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Week In The News: New Pope, Dueling Budgets, Steubenville

Pope Francis. Paul Ryan and dueling budgets.  The Steubenville rape case goes to trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

A worshiper holds up the front page of a magazine showing a photograph of Jorge Mario Bergoglio during celebrations outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP)

A worshiper holds up the front page of a magazine showing a photograph of Jorge Mario Bergoglio during celebrations outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP)

Pope-a-pa-looza this week, and Catholics emerge with a humble-voiced man from Argentina – and hope.  Pope Francis.

In Afghanistan, a rough welcome for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.  Bombs and bombast.  In Washington, dueling budget visions.  Paul Ryan is back, to balance it, he says.  Democrats say that’s not job one.

The big gulp ban in New York gets a judicial “no.”  Knives on the plane get blowback.  China’s new leader takes full power.  President Obama comes to Capitol Hill.

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

Guests

Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report. (@amyewalter)

Kelly O’Donnell, Capitol Hill correspondent for NBC News. (@kellyo)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News “Pope Francis began his first morning as pontiff by praying Thursday at Rome’s main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas in a bid to revive a Catholic Church in crisis and give it a preacher with a humble touch.”

The Atlantic “Paul Ryan unveiled the House Republican budget this week with an ominous yet familiar warning: ‘America’s national debt is over $16 trillion.’ Having stated the problem, he then offered a solution, one which differed only marginally from what he’s offered the past two years. Namely: restrain government healthcare spending on Medicare and Medicaid, reform the individual tax code, close loopholes, lower corporate taxes, and promote natural gas and energy independence. The goal? A balanced budget by 2023 that will ensure ‘the well-being of all Americans…and reignite the American dream.’”

The Columbus Dispatch (Senator Rob Portman) “I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married. That isn’t how I’ve always felt. As a congressman, and more recently as a senator, I opposed marriage for same-sex couples. Then something happened that led me to think through my position in a much deeper way.”

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3SE6JQFCP45BO7665V6UXVJS5M John

    WHAT?

  • DrewInGeorgia

    “Dueling Budgets”… I damn near fell outta my chair when I read that. Have a great weekend everybody.

    • Ray in VT

      Can we que up the fight music from the original Star Trek?

    • Don_B1

      Actually, there is a third budget proposal, this one from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, titled “Back to Work. This budget would actually restore the economy to full employment levels without using “magic asterisks” as Rep. Ryan’s plan does for just about all the money amounts he has specified.

      An analysis by the independent Economic Policy Institute is here:

      http://www.epi.org/publication/back-to-work-budget-analysis-congressional-progressive/

      The plan puts forward near-term spending for job creation and public investments with long-term action to make the budget sustainable through fair taxation while protecting social insurance programs.

      Needless to say, I suppose, the Republicans will oppose it with all their might as they will not get their big tax cuts for the rich in the measures described here. But the rich will get a strong economy that will grow their incomes faster than their policy of tax cuts and decimation of the middle and lower classes.

      It is a pity, but it is highly likely that none of the guests nor Tom or any of his producers have even heard of it, not to mention being able to discuss it.

      • Gregg Smith

        The CPC is a who’s who of nut cases but their plan should get a vote.

        • Don_B1

          The members of the CPC are so much more open about how their budget will work to the benefit of ALL Americans, not just the very wealthiest.

          Rep. Ryan has proposed a “budget” that has no numbers that work without hidden actions that will cost middle and lower income workers and cuts taxes for the wealthy. It will even worsen the gross inequality that has been building over the last 30 years:

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

          Now you clearly have either not thought it through, or are willing to lose just about all you own, as the top 1% (or 0.1%) grab up to 99% of the wealth of this country, which, if adopted and kept in force, the Ryan budget would promote.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         What year does the CPC budget balance?

        Oh, never mind.  Wrong question.

        • Don_B1

          It certainly is the wrong question! The absolute question is whether it is a sustainable path budget, which means that the deficit must be small enough so that total debt grows more slowly than the economy.

          Note that the dollar value of the U.S. debt doubled over the 30 years following WWII, but the economy more than doubled; in fact it grew faster for longer than at any time in U.S. history. It took the OPEC pricing of oil and Reagan tax policies to slow the growth over the last 30 years, with the brief period of the Clinton administration (and even then growth was not as good as those years following WWII).

          That is not to say that the debt should not be reduced, but reducing it before the economy reaches full employment puts most of the pain on the middle and lower income earners, and lets the wealthy off scott-free, when it was largely a big segment of the wealthy that created the conditions that led to the housing/mortgage bubble and the financial excesses in derivatives that crashed the economy and led to the huge deficits since 2008.

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

            Not to pile on, but I always say “The best thing to do for the 2021 budget deficit is to add 2-3% to the GDP
            now.”

          • Don_B1

            Your “piling on” is welcome!

            Particularly when making it explicit on how much stimulus is needed right now!

            [I think Gregg misread your comment!]

  • MrStang

    The Atlantic article on Ryan’s “budget” is a cowardly gymnast’s half leap at declabring how truly stupid cruel and regressive a policy plan it is. What a craven piece of ‘journalism’.
    Onpoint should be embarrassed to have it on the reading list. The editorial choice of the.snip itself is t

  • MrStang

    ” Sorry folks. After watching Representative Paul
    Ryan launch his much-anticipated budget for the
    fiscal year 2014, I can’t keep up the pretense. The
    plan is a joke. It’s dead on arrival, and nobody
    should pay much attention to it, except as
    another exhibit in the indictment of latter-day
    Republicanism. Ryan’s numbers don’t add up. His
    proposals—cutting domestic programs, converting
    Medicare to a voucher program, returning
    Medicaid to the states, reducing the top rate of
    income tax to twenty-five per cent—were roundly
    rejected by the voters just five months ago. And
    the philosophy his plan is based upon—trickle-
    down economics combined with an unbridled
    hostility toward government programs designed
    to correct market failures—is tattered and
    shopworn.”
    http://m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/03/paul-ryan-in-wonderland.html

  • MrStang

    From John.Cassidy In The New Yorker:

    “Ryan’s proposal to reduce the top rate of income
    tax to twenty-five per cent would be a huge
    giveaway to the rich. How big? We can get a
    reasonable estimate by looking at Ryan’s 2012
    budget, which Bob Greenstein, of the Center on
    Budget and Policy Priorities, aptly described as
    “Robin Hood in reverse—on steroids.” According
    to the center’s analysis, people earning more than
    a million dollars a year would each gain, on
    average, $264,970. Workers in the middle of the
    income distribution would gain about a thousand
    dollars, and those earning less than thirty
    thousand dollars would see their post-tax
    incomes decline slightly.
    Make no mistake: Ryan is proposing austerity…”
    http://m.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2013/03/paul-ryan-in-wonderland.html

  • MrStang

    From Paul Krugman on Ryan:
    ” Flimflam Forever
    I took Paul Ryan’s measure two and a
    half years ago . All the Very Serious
    People were very angry with me — Ryan
    was the Serious, Honest Conservative,
    the guy centrists demonstrated their
    centrism by praising. But he was an
    obvious phony. His “plan” was all smoke
    (I couldn’t even find any mirrors), with
    all the alleged deficit reduction coming
    from closing tax loopholes he refused to
    specify plus projected reductions in
    discretionary spending that he also
    refused to specify. Meanwhile, he was
    pursuing radical redistribution away
    from the needy to the wealthy.
    Nothing has changed, except that the
    plan has gotten even crueler.”
    krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/12/flimflam-forever/

  • MrStang

    Tom can we hear some discussion of the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ Back To Work Budget?

    7 million new jobs in one year
    $4.4 trillion in deficit reduction
    We’re in a jobs crisis that isn’t going
    away. Millions of hard-working American
    families are falling behind, and the
    richest 1 percent is taking home a bigger
    chunk of our nation’s gains every year.
    Americans face a choice: we can either
    cut Medicare benefits to pay for more
    tax breaks for millionaires and
    billionaires, or we can close these tax
    loopholes to invest in jobs. We choose
    investment. The Back to Work Budget
    invests in America’s future because the
    best way to reduce our long-term deficit
    is to put America back to work. In the
    first year alone, we create nearly 7
    million American jobs and increase GDP
    by 5.7%. We reduce unemployment to
    near 5% in three years with a jobs plan
    that includes repairing our nation’s
    roads and bridges , and putting the
    teachers, cops and firefighters who have
    borne the brunt of our economic
    downturn back to work. We reduce the
    deficit by $4.4 trillion by closing tax
    loopholes and asking the wealthy to pay
    a fair share. We repeal the arbitrary
    sequester and the Budget Control Act
    that are damaging the economy, and
    strengthen Medicare and Medicaid,
    which provide high quality, low-cost
    medical coverage to millions of
    Americans when they need it most. This
    is what the country voted for in
    November. It’s time we side with
    America’s middle class and invest in
    their future.
    http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/back-to-work-budget/

  • Ed75

    The new pope reminds me of Jesus saying ‘I played a jig, but you would not dance; I played a dirge, but you would not weep’. Different popes present the faith in different ways and so attract different people. Pope Francis is calling us to repent.

    Part of the Franciscan charism is poverty, of course, but the other half is absolute loyalty to the Holy Father and the teaching of the Church. Another is devotion to Mary. Let’s pray for the doctrines of co-redemptrix and co-mediatrix.

    North Korea threatened the U.S. I would be worried about San Francisco. The homosexual centers of New Orleans and New York have faced Katrina and Sandy, a North Korean attack might take aim at San Francisco, or, as they call it, Sodom by the bay.

    • Acnestes

      Ed, I don’t believe you even ARE a Catholic.  Just the opposite, I think you are anti-Catholic and that your true agenda is to foment disdain against the church by spouting your loopy apocalyptic drivel as if it really were Catholic doctrine in an attempt to convince people that the church is even more disconnected from reality than it actually is.

      As to the new Pope, “meet the new boss. . .same as the old boss. . .”

      • Ed75

        This isn’t Catholic doctrine by any means, it’s just theological speculation. That God would punish sin, to move us to repentance, is not such a far-flung idea.

        • Acnestes

          No, “God hates fags”, is Westboro Baptist Church doctrine, not Roman Catholic.  If you really do love the Catholic church then stop tainting it with your speculative crap.

          It could just be that the nearest homosexual to you is repressed, self-loathing and a lot closer to you than you care to admit.

          • J__o__h__n

            At least Fred Phelps is honest in his hatred and doesn’t engage in trickery to claim that they love gays but that they are “intrinsically disordered.” 

        • JobExperience

           And Daddy will spank if you drink all his wine.

    • JobExperience

      Move to Alaska, then run outside and catch that N. Korean missile.

    • scottmartin49

      He’s a Jesuit in Franciscan clothing. I’ll leave it to you to find the Gospel cite that is reminiscent of…

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    A graphene anttena to transfer data at rates of 10 to 100 terabits ( 10 to 100 Trillion bits ) per second. The human brain has about 100 trillion neuronal connections ( not counting glial cells ). Looks like we are getting closer to having an actual method to “download” a brains contents into another being or device ! Immortality ?

    Of course before that happens some company or country or villain will be riding around entire neighborhoods and hacking every computer from a distance.

     

    http://phys.org/news/2013-03-georgia-tech-terabit-graphene-antennae.html

    With all the incredible technology that is forming all around us, all the time, how can we justify focusing our attention on all these silly politicians and their little visions of the future.

    Well the good news is that someday they too will be replaced be an intelligence that will overcome their human failings.

     
     
     

    • Gregg Smith

      I read a story a couple of weeks ago about using graphene for a new generation of batteries. 

      • Don_B1

        Batteries store and release electrical energy through chemical reactions that take place on opposite sides of a thin semipermeable membrane.

        The graphene story was about one-atom-thick sheets of carbon separated by an insulator that allowed a voltage difference to occur between the carbon sheets. Charging the capacitor would build either an excess or a shortage of electrons on adjacent sheets. The electrons flowing through the wires connecting the sheets would either charge or discharge the voltage across the insulator, storing or releasing energy.

        The chemical reactions in the battery generate heat above that generated by the flow of electrons and are slower than just moving excess electrons. But the stored electrons in a capacitor may well slowly bleed off the graphene sheets through or around the insulator material faster than they would through the battery’s membrane.

        But the capacitor will be lighter than a battery and can charge and discharge faster.

        • Gregg Smith

          I thought it was fascinating.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        I would like to read it. Too bad the coal companies can’t tap into the graphene market via their vast stores of carbon. Uhmmmm ?

    • JobExperience

       We are social mind-body creatures that cannot exist without mind-body interaction and a community. Digitized information downloaded from a brain is an archive. An archive has no body and no self-awareness.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    I am not Catholic, but I do appreciate the fact that the Pope recognizes that homosexuality is an unnatural, detestable perversion and that gay marriage should continue to be opposed.  Unfortunately, with Portman’s reversal, we continue our downward slide into a moral cesspool.

    • Ray in VT

      It’s unnatural?  Is that why it occurs in dozens, if not hundreds, of species in the natural world?  If it occurs in nature, then does that not make it natural?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Anyone can look at the plumbing which “evolved” and see that something is amiss.  Unfortunately, the curse from the Fall resulting from sin and the subsequent mutations and other destructive consequences of the Law of Entropy (downward descent)  have led to behavior and consequences which contradicts God’s design for the universe and mankind.  Fortunately, one day, God will have had enough and will put an end to all of the behavior and sin that stands in opposition to Him and restore the universe to its original moral and physical perfection.

        • Ray in VT

          So did the fall of man also cause homosexuality in animals?  Again, it is well documented in nature, so I think that it is hard to argue that it is unnatural, as I do not believe in the creation stories of any faith.  I’m also not going to hold my breath waiting for the end times.  People of various faiths, including Christians, have been predicting that the end is nigh for centuries, and no one has been right yet, so I think that it happening any time soon, for any reason, is pretty unlikely.

          • Gregg Smith

            I thought it was the libs preaching the “end of nigh” because of AGW. What will happen first, the second coming or a 20 foot rise in sea level?

          • Ray in VT

            Sea level rise in my opinion, seeing as how I don’t believe that the Second Coming will ever happen.  Climate change will not end the world, but it certainly could have effects that would cause much harm to many people, especially all of those who live in land that is presently marginal or along the coasts.

          • northeaster17

            As sea levels rise our nice quiet towns in the Adirondacks and the Green’s are going to become more crowded as folks move inland. Not looking forward to that. 

          • Ray in VT

            I am certainly not in favor of that.  A lot of the time I think that there’s too many people in my town as it is.  We have enough people from NYC living here (at least seasonally) already.

          • Gregg Smith

            Don’t sweat it.

          • nj_v2

            Please, stop treating a**clown troll posts from the likes of Greggg as if they’re serious.

            It’s like answering, ‘When-did-you-stop beating-your-wife?” kinds of questions.

            It gives a hue of legitimacy to intellectual vacuity.

            You’re better than that.

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

            NJ, I must disagree with you about right-wing trollery and public broadcasting media sites.

          • Gregg Smith

            Thanks TF, I just think it’s funny the NJ calls anyone a troll. He must not read his own post.

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

            Thanks for the insights. 

          • Don_B1

            It doesn’t take a liberal to understand that human extraction and burning of fossil fuels will catastrophically change the climate that has allowed humans to build a civilization.

            Republicans used to believe it just as much as Democrats do, until they decided they needed the money of the fossil fuel industry, so they sold their souls to the Devil and they will pay dearly.

            Of course they had a head start in selling out on science as they had decided to deny evolution to win the evangelicals to their cause.

            Thus Republicans are denying support for all types of science, which has contributed at least half of all economic growth since 1960. Apparently Eisenhower and Nixon/Ford were the last Republicans who were willing to give science its due.

          • JobExperience

            No, that’s bestiality, and there are “educational” sites on the web where you can study it without traveling to Tijuana. Capitalist entrepreneurs say, “Try it, you’ll like it.”

        • Ray in VT

          Also, I don’t think that the law of entropy is particularly applicable to the biological world, given that we have seen that species can and do develop adaptations to elements in the environment that allow them to survive exposures to what would previously have been lethal.  For instance, if viruses and bacteria were on a continual downward trajectory, then shouldn’t our medicines always be effective, and shouldn’t resistant bacteria, the so-called super bugs, not exist?

          • jefe68

            Careful now, to much science will make their heads hurt.

        • http://twitter.com/Dragonsong73 Eric R. Duncan

          Sounds an awful lot like you seem Proud of your moral superiority. And while homosexuality isn’t directly one of your religions seven deadly sins pride certainly is. As is the wrath that you seem to want to inflict on those who differ from you. Which leads me to think that your assumption to know the will of God could be seen as Vanity.

          Something about the mote in your neighbors eye and the beam in your own.

          • jefe68

            The road to religious self-righteousness is paved with moral superiority. 

        • jimino

          Does the fact that a woman, and her interaction with a man, was responsible for “the Fall” indicate what “moral and physical perfection” would really be? 

          That’s a rhetorical question, of course, like the kind I hear Star Trek nuts discuss.

          More to the point, fools like yourself should be glad there is no heaven or hell or your eternity would be a real disappointment.

          • Ray in VT

            Hey!  Don’t be hating on Trek!  Thems could be fightin’ words.

          • JobExperience

             If a powerful Oligarch like Jehovah can’t predict the future he Created then it must be that for Him time runs backwards. It  began with the Apocalypse and it ends with Creation. A strong wind is blowing Him backward into the Future. And that is why organized religion is backwards. Now for the Pink Smoke.
            If Catholics keep electing death squad leaders the Church gonna get decapitated.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            When those who have rejected God’s gift of salvation are sentenced to an eternity separated from God in Hell, they will sure believe in it then.  And they will spend eternity regretting the fact that God did all that He could in providing salvation and demonstrating His love by allowing His Son to die on the cross for them to pay for their sins.  They will realize how utterly foolish and without excuse they were to reject it.

          • scottmartin49

            Following along the Calvinistic conception of salvation, ‘hell’, its causes, and effects; your statements in this forum provide the best evidence yet for what that ‘life of rejection’ is like and how it manifests. Thank you for serving as such an effective warning!

          • keltcrusader

            Wow, you are truly a Debbie Downer. So glad I don’t have interact with hateful and deluded people like you on a daily basis.

        • J__o__h__n

          I thought Eve had the apple not Steve. 

      • http://twitter.com/Dragonsong73 Eric R. Duncan

         Ray when you get tired of beating your head against that wall trying to get zir to see that, there is aspirin in my desk drawer if you need them.  

        • Ray in VT

          Thanks for the offer, Eric, but I keep a big bottle of extra strength Excedrin on my desk.  I brought it for another reason, but it can help here too.

          • jefe68

            Your only feeding there intolerance of others. These folks are viewing this through the lens of religion instead of biology and that wall of doctrine will never be breeched for some.

          • J__o__h__n

            It is a bit early for Scotch. 

          • Ray in VT

            Especially for a teetotaller like me.

      • Gregg Smith

        I guess it depends on how you define “natural”. I would say a mating practice that does not propagate the population and if practiced 100% would lead to extinction, could be said to be unnatural. 

        I am quite certain some people are born gay. I don’t see that being opposed to gay marriage is anti-gay.

        • Ray in VT

          In the strictly biological sense, I would go with Merriam-Webster’s “being in accordance with or determined by nature”, whereas some may be arguing “based on an inherent sense of right and wrong”.  The former can be based upon observation of the natural world, while the former may be influenced by culture and belief.  Celibacy is also unnatural.  It got rid of the Shakers, but the Church favors that in some instances.I don’t think that being against gay marriage makes one anti-gay, although many, if not most, who are the latter certainly are the former.  I think that part of the problem of opposing gay marriage is then what does one do for committed, long standing couples who are seeking what are legal protections under the law?  Either deny them outright, or create something else, and then one can get into the territory of separate but equal, and we all know how that turned out.

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

            I would vote to separate church and state in this matter.  No one mistakes a death certificate for a funeral.  

          • Ray in VT

            I think that the connection of the religious rite of marriage and the legal rights to which people who have a civilly recognized marriage is a part of the hang up for many.  There’s a lot of baggage in that word.  My wedding service was not religious, but my wife sure as hell wanted a marriage, not a civil union, although I think that when we had them here they provided the same state recognition.

          • Don_B1

            But NOT federal recognition and the same relief from most of its financial impacts as received by married heterosexuals.

        • J__o__h__n

          Anthing that denies equal rights to gays is anti-gay.

          Anything that happens is nature is natural.  Nature is morally nuetral.  Morals are constructed by society. 

          There is little evidence of the human race becoming extinct due to lack of procreation. 

        • Don_B1

          Try abstaining from sex with your wife forever unless you are deliberately trying to get pregnant.

          Just because the object of a homosexual’s affections is someone of the same sex does not mean it is any less intense.

    • NewtonWhale

      For those who missed it:

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Thursday announced he has reversed his longtime opposition to same-sex marriage after reconsidering the issue because his 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.

      Portman said his son, a junior at Yale University, told him and his wife, Jane, that he’s gay and “it was not a choice, it was who he is and that he had been that way since he could remember.

      “”It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that’s of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years,” Portman told reporters in an interview at his office.

      The conversation the Portmans had with their son two years ago led to him to evolve on the issue after he consulted clergy members, friends — including former Vice President Dick Cheney, whose daughter is gay — and the Bible.

      “The overriding message of love and compassion that I take from the Bible, and certainly the Golden Rule, and the fact that I believe we are all created by our maker, that has all influenced me in terms of my change on this issue,” Portman said, adding that he feels that “in a way, this strengthens the institution of marriage.

      “He said his decision to announce his new stance was not motivated by its potential political impact, and he was not sure what the fallout would be. He noted that nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, and that the issue has more support among younger people.

      “I believe in some respects that this is more generational than it is partisan,” said Portman.

      http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/03/sen_rob_portman_comes_out_in_f.html

      • Ray in VT

        Perhaps the one thing that I have liked about Dick Cheney is that he did not turn his back on his lesbian daughter.  I had a college friend whose parents stopped talking to him when he came out.  I can’t imagine doing that to one of my kids.

        • Gregg Smith

          I don’t have kids but I agree. Anyone who disowns their kid is a horrible parent. You did not interject party so I’ll ask, were you surprised about Cheney? Do you think that his being a Republican makes his position unique? I don’t, I think many parents have a hard time coming to grips with the reality of a gay child and it has little to do with party. Cher, for instance, had a terrible time.

          • Ray in VT

            It surprises me a bit due to the longstanding hostility towards homosexuality and gay rights in the party with which he has aligned himself.  That is a part of it.  I also think that Dick “Go F*** Yourself” Cheney is generally a dick, so a part of me expected him to act along that line.

          • Gregg Smith

            I can’t think of a better recipient of Cheney’s admonition than the Senator from Vermont.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that Pat is a far better man, leader, and legislator than Dick.  I expect far better behavior of our elected officials in the hallowed halls of Congress.

            I can think of a few people who I think are far more deserving of such language, but a few of them got voted out in November.

          • Gregg Smith

            IMO Leahy had it coming, I think he was a total jerk and lied his ass of on the Senate floor. But that’s just me.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that it was crass.  I expect that sort of thing in the barn or on the playground, but not in Congress.  What lies did he tell, and what standard of lie are you using?  The dictionary’s or your own?  Also, did you think that Sumner had it coming as well?

          • Gregg Smith

            The same lies everyone tells about Cheneysending soldiers to their death so he could profit from Haliburton. IT’s a lie.  Leahyis a disgrace.

          • Ray in VT

            He’s far better than the recent slate of nut jobs that the GOP and TEA Party have run out lately.  I’ve particularly enjoyed reading Ted Cruz’s claims that Harvard Law School was full of communists dedicated to overthrowing the American government.  That’s just the sort of idiotic rhetoric that I expect that his base gobbles up.

          • Gregg Smith

            I am sureI could make a better case for Cruz’  argument than for Leahy’s.

          • J__o__h__n

            Lynne Cheney wasn’t either.

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

          I disagree partly on this.

          Dick Cheney is personally able to do this as far as his own kid, but then not being able to extrapolate that privilege to every person who didn’t have the connections, money, and name recognition that comes with being named “Cheney”.

    • Ed75

      Unfortunately, we need to repent not only of supporting homosexual practice, but of abortion, the even greater crime, and there is sexual sin of many varieties going on. Happiness is life with God, and these keep people from God. 

      • J__o__h__n

        How many married homosexuals have abortions? 

        • scottmartin49

          Silly goose, men can’t have abortions-only regulate them!

      • scottmartin49

        Ed, even lust for your own wife is sin, and there is no degree of sin. Leave your fellow sinners alone to work out their own salvation.

      • Don_B1

        The Roman Catholic Church is also against the use of contraceptives, which is the best preventative against abortions, more than half of which are performed on women who are already mothers. These are poor women who see no way to support more children or even to be able to take the necessary time off from work while pregnant.

        The RCC thus itself promotes abortion.

    • scottmartin49

      Cesspool! Cesspool!

      Seriously though, before you begin labeling and listing others ‘unnatural, detestable perversions’ please catalog your own.

  • NewtonWhale

    “What I Said Is Not What I Believe”
    -Mitt Romney, on the 47% tape.

    Mitt Romney is speaking today at CPAC.

    “I think it’s a very good sign for the movement that Mitt Romney will be there,” said former Rep. Vin Weber, R-Minn., who served as an informal adviser to the Romney campaign. “A lot of people kind of expected that Romney would move back to the moderate Republican middle, which wouldn’t be a good thing for him – it would make him look cynical.”

    http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/15/17314627-mitt-romney-makes-curious-re-emergence-at-cpac?lite

    Sorry, Vin.

    That’s unpossible.

    Nothing could make Romney look more cynical than his interview last week with Chris Wallace, where he explained the “47%” tape like this:

    “What I Said Is Not What I Believe”

    That’s a political epitaph for the ages, Mitt.

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

    Pete is a friend of mine.  He is an excellent citizen-journalist and an example of what Glenn Reynolds call the “Army of Davids.”  Now he has traveled to report from CPAC.    

    http://datechguyblog.com/2013/03/14/voices-of-cpac-the-first-people-in-line/

    • nj_v2

      CPAC, where nut cases like Rick Perry aren’t nutty enough for the Uber Nutters that have hijacked the Recons.

      http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/rick-perry-booed-calling-for-latino-outreach

      Rick Perry Booed While Talking AboutLatino Outreach

      CPAC has seen a host of pro-immigration speakers Thursday, but Rick Perry apparently was the straw that broke the camel’s back  for the audience.

      “Now, the popular media narrative — is that this country has shifted away from conservative ideals, as evidenced by the last two presidential elections,” Perry said. “That is what they say. That might be true if Republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 and 2012. That might be true. But now we are told our party must shift appeal to the growing Hispanic demographic.”

      At “growing Hispanic demographic” Perry was greeted with an instant smattering of boos. But the crowd came around as he went on to suggest that an economic message, not immigration, was what was needed to win over Hispanic voters.

      • Ray in VT

        I think that they may have done themselves a disservice by not inviting Chris Christie, and of course they’re having an issue with the Log Cabin Republicans, but at least they appear to have thrown out Pam Geller.  I wonder how much, if any, time some of those groups which have been linked to CPAC that espouse “white nationalist” views are getting.

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

          No Pam Geller?

          It’s a very small start.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I disagree.  Christie deserved to be spanked.  First his GOP convention keynote speech didn’t lay a glove on Obama’s many failures and then he gives Obama a big fat, unnecessary kiss during Sandy.

          It turns out that he has never gone to CPAC.  However, I suspect he will get an invite next year.

          • Ray in VT

            It surprises me that he’s never been to one.  It certainly seems that he’s a large enough personality to justify such an appearance.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t know about definitions of pure but I don’t think the right needs to move left. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey are all winners who beat the establishment middle.

          • Ray in VT

            And how did Akin, Mourdoch and O’Donnell do?  Castle might have won against the Democrat in Delaware.  What legislation are representatives Walsh and West pushing these days?  In some places such affiliations are an asset, or at least not a hindrance, while that is not the case in other areas.  The GOP guy would have won Texas almost no matter what.  The same might almost be true of Rand Paul in Kentucky.  The challenge for Senators like Johnson, Rubio, Toomey and Ayotte will be winning reelection in 2016, given that all of their states went for the supposedly most extremely liberal president in American history twice.

          • Gregg Smith

            We don’t know if Castle would have won.

            See, I think that’s not fair, logical nor accurate. No Republican’s endorsed what Aiken or Mourdock said but you try and paint Republicans who shunned them with that broad brush, that’s not honest. Do Republicans say that Democrats believe there are 57 states or that guam might tip? Do Republicans say, as Maxine waters did, that all democrats think sequester will cost 170 million jobs when there are only 150 million.
            Then you mention West after dissing gerrymandering on another comment. You are not consistent.

            No, you can have Arlen Spector, Jim Bunning, Charlie Crist, Kay 
            Baily 
            Hutchenson, Bob Bennett, Richard Lugar and Romney and McCain for that matter.

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

          C-PAC is suffering from hubris.  They should include the voices of those that clam to be “conservatives.”  An open market place of ideas is what would serve the movement best.

          • Ray in VT

            Agreed.  If they choose to exclude those who are not sufficiently pure enough (or something), then I think that they risk alienating moderate and/or independent voters.

  • Gregg Smith

    Will the Ryan budget get a vote in the Senate?

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

      Bluto: …Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! 
      Otter: [to Boon] Germans? 
      Boon: Forget it, he’s rolling. 

    • northeaster17

      The question is will it get a vote in the house.

      • northeaster17

        One of the main provisions of Ryans budget is the repel of the ACA. Even the speaker is now saying that’s not going to happen. So what good then is Ryan’s proposal?

        • Gregg Smith

          I don’t see how there can be a recovery without repealing Obamacare but I agree it’s not likely to happen. 

          • Don_B1

            Repealing PPACA but keeping the associated taxes and Medicare cuts that Romney/Ryan demonized last summer and fall will just about guarantee continuing economic “muddling through;” i.e., no recovery and possibly a second recession.

            Ryan gives new meaning to the term “hypocrite” and it is not milder.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Why won’t the horrible Obamacare get repealed?  It has generated 20,000 pages of bureaucratic regulations and they are just getting started.

          It breaks EVERY pledge that Obama promised before he signed it including that it won’t add a dime to the deficit.  Now the CBO says it will add $6T+ to the debt over the long term.

          The real question is WHY are the Democrats blocking reform of an extremely unpopular law that was passed under very shady circumstances (remember the Corn Husker kick back and Nancy Pelosi waiving the pledge of public hearing before a vote).

          The answer is this would be perceived as a political loss for the Democrats IF Obamacare is reformed.  Therefore, the Dems and Obama are putting politics ahead of the good of the country.

          It turns out the GOP is on the right side of the issue.  IF they new how to communicate through the media they MIGHT have a chance to effect positive change by repeal and replace.

          • NewtonWhale

            CBO’s Projection of Medicaid Spending Over the 2013-2022 Period Has Declined by More Than 5 Percent Since Last August
            For the 2013–2022 period, CBO has reduced its estimate of Medicaid spending by $239 billion (or about 5 ½ percent) compared with its estimate in August 2012. 
            http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43947
            One surprising bit of good news in the CBO report is the trend of federal health care expenditures. For the third year in a row, national health expenditures (NHE) grew at a rate substantially slower than normal. In 2011, the latest year for which full data is available, NHE grew by 3.9 percent — the same growth rate as the economy. Furthermore, NHE has remained constant as a share of the economy since 2009. This represents a dramatic shift, since NHE tends to grow more quickly than the economy, and grew almost twice as fast in 2007 — the last year prior to the recession.This slowdown has had a large effect on spending in federal health care programs. The CBO report notes that 2012 Medicare and Medicaid spending was about 5 percent below the amount projected by CBO in March 2010. This slowdown has also led CBO to make a series of rather substantial technical alterations (changes to projections based on modeling changes, not legislative action or economic conditions) to their federal health care projections.http://www.concordcoalition.org/issue-briefs/2013/0220/cbos-budget-and-economic-outlook-why-good-news-not-good-enough

          • Gregg Smith

            Do you really believe Obamacare will lower health care costs?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Thanks for the link.  Did you read it?  It actually says we are screwed.

      • NewtonWhale

        Yup:

        “conservatives are upset for much the same reason as liberals are: Ryan’s new budget isn’t much different than his old one.”

        http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-12/the-right-wing-case-against-paul-ryans-budget

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           There is one huge difference.  He uses the fiscal cliff revenue passed this January to help balance the budget by 2023 without raising additional taxes.  However, he recommends pro-growth tax reform.

          By constraining growth of government spending to 3.5% (instead of 5%) he is able to balance the budget by 2023.

          Yes, many conservatives believe that we can afford to cut government spending faster and still provide vital services so they aren’t completely happy with Ryan.

    • jefe68

      The problem here is that Ryan and his budget to disparity lost in the last election by 5 million votes.
      This is a joke, period. The man is a joke. 

      • Gregg Smith

        So no vote?

        • jefe68

          What part of losing a general election, and the Ryan budget was part of this, are you not getting?

          • Gregg Smith

            Ryan’s budget wasn’t part of Romney’s platform. That’s crazy.

          • Kathy

            Ryan’s budget is crazy.

          • Gregg Smith

            Then let’s vote and prove it.

          • J__o__h__n

            What else did Ryan bring to the ticket?

          • Gregg Smith

            Youth and good looks.

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

            Tea Party members who missed Gov. Romney saying how proud he was of banning “assault weapons” in the Commonwealth.

          • J__o__h__n

            Didn’t Romney’s small varmints shooting reassure them?

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

            No.  He has proven he was no friend of ours, therefore he got less votes than Sen McCain did. 

    • JobExperience

       When it incorporates, is declared a voter by the Supremes, and funds itself to the tune of half a billion to secure a seat, probably from Wyoming.

    • J__o__h__n

      Will the Senate budget get a vote in the House?

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

    Ted Cruz vs Diane Feinstein on Sencond Amendment Rights.

    http://www.althouse.blogspot.com/2013/03/ted-cruz-vs-dianne-feinstein.html

    I would prefer to equate the right to bear arms to the right to vote.  To argue about the Second and the First Amendments can muddy the water.  A deft retort would have been to claim that “evil assault weapons” are “evil kiddy porn.”  But Senator Feinstein is not so intellectually nimble.  

    • J__o__h__n

      The Supreme Court opinion establishing an individual right to bear arms says that it can be regulated.  The First Amendment doesn’t begin with the words “well regulated.”

      I don’t think many other conservatives will join you in equating it to the right to vote as they don’t hold that to be inportant.

      • Gregg Smith

        “…shall not be infringed”… but regulations are fine.

        Alrighty then.

      • scottmartin49

        A (not very fine) point that Cruz is either unaware of (or, more unlikely, refusing to recognize for polemical reasons) is that the first amendment IS regulated.

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

        You are perhaps correct in that judgement.  But that does not change my belief that it is the correct way to argue the point.  

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

    FTA:
    It’s only fitting that today, a must-read piece in the NYT (co-authored by Mary Williams Walsh, one of the country’s most careful, thoughtful reporters on state and local pension issues) details the social and fiscal nightmare Detroit’s thugocracy has bequeathed to the young and vulnerable who still inhabit the ruined city. The latest bit of misery was unearthed by a financial consultant brought in to dig through Detroit’s books. He found “an additional $7.2 billion in retiree health costs that had never been reported, or even tallied up.” Until 2008, Detroit was not required to keep track of its workers’ lifetime health care bills. Now, of course, it’s the people who are least able to pay who will bear the brunt of this.

    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2013/03/12/an-important-day-for-detroit/

    Malfeasance and corruption must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  Those that commit these crimes are truly guilty of child neglect and abandonment.  

    • Gregg Smith

      I heard it suggested they give Detroit to Mitt Romney to straighten out. 

      • JobExperience

         Detroit is 100% “the 47%’ so his only solution would be self-deportation.

        • J__o__h__n

          At least the trees are the right size.

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

            Now John, we know they’re the right height; whether or not they’re the right circumference is a question for botanists.

    • nj_v2

      Why not just post the NYT article

      (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/12/us/for-detroit-a-financial-crisis-was-long-coming.html?ref=us&_r=0&pagewanted=all)

      rather than running it though the WR Mead hack site?

    • JobExperience

       Why worry about paperwork? Only 10% of employer funded (and partially funded) pension recipients ever see the money. I’m sure Assad has spent the Syrian pension fund too. RWBee (rightwingbee) doesn’t understand that he is using  the collapse of Capitalism to argue for Ubercapitalism. Everyone knows the Federal Government pays a percentage to those who’ve lost their pensions.Those who could fled Detroit and those who couldn’t stayed. RWB would blame those trapped in steerage for the sinking of the Titanic, because the Oligarchs told him that.

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

        How are you feeling today?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Science supports that the planet IS greening by Dr. Matt Ridley.

    A short 18 minute presentation for anyone interested in the planet.  Keep an open mind and you might learn something.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/14/a-must-watch-greening-the-planet-dr-matt-ridley/#more-82153

    • Gregg Smith

      No one wants to hear good news, there’s no money in it.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        The real money is in denying obvious global warming so the fossil fuel industry won’t have to worry about lower profits.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I’m surprised Tom.  Talk about class warfare.  High fossil fuel prices hurts the poor and middle class disproportionally.

          You are fond of recounting the good times of  Clinton years.  Well, the price of a barrel of oil was $15 in 1998 and that was a large contributor to the prosperity of the middle class.

          • Don_B1

            Absolutely on high fossil fuel prices hurting the poor and middle class. But the fossil fuel prices are never going to go down much more than 50 cents (gasoline) from current prices and will be dollars higher in a few years, even with all the increased oil extraction.

            All the cheap oil is out of the ground already and the world-wide demand, which is what sets the price of oil is rising and consumer prices here in the U.S. with it.

            The spurt of fracked natural gas has temporarily lowered natural gas prices, and the industry is working to develop export terminals so they can sell it abroad at prices a lot over $10 per 1000 cu.ft. rather than the under $3 per 1000 cu.ft. current today. The the U.S. consumers will pay a world-wide price in natural gas, just like they do for oil.

            The Keystone XL pipeline will raise gasoline prices in the Midwest by around $0.50 a gallon, because it will open a path, for the oil extracted in the Midwest and currently trapped there, to reach ocean ports and export to the world.

            The ONLY repeat ONLY, way to stabilize energy prices is to switch to sustainable energy sources, and fossil fuels are not sustainable. Their extraction costs are on a steep UP ramp.

  • JobExperience

    Maybe in the same bed. (Intended as a comment on Ed’s homophobia, thanks Disqus)

  • Ray in VT

    Perhaps I’m jumping the gun on NJ’s douchebaggery, but I thought that this was pretty funny:

    This guy, speaking against gay marriage in a Minnesota House hearing, said that semen transforms into HIV when it gets into the blood stream.

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/03/12/concerned-minnesotan-father-unintentionally-funny-video-on-the-power-of-sperm-and-colons-video/

    • nj_v2

      No problem, i haven’t taken out a patent, yet!

    • Gregg Smith

      He’s probably a Democrat.

      • Ray in VT

        If this science is that bad, then he’s probably a Republican.

        What I want to know is in the context of the gay marriage debate, why is no one talking about the “effort underway to normalize pedophilia”?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           What party was the dude who thought Guam would ‘capsize’ if they sent too many service people to the island?

          • Ray in VT

            That was Hank Johnson (D-GA).  That’s a pretty stupid comment for sure.  However, has Mr. Johnson proposed adding that to the earth sciences school curriculum, as a number of prominant Republicans have regarding getting the non-science that is Intelligent Design into the science curriculum?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Don’t look to me for supporting silliness.

          • Ray in VT

            I wasn’t alleging that you were.

        • Gregg Smith

          The article doesn’t say, that’s why I assume Democrat. It’s tried and true. Look at outlets such as NPR reporting stories on Menendez or Jesse Jackson JR. At first they did not mention party. Compare to Larry Craig or Mark Foley when NPR had Republican in the first sentence if not the head line. Any time a party is not mentioned (Kwame Fitzpatrick is another) it’s safe to assume Democrat.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s some pretty perilously constructed reasoning.  Kindof like Representative John Chaffetz’s response to the allegation that Fast and Furious was an attempt by Obama to destabilize Mexico in order to crack down on gun rights, which I believe was something like “well, I don’t not have evidence”.  I’m not not licking toads.

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s my opinion but the fact remains the MSM is much slower to identify Democrats. That’s not arguable.

          • Ray in VT

            You offered a couple of examples, and there is some valid criticism in those couple of cases, but I don’t know if that is generally true.  I think that one would have to take a larger look.

          • Gregg Smith
  • creaker

    Paul Ryan waves a $16 trillion debt as an issue that has to be addressed
    – and proposes a budget that over 10 years will take that $16
    trillion debt – and make it bigger.

  • nj_v2

    Words that—as far as i know—have yet to be spoken on On Point: “Congressional Progressive Caucus budget”

    This is the third version of such. Truly progressive. Not full of bulls**t  Obama compromises. No elite-enriching, middle-class-crushing Paul Ryan regression.

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/173348/truly-progressive-budget-vision#

    A Truly Progressive Budget Vision

    Paul Ryan’s recently released budget will not become law—at least not any time soon. The Democratic Senate would never pass it, President Obama would never sign it. Ryan surely knows this, and his proposal is a fantasy budget: more an ideological argument than genuine attempt at legislating.

    That hasn’t stopped widespread media coverage of Ryan’s proposal, and that’s fine: he’s a leading thinker of the conservative movement, with real power. But corresponding attention should also be paid to the opposite ideological vision sketched out by the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the “Back to Work” budget proposal, released on Wednesday.

    As the name suggests, the CPC budget puts a priority on job creation—something no current proposal currently does. Ryan’s doesn’t even make an attempt at immediate job creation, but just posits that a decade from now, a smaller national debt will nudge Gross National Product Forward. The Senate Democratic budget has a relatively weak $100 billion infrastructure proposal tucked in amidst $960 billion in budget cuts; that’s nice, but clearly not a priority of their plan.

    The “Back to Work” Budget contains a $544 billion increase over current spending on public investments and job creation in the first year, including $75 billion for an infrastructure program, $155 billion for a public works program and aid to distressed communities, $80 billion for hiring teachers and $92 billion for reinstating the Making Work Pay tax credit. It also expands unemployment insurance, sends more money to the states and undoes the sequester cuts.

    The CPC estimates this will create $7 million jobs in the first year—and over the next ten years, the budget would spend over $4 trillion more on job creation and public investments.

    But this massive spending is offset by a number of crucial revenue measures: The “Back to Work” budget increases taxes on millionaires and billionaires, taxes investments at the same level as wages, closes corporate tax loopholes, enacts both a financial transactions tax and a carbon tax, and introduces both a public option and government negotiating for drug prices to Medicare. In addition, the budget finds savings by cutting Pentagon spending back to 2006 levels.

    (snipped)

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       When does it balance?

      Since it claims to achieve full employment by 2014, government spending must be quickly be cut to below 19% of GDP.  Right?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Dam right. There is endless discussion of the class warfare budget, medicare groupons and all, and a total corporate media blackout of a budget consistent with traditional American values.

    • nj_v2

      Mr. Ashbrook, referring to the various budget proposals: “Paul Ryan on one side, Patty Murray on the other.”

      Still the CPC budget remains invisible. 

      I can only conclude that ignoring the CPC budget proposal is deliberate on the part of On Point. Program after program that On Point has done on the economy has failed to even mention it, let alone look at it in any detail.

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

        I gave this a “like”, but I wish it were that simple.

        Jack may have touched on this when he said “Journos don’t want to be seen as left-wing”. NPR is torn between the job of journalism and expanding their appeal beyond the middle-leftish indepthness they have a reputation for already.

        Their ombuds haven’t given up “appealing to the right wing listener”, and that sweet spot isn’t so much about actual journo output, but something with the content more like Fox yet the tone of public radio.

        That’s a bit more pernicious: People know “what’s good for them”, their stories, and (therefore) their careers, but nothing’s written down to point to.

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

        That is because no one takes the CPC budget seriously.

        • nj_v2

          No, it’s you we don’t take seriously.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sheila Jackson Lee thinks Neil Armstrong planted a flag on Mars.

          • nj_v2

            Greggg Smith thinks BushCo never lied and the Iraq War was a fine and good thing. 

            This we know for sure.

            Whether Ms. Lee actually misspoke, confusing Mars with the moon, is unknown.

            Greggg’s hero, drug-addled gasbag Flush Limpballs makes numerous factual errors in criticizing Ms. Lee about the supposed mistake. This doesn’t bother mindless partisan hacks like Mr. Smith, so determined is his moronic trolling.

          • Gregg Smith

            Try to get me out of your head.

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

            Come, for the third, Laertes: you but dally;
            I pray you, pass with your best violence;

          • scottmartin49

            …and you poison yourself, destroy the innocent, and bring down an entire kingdom with your self- indulgent melancholia- isn’t that how it ends?

        • StilllHere

          Even the media knows it’s a joke and they’ll give anybody 15 minutes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1258988292 Darrell Bibby

    Uh, why is raising a family a conservative idea?

    • adks12020

      Yeah, probably more of a conservative “ideal” rather than idea. Plenty of liberal people that want to raise families.

    • scottmartin49

      Thank you- that one made me start growling myself.

      • StilllHere

        Because you were hungry? Lending credence to the whole eating thing.

        • nj_v2

          ^ Troll

        • scottmartin49

          Sorry, I guess I don’t understand either your joke or your reference, but I do find it offensive when ‘Conservatives’ try to lay claim to family values as their own special province. 

          Unless, of course, you’re describing the ‘family values’ of race baiting, bigotry, and intolerance- you can keep those in your own house.

    • StilllHere

      Because progressives mostly eat children I guess.

      • nj_v2

        ^ Troll

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    I would like the panel to discuss Jack Beatty’s use of the phrase

    “moral imagination”

  • Lee_on_Norfolk

    On Portman’s change, it’s not just a personal issue, it’s important for NJ.
    In the last NJ legislative vote on marriage equality, which passed
    with 24 votes in the Senate and 42 in the Assembly, several New Jersey
    Republican legislators crossed the aisle in support of equality,
    including Senators Jen Beck and Diane Allen. Poll after poll shows that a
    majority of New Jersey voters support marriage equality for same-sex
    couples. If not for
    Governor Christie’s veto of the bill, New Jersey would join nine states and the
    District of Columbia that have already legalized the freedom to marry
    for same-sex couples.  Will Christie support gay marriage in NJ?

    • MrNutso

      He will not as long as he has national aspirations.

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

    It’s not a question of “if but when will the right wing get on the demographic train” for gay rights (Cook? commented at 16 mins).

    Should the GOP leadership wish to do this, what will be their big public apology or explanation or break with the past in which they say “we were wrong“?

    I’m thinking Lyndon Johnson giving up the Dixiecrats by using the phrase “and we shall overcome” in that speech. Message delivered.

    • hennorama

      TF – there won’t be any apologies.  And certainly there won’t be anything said approaching “we were wrong”.

      Of course, all of this assumes “Should the GOP leadership wish to do this” which is highly unlikely.

    • Gregg Smith

      I don’t equate gay rights with gay marriage, do you?

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

        The GOP sounds like they wish to get gays and lesbians to vote for them without doing that thing where they apologize publicly. Seems they want this new bloc to consider them without admitting anything true and bad about a plank of their supporters which will cost them in the short term.

        That’s the wishy-washy way to do it. Why don’t they put on their grown-up pants about it?

        And who cares what you equate? You equate suppressing black voters (as a stated goal of legislation) with “You don’t think blacks are too stupid to fill out that form, do you?”

  • http://twitter.com/shelando Lando

    It’s great that Portman had a change of heart, but why are so many people unable to have any compassion for those who are different than themselves? Until it touched him personally, it was an immoral act and gay people didn’t deserve the same rights. Only now that that would affect his son, he can see it differently. It wasn’t important when it was someone else’s son or daughter.

  • brian copeland

    Republicans are typically short sided. As a recent called noted, they don’t change their out of touch view till they have a personal relationship with a homosexual.

    The same can be said of the Republicans view of the immigration issue. Again, they only change their view if it can benefit them – not when they truly believe in the cause

    Only thing left to ponder is when we can expect them to change their mind on Climate Change?

  • Cory Heaton

     Is Sen. Rubio trying to rebrand old conservative ideas or is his image of a new conservative? That guy drives me nuts.

    • scottmartin49

      Sen. Rubio is applying for a job, and showing his potential employers that he will say and do what they wish. 

    • StilllHere

      Maybe you should pay more attention to what he says as opposed to the messenger.

  • MrStang

    ” Way back in 2010, when everybody in
    Washington seemed determined to anoint
    Representative Paul Ryan as the ultimate
    Serious, Honest Conservative, I
    pronounced him a flimflam man. Even
    then, his proposals were obviously
    fraudulent: huge cuts in aid to the poor,
    but even bigger tax cuts for the rich, with
    all the assertions of fiscal responsibility
    resting on claims that he would raise
    trillions of dollars by closing tax
    loopholes (which he refused to specify)
    and cutting discretionary spending (in
    ways he refused to specify).
    Since then, his budgets have gotten even
    flimflammier. …”
    mobile.nytimes.com/article;jsessionid=9F30EB8968C0750573DF3A8EBC4B6713?a=1038027&f=28&sub=Columnist

  • NewtonWhale

    Sorry, but Rob Portman’s back-flip earns the GOP no credit.
    Only jaded political reporters could be impressed when a politician changes his long standing position once it benefits him to do so. Whether it’s because of personal considerations or in order to “catch a demographic train” is irrelevant.Voters are not that gullible.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       So you were equally unimpressed when Obama flipped last year?

      • NewtonWhale

        You are correct, sir.

        However, I have been very impressed with the change in America’s attitudes, especially since Massachusetts led the way in 2004:

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           It has been a stunning turn about.  No question.

        • Ray in VT

          We took a tentative first step back in 2000.  There were prophesies of doom and gloom.  Blood was going to rain down upon us.  Cats and dogs were going to live together, and yet nothing of the like happened.  Curious.

  • Casey Reyner

    The only reason the GOP held on to control of the house is they gerrymandered as many districts as they could.  The Democrats received more votes, in congressional races.

    • StilllHere

      .  
      I don’t know if you can see it, but that’s a video of a very small violin playing just for you.

  • MrStang

    Amy there are more than two budgets…why not mention the Progressive Caucus budget?

    The Economic Policy Institute Policy
    Center provided technical assistance
    in developing, scoring, modeling, and
    analyzing the Back to Work budget.
    EPI’s analysis can be seen here: The
    ‘Back to Work’ budget: Analysis of the
    Congressional Progressive Caucus
    budget for fiscal year 2014
    Job Creation
    • Infrastructure – substantially increases
    infrastructure investment to the level the
    American Society of Civil Engineers says
    is necessary to close our infrastructure
    needs gap
    • Education – funds school
    modernizations and rehiring laid-off
    teachers
    • Aid to States – closes the recession-
    caused gap in state budgets for two
    years, allowing the rehiring of cops,
    firefighters, and other public employees
    • Making Work Pay – boosts consumer
    demand by reinstating an expanded tax
    credit for three years
    • Emergency Unemployment
    Compensation – allows beneficiaries to
    claim up to 99 weeks of unemployment
    benefits in high-unemployment states
    for two years
    • Public Works Job Programs and Aid
    to Distressed Communities – includes
    job programs such as a Park
    Improvement Corps, Student Jobs Corps,
    and Child Care Corps
    Fair Individual Tax
    • Immediately allows Bush tax cuts to
    expire for families earning over $250K
    • Higher tax rates for millionaires and
    billionaires (from 45% to 49%)
    • Taxes income from investments the
    same as income from wages
    Fair Corporate Tax
    • Ends corporate tax bias toward moving
    jobs and profits overseas
    • Enacts a financial transactions tax
    • Reduces deductions for corporate jets,
    meals, and entertainment
    Defense
    • Returns Pentagon spending to 2006
    levels, focusing on modern security
    needs
    Health Care
    • No benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid,
    or Social Security
    • Reduces health care costs by adopting
    a public option, negotiating drug prices,
    and reducing fraud
    Environment
    • Prices carbon pollution with a rebate
    to hold low income households harmless
    • Eliminates corporate tax subsidies for
    oil, gas, and coal companies GETTING
    AMERICANS BACK TO WORK
    cpc.grijalva.house.gov/back-to-work-budget/

    • nj_v2

      Thanks, MrStang! We at least (finally!) got On Point to mention it for a couple of brief, fleeting moments! It’s a start!

  • Michiganjf

    My question is this:

      The Republican Party has DEPENDED UTTERLY, for the last 30 years, on the social divisiveness of the “3 Gs” to RALLY THEIR BASE (God, guns and gays)…

       How can the GOP modernize to meet the majority of today’s Americans, when GOP success depends almost completely on working their base into a fervor over issues regarding the “3 Gs?”

    This is the way they “get out their vote,” come election time… can they compete without the 3 Gs rallying their base into a fervor?

    On the other hand, how can they “catch up to the new demography” without giving up the 3 Gs????!!!!

    … and you just played Ryan’s quote about “not giving up their ‘principals.’”

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

    I’m just curious how many times the GOP had to make room for the Dems’ “we won too” message when the GOP kept the presidency and Senate, while adding seats to both the Senate and House.

    This meme has been amplified pretty hard by the Beltway Inbreds.

  • nj_v2

    Rethuglicon/right-wing idoicy, regression, and other assorted  jackassery of the week…

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/jeb-i-think-history-will-be-kind-to

    Jeb: ‘I Think History Will Be Kind’ To My Brother

    “My guess is that people will be kind to my brother,” Bush said during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The further out you get from this and the more people compare his tenure to what’s going on now, I think history will be kind to George W. Bush.”

    (excerpt)

    http://www.commondreams.org/further/2013/03/11-6

    Die Bitch: Analyst Says Arming Women Is Not Rape Prevention, For Which She Gets Rape/Death Threats

    If you needed any more evidence of how far we haven’t come: Activist Zerlina Maxwell took part in a debate on Hannity about women and guns, arguing that the solution to rape isn’t telling women to get guns or in fact telling women to do anything, but to work toward a culture in which men learn it’s not okay to rape. For her trouble, she was subject to what TPM’s Josh Marshall calls “a digital lynch mob,” ugly beyond belief.

    (excerpt)

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/12/armory-little-leagues-ar-15-raffle-going-gangbusters/

    Armory: Little league’s AR-15 raffle ‘going gangbusters’

    An Illinois armory that has partnered with a local little league to raffle off an AR-15 military-style assault rifle says that tickets are selling like “gangbusters.”

    Atwood Armory co-owner Charidy Butcher told The Raw Story that her phone had been “ringing nonstop” since the raffle for Atwood-Hammond Little League began on Tuesday.

    “We have teamed up with the Atwood-Hammond Little League to raffle off a Rock River Arms Tactical Operator AR-15,” she explained. “It just kicked off today. It has been going gangbusters, my phone has been ringing nonstop since 4:30 this morning.”

    (snipped)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/13/opinion/the-worst-of-paul-ryans-budgets.html?_r=1&

    The Worst of the Ryan Budgets

    The budget, which will surely fly through the House, was quickly praised as “serious” and job-creating by the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, though it is neither. By cutting $4.6 trillion from spending over the next decade, it would reverse the country’s nascent economic growth, kill millions of real and potential jobs, and deprive those suffering the most of social assistance.

    All the tired ideas from 2011 and 2012 are back: eliminating Medicare’s guarantee to retirees by turning it into a voucher plan; dispensing with Medicaid and food stamps by turning them into block grants for states to cut freely; repealing most of the reforms to health care and Wall Street; shrinking beyond recognition the federal role in education, job training, transportation and scientific and medical research. The public opinion of these callous proposals was made clear in the fall election, but Mr. Ryan is too ideologically fervid to have learned that lesson.

    (excerpt)

    • Don_B1

      These really take the cake for near-perfect inanity! It boggles the mind that they actually might be outdone next week or next month.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    This week, ryan doubled down on his class warfare with a budget that cuts everything average Americans, and the USA as a whole, need, and cuts taxes on the wealthy and the corporations. The result is the core GoP agenda, redistribution of wealth to the top.

    I can never get over how non-plutocrats support this c**p. The deficit scare tactics don’t seem very powerful. “If you let me cut your SS and medicare, let your infrastructure go to hell, and give up on basic research and education, I’ll show you a piece of paper where a number is smaller.” C’mon, people, can we stick to what’s real?Meanwhile NPR/PBS continue to function as good members of the corporate media and DC echo chamber, using all the righty newspeak like “reform” for cuts, calling far right conservadems “moderate democrats”, and buying into deficit hysteria.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Yeah, restraining government spending growth to 3.5% (same as the economy) is class warfare.  Sure.

    • donniethebrasco

       We won’t stop til everyone has food stamps.

      What the government should really do is collect all the money and pay people stipends.  Instead of the people paying taxes, the government should decide what everyone makes and pay us.

  • NewtonWhale

    Amy, take a break and stop carrying all that GOP water.

    No, in no way did the GOP “win the election”.

    It lost 2 senate seats when it expected to gain.

    It lost 8 congressional seats, and was outvoted nationally by 1 million votes.

    And “President Romney” will only appear in works of fiction about an alternative, dystopic America.

    • donniethebrasco

       The Republicans still have control in the House.  Thank god.

      • Gustavo

        god had nothing to do with it. GOP focus on winning statehouses in a redistricting year did. Not to mention O being very antagonistic to his base in his first two years (now too). Doesn’t get Dem voters fired up to go to the midterm polls when your Prez spends a lot of time using you as a toilet. 

      • Ray in VT

        Gerrymandering has its benefits.

        • StilllHere

          Elections have consequences especially for those who know how to govern.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, they do.  Sometimes you can use that win to try to draw the districts to ensure that you will continue to win.

          • StilllHere

            That’s how it works for everyone.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, but in the places where demographics are working against the party doing that, that game might only work for so long.

          • StilllHere

            Of course.

  • hennorama

    The only reason Sen. Portman’s epiphany on same-sex marriage is news is due to Republicans generally being so far behind the times and reality.

    Same sex marriage is such a non-controversial issue to most people (as one commenter said “it’s a no-brainer”), especially to young people, it IS news when someone finally comes around to the idea.

    Congrats, Sen. Portman – you’ve discovered that you’re “… a dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have …”

    What the hell took you so long to realize THAT?

    • donniethebrasco

       When will churches, synagogues, and mosques be sued to allow a same sex celebration be held?

      • J__o__h__n

        They are exempt due to the first amendment. 

        • donniethebrasco

           Is that the same reason Augusta National Golf club can keep out women?

          • Gregg Smith

            They let Condi in.

          • OnPointComments

            And Darla Moore.

          • scottmartin49

            Dang! Two birds with one stone….

          • donniethebrasco

             You missed my point.  Before Darla Moore & Condi, they were held up as illegitimate because of their membership roll.

          • Gregg Smith

            I got your point, I just like Condi. Sorry.

          • J__o__h__n

            No.  Private clubs aren’t covered by the first amendment but have the freedom of association.  I think that conveys some rights to exclude but I’m not sure of the details. 

          • Don_B1

            Exactly! Private clubs can select members however they want. But the public can boycott sponsors of events held at the club and thus lower the club’s revenue.

            That is why an employer can fire an employee for saying something inappropriate that the employer feels reflects on it. It is only the government that cannot.

      • hennorama

        donniethebrasco – Who cares? This is about equality, not religion.

        A famous document said a little bit on the topic:

        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

        • Gregg Smith

          So the Declaration of Independence guarantees the right to gay marriage? Who knew?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000894438466 Charles Miller

             Homosexuality has been hidden in societies for many centuries.  So your question is apt.  Just like the Framers blew it on slavery.

      • Ray in VT

        The Vermont same sex marriage law exempts religious institutions who have an objection.  We have heterosexual marriage everywhere, so why isn’t the Catholic Church gets it’s behind sued off for refusing to marry straight couples who refuse to comply with their guidelines?

      • brettearle

        As soon as the Public demands such betrothals, with a sincere threat of an all-out Boycott to all Houses of Worship.

        Translated: Never.

        At least as far as official judgements are concerned that find for the Plaintiffs.

    • OnPointComments

      Was President Obama’s epiphany on same-sex marriage, less than a year ago, news because he was far behind the times and reality?  What the hell took him so long to realize that?

      • hennorama

        Yes.

      • brettearle

         He needed Cass Sunstein to absolutely document, for him, that it was not unconstitutional.

    • brettearle

      Anachronism is a fundamental sacrament of the GOP Church.

  • Bruce94

    CPAC, Tea-Party Republicans and the College of Cardinals:  all examples of the dominance of white, male privilege and powerful elites in our political and religious life.  

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       There are plenty of women in the TEA party and CPAC.

      Allan West and Ben Carson are headliners at CPAC.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000894438466 Charles Miller

         But just perhaps, Allen West shouldn’t be.

        • Gregg Smith

          It was a great speech.

      • Bruce94

         If you don’t count the handful of outliers, outright liars, losers and lunatics (e.g. West and Palin), how many can you name?

    • Gregg Smith

      That’s sick.

    • StilllHere

      You don’t know what you are talking about, so in your case it’s not lack of privilege, just lack of knowledge.

      • keltcrusader

        So says the King of Stupidty

        • StilllHere

          Look, it’s the loser who lives for “likes” out from under her rock.   Even for you this is pathetically new low.

          • keltcrusader

            Still Aren’t There nor will ever be –
            Loser meet mirror

  • northeaster17

    What a lack of imagination

  • J__o__h__n

    Murray doesn’t get nearly the air time that Ryan does.  The media mistakenly think that his budget contains new ideas.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Did you see it?  It is too embarrassing to shine light on. The media recognizes this and are protecting the Dems.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000894438466 Charles Miller

       Well, Ryan’s plan DOES now include Obama’s call for higher taxes on the richest!

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

    “It is not a ‘smart’ thing to say the government is efficient and could be spending more,” per O’Donnell (?) at 31mins.

    She says “smart”, I say “savvy” (and in a not complementary way).

    Our press corps has taken it upon themselves to disappear the idea of economists from economics coverage.

    Ergo, yet again, every failure of our press corps becomes a “messaging problem for the Democrats”. Funny, that.

  • nj_v2

    Yay, caller Gustavo!! Someone finally got through!! Thank you!!

    Ms. O’Donnell’s rationalization for the lack of coverage on the CPC budget is lame. Where has it ever been mentioned? MSM hacks like O’Donnell are just part of the kabuki political theater act. 

    Here, finally, On Point is talking about it, and only because a caller brought it up.

    • Gustavo

      Well I’m super busy with work today, preparing for big meeting at two and not feeling that great to boot. So I was going to do my usual which was to post my protest on FB. However hearing Kelly sounding like Nelson Rockefeller/Bill Weld’s spokesperson drove me to the phone. More of us on the left should call in.

  • Wahoo_wa

    I wonder if Obama will ever send a budget to Congress that gets at least some support from his own party.

    • Don_B1

      So far, the President’s budget has been modified, either in the House or in Senate committee(s) to make it poisonous for Democrats to vote for it on the floor.

  • donniethebrasco

    Are there any 80 year old men out there collecting Social Security?  I’m only 20, but I’d like to get married to you (I am a man), so that I can continue to collect your check after you die.

    • Gustavo

      average SS check is a hair over $1,000 a month so live large!

    • Ray in VT

      I don’t believe that you would be entitled to such benefits under DOMA, but I could be wrong.

    • hennorama

       donniethebrasco – looks like we need to update an old saying:

      “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak type and remove all doubt.”

      You might want to do some research next time.

      https://www.socialsecurity.gov/survivorplan/ifyou2.htm

    • StilllHere

      You’ll probably get to keep his Obamaphone too, in addition to yours.

  • suzieinnewport

    Thanks to the caller who “called” the media on its privileging of the nonsensical Republican/Ryan budget and its failure to cover the progressive agenda, precisely because people “might like it.” That, my friends, is the great danger. The caller revealed that the role of the media is to hold the economy, with all of its inequalities, in place. Adorno and Horkheimer could not have said it better. 

    It’s time to bring radical critique of the media into the mainstream.  The female journalist sounded so pathetic trying to defend herself, and Jack Beatty’s tautological response “that’s the reality!” ;”that’s just the way things are!” was pathetic. It’s time for the media to represent ALL points of view. And to stop taking for granted, in the age of the internet, where we can get all kinds of information on our own, that the audience is not better informed about the biased perspective which is usually presented.I will note that usually On Point DOES cover key issues that are often ignored by the mainstream media.

    • Gustavo

      I completely expected Kelly’s answer and even the exact words. Jack surprised me. He recovered by then acknowledging the reality of full coverage for GOP/conservative ideas regardless of their silliness and an almost complete blackout and marginalization of any liberal point of view. 

      • StilllHere

        Apples/oranges.  The liberal point of view is marginalized by its own impracticality, not just its lack of popularity.

    • StilllHere

      The media could also talk more about the numbers; debt, deficits, out-of-control entitlement costs, and demographics.  The media should talk about how scary our dependence on debt is, how scary an increase in interest rates would be, how many individuals are dependent on the state … 
      I’m guessing they know, and that’s why they recognize the CPC is delusional and not worthy of discussion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000894438466 Charles Miller

    I don’t get it… Caller Gustavo complains about how the media treats congressional initiatives in an uneven way and reasonably asked why aren’t views other than the somewhat stale views of a Republican House Rep covered?

    Then Kelly O’Donnell defends the media by saying the Democratic POV’s will be covered more in 2015.

    Ms. O’Donnell sounds like a TV programmer (as in “Well, will be rolling out a new Democratic reality show in 2015) rather than a serious journalistic.

    Aren’t you folks supposed to bring issues to the citizenry? 

  • NewtonWhale

    Sorry, Kelly, but the media does NOT give equal coverage to the Dems on the budget committee.

    Paul Ryan (R), chairman of the House Budget Committee:
    About 1,300,000,000 results

    Jeff Sessions (R), ranking Republican, Senate Budget Committee:
    About 28,200,000 results

    Patty Murray (D), Chairman, Senate Budget Committee:
    About 16,000,000 results

    • Gregg Smith

      Wow, over a million instances of the MSM bashing Ryan. It seems low.

      • scottmartin49

        Cyniscism or stupidity (take your pick) on a Ryanesque scale is newsworthy. Reason-ability is a legitimate expectation, not news.

      • NewtonWhale

        That’s 1.3 BILLION results, Greg, not 1.3 million.

        Then again, I wouldn’t expect anyone who promotes the Ryan budget to know the difference.

        • Gregg Smith

          A billion is “over a million”, smarty pants.

          • NewtonWhale

            So now you’re going to pretend that’s what you meant?

            Pathetic.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll type slow. Just because there are a lot of results does not mean they’re positive. You are implying the number shows bias and I agree but it’s bias against the plan not for it. therefore your entire premise is whacked in my view. But go ahead and miss the point, fine.

            I have no idea where your numbers came from. I have no idea where your graphics that don’t reflect those numbers comes from.

  • Gordon Green

    I think Gustavo is right – if the policies the progressive caucus proposes got more airplay, they would be more popular, and have more chance of succeeding, whether or not it is that group that proposes them in the end. 

    I think this is a side-effect of the gladatorial conception of politics that dominates the media.  While it is emotionally appealing, it just ends in head-butting, and more of a focus on the substance would help us move past that.

    • StilllHere

      I don’t think so.  Their airplay is a function of their lack of popularity, not to mention their lack of practicality.

      • jefe68

        Troll and a clown all rolled into one.

  • SteveOpembrokema

    All this gushing and celebrating over an institution that discounts the value of women. No matter what kind of fluffy language they use, that is the end result.  Not one of thousands of nuns got any vote in there pope.  Is this what people want, this would never be tolerated in a public forum in the U.S.  Why is there such a disconnect with religion?

    • brettearle

      Because the Self-Righteous use God as a way to champion the cause of their own biases.

      • nj_v2

        Biases and bigotry. We sure see it today on this forum.

        • StilllHere

          Just from you though.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Troll

        • brettearle

          The fault does not lie in the Stars, Dear Brutus.

  • Lee_on_Norfolk

    So glad Tom took a call on
    the Progressive budget.  Paul
    Ryan’s latest budget plan would give millionaires a tax cut of $200,000 or more-
    Yikes! (Citizens for Tax Justice:
    http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2013/03/paul_ryans_latest_budget_plan_would_give_millionaires_a_tax_cut_of_200000_or_more.php
    )

     

    Ryan’s plan notes that under current law, federal revenue
    will equal 19.1 percent of GDP (19.1 percent of the overall economy) in 2023.
    But this level of revenue would not have balanced the budget even during the
    Reagan administration, when federal spending ranged from 21.3 percent to 23.5
    percent of GDP.

    Senate Budget Chairman Murray’s plan would raise revenue by
    $975 billion over a decade, so that federal revenue will equal 19.8 percent of
    GDP in 2023.

    The plan from the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC)
    would raise revenue by $5.7 trillion, so that revenue will reach 21.8 percent
    in 2023. In other words, only the Progressives would come close to funding the
    type of spending that Reagan presided over.  The Progressives are a large caucus in the House, so if the
    Progressives stick together and refuse to pass a bad budget, they can play a
    big role in the final budget deal.

    Good Wash. Post article comparing the CPC, Ryan, and Murray
    budgets, which says the Ryan budget is as unrealistic as the Progressive
    budget: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/14/house-progressives-have-the-best-answer-to-paul-ryan/

  • JasonB

    Background checks will do far more to stem gun violence than banning assault rifles. While I would love to see assault rifles out of the hands of the average American citizen, banning them at this point will do nothing about the problem we have to day. Millions of these weapons are already out there. Banning them will only mean that some people will have them and others wont. 

    • brettearle

       What about relinquishing them to authorities, via an Amnesty Campaign?

      • JasonB

        sure. the law-abiding citizens will turn them in. The others will hold onto their guns. I think background checks make sense and you can get a larger percentage of Americans on board. You can also ban high capacity magazines in hopes they become phased out and make the penalties for illegal possession of weapons harsh, which is how NYC manages to keep gun violence down. 

        • brettearle

          My Amnesty idea in no way invalidates the positions that you identified above–which I, too, support.

          • JasonB

            I think it does, but I would like to hear why you think it doesn’t.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000894438466 Charles Miller

       But there are other benefits to banning.  For example, making a societal statement that is just isn’t normal to be arguing for AR-15′s on a 2nd Amendment basis.  And by changing attitudes… and eventually, the number of functional killing machines in our country.

    • hennorama

      First the NRA loves universal background checks, and now they hate them.

      Shouldn’t organizations that train people to handle and use firearms be more interested in ensuring that they aren’t training some who are mentally ill or otherwise unfit to own, possess or use such weapons?

      There ARE organizations like that, but they aren’t the NRA.

      The US military has done recruitment and predeployment psychiatric screening for nearly 100 years, focusing on identifying and disqualifying those with gross psychiatric disorders. They recognize that not everyone should be given access to or training in the use of weapons designed to kill as many humans as possible in the shortest period of time.

      This seems reasonable, and something we might consider for firearms ownership, especially in light of the fact that one can legally purchase firearms with capabilities similar to military firearms.

      Universal background checks are only the barest minimum we should be doing, IMO.

  • jcormier1

    kudos to the listenter who commented that Portman’s change of heart came about because his son came out AND THEN SUGGESTED THAT PORTMAN AND HIS PARTY (and politicans in general) NEED T GO OUT AND MEET POOR PEOPLE AND UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE ETC. 
    also enjoyed Tom’s description ‘empathy challenged’ politicans

  • MrStang

    Well Amy its difficult to have an intelligent conversation about the economy when the media don’t counter billionaire’s propaganda like Peterson’s “Fix The Debt” millions spent to propagandize austerity.

    Onpoint itself was forced to even give mention to the Progressive Caucus budget by caller Gustavo…and the host seemed irritated to be called out on it.

    Just shameful.

    • Gustavo

      I thought Tom was good to me, and I harass the heck out of him on OnPoint FB. So while I don’t think it was the case today, I would completely understand if he ever sounded irritated with me. 

      BTW one of the things Peterson does is pay for a nice little gathering (Q&A session) for media and pols to get together. Nice shrimp and cheap bubbly goes a long way in getting your story a lot of play. 

      • Marc Becker

        Thanks, Gustavo, for your call. OnPoint’s conservative POV drives me crazy…

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

        Cheap bubbly?

        In the category of “Now we’re just haggling over price”: I thought our powerful media types had better standards than that.

      • nj_v2

        I’m glad you got on and applauded you elsewhere in the forum here.
         
        A few of us have been grousing out here in general about the questionable “balance” that On Point purports to maintain, and, in particular, about the complete lack of attention the program has paid to the CPC budget. Day in and day out, the panels are usually stacked with corporate MSM reporters and/or pundits, and, for political topics perceived to be controversial, representatives of this or that think tank or advocacy group. 

        On the whole, most of these skew center right, and when a “liberal” is needed, the choice is usually made from a selection of people who support the current mainstream Dems and Obama.

        Anything further left than that is usually off the radar screen. Once every so often, they’ll have someone like Chomsky on, as if this alone would suffice to balance the rightish tilt of the preponderance of shows.

        The budget discussion is a microcosm of this. Endless discussion of and attention to the (radical, regressive, extreme) Ryan budget, slight attention to the mamby pamby Senate version, none at all to the CPC budget.

        The end result is that the boundaries of what is deemed to be reasonable conversation is set narrowly and skewed (to the right), and that anything outside of that is presented to be eccentric and less worthy of consideration.

    • jjkraw

       I felt that Kelly O’Donnell’s reply to Gustavo illustrated a real problem with the current US news media. Paraphrased, “we’ll cover the progressive ideas when the progressives are running for president (2016)”. The news is always about the horse race, the people in power, and “he said, she said” coverage of their proposals with little to no analysis. What this country needs is a discussion about IDEAS, regardless of their source, and some hard work by the media to analyze and fact check these ideas. Unless people hear about different ways to solve problems, those ideas will never catch on.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Why is Homeland Security purchasing massive numbers of guns, ammunition and even 2,700 tanks?   What is going on? 

    • brettearle

       Is this yet another Conspiracy Theory that belongs on the early AM syndicated program, known as, “Coast to Coast”?   

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Huh?  If Bush was buying the tanks you would be outraged (and I would have the same question).  Don’t we deserve an explanation?  Just like we deserve an explanation on why they lifted the ban on knifes on planes.

        • brettearle

          Are you suggesting MSM will be ignoring the story?

          Because I think, by extrapolation, that tired belief is part of your rancid cynicism.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             It appears they are ignoring the story.  It is the MSM’s job to get answers.  Perhaps there is a rational explanation.

          • brettearle

            Your Bias is showing so flagrantly, that a full mask couldn’t camouflage it.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             How so?  I would question the purpose no matter who was in the WH.

          • brettearle

            Well, it simply wouldn’t be right of me to suggest a Lie-Detector’s Test, for you –just as it wouldn’t be right of you to suggest it of me, when you expediently claimed, a few comments ago, that I would be screaming about it, if it were under Bush II’s watch.  

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             I apologize for my impertinence.

        • scottmartin49

          The ban on small knives was lifted to bring our standards into agreement with international ones- too many problems with transfers. I suppose that will qualify as another UN plot to allow terrorists to destroy ‘Murca once it’s filtered through the  fox den!

          Facts are usually less interesting than paranoia.

        • jimino

          Paranoia, gullibility and ignorance are a bad combination:

          http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/ssabullets.asp

      • margbi

         Coast to Coast has really gotten out in space with their conspiracy theories. From Planet 9, maybe?

        • scottmartin49

          Ahhh, Plan 9. Yes, proceed.

        • brettearle

          It’s a program that most sane people should stay away from.

          Only occasionally does it drive a critical point home, I think.

          Otherwise, it’s all Horror Science-Fiction that belongs back with “The Blob” and 1950s comic books.  

          It’s your basic electronic pollution.

          • jimino

            They run it here on the station with the other wacky  programs, e.g.  Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck.  They figure it’s a good  fit with their regular listeners

          • brettearle

             Yeah, but ya know what?

            Some of the Lefties go for some of that cosmic-Karmic stuff–that you hear on “Coast to Coast”.

            Go figure…

            [Just the idea that I might listen to a program that listeners of Beck, Savage, and  DittoHead listen to, is enough to make me tune out.]

      • Gregg Smith

        Is Art Bell still around?

    • scottmartin49

      Well, obviously, the black helicopters aren’t cutting it by themselves….

    • creaker

      I saw an article where government materials are labeling peaceful, legal protesters as “low level terrorists”. It sounds like a mindset that would require a lot firepower.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        They labeled a woman a ‘terrorist’ in NJ last week because she read the constitution at a tax appraisal hearing and then threatened to raise the bail beyond her means if she didn’t turn in her legal guns.

        There were NO witnesses to her threats other than the government official that followed her to the parking lot.

        • creaker

          NYPD has been implementing what is basically martial law in Brooklyn to stop peaceful protests this week.

      • jefe68

        Speaking of NY City. I was told a tale about someones dad who has a drinking problem.
        It seems he was lost in NY city while driving a tanker truck full of gasoline. He was also driving while under the influence. The man is not the brightest person and one could say that when he stopped a cop to ask directions that it might not have been a good idea. Frankly, him deciding to get behind the wheel of a truck full of gasoline after drinking enough beer to put him over the limit was his first mistake.

        Well of course he was arrested, which was a good thing. But he was charged as a terrorist. It took him over a year to get the charges dropped to DUI and reckless endangerment.

        What this man did was criminal and dumb.
        It was not an act of terrorism.

    • jefe68

      Get a grip.

      Federal solicitations to buy the bullets are known as “strategic sourcing contracts,” which help the government get a low price for a big purchase, says Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga . The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises. 

      Dixon said one of the contracts would allow Homeland Security to buy up to 750 million rounds of ammunition over the next five years for its training facilities. The rounds are used for basic and advanced law enforcement training for federal law enforcement agencies under the department’s umbrella. The facilities also offer firearms training to tens of thousands of federal law enforcement officers. More than 90 federal agencies and 70,000 agents and officers used the department’s training center last year. 

      The rest of the 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition would be purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal government’s second largest criminal investigative agency. ICE’s ammunition requests in the last year included: –450 million rounds of .40-caliber duty ammunition –40 million rounds of rifle ammunition a year for as many as five years, for a total bullet-buy of 200 million rounds –176,000 rifle rounds on a separate contract –25,000 blank rounds 

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/14/why-is-department-homeland-security-buying-so-many-bullets/#ixzz2NcajOplw

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Thanks for that link.  How about the 2,700 tanks? 

        • Ray in VT

          Those are to keep people in the FEMA concentration camps.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             LOL.  I knew it must be something like that.  They couldn’t keep those FEMA trailers idle forever.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, God hasn’t tried to wipe out any gay loving cities lately, so they needed to find something to do with them.

          • Gregg Smith

            Why is the CDC buying all those coffins?

          • StilllHere

            To justify their executive membership at Costco!

        • jefe68

          Again we are talking about a whole bunch of agencies. I’m not sure about the tanks.

          Personally I’m more inclined to be wary of how so many police forces in this country have become militarized.
          That in my view is more of an issue.

      • hennorama

        Wow.  Buying in bulk to get lower prices?  Now if only we can get Medicare to buy prescription drugs like that.

        • jefe68

          Oh lighten up.

    • StilllHere

      How about drones?

  • DeJay79

    why is it everytime Amy Walter sets up an analogy, it falls apart when she gest to her point?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000894438466 Charles Miller

    Guns:  Can we please have a more nuanced discussion about gun laws?  Just mentioning the NRA’s position (keep the guns away from criminals and nuts) is way too simplistic.  What about figuring out who might commit a crime?  Many of these mass killers had no previous police record.  Is the NRA going to be consistent by suggesting we live in a “Minority Report” world, or subject all people to mental illness checks?

    Please help move the debate forward, not just repeat old and incomplete points.  Thank you.

    • brettearle

      “What about figuring out who might commit a crime?”

      Do you realize what you may be saying?

      The inevitable slippery slope is a kind of `prior restraint’ that leads to:

       –a violation of the Civil Liberties endemic in the Framers’
          documents

      But it won’t necessarily stop there, where `suspects’ are denied basic rights to bear arms.

      Eventually, we’ll be looking at Genetic Testing.

  • Wahoo_wa

    I don’t think the Pope DRIVES the bus.  I could be wrong though.

    • hennorama

      Wahoo_wa -  Roman Pontiff emeritus Benedict XVI is a licensed helicopter pilot, so maybe Frank I can drive a bus.

    • Gregg Smith

      It’s a Popemobile.

  • Human898

    Gun people feel talked down to??????
    I was a gun person, I quit the IRA when they talked down to Americans that didn’t see the gun issue the way they did.

    Will someone please offer proof that criminals were never ever “law abiding citizens” before they became criminals???   This notion that currently “law abiding citizens” will forever be so is somewhat absurd.

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

      (Is IRA a mistype?)

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         If you are in an army then maybe you should have a gun or get out.

        • nj_v2

          Of course, the Second Amendment predicates gun ownership in service to a state militia, something you gun nuts rights advocates conveniently overlook.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Yeah, they never read that part about a “well regulated” militia being essential to a “free state” (translation – the government). If the FF just wanted a right to bear arms, why did they start the sentence with that clause, huh? Our other rights in the other amendments don’t start with those conditional clauses.

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

            You are misunderstanding what “well regulated” meant in the 18th century.  In today’s vernacular it would be “fully equipped.”  Also consider the 1792 Militia Acts which required adult males to keep arms and ammunition. 

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Thanks for helping me with my misunderstanding, oh all-knowing one.

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

            Helping others is  just the way I roll.

          • StilllHere

            You’ve got a life’s project with that one.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Ignorance of history is no excuse.

      • Human898

        Thanks TF

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

          (Yeah, I copyeditfail too.)

  • DeJay79

    I commend Sen. Rob Portman new found tolerance and understanding of civil rights, now if only the rest
    of the GOP would get on board. However its unfortunate that it takes
    such a personal experience in-order to open his eyes.

  • Gregg Smith

    BTW, since you agree it’s valid criticism of the media, has Media Matters ever covered it?  Is there a sigle case f a Republican not being labeled as such after a scandal? surely there it one.

    • Ray in VT

      Maybe they have, although I do not think that it is generally within the scope of Media Matters’ stated mission, which is that it seeks to be active in “comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation
      in the U.S. media.”
      http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-florida-lt-gov-quits-57-charged-2013-0313,0,6700283.story

      The first article that I read a few days ago about her resignation did not identify her party, so I had to go to another article.  None of the headlines listed here by the liberal, lamestream media do not mention her party affiliation:

      http://www.bing.com/news/search?q=Florida+Lt.+Gov.+Jennifer+Carroll&FORM=HDRSC6

      • Gregg Smith

        Good one, although the first one I checked did list her party and the second one said she was not accused of any wrongdoing. I really think the evidence of the “name the party” practice is overwhelming. I’ll leave it at that.

        Thanks for the Media Matters’ mission statement. I thought they at least claimed to be fair and reported on the media in general but they make no such claim. How does a liberal hack site get to be tax exempt?

        BTW, I was only half joking about the HIV thing. I have no idea what party he is and I don’t really think it would be pertinent given he is not a politician. My comment was flip and in my mind I was countering the implied notion that he was a republican but I clearly inferred it. I’d say I was wrong if you didn’t confirm my suspicion that it was a way to slam Republicans as anti-science.

        • Ray in VT

          As for the list, I was referring only to the headlines that displayed in the search result.

          Media Matters is a 501(c)(3) organization, and they probably argue that they are an educational organization.  Cato is in the same classification, and my view of them is just as suspect as yours is of Media Matters.

          As for the Minnesota guy, my only intention was to bring to the light the comment of some incredibly uninformed person, regardless of whatever, if any, political affiliation the man has.

          How did I confirm your suspicion? I certainly offered a counter jab, but I don’t think that I made a partisan reference in the original post

          • Gregg Smith

            Most of the time, as in the voluminous examples I gave you, there is no mention at all of party.

            Maybe I’m sensitive, maybe it’s because we’ve been around the block a few times and I have a feel for your positions but you confirmed my suspicion when you wrote :”If this science is that bad, then he’s probably a Republican.”

  • Gregg Smith

    But it is impossible for a woman to have an abortion without the help of a man.

  • Ray in VT

    I made a reference to gerrymandering below, and it inclined me to look up the total votes for House seats by election year.  I know that there are issues with taking a total vote, given how house seats are allocated, but here are the numbers:

    2006 Democrats then Republicans; House comp then pop vote)
    233-198
    42,082,311 to 35,674,808

    2008
    256-178
    65,241,408 to 51,952,981

    2010
    193-242
    38,854,459 to 44,593,666

    2012
    201-234
    59,536,235 to 57,972,629

    Sources:
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0774721.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections,_2012
     plus the 2006, 2008 and 2010 wiki pages.  I’ve seen a bit of variation on those total numbers, but I think that they’re basically correct.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    James Hansen’s policies are shafting the poor.

    Cool visual representation for those who are numbers impaired.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/15/james-hansens-policies-are-shafting-the-poor/#more-82172

    • nj_v2

      Hansen sets policy. Who knew?

      What does Watts and the rest of the denialsphere think is going to happen to energy prices when the last few molecules of subterranean carbon are oxidized?

      Like they care about the poor.

      • Gregg Smith

        Peak oil is a myth. We have plenty.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           What they don’t get is cheap energy == prosperity.

           That is why we need real ‘all of the above’ vs. the phony ‘all of the above’ that they push now.  The irony is we are still on a path to independence despite their efforts to block it.

          • Gregg Smith

            Great points. I’m all for alternative sources of energy but the world runs on oil. The technology is getting there and when it can compete, dollar per BTU, it will gain traction. Until then we have fossil fuels. Also lost is the technological developments associated with drilling.

        • nj_v2

          More reporting from the Bureau of Greggg’s Butt headquartered on the dark side of Fact-free Planet Zebulon.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Watts is just fine.  He has an electric car and solar panels.

  • Bruce94

    Okay, so you might want to quibble about my use of the term “dominance.”  I was distracted and in a hurry when I wrote the comment which I believe reflects no so much a lack of knowledge, but a lack of time (see my edit).  Actually, there is no doubt, as many on this board have observed, that the antics of Rant Paul and the Tea-Party sponsored austerity budget as well as the Pope’s election have dominated the political discourse and media coverage lately which, for the benefit of Gregg, I do find sickening.  However, if the last national election is any indication, the “dominance” I referred to may be waning and what we are witnessing may be an increasingly irrelevant, fractured conservative movement in decline. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Rick.Wicks Rick Wicks

    Means-testing Medicare (or, for that matter, Social Security) is NOT the same as a tax (as your analyst just enthusiastically asserted. It raises revenue — but it’s the first step towards destroying social insurance, by turning into welfare, separating “us” from “them”.

    • hennorama

      Rick Wicks – there are some levels of means-testing for both Social Security and Medicare currently – Social Security via the Federal tax code whereby up to 85% of SS benefits are taxable depending on filing status and income, and Medicare through premiums, whereby those with higher incomes paying higher premiums.

      Remember too that means-testing does not mean a permanent exclusion from or reduction in benefits, or permanently higher Federal taxes, since it would no doubt be an annual test.  In other words, if for one year your income is so high that it excludes you from receiving full benefits or makes you pay higher premiums or higher Federal taxes, a lower income the following year could do the opposite.

      Here’s what socialsecurity.gov says in answer to the FAQ “How does Social Security determine if I must pay higher [Medicare] premiums?”:

      “To determine if you will pay higher premiums, Social Security uses the most recent Federal tax return that the IRS provides to us. If you must pay higher premiums, we use a sliding scale to make the adjustments. We base the sliding scale on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Your MAGI is the total of your adjusted gross income and tax-exempt interest income.”

      http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10536.html#a0=2

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

      These programs are welfare programs, and have been since they were begun.  Raising the retirement age, means testing and ending the income cap are all needed to correct the structural flaws.  This will not end these programs but restore them to their original role.  

      “We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”

      President Roosevelt Aug 14-1935

      • jimino

         
        Well I do have to hand it you that your policies will return us to the type of insecure existence that existed in the midst of the Great Depression.

        But unlike you, I don’t see that as anything like a laudable goal.

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

          So you are arguing that raising the retirement age, means testing and ending the income cap will bring about a new Great Depression?  Seriously?  

          • jimino

            If we raise the income cap there is no need to raise the age of eligibility or means test it, other than to achieve the goal of dividing the populace in a manner designed to harm the program in the long run.

            Raising the retirement age in a world in which life expectancy for low wage workers has not risen and private fixed-benefit pensions have all but been eliminated for such workers will definitely put a huge number of our citizens who can no longer earn a decent living in a depression-like existence.  

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

            Addendum: Means testing SocSec is the first step towards all the Serious People in the beltway to calling it “welfare”, the first step to ruining SocSec.

      • nj_v2

        More dissembling from the wingers.

        Social Security is a form of insurance, not “welfare.”

        Adjusting the income cap by itself will solve the boomer bulge in benefits demand when it comes.

        • OnPointComments

          Currently Social Security may be thought of as somewhat of a form of insurance, but if many of the commenters on here had their way it wouldn’t be any longer.  If two people with the same demographics want to buy an insurance annuity that pays a set monthly amount, the insurance company charges them the same; the insurance company doesn’t vary the fee based on the person’s income.  Many of the commenters on here want the person who makes $113,700 to pay $7,050 a year, the current cap, and the person making $1,137,000 to pay ten times as much but receive the same benefit as the person who paid $7,050.  That’s not insurance.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      You got it. There is so much smoke being blown here that there is no real argument going on. The right hates SS and medicare, period. They want to destroy them, period. They want the $ going to the retirement programs now to flow to the rich. They will say anything to cloak their actions (ryan groupons are designed to “save” medicare, ROTFL). Don’t listen to their words, follow the money.

  • Bruce94

     Okay, maybe you could quibble over my use of the term “dominance.”  When I wrote the comment I was in a hurry on my way out to an appt., so I like to think it reflects more a lack of time than a “lack of knowledge.”  I hope you would ac(knowledge), as many on this board have, that the antics of Rant Paul, the Tea-Sponsored austerity budget, and the Pope’s election HAVE dominated media coverage lately and skewed the public discourse to a Far Right Netherworld.

    Actually, if the last national election is any indication, the “dominance” I referred to may in fact be waning, and what we may be witnessing is an increasingly irrelevant, fractured conservative movement in decline, albeit a movement that receives a disproportionate amount of press due to an extreme agenda put forward by a cast of radical, eccentric characters. 

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

      No, 
      No,
      No, and
      No.

      But I hope that you will admit that Federal spending is out of control, this Administration has mismanaged what little political capitol it had after the election, the “Blue Model” is crashing down and the ideological underpinnings of the self proclaimed “progressives” are a combination of “the ends justify the means” and “I saw my opportunities and I took ‘em.”

      • TomK_in_Boston

        No, federal spending is not out of control at all, except for the military. That’s just scare tactics to justify more redistribution of wealth to the top. Don’t fall for it.

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

          And what are your opinions on my other points?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            What are they? All I saw above was a rant, I didn’t see any “points”.

            ps I’d like to see a hell of a lot more federal spending.

    • hennorama

      Bruce94 – at least one national political commentator agrees with you, and recently said “The White Establishment is now the minority.”

      When asked on election night about the close Presidential election, with results not yet completely known, “How do you think it got this tight?” Fox’s Bill O’Reilly answered:

      “Because it’s a changing country, the demographics are changing, it’s not a traditional America anymore.  And there are 50% of the voting public who want STUFF.  They want THINGS, and who is going to give them things – President Obama.  He knows it and he ran on it.  And whereby 20 years ago President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an Establishment candidate like Mitt Romney.

      (At this point O’Reilly sniffles and waves his hand.  It’s unclear if he had a head cold or was about to cry.  A head cold seems more likely, but his voice did crack a bit as well).

      The White Establishment is now the minority.  And the voters, many of them, feel the economic system is stacked against them and they want STUFF.  You’re gonna see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama, overwhelming black vote for President Obama, and women will probably break President Obama’s way.  People feel  that they are entitled to THINGS, and which candidate between the two is going to give them things?”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nj9e3JLGkA

      • Gregg Smith

        O’Reilly was absolutely right. 

      • Bruce94

         Thanks for the feedback.  That I’m vindicated by none other than Bill O’Reilly whom, I confess, I watch occasionally for comic relief, has made my day.  And tomorrow, with Bill in mind, I’ll don the Shamrock and guzzle green beer secure in the knowledge that even at Faux News there is recognition that the writing is on the wall…and what we’re hearing from folks like the CPAC-ers & Tea-Partiers is just the sound of the conservative movement hitting the wall, spinning out of control, and breaking apart as it succumbs to the new demographic reality and the failure of the old supply-side economic theory. 

  • scottmartin49

    Gregg,
    I’ve had billy goats, rams, bull calves, and rabbits who were pouncing homosexuals when prevented from servicing their distaff side. Decidedly not ‘born that way’ ONLY.

    • Gregg Smith

      I’m not sure I get your point. I certainly believe people can be born gay. I’ve known gays who fought it tooth and nail but it was bigger than they were.

      At one point I had 45 goats. I even had a llama that had sex with a sheep…for whatever it’s worth.

      • scottmartin49

        It’s pertaining to the argument of whether it’s ‘natural’ or not. It’s often said that homosexuality is ‘un-natural’- the implication being that natural would therefore be ‘good and acceptable’. The whole line of reasoning is a co-mingling of falacies.

        (….and, please, don’t even broach the idea of speciel miscegnation!)

        • Gregg Smith

          I steer clear of the natural thing. Earthquakes and cyanide are natural. Don’t worry there was no off-spring but the look on that llama’s face with the prehensile lips will haunt me forever.

          • scottmartin49

            Sorry for the confusion- Disqus posted my initial statement as a new thread, when it had been intended as a comment.

            Re; your llama- reminds me of the looks on the heifers faces when they’re bred AI the first time (!)

            Good thing they don’t post here re; ‘natural’ sex….

  • scottmartin49

    Following along the Calvinistic conception of ‘hell’, its causes, and effects; your statements in this forum provide the best evidence yet for what that ‘life of rejection’ is like and how it manifests. Thank you for serving as such an effective warning!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    More evidence that Obamacare is failing to live up to its promise.

    “The Doctor Won’t See You Now. He’s Clocked Out”.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323628804578346614033833092.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

    • JGC

      I remember the good old days when my doctor used to accept a live chicken and a bag of apples in exchange for an appendectomy…

      • hennorama

        JGC – was this before or after the widespread use of penicillin?

        • Gregg Smith

          She’s not that old.

    • jefe68

      No it’s not. This trend has been going on for the last decade. 

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Someone just printed out the ‘current’ Obamacare regulations and it adds up to 20,000 pages.  It cannot be good.

        Also, the Obamacare taxes now add up to over $1T — double the estimate promised just a scant two years ago. Again, not good for economic growth.

  • JGC

    Did anyone see the Ed Schultz interview with bartender Scott Prouty, who taped the infamous Romney Florida “47%” fundraiser?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       No but I did hear that ole Ed claims he volunteered to leave his prime time slot at MSNBC and take a weekend evening gig. 

      • JGC

        Hmmm…did he volunteer… or was he pushed?  It kind of reminds me of Rush Limbaugh’s TV show in the 90′s (which my parents loved) but how he went back to radio full-time, which he said he preferred (or…DID HE? insert ominous music here).

        • Gregg Smith

          “(or…DID HE? insert ominous music here).”

          • JGC

            HA! Good one!

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

          …or maybe the world figured out that some blowhards are just better heard rather than seen.

          I have a serious nugget at the base: Radio is a “hot” medium, TV a “cool” one. The same personality types don’t seamlessly succeed in both.

          • Gregg Smith

            Actually the show was a great success and garnered big ratings. Not that the truth matters to you.

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

            “The truth”?

            Get over yourself. There’s something funny about Limbaugh’s cancelled TV show from ~15 years ago being something you’re hung upon as my problem, because I don’t remember it for being such a huge success.

            And, as I always say, when Rush comes out of his hothouse, he wilts. The man’s so used to his cocoon he can’t handle not having the whip hand, cutting off mics, and yelling at people. What he provides is nothing like debate or even conversation.

            While we’re at it, how are the fat addict’s ratings since he called your wife Sandra Fluke a “slut, a prostitute”?

          • Gregg Smith

            The truth is it was a success, that’s all.

            Rush’s key to success is his respect for his audience, I don’t know what you are basing our views on. 

            Let me update you, Rush’s audience is bigger than ever with more sponsors than ever. Sorry, that’s true too.

          • hennorama

            TF – There is also the old dig, which might apply to both Mr. Schultz and Mr. Limbaugh – “He’s got a great face – for RADIO.”

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

            That gets a like, but not because I need my political people to be good looking.

            I “like” that line for Rush because he’s awfully damned willing to go off on the appearance of other people, especially the attractiveness of females, as if it affects their merit. It’s a hoot to look at him judging someone else’s beauty.

    • hennorama

      Yep I saw/listened to that interview and the interview Mr. Prouty did with Lawrence O’Donnell.

      Mr. Prouty seemed very genuine, perhaps a bit naive, and definitely reluctant to be the center of attention.

      Prouty was most interested in the portion of the recording where Mr. Romney had been discussing a factory in China, from a time when Romney and his Bain outsourcing crew had been considering buying a factory.  Prouty knew there was a story there, but perhaps didn’t really understand that the most politically important part of the recording was “the 47%”.

      The most savvy part of Mr. Prouty’s actions was to stay out of the limelight until now.  That way only Mr. Romney’s words would be the story.

      • JGC

        I agree the Chinese factory part of the taping was totally overlooked in the fallout of the 47% angle. Hearing Romney (himself!) tell the story about touring the Chinese factory as an investor, seeing the young women working full tilt at dirt cheap  wages and living in shoebox rooms, stacked together like sardines in a can provided by the government, with armed guards and barbed wire fencing surrounding the factory “to keep the other people out” who were so desperate for these great jobs, really I couldn’t tell if Romney really swallowed the story in his telling, or if he was in awe of what a great system that was to invest a chunk of Bain Capital.  It was pretty clear that whether he believed the story from his Chinese comrade tour guides or not, he would have no trouble wishing to introduce any similar conditions in the U.S. if he could grasp more profits for himself and Bain. 

        • Gregg Smith

          See now, that last speculative sentence was unfair and frankly absurd. I didn’t expect that sort of thing from you.

          That’s one of the things that bothers me about Democrats in general. Isn’t it enough to win the election on merits? Must the tactic always be to destroy the character of good decent people like Romney. He’s a good man not a monster.

          Regarding the 47%, I think it’s an important issue that needs discussion but that’s impossible because of demonization. Romney was right IMO but he erred in conflating 3 sets of demographics: the 47% that would not vote for him no matter what; the 47% who don’t pay taxes and the  47% receiving government assistance.

  • nj_v2

    Glimmer of good news…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/15/us-usa-maryland-deathpenalty-vote-idUSBRE92E0W720130315

    Maryland House, like Senate, votes to repeal death penalty

    (Reuters) – The Maryland House of Delegates voted on Friday to overturn the state’s death penalty, putting it a step closer to becoming the 18th U.S. state to abolish executions.

    By a vote of 82 to 56, the House agreed to replace capital punishment with a sentence of life without parole. It approved the measure a week after the Senate passed the bill.

    Governor Martin O’Malley, who has pledged to sign the bill into law, will decide the fate of the five men currently on Maryland’s death row.

    The bill was O’Malley’s second attempt to overturn capital punishment since 2009. When he introduced the legislation in January, he said the death penalty was expensive and did not work.

    “Year after year, states which have a death penalty have actually had a higher murder rate than states which do not have a death penalty,” he said.

    The governor also pointed to a 2008 study conducted by the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment that found the state’s death penalty sentencing to be racially biased. Of the five men currently serving time on Maryland’s death row, four are African-Americans whose victims were white.

    (snipped)

  • Orlando Vidali

    The party is not Barak Obama lady. That’s such a ridiculous statement. Party of millions is one man – come on. 

  • WorriedfortheCountry
  • hennorama

    Today at CPAC – Noted buffoon Donald “Yer fiahed” Trump speaking to a large audience of Clint Eastwood props:

    “Photos of Donald Trump Delivering His Self-Aggrandizing CPAC Speech to a Half-Empty Ballroom”

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/03/donald-trump-cpac-speech-empty-seat-photos.html?mid=twitter_dailyintel

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Leave The Donald alone.  He is busy reconstructing the famed Doral  “Blue Monster” country club so our esteemed President can have more golf outings before his second term expires.

      • JGC

        Donald, yer a true patriot! Thanx for yer service!

      • hennorama

        WorriedfortheCountry – pooooor The Donald.

        I’m confident that he doesn’t need any help defending himself, and I’m even more confident that HE’S confident he doesn’t need any help defending/promoting/looking out for himself, and ONLY himself.

        No doubt he has already made up several excuses for the empty seats. Let’s brainstorm a few:

        1. It was early in the day

        2. It was a big hall and he actually had lots of people worshipping him “from afar”

        3. All of the bathrooms but one were overflowing, a la the Carnival Dream/Nightmare cruise ship, so everyone was in line for the one remaing bathroom rather than sitting in the hall

        4. The chairs “were not up to Trump standards” so he advised everyone to stand against the wall, out of view of the photographer

        5. Shaddap leeme alone yer fiahed

        • Gregg Smith

          Do you have a point?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           I noticed yesterday that CNN was having fun putting up ‘conservative’ pundits to criticize Trump .  They love when either the GOP or conservatives eat their own.

          • hennorama

            WorriedfortheCountry – TY for your response.

            Trump is an easy target for anyone, regardless of their political leanings. His self-promotion and inflated ego are rife with opportunities for ridicule.

            But really it’s Trump’s words that are the reason he is ridiculed. Remember these post-election beauties he posted on Twitter on election night?:

            ““We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided! Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us. This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!”

            “Our country is now in serious and unprecedented trouble…like never before. Our nation is a once great nation divided! The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy. Hopefully the House of Representatives can hold our country together for four more years…stay strong and never give up! House of Representatives shouldn’t give anything to Obama unless he terminates Obamacare.”

            http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/11/after-obama-victory-donald-trump-rants-on-twitter/

            And a few other of his notable musings:

            Donald Trump telling the New York Times why he opposes gay marriage: “It’s like in golf. A lot of people — I don’t want this to sound trivial — but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive. It’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”

            Donald Trump on the issue of race in America: “I have a great relationship with the blacks.”

            Donald Trump, discussing filing for bankruptcy on parts of his various businesses four times: “These are stupid people that say, `Oh didn’t Trump declare bankruptcy? Didn’t he go bankrupt?’ I didn’t go bankrupt.”

            http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/Donald-Trump/a/Donald-Trump-Quotes.htm

            http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,2068227,00.html

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

        More lame-ass golf jokes? This ain’t Fox Nation.

        “Now watch this drive. Anyone wanna see me clear brush?”

        • Gregg Smith

          341 released criminals could have remained incarcerated for the cost of his golf trip with Tiger.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           FORE!!!!!!!

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

      No room at C-Pac for the Governor of New Jersey but extra time for the clown prince c-list celebrities.  Surely this is not the best those of the well-feed right can offer?

      • hennorama

        RWB – TY for your response.

        Perhaps The Trumpster IS the “…the best those of the well-feed [sic] right can offer”.

        Gov. Christie is certainly aptly described as “well-fed”. Perhaps the problem is that Gov. Christie is not “right” enough for CPAC.

        However, a recent Q poll show that he is very popular in New Jersey:

        “Majorities of Republicans (93 percent), Democrats (56 percent), and independents (78 percent) said they approve of Christie’s job performance, and he leads all possible Democratic challengers in his race for a second term this fall by at least 29 points (!). Overall, seventy-four percent of voters said they approve of the job Christie is doing. That’s virtually unheard of.”

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/23/chris-christie-is-really-really-popular-and-other-takeaways-from-the-latest-new-jersey-poll/

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

          The fact that Gov. Christie has been able to turn cobalt blue New Jersey to slightly purple should be reason to give him a speaking opportunity.  I meant no disrespect to the Governor about his weight; I could never throw stones on that account.  But the “well-fed right” (thank you for the correction) refers to those whom oppose the left out of habit and not principle.  I recall it from the Nixon era.  Now I believe it best describes the group in the Republican Party that is most angry with me and the Tea Party movement.  

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY for your response. I appreciate and respect your views.

            I guess CPAC’s standards don’t allow for a politician who, as you said “has been able to turn cobalt blue New Jersey to slightly purple …” or for a generally conservative Gov. McDonnell of Virginia.

            Electoral and governing successes apparently are not good enough for CPAC . Ideological purity takes preference, one supposes.

            BTW – I didn’t think you were taking a shot at Gov. Christie with your comment. But his weight does make him a large and easy target for jokesters. For example, I’ve even heard his CPAC absence described as “The elephant NOT in the room”.

          • Gregg Smith

            I like Christie and certainly hold no grudge for the hurricane thing. I don’t think it swung the election. I love his in your face style and most of his politics. I don’t see much controversy here. For one thing, NJ is blue. If it goes red or purple I’ll believe it when I see it. I have no problem with the governors they did pick who are all Republican stalwarts. I especially like Walker. IMO his accomplishments outshine all of them. I can also include John Kasich, Tim Scott, Mike Pence and a few others on the list of “shoulda’ been there”. I don’t see Christie’s absence as any more egregious. The other thing is, it’s not even an election year. CPAC happens every year.

            Regarding Trump, he’s a media whore. He gained popularity by going after Obama with both barrels and had some success. But he’s a sideshow albeit a successful charismatic one. He certainly brings some expertise and I thought his speech made some good points. I don’t think it’s came down to a matter of him or Christie. 

  • orwelllutz

     

    Re Dueling
    Budgets; March 15, 2013

     

    If you weren’t around in the 1960s, do not believe you understand the
    dangers we face with continued dominance of the means of propaganda now wielded
    by the forces of the oligarchs.  Do not
    dare scoff at my comments as over dramatization of the danger American families face.  If you have never worked closely with fortune
    200 financial officers, do not think you comprehend the stakes.

     

    The caller to today’s program who complained about the invisibility of
    the Progressive Budget proposal among the commentary programs, and the focus on
    the Republican, states a truth that your guest refuses to acknowledge – that
    by her conscious choice to preclude an examination of the third budget proposal,
    she is denying the people the opportunity to see the alternatives.   She does know that the majority of people do
    not get their information from obscure sources.  So, allow me to reject her rejection of the
    listener’s premise.

     

    For shows
    like “On Point” to allow the two sides to thrust & parry without pointing out the track record of the last 40 years, provides an opportunity for the ruling class to speak lies without rebuttal.   The forces of
    “conservatism” champion business and wealth without any regard to the American family.    By
    their policies upholding corporate and Wall Street’s exploitation and unashamed
    self-enrichment, the Republican claim that it is the party of family values is
    absurd.

     

    Each successive House election, and now the 2014 House elections, is a
    desperate opportunity to overcome the control over American minds now held by
    the billionaires and corporations.  And
    yet, the comments (including assumptions of unassailable truths) on your show
    by yourself and your “guest commentators” refuse to point out how mind control
    has obviously affected the judgment of the people of the red states who are
    seeing their future evaporate, and still choosing “conservative”  candidates.   

     

    AND YOU FAIL TO POINT OUT THAT THE PRESIDENT, while emphasizing jobs, IS  NOT 
    CONSIDERING  THE ABANDONMENT OF
    FREE TRADE AND Globalization — which is driving the decline of every industrial nation.

      Have none of you read “Whose Trade Organization”
    , March 25, 2004 ?   I do not
    want to hear another lie about a level playing field.  There is no such thing.

     

    The country can no longer tolerate the
    Republican Party.  And you just might be
    able to help people understand how dumb it is to believe that the conservatives
    will create good-paying jobs for America. 
    Why, I ask, aren’t you doing that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cacimbo-Smith/1142235495 Cacimbo Smith

    Unclear if Beatty is just a plain old liar or actually delusional. Journalists do not want to appear liberal – hahahahahhaha. There have been numerous reports of reporters openly cheering Obama. 

    • Gregg Smith

      He has been President for over four years now and a sizable portion if the population believes he is in charge of nothing. It’s all beyond his control. That doesn’t happen without a press giving cover.

      • StilllHere

        The soft prejudice of low expectations in action.

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

        “In charge of nothing” and simultaneoulsy a dictator ruling by fiat appointing czars everywhere.

        Pick one.

        • Gregg Smith

          I guess you missed my point or have never read my comments. I think Obama owns this economy, the unemployment rate, the spiraling out of control Arab Spring and every bit of misery he’s inflicted. And yea, he has czars and he rules by fiat. 

          Liberals seem to believe he’s in charge of nothing. It’s all the fault of Republicans, Republican policies or Bush.

          So the question goes back to you, pick one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1395014096 Mahilena Dianz

      Well its not just that Journalists do not want to appear liberal that is an unbelievable comment by Beatty…but the issue is why not??? Liberals are the founders of this country and this country’s documents and traditions are based on liberal values, conservative principles, values simply do not exist other than promoting private wealth…there are no conservative public policies except for those of sending us to wars or imposing their religious beliefs on the rest of us…Conservatism has never accomplished anything for this country…publicly speaking and the private markets are not the result of conservative public policies….even Conservative Presidents and their administrations when successful has been by them defending or promoting liberal policies such as Ike with SS, Nixon getting rid of the ridiculous Gold STandard and creating the EPA and Reagan taxing the wealthy as well as socializing medicine by creating the law where hospitals need to provide care to anyone….
      All conservatives do regarding the middle class and the great majority of Americans is to pray that the Markets will take care of them but they never offer any direct, short term policies creating jobs or anything today..they always govern in the abstract and with a delusional idea that something else will take care of people so they must protect those “something elses” like the wealthy, then mistakenly cause it is demand what creates jobs not tax cuts…SO WHY REJECT LIBERAL JOURNALISM? BEING A LIBERAL JOURNALIST SHOULD BE A SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF…as being a liberal in general rather than being or supporting an empty movement with empty promises and a whole bunch of BS

    • nj_v2

      ^ Thinks Obama is “liberal.”

      Hahahahaha! Good one!

    • StilllHere

      Even Hillary called out journalists for their open bias.  The love affair has only grown more intense.

  • Gregg Smith

    I spent a little time looking at the proposal by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. That’s 10 minutes I’ll never get back. 

    Here are their members:http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/caucus-members/

    Here is their plan:http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/back-to-work-budget/

    Does anyone but the crazies (those so far left they think Obama is right) think this is a good idea?

    • JGC

      I have a lot of respect for John Lewis of Georgia, a true Civil Rights hero, and have comfortable familiarity with Peter Welch of Vermont, who I often get to hear interviewed on VPR. Welch is also part of “No Labels” that seeks to find common ground on congressional issues. For the plan, I have absolutely no problem with clawing back Wall Street giveaways, like that special exemption they granted themselves to only be taxed 15% on their investment income while everyone else has to pay 20 or 30% or more on earned income. (Assuming they even have to pay that much, because they have also designed an offshore loophole that lets them wash their investments in the Bahamas before repatriating it to their hedge fund accounts in the U.S., no taxes paid now, if ever).  I could support doing away with Wall Streetish loopholes and applying most of the savings against the deficit, rather than spending it all on worker support programs. The point is we will all be better off if we can do away with this sort of regressive tax break that only benefits the narrow few. 

      • Gregg Smith

        I respect the work John Lewis has done and the mark he’s made in the Civil Rights struggle. But he lost me when he lied about the way he was treated at the Tea Party Rally. There were 1000 videos of the event and no racial epithets were hurled as he claimed. A $100K reward was offered for evidence, no takers. 

        I hesitate to get into the weeds with you on taxes and have said I think the plan deserves a vote but I have to point out our tax system in no way shape or form “only benefits the narrow few”. The  Bush tax cuts were awesomely precious to the poor. 

    • jimino

      Obama has:
      -Made his top priority the passage of Heritage Foundation health insurance bill modeled on the on law first implemented by the Republican opponent for president when governor.
      -Increased military/security spending to unprecedented levels.
      -Agreed to continued historically low taxation of capital relative to wages.
      -Pursued economic policies that have resulted in continued increasing disparity in income and assets to levels not seen in 90 years.
      -Kept financial sector and corporate frauds as primary advisers on economic matters.
      -First president to ever invade the sanctity of Social Security funding.
      -Announced desire to cut SS and Medicare benefits.
      -Made assassination a formal component of foreign policy and defense.

      And that’s just a few off the top of my head.

      One would have to be a clueless nitwit to think someone who considers Obama is a right winger a “crazy”.

      • Gregg Smith

        Then call me a clueless nitwit… for the second time this week. Alrighty then.

        • jimino

          Hey, don’t feel too bad.  I’m apparently crazy.

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

            Not crazy or evil just blinded by ideology.  That unappealing flaw can be corrected if you
            work at it.   

          • Gregg Smith

            You’re too kind. I was tempted to dispute point by point Jimino’s claims both for accuracy and for their assumptions about what is 
            conservative. I love the one about blaming Heritage for Obamacare. No, for me I can’t even go there. IMHO anyone who thinks Obama is conservative is by default blinded by ideology but it’s worse than that. They must make broad generalizations, get news in a bubble, demonize, exaggerate and do so willfully. That’s crazy.

            However, I like Jimino and find him to be intelligent, just misguided. I certainly don’t think he’s evil. He probably thinks the same of me… except for the intelligent part.

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

            I may be too something.  I wouldn’t claim to be kind.  But thank you.

          • jimino

            “I was tempted to dispute point by point Jimino’s claims both for accuracy and for their assumptions about what is 
            conservative.”

            Go ahead.

            And I said “right wing” not “conservative”.  They are not the same.

          • Gregg Smith

            Is this where you interpret my reluctance as an admission? 

            It’s tempting because there is a lot to work with but I’ll pass. I don’t see a purpose. It’s too broad, has too many tangents and will never end. I also don’t like to give credence to false premises by accepting them to rebut specific points. Why would I accept that assassination or, as you put it, invading ” the sanctity of Social Security funding” are right wing tenets? 

            No, I think the notion Obama is a right-winger is absurd and have no interest in trying to convince you otherwise. You are entitled to your opinion.

          • jimino

            Ole!

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

        But you still think he is better than poor old Mitt Romney.  As to being a nitwit I plead guilty. But it is
        quality of wits and not quantity that matters.  

  • Gregg Smith

    And then there’s the Murray plan. It’s a gimmick of double counting. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoRXTD2llP8&feature=player_embedded

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Why isn’t this scam the top headline on every newspaper?

      • Gregg Smith

        Is that a rhetorical question?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Unfortunately, yes.

    • OnPointComments

      It proves that one should always be skeptical of a budget plan that comes from someone with the nickname “Pork Chop Patty Murray.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1395014096 Mahilena Dianz

    It is incredible for these Journalist to be saying that they should be reporting on the current DC culture …and who is in power here or there..such as the claim that the Ryan crap should be reported more than the great Progressive Caucus ideas…Journalists should be going critical not ride along the current culture…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1395014096 Mahilena Dianz

    Regarding Deficts and Government spending, ….we do not have a Deficit crisis nor a spending crisis and the American public has been lied to by both Right Wing and Left Wing reporters who know nothing of Monetary Policy 
    Biggest GOP lie> “Gov needs to live within its means” which Obama has also subscribed to …is ridiculous
    U.S. MonetarySystem101-Chartalism: We have a Chartalist Monetary SystemUS Media, MSM, rightwing media, leftwing media, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians do not acknowledge our present Monetary System yet keep us uninformed by making us think we still operate under commodity based money such as the gold standard or some other form of limited federal reserve. Federal Budgets do not need balance only reflect National priorities on spending, but on a Chartalist System there can be no Fiscal Crisis. “http://mahilena.typepad.com/blog/2013/03/us-monetarysystem101-chartalism-we-have-a-chartalist-monetary-system.html”

  • stopRepoLying

    The irony was thick when Tom Ashbrook asked Jack Beatty why journos are afraid to appear liberal. I think Tom should answer that question himself. It would be interesting to take a survey in which each caller on the show is classified as left or right, and then whether Tom merely lets the caller say their piece or pushes back. My impression is that he pushes back much more frequently on the left callers. Is Tom afraid of sounding liberal, or is he a closet conservative? It would be so nice if he pushed back on the callers who are irrational, rather than giving the teabaggers a free pass.

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

    I guess some CPACkers aren’t ready for prime time.

    (A CPAC) audience member from North Carolina asked whether Republicans could endorse races remaining separate but equal. After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans,
    answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, the audience member said “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst.

    Remember that one MoveOn person who said that one thing bad once about Bush, and the media pearl-clutching which followed? Well, let’s all sit back and await the firestorm over this.

    (PS Is James O’Keefe in prison? I’d really like his crack squad to go over this video and make sure it’s not cooked.)

    • Gregg Smith

      That’s a very good example of why Think Progress should not be taken seriously. They report and you parrot: “Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst.” Watch the video, the audience was aghast. The claim is an absolute lie. Nobody cheered and one person clapped. It was most likely Terry’s colleague. 

      The effort to paint Republicans as racist is sick.

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

        You’re not a racist, so no right-wingers are racist. Gotcha.

        More here: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/03/tea-party-event-on-racial-tolerance-turns-to-chaos-as-white-supremacists-arrive.php.

        From that part,

        At this point the event devolved into a mess of shouting. Organizers calmed things down by asking everyone to “take the debate outside after the presentation.”

        Brown, who took offense at the suggestion modern Democrats were descendants of the KKK, tried to ask a question later once things finally calmed down. She was booed and screamed at by audience members.

        “Let someone else speak!” one attendee in Revolutionary War garb shouted.

        “You’re not welcome!” a white-haired older woman yelled.

        Eventually she asked a question. It was about whether Republicans should call out racist ads.

        Attendees interviewed by TPM afterwards expressed outrage at the way the event turned out. Not at Terry and Heimbach — they were mad at Brown.

        This crowd got mad at the person who said that post “Solid South” Dems don’t equal the KKK. Hilarious.

        It’ll be fun to watch the right-wingers wriggle out of this mudbath and pretend they’re not covered in it.

        • Gregg Smith

          You’re not a racist no no left-wingers are racist. Gotcha.

          Pretty silly huh? There are left wing racist everywhere. No ideology has a monopoly. Although as parties it should be pointed out that Democrats did indeed start the KKK and Republicans started the NAACP.

          How does it feel to see everything through the lens of race?

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

            I don’t know. I’m white.

            And your side’s racists are “the base”. They don’t vote, you don’t win.

            I hope you enjoy that “Dems started the KKK” stuff. It’s a major talking point at CPAC. Then history happened, like LBJ and the Civil Rights Act. Stop deluding yourself about how things are now.

            No point explaining that to you. Again.

          • Gregg Smith

            “Stop deluding yourself about how things are now.”

            THAT’S THE POINT! This is not 1964.

            90+% of blacks did not vote for Romney because he was white. That’s racist. Blacks like Stacey Dash who endorsed Romney were scorched with racist tweets from Democrat Obama voters. Herman Cain was called a “monkey in a window” by racist Obama voters. Democrats cannot win without the votes of racist.

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

            Nice to see you can read all those black voters’ minds. You’re hilarious.

            Keep ignoring the “base”, the racists without which the right can’t win in this country.

          • Fredlinskip

            Incendiary comment. 
            You are again showing you’re propensity for “infotainment”.
            Who made “monkey in window” comment? Surely whoever made comment did not swing election.

          • Fredlinskip

            You are not looking through the correct lens. Party affiliations have switched over time. At time KKK was started CONSERVATIVE PARTY WAS DEMOCRAT. Progressives and Conservatives SWITCHED PARTIES after Johnson P.O.’ed the South, which has ALWAYS represented the core of Conservative voting block. 

    • hennorama

      TF – The video and related articles show that there is no shortage of people trying to get attention for their extreme views.  No surprise there. 

      Given the background of Mr. Terry’s companion, Matthew Heimbach, founder of the White Student Union at nearby Towson University in Maryland, it’s no surprise that Mr. Terry expressed views about some supposed disenfranchisement of “young white Southern males”.

      No doubt these two truly believe they are merely “pro-white” and not anti-anyone.  This would explain why they were attending a CPAC session titled “Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?”

      BTW, the website for Heimbach’s White Student Union says this is the organization’s purpose:

      “To create an avenue for people to participate in political, cultural, educational, and social events to celebrate European heritage.”

      Prominently listed are links to “Pro-White Websites”.  The website also has an article titled “Black Crime Wave Continues!”

      One suspects the color of one’s skin is very important to these people.  Of course, there couldn’t be any other reason for this besides a desire “to celebrate European heritage”, right?  Sounds completely innocent.

      Yeah, right.

      If you have questions about this organization, or for Mr. Heimbach himself, you can contact him (per the website):

      Matthew Heimbach
      Founder and Commander
      (240) 343-4943
      TowsonWSU@gmail.com

      He is not much of a conversationalist.

      • OnPointComments

        I’ve always found it a bit odd that Black Student Unions, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP and its offshoots such as its Image Award for people of color, Miss Black America, Black History Month, etc., can exist without a peep from anyone, and no one would dare call them racists. 

        • Gregg Smith

          I will and I’ll throw in BET.

        • hennorama

          OPC – TY for your response. I respect your views.

          First of all, the reader can judge for themselves whether Mssrs. Terry and Heimbach, and/or Mr. Heimbach’s White Student Union at Towson University are racist. Their words and actions do provide some strong evidence for one to draw such a conclusion.

          However, there is a false equivalency when you mention “Black Student Unions, the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP and its offshoots such as its Image Award for people of color, Miss Black America, Black History Month, etc.” as part of commentary about Terry, Heimbach and the White Student Union at Towson University.

          One might be able to fairly mention and compare these things had there not been centuries of legal human ownership, principally of people with dark complexions and generally by people with light complexions, of legal discrimination against people with dark complexions generally by people with light complexions, and widespread societal and institutionalized prejudice against people with dark complexions, generally by people with light complexions.

          One also might fairly criticize a Black Student Union if its website listed “Pro-Black Websites” and had an article titled “White Crime Wave Continues!”

          Here’s what the website of the Black Student Union (BSU) at Towson University has to say:

          “The mission of the Black Student Union is to provide services and support for all black minds at Towson University.

          “We are the largest minority in the TU student population and we serve as a voice for all the black students enrolled.

          “We are here to challenge and encourage black intellect and to provide programming that gives non black students insight into the black experience.

          http://www.towson.edu/bsu/Home.html

          Nowhere to be found are any mention of “Pro-Black Websites” or articles resembling anything like “White Crime Wave Continues!”

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s sickening divisiveness.

          • OnPointComments

            Are you saying if there had been no controversial statements, links, or anything similar about the Towson White Student Union, whose website said its mission is
              
            “to create an avenue for people to participate in political, cultural, educational, and social events to celebrate European heritage.  The organization invites people of all races, colors, and creeds to join together to celebrate European culture!”,
             
            you would have been supportive of the White Student Union and its mission?
             
            I watch a lot of C-Span.  I have never heard a white member of congress say anything like  “This will effect the white people in my district…,” but I have heard black congressional members say a multitude of times statements like “This will effect the black people in my district…” or “This is good/bad for African Americans…”   There is a double standard.
             
            Sometimes the racial tunnel-vision focus of some black members of congress can border on the humorous and absurd, as when Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee criticized the National Weather Service for not giving hurricanes black names.  At other times it’s overtly racist, as when Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver says he doesn’t criticize the president because he’s black, but “If we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House.”  As Walter Williams speculated in a column on June 20, 2012, what if Romney had “launched a ‘White Americans for Romney’ movement in an effort to get out the white vote? If the Romney campaign did that, there’d be a media-led outcry across the land, with charges ranging from racial insensitivity to outright racism. When President Barack Obama announced his 2012 launch of ‘African Americans for Obama’, the silence was deafening.”  Walter Williams is exactly right.
             
            It’s 2013, and time that we had one standard for everyone.

          • hennorama

            OPC et al – your supposition is just that – a supposition.

            There’s an enormous difference between an organization that promotes the interests of its members, and an organization that promotes the interests of its members AND simultaneously denigrates the interests of others.

            If the White Student Union at Towson University’s sole purpose was, as they say, “To create an avenue for people to participate in political, cultural, educational, and social events to celebrate European heritage,” then why would they feel the need to include an article titled “Black Crime Wave Continues!”?

            We tolerate these extremists and the expression of their views, but do not support them. They have a right to their views, and to express and promote them, as do we all.

            In the same way that we recognize these rights, one also must recognize the urge of a group that was oppressed for hundreds of years, and whose civil rights were restored in full only by an Act Of Congress, to celebrate and promote their cultural identity, an identity that was systematically suppressed and crushed through various abuses of authority and power.

            Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. Irish immigrants were discriminated against and oppressed for decades, but now we celebrate Irish culture as a part of American culture. There was a St. Patrick’s Day parade last Sunday in Baltimore, MD, not far from Towson University, by the way. According to the parade’s website:

            “Baltimore’s St. Patrick Parade is truly the jewel in Maryland’s emerald crown. For more than 50 years, thousands of spectators from the region have crowded the streets and sidewalks of downtown Baltimore and the famous Inner Harbor to watch thousands more march and celebrate Irish culture, music, song, and dance.”

            Imagine if they added something along the lines of “We’ll also be marching to denigrate German culture, and tell everyone how bad all Italians are! Come join us!”

            It seems that some commenters in this forum are mistakenly equating the promotion of a particular group’s interests with racism. If that is true, then by extension, the organizers of the St. Patrick Parade in Baltimore must be racist, right?. Or are they merely “nationalist”?

            During the lifetime of some who will read these words, racial segregation was commonly practiced throughout vast swaths of the U.S. In Baltimore, segregation was common practice in restaurants and schools.

            “In 1960, the majority of restaurants in downtown Baltimore were still segregated and blacks were not served at all-white dining establishments. Students from Dunbar High School and Morgan State College were recruited by the Civic Interest Group to enter all-white restaurants and demand service. On June 17, 1960, a group of students entered Hooper’s Restaurant, located at Charles and Fayette Streets, and demanded service. They were asked to leave, but twelve of the students, including sixteen-year-old Robert Mack Bell, refused. They were each charged with trespassing, found guilty, and fined $10. The case was appealed and the students representation included Juanita Jackson Mitchell and Thurgood Marshall. The appellants argued that the use of the state’s trespassing laws to support segregation of public accommodations violated the Fourteenth Amendment. In 1962, the Maryland Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the lower court and the case was appealed to the U.S Supreme Court. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to decide if the state’s trespassing laws could be used to exclude blacks from public accommodations and sent the case back to the state appeals court. In the meantime, the state passed public accommodation laws and Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On April 9, 1965, the convictions were reversed and the students were cleared of all charges.”

            Source:http://teachingamericanhistorymd.net/000001/000000/000032/html/t32.html

            Nearly fifty years have passed since the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but racist attitudes persist in America. These attitudes are not nearly as common or as overt as they were back then, but it’s pretty clear from the examples of Mssrs. Terry and Heimbach, and the website of Mr. Heimbach’s White Student Union at Towson, that they are still alive and well in Maryland.

          • Gregg Smith

            Who is defending the White Student Union at Townson?

          • OnPointComments

            As I said, “if there had been no controversial statements, links, or anything similar.”  I doubt most liberals would support any White Student Union regardless how good and pure its motives were; the double standard doesn’t permit it, just as Walter Williams stated.  And you’re absolutely correct, racist attitudes persist, but not only by whites.
             
            Who’d have thought espousing the opinion “one standard for everyone” would be controversial?  Actually I thought it might be, but only because I believe most liberals are racists. 

          • hennorama

            OPC – TY again for your response. I respect your views.

            Support is far different from tolerance. As I said, we tolerate these extremists without supporting them. Your hypothetical White Student Union at Townson with “no controversial statements, links, or anything similar” does not exist. We tolerate the WSU that does exist, but could never support them, based on their words.

            I spoke with Mr. Heimbach, as I alluded to in a prior post. He clearly feels that he is being discriminated against, and persecuted by the media and others. He also is clearly not merely “Pro-White” – he is anti-black. As I did not record our conversation, I will refrain from quoting him. But his WSU website speaks for itself. For example:

            “… every single day black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body. White Southern men have long been called to defend their communities when law enforcement and the State seem unwilling to protect our people.”

            http://towsonwsu.blogspot.com/

            The remainder of this response is on the topic of Congressional Representatives, from your prior post.

            You single out those you call “some black members of congress” as if they have a corner on the market for A) “tunnel-vision focus,” and B). “humorous and absurd” comments and actions. This is clearly not the case. Numerous members of Congress of all stripes have made notably “humerous and absurd” statements, and have had “tunnel-vision focus” on a variety of topics, racial or otherwise

            One must always consider the words and actions of U.S. Representatives in light of the title “Representative”. They are supposed to “represent” the people of their District. In light of the fact that about one third of the members of the 113th Congress are lawyers, trained to advocate for their clients, it’s no surprise that some Representatives and Senators are stauch promoters of those in their Districts and States.

            You cite Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Emmanuel Cleaver.

            Rep. Jackson Lee represents the Texas 18th Congressional District. The demographics of her District are 16.7% white, 41.4% black, 38.7% Hispanic, 4.1% other. Is it a surprise that Rep. Jackson Lee might advocate for what you describe as “giving hurricanes black names”?

            Is it truly a surprise that CBC chair Rep. Cleaver might give the first African-American President a pass on certain topics? In the same way, one might expect Argentinian Catholics to give a pass to the first Argentinian Pope Francis I on certain topics, and for Hispanic Texans to give a pass to Sen. Cruz on certain topics.

            It’s human nature. Those who we feel are part of “our tribe” get some special consideration, at least on some topics. This is neither new or unexpected. Humans are like that.

            Legal standards are different, or at least they are supposed to be different. Right now, some Americans are denied certain benefits due to their sexual orientation. You say “It’s 2013, and time that we had one standard for everyone.”

            One suspects that those aforementioned Americans would agree.

            Sources:

            http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-10/the-113th-congress-by-the-numbers (for # of lawyers in Congress)

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/28/1069265/-TX-Redistricting-Full-analysis-of-the-new-districts (for demographics of TX 18th CD)

          • OnPointComments

            Put aside Towson.  Is a Black Student Union a good idea?  Is a White Student Union a good idea?  Can you honestly say that you would answer the same to both questions?

          • hennorama

            OPC – if a group wishes to meet to promote their common interests, fine by me. If a group wants to meet to denigrate others, they have a right ot do so, but no, I can’t say that’s a good idea.

            It’s the difference between a group that says “We Love Sci-Fi Movies” vs. a group that says “We Love Sci-Fi Movies AND We Hate Chick Flicks”.

            What interests me is your (and others’) definition of “racist” and/or “racism”.

            So — please explain your prior statement “… I believe most liberals are racists.”

  • gslouch

     You’ve just got to have a sense of humor during this painfully sluggish reign of our congress and the republicans have provided a fair amount of belly laughs recently.
    1.- John Boehner states “the president needs to start governing.”   OMG, I’m falling off my chair.  You are too funny John! How many job bills has the president proposed during his first term,then quashed by the pubs.
    2.- Smilin’ Mitch McConnell, who’s main job was to make the president a one-term president.  Beeeep!!  You’re fired. Failed on that one!  Good for a hearty chuckle.
    3. Senator “wrecking” Cruz trying to lecture Senator Feinstein.  She has more experience in her left pinky than this arrogant nitwit has in entire being.   Again, falling off my chair with laughter.
    4. As hard as they try to rationalize not supporting a weapons ban, the Repubs just sound so unbelieveably ridiculous.  I guess if you use a semi-automatic you shoot a deer and process it into ground meat all at once.  Big belly laugh!  It’s great seeing them resemble a deer in the headlights, that look of “Uh,which way did he go!”
       Thank you guys!  We need a little comic relief as the party of mucilage maintains their reign.  Stick to your philosophy without regard for the American people.

    • JONBOSTON

      You must get hysterical when Republican politicians express concern about annual trillion$ deficits ; $16trillion national debt; 14% real unemployment when factoring in those that have given up looking for work; or that beneath February’s job figure of 236K new (mostly part time) jobs you’d see that there was a loss of 77K full-time jobs with record gains of those holding multiple jobs and that 296K left the work force; or that 6.8million people who aren’t in the labor force and that record numbers of Americans are desperately hanging on by dipping into their retirement accounts; or that just 58.6% of Americans work today, down from 60.6% when Obama took office. The average over the previous two decades was 63%; or that an all-time record of 89.3million able-bodied working age Americans are no longer in the labor force; or record numbers of Americans are in poverty and 50 million getting food stamps.

      Frankly the only reason I waste my time responding to your post is that it’s typical of the mindless , robotic drone-like commentary too often found here. And I’d laugh at your comments if I didn’t find them so pathetic. First ,Obama’s charm offensive was no doubt initiated by critical comments from “in-the -tankers” like the NYT’s Bill Keller, the Washington post editorial writers, etc that he was failing to exercise leadership in dealing with our fiscal mess. “Leading from behind” will go down as one of the more apt descriptions of Obama’s presidency when historians take off their rose-colored glasses years from now and truly assess this president. Second, Mitch McConnell’s comments–explain how they differ from Democratic Senator comments ( often shameful and disgusting) from the likes of Kennedy, Reid ,and Durbin during Bush’s presidency? Last, I happen to like Diane Feinstein. I regard her as one of the more “adult” and responsible Democrats in public office. And I happen to support gun control measures. Nevertheless, Ted Cruz was raising an excellent question juxtaposing 2nd Amendment limits versus 1st and 4th limits. It’s a valid constitutional question that would be raised in any appellate argument. You may not agree with Ted Cruz but he happens to be an incredibly bright articulate advocate. You show your lack of “sophistication” (I’m trying to be kind) by criticizing Cruz. I shudder when I compare the things he says to someone like a Nancy Pelosi , truly a moron of the highest order. 

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Good job offering canned talking points in response to a post that shows some original thought, and accusing the OP of “mindless , robotic drone-like commentary”.  OTOH, that’s what I expect from the right. The talking points haven’t changed since 1980.

        • JONBOSTON

          Ironic commentary from you. Since Romney lost I no longer hear about “oligarchs”. Now your talking point is  about “right wing talking points”. Laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

          • StilllHere

            Wasted effort discoursing with that guy.

        • JONBOSTON

          By the way, they’re not talking points. They happen to be facts. What’s Obama’s plan for dealing with reality?

          • pete18

            Jon, just so you know, Tom only has one arrow in his quiver, it’s the talking point thunderbolt. He shoots it at anything anyone says that he disagrees with. However, so you won’t get confused, you need to know that anything he says that sounds just like a democratic talking point is in reality an original, factual idea.

            If you’re interested in actually discussing ideas or sorting out honest disagreements you need to go to another archery range.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Ted Cruz is a brilliant CONSTITUTIONAL lawyer and has successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court.  He clerked for the chief justice.  Get a clue.

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        Being well educated doesn’t necessarily exempt a person from being an idiot.

        • Gregg Smith

          True, witness Obama. Cruz, not so much.

        • JONBOSTON

          Based on the Senators they send to Washington, neither does living in Vermont.

  • Gregg Smith

    Ted Cruz just introduced Sarah Palin at CPAC. It doesn’t get any better.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      As usual she rocked the house.  None of the coward journalists would raise their hands.  Loved the Big Gulp prop.  And finally, Todd got the gun and Sarah got the RACK.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I agree, if you like self-satire.

    • Bruce94

       Was that before or after the Wookiee took the podium?

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Anyway, as I’ve said before, the #1 current threat in the class war is our conservadem president’s burning desire for a “grand bargain” (English translation =”grand sellout”) of SS and medicare. He’s practically begging the GoP to let him cut the retirement programs (righty framing, slavishly used by all corporate media, = “reform entitlements”). He’s telling the dems they have to go along, that both sides have to give on their core principles, invoking the false equivalence of retirement programs crucial to the society and low taxes on the rich. He’s even parroting the nonsense that the middle class needs to feel real pain to make a theoretical calculated number (the big bad deficit) smaller.

    This is a real Nixon to China moment. Only rabid anti communist Nixon (a socialist by current metrics) could go to china, and only an alleged liberal (all the righty  media say he is) could threaten SS and medicare without triggering a revolution. Keep your helmet on.

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

      I really love this meme you are fixated on.  So in your world view am I a leftist?  I wish to cut military spending.  I wish to prevent anyone from raiding Social Security taxes ever again.  I want to reform copyright laws. I want to level the economic playing field so more Americans can get ahead.  I want to dismember any company that can be called too big to fail.  But no I am an ultra right super extremist Tea B….. well you know the rest.  

      • jimino

        So you’re not a Republican then. Can you identify  one elected official or any candidate who ever ran for national office that supports what you do?

    • Fredlinskip

      Unfortunately Prez leans way to the right on lots of issues and has tendency to “give away the store” at times, before negotiations even begin. 
      This is in high contrast to the “other side” who never give an inch- even though they’re the minority. There are not a whole lot of “leaders” in GOP- unless Norquist counts.
      Rand Paul seems an exception- not saying I agree with him on lots- but he does seem to have some integrity

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Green cars turn out to be not so green.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for fuel efficiency.  I drive a hybrid and love it.  However, scaling technology up before it is ready is silly and a waste of precious resources and the environmentalists should be outraged.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324128504578346913994914472.html
     

    • Fredlinskip

      Why don’t they put windwmills on top of cars?
      - once car get’s moving, wm’s should provide enough energy to keep it going.  

      • Gregg Smith

        Believing in perpetual motion is anti-science.

        • Fredlinskip

          You’re not accounting for the additional wind energy source. 

          • Gregg Smith

            Okey Dokey.

          • Fredlinskip

            So- you’re saying I shouldn’t expect Nobel Peace prize nomination anytime soon?

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t know, you deserve one as much as Obama did.

          • Fredlinskip

            I’ll keep fingers crossed. 
            Agree with you. Obama didn’t deserve- at least at time he received.

        • nj_v2

          Greggg’s all anti-science, so he should be all in.

      • nj_v2

        I have water wheels under all my faucets. Works great.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Ben Carson at CPAC:

    Economics isn’t brain surgery.

    Bravo, Dr. Carson.

    • Bruce94

      Was that before or after the Wookiee took the podium?

    • Fredlinskip

      He’s right.
      It doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out that if consumers (i.e. majority of Americans) are not spending, then the economy ain’t gonna work. Therefore tremendous income inequity damages our system and way of life. 
      We need work on that.

    • hennorama

      hennorama to Dr. Ben Carson:

      Politics isn’t brain surgery.

  • David F

    Assault weapons ban, absolutely not, it makes not one single bit of logical sense.  Every other weapon out there from hands and feet on are used more often in homicides. (See FBI Crime in the US 2011)  The assault weapons ban is beyond silly and pointless.

    Magazine bans, also ineffective and pointless.  I can fire 18 rounds with six shot revolvers faster doing a New York reload than I can with a Berreta 92F (Standard issue US Military sidearm holds 15 +1 rounds).

    Background checks for the uninformed.  EVERY single firearms purchase from a firearms dealer is already subject to a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check.  Yes even at gun shows.

    It is not the fault of law abiding gun owners if the system doesn’t catch all of the prohibited persons trying to purchase guns.  Fix the system as it stands.  While you’re at it fix it so that law abiding citizens aren’t hindered in any way from purchasing a firearm, something that frequently happens with the NICS system, it can take hours or days for an approval to come through in some instances.

    Only private sales between two individuals are not subject to the NICS background check.  Give private citizens access to NICS if you want that to change. However the reality is, that private sales between individuals are utterly impossible to regulate.

    Who should we not allow to buy guns?  Well I think there is already a pretty thorough list, we don’t need to add any more to it.

    The federally prohibiting criteria are as follows:

    * A person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or any state offense classified by the state as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than two years.

    * Persons who are fugitives of justice—for example, the subject
    of an active felony or misdemeanor warrant.

    * An unlawful user and/or an addict of any controlled substance; for example, a person convicted for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; or a person with multiple arrests for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past five years with the most recent arrest occurring within the past year; or a person found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided the test was administered within the past year.

    * A person adjudicated mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution or incompetent to handle own affairs, including dispositions to criminal charges of found not guilty by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial.

    * A person who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States.

    * A person who, being an alien except as provided in subsection (y) (2), has been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.

    * A person dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces.

    * A person who has renounced his/her United States citizenship.

    * The subject of a protective order issued after a hearing in which the respondent had notice that restrains them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such partner. This does not include ex parte orders.

    * A person convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime which includes the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon and the defendant was the spouse, former spouse, parent, guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited in the past with the victim as a spouse, parent, guardian or similar situation to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.

    * A person who is under indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

    • Don_B1

      Just a few points on why your are wrong:

      1) Of course criminals do not “obey the law!” So why not repeal the laws against homicide, stealing, fraud (Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan refused to enforce laws against shadow banking because “the market will work that out”) right down to traffic laws because speeders (and most drivers speed from time to time) will speed regardless of the law?

      2) Assault weapons ban does make sense as it would take the weapons used by mass killers away from them, if not immediately, over time. Thankfully, there are not that many, but they seem to be growing in number, from copy-cats like the Newtown, CT, killer. Would you be happy to have your assault weapon if it meant that your young child, or one of a brother or sister, would have to lose its life in a way that the body could not be shown at the funeral? If the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban had been in effect, the Newtown killer’s mother would NOT have been able to legally buy the assault weapon that was used to kill her (and in that she is not alone: a person in possession of a gun is more likely to be killed or wounded by that gun that to use it successfully in their self-defense) and those 26 victims at the school.

      [F.B.I. murder statistics for 2011: 12,664 total murders, 8,563 by firearms, 1,694 by knife or cutting instrument, 498 by blunt instrument, 728 by personal (body) weapon. There is no way that the Newtown killer could have had that size body count with a non-firearm.]

      3) When 40% of the firearms sales are made without an NICS check, through the “private sales” cover, this is an indictment of the concept of “private sales.” It has been turned into a major loophole for gun manufacturers to get guns into the hands of people that should not have them because of a criminal past or mental problems.

      The NICS system is deficient, but those deficiencies are more the fault of the N.R.A. and other like organizations and their lobbyists than the fault of gun regulation advocates. Consider the following:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/opinion/sunday/the-nras-diversionary-tactics.html

      http://www.wafb.com/story/5593684/police-officials-slam-nra-moves-to-weaken-gun-law-enforcement-as-outlined-in-new-report-from-brady-center

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/02/07/nra-interferes-with-atf-operations/1894355/

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/13/nra-weakened-gun-control-laws

      It is organizations that carry the arguments you have tried to make that have worked the hardest to make sure that what you propose as alternatives will be ineffective or impossible to use.

      • hennorama

        Hear, hear!

      • David F

        Just a few points on why you’re wrong:

        1) The difference between laws against homicide, theft, fraud etc. and gun laws is that firearms laws only stop law abiding citizens from exercising their Constitutional rights.  Last I checked there was no amendment in the Bill of Rights giving you the right to kill, steal or commit fraud.  I do however have the right to keep and bear arms.  So gun laws infringe on my rights, laws against homicide, theft, fraud, speeding etc. do not infringe on my rights.  When I exercise my right to keep and bear arms no one is adversely affected or harmed, so there is no reason to curtail it.

        2) There are in fact so few homicides committed with so called assault weapons that the FBI doesn’t even keep track of the numbers, they simply lump them in with rifles.  The “would you give up your gun if it meant one child could be saved” argument is pathetic.  Law abiding citizens giving up assault weapons or any other firearms will not save a single child and you know it.  

        Are you willing to ban all sale and manufacture of alcohol to save just one child?  Alcohol related deaths according to the CDC; 2011 = 26,256; 2010 = 25,692.  Assault by firearms 2011 = 11,101; 2010 = 11,078  Seems to me it would save far more lives.
         
        I own several so called assault weapons, all purchased legally and through a dealer.  Do you know where I purchased them?  Here in MA, after 1994 where the assault weapons ban is still in full effect, just like it has been in CT since 1994.  So your assertion that “the Newtown killer’s mother would NOT have been able to legally buy the assault weapon” is uninformed and completely wrong.  That’s right MA and CT never let the assault weapons ban sunset in their states they simply rolled the federal law over into state law.  So no, another assault weapons ban will only stop law abiding citizens from exercising their rights.

        “There is no way that the Newtown killer could have had that size body count with a non-firearm.”

        Wrong again, Timothy McVey didn’t use any firearms when he killed 168 people and injured over 800.  Andrew Kehoe in Bath Township, Michigan killed 38 elementary school children and 6 adults, and injured at least 58 other people without the use of firearms.

        3) “40% of the firearms sales are made without an NICS check,”  That is quite possibly one of the most made up numbers I’ve yet seen.  You have absolutely no way of knowing how many private firearms sales there are, no one does, no matter what newspaper they make up their “facts” for.  First off you have no idea how many firearms are in the hands of private citizens, again no one truly does, the best that can be done is a very rough guess.

        “It has been turned into a major loophole for gun manufacturers to get guns into the hands of people that should not have them because of a criminal past or mental problems.”  Again you’re demonstrating ignorance of the facts and a complete lack of common sense.  Firearms manufacturers do not sell to individuals, they sell through a network of distributors and dealers, all of whom are federally licensed.  Plus if you’re foolish enough to even consider the mere possibility that gun makers want prohibited persons using their guns to commit crimes you’re out of your mind.  It is bad PR, no gun maker wants to be highlighted as the maker of a gun used in a crime.  How naive can you be?

        I noticed each article you posted was skewed very much against guns.  Definitely not unbiased sources.

  • Gregg Smith

    A debate below about racism got me thinking. There were a couple of racist comments made at CPAC by an idiot nobody. Of course the issue is blown up and projected on Republicans. I have no intention of excusing the comment. Evidently the website for the White Student Union at Townson U has a link about a black crime wave. It is interpreted as racist to bring it up. I say it’s racist not to. I am not familiar with the details of the crimes in question but it disgusts me that the mention of them is viewed as racist. I don’t care if a true racist makes the charge or not, this practice of turning a blind eye to avoid the charge of racism is hideous, crippling and divisive… and common. I don’t roll that way.

    Blacks murder whites at 18 times the rate as whites murder blacks. 90% of the victims of race crimes are white. Per capita, blacks commit 50 times more violent crimes than whites. 

    Why can’t we talk about it without being called racist? It’s more racist not to talk about it. Obama has made it worse. He is the worse thing that’s happened to race relations since Jim Crow. 

    My point, as always, is about honest debate. 

    • OnPointComments

      Walter Williams is far more erudite than I am.  His opening paragraph on “Racial Double Standards”:
       
      “Back in 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said we were ‘a nation of cowards’ on matters of race. Permit me to be brave and run a few assertions by you just to see whether we’re on the same page. There should be two standards for civilized conduct: one for whites, which is higher, and another for blacks, which is lower. In other words, in the name of justice and fair play, blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards that whites are and should not be criticized for conduct that we’d deem disgusting and racist if said or done by whites.”
       
      And his final paragraph:
       
      “Racial double standards are not restricted to the political arena and crime reporting; we see it on college campuses and in the workplace. Black people ought to be offended by the idea that we are held accountable to lower standards of conduct and achievement. White people ought to be ashamed for permitting and fostering racial double standards that have effects that are in some ways worse than the cruel racism of yesteryear.”
       
      http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/racial-double-standards.html

      • Gregg Smith

        I have the ultimate respect for Mr. Williams, I’ve been a fan for over a decade. There is no way he could say what he says if he were white and that’s sad. A colorblind society would be so cool but many who talk the talk don’t walk the walk. Lip service is meaningless.

  • OnPointComments

    The most surprising item I’ve read in a while:
     
    Bill Maher on his Friday show:  “You know what? Rich people – I’m sure you’d agree with this – actually do pay the freight in this country.  I just saw these statistics.  I mean, something like 70 percent. And here in California, I just want to say liberals – you could actually lose me. It’s outrageous what we’re paying – over 50 percent. I’m willing to pay my share, but yeah, it’s ridiculous.”

    • OnPointComments

      And the truth shall set you free.  Or at least free you from California.

    • StilllHere

      It’s amazing what a little, and here I mean minimal, knowledge will do!

  • dirq

    Karen from Des Moines, IA: “maybe Rob Portman should know someone who’s poor.”

    • Don_B1

      It seems that Republicans, particularly those of the Tea flavor, dig deep (real deep) in their psyches to find some empathy only when a difficulty appears in their lives or in the life of someone real close to them.

      This applies to Florida Governor Rick Scott, who talked more favorably about Medicare and Medicaid after his mother’s death, when he had seen the help those programs provided his mother. But then maybe it was just an excuse to provide cover for Mr. Scott to do what the health-care (hospitals) were demanding that he do: accept the Medicaid expansion part of PPACA.

      It would be interesting to know if Senator Portman discussed his son’s orientation with Governor Romney in those days when he was supporting Romney’s campaign for the presidency.

      • brettearle

        Don’t forget Orrin Hatch and stem-cell research.

      • Gregg Smith

        Or when Obama made the exact same turn around as Portman. Or when he realized closing Gitmo was a horrible idea. Or his horror when the BP spill happened after he exempted them from oversight. Or when he realized Hillary’s mandate which he exhorted was the way to go. Or when he decided to argue to the SCOTUS that Obamacare was a tax after getting snippy with George Stephanopoulos for suggesting so. Or when he realized he shouldn’t accelerate Bush’s negotiated withdrawal from Iraq. Or when he realized indefinite detention was a must. Or when he used intel gained from enhanced interrogation to get Bin Laden. Or when he realized Bush’s missile defense system for N. Korea was a good idea.

        • OnPointComments

          I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’m shocked at how ferocious the opinions of my liberal friends are on gay marriage.  Their gay marriage opinions are among their most vitriolic, scathing, and antagonistic.  What makes it surprising is that 313 days ago when President Obama did not support gay marriage, they were utterly silent.  I am forced to conclude that they either developed this exceptionally fervent support of gay marriage in less than a year’s time, which is not likely, or they were total hypocrites before President Obama announced that he had changed his mind.

  • Fredlinskip

    Unabashedly submitting edited post by Gary Andrews from comments page:

    Lest we forget the history of the debt. It took 204 years for US of A to build up a $1 trillion debt (includes a Revolution, two World Wars, Korea & Nam!). In just 12 years of Reagan-Bush-o-nomics, the debt QUADRUPLED! When Bush Senior left office, the Debt was $4 TRILLION! 
     Clinton struggled to get that massive Debt under control and finally built up three years of surpluses- which Bush, Cheney & Tom Delay quickly squandered on tax cuts for their rich friends. When Bush Junior left office, the “official” DEBT was around $11 TRILLION! That means W heaped $5 TRILLION more onto the “official” DEBT. Another $3 trillion came from the “off budget” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the deregulated meltdown of the financial system, and the Medicare prescription drug big pharma giveaway. Obama put those on budget where they belong. Of course neocons add that to “Obama’s debt”.
      SO, of the first $14 TRILLION in DEBT since the founding of the nation, $11 TRILLION came to us courtesy of the Reagan-Bush-Bush administrations. 
    If actions speak “louder than words”, the notion that GOP cares about the debt is laughable. Trickledown Reaganomics is nothing more than whipping out the credit card. If we had stopped the neocons 30 years ago, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    The $5.5 trillion added by Obama is essentially the consequence of either commitments entered into by previous administration (wars, unfunded part D, etc) or the great recession which commenced in December 2007 (collapse of tax revenues, increased unemployment expenditures, financial industry rescue etc). 
     
    Sounds fairly accurate.

    • Gregg Smith

      Alrighty then.

      • Fredlinskip

        Glad we got that straight.

        • Don_B1

          Don’t take too much consolation; Gregg will be right back with his “original” (from the retrograde right-wing think tanks) ideas, etc. without a blink.

          The truth, when it contradicts Gregg’s ideology, rolls right off Gregg’s neural ganglia just like water runs off a duck’s feathers immediately after it has completed smearing the oil from it’s glands on them.

    • brettearle

      Like most who comment on the Economy, on this thread, I am not a trained Economist.

      What’s more, I am not a closet Republican.  I am, for the most part, a Liberal Democrat.

      That having been said, I believe that one must take into account, in the Debt, the Stimulus packages.

      However, the question remains, had the Stimulus packages not been `reined in’, or watered down, by Congress; and had they followed, perhaps, the Paul Krugman guidelines, then the Debt might be shrinking, as we speak….or, as we might speak, at least, in the Future.

      Trickle-down Economics and tax-cuts for the Wealthy, as the President and other Democrats in Washington have claimed, may never have truly stimulated the Economy.

      But I am not sure that this has been convincingly proven amongst warring factions.

      It needs to be.

      What’s more former VP Cheney’s claim that “deficits don’t matter” is a major double-standard, in Economic policy–and it is one that is not trotted out enough by tax-and-spend Democrats in Washington.  

      • Fredlinskip

        “..I am not trained economist..”. Economists are all over map- so why not voice your own opinion- 
        preferably after SOME research- (other than listening to “talking heads” ).
          
          “I am not sure… ‘trickle-down and tax-cuts may not have truly stimulated economy’.. has been convincingly proven amongst warring factions. It needs to be.” 
        These factions will likely always be warring, unfortunately- Follow the facts where they lead.
        It’s like the austerity vs. stimulus argument. All one has to do is to glance “across pond” at Europe to see which of these two courses is likely to bring the most beneficial results.

        I am of opinion that history has shown that Conservatives tend to be dragged into reality kicking and screaming. Just a few examples:
        1)After decades of struggle Women won right to vote in early 20th century. Conservatives, holding to traditional values (see conservative definition) of keeping women in their place and in the home, fought against this progressive movement. 
        2)The perceived threat to the traditional institution (see def of Conservative) of slavery, was a principle cause after Lincoln’s election, for Southern states to secede.
        3) Before and during the period of American Revolution, the Conservatives were Tory Party who favored NOT breaking from England.

        As time passes, Conservatives attempt to rewrite history books- but facts are there.

        • brettearle

          One thing to say, in reaction to what you have said (which, of course, was a reaction to what I said):

          It’s been said about JFK that some of his views might have made him a Reagan Democrat.

          Or that some of Clinton’s policies, as a “New Democrat” might have made him a kind of Centrist or even a Rockefeller Republican.

          The reason that I bring up these examples is to point out that the terms for Liberalism and Conservatism need to be seen through the prism of the current times–as much, or even more, than their historical contexts.

          The designations for both ideologies can sometimes be in name only and a myriad of iterations can stream across time, from decade to decade.

          Lincoln’s party could easily be seen, symbolically, as the rise of the Democrats.

          Symbolically, Strom Thurmond’s Democrat South finally bolted to the Republican Party in 1964.

          Things are often in flux.

          When it comes to rules and debates and convictions and policies, everything is fair game for Conversion.

          I think that all of us are at a disadvantage if we try to categorize or pigeon hole a group or an individual.

          Dimensions exist everywhere.

          Even, very likely, with DeMint and McConnell.

          • Fredlinskip

            JFK spoke of lowering taxes to spur growth therefore increasing revenue- But let’s please put that in perspective. 
            Kennedy admin lowered taxes on higher incomes from 91% to 75%. Had it be suggested to him that we lower rates to 25%, as they were JUST BEFORE DEPRESSION (as is being suggested now), I think Kennedy would would have given much different response (likely filled with epitaphs).
            In “Current times” we had a financial collapse- perhaps it’s time to reexamine policy we have been promoting for past 30+ years?
             As far as “pigeon-holing a group”, you’re probably right And I get carried away at times.
            It’s part reaction to when I hear the other side speak to how progressives are “bringing country down”, when it seems far more accurate to say it is progressivism that has in large part, made this country great.
            IMO

          • pete18

             As in your post above above, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Read Kennedy’s speech to the Economic Club of New York if you want to understand his thinking behind embracing tax cuts:http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkeconomicclubaddress.html

          • Fredlinskip

            Again, although this is all sounds well and good, he is referring to lowering rates to 75%.
            That’s 7-5- %
            If you are advocating a 75% tax rate on upper incomes- hey I might be there with you
            This may be still be a bit high but talking about a 25% rate as we had before Depression- I’m not particularly looking forward to that experiment.
            Although it really comes down to what EFFECTIVE tax rate is. If large corps are paying zero (that’s nada) as is case in many instances now- that’s not going to help our nations financial tribulations.

            (Hey Brette- see where trying to have civil debate gets you)

          • brettearle

             H,S,Sp

             No _____
                 .

        • pete18

          You left out the Nazis, Vikings and Nero, you’re slipping.

          • Fredlinskip

            That’s you’re job.

  • hdesignr

    Politicians need to lead by example. You want the rich to pay more? Start by cutting your own salary. 

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