shotgun, perhaps something like this (a Tromix Custom Saiga shotgun with and Md-20 magazine):

      http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/md3.jpg

      Not exactly what the general public has in mind when they hear the word “shotgun.”

      It’s not easy to discern the magazine, but this is what the Md-20 20 round shotgun magazine looks like:

      http://www.slickguns.com/sites/default/files/botach_2210_993952627.jpg

      • Coastghost

        An intrepid NPR reporter will soon be able to divulge whether Vice-President Biden owns stock in the companies manufacturing these useful home defense devices.

        • hennorama

          Coastghost – TY for your response. Without speaking for NPR, no reporter is required to conclude that there is an exceptionally low likelihood that VP Biden owns any part of any of the three companies involved in making the illustrated weapon system.

          The phrase “a snowball’s chance in hell” springs to mind.

          The shotgun is a Saiga-12 combat shotgun manufactured by the arms division of IZHMASH (Izhevsk Machinebuilding Plant), which was founded by decree of Russian Tsar Alexander I in 1807 and is headquartered in Izhevsk, Russia. This is the same company that makes the world-renowned Kalashnikov assault rifles commonly known as AK-47s.

          Tromix Corp. customized the shotgun pictured. Tromix is a custom firearms builder founded in 1999 and seems to be a private corporation.

          You can see more of the Saiga-12 combat shotguns and the MD-20 magazines here:

          http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/09/15/md-20-20-round-drum-magazine-for-saiga-12-shotgun/

          MD Arms, LTD made the MD-20 magazine pictured. According to their website “MD Arms Ltd is a company based around designing new and fun products for the firearm enthusiast. Our founding product is the MD-20, a 20rd drum magazine for the Saiga-12 shotgun! When we didn’t have the option to buy one, because it didn’t exist, we made it!” They also appear to be a privately-held company.

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

          http://www.tromix.com/About_Tromix.htm

          http://www.mdarms.com/

          • Coastghost

            Ehhh, who knows: maybe Biden is a Remington kind of guy.

            As to snowballs in hell: on the contrary authority of D. Alighieri, snowballs would enjoy great prospects for survival at the lower extreme of the Ninth Circle: at least, he made it sound pretty frosty. 

          • hennorama

            Coastghost – TY for your response. I must admit I chuckled over “the contrary authority of D. Alighieri” phrasing.

            Certainly a snowball could survive in the Ninth Circle, but unless the snowball was somehow considered to be traitorous to its family, community, guests or liege lords, it would not be there in the first place. Assuming a snowball could even have any of the aforementioned, of course.

            As to Remington Arms – they are also not a public company, having been purchased by Cerberus Capital Management LP (a private company) in June 2007.

            Other than that, your points are well taken.

  • stillin

    Food, how you can tell what’s going on economically through a box of sunmaid raisins. Those little lunch box size packages? Smaller narrower, 2/3rds filled…just saying.

    • Ray in VT

      That certainly is an old trick.  Keep the price the same (maybe) and reduce the amount in the package a bit so that some people don’t realize that they’re getting less.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gail.s.dash Gail S Dash

    Why is there no discussion of how a large illegal work force helps to keep labor costs low and profits high for so many sectors of the US economy?

    As long as the wealthiest Americans (regardless of party) can block a living wage for all and reinforce low wages with a steady flow of illegal workers, there will be no real change in immigration or wage policies.

    It’s so much easier for Americans to blame the victims.
    Gail

    • StilllHere

      That makes no sense.Most of the illegals work in small businesses in the service industry, many for themselves.  

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Cyber warfare will be huge. What bugs me is that there is almost no mention of technology in the discussion. It’s not just about making sure everyone takes precautions, ya know. This is a software arms race. The side with the best codes and the best hardware will win. What are we doing about that? Cutting funding for research in CS?

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      I have friends who believe many of the conspiracies associated with technology but have not investigated it much….

      …then yesterday evening my 7th grade son informed me of drones that are lighter and  smaller than hummingbirds that are being married with audio/visually computer technology (He said he read of it in Popular Science)

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Believe it.

        • Dee

          The same gangster class that is running 
          our government today is also keeping the gangster and illegal state of Israel propped up today….Bruce Fein & Ralph
          Nader spoke about this at the Harvard
          Law School last February ’12 See URL

          Of course, neither group will succeed
          as “we the people…” are really that
          group Too Big To Fail ”

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8kla2T0NQQ
          Big To Fail

  • PithHelmut

    I must be a weirdo or something but all this talk about sequestration and budgets just leaves me incredulous. We have an entire system that doesn’t work. I’m not going to quote the areas, take a look for yourselves. Where can you name a corner of our economy that is working properly, that you can trust, and that has a chance of sustaining itself? We’re all in a bubble now. We work for retirement and save for a rainy day. Well get ready it’s going to rain alright. The environment is going to collapse on us in ways we cannot even imagine. Money will still be useful though – to wipe our bottoms with. We are concocting new climate and biological phenomena that we’ve never seen before let alone imagine. Towns and cities will be in constant calamity and this will happen with greater frequency, it’s already started. And really, we talk about what Boener thinks about raising taxes or cling to hoope for Obama’s actions to meet his words.  When are we going to see the reality we are in?  Why do we keep treading water and getting nowhere and never stop to review effectiveness with a holistic view? Now Obama as the spokesperson is going to do something about internet security. Like we can trust these people!  Have they done anything about immigration?  Health?  Finance?  Morgtgages?  Student loans?  Homelessness? Climate change? Look at what they DO do and there you have it. That reveals their priorities, their self-interests. Hold your wrists forward, let them hand cuff you. Make sure you stay by their side and make it easy. But remember this while there is still a chance of prevention: awareness is 90% of the law.  

    • StilllHere

      How can $44 billion of spending be our only hope?  It’s pathetically unreal.

  • ExcellentNews

    In other news, CEOs, bankers, heirs to fortunes, and their public fronts like the Chamber of Commerce and Grover Nordquist, are licking their chops in anticipation of another recession, which would weaken the middle class even further, disorient the voters even more, and open the doors to more job exports to slave-labor countries…

    • StilllHere

      And to think some serf like you figured it all out.  Amazing. Those boys are going to have to think a lot harder to hoodwink you.

      • jefe68

        And to think you get to post such crap day in and day out.

      • Duras

        Oh, go bow down to the job creators.  ‘Cause you know, nothing ended Feudalism like capitulating to the lords of the manner….

    • Dee

      They should all be arrested by “we the people..”
      as a gangster class.. guilty of public theft against 
      the American people and the US Tresury.

      Here is Mitch Mc Connell and Company blocking 
      the CBO’s Tax Report that the Bush era tax cuts 
      were essentially a GOP/Wall St scam as the cuts 
      had no relationship (correlation)with job creation.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/questions-raised-on-withdrawal-of-congressional-research-services-report-on-tax-rates.html?_r=1&

      The victims looking for jobs that were never created

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/economy/lingering-unemployment-poses-long-term-risk.html?pagewanted=all

      Then the GOP blocked Obama’s efforts to help them…

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/us/politics/13obama.html?_r=0

      This has all Wall Street’s finger prints on this GOP
      complicit criminality…..(Recall the Goldman Sach
      broker 2 years ago whom Carl Levin called out for 
      selling a shareholder stock & then betting against it) 

       

      • William

         Obama loves Wall Street.

    • ExcellentNews

      Absolutely Dee. Bush tax cuts had nothing to do with the “good” economy – the latter was fueled by borrowing at artificially low interest rates. During Bush tenure, approximately 12,000,000 high-wage US jobs were converted to low-grade, non-union McJobs. Coincidentally, the top 0.1% of households nearly tripled their wealth. Why is Obama silent about that?

    • William

       Obama signed the trade agreement with South Korea and we lost on that deal. He is pushing to give citizenship to 11-20 million illegals which will only hurt the budget and the legal residents seeking employment. He is pushing for a new trade agreement with Europe and like all the other trade agreements (South Korea, Nafata) will only hurt the middle class here in the USA.
       

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

    Virginia threatens to enact something resembling real democracy.

    The three-person Country Election Board is made up of one Republican, one Democrat, and one person appointed by the Governor.

    But Heritage hack Hans Von Spakovsky, the Gov’s choice for Electoral board in Fairfax County VA, and voter fraud conspiracist extraordinaire, has been rejected for reappointment. GOP-lead VA lege-selected judges have rejected Von Spakovsky.

    And if anyone’s wondering, this is after the Fairfax County, the largest county in the state, ended up with “massive lines at polling places with minority (Democratic) voters, while most GOP leaning precincts were able to go in and quickly vote with little wait time.”

    This makes Fairfax County one place in the South where black voters just don’t have to “want it more”.

    • Gregg Smith

      I had to read the links and the links within the links to get that your beef is Voter ID. Why do you assume blacks are too stupid to obtain valid ID? Is it because you assume they are felons? Is it because being black makes you too poor? Why?

      Do you think it is as bad as when Democrats designed the butterfly ballot for Pat Buchanan? What about this black woman? She’s crafty. Smart capable blacks exist.

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

        Your devotion to the idea that I’m calling suppressed black voters stupid says more about you than I could ever wish.

        Keep saying that in polite company.

        • Gregg Smith

          Stupid was not the only option. What is it about blacks that makes them disproportionate victims of voter ID. There must be something. I submit it has to be veiled racism on some level. Prove me wrong.

          Please condemn the woman who voted 6 times. Be consistent, I’m rooting for you.

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

            “Victims of voter ID”? Hilarous phrasing.

            Black voter scrubbing is the goal. That righties like yourself are making excuses for it is all the proof I want.

            I can point to all the quotes, but I won’t bother. Asshat.

          • Gregg Smith

            If blacks are not victims then what’s your point?

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

            I’m starting to wonder if talking with a genuine racist might be more constructive than a blind-to-it Southerner like you.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s a simple question.

          • Gregg Smith

            BTW, to be clear, I don’t think you are a racist. I just think you can’t admit that you are judging by the color of skin.

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

            I don’t care if you think I’m a racist. It couldn’t matter to me less.

            Keep on that “high road”, bub.

        • jefe68

          It’s amazing is it not.

          • Gregg Smith

            Can you give a reason why blacks have a harder time obtaining valid ID? I don’t think they do.

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

            There you go again, “thinking”.

            And you say you’ve lived in the South your whole life.

            For a non-racist, you’ve got a blind spot a mile wide.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll take that as a “wink wink nod nod, everybody knows” but an answer would have been better. There has to be one. 

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

            No point talking to a right-wing Southerner like you about racism, is there?

          • Gregg Smith

            Obviously not.

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

          Is this polite company?

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

            That depends. NPR has moderators, one thinks. Certain words will get posts deleted, and that makes those posts “impolite”.

            Well, plus there was that goober Texan who called me a “c*ckbiter” (in the originally unredacted form) and moderation was not forthcoming. So at some point I can’t stand here and wait for an authority figure to do anything; there’s no trust in that happening.

            But on the other hand, plenty of right-wing and mainstream websites of media orgs are overrun by right-wingers who’d make the folks here soil themselves.

            And “polite” swings both ways. Every time someone says something stupid, and polite, there is the danger (actual danger) that NPR will decide to include their right-wing guests as “part of the conversation”, because NPR has yet to give up on their Ombud’s stated goal to “appeal more to right-wing listeners”.

            The mainstream media is full of pearl-clutching hypocrites who obsess about “politeness”. And it’s not a “both sides” problem.

          • Gregg Smith

            Your last paragraph is brilliant. Credit where credit is due.

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

            Yeah, you’ve got an interpretation problem there. It means exactly the opposite of what you think. But it is brilliant.

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

            I could provide a few comments that have slipped past the moderators.  I don’t care really.  It seems that curious that many here want to remind me of there affection for dialogue from certain John Waters’ movies.  I don’t get what you mean by:
            “The mainstream media is full of pearl-clutching hypocrites who obsess about “politeness”. And it’s not a “both sides” problem.” 
            What exactly are you trying to say?

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

            What I’m trying to say is all right there: NPR wants to make right-wingers “feel good” about tuning into NPR while “not debasing their journalistic output”.

            That’s a recipe for failure. And if it were embodied in one person, a recipe for a massive stroke.

  • billerina

    Laura Meckler’s amusement at the idea that Jesse Jackson’s spending sprees could not be related to Bipolar Disorder was as offensive as it was uninformed.

    It is actually well documented that people in the manic phase of the disorder engage in spending sprees. Her dismissiveness on that point was callous and unworthy of this show.

    • Coastghost

      Perhaps, exercising critical thought, she was expressing skepticism about the accuracy of the diagnosis that former Rep. Jackson may well have gone shopping for.
      What spending manias might the former Representative have succumbed to had he remained in office? (Perhaps Democratic officeholders are especially prone to this malady.) 
      Perhaps Ms. Meckler harbors sympathy for the anti-psychiatry movement or is an admirer of the late Dr. Thomas Szasz. 

      • JGC

        If he was shopping for a bipolar diagnosis, doesn’t that prove he has uncontrollable shopping tendencies brought on by his mental disability? 

        • StilllHere

          Bipolar diagnosis, aisle 3 by the mayo.

          • JGC

            lol

        • Coastghost

          Oh, not necessarily (what is it people say: “correlation is not causation”?). When the post-mortem on former Rep. Jackson’s career is composed, we’ll be reminded of just when he got his first whiff that his raid on campaign contributions had likely been detected, and if that is shown to antedate his VERY PUBLIC trips to the Mayo Clinic, investigative historians may yet conclude that the “diagnosis” constituted a ruse to garner sympathy in advance of the Federal charges coming his way. Quite possibly, he has a touch of BPD, of some kind; but I don’t necessarily believe it on the basis of what has been public knowledge to this point. Perhaps instead of a BPD diagnosis, he suffers from megalomania tinged with fatalistic beliefs.

        • Gregg Smith

          I don’t mean to demean real problems. I know for a fact the mind can play tricks. I understand certain things can be bigger than the person.That may be true of JJJ but I can’t help but to be skeptical.

          Having said that, I don’t believe in addiction. I’ve quit lots of things. When the rubber meets the road you have the  choice whether to steal or not; cheat or not; take the pill/drink or not; light up or not. I’m not a fan of excuses unless they are truly valid.

  • http://twitter.com/trii trii

    Laura Meckler’s sneering response “Who is paying attention, that’s yesterday’s news”  to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s question to banking regulators “Who went to jail?” is typical Wall Street Journal reporter bubble speak.

    Ms. Meckler – we are all paying attention and it is not yesterday’s news.

  • Gregg Smith

    The question we should be asking is not, “How will we survive sequestration”? It is, “How are we going to find a way to spend $15 billion more than last year after the sequestration”?

    • StilllHere

      According to Dems, if we cut spending growth by $44B, the world as we know it will end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.enders.92 Robert Enders

    “The boom, not the bust is the time for austerity.”  The Congressional Republicans offer a choice of either sequester or, worse, even more severe budget cuts.  There’s no negotiating with them.  We should be investing in education, infrastructure, and more medical professionals–docters, PAs, nurses, etc–to bring down health costs.  The deficit will not be a problem when we start growing the GDP faster than the debt.  But budget cuts, when the coroprations are sitting on piles of cash, would be self-defeating–such cuts will reduce everyone’s income (in aggregate), cutting GDP, reducing tax receipts, and will fail to bring the deficit (real or relative) down.  (Econ 101)

    • Gregg Smith

      “There’s no negotiating with them.”

      I would suggest there is a very good way to pry the Republican’s  last finger off the last desperately clinging grasp the wieners have on the last branch of government now that Roberts has flipped. 

      Vote. Think about it, the House passes some extreme lamebrain agenda like a budget or something that will avoid sequester, crazy stuff. And then the Senate votes and it goes down in crushing defeat. Humiliation. Show them for what they are. What could the House do but give a little? Maybe a few Senators cross the aisle so the House gives a little more. A President weighs in. The next thing you know the impossible is within reach and the pressure mounts. Now the dynamic changes completely. The debate moves forward and votes ensue. Progress. 

      Republicans have been foolishly negotiating with themselves. We’ll see what happens this time. They’ve already passed 2 bills that would avoid sequester. Why the second? The first one was not debated and brought to a vote in the Senate. How can there be negotiation when no offer is considered and no counter offer is presented?

    • William

      Would it not be more logical to just freeze spending to 08 levels and “grow” our way out of debt?

      • StilllHere

        You are nuts to try to bring logic to this discussion.

      • hennorama

        William – in a word – NO.  If you have a logical argument for your idea “to just freeze spending to 08 levels” please lay it out for everyone.

        Please include how you would handle the impact of inflation, and what specific cuts you would make to current spending.

        Or does your idea mean to simply roll back all spending categories “to 08 levels”?  If so, what is to be done about spending from FY 2008 that some deem to be “wasteful government spending”?  Do we keep that in your proposed spending too?

        FYI, the Composite Deflator, a proxy for inflation, for FY 2012 (1.1815) vs. FY 2008 (1.1031) is up 7.1%.

        See:http://ycharts.com/indicators/us_composite_government_spending_deflator_percent

  • davecm

     “The facts are our culture’s not killing 25 people a day. It’s weapons and high-capacity magazines”
    This statement by Joe Biden tips the logic meter.
    The whole bunch in Washington tips the meter in the direction of, stupid does as stupid is!!!
    National debt now…….. 16.6 Trillion
    Illegals in country now…. 24,540,593

    Our nation is going in the wrong direction.

    • hennorama

      davecm – your statement “Illegals in country now…. 24,540,593″ is so specific.  Do you have an actual source for this?

      Or is it along the lines of noted asshat former “Representative” Allen West’s imaginary “78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party”?

      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/04/11/allen-west-ive-heard-80-house-democrats-are-communists-and-obama-is-too-scared-to-debate-me/

      • Gregg Smith

        “Asshat”? The man is a hero. Just because you disagree with his politics is no reason to get nasty. He made a case for his statement.

        • jimino

          I’ve heard the case for asshat. What’s the one for terming him a hero?

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

            He got all those medals in the military, didn’t he? And a Super-Honorable Discharge, after he was kicked out for Excessive Awesomemess (i.e. making the rest of his unit look bad by comparison).

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes, and a full pension. I like to think of myself as a burly manly man but compared to West I’m Richard Simmons.

          • jimino

            Well we now have a better idea of what you respect and think about yourself.

            To be blunt, the fact that blustering fools like West play a significant role in our military leadership probably helps explain why its value to our country has become less than the sum of its parts.  FUBAR!!

          • Gregg Smith

            Alrighty then.

          • davecm

            TF
            Please research the events that led to Allen West’s discharge. What he did saved the lives of his men in arms.

      • davecm

        Here is the source, it includes ALL illegals.
        http://www.immigrationcounters.com/

        • hennorama

          davecm – TY for your response. I appreciate it. You might want to re-think your choice of source, though. Here’s why:

          1. The site does no actual data collection. Rather, it picks some info it likes, that it deems to be “sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this site” then extrapolates it as if it was both 100% accurate, and completely constant, neither of which are true.

          The site uses the following long out of date info for their primary “Illegal Aliens in Country” counter:

          “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN COUNTRY … Counter Data: Department of Homeland Security and Bear Stearns Report, Increase of 700,000 per year. 700k /12 months = 58,333 per month = 1,944 per day = 81 per hr = 1.35 per minute = .02 per second. Beginning Jan 05 to June 06 = 291,665. Starting number 20,291,665 and update at 1.35 per minute or .02 per second. Clock start date is 1 June 06.

          This counter uses as its starting point the figure of 20 million, derived from a report from BEAR STEARNS dated Jan. 3, 2005, which concluded in part:

          “1. The number of illegal immigrants in the United States MAY BE as high as 20 million people, more than double the official 9 million people estimated by the Census Bureau.” (emphasis added)

          http://immigration.procon.org/sourcefiles/immidoc8.pdf

          Absent any contrary written evidence, this assumes that the rate is unchanged since June 1, 2006, which is pure unadulterated nonsense. This fails to take into account the Great Recession’s negative impact on immigration, especially from Mexico. Inflows and outflows of migrants between Mexico and the US appear to be either equal, or having a slight net outflow. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush pointed this out during an interview on Meet The Press just before the 2012 Republican National Convention.

          2. It has a sizable hint of anti-Mexican immigrant bias.

          Besides the primary counter you cited, there is second counter called “Other Than Mexican (OTM) in Country.” Comparing the “Illegal Aliens in Country” counter to the “OTM” counter leads one to conclude the site believes over 97% of “Illegal Aliens in Country” are from Mexico. This is nonsense. Various REPUTABLE sources put the figure at about 60%.

          Yet a third counter is called “Money Wired to Mexico Since Jan 2006.”

          3. The site is sloppy in very important areas. In the site’s LIMITATION OF LIABILITY section it hilariously uses the term “tortuous behavior” in place of “tortious behavior.” Kind of a big difference and not exactly a confidence builder, especially in a section of such import and where every word matters.

          4. The site’s data collection methods are questionable. Here’s what the site says about its methodology:

          “DATA COLLECTION METHODS: This site does not contain any original research, it contains research and data already released to the public so they don’t need to mine the numerous reports themselves. Significant effort is made to provide what is believed to be the most reliable data and as such is published in good faith to maintain integrity of data. We find that the data used is sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this site.

          “The methodology; find the data as far back as available, total to the current date and project the rate of increase. Some counters are formulated with their beginning numbers that date back several years. Others, because older data was not available begin more recently. The beginning year will be noted with each counter data source. If available, trend data from the previous years are used to set the clock update rates.”

          The site then goes on to list literally dozens of links to various sources, and various claims why other estimates are “myth,” “misleading, disingenuous and blatantly false,” etc. Rarely do unbiased data providers feel the need to denigrate the work of others.

          • davecm

            Whether it is 20 or 12 Million illegals, in the words of Hillary, “what difference does it make”, they are here breaking the law, does breaking the law matter to anyone here????
            The program this week on prisons.
            One person stated, “we cannot win the drug war” in other words, the bad guys win!!!
            So, does anyone care about right and wrong anymore??????
            No!! and that is why this nation is going down the drain, FAST!!!!!!!
            To forget history is to repeat the mistakes of history, Rome
            Our nation is going in the same direction and nobody can see it coming. We are at step 9 of 10 in that process.

          • hennorama

            davecm – TY for your response. I respect and appreciate your views, and your passionate punctuation.

            This is a population counter that uses their own data:

            http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html

            Rounding up, it gives us a US population (USP) of 315.4 million.

            One reason that the number illegal/unauthorized aliens (I/UAs) in the US matters is the relative size of the issue. Let’s use the Pew Hispanic Center’s number from their January 2013 report. Their estimate was 11.1 million I/UAs for 2011. That would equal 3.5% of the current USP.

            http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/01/29/a-nation-of-immigrants/

            If instead we use the made up number from the site you cited (24.54 million), then the issue is much larger – 7.8% of USP.

            Given that some have labeled sequestration spending category changes of 2.0% to 10.0% as small, unscary, minor, etc., then one might think those very same persons might consider the issue of I/UAs of 3.5% to 7.8% to also be small, unscary, minor, etc.

            This is doubtful at best.

            Part of the reason is as you say, I/UAs broke the law when they entered or overstayed. Everyone agrees that this is true, but some seem unable to get past this fact when discussing the issue.

            Christian theology has a concept of “original sin.” One could use this as an analogy for I/UAs breaking the law when they entered or overstayed. If this “original sin” could be overcome through a “baptism” of legitimized status, then what? Is there a reason that I/UAs cannot be forgiven of their “original sin?” Wouldn’t that be “the Christian thing to do”?

            Your comments “So, does anyone care about right and wrong anymore?????? No!! and that is why this nation is going down the drain, FAST!!!!!!!” will be left unremarked upon, as that is a much larger issue.

  • Dee

    The same criminal entity blocked the 9/11 Report 

    Here is David Ray Griffin talking about this following 
    the report…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmuYgP7-RfU

    And the Zionist apologist Michael Chertoff whom
    David Ray Griffin points to as shielding the FBI ‘s 
    role from the 9/11 Commision inquiry….(Here is 
    Chertoff talking about changing in the law after 
    9/11 at Harvard Law School–stating the law was 
    not “adequate” ) 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rKWbTh5YqQ 

    This is the same logic the Zionist entity and the 
    US Corporate elite and the US Security Machine 
    use for breaking and changing the law…such as 
    pre-emptive strikes….We all know this is totally 
    illegal in all the world’s languages…..except the 
    US & Israel’s as Bruce Fein & Ralph Nader point 
    out in their discussion, also.

    For those who still don’t get it here is A Blueprint 
    for 9/11 Truth by Architects for 9/11 Truth……

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vb7o-OOe20

    • JONBOSTON

      Any news on the beheading front?  New IED designs seeking patent protection?  New acid formulations to blind women? Any new Israeli schools targeted by Palestinian “freedom fighters”?

    • JONBOSTON

       So said Daniel Pearl on February 21, 2002:

        “My name is Daniel Pearl. I’m Jewish American from Encino, California, USA. I come from, on my father’s side the family is Zionist. My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel.” 

      Following these statements, Daniel Pearl’s throat is slit, and his head is severed. On May 16 his severed head and decomposed body were found cut into ten pieces….

      The “Zionist” garbage you routinely spew enables barbarians and savages. Your comments are sick and depraved….

  • JGC

    For interesting insight into the South African gun culture here is an article by Russell Smith , originally printed in the (Canadian) Globe and Mail yesterday.

    http://www.allvoices.com/news/14084011-fiction-sheds-light-on-south-africas-corrosive-narrative-of-fear

    and click on link to Globe and Mail article

  • Mike_Card

    Gregg–”Obama forced 2 million seniors out of medicare and into a voucher system. I’m sure you’re outraged.
    Who is Paul Ryan?”

    That isn’t what that National Journal article says, at all!

    • Gregg Smith

      Sorry, I’ll reframe: “Obama effectively forced 2 million seniors out of medicare and into a voucher system. In some cases they might be able to opt out if they understand so.” That’s all I can do.

      It says:
      “But back in Washington, his Health and Human Services Department is launching a pilot program that would shift up to 2 million of the poorest and most-vulnerable seniors out of the federal Medicare program and into private health insurance plans overseen by the states.” 

      And goes on to say:
      “California is already counting on more than $500 million in budget savings from its own program this year. Most states are proposing to automatically enroll people. Those who don’t want to participate would need to opt out. The Massachusetts plan includes that feature.”

      The States are implementing it because the Feds are making it available. It’s not a choice for the seniors until it’s done. I’m not even saying it’s bad… okay, I am but I hadn’t.

      You’ve gotta admit Obama owns enough of it to matter.

  • hennorama

    Here’s an example of one of those Texas companies Gov. Rick “OOPS!” Perry seems to adore:

    “The SCOOTER Store power wheelchair company raided in federal probe”

    Excerpts:

    “On Wednesday, 150 federal and state agents raided The SCOOTER Store headquarters in New Braunfels, Texas, and agents remain on the site. CBS News just spoke to an FBI agent Thursday morning who said workers will not be allowed back into headquarters through the day as the nation’s largest power wheelchair company remains under investigation.

    “….From 2009 to 2012, government auditors found The SCOOTER Store overbilled Medicare by as much as $108 million.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505266_162-57570450/the-scooter-store-power-wheelchair-company-raided-in-federal-probe/

    There also seems to be a Romney connection.  Tagg “I Want To Take A Swing At The President” Romney’s papa-financed “fund of funds” named Solamere contains a fund called Sun Capital Partners, which owns part of the Scooter Store.

    What a surprise.

    [EDIT/ADD]: Source –

    http://www.thenation.com/article/170470/tagg-team-romney-family-recipe-crony-capitalism#

    • OnPointComments

      Did you cobble together the links for these stories on your own, or did you decide to forego using the single DailyKOS link because you thought it would be suspect?
       

      Please clarify the implications of the stories you cited.  You seem to be implying (or at a minimum, leaving the reader to infer) that Romney advised The Scooter Store to overbill Medicare.  If you have any proof, please give it to us.  It seems a tenuous link, not nearly as direct as, say, the link between contributions to the Obama campaign and the half billion dollars funnelled to Solyndra, or any of the other Obama campaign bundlers connected to green energy companies that received federal loans, grants, or stimulus funds.  As the IBD stated in an editorial a year ago, “The pattern is clear. Bundle campaign cash for Obama, and get taxpayer dollars to be frittered away on trendy green projects that have no economic reason for being.”  But what’s a few billion government dollars among friends.  All government spending is good government spending, right?

      • hennorama

        OPC – TY for your response. Your views are both appreciated and respected.

        Given your repeated position as someone who is vigorously opposed to wasteful government spending, one would expect you to have been all over the Scooter Store Medicare overbilling story, and the story of this latest raid on their HQ in Texas. Did you just miss it?

        To answer your question about what you describe as “cobbl[ing] together the links for these stories”:

        The Scooter Store raid/investigation this week triggered a memory of the “CBS This Morning” investigative story from last month about Medicare overbilling. (See link below). I also had a vague recollection of the Romney/Scooter Store connection from the election runup. And I am greatly interested in the topic of Medicare waste fraud and abuse. This triple combo piqued my interest.

        So I simply plugged [Scooter Store Medicare Romney] into my favorite search engine and found the linked articles. I read The DAILY KOS article first. It focused on the single subject “Medicare scooters and Mitt linked through Tagg Romney’s crony capitalism” whereas the The Nation article (which was the source for KOS and was linked to in the KOS article) was more comprehensively titled “Tagg Team: The Romney Family Recipe for Crony Capitalism.” I thought the more comprehensive article was a superior source to link to.

        There IS a Romney connection, as stated. The reader can make of it what they will. One might fairly criticize my use of the sentence “What a surprise,” but the remainder of my post was completely factual, even my use of their own words to ridicule both Rick “OOPS!” Perry and Tagg “I Want To Take A Swing At The President” Romney. I said nothing as to any involvement by any of the Romneys in the Scooter Store improprieties or any decision making. But there is an undeniable monetary connection.

        As is typical of many of my posts, this one was along the lines of “Hey people – look at these facts.” And in contrast to most others in this forum, I post the sources of information so others can check them out on their own. Like this one:

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57562398/are-power-wheelchair-companies-ripping-off-the-government/

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

        “As the IBD stated in an editorial…”

        Submitted without comment.

  • Gregg Smith
  • JONBOSTON

     I thank one of the posters for reminding me of my past description of Obama as repulsive. His performance as president since his re-election has only re-inforced that view.

    He is the most divisive and partisan president in my lifetime, aided and abetted by a liberal mainstream media unwilling to challenge Obama on anything of consequence. And for those  few outlets  thinking of challenging the president, they realize the penalty would be isolation and exclusion from the oval office. Typical is Obama’s joke  “interview” this past week with the  rabble-rouser Rev. Al Sharpton. For those uninformed, ill-informed or intellectually challenged, Sharpton’s past claim to fame was serving as the “spiritual advisor” to Tawana Brawley,  who in 1987 falsely accused six white men (some of whom were police officers and a prosecutor) of raping her  and smearing her body with feces. The NY prosecutor successfully sued Brawley and Sharpton for defamation.

    For those Obama partisans who can’t possibly understand why the 49% who never voted for Obama  may regard him as an awful president , here’s an example. Obama said this about Republicans during his Sharpton interview, ” My sense is that their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals….or corporations and they would  prefer to see these kinds of cuts that slow down the recovery over closing tax loopholes and that’s the thing that binds their party together at this point…”. 

    Disregard the fact that even with the sequester, 2013 Federal spending will exceed 2012 spending by $15 billion. Even the mainstream media has come to acknowledge this ; witness ABC’s Jonathan Karl’s comments  this week or better yet, see the CBO Feb 2013 outlook page 11 that the sequester will only reduce spending in 2013 by $44billion from a budget of $3700 billion ( sorry, I don’t know how to create the link). This is the president talking about Republicans, the party of Lincoln. Typical Obama demonizing his opposition, believing that Republicans are motivated only to protect the rich or out of a base desire to avoid paying or “fair share “, “millionaires and billionaires” that Republicans all are. It couldn’t be that Republicans think that more taxes will kill jobs and slow down the economy –or that a serious debt problem and out of control spending must be stopped to avoid a financial meltdown.

    This president has done more to damage respect for the presidency since Richard Nixon. He pits citizen against citizen  and mobilizes certain groups of citizens (SEIU, ACORN , Occupy Wall Street) against certain other groups. During his campaign , he commanded his minions to “get in their faces”, and now as President , he is still in campaign mode. He foments distrust  amongst the citizenry and impugns the motives and sincerity of his opposition . I guess to Obama , the 49% who voted against him in the past election are not worthy of having their views heard.

    • pete18

       Well said, Jon. Prepare for the onslaught that will not address any of your content.

    • jimino

      So if I understand your attempted point, calling someone “repulsive” is constructive criticism but telling someone they’re economically ignorant is demonizing them?   

      • JONBOSTON

        Apparently you don’t understand my points. And I’m not the president of the US, responsible for demonstrating leadership in order to address the many problems facing this country, including continued high unemployment, no growth in the economy, record numbers in poverty, failing public schools, 48 million people on food stamps , record numbers on federal disability, etc. I could go on but won’t. Obama was impugning the motives of his Republican opposition, not their economic literacy. I suspect reading comprehension is not one of your core competencies. And yes, he’s repulsive. A thoroughly awful president.

        • Coastghost

          “Incompetence, thy name is Obama!”

    • Coastghost

      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/26/world/africa/26obama.html?_r=0

      Mr Gettleman filed his report upon Sen. Obama’s arrival. This report as published betrays an amazing lack of requisite specificity: only the barest (non-explicit) allusions to the Kikuyu-Luo divide in Kenyan domestic politics. And readers do not learn from this report whether Sen. Obama’s visit subsequently contributed to political inflammation among his Luo devotees against the Kikuyu-led government of Pres. Mwai Kibaki, resulting in civil unrest that led to the deaths of upwards of 1000 Kenyans, Luo and Kikuyu alike.

      Arguably, Obama’s record of promoting civil unrest antedates even his first election as POTUS.

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

      “Forty-nine percent”? When did Romney pick up the extra ~1.5%?

      Maybe you just spent too much of October believing the Mittmentum meme that our “liberal media” was spraying all over.

      And I’m still waiting for that “liberal media”, fresh off their shit fit about this President golfing without them!! while they were goddamn handmaidens to the President who lied us into Iraq.

      • JONBOSTON

        Can you read? I said “49% who voted against him”. Obama received 51.1% of the popular vote. That includes all the voter fraud, like the poll watcher in Ohio who voted for Obama 6 times.

        • StilllHere

          TF doesn’t read, just reacts.

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

          I missed one picayune point you posted. So sue me.

          I’ve been so busy reading the actual outcome of the election with our mainstream and contrasting that to your side’s right-wing October narrative (“Mittmentum! Tightening up every day! That one bullshit poll that shows it’s close is the one that matters!”) that I missed your one niblet.

          Big whoop. So sue me.

          • JONBOSTON

            Bit of advice. Don’t post. You sound like a fool.

          • StilllHere

            You’re being too kind.

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

            Okay, dipwad. Whatever you need to tell yourself about losing the election after swallowing all the mainstream tripe about how the election was “so close” for “so long”.

            Hennorama has put up some eloquent things about post-election stress disorder; it’s well worth your time.

            Whenever you want to come up with how people left of Obama voted for a third-party candidate, and that makes you correct…

            Or how Romney was a real conservative right up until the day he lost, then he got demoted to “just not conservative enough”…

            We’ll be here.

      • hennorama

        TF – pssst … Romney wasn’t the only other candidate besides Pres. Obama.  Combined, those two men officially received 98.27% of the all votes for President.  Obama got 51.06% and Romney got 47.21%.

        That leaves 1.73% of the votes cast for the other 26 human ballot options, including 518 cast in Louisiana for Prohibition Party nominee Jack Fellure, who says on his website:

        “Why You Should Vote For Jack Fellure For President of the United States 2012

        “My Presidential Campaign Platform is the Authorized 1611 King James Bible. God Almighty wrote that Book as the supreme constitution and absolute authority in the affairs of all men for all time and eternity. It shall never be necessary to change it.

        “Quality leather bound copies of this Bible have been sent to the Presidential Office, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, the National Republican Party, the National Democratic Party, and the Federal Election Commission.

        “Should I be elected to the Presidency, this Bible will be open on the desk in the White House Oval Office to Psalm 33:12, “BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD”, and also to II Samuel 23:3, “HE THAT RULETH OVER MEN MUST BE JUST, RULING IN THE FEAR OF GOD”. It shall never be closed during my tenure. I will take the inauguration oath of office with my hand on my Bible opened to Deuteronomy 28.”

        See:http://swordof1611.webs.com/jackfellure2012.htm

        “NONE OF THESE CANDIDATES” was a ballot option in Nevada, receiving 5,770 votes, more than 11 times the number cast for Fellure.

        Official 2012 Presidential election results can be found here:
        http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2012/2012presgeresults.pdf

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

          Yeah, I overlooked the “49% against” point because I’ve been so busy looking at the real outcome of the election compared to the mainstreamers and right-wingers who were telling us about Mittmentum and “any day now” in October that “this race was going to continue tighten up and become a nailbiter”.

          You, I accept correction from.

          The others: Sue me. Big freaking deal.

          • hennorama

            TF – TY for your response. I hear ya. It was a fine factual point that was being made, and an arguably somewhat desperate one as you said.

            Elections matter. Pres. Obama and Congressional Democrats won fair and square. Many supporters of their opponents are still shell-shocked, devastated, fearful, traumatized and in denial. I have previously labeled this as PTERSD – Post-Traumatic Election Results Stress Disorder.

            PTERSD symptoms are similar to some PTSD symptoms:

            Flashbacks

            Hopelessness about the future

            Memory problems

            Irritability or anger

            Being easily startled or frightened

            Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there

            These sorts of things are regularly on display in this forum, and all over various media. Entertaining perhaps, but not constructive. Time may help PTERSD sufferers, but they first need to accept that they have this problem. So far, there’s precious little evidence of such acceptance.

            It was also entertaining to me to show what one of the other 26 human ballot options was campaigning on. Some of these perennial candidates are … well, let’s just be polite and say “unique.”

            TY again for your response.

    • Fredlinskip

      “My sense is that their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals… or corporations and they would  prefer to see these kinds of cuts that slow down the recovery over closing tax loopholes and that’s the thing that binds their party together at this point…”. 
      This may not be your view, but seems to be the view of most Americans. 
      GOP congressman have painted themselves into a corner because they believe their allegiance to Norquist more important than that to constitution or American people.

      “…Republicans- the party of Lincoln.” 
      Lincoln was a Progressive. Party affiliations have changed over history. Lincoln was elected by Northern votes. Southern states, which has always represented “base” of Conservative party, didn’t like him so much. Look it up some time. 
      (Republican Theodore Roosevelt ran on Progressive ticket).

       “It couldn’t be that Republicans think that more taxes will kill jobs and slow down the economy –or that a serious debt problem….”

      Republicans do seem to be experts at killing jobs- one wonders if that isn’t their goal sometimes. Why? I don’t know- are they trying to make sure Obama is only a 2-term President???

      As far as debt, Republicans are experts at this as well, since from 1960 through 2008, every GOP president has increased the debt/GDP ratio, while every Dem President has decreased it. That’s quite the “fiscal conservative” record GOP has there.

      As far as being in campaign mode- I applaud  Presidents strategy of going directly to the people- because he’s bent over backwards trying to negotiate with GOP directly. 

      As far as being “most divisive Prez in your lifetime”, I take it you are 4 going on 4.5?
      W was Prez at a time when 9/11 temporarily unified the world and the country. Too bad he chose course of action that divided country and the World in a way that defied belief. Talk about squandering “political capital” & international good will.

      Keep watching Hannity and Fox, because Murdoch media outlets & the cartoon network are the only honest news sources left.

    • StilllHere

      Great post.  I doubt we’ll see any factual refutations.

      • Fredlinskip

        see below

  • Steve__T

    Disquscustling Disqus.

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

    Nice to know the Jobs are Job N+1 GOP House is hard at work, “rightifying” the new Violence Against Women bill to not include historically underserved LGBT victims of domestic violence.

    The regular one, passed by the “60 is the new 51″ Senate, was “improved” by all the usual suspects in the House.

    The House GOP bill entirely leaves out provisions aimed at helping LGBT victims of domestic violence. Specifically,
    the bill removes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” from the
    list of underserved populations who face barriers to accessing victim
    services, thereby disqualifying LGBT victims from a related grant
    program. The bill also eliminates a requirement in the Senate
    bill that programs that receive funding under VAWA provide services
    regardless of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

    PS If that’s not enough fun, the Senate bill’s protections for Native American victims were also protested as “unconstitutional” and received “vocal opposition” from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).

    Stay classy, white guys! All I can figure is that it’s been cleared by Dick Cheney, who figures he’s rich enough to hire any lawyer his lesbian daughter would ever need.

  • Gregg Smith
  • davecm

    hennorama
    Here is the source for the number of illegals.
    It includes all illegals not just the 12M you always hear about!
    http://www.immigrationcounters.com/

    The government slightly misrepresents the true number, for political reasons I guess?

    • hennorama

      davecm – I replied to your original thread below, essentially dissecting that source.

      See:http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/02/22/week-in-the-news-feb-22#comment-810128243

      • brettearle

         henn–

        Are you publishing anywhere?

        If not, why not?

        • hennorama

          brettearle – TY for your implicitly kind thoughts.

          To answer your questions: No (other than “in here”). I write solely for my own amusement and the occasional bemusement of others.

          I would extend the series to “cemusement” but alas, the only support for that particular trisyllable is found on the blog of someone who says:

          “It’ll Be A Thing!

          New Word: Cemuse – to distract someone through comedy”

          http://jeremyisintheoffice.blogspot.com/2012/06/itll-be-thing.html

          Thanks again for your kind words.

          • brettearle

            So….I get it:

            I’m chopped liver?  [Stupid cliche Jewish joke.  I can get away with it.  I'm a Landsman.]

            You’d rather not ask about me?….

            [Sort of like....."Well, I'm tired of talking about my book....what do you think of my book?"]

          • hennorama

            brettearle – Soooo … how’s yah muthah?

            Feeling I now have some license … brettearle, I’ve heard your work is terrible; and such short paragraphs! Please, tell us what YOU think about it.

            ;-)

            TY for your good-natured banter.

          • hennorama

            and anuthah thing … ixnay on the amesnay there bustah

  • Fredlinskip

    Closing loopholes increase taxes on those who directly finance political campaigns. It’s no wonder there is so much resistance to it.
    The audacity of GOP is unbelievable- Prez and Dem Congressman are poised to negotiate huge spending cuts to programs that most Dems aren’t going to like-
    Yet GOP won’t do it- because they want to preserve loopholes??
    It boggles the mind.

    “Give me Liberty.. and a tax loophole… or give me Death”

  • Fredlinskip

    Got disqused

  • Steve__T

    .

  • Steve__T

    I am truly dis liking Disqus right now.

  • jefe68

    As much as I disliked GW Bush’s polices and his party I still respected the office the man held. The extremist who post here, and you folks are right wing extremist, seem to know no bounds when it comes to insulting the highest office of our nation. Shame on the lot of you.

    • brettearle

      It’s your basic sour grapes and sour puss mentality.

      In full denial of their primitive vulgarity.

      God will punish them….

    • pete18

       Can you give us an example of something that people have said that amounts to disrespecting the office that is distinct from critiquing the office holder? Because surely you agree that critiquing the president one of the great
      exercises of a democracy, yes?

      • brettearle

        Sure it is.

        But when the invective goes way over the top–with verbal assaults of high-order pollution; primitive character assassinations of total ignorance; abusive epithets–then it’s ‘OUR’ job to exercise the SAME RIGHT of Free Speech,

        YES?

        • pete18

           Yes, of course, but I was asking Jeff for some examples of critiques voiced here of that passed over this line. He said there were shameful things being said about Obama that injured the office itself. I’m curious as to what his standard is. He’s being pretty quiet about it. Maybe you can provide us with some specifics?

          • brettearle

            I think Jefe68 just spoke for himself, above.

            Unless you wish me to, “check his work.”….

          • pete18

             Please, pile on. Maybe you have other examples or a different line that you draw?

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t recall any Senators comparing Obama to Pol Pot or Stalin on the Senate floor. I don’t remember anyone telling Obama “This war is lost”.

      • jefe68

        I’m all for critiquing the President. I read and hear  the right use language such as “repulsive” “that Kenyan” or “ tyrannical dictator” or he’s a fascist and a communist (often in the same sentence) to describe President Obama. 

        • pete18

          Those are pretty on par, maybe even milder, for what Democrats, practicing their patriotic dissent, said about Bush on a daily basis. He was bombarded with lots of personal and unfair critiques but the office held up fine.

          I haven’t seen anyone on this board use the term “Kenyan” or “tyrannical dictator.” “Repulsive” seems eminently fair when one is evaluating the hypocrisy and 

          disingenuousness of a politician whom one sees as thoroughly destructive to the country.

          In my opinion “communist” and “fascist”
          are unfair, but not because Obama’s policies aren’t destructive to the economy or driven by state control but because those two forms of ideology were so horrifically murderous and catastrophic that it’s an insult to all the people who suffered under them
          to use those terms for lesser forms of tyranny. Oops, can I say “tyranny?” Of course many on the left see Communism as
          an attribute, so where’s the insult?

          Although I wouldn’t use all of them, I think the presidency can withstand every term you’ve mentioned.  What modern Presidents endure in today’s discourse is kid stuff compared to what was thrown at them in the early days. The office has survived quite nicely.

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

            I’ve said this before, but “on this board” is different from the multitudes of right-wing tastemakers, media figures, political leaders and advocacy whores are still saying “communist”, “Kenyan” and “dictator” that I don’t really take any comfort in you not saying it.

          • pete18

             I’m not looking to comfort you. Jefe68 was making his comments about the posts happening here.

            If you want to open up the discussion to tastemakers, media figures and politicians to critique the right, then you will be obligated to defend the repugnant commentary that cascades in from the left as well. You are completely deluded if you think there is superior level of honor or civility defending the port side of your flotilla.

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

            the repugnant commentary that cascades in from the left as well

            For all the traction that gets in the media, the left barely exists.

            Hate to spoil the ending for you, but the right’s wack-jobs, in both policy and vitriol terms, is their base. They need it to win media cycles and win elections.

            Don’t try that “both sides do it as much” false equivalency here.

          • pete18

            Oh I don’t think both sides do it equally. The left is far worse.

  • Gregg Smith

    I understand the price of gas is not under any one person’s or entity’s control. I get that. Gas prices are going through the roof and it does not have to be. The boogie man of peak oil is no longer a factor. It never was. Bush wanted to drill in ANWR, they scoffed it would take a decade to come on line. That was 12 years ago, it would have been nice now. Bush did manage to issue bookoos of new permits elsewhere. Now Obama is taking credit for them… and Fracking… as he denies the future. 

    And the pipeline!? Does anybody think the planet will be affected less if China get’s the oil? Alternative sources are great but to this point it’s been money down a rat hole. Let’s keep trying but in the meantime, which is also a groovy time, what is the matter with going full steam ahead with an “all of the above” approach that includes fossil fuels? Maybe we could use a closed down military base to build a refinery … or three.

    Have you seen the unemployment rate in ND? Walmart trainees start at $17/hour! It doesn’t have to be like this.

    • nj_v2

      It’s just so pathetic. Greggg posts oil industry PR flack as truth. Despite what the corporate energy opportunists and the mindless drones who believe them say, we are in the era of peak oil. 

      Given current consumption rates, and even the most reasonably optimistic estimates of novel sources such as shale, tar sands, deepwater, and even frack gas, there are only a few decades, at best, before consumption rates for fossil fuels outstrip production, worldwide. The figures are out there, all one has to do is look at them. This is an objective, demonstrable fact.

      Of course, oxidizing every last bit of harvestable underground carbon into the atmosphere will accelerate and exacerbate climate disruption with likely consequences that are yet unfathomable and which will be far, far costlier than the cost of taking the actions now to transition to an energy-use regimen of efficiency, reorganization, reduced use, and adoption of sustainable sources.

      • JGC

        I agree with what you say about peak oil, but the push seems so inexorable. At least China is getting on board in recognizing they have to improve their efficiencies of energy use. 

      • Gregg Smith

        O please, we have plenty. It will be used.

    • JGC

      I know you’re no stranger to hard work and hard times,  but oh, boy I can’t resist (from the Spokesman-Review,29 Apr 2012), here’s what awaits you in Frack Central,  Williston, ND as you accept your dream job at WalMart:

      “This is like the Alaska gold rush, except it’s with trucks instead of horses and mules,” said Glenn Welstad, president of a Post Falls staffing company. “It’s intoxicating – the amount of work and opportunity going on.” The oil boom has brought a frontier mentality to Williston.  Housing is so scarce that one-bedroom apartments rent for $1700/month. Ever present prairie winds scatter litter and blow grit around town.  Though he’s glad to be working, Kevin McLeod, a fly-fisherman, misses trout streams and trees.  “This place is nothing but a dirt hole,” he said, “but it’s the only place to make a dollar right now.” Kevin paid $10 a night to park his camper in a county park, washing up in a 5-gallon bucket. “For almost three months, a shower was a luxury,” he said.The hours are brutal and so is the weather. Many workers clock 70 to 110 hours each week, relying on cigarettes and Red Bull to stay alert. In this part of North Dakota, the record low temperature is 50 below zero.”

      I would have to recommend that wanna-be roustabouts and future WalMart trainees interested in quality of life, should go to the fracking fields of Pennsylvania instead. There, the winter low temperature is usually no more than 20 below, and the fishing and hunting are mighty fine.

      • JGC

        P.S.  Didn’t Obama say he would take an all-of-the-above approach to energy demands?  That is exactly what he is doing: Fracking, oil drilling, solar, wind, etc. (It is probably just as well not to expand nuclear, what with all those mini-earthquakes being caused by the fracking boom.)
        What is the opposite of BFF? Frenemies? Whatever it is, that is how to describe the relationship between Harper and Obama. Harper is wetting his pants on what to do with his Alberta oil sands crude. To me it looks like they will be sending in some by rail to U.S. refineries, and some by retrofitting/reversing a natural gas pipeline that runs to the St. Lawrence near Montreal. 

        • Gregg Smith

          It seems to me Obama’s approach is, “anything but fossil fuels”. Any new drilling is done on private land despite Obama not because of him. 

      • Gregg Smith

        I don’t know how ya’ll northerners do it. It’s cold up there. 

        • JGC

          Just a couple more decades of climate change, and we’ll be the ones with average February lows in the 30s…

          • Gregg Smith

            One can hope.

  • JGC

    Dan Ariely has been a guest on On Point a number of times over the years (most recently “Why We Lie”), always an amusing hour with eyebrow raising insights into human motivations. Ariely is doing a MOOC (massive open online course) through coursera.org , beginning March 25, 2013 for 6 weeks, called “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior”.  Free MOOCs! Isn’t this a great time to be alive? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1267007099 Peter Janovsky

    I used to listen to Friday night’s On Point “Week in Review” every week on WNYC and looked forward to hearing the usually intelligent and diverse veiws.

    I tuned in last night and was disappointed and angry at what I heard in the first ten minutes.  It epitomized the failure of the media to recognize what is going on politically right now.   Here’s what I heard:

    Accepting that blackmail (the sequester, government shut down) is appropriate leverage.

    Saying its up to Obama to compromise and accept that Republicans can’t be expected to raise taxes again!

    Accepting that something urgent needs to be done about the deficit.

    Failing to say that the deficit has fallen faster under Obama than under any prior President.

    Failing to say that taxes are still at an all time low for the wealthy and that inequality is disastrous.

    Accepting that both sides are equally responsible for the gridlock.

    Accepting the nonsense family budget analysis.

    Calling Obama arrogant for not talking to Boehner and McConnell more.

    Failing to say what a compromise would be?  Cutting Medicare? Social Security? (clearly implied)

    Very depressing — especially for Jack Beatty.

    • Pat Van Slyke

       I just listened to the podcast of this program and I’m steamed, especially over John King’s inane comparison of a family budget to the national financial situation.  What if one of the wage earning members of the family, say the one with the highest salary, keeps almost all his earnings in a separate account and only minimally chips in to the maintenance of the family.

      • pete18

        Would that be the top 10% of wage earners who pay over 70% of the tax burden?

        Wouldn’t a more accurate analogy be the family member who continues to spend more and more money each year on a credit card and then, instead of reducing his or her spending, comes back to the top provider of the household, who has been contributing to over 70% of the household budget, and asks for more money? That does sound crazy doesn’t it? For a household or a government.

        • hennorama

          A simple request – when discussing “taxes” please distinguish between Federal, state, and local taxes.  The word “taxes” does NOT only mean “Federal taxes.”  The distinctions are important.

          • pete18

             It does when you’re discussing the federal budget, which is what we were doing.

    • hennorama

      A simple request – when discussing “taxes” please distinguish between Federal, state, and local taxes.  The word “taxes” does NOT only mean “Federal taxes.”  The distinctions are important.

  • Coastghost

    If Obama is genuinely concerned with the threat(s) posed by sequestration, then perhaps the idea floated by Karl Rove has some merit: the House will have to act fast this coming week, but if it wants to, apparently it can give the President the power to designate how the sequestration is applied and to distribute the “cuts” where they are presently scheduled to occur. This would give Congress and the American people a much clearer idea of what the President’s actual priorities are.
    Since the idea has been floated over the past week or two, it begins to suggest the question of why Obama himself would not petition for the chance to follow exactly this course, instead of letting the “cuts” fall across the board. (Or has he so petitioned and no one noticed?)
    If the House would not trust Obama to make these determinations, it could craft a quick bill permitting his Cabinet secretaries to make the decisions. Obama might actually prefer this course.
    How eager is Obama to lead, this early in his second term?

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

      I’m sorry, after “Karl Rove”, many of us stopped reading. That guy hasn’t a brain in his head for policy, and his political acumen basically is overrated by a long shot.

      Why is it there’s so many people in our “liberal media” dedicated to insisting that President Obama “League of Rivals” himself to a standstill, pretending all those hacks dedicated to destroying his presidency (no matter the side effects) be included on the conversation? How does that “The right wing got their asses tanned to a glow-in-the-dark red in the election, so let’s be nice to them” get such traction?

      Now excuse me while I turn on the Sunday gasbag shows.

  • StilllHere

    Ask yourself, how could a guy like JJJ, in public service all of his life, afford to buy a house in DC for $800K, dress in custom suits, and wear designer watches?  This story, and probably another one, was ignored for a long time.  How about Rangel?  Same thing, three homes, custom suits, matching watch/cufflinks collection.  Smells bad.

  • Gregg Smith

    Forbes came out with a list of the 10 most miserable places to live in America. 3 are in Michigan, 3 in Illinois and 3 are in California, plus NYC. Liberal bastions.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/21/detroit-most-miserable-city-america_n_2736106.html#slide=more282423

    • Fredlinskip

      Most of the record-breaking porkbarrel spending that occurred under W, not-so-coincidentally occurred in red states.
      This practice ended under Obama and may help shed some light.

    • JGC

      Those are Forbes’ list of most miserable URBAN areas to live. I wonder if they would ever consider doing Top Ten Most Miserable Suburban, and Rural, Places to Live…

      • Gregg Smith

        Interesting. I would think that by default urban areas would rely more on government and rural areas would rely more on themselves and their communities. I have my own ideas about which dynamic results in more fulfillment and happiness, but different strokes…

  • Coastghost

    The awful depth of embarrassment caused by former Rep. Jackson’s (D-IL) guilty plea was revealed just last night: of all people GARRISON KEILLOR rebuked JJJr. on “A Prairie Home Companion”!
    “Liberal Democrats do not buy Rolex watches,” he quipped, just before cracking wise that such purchases are best left to the ranks of Protestant TV preachers.
    Yet in Lake Wobegon, all things are possible. (The banjo program otherwise proved a welcome diversion, tho Garrison’s voice sounded a bit weak.)

    • JGC

      I heard that, too.  No doubt Jackson feels even worse now.  (But this still doesn’t strike me as your average politician on the take. When BAM is completed, voters will be able to insist candidates have a brain scan to see if there is a propensity towards doing things like buying $8000 elk stuffed heads or “hiking” the Appalachian Trail or sending naked torso shots through the Twitterverse.)

      Keillor is off his game lately. Maybe due to his health problems a year or two ago.

      • Coastghost

        Yeh, the applause sounded as weak and as thin as his voice. (This was the first “PHC” show I’ve heard live or recorded in quite a while, but the banjomeisters on hand were pretty good.)

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

        I hear Mark Sanford is interested in running for that open Congressional seat in SC.

        What did he do to get his good name back? I sorta forget.

  • Coastghost

    @yahoo-JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y:disqus  TF below (response appears here courtesy of Disqust):
    Granted, Mr Rove is in “credibility salvage” mode three months after the election, but his WSJ piece is perhaps more sensible than anything he said just prior to the 2012 vote. Discount it or discredit it simply because his name’s in the byline?
    If the idea is disreputable simply because it was voiced by Mr Rove, what solution does Mr Obama propose, if in fact he is genuinely concerned about whatever outcomes the sequestration might entail? 
    This trope that Sub-Messiah Obama is the Second Coming of Honest Ape Lincoln is growing tedious already, too, let me tell you.

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

      “Credibility salvage mode” means “go off into the wilderness, start making sense, stop being a whore through one’s regular fluffers (like the WSJ) and maybe in a few years people should pay attention to Karl Rove”. Until then, it’s just another case of “The press corpse is washing the losingness off a Republican in a nanosecond.”

      And I’m not with anyone who’s obsessing about Lincoln and Obama. Any more than the coverage about “how to govern” turned to  crap when GWB “earned political capital” with his “unmandate” of 2004. Everyone on TV who fluffed “Mittmentum” as “310 EVs and a landslide” was “Obama juuuuust squeaked by” after election day 2012. That’s no coincidence.

      PS Have you typed “Ape Lincoln” more than once? What’s up with that.

      • Coastghost

        Congratulations on your proofreading: yes, I’ve decided to follow 19th century usage here to make the point that not all Americans are enamored of the career of the Tyrant of Springfield: somehow, I remain mindful of Lincoln’s accomplishments as a civil libertarian. (I am being at least partly ironic, but I cannot say how much without risking injury to the irony.) 

    • JGC

      I just do not see the brilliance in that idea at all, from Rove.  Let Obama have carte blanche to make the budget cuts? I can’t help but think the Obama’s advisors are all sitting around the war room, rubbing their hands together, and whispering, “Oh please oh please oh please”.  This sounds like typically bad Rovian advice. Maybe he’s a double agent for the Obama White House…

      • Coastghost

        So you think Obama is clamoring in secret for such authority? I don’t think he’s eager for such authority whatsoever: I think he really is deeply wedded to his passive “lead-from-behind” style, and his failure to clamor for such authority publicly, earnestly, loudly signals a tragic aversion to the exercise of actual leadership. (Obama defers to his talented subordinates with alarming regularity.)
        Answers I suspect will not be forthcoming this week, but by the end of March we’ll be in a different phase. Stay tuned.

        • JGC

          I don’t think that he is clamoring for it, but if he is given that authority he will run with it. If he has talented subordinates, there is nothing wrong with that. Obama will take all their advice, mull it over and then come out with a bin-Ladenish decision, for which he will take the blame and/or the credit. And official White House photographer Pete Souza will be there to record the moment. 

  • pete18

    For those of you who still blame the bad economy on Bush and the Republican Congress, here’s another example of the job killing consequences of Obama’s policies: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324616604578304072420873666.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

    • davecm

      pete18
      These folks are like those on the Titanic, they did not believe till the water was up to their necks.

      • pete18

         As long as Celine Dion is singing in the background, who cares?

    • Fredlinskip

      America’s “best-in-world” heath care system has had it’s stranglehold on American economy for some time.
      Projections looking forward as far as health care “bankrupting America” were bleaker before ACA. ACA didn’t cure this problem but IMhumbleO is step in right direction. You’ve a right to disagree.
      Do you have any alternative suggestions? How do we solve health care issue? GOP had VERY few positive suggestions during health care debate as it became abundantly clear that their goal at time was not to attempt to help solve problems, but instead to simply weaken Obama agenda.
      But that all said – any suggestions other than “repeal ACA” or are you just all about tearing down efforts of those working towards improving the situation?
      (Hint: tax cuts for the top few %ers is not the answer)

      • Gregg Smith

        What we did is pass a law that made things much worse. 

        • Fredlinskip

          If I understand correctly ACA extended life of Medicare by 12 years and provides .6 T of savings over next 10 years. Does that sound right?
              My comment’s intent though, was OTHER than criticize APA, does GOP (or Pete [or you]) have any CONSTRUCTIVE suggestion as to how to improve our bloated and inefficient health care system.     

          • Gregg Smith

            Obamacare does not extend Medicare and saves no money. 

            I like HSAs but what do I know?

          • Fredlinskip

            Are your sources Rush and Hannity or is there any connection with reality in your reply?

          • Gregg Smith

            I have no idea what Rush or Hannity think of HSA’s. What an odd question.

          • pete18

             

            Yes, I think most people on the left and right believe
            that the major problems of the current state of our health care system are:

            • A large number of people who cannot afford
            insurance and need to have access to decent coverage.

            • A large number of people with pre-existing
            conditions whom insurance companies either won’t insure, or will only insure at
            an extremely expensive cost.

            • Rapidly rising costs for people’s health care.

            • The possibility of losing one’s health care if
            one loses one’s job.

            • The risk of bankruptcy for people who get
            serious illnesses and don’t have adequate insurance.

            The basic premise of the conservative approach is
            to make the system more competitive, not less, and create portability so people
            are not dependent on their employer for their health care. That means finding
            ways to get more private insurers into the game and allowing people to have the
            ability to shop across state lines to find the best deal. It also means making
            it easier and more attractive for more doctors and nurses to enter the field
            and be well rewarded for their work.

             

             Some of the specific ideas (many taken form the
            Cato institute and Whole Foods John Mackey’s op-ed on health care) in reaching
            these goals are:

            • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided
            health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax
            benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but
            individual health insurance is not. This would make it easier and more
            affordable for individuals to buy their own health insurance and not be dependent
            on their employer and job for coverage.

            • Repeal all state laws that prevent insurance
            companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right
            to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we
            should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be
            portable.

            • Create medical savings accounts for people to
            put money in for their yearly deductible medical costs. These would be tax-free
            and people would be allowed to keep any unspent money, which would mean they
            would be motivated to shop for the best deals for their medical care. The
            government would pay money directly to people who were unable to afford their
            own medical insurance and they in turn would buy their own plan and benefit
            from any savings they were able to create by picking a more economical plan.

            • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits
            that force doctors into paying insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of
            dollars per year. These costs are ultimately being passed back to us through
            much higher prices for health care.

            • Make health care costs transparent so that
            consumers will understand what health care treatments cost. How many people
            know what their last doctor’s visit cost? What other goods or services do we as
            consumers buy without knowing how much they will cost us? We need a system
            where people can compare and contrast costs and services. You shouldn’t just
            know your co-pay amount you should know the full amount charged by your doctor.

            • Voucher Plan for Medicare: Give Medicare
            enrollees a voucher and let them choose any health plan on the market that fits
            their needs, not what the government dictates. Vouchers would be means-tested,
            would include Medicare spending and would help protect seniors from rationing,
            something the Obama- Pelosi plan would not do.

            • Congress should reform Medicaid and the State
            Children’s health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) the way it reformed it in 1996
            when it block-granted the programs. This would help reduce the deficit and
            encourage states to target resources to those most in need.

            • For pre-existing conditions, create high-risk
            insurance pools, and have the government subsidize the premiums, with
            means-tested, direct payments, for people who cannot afford the higher
            premiums.

            • Rethink medical licensing laws to encourage
            greater competition among providers. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants,
            midwives, and other non-physician practitioners should have far greater ability
            to treat patients. Doctors and other health professionals should be able to
            take their licenses from state to state. We should also be encouraging
            innovations in delivery such as medical clinics in retail outlets.

            I think the mistake the left is making here is in
            thinking that the only way to fix these problems is a massive overhaul of the
            whole system. Conservatives believe that you can make major improvements to
            these problems with smaller, targeted changes rather than firebombing the whole
            city. In the instances where some of these free market ideas don’t work, you
            will not have constructed a bureaucratic monster, which would be virtually
            impossible to reset after it took effect.

          • Fredlinskip

            Sounds like a lot of talking points pulled from GOP think tank.
             
            “Tweaking” our system may not be enough.
            Americans spend about twice what people in other developed country’s pay for a health care system that provides worse outcomes than many.

            Basic problem is that because often “insurance pays” (after deductible) the patient cares not in least what the ultimate cost of “treatment”. There are no checks and balances.

            Insure across state lines- let’s do  it., Dems aren’t holding that back.

            Tort reform- Should there be redress for those who fall victim of those that have not followed the “hippocratic oath”?
            Appreciate your effort. I don’t have time to research all suggestions at this time.

          • pete18

            Well, then I suggest you take the time to research and think about them before you dismiss them as “talking points.” Or were you only asking the question about “CONSTRUCTIVE suggestions” rhetorically?

          • Fredlinskip

            Fair enough.
            Another day

          • pete18

            See above.

          • Fredlinskip

            My problem with simply  repeating talking points from an obviously biased think-tank, and then saying “conservatives believe…” it sometimes grants impression that after reviewing the facts and one’s own exposure to our health care system that you (and others) may be incapable of intelligent thought of one’s own.

          • pete18

             See above.

          • pete18

            I’m not sure how you define “talking points?”
            The list I
            posted are summations of real ideas that have been thought through and discussed
            for quite a long time in conservative circles and the mainstream media.

          • pete18

            To Fredlinskip’s post below:  Now that you re-edited your post
            after I “liked the first version,
            which said “fair enough” and you’d get back at it another day, you make
            me look like I’m agreeing to the new nonsense that you just posted in your
            edit.

            Instead of trying to mind read about my motivations, reply to the content. Of course think tanks are biased, they are offering a point of view. Can you engage in debating ideas or this only a partisan card game for you?

          • pete18

            To Fredlinskip below:  Instead of trying to mind read my motivations, or to continue to attack the sources, reply to the content. Can you actually engage in ideas, or are you just here to play a game of partisan poker?

    • hennorama

      pete18 – the linked opinion piece is not “another example of the job killing consequences of Obama’s policies.”  It’s quite the opposite.

      The example of what the WSJ editorial staff characterize as “part-time ‘job sharing,’ not only within firms but across different businesses” is not a so-called “job killer” – it’s a job MULTIPLIER.  Each of the employees in the example who switch between employers now has TWO jobs rather than ONE.

      It also has the ring of collusion and possible anti-competitive practices, presuming the employers are facilitating such “job-sharing” among businesses in the same industry. But that’s another matter entirely.

      The piece also falsely implies that employers are required to provide health insurance when it says “If a company with 50 employees hires a new worker for $12 an hour for 29 hours a week, there is no health insurance requirement.”

      To be clear, there is no employer mandate to provide health insurance to its employees ANYWHERE in the ACA.  In fact, per healthcare.gov:

      “No Employer Mandate, Exempts Small Firms from Employer Responsibility Requirement

      The Affordable Care Act does not include an employer mandate. In 2014, as a matter of fairness, the Affordable Care Act requires large employers to pay a shared responsibility fee only if they don’t provide affordable coverage and taxpayers are supporting the cost of health insurance for their workers through premium tax credits for middle to low income families.

      •The law specifically exempts all firms that have fewer than 50 employees – 96 percent of all firms in the United States or 5.8 million out of 6 million total firms – from any employer responsibility requirements. These 5.8 million firms employ nearly 34 million workers. More than 96 percent of firms with 50 or more employees already offer health insurance to their workers. Less than 0.2 percent of all firms (about 10,000 out of 6 million) may face employer responsibility requirements. Many firms that do not currently offer coverage will be more likely to do so because of lower premiums and wider choices in the Exchange.”

      See:http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2010/06/increasing-choice-and-saving-money-for-small-businesses.html

      So we’re talking about a TINY sliver of employers who MAY face added costs – 0.17% which is barely a rounding error.

      The WSJ is now officially Chicken Little 2.0

      • Gregg Smith

        We need more people moving from part-time to full-time work, not the other way around. Companies will scramble to cut back hours and the number of employees. Others that used to offer health insurance, will drop it. This is not good for the economy.

      • pete18

         How you get “job multiplier” out of that situation is beyond me. It is clear from the article that we are talking about the affect OC is having on part-time workers, who are not a “tiny sliver” of the economy. By making making it more expensive to increase the hours of these workers or hiring them as full time employees you are hindering job growth. I think rather than WSJ being “Chicken Little,” you are being Don Quixote.

        • hennorama

          pete18 – to quote Bill Clinton: “Arithmetic.”

          You typed “It is clear from the article that we are talking about the affect OC is having on part-time workers…”

          WRONG.

          The WSJ opinion piece clearly is discussing FULLTIME work, that is now, per the piece, becoming so-called “part-time ‘job sharing,’ not only within firms but across different businesses.”

          The example given is of “employees [who] operate the cash register or flip burgers for 20 hours a week and then the workers head to the nearby Burger King or Wendy’s to log another 20 hours. Other employees take the opposite shifts.”

          Repeating: “Other employees take the opposite shifts.”

          So, in the example, the same 80 total hours being worked, split among 2 employees of 2 different employers. This means there are now 4 jobs rather than 2.

          Alternatively, there could be 1 worker working 2 jobs and 2 workers working one job, or 4 workers working 4 jobs.

          Regardless, there are more JOBS. The hours of work the employers requires have not changed AT ALL. And a follow-up of those employers crying about the sky falling so they need to cut hours will very likely show they simply took on more part-timers to do all the work, thereby INCREASING employment. Of course, this is never mentioned.

          In my universe, 20 hours + another 20 hours = 40 hours = FULL TIME work. The employers are simply dividing 40 hours of work between 2 workers. This mean there are now MORE jobs (a.k.a. job MULTIPLICATION), and there are NONE of what you described as “job killing consequences of Obama’s policies.”

          BTW, according to wordlfranchising.com, these are the average number and type of employees at a couple of different fast-food franchises:

          Burger King: 15 Full-time, 35 Part-time

          McDonald’s: 50 Part-time

          These average franchise locations would be completely UNAFFECTED by the ACA, since they have fewer than 50 FTEs (Full Time Equivalent employees). If a franchisee has multiple locations, they can easily avoid ACA requirements by making each location a separate legal business entity.

          The WSJ repeatedly FALSELY says employers are required to offer health insurance. This is patently false and a harsher critic could fairly say the WSJ author(s) are lying. FTA:

          “… requires firms with 50 or more “full-time equivalent workers” to offer health plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week.” FALSE.

          “… this insurance mandate …” and “The insurance mandate…” and “The mandate to offer health insurance …” and “…health insurance requirement.. ” and “… mandating health coverage …”

          NO SUCH THING EXISTS. There is NO “employer mandate” to provide health insurance to ANYONE. You can look it up.

          The WSJ editorial authors are not only Chicken Littles, they are Pinocchios with their pants on fire.

          The ONLY employers affected are a very small slice of the total number of US employers – perhaps 0.17% per the source previously cited.

          For a more, see:

          http://www.golanchristie.com/newsletters/Summer2012.htm#What-are-An-Employers-Obligations-Under-ObamaCare

    • Gregg Smith

      I don’t see how there can be a recovery if Obamacare remains. It’s brutal to business.

  • Gregg Smith

    There are 67 gun manufacturers who are refusing to sell arms to government agencies where new laws are too restrictive. Unintended consequences.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/24/update-the-latest-complete-list-of-gun-makers-sellers-saying-no-to-law-enforcement-in-anti-2nd-amendment-states/

  • Dzintra

    Re:  Immigration 
    Any discussion of Immigration needs to include the historical context of the problem. Since the declaration of the Monroe Doctrine, the US has routinely violated the borders and sovereignty of its Latin neighbors south of the border.  While not a direct colonial master, the US has exerted its will through supporting feudalistic regimes, carried out coups, fomented proxy civil wars and pushed trade agreements detrimental to the poor. The poor of Mexico and Central America might as well have been subjects of the US. Therefore, US owes them a path to citizenship
    This historic background should be known not only to Americans who are outraged about the violation of their country’s borders but also to immigrants from other parts of the world who complain about the “illegals” special treatment.  I would like to ask them, what chance would an Indian peasant from Southern Mexico or Guatemala have of entering this country legally?  

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