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Week In The News: Job Numbers, Snowden And NSA, Mideast Peace Talks

A Bradley Manning verdict. Pope Francis on gays. New Middle East peace talks. Our weekly news round table goes behind the headlines.

With a chart listing thwarted acts of terrorism, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., left, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., right, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, question top Obama administration officials on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 31, 2013, about the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance programs for the first time since the House narrowly rejected a proposal last week to effectively shut down the NSA's secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans' phone records. At the witness table, below, are, from left, National Security Agency Deputy Director John C. Inglis, and Deputy Attorney General James Cole, right. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

With a chart listing thwarted acts of terrorism, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (left) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (right) chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, question top Obama administration officials on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 31, 2013, about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance programs. At the witness table, below are NSA Deputy Director John C. Inglis (left) and Deputy Attorney General James Cole (right). (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Edward Snowden is out of the airport in Moscow, and the U.S. is in a major snit with Russia this week, as the amazing reverberations of one high school dropout with NSA clearance roll on.

Lots of economic numbers out — on jobs, housing, GDP. Not bad, but far from great.

On Wall Street, a jury goes against Fabulous Fab of Goldman Sachs, but the big fish still swim free.

On a plane home from Brazil, the pope says “Who am I to judge?” on gays.

We’ve got a Bradley Manning verdict, A-Rod in trouble, Mideast peace talks.

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

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Diane Brady, editor and content chief for Bloomberg Businessweek. (@dianebrady)

Michael Hirsh, chief correspondent for National Journal. (@michaelphirsh)

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

NPR: U.S. Unemployment Sinks To 7.4 Percent In July Jobs Report: “But employers added 162,000 jobs in the month, coming in under economists’ expectations.”

National Journal: How America’s Top Tech Companies Created The Surveillance State: “These moral issues—the balance that the intel community has tried to strike between surveillance needs and privacy concerns—have never been resolved, as illustrated by the intense public debate over whether Snowden is a whistle-blower or a traitor.”

Bloomberg: S&P 500 Climbs Above 1,700 On Stimulus Bets, Economy: ”Three rounds of bond purchases by the Fed, coupled with improving earnings and economic growth, has helped propel the S&P 500 up more than 150 percent from its bear-market low in 2009.”

The Washington Post: Israelis, Palestinians To Launch Talks Aimed At Peace Deal, Independent Palestinian State: ”Israeli and Palestinian negotiators shook hands Tuesday to resume long-stalled direct peace talks that Secretary of State John F. Kerry said will seek to give birth to an independent Palestinian state nine months from now.”

Video

On Tuesday, July 30, President Obama spoke about job growth and the corporate tax code:

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  • Mike_Card

    Sure. Let’s cherry-pick low level wage-earners and ignore the real criminals in, oh, say, Goldman? Come on!! Who is “damaging” the country more?
    Won’t anybody say “Corruption at the top??” Washington has been bought and sold. Take your pick: neither party represents voters.

    • Steve__T

      I have been saying the same about Washington for years. I hope more take notice that they are out for themselves, not their constituents.

      • Don_B1

        Maybe not exclusively for themselves, but certainly not without regard for themselves. What better indication than the debacle over Congress, members and staff, wanting the government to pay their health insurance entirely, and not having to go to the exchanges where they claim they would have to pay thousands like the rest of us.

        But the Republicans are much worse in this regard than the Democrats.

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

          I favor the side who has some folks that at least pretend they’ll respect me in the morning v. the ones who can’t keep their mouths shut about how they already don’t respect me now.

          • pete18

            I love how democrats have lowered themselves to accepting politicians who pretend rather than having to criticize their ineptitude and dishonesty.

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

            You have no idea of what I demand of my party. And as far as criticizing ineptitude and dishonesty, I “go where the money is”.

          • pete18

            “You have no idea of what I demand of my party.”

            No, I don’t. But obviously honesty and passing laws that apply to themselves isn’t one of your demands.

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

            Obviously?

            You’ve got reading comprehension problems. Not point trying to talk to you like an adult.

          • pete18

            “Not point trying to talk to you like an adult.”

            The only way to test that theory would be to be to actually try it.

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

            Really?

            First, you don’t get a common joke I make, but there’s one word you fixate to “prove” you “point”.

            You’ve proved yourself a first-class twister of words. I’m better off trying to explain the offside rule to a cat.

            I’ll no longer try to use any Axioms, Analogies, or Adages around you. And that’s just the A’s.

          • pete18

            Sounds like a good plan.

    • OnPointComments

      How can anyone avoid prison when over a billion dollars is missing? Just ask Jon Corzine, the person Joe Biden described as “smartest guy that I know, in terms of the economy and on finance.” The trick to avoiding incarceration for $1.6 billion in missing client money is to be a loyal Democrat and Obama campaign bundler.

  • Michiganjf

    5.5 billion profit a year, and McDonalds can’t afford to pay better than 7.25/hour.

    Investor profits and CEOs’ stock options are far more important than a living wage for the majority of workers.

    • OnPointComments

      A person’s salary is not based on how much profit a company makes, or how much a person needs for a “living wage,” it is based on the market value of the services the employee provides.

      There’s a reason why someone making minimum wage cannot quit and get a job paying twice the minimum wage: they are not worth twice the minimum wage.

      • Steve__T

        “we’re already dying slowly in our day-to-day lives, so why not speak up and stand up and let the nation know that we’re suffering? And this is
        really a cry for help. And this great nation shouldn’t turn their back on working-class people who need help.”
        It seems that from your comment, you’ve already turned your back. Thanks for being a great American.

        http://www.democracynow.org/2013/8/2/we_are_slowly_dying_fast_food

        • OnPointComments

          I’m sorry if reality is too harsh for you.

          In employment, there is a quid pro quo: I’ll hire and pay you, and here’s what you have to do. If the employers double the pay, what are the employees going to do extra, that they weren’t doing before, for the additional pay?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    I am quite surprised at the stance that some have taken on this issue of warrant-less surveillance by the NSA AND other branches of the government. At the heart of the issue is the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Millions, I repeat millions of men and women have died to defend the US Constitution and the Rights it guarantees to US citizens. To allow anyone, even the President of the United States to revoke those rights without Constitutional Amendment, is nothing less than criminal and treasonous. Arguments, such as, ‘well others are doing it, so what is the big deal’ are without merit and are indefensible. There are places in this world where Slavery is practiced, should we in the US sanction the arbitrary repeal of the 13th amendment. Or maybe, the men of the US should deny women the right to vote next election. Why not, after all, they are just words on a piece of paper, right? Of course we could overlook the 22nd amendment and allow a President to be a perpetual President but if we do this we will probably have to disregard the 3rd amendment, you know, the one about allowing soldiers to “shack up” at your house during peace time. Sure, while they are there you can “service” their needs, after all you’ll do anything to prevent those big, bad, terrorist from taking away your country, won’t you ?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    National Journal: from above:
    “ Snowden is a whistle-blower or a traitor”

    First of all, it should read, “ Saint Snowden”!

    Second, it should read, “Saint Snowden; the American Patriot, defender of the Constitution and all of the Rights that the Constitution guarantees to the Citizenry of The United States of America, with the blessing of the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and all the defenders of the faithful men and women that have sacrificed so much on the Altars of Freedom, to secure the Blessings of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, stands steadfast in opposition to the “Armies of Darkness” that have sought to unleash daggers that plunge into the hearts of freedom loving people everywhere, and to fight with every sword at his disposal, that glorious battle that will lead the “Armies of Light” to ultimate Victory !

  • Ray in VT

    So what was up with that Fox News Reza Aslan interview? They’re standing by it, but a number of religion reporters have spoken out about how Aslan was treated, including the multiple suggestions that he, although a scholar with multiple degrees in religious studies, could not fairly treat the subject of Christianity, and maybe shouldn’t have an interest in it, because he is a Muslim.

    • HonestDebate1

      He’s just a dweeb with a book. He is not a professor of religion, he teaches creative writing. He does not have a PHD in the history of religions as he said, his PHD is in Sociology. He misrepresented himself.

      • Ray in VT

        “He’s just a dweeb with a book.” Nice sentiment. We don’t need people with no fancy book learnin’ no how. The dude does have a PH.D, and yes it is in religion. He also has a Master’s in Theological Studies from the Harvard Theological Seminary. Just what degree in religion does Ms. Green have? My boss said that he hasn’t seen how this book is in any way out of line with the majority of academic research in the field from the past 40-50 years, but one wouldn’t know that from the “experts” giving it one star over at Amazon.

        The interview was a disgrace, By her own standard she should not cover Islam, and as a journalist I don’t think that she should be making statements like how one has to be a Christian to fully do one’s job as a reporter. Just another example of the low standard that Fox sets.

        • HonestDebate1

          ” I am an expert with a Ph.D. in the history of religions . . . I am a professor of religions, including the New Testament–that’s what I do for a living, actually . . . To be clear, I want to emphasize one more time, I am a historian, I am a Ph.D. in the history of religions.”

          All lies.

          • Ray in VT

            “Born in Iran, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife (author and entrepreneur Jessica Jackley) where he is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Religion at the University of California, Riverside. His previous academic positions include the Departments of Religion at the University of Iowa and at Drew University.”

            http://rezaaslan.com/about/

            He is currently working on a Ph.D at UC, although I’m not sure in what. So yes, I think that a couple of those statements are not entirely accurate, although he also said:

            “Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees,
            including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who
            has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also
            just happens to be a Muslim.”

            In response to why he, as a Muslim, would be interested in Jesus:

            “Because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion,
            including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually. It
            would be like asking a Christian why they would write a book about
            Islam.”

            and

            “I think that the fundamental problem here is that you’re assuming that I
            have some sort of faith-based bias in this work that I write. I write
            about Judaism, I write about Hinduism, I write about Christianity, I
            write about Islam.”

            The last one being the crux of my problem with Ms. Green’s approach, which was basically that he can’t write about Christianity in an unbiased way while ascribing to a different faith.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Like many people who post on facebook its all about having people agree with you and not having dissent. Walter Lippman once said “People would rather believe the picture in their head than come to some logical conclusion through critical thinking” I think that actually applies here.

          • HonestDebate1

            But those were lies. He is not a professor of religion, it is not his job.

            If Pat Robertson writes a book on Muslims I would expect the press to have a field day using Ms. Green’s argument.

          • Ray in VT

            So he is not “Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Religion at the University of California, Riverside”? As a scholar, though, it is certainly his job to contribute to the scholarship in a given field, and he has done so.

            I think that there is a difference between an academic writing a book on religion and a Televangelist, especially one with Robertson’s track record of statements regarding Islam (saying that it is motivated by a demonic power and by Satan for instance). What matters is the validity of one’s output, and that goes all around, and the line of attack that Green was using, and it was an attack as far as I am concerned, is that Aslan couldn’t, and maybe shouldn’t, write about Jesus as someone who didn’t follow the faith that is based upon his work.

          • HonestDebate1

            That wasn’t his PHD, he works in the writing department, the religion wing in on the other side of campus.

            Roberts is a scholar, he’s got a Masters of Divinity degree, he’s got his own university. But I’m talking about the press. You’re complaint was about Ms. Green but I suspect you wouldn’t have the same complaint if Rachel Maddow grilled Robertson. I think both are fine. Ms. Green’s questions were appropriate. The motives of a Muslim writing a book about Jesus for Christian haters to cheer are fair game. That’s good TV right there.

          • Ray in VT

            I believe that Hennorama has sufficiently addressed your first paragraph.

            “Roberts is a scholar”. Would you care to point out what scholarly work he has produced? I am not familiar with it. I am familiar, however, with his history of anti-Islamic comments, which calls into question for me whether or not he could produce an objective work on the subject, although such a work should stand on its own, with the bulk of an interview regarding such a hypothetical work not focusing on the author’s faith.

            I would not favor such a hypothetical grilling of Robertson, as I feel that a line of questioning regarding his faith would be just as invalid. Amazing. So a book about the historical Jesus is now some sort of anti-Christian book for “Christian haters”. Who knew.

          • jimino

            Pat Robertson = Reza Aslan = Just one more in the long line of examples of your inability to process facts in any rational manner.

          • jefe68

            You know I realize this is an open forum to some extent, but you really are going off the deep end with your BS.

            You’re like that conservative drunk uncle with bad teeth at the family thanksgiving dinner who just gets worse with every drink.

          • HonestDebate1

            Even drunk uncles don’t like their intelligence insulted with blatant lies. Sorry, it doesn’t bother you.

        • Bluejay2fly

          I saw him on Bill Maher and revealed he was an illegal alien for 10 years. He also said being Iranian in the 80′s was so bad he told people he was Mexican. It amazes me that people who come from a background of sever poverty ,ironically, can turn out better than the privileged class like Gretchen Carlson. She once said “I don’t know what czar means” yea right, than maybe Stanford should take back your degree in sociology. She got by on her looks and race while he was put down by his and yet who is more likely to understand Christ? The people at Fox News because Christ was born from an established family, was tall, white, had blonde hair and blue eyes.

          • Ray in VT

            What? You mean that Jesus didn’t look like Max Von Sydow? Who knew? Some dweeb with a book probably told you that whopper.

          • Bluejay2fly

            I read the Yasser Afat book “Jesus Was An Arab Not A Jew”

          • Ray in VT

            That’s interesting. I was watching a special on the National Geographic channel last year that indicated that many of the inhabitants of the Ancient Near East had very similar genes, which indicated very similar ancient origins. Arabs and Jews are both Semitic peoples, and the Arabs would ultimately, I think, faced the same fate as the Jews had Nazism won out in Europe.

          • Bluejay2fly

            “Himmler’s Crusade” was a book about a historic scientific expedition to Tibet. The nazi’s were interested because they believed the Dali Lama was an Aryan. The theory was that some elites of the lower people had the genes of the dispersed Aryans.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not familiar with the book, but I am familiar with the Nazi interest in the occult and religious objects, and not just because of Indiana Jones. I think that they put Persians and Indians within the Aryan group as well, although, despite Scandinavian ancestry in some instances, the Russians were considered sub-human. The whole thing is very fascinating as a subject of study, in part, at least for me, because of how often it was contradictory and just flat out crazy.

          • Bluejay2fly

            You should read that book you can get it very inexpensively on amazon. Sabateurs and Soldat also offer some interesting incite.

          • Ray in VT

            I wish that I had the time. I haven’t even made it to Richard J. Evans’ books on the Third Reich or this other one that I have called the Nazi Conscience by Claudia Koonz, but I appreciate the recommendation.

          • HonestDebate1

            Cheap shot. Lauren Greene plays a mean piano, what’s not to like?

      • jefe68

        And you’re a dweeb with an internet connection.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Do you think Aslan will be hunted down by crazed jihadist for putting that picture of the Son of God on his book cover? Do you think he has any other pictures of God in his book? If so, maybe he could take refuge with Salman Rushdie in a cave in Denmark. He might be able to hide out with Terri Gross in her studio.

      Sorry Ray, just poking you with some fair and balanced comedy !

      • Ray in VT

        That’s okay. I started to wonder, given your general tone, so I probably wouldn’t have taken your comment as genuinely reflective of your position even without the disclaimer. I think that he will take refuge with Reepicheep in the Utter East if worst comes to worst.

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

      A number of (insert topic here) reporters have spoken out about how (interview subject) was treated on Fox News.

      Today ends in a “y”, Ray. Is this really a shock?

    • J__o__h__n

      This week, I read an earlier book of his No God but God which was interesting (except for the chapter on Sufi spiritualism which was of no interest to me – history, myths, and even theology are interesting but parables and spirits . . . zzzzzzz).

    • OnPointComments

      “They may find it scandalous for someone to say so, but our secular liberal media are playing favorites with religion. They have a spoiled child, Islam. Journalists see Islam as a bullied, minority faith for brown people. Draw a cartoon of Mohammed with dynamite on his head, and you are the worst kind of trouble-making hater.

      “But write a book declaring that Jesus isn’t God? That’s not picking a fight or making trouble. That actually delights media elitists. They see America as too identified with Christian-nation “intolerance,” a bond that needs to be broken.”

      http://townhall.com/columnists/brentbozell/2013/08/02/fox-versus-the-islamboosting-mainstream-n1654510/page/full

      • Ray in VT

        I have yet to see liberals who are against an academic, scholarly or evidence-based treatment of the life of Mohammed, which a cartoon suggesting that he or Muslims are terrorists, is not. There may be some, as one can always find people who endorse something no matter how absurd. For instance, Karen Armstrong, a former Catholic nun I believe, wrote a biography of him. I think that there is just some bias amongst religious, conservative Christians against facts which contradict their religious dogma, perhaps like noted religion scholar Brent Bozell.

      • J__o__h__n

        Jesus isn’t god. These is no god. I agree that Islam gets handled more gently that the media treats Christianity (not that Christianity or any other religion gets much scrutiny) but that is because of the violent responses that the criticism spawns not due to a pro-Islamic bias in the media. Lack of bravery isn’t a religious agenda.

        • OnPointComments

          Woe to the person who is the target of retribution from the religion of peace.

          • Ray in VT

            From followers of the religion of peace. There’s a lot in there that calls for respect for People of the Book, whether or not the followers want to go with that.

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

          There’s a lot of kid gloves stuff, almost background, that Christianity gets from the media in this country. It just makes it easier for reporters, editors, publishers and decisionmakers all around.

          It may be argued that Christianists are so used to being mollycoddled that they’ve imagined themselves as one of the new “repressed classes”. See also: White people, straight males, gun owners…

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

        Brent Bozo Bozell is finding a scandal in our “secular liberal media”?

        Srsly?

        • HonestDebate1

          You don’t like Bozell either?

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

            It’s called “Clownhall” for a reason.

  • Ray in VT

    The U.N. says that July was the deadliest month in Iraq in 5 years, with over 1,000 people killed and over 2,000 wounded:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/iraq-july-death-toll_n_3688443.html

    • alsordi

      “Mission Accomplished”

    • HonestDebate1

      Nice job Obama,

      • Ray in VT

        Yup, good job invading that country, installing an Islamist government, blowing the crap out of it, and costing us dearly in blood and treasure. Good job doing all of that, Obama.

        • HonestDebate1

          With all the great strides GWB made to change the face of the Middle East, it’s such a shame to see the region devolve back to the 3rd century. Obama will go down in history as the the President who lost the Middle East. He is not a leader.

          • Ray in VT

            Yes, great strides. He got rid of a tyrant and unleashed ethnic and religious hatreds and brought Iraq closer to Iran. Good one there. He did push for elections in the Palestinian Territories, although he chose to ignore the outcomes, once again proving that we only like democracy when people make the “right” choice, ie. the one that we want them to. Tell me, how has Obama “lost” the Middle East? Is it like how the Democrats “lost” China?

          • Bluejay2fly

            Bush was the worst president in US history and a coward. Where was he in Vietnam?

          • Ray in VT

            He had other priorities. At least he has never said that he crapped in his pants to get out of serving.

          • Bluejay2fly

            He joined the Air Guard and had to be a pilot like his dad. We tax payers spent a lot of money to train him as a pilot. His unit went on to serve in Vietnam while he went AWOL and then dropped out, wasting all that training and effort. You don’t get to quit the military. His dad bailed his stupid ass out of being punished just like he made sure his son got into the program ahead of better qualified candidates. I remember in the 80′s working with sailors who were reservists who stopped going to drill weekends and got activated. He gets to play by different rules? Scumbag!!

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

            You’re forgetting the Chickenhawk Gambit.

            There’s a certain privilege at play where Bush II and others like him could avoid service while “supporting the war effort” in Vietnam.

            Unlike everyone else who got tarred for being “peaceniks” or (heaven forbid) having served and then changed their minds, which got them worse names.

          • Don_B1

            The G.W. Bush administration showed great naïveté in pushing for immediate elections before the actors could establish institutional mechanisms to support the election of rational (admittedly relatively rational) representatives.

            The take-away: an election does not make a democracy.

          • Ray in VT

            It seemed like a poor choice to make at the time to push for it. It reminds me a bit of this time circa 2005 that I was listening to talk radio, and the “brilliant” right wing host was shocked to consider that Iraqi elections could put people in power who didn’t like us. Who could’ve thought that that might happen?

            Your point on elections is well taken. One vote doesn’t make a democracy, even if it were free and fair. My philosophy professor in college posed the question that could a legitimate vote in the 1930s Reichstag depriving the Jews of their rights considered to be democratic or democracy?

          • jimino

            “With all the great strides GWB made to change the face of the Middle East .. . ”

            So you see the unprecedented strengthening of Iran, in addition to the respective militant Sunnis and Shiites in the region, and their international proxies, as a great stride?

            Or are you just a clueless fool? I don’t see any other options.

          • nj_v2

            Are we taking a poll?

            I vote for “clueless fool.”

          • jefe68

            I vote for clueless fool and I’ll up to a tool as well.

          • J__o__h__n

            The Middle East has been screwed up since WWI. Simplistic ideas like imposing democracy were never going to be successful.

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

            Hey, all those retreating British colonials drew such realistic borders in the sand ~90 years ago. Who knew the natives would mess up perfection?

          • nj_v2

            “With all the great strides GWB made to change the face of the Middle East…”

            DishonestMisDebator Greggg tries his hand at satire.

            Oh, wait, he’s serious.

  • Coastghost

    Jay Carney has to tell us how “extremely disappointed” the Obama White House is with the Russian decision to grant tentative asylum to Snowden: yet Obama told us weeks ago that he has better things to do as President than intercede over the plight of a former intelligence contractor.
    Obama has been President since Jan 2009 and had opportunities galore all through his first term to address intelligence community (over-)reliance on contract employees, yet his political ambitions lay elsewhere. He deferred to military and intelligence experts along and along: when the moment finally arrives for him to take action himself which could have averted Snowden’s escape to Moscow or his entry into Russia from Sheremetyevo Airport, Obama says “Whoa! Not my job! My pay grade’s higher than that!” . . . so: no violins today for Jay Carney or Barack Obama. (But as long as two-thirds of Americans think Edward Snowden a fine fellow, America can doubtlessly safely drop the pretenses of “national interest” and “national defense”.)
    Let’s just surrender to history now and get the blubbering over with.

    • HonestDebate1

      After 5 years of rule, Obama is still not responsible for squat. Nothing is his fault, nothing is his job and nothing is within his ability to control.

      “The buck stops with you”.

      • J__o__h__n

        Just like how 9/11 was Clinton’s fault.

        The president doesn’t rule the country; Congress is also responsible.

      • J__o__h__n

        Harry Truman who coined the phrase about the buck also had a do nothing Congress.

      • jefe68

        And the muck stops with you…
        or is that all over you.

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

        Your comment has been placed on anonymous hold and will only appear when 60% of the board approve a cloture vote.

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

      Blubbering?

      You forgot to call anyone in the admin a “whiner”. Aren’t you slipping?

  • Ed75

    World Youth Day was a great success, 2.5-3 million people, but more attention was paid to a few comments in the plane press conference than to seven days of addresses and homilies.
    No, Pope Francis didn’t say anything different about gays than can be found in the Catholic Catechism. Yes, he said we need a development of the theology on women to address current questions. It will be wonderful, but it won’t lead to women priests, it might lead to the declaration of Mary as co-redemptrix and co-mediatrix.

    • J__o__h__n

      I really don’t care what the Church does internally regarding gay priests, women priests, and the status of Mary. Stay out of public policy and we will stay out of their institution.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    Striking contrast in the treatment of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales and Private Bradley Manning.

    This June, when Bales pleaded guilty to going to an Afghan village, brutally murdering 16 Afghan civilians (mostly women and children), and burning their bodies, the judge accepted his plea. At the time of his plea, pundits on mainstream media spoke sympathetically regarding the toll the war must have taken on him.

    On the other hand, after being tortured in prison, when Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to charges related to his disclosure of classified documents, the court rejected his plea. Instead, the Justice department insisted on pushing for Manning to be prosecuted for aiding the enemy. While the US government prohibits prosecution of the war crimes Manning exposed, Manning faces spending the rest of his life in prison.

    No wonder Edward Snowden’s father is now advising him to stay out of the United States.

  • SteveTheTeacher

    I’d like On Point to comment on the fact that state officials have rejected independent investigations into FBI’s murder of the unarmed Ibragim Todashev.

    We are expected to accept the FBI’s justification that the killing was justified because they determined that Todashev deserved to be killed.

    Ibragim Todashev

    Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/08/ibragim-todashev-tsarnaev-friend-killed-fbi-florida/Ig
    Ibragim Todashev

    Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/08/ibragim-todashev-tsarnaev-friend-killed-fbi-florida/
    Ibragim Todashev

    Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/08/ibragim-todashev-tsarnaev-friend-killed-fbi-florida/
    Ibragim Todashev

    Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/08/ibragim-todashev-tsarnaev-friend-killed-fbi-florida/
    Ibragim Todashev

    Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/08/ibragim-todashev-tsarnaev-friend-killed-fbi-florida/
    Ibragim Todashev

    Read more at: http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/08/ibragim-todashev-tsarnaev-friend-killed-fbi-florida/

  • Ray in VT

    What does it say about the state of science and education in our country when people denigrate the teaching of science as socialism and/or fascism? It does not cease to amaze me how people continue to try to wiggle creationism and intelligent design into public school science curricula.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Fridays here have really become of den of partisan hackery, and of course, Ed.

    • AC

      lol

    • MrNutso

      Some are giving hackery a bad name.

  • toc1234

    those “phony scandals” are starting to bubble up again… new evidence tying the FEC to the IRS targeting of conservative groups(via Lois Lerner the 5th) and now CNN (CNN!!) has an exclusive Benghazi/CIA cover-up special planned for Tues at 10pm… which is all strange since Obama keeps waving his hands and saying nothing to see here… altho Tom and Jack will dutifully bow to The One and move on.

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

      CNN, home of Jake (Can’t quit John King) Tapper, Rookie-league promo-reel creation affiliate for Fox News aspirants?

      Wow!

    • Don_B1

      New “evidence”? What?

  • OnPointComments

    Pelosi: “…but we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it…”

    Guess what? The members of Congress and their staff have found out what is in the bill, and they don’t like it. Solution? Give Congress an exemption from the law they’re making the rest of us live under. The President is on the case to make sure that Congress and its employees don’t have to live under the same system mandated for the plebians.

    “CONGRESS TO GET OBAMACARE EXEMPTION: REPORT”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/congress-to-get-oamacare-exemption-report-2013-08-02?dist=tcountdown

    “PRESIDENT OBAMA ON HILL’S OBAMACARE MESS: I’M ON IT”

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/obama-hill-health-care-dispute-95017.html

    President Barack Obama privately told Democratic senators Wednesday he is now personally involved in resolving a heated dispute over how Obamacare treats Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers, according to senators in the meeting.

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

      The Members of Congress?

      You mean the GOP manure spreaders who are preparing for their Town Halls and fake open meetings?

      http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/saboteurs-in-the-potato-salad/?_r=0http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/01/saboteurs-in-the-potato-salad/?_r=0

      And what if I have a child with cancer, and the insurance company plans to dump him if Republicans stop Obamacare in its tracks? Can I attend? Or what if I’m counting on buying into the new health care exchanges in my state, saving hundreds of dollars on my insurance bill?

      The kit has an answer: planting supporters, with prescreened softball questions, will ensure that such things never get asked. More important, this tactic will assure that any meeting with the dreaded public will go “in the direction that is most beneficial to the member,”
      as the blueprint states.

      The planning kit’s instructions on how Republicans are to talk about the economy call to mind old Soviet bromides about record wheat harvests

    • Don_B1

      Politico has been wrong on this back in the spring and apparently is continuing to do the work of the Republican Party in confusing the issue. I admit to not checking it out properly in my earlier post to someone else’s comment on Congress. But check it out:

      http://www.factcheck.org/2013/05/congress-and-an-exemption-from-obamacare/

      There will be no exemption; the “problem” is the transition from the current plan and how the government will transition its current contribution to the cost of the new plans the members and their staffs will still have to buy.

  • toc1234

    Good Lord, Jack is trying to talk about the elusive multiplier effect..

    • Don_B1

      The multiplier effect is an agreed item though economists do argue about how to calculate it. It is NOT that elusive.

      Anyone can read about it at Wikipedia.

  • alsordi

    In years to come, for most people, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning are going to become American legends like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.

    Snowden and Manning will one day be known as two brave heroes that sacrificed their freedoms and lives to start the movement against the paranoid militarized police surveillance state that the US has become, and help turn it into a country that respects the rights of its own people, and not one that backs coups, occupations and dictatorships abroad.

    • Labropotes

      I agree that Edward Snowden will be regarded as a righteous guy. Already Americans see him in a favorable light 55% to 34%. The American people generally don’t see it Schumer’s way. Why is the panel not mentioning that? Only worried about an immature need for respect, for America to be obeyed. Putin takes the side of the American people. Schumer and Obama against. Strange.

      The entire panel seems blind to the almost world-wide view of America as an illegitimate power. Putin’s move is popular everywhere but in our Government. It’s raised my opinion of him.

      • alsordi

        It amazes me that frauds like Schumer and Feinstein can still get the liberal vote. They are closet fascists and fifth columnists.

        • Labropotes

          I can’t understand it either. The USA is over extended militarily, morally (no more 4th amendment), and financially. In trying to do everything we are accomplishing nothing, morale is plunging, and we keep doubling down.

        • MrNutso

          The war on terror/warrantless surveillance, government spying is the new anti-communism. Every politician who wants to be taken seriously is going to be for it.

    • John Cedar

      In years to come, most people will not remember and/or know who they were. Save for, perhaps, the academic psychological community.

  • MrNutso

    Tom, it is certainly not the best we can do. But, it’s the best our government is capable of doing.

  • Coastghost

    Sen. Schumer: it’s not Vladimir Putin’s responsibility to do Obama’s job. If Obama doesn’t see national security as part of his job description, maybe he can delegate those responsibilities to Kerry (no, his hands are full of history just now), or Biden (no, he’s AWOL until his next public appearance on behalf of gun control), or newly-minted NatSec advisor Rice (no, she’s still playing defense on Benghazi), or new UN ambassador Power (no, she’s trying desperately to get the US involved in the Syrian conflict).

  • Agnostic58

    Most non-Americans support Snowden, not just Russians. Is American leadership so tin eared?

  • MrNutso

    These two blowhards are not news.

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

      I would contend that the facts about Kentucky being a Libertarian Fiscal Conservative paradise while getting 40% extra for each tax dollar sent to DC is news to many.

      • MrNutso

        And NJ getting back less than they send in.

      • Ray in VT

        That’s pretty common among the “we don’t like/need no big guv’ment” states. Texas is just about the red state that walks the walk in that respect.

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

    Re: Brady on Russian citizens’ opinion of Snowden:

    I can barely trust the trustworthy polls* in the USA, and don’t trust most of the mainstream headlines about what polls mean. In my native tongue.

    So when Bloomberg’s Brady states “most Russian citizens support Snowden…”, all I can think of is “What does she know about the weird mix of Russian press controls and propaganda resulting in what passes for the Russian free media that she’s not sharing with us?”

    Let’s unpack that. I want to know about the odd path between Putin on the top and what comes out on TV in Russia.

    (*Thanks for playing: Zogby, Rasmussen, and a surprisingly large chunk of Gallup. Enjoy your Turtle Wax.)

  • nj_v2

    Regressive, vile, jack*ass of the week…

    DishonestMisDebator Greggg’s hero; drug-addled, lying gasbag Flush Limpballs.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/07/31/2387681/rush-limbaugh-detroit-went-bankrupt-because-blacks-forced-white-people-out/

    Rush Limbaugh: Detroit Went Bankrupt Because Blacks Drove Out Whites

    Economists are attributing Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing to problems facing the entire Rust Belt region: a shrinking tax base, high health and pension costs, sprawl, and general dysfunction. But on Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh added another cause to the long list of factors that have contributed to the city’s downfall: black people.

    During an appearance on Fox News’ On The Record with Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday, Limbaugh claimed that “unchecked” Democratic rule “since the last Republican mayor [in] 1957″ created a lazy and bloated culture of out-of-control spending and corruption.

    “You’ve had that — that town has been a petri dish of everything the Democrat Party stands for, everything the Democrat Party loves — massive unions, massive pensions, pay people pensions and health care long after they’ve stopped working,” he said, before arguing that the city’s first black mayor exacerbated the city’s spending and sparked racial riots that chased white people into the suburbs:

    LIMBAUGH: You have massive welfare states where citizens are given things left and right in order to buy their votes. You have no opposition whatsoever.

    And in the case of the — you throw race into the mix and you bring on Mayor Coleman Young who causes riots in 1967 in Detroit and Mayor Young caused a white flight to suburbia, and Detroit is left with nothing but liberal Democrats running it. It is what it is. And you — any place in this country that has similar circumstances, the same fate is going to happen to them.…

    (snipped)

    • HonestDebate1

      I love Rush! He gets another hour with the glorious Greta tonight, don’t miss it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.mortimer.315 Lee Mortimer

    Much of the rhetoric that Putin “wants to stick it in the eye of Obama” is just disingenuous GOP attacks against anything Obama does. The truth is the administration’s threatening posture on Snowden backed Putin into a corner, leaving him no choice but to grant Snowden asylum. Turning Snowden in would have appeared that Putin caved in to Obama’s demands. Putin certainly would never do that.

    The best option for the administration is to stop obsessing over Snowden. Doing so just makes Obama look petulant and powerless. Putin seems to have communicated to Snowden that he can remain in Russia only if he does not rub the U.S.’s nose in the dirt. Obama claims to be “open to NSA surveillance reform.” So, let that debate begin. Glenn Greenwald has all of Snowden’s evidence and can release it on his own schedule — but without Snowden as a sideshow to muddy the water.

    • MrNutso

      NSA surveillance/FISA/Intelligence is the new anti-communism. No politician who wants to be taken seriously is going to claim Snowdon is not a trait who should be given a fair trial and sentenced to life in front of a firing squad.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Obama: “Tell Vlad I’ll be more flexible after the election”

    • Agnostic58

      At least we know now that Putin is not an American puppet. I wish we saw more of those.

  • Coastghost

    The Bishop of Rome doesn’t seem to’ve offered his spontaneous remarks on homosexualism from the throne of St Peter. I’m no canon lawyer, but I don’t much think the Bishop of Rome was speaking in a strictly official papal capacity. (If doubts persist, I’m sure clarification from Vatican City will be forthcoming.)

  • Coastghost

    Now that Snowden is domiciled in the paradise of political freedom otherwise known as Russia, what are his views on his host Vladimir Putin’s treatment of human rights campaigners like P. Riot? Does Snowden think Putin has done the right thing in throttling P. Riot? Is Snowden taking his principled fight over human rights to the Kremlin? Is Assange? Is WikiLeaks? Why does domestic political freedom in Russia not matter
    (apparently) to Snowden, Assange, WikiLeaks?

    • Ray in VT

      Considering the treatment of domestic political opponents and the current actions going on targeting homosexuals there, it does pretty funny to see Russia trying to present itself as a champion of human rights.

    • Labropotes

      So Russia is hypocritical. But they have chat sites over there discussing American hypocrisy, no doubt. The focus should be on Snowden making Americans much more informed about what their government is doing to them, in the name of security. We need to be a country of laws. Snowden has proved we are not. That’s hypocrisy. And we can change ourselves.

      • Coastghost

        I don’t know that Putin’s Russia is as hypocritical in stifling political dissent domestically as Snowden is with his feeble concerns about US domestic surveillance protocols (which have been operating under Obama Admin. and Congressional oversight for years already): if Snowden is as principled a human rights campaigner as his defenders suggest, we properly should anticipate that Snowden will not remain long in Russia, as his very public rebuke of Putin’s Kremlin will get him expelled from Russia in a quick hurry once he establishes his credentials as the fearless human rights campaigner we’re told confidently by the Guardian, et al., that he is.

        • Agnostic58

          It says a lot about America today when Putin’s police state starts becoming an asylum for its whistle blowers.

          • Coastghost

            Or: it says a lot about “whistleblowers” seeking asylum in a police state. Snowden’s freedom-loving friends in mainland China and Moscow make Snowden look as reliable and sensible as a Dennis Rodman ambassadorship to North Korea.

          • Agnostic58

            Sometimes an egg or two gets broken on the way to one’s personal well being. America knows a thing or two about that – “collateral damage” I think they call it.

        • anamaria23

          Problem is, Russia may not let his handler, chronic malcontent, Obama hater, and America hater Glenn Greengold access.

          • Don_B1

            I don’t think Glenn Greenwald is an America or Obama hater and he is certainly not Edward Snowden’s “handler.” He was the blogger that Snowden chose to talk with about his NSA documents and the one he released most or all of them to.

            Someone from WikiLeaks is at least nominally performing the “handler” task, helping with support and getting a Russian lawyer, etc., but apparently not in a major way, although there does not seem to be a lot of transparency there, or I just have not read enough about it.

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

            Greenwald is spending a fair amount of time forgetting the journalism chops he used to demonstrate more readily. I wish he’d stop undermining his own work.

        • Labropotes

          But suppose that Snowden’s first loyalty is to the preservation of the rule of law in the United States, and not to human rights in general. Suppose that his exile is a punishment almost as great as prison here.

          Listen, I’m no great admirer of Russia, but I don’t know much about it. I’m just glad that the American people are more aware of the actions of their government thanks to Snowden. I’d rather he not be punished.

          Let’s all try to be nice to each other.

          • Coastghost

            Snowden’s actions vitiate any supposition of his overriding loyalty to “the rule of law”: he committed fraud expressly in order to expose (lawful, until further notice) security protocols. Snowden’s vigilante patriotism only undermines “rule of law”, arguably.

          • Agnostic58

            When is Clapper’s arraignment scheduled? Thought so. This “rule of law” we all bow before seems highly selective when one gets charged for telling the truth about lies being told to his own Congress while the other who admittedly told the lies faces no repercussions at all. Bottom line: this has nothing to do with the “rule of law”.

  • Coastghost

    Note to WBUR/”On Point” moderators: if Disqus parameters have not been upgraded to account for the name of the Russian girlgroup whose name triggers constipation for the software, SOMEone is not doing a splendid job of offering service to the public.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Another dismal jobs report as we continue to be mired in the Obama economy.

    • J__o__h__n

      Another House vote to repeal Obamacare should solve that.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Killing Obamacare would help with the rapid increase in part time employment.

        Why is Obama clinging to this disaster when so many of the American people are against it?

        At a minimum he should be offering cogent reforms and going to Congress with them and challenge them to pass them.

        • Bluejay2fly

          Yes, fomenting millions of nothing paying jobs while simultaneously stripping healthcare from people is a good plan.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            The only way out of this mess is economic growth. The best and quickest way for economic growth in the US is tax and regulatory reform to make it attractive for companies to grow in the US — and provide jobs and health care benefits.

            Apple — for one — is sitting on $85B in cash outside of the US simply because of uncompetitive US tax policy. That cash is tied to jobs that have moved overseas because of US tax policy.

          • J__o__h__n

            The jobs mostly moved so the companies could pay slave wages with lax safety and environmental standards. How many jobs did we lose to Germany?

          • Bluejay2fly

            Your right.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Our economy is based on the paradigm that continual expansion creates jobs and growth. However, this exists in a world of finite resources and an environment not impervious to pollution. Furthermore, in a nation where most if not every American has the three basic needs met people seem to be more unhappy than ever. Why? Why did all this materialism not make people happy?

          • jimino

            If all (or as has been the case since the recession officially ended, MORE THAN all) of the financial benefits from growth go to a tiny number of people, why is growth the answer? How does that improve the lot of the vast majority of Americans?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            … because the growth has been tepid. In fact, it is the worst economic recovery after a recession since WWII.

            The stock market has benefited because of Fed pumping and that benefited only 47% since 53% of Americans aren’t invested in the US stock market.

          • jimino

            A tiny portion of our people have been reaping the vast majority of gains from our economy for decades. Why will the future be any different, regardless of the amount of growth?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Robust economic growth leads to jobs and real income growth instead of the contraction we are seeing now.

            I think I see where you are leading. You are concerned that if we get the jobs growth and higher incomes then the rich will also get rich. Right?

            Well, the rich are getting richer now without the jobs. I’d prefer to see more full time jobs for folks even if the rich get a little richer.

          • pete18

            A large number of people on the left don’t care about having the lower and middle class do better, they just want the rich to do worse.

          • Don_B1

            Bull pucky!

          • Don_B1

            It has been Tea/Republican obsession with deficits over job creation and mortgage relief that has stymied the recovery from the balance-sheet Great Recession. That type of recession, which was caused by private sector excess, is much harder to recover from that the Federal Reserve created (by raising the discount rate) recessions like the “Reagan Recession” of 1981-83.

            The sequester has already cut about 1.5% off GDP growth for this year and will do the same for next year. Do you have any idea of how many jobs that would mean?

            But you will never, ever admit that austerity does not work for recovery in a recession because your whole house of cards depends on you not admitting it.

            Try reading:

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/models-and-mechanisms-wonkish/

            OH, right, you can’t be bothered, your ideology tells you what has to happen even when it doesn’t.

          • fun bobby

            don’t worry they are cooking up another world war to put us back on our feet

          • Don_B1

            Apple is keeping the money overseas because there is no investment it can make here in the U.S. that would give the return that leaving it overseas does.

          • fun bobby

            that’s not how transfer pricing works

      • Don_B1

        Since each vote costs the government some $1.7 million (according to the Washington Post), that should be enough to generate the added employment to make the economy go just swell.

        Oh, they deduct the money from other spending? So their faux bill passing just steals more money from the middle- and lower-income workers?

        Lets all give a rousing cheer!

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

      Jobs is job N+1 with all your True Principled Conservatives.

      Well, that and motorcycle safety panty-sniffing laws. http://www.wncn.com/story/22934322/abortion-legislation-pending-for-nc-lawmakers

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Deflection. But thanks for that.

        • Ray in VT

          I think that that it is pretty hard to argue against the notion that the GOP, nationally and at the state level, has been going pretty gung ho on the attacking abortion front.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            But this relates to the jobs and economy — how?

          • Ray in VT

            Exactly. Please explain to people how all of these abortion laws, and the seemingly great amounts of time and effort being devoted to advancing them, relate to the economy.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Exactly. That is why it is a deflection. I wasn’t the one who brought it up.

          • Ray in VT

            I do not think that it deflection to call to attention what legislative actions are being taken across the country by the party that is supposed to be all about jobs.

          • J__o__h__n

            It isn’t a deflection as abortion is more a part of their agenda than jobs are.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            First, we are talking about the Federal policy — not individual states. Second, I thought the argument was these bozo’s can walk and chew gum at the same time?
            At least that is what I get when I complain about Obama wasting time on crap.

          • Ray in VT

            Federal policy, like the abortion restricting bill passed by the United States House of Representatives in June? Granted, like their most recent vote to repeal the ACA, it is not going anywhere. Some days it seems like the House can neither walk or chew gum, considering the extremely low outputs this term, in terms of bills passed and hearings held. Also, much policy takes place at the state level, so I think that that needs to be considered.

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

            Try better: Teabaggers did the deflecting.

            After campaigned on jobs. Now they can’t stop cramming things up wimmenz vajayjays.

            So, let’s hear about that “less bothersome government”. And more House of Rep laws about abortion restrictions is something I could tell you about, but there’s wasted breath

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

            Your Teabaggers did the deflecting.

            They campaigned on jobs. Now they can’t stop cramming things up wimmenz vajayjays.

            So, let’s hear about that “less bothersome government”.

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

            They did the deflecting.

            They campaigned on jobs. Now they can’t stop cramming things up wimmenz vajayjays.

            All the while saying “less intrusive government”.

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

          They did the deflecting.

          They campaigned on jobs. Now they can’t stop cramming things up wimmenz vajayjays.

    • Bluejay2fly

      I am sure the military industrial congressional complex and corporate America still made millions, so everything is fine.

      • fun bobby

        if it was only millions they would be quite upset

    • WorriedfortheCountry
      • Ray in VT

        Where are those numbers from? According to the BLS net job gains for 2013 are 1,347,000.

      • HonestDebate1

        They should stop saying “unexpectedly” every time the numbers disappoint. Who are these people who expected anything different? The LFPR dropped again, earnings fell. There are record numbers of part-time workers. GDP is a putrid 1.7%. It’s awful.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          But the Obama Labor Dept. called the jobs numbers “solid”. I guess they are pushing for a new ‘normal’.

      • Ray in VT

        Oh, I found that with a simple Google search, but given that it was posted today, and considering the monthly numbers I am trying to figure out the 953,000 number. Maybe it is not the seasonally adjusted number. It could be the CPS as opposed to the CES number.

        • Don_B1

          It might be just the uncorrected monthly numbers which are probably low because most revisions were increases.

          Giving that number would be satisfying to the troglodytes from the Tea Party who just love to minimize President Obama’s accomplishments.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Obama’s accomplishments?

            Biden was tasked with tracking jobs created by the stimulus. He stopped when he realized it was too embarrassing.

      • AC
        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I’ve been looking for a quality blacksmith and I can’t find one.

          Seriously, times are changing and we’ll have to find a way to change with the times. I remember back in the ’60s and ’70s (when the Jetsons were at their peak) and the experts were predicting 30 hour work weeks due to advances in productivity. So much for the experts.

          • fun bobby

            productivity has increased but the wages have been flat since 1970. actually part time work is the way of the future as long as obomacare makes it more expensive to hire full time than part timers

    • TomK_in_Boston

      We definitely don’t have the big gvt spending that everyone knows is needed following the deregulation crash of 2008, no major tax increases for the romneys and the corporations, no pro-Union activity, nothing to stop offshoring, no min wage hike, no criminal prosecution of the investment banks. Obama hasn’t pushed for them, the TeaOP obstructs even his timid attempts.

      What do you expect with righty conservadem policies? I expect exactly what we’re getting, just like it was always obvious to me that reagan voodoo econ was class warfare. Class warfare continues. We need liberal progressive policies!

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        TomK you certainly don’t disappoint.

        btw – Fox Business had on a liberal Harvard economics professor this morning and he disagreed with you about taxes. His remedy was more stimulus spending, no tax hikes and long term entitlement reform (3..2..1 TomK’s head explodes).

        Also, we have the corporate tax rates in the industrialized world and our small business tax rate is 5+% higher than that rate. But in the TomK world we need higher taxes (and I guess lower economic growth).

        • TomK_in_Boston

          You know that our effective corporate tax rate is low, so mentioning (even tho you didn’t type the word) our nominally high rate is just smoke. The effective rate on the 1% has been dropping for a long time. That has not helped with economic growth, so why do you parrot the scripts about tax cuts being good for growth? We’ve been cutting taxes since 1980 and that is the period of the decline of the middle class. Look at facts not ideology.

          “entitlement reform”, LOL. Why can’t you be honest and say “cut” instead of reform? Ryan vouchers, anyone?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I was just using the words used by the liberal Harvard Professor.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Doesn’t sound liberal to me. I go by action and policy, not label applied by the corporate media, or you. Actually, liberals are very scarce right now.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            OK, but i think he was talking over a 30 year time frame but there were no specifics. I just knew any mention of reform would set you off.

            His name was Jeff Frankels — if that means anything to you.

          • Don_B1

            It sounds like the professor is a capital formation specialist and not necessarily well-schooled in macroeconomics, which is where a lot of economists are severely lacking in understanding because of the (hopefully) once in a century economic conditions encountered today.

            Until a lot more is known about him, using liberal/conservative labels is useless. But trolls like “Worried” just jump with glee when they can twist something from a supposed “liberal” to confuse the public for their own deceptive purposes.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Don, the point I was making was there are no economists who believe raising taxes in this economic environment will lead to economic growth. Yes, this includes Paul Krugman (the hero to many on this site) and other liberals. I included the other parts of the Professor’s remedy for completeness and pointed out to Tom that Professor believes (like all sane people) that long term entitlement reform is needed. TomK disagrees that these programs need reform and he disagrees that taxes shouldn’t be raised. How do I know? He’s posted it over and over and then includes some snark about Romney’s appearance or wealth.

            I really don’t know what your problem is? The man was identified in the segment as a liberal economist and as a frequent guest on the show. Do you have a problem with that identification?

          • fun bobby

            why is that?

          • Don_B1

            You are correct on all counts.

            1) The effective average corporation tax rates are much lower than the nominal rate. While removing the loopholes that lower the rates for some could make the field fairer to all, it is not likely to happen.

            2) Just as tax cuts for the wealthy do not provide much stimulus, raising their taxes will not slow the economy much either.

            3) Entitlements are NOT the short-term problem holding up job development. In a recovery from a balance-sheet recession from cratering of aggregate demand due to high private sector debt, where monetary policy has hit a liquidity trap and is extremely limited in what it can do, fiscal spending is required. But the Tea/Republicans are adamantly refusing to commit to spending enough to generate a strong recovery.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Thanks Don. It’s amazing reality distortion, but the right keeps parroting the wonders of tax cuts, even as taxes fall and so does the middle class. We are in a low tax environment and it hasn’t helped, but they can’t take off their ideological binders. Here are the facts:

            Romney types: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/US_high-income_effective_tax_rates.png

            Corporate: http://betweenthebalancesheets.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/effective-corporate-tax-rate.png?w=630&h=458

            If tax cuts were the solution, middle class families wd be moving up the ladder every year, like in the 50s and 60s…when taxes and regulation were high.

            I hate the newspeak “entitlement reform” meaning “cut”. It’s a perversion of the language. I want real reform: higher SS COLA to represent real inflation, increased cap, medicare negotiate with drug companies and evaluate procedures for effectiveness (Oh yeah that’s in the ACA – the wingnuts call it death panels). I’d like the tax code simplified. Cap gains = ordinary income, deductions that let the romneys pay nothing eliminated, strong progressive structure. You can be assured that’s not what the right or the media mean by “reform”, LOL

      • fun bobby

        question. do democrats support institutionalized racism?
        do they support drug cartels?

    • fun bobby

      perhaps we could call it the obamamy

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Investigative reporter receives 3 Obamaphones (on 8 attempts) despite not being eligible.

    $2.2B in 2012 alone. We are paying.

    Move along folks. Nothing to see.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/354867/me-and-my-obamaphones-jillian-kay-melchior

    • Ray in VT

      and this has what to do with jobs? Below you complain about deflection, yet here is a prime example of something that is relatively of such little impact on the nation and the economy that gets continually beaten to death, especially how this has been presented by some here as an attempt by Obama to buy votes. I will though, applaud an effort to bring better oversight.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Unbelievable. This was a different topic.

        TF was responding to a jobs post with an orthogonal post about something she doesn’t like about the GOP.

        If she is upset with the GOP — great. Post it but just not as a reply to jobs numbers. I can’t believe we are wasting time on this discussion.

        • Ray in VT

          But do you not see my more general point? Also, if you want to call jobs gains of 162,000 “another dismal jobs report”, then go ahead, but, even though it came in below expectations based upon the ADT numbers, I think that it is fine. Nothing to crow about, but I don’t think that it is dismal.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’ll agree with you that it is just one data point that is consistent with low GDP growth. I do find the part time work numbers very troubling.

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

          Orthoganal?

          The Teabaggers campaigned on jobs. Now they can’t stop cramming things up wimmenz vajayjays.

          So,
          let’s hear about that “less bothersome government” the right loves.

    • jimino

      Sounds like the privatized providers of the program are rife with fraud. Who woulda’ thunk that would happen if the profit motive was inserted?

      So just who are we paying?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        We are paying Obama campaign contributors and Carlos Slim.

    • jefe68

      The National Review? Please talk about a right wing rag.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Again, attack the messenger when you don’t like the message. A classic leftist tactic.

        • jefe68

          That story is as are most in that publication, are skewed to appeal to regressive conservatives, not unlike yourself.

    • hennorama

      WftC – please tell everyone a couple of things:

      1. When did the Lifeline program begin?
      2. How is the Lifeline program funded?

      • OnPointComments

        What is your point? That if a program is over X years old, then any fraud and corruption should be ignored? That if a program is funded by higher charges to consumers instead of a direct tax then anything goes?

        “A BILLION DOLLARS IN OBAMAPHONE FRAUD?”

        http://www.humanevents.com/2013/02/12/a-billion-dollars-in-obamaphone-fraud/

        “And, like every other government handout programs, Lifeline is absolutely riddled with fraud.

        “But the phone companies providing Lifeline services reported that “41 percent of their more than six million subscribers either couldn’t demonstrate their eligibility or didn’t respond to requests for certification.”

        “If that percentage holds up across the TracFone and Nexus subscriber bases, we’re talking about nearly a billion dollars in ObamaPhone fraud.”

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Thanks for responding.

          I suspect much of the reflexive defense of this fraud is because the program is now labelled “Obamaphone”. What they don’t realize that it was Obama supporters were calling it the “Obamaphone” program to benefit Obama’s reelection effort. Now that the election is over they don’t like the label.

          • hennorama

            WftC – are you going to answer my questions or avoid them?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Why should I answer questions that are intended as distractions?

            Here is a question for you: does the FCC have oversight authority over these private companies that are enabling and profiting from the fraud?

          • hennorama

            WftC – TYFYR.

            Generally speaking, avoiding questions in a discussion indicates significant weakness in the argument. You brought up this topic, so you should be able to lay out the facts. If you are unable or unwilling to do so, perhaps you should instead bring up a topic where you know and can relate the facts involved.

            You linked to an article that is slanted and misleading. That is your issue, not mine.

            I would suggest that you demonstrate your knowledge of this topic by answering both your own question as well as those I posed.

        • hennorama

          OPC – TY for your response.

          As usual, my point is to promote accurate and factual information. My questions were designed to elicit facts.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            LOL. Elicit facts?

            Sometimes facts and details are used to distract.

            What was the real reason for your questions and how are they relevant to the fact that the program has morphed into a bloated fraud machine?

          • hennorama

            WftC – TY for your response, and your complete avoidance of my questions.

            The article you linked to indicates that “the so-called Lifeline program, [was] created in 1984” and “In 2008, the FCC expanded the program to offer subsidized cell-phone service”. Which Republican Presidents were in office at these times? Just curious.

            We can see the writer’s viewpoint from the get-go – “the so-called Lifeline program” IS NOT “so-called” at all – that’s the actual name of the program. The accurate “so-called” item is the term “Obamaphones.”

            The writer also said the following:

            1st sentence of the piece: “Confession: You’re paying my phone bill.” which was followed by “In the past month, I have received three shiny new cell phones, courtesy of American taxpayers, that should never have fallen into my hands.”

            This implies that American taxpayers and Federal taxes are paying for the program.

            Is that true?

            Just the facts, please.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            hennorama, I would have thought that this issue is one that EVERYONE could come together with common outrage. Apparently not since my original post has 5 negative comments. I assume they are giving negative reviews to the fact that I highlighted the fraud and are therefore happy with the fraud?

            Maybe they are reflexively giving a negative review on anything negative that has Obama associated with it?

            So much for common ground.

          • hennorama

            WftC – TY again for your response.

            You may not have noticed, but I’m not a fan of assumptions and inaccuracies.

            Your assumption about “negative reviews” is simply that – an assumption. Perhaps it’s more a disapproval of the slanted article you linked to. Perhaps you should ask those who gave your post a “thumbs down.”

            I agree that private companies committing fraud to gain access to funds from a Federal program is reprehensible. With any luck, they will be fined and/or banned from the program.

            FYI, per the FCC’s website:

            “The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau maintains a dedicated Lifeline Fraud Tip Line –1-855-4LL-TIPS (or 1-855-455-8477), and an email address, Lifelinetips@fcc.gov – to facilitate reporting of possible fraud in the program. Callers are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible, including the name and contact information of the individuals involved and the companies they are using to receive Lifeline-supported phone service.”

            One “assumes” that you are so concerned about fraud that you’ll be calling and/or emailing the FCC immediately, in order to to report the writer of the article.

          • fun bobby

            perhaps they don’t want to lose their obomaphones

    • fun bobby
  • hypocracy1

    I guess the Jeerb creators figured out that they could make more money if the created less jeerbz..

  • Coastghost

    Why no comment from WBUR’s “On Point” this week about Rolling Stone’s profitable exercise in glamorizing terrorism? Will Bostonians lead a principled boycott against such pernicious marketing? Why has the rebuke of Rolling Stone editorial and marketing policies been restricted to just the one issue with Tsarnaev’s soft and glamorous locks? (Further: how many Bostonians wound up purchasing copies of the very issue that makes Tsarnaev look so cuddly?)

    • J__o__h__n

      I’m glad the boycott failed. I detest attempts to censor the press.

      • Coastghost

        Personally, I’m less in favor of censorship BY the press (cf. NPR’s new practice of “moderation” and “community management” that closes off discussion so that public discourse can be “guided” according to the judgment of unelected editorial boards and anonymous moderators working with unpublished guidelines . . . kinda sorta like a FISA court works, hunh?).
        A pox on Rolling Stone not simply for its cynicism but for its insensitivity to the suffering of bombing victims, and not simply to those who survived the Boston bombings. On the other hand: maybe the advent of glam terrorism will undermine terrorist activities, since prospective terrorists likely will want or need to spend more time getting their hair done.

        • J__o__h__n

          I agree with you about the NPR censor. One of the times they censored me was a comment on the death of Sen Byrd where I quoted another NPR story that mentioned he was a Klansman. I posted a comment this week that shows up on my comment list but not with the story so I don’t know if that one was censored or not. It was a joke regarding a story about criminals who prey on the undocumented and I wrote that they shouldn’t call them “unlicensed lawyers” but “undocumented lawyers.” The censorship appears to be more interested in not offending anyone rather than pushing an agenda.

        • Labropotes

          Wait, now you are opposed to the FISA court? Earlier you told me that NSA spying on Americans was all done according to law. Congressional oversight and all.

          • Coastghost

            I invoked the comparison for NPR’s benefit, a backhanded compliment of sorts: I don’t imagine NPR will like it any more than you did, however.
            And yes, until we’re informed otherwise, NSA and FISA court activities to date have been strictly applied within the legal framework given by our elected politicians and the judges subject to their appointment. That people are shocked, shocked and irate at what they fail to comprehend about data mining does not itself undermine the legality of the programs as they’ve been administered by the many geniuses in and around the District of Columbia.

          • Labropotes

            “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The majority of Americans believe the NSA is violating that right. You may not be shocked but many are, me included.

            Are you not troubled at all by the NSA Prism program? Do you think it’s a problem that so many Americans think it’s illegitimate? Do you think all of this fear — that’s what terror means — is making us a stronger, happier country? Isn’t abiding by our ideals good?

          • Coastghost

            No, I’m not troubled by the PRISM program, nor am I persuaded that it has violated the Fourth Amendment: were I so persuaded, I would be concerned, but because I understand data mining not to be the technical equivalent of wiretapping, yes, I am concerned that Americans are so quick to cite PRISM’s (even the FISA court’s) illegitimacy.
            Snowden is selling copies of the Guardian (and NPR is selling airtime to “sponsors” and advertisers and donors) because Americans are so putridly stupid about the technical specifications of the world they’ve come to prefer to live in and the legal rationale for its continued existence.

          • fun bobby

            they say one of you is born each minute

          • Coastghost

            Oh good! More copies of yours truly in circulation likely could prove salutary (I would think that gestation could safely be curtailed once a few thousand of me have been distributed).
            Gosh, in just a few years I’ll be able to be my own corporation! (decisions, decisions: for-profit or non-profit? I’ll have to ask for pointers at CPB.)

          • fun bobby
          • brettearle

            But if surveillance laws are Laws, it doesn’t mean they all should be laws.

            What’ s more, had Media reported on these matters, when Congressional Oversight was about be passed, we might have avoided a Snowden.

          • fun bobby

            you are being sarcastic right?

          • Coastghost

            Plus, I severely doubt that a phalanx of Federal judges is overseeing NPR’s exercise of moderation, community management, or censorship.

          • fun bobby

            wow a phalanx of federal judges. well in that case we should never question or desire any transparency and by all means trust they are uncorruptable

        • pete18

          Although I agree with your general point about press censorship, I think NPR has every right to moderate this forum as they see fit, since they are the ones who put it together in the first place. I also endorse boycotts of newspapers, business and organizations, boycotts are an act of free speech. The only time they’re a problem is if the are organized or funded by the government in some way (like many union protests).

          • fun bobby

            that would be great if NPR was a commercial venture but it is paid for with my tax so no I don’t want govt sponsored censored propaganda

          • pete18

            Partially paid for with tax dollars, I think a little under 10%. That doesn’t completely negate your point but I think the other 90% allows them some say on how they run their forums.

          • fun bobby

            so they only censor 90% then? (I think its really like 4-5% but its irrelevant)

    • brettearle

      Rolling Stone wasn’t simply trying to sell copies.

      I agree, however, that the profit-motive, from controversy, was one of their objectives.

      They were, indeed, making an attempt to present malicious Irony– to wit: Even an angelic child can become a monster.

      To suggest that the magazine was intentionally subversive–which has sometimes been “the knock” on the magazine for the Tsarnaev cover–is misdirected.

      • Coastghost

        Having worked in both book publishing and television news production, I surmise skeptically (as my professional training dictates) that the cover choice was ONLY and ALL about simply selling copies. And it worked, spectacularly.

        • brettearle

          But,

          Do you not believe that they used the `Irony angle’ as a tool, or method, for profiteering?

          • Coastghost

            RS has far too many advertisers to be seriously subversive. “Commercial aesthetics” is hardly subversive, it’s not even criminal.

          • brettearle

            Your `cynicism’ comes from professional experience. I realize that.

            Nevertheless, I am not convinced that Revenue drives Content, 100%.

          • Coastghost

            No, from professional experience I acquired skepticism, from Ambrose Bierce I gained “critical realism”.
            Nor am I, but revenue need not drive content 100%. But mostly the issue was about packaging so sly: I hope Tsarnaev gets offers of salon and shampoo endorsements now.

          • John Cedar

            No business or media is driven 100% by revenue [profit] But If RS could get to 50% it would be a big improvement. As is, they are the Err America Garofalo version of a music magazine.

    • jimino

      Probably because any even slightly intelligent person understands the point made by juxtaposing the picture that so trouble you, an actual photo of the person in question, with the facts of what he did and what he appeared to be to those who knew him. Did you read the article?

      • Coastghost

        No, and I won’t. I’ve heard this rationale for the story’s presentation and this apologia for the poor misunderstood publisher and editors, but I don’t buy it at all.
        The Tsarnaev depicted on the RS cover presumably wouldn’t even kick a dog: odd that he’s charged with any crimes at all, given that his hair is so pretty.

        • nj_v2

          [[ The Tsarnaev depicted on the RS cover presumably wouldn't even kick a dog: odd that he's charged with any crimes at all, given that his hair is so pretty. ]]

          I’m sure that’s what the editors were thinking.

        • fun bobby

          are you upset at every newspaper and tv program that profited from using his image as well?

          • Coastghost

            Nyet, I gave up on newspapers and TV years ago. RS is conspicuous for its conspicuousness, the very Soul of the Boomers and their darling children.

          • fun bobby

            oh so you just hold rolling stone to a higher level of accountability than the new York times or any other publication?

          • Coastghost

            Do tell: how can ANYone hold the New York Times accountable?

          • fun bobby

            perhaps go comment on their use of the images of the terrorists to make money and sell papers if you think that’s wrong for some reason

          • Coastghost

            Do tell: how does ANYone hold the New York Times accountable? (apart from John Henry, let’s say)

          • fun bobby

            perhaps Zimmerman can sue them for the whole white Hispanic thing

    • thequietkid10

      That was all over the news last week, it was all over other NPR shows, it was covered and done. Move on.

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

      Didn’t you also wonder aloud about why WBUR didn’t cover the Mass crime lab problem?

      • Coastghost

        I am sure I’ve vocalized about the Big Dig a few times. I don’t recall whether it was the crime lab problem: I think now instead it was the compounding pharmacies problem, yes, I’m all but certain I mentioned the compounding pharmacies problem. Inspections had not been carried out in some time, I seem to recall . . . .

  • brettearle

    If you were Obama, given everything at stake, would you have the US boycott the Winter Olympics?–because of:

    –Russia’s stance on homosexuality
    –Granting Snowden 1 year asylum

    The Olympic grounds and Olympic village should be international grounds, bound by international law–regardless of where the Olympics take place.

    • Agnostic58

      Won’t happen. Obama hates being compared to Carter.

      • brettearle

        Your analysis ignores a much more substantial issue:

        If the US pulls a boycott, then it demonstrates that the US will not put up with the ideology of a rival superpower–when such a conviction, by that rival superpower, seriously undermines or violates US policy.

        To claim that Obama would worry about a comparison to Carter as first priority suggests that Obama’s commitment to US policy is secondary.

        I do not believe that is the case.

        • Agnostic58

          Boycotting will not demonstrate anything except that the US can’t handle not getting its way even when it’s wrong. And this NSA stuff as far as the overwhelming majority of the world’s population is concerned is way over the top. So go ahead and boycott and sink yourself even further back in international standing. Using sports as political leverage was juvenile when Carter did it and will be no less so when and if Obama does it (which he won’t for a fore mentioned reason).

          • brettearle

            We’re not talking about what you want or what I want.

            We were talking about whether Obama was concerned about being compared to Carter.

            You brought that up.

            If you brought that up, as a way to mask your sentiments about US strategy, that is another matter.

            But it looks as if that was the reason why you brought this Carter comparison up, in the first place.

            The point is that Obama cares much less about any repercussions he might suffer from being compared to Carter.

            I am not necessarily for an Olympics boycott.

            I am simply trying to envision a strategy that the Administration feels it might be forced to adopt.

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

            Haven’t you heard, Brett?

            It’s practically common knowledge among our media betters that every Democratic president, hell, every Dem nominee, is the next Jimmy Carter.

            And every Republican is the next Saint Ronnie.

          • brettearle

            Right….[or Left]

            We all have the `right’ to Fear the extreme.

  • marygrav

    Obama as so-called Leader of the Free World has an obligation to meet with Putin. Snowden matters very little because the Russians already know what he has to offer. They have been listening in on US since the Cold War.

    Americans need to grow up. We are talking about a world outside our own limits of imagination and 24/7 entertainment media. Real Politik is here and now. We need to have left Ideology behind with Bush II and the Neocons.

    The US always takes in disgruntled peoples running away from their home countries and let them bleed their discontents over China, Islam, North Korea and so forth. They aren’t quiet. They signify and agitate for Christianity from the safety of the US shores and make the peoples lives suffer back home instead of taking advantage of their own “freedom.”

    How mush free speech do we really have in this country? How much access does the 99% have to the media?

    Putin is watch the disrespect that the House of Representatives have for President Obama and he is following suit. All the criticism should be directed at the Republican dominated House that obstructs every effort to make the US strong and forget about playing Cold War Games.

    Edward Snowden is just a feather in the Dustbin of History. Putin is determined to stand up to the West and has more balls than the rest of our Friends and Foes alike. We need to talk with the Russians because the Middle East is not on fire and we need them to help put the fire out.

    Anyone who does not know their government spies on them needs to be confined in a mental hospital for observation.

    • brettearle

      See above your comment.

  • brettearle

    Obama’s comments on the NSA almost completely obligates him to speak out loudly against Russia granting Snowden asylum.

    The issue isn’t naivete, on the part of the American People, or on the part of any other citizens of any other country–about whether unbidden surveillance is going on.

    The issue is the President’s, and the President’s administration’s prestige–that is tied directly to political and ideological convictions.

    It is naive to believe that Ideology isn’t always factor, in any White House–regardless of whether it is held by Democrats or Republicans.

    Liberals keep thinking that the President `ought’ to behave a certain way because they think, “if he is a Liberal, then he ought to start behaving like one.”

    It doesn’t always work that way if you’re in the Oval Office.

    I do not refer to Obama standing down, when it comes to direct talks. I speak, instead, of the Olympics, where he might express his objections more forcefully.

    I, myself, might not agree with that. But one way or another, the President will speak up about these matters.

    He, very likely, will hold a brief news conference about Snowden and Russia–if he hasn’t done that already.

    The 1% access to Media and the House of Representative’s recalcitrance have little to do with this matter.

    Russia is, in many parts, at cross-purposes with the US over the Middle East. Russia may very well feel that a stand-back approach will force the US to bleed money.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      He’s not a liberal, on surveillance or on economic matters.

      I think the most liberal presidents since 1980 are Reagan the the Bushes, which is not saying a lot for the influence of progressives in the USA.

      • pete18

        That has to be the funniest thing you have ever posted.

        • jimino

          Reagan demanded that capital be taxes at the same rate as wages, was obsessively anti-nuclear weapons, didn’t worry about federal deficits. The first Bush would never cavalierly subject our troops to harm, realized you don’t invade a country without widespread support by other countries, raised taxes (as did Reagan) when it was needed. Can’t say I agree w Tom about “W”, but if Obama acted in any of the above ways (which he really doesn’t want to anyway) he would be termed a Marxist in today’s climate.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Actually Reagan proposed a max 17.5% tax on capital gains in 1985. He had to settle for the same marginal rate as regular income because of negotiation with a D congress who needed the higher cap. gains tax to pay for state and local tax deductions that Reagan wanted to scrap.

          • jimino

            Reagan wouldn’t stand a chance of being accepted as a candidate by those who currently claim to lead the “conservative” electorate.

          • pete18

            Reagan raised taxes as part of a deal to have congress reduce spending. Congress never kept their part of the bargain and Reagan later regretted making that deal. You are using a very narrow and selective set of criteria, as well as a very flexible definition of conservative or liberal, to reach your conclusions.

            Using your method, you could easily peg “W” as a liberal president by the amount of money he spent domestically or in Africa to reduce AIDS.

            I think you and TomK are in a very small minority from the left that would ever think to assess Reagan as liberal. Any serious evaluation based on the totality of his actions in office could only put him in the conservative camp.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            You need to understand that times change. Reagan was conservative in 1980, but the USA has lurched so far to the right that he is liberal by contemporary standards.

            In addition to what TF lists, as was said originally, Reagan deployed the full weight of the FBI to go after the S&L crooks while the current repubs and conservadems are captured by wall st.

          • pete18

            Well one thing is clear is that you guys are clueless about conservative philosophy and conservative voters (but that was already well established). Reagan was pro-business, strongly believed in the free market, pushed for smaller government, he was a supply-sider, pro-life, and believed there was
            evil in the world and because of that supported a strong national defense as
            the best way to keep peace.

            These are still the basic tenants of most of today’s conservatives, particularly the Tea Party, who are the epitome of his famous quote, “Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.”

            They would still support a
            candidate that they thought held these principles consistently and with
            conviction (which Reagan did) even with some of other things that you think
            (incorrectly) are an anathema for today’s GOP.

            TF’s points are, as usual, built in the hay house, where he stuffs very lightweight straw men that he tries like hell to knock over. Like Reagan, most modern conservatives believe in a safety net for those in real need and don’t find that a Marxist position to hold. What they don’t believe in is excessive government spending on the poor that applies very loose standards as to who gets it, has no demand for how effective it is, or requires nothing
            from those whom receive it. That’s why Republicans pushed for workfare in the
            late 80s and early 90s, which has been very effective in reducing costs and
            getting people off of welfare where it’s been applied, and why they now want to
            tie tougher work requirements back on food stamp spending, which has risen
            beyond the demands of the recession or inflation by a further loosening by
            Obama of the requirements.

            There have been no recent GOP nominees, nor any current possible
            GOP rising stars whose position on the poor is, “”If you’re poor, suck
            it”.

            Trying to make some kind of point out of Reagan’s family receiving assistance during the depression is really 3rd grade stuff from our resident media scholar. Children don’t get much say on how the family finances are handled, nor is there much weight to a hypocrisy charge based on what a candidate might have done before graduating high school. If that’s where you go for your case, it’s obviously pretty thin.

            I don’t think there’s any strong conservative movement that
            would be against a Republican candidate that aggressively pursued any Wall St players who broke the law during the crash, if that’s what your point is regarding Reagan and the S&Ls. Most conservatives think the biggest problem with the mortgage crisis and crash lay in the government Fannie and Freddie
            debacle not Wall St, but I think they’d have no problem pursuing real Wall St
            crimes, rather than Occupy Wall Street’s version of crimes, because pro-business
            people believe the whole system falls apart if laws are not upheld and justly
            applied.

            I also don’t think there’s anything to the argument that since
            Reagan was restrained in the use of military forces during his tenure and
            George Bush was aggressive, GOP voters would only elect a candidate that
            promised to be extremely aggressive with the use of force, that seems like a
            strange leap of logic that skips the context of both Presidencies. Afghanistan and Iraq came after 9/11, as well as a long history of Saddam Hussein pursuing and using WMDs and defying the United Nations. Both wars had a large majority of support from both parties when they happened. It would be very hard to know what Ronald Reagan would have done under those extreme circumstances but I
            think voters from both parties are now much more hesitant about the use of
            military force in foreign ventures.

            The only place I have any agreement with you is in the fact that
            party issues and philosophies often shift over time so how a candidate is
            assessed can change with contemporary perspectives. However, I think the more obvious case for past heroes being unelectable by their own party in today’s political atmosphere would be JFK, not Reagan. He was an anti-communist supply-sider, who believed in a strong national defense, which is a much more
            troubling set of base convictions for today’s liberals than any of Reagan’s
            suggested policy blemishes.

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

            Yeah, any time the GOP wants to put its money where its mouth is instead of putting some Bible-thumpers in a doctor’s office…

          • pete18

            Not quite sure what your point is here about doctor’s offices but please feel free to reply to any specifics I’ve posted.

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

            Lurching to the right?

            I’d suggest “the USA”, not really in entirety. That’s an idea which should be unpacked in an On Point or five.

            For me, the short list of those who’ve lurched rightward: Our media taste-makers, our “in list” of DC cocktail-party inviters, the right-wing.

            Conservadems are becoming a strange species. Geographically, you excuse (please, by all means) Blowmentum, and we’re looking at folks who are from less suburban and urban places, and those who have too many ins to a particular industry.

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

            You’re forgetting what else would get Reagan called a Marxist by the right today: Ronald Reagan at least had to mouth words for the cameras (encoded for white voters) about “hard working (wink-wink) working class Americans” who needed assistance during recessions, high unemployment, etc.

            Whether or not it was meant was one thing. It’s another compared to today’s GOP message saying “If you’re poor, suck it”.

            And the media has played along, forgetting Reagan’s “great communicating” on the subject. Not to mention Reagan’s being rasied in a household on the dole during the depression.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Do you think the hype about terrorist attacks this weekend is designed to show that the gvt needs to read my email?

    • HonestDebate1

      That’s actually a good question. “Read my email” is a loaded phrase but there is certainly good reason to data mine under specific circumstances. The laws must keep up with the technology. Part of the need for the Patriot Act was the laws were geared to land lines and cell phones changed everything. So there’s that.

      But I have to assume the government is acting in good faith here. If there are signs and the chatter is loud, which has to happen in these days of Islamic caliphates and such, then appropriate action must be taken. We have to trust that’s the case given the inevitability of the threat. And that’s the rub, the threat is real. Al Qaeda is alive and well. The Arab Spring is quickly turning into the Arab Fall. The wrong messages are being sent; opportunities are being missed; hard fought gains are being reversed. The momentum is shifting. The enemy has new life.

      What we are seeing is, IMHO, a government acting responsibly unencumbered by a Presidential election that depends on lulling the public into thinking the enemy is decimated and the threat, long since vanquished. You know, fairy tale stuff that only needs to be believed another month or so. they must think the threat is real enough that a stupid video can’t be legitimately blamed… although it’s worked before.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Great timing considering that the NSA needs a fig leaf, huh? Such a happy coincidence.

        After the WMD lies greasing the skids into Iraq, it is truly amazing that anyone wouldn’t be a bit skeptical here.

        • HonestDebate1

          Section 215 requests have increased 1000% over 4 years. The Patriot Act limited the request to those involving open investigations. It was never meant for fishing expeditions on Americans. So, I get the slippery slope thing but these guys are really pushing the envelop on the Patriot Act.

          It’s funny how everything always comes bak to Bush.

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

          “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Not Bush, Reagan. Iraq’s obtaining chemical weapons was facilitated by Reagan, who used Saddam as a pawn against Iran, leading to ghastly deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iranians. Those WMD were A-OK then. nIf we found the “WMD”, they would say “made in USA”.

            Sanctions worked. By the time Bush attacked, Saddam could barely keep the lights on, let alone muster any reasonable technology. He could search all he wanted, but he wasn’t going to get anything. The idea that Iraq was a threat was idiotic.

            Let’s use some common sense. Bush attacked iraq because of a very human need to lash out after 9/11.

          • HonestDebate1

            So Reagan lied us into war over WMD? Whatever dude. And what’s you point? Let’s accept your premise. If Reagan gave Saddam 50 metric tons of yellowcake as a token of friendship does that mean anything?

            We went to Iraq because a tyrant who had invaded a sovereign country, was shooting at out jets, tortured his people, threatened the world with WMD, harbored terrorists, didn’t cooperate with the international, community and attempted to assassinate our President was no longer tolerable n a post 9/11 world. It’s not complicated.

          • fun bobby

            but most of those things were made up. what terrorists did he harbor? what WMDs did he threaten who with? when did we start invading countries that “tortured their own people”? is it ok for us to torture because they are not our own people? before our invasion and occupation how many alqueada were operating in Iraq? how many are there now? yes I do think bush still being upset about the attempt on daddy was part of his motivation. did anyone else give a ratsass a decade later? how many un resolutions have we violated?
            I cant even imagine cheney saying all that garbage now.

      • fun bobby

        “But I have to assume the government is acting in good faith here.”
        Are you new? there is a first time for everything right?
        you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist. tell me again shredding liberty is worth the illusion of security given the scale of the threat

        • HonestDebate1

          I don’t support shredding liberty.

          • fun bobby

            then why be try to gin up a bogus threat used to destroy our rights?

          • HonestDebate1

            Why do you assume it’s bogus?

          • fun bobby

            statistics, almost anything that kills americans is more of a threat than terrorists
            balcony collapse, moter boats, salmonella.
            8 times more likely to be killed by police than terrorists
            seems like we should declare war on police violence
            I am more disappointed in you than oboma is in putin

    • fun bobby

      that was my first thought. the funniest part is how they know the threat whatever it is will be over by aug 31. yeah those guys never try anything in september

  • Michael

    I thought what this guy did with Rolling Stone Magazine Bomber issue was pretty funny! check it out!

    http://youtu.be/8-zL471dbC0

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri
  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    This article is not very comprehensive but it suggests that a major advance in computing power is near.

    … “We could map the whole Universe — all of the information that has existed since the Big Bang — onto 300 qubits,” Lloyd says. …

    http://www.nature.com/news/quantum-boost-for-artificial-intelligence-1.13453

    • fun bobby

      perhaps the singularity will come sooner than later

  • jefe68
    • Steve__T

      Links broken

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      You’ve been had. LOL!!!

      • HonestDebate1

        It’s all over the internet. To many it sounds totally reasonable. It’s amazing what libs are so eager to believe. How stupid must one be to fall for something so dumb?

        • jefe68

          What I posted was satire. Are you really as thick as you come across?

          • HonestDebate1

            My guess is you believed it but my comment was about the internet sensation it has become. But yes, I’m thick.

          • jefe68

            I believe Santorum is a first class bigot and an complete nut case. I also think anyone who even thinks he’s worth running for anything, and I mean anything, is a bigger fool than he is.

          • brettearle

            Could we call him a second-class Bigot?

            First class would be KKK.

            I would not entirely call him a Nut Case. But I think there is ugly fanaticism, in him. If you see those two as equivalent, then maybe I’d agree.

            I’m not trying to split hairs.

            To me, Nut Cases, as I define them, do not usually get national billing, as presidential candidates.

            Personally, I strongly dislike him. Before the 2012 campaign, I abhorred him.

            After listening to him, in the debates,

            I hate to admit it–but he at least became somewhat human for me…..in the sense that he was able to justify his own views, from his extreme positions.

            Over the years, he’s certainly come out with some disgusting whoppers that even transcend Gingrich’s notable “anti-colonial Kenyan” comment.

            Don’t forget:

            He was able to bring out contradictions or problems in Romney’s positions and Gingrich’s positions.

            Those insights helped to weaken the strongest Republican candidates–who, at the time, might have been picked to run against President Obama.

          • jefe68

            With all due respect I disagree:
            He’s pretty loony. So is Newt Gingrich.

            1. “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” —Rick Santorum (2003)

            2. “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” —Rick Santorum, interview with CaffeinatedThoughts.com (October 2011)

            3. “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” —Rick Santorum, campaigning for president in Iowa (January 2012)

            4. “President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob … Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.” –Rick Santorum, speaking to a Tea Party group in Michigan (February 2012)

            5. “Earlier in my political career, I had the opportunity to read the speech, and I almost threw up.” –Rick Santorum, on JFK’s 1960 speech about the importance of separation of church and state (October 2011)

            6. “The question is — and this is what Barack Obama didn’t want to answer — is that human life a person under the Constitution? And Barack Obama says no. Well if that person — human life is not a person, then — I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, ‘We’re going to decide who are people and who are not people.’” —Rick Santorum, CNS News interview (January 2011)

            7. “I think the Democrats are actually worried he (Obama) may go to Indonesia and bow to more Muslims.” –Rick Santorum, Fox News interview (May 2010)

            . “[Gay marriage] is an issue just like 9-11… We didn’t decide we wanted to fight the war on terrorism because we wanted to. It was brought to us. And if not now, when? When the supreme courts in all the other states have succumbed to the Massachusetts version of the law?” –Rick Santorum, interview with the Allentown Morning Call (February 2004)

            9. “Is anyone saying same-sex couples can’t love each other? I love my children. I love my friends, my brother. Heck, I even love my mother-in-law. Should we call these relationships marriage, too?” –Rick Santorum, in a Philadelphia Inquirer column (May 2008)

            10. “The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American Left who hates Christendom. … What I’m talking about is onward American soldiers. What we’re talking about are core American values.” –Rick Santorum, campaigning for president in South Carolina (February 2011)

          • HonestDebate1

            Great quotes, thanks.

          • jefe68

            Birds of a feather, as they say.

          • brettearle

            Well jefe….

            I gotta hand it to ya.

            You’re winning me over.

            You’re sure he wasn’t hypnotized by Falwell, or by the 700 Club Maestro, or Father Coughlin?

            When did he last break bread with Lyndon LaRouche?

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly. So the story is completely plausible.

        • brettearle

          HD–

          The satirical rumor about Santorum and `his connection’ to homosexuality has reared its ugly head [pardon my accidental French] before….

          Where ya bin’ , Man?

          In fact, it’s been around for quite some time.

          Has to do with the so-called double meaning of his last name.

          My fellow comic Liberals did not do themselves proud with that one. Ugh….

          Look it up. I’m fairly sure it’s around and about.

      • jefe68

        Not me, I strongly doubt that Rick Santorum talked about gay sex in his bedroom. It’s a joke. He’s a joke, but that’s another story.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I’m not a Santorum fan but it wasn’t funny.

  • Steve__T

    Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky). “It was a signal that even in the partisanship that goes on too much around here there are people willing to say, ‘Enough is enough. The PATRIOT Act isn’t being followed,’” Conyers says. Massie also praised NSA leaker Edward Snowden who received temporary asylum in Russia on Thursday. “His disclosures have changed the course of human history,”
    Massie says. “His initial disclosures were a service to our country,
    because now we’re having this conversation — and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/8/2/reps_conyers_massie_on_bipartisan_campaign

  • HonestDebate1

    Benghazi just keeps getting worse and worse, nobody cares because they’ve been told it’s a phony scandal. Alrighty then.

    • brettearle

      By comparison of so many other things that go wrong and can go wrong, it IS a phony scandal.

      • HonestDebate1

        I disagree.

        • brettearle

          No kidding.

          • HonestDebate1

            Really Brettearle, it’s a big deal and the lack of outrage or accountability is alarming. There is talk of Hillary becoming our next President. It matters.

          • jefe68

            She has to run and get elected first.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obstructing Obama at every turn in every possible way is our only hope.

          • brettearle

            HD–

            I am not necessarily trying to teach you the Way of Life, by Tao Tse-BrettEarle (Lord help us all, if I am).

            Nevertheless….

            Benghazi WAS a tragedy. There is NO getting around it. Of course, it was.

            That’s not my point.

            My point is this–and I think it IS valid:

            If you were to assess all of the ugly tragedies that have befallen us since the beginning of the Obama administration, and before the Obama administration, Bengahzi is not a critical priority for Death and Tragedy and the implications, thereof.

            Other things are.

            In your case, I would argue, assertively, that you are Politicizing the incident out of Proportion to its casualty number and its implications.

            And you are not able to see it.

            And for the LAST time:

            The Former First Lady will NOT win the White House.

            It is a fool’s errand, if the Democrats choose her–although she’s a stronger candidate than Biden, for sure.

            But I would say, strongly, that only Cuomo or Bayh have a chance against Christie.

            And not only will Christie beat out Paul, et al–but I think that he’ll be the odds-on favorite to capture the White House.

            However, he WILL lose unless he and the GOP alter strategy–according to Demographics.

            And I think Christie can do it.

            I like Christie. But I’d rather see Cuomo.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m not going to hazard to guess what the political machinations will be. I just know Hillary has the backing of the establishment money. She should not be considered at all.

            This is as big of a failure in leadership, security and transparency as we have seen, I don’t care what you compare it to. They lied to us.

          • fun bobby

            perhaps you need to polish that crystal ball

          • brettearle

            Say what you mean.

            Many, many people think Christie’s a strong candidate.

            Their crystal balls are as polished or as unpolished as mine.

            Speak up or be discounted.

          • fun bobby

            three years before the election is too early to call. especially with a loudmouth like cristie. in this day and age this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwkNnMrsx7Q
            could happen to anyone

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      The media has fallen down. No interviews of the survivors on say 60 Minutes? But “60 Minutes” did hide an interview they did with Obama the day after that would have exposed Obama as an absolute liar in the debate. “Could you repeat that Candy”

      There is still a huge open question about the CIA mission in Benghazi. If they were running guns to Syria without Congressional authorization then this scandal could be much bigger than Iran-Contra.

      • HonestDebate1

        The administrations going to extreme measures to keep the survivors from talking or even being found.

      • brettearle

        Do you, or do you know not, realize that the President called in the appropriate group, either 2 days, or 3 days, after the incident, to immediately investigate Benghazi, as a possible Terrorist attack?

        This can be substantiated.

        • HonestDebate1

          5 days after the attack he sent Susan Rice out to lie. Two weeks after the attack he was still blaming the video. 1 day after the attack the Libyan President was telling him it was a terrorist attack by Ansar Al Sharia. Think about that Brettearle. Gaddaffi’s successor siding with the Americans against terrorism, that’s huge. Obama humiliated him and told the world it was a video. That led the our being forbidden access to the site for days and days. That didn’t help the “investigation”.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Carter Hamm, commander of Afri-Corp, says they knew it was a terrorist attack within an hour of the start of hostilities. This can be substantiated.

          Five days after the attack Susan Rice was sent out on five morning shows to tell the people that this was the result of a spontaneous uprising in response to an internet video. This can be substantiated.

          Biden, Hillary and Obama told Sean Smith’s mother that the video was to blame when the met her at the hangar when her son’s body was returned. This can be substantiated.

          Clearly the administration was pulling out all stops to mislead the American people. I suspect it was purely politics. One of Obama’s great achievements to that point in his first term was that he prevented any major terrorist attacks. I also believe that misleading the American people was an overreaction and completely unnecessary. However, it could be something else altogether; maybe a distraction from the gun running story?

      • fun bobby

        ironically most people don’t even know/believe the CIA sold cocaine

    • ExcellentNews

      Let’s talk about a REAL scandal and a REAL issue for the USA, like the missing Obama FIFTH GRADE school transcript !?!?!

      • fun bobby

        how bout our own government spying on us?

  • fun bobby

    if they have no bread then let them eat cake

  • Steve__T

    Disqus

  • C LeFay

    Jack Beatty’s fawning adoration of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis was incredible. Witness: “The Catholic Church may be the only institution of the world that still criticizes capitalism, that says capitalism is not justified unle- because it creates inequality -is only justified if you are making every effort to mitigate inequality. No one else says that.”

    The number of voices crying that message are legion; painting the Catholic Church as the soul advocate of systemic social justice in the face of capitalism run amok is absurd. This sort of fan-boy proclamation is as meaningless as ‘America is the greatest country in the world’.

    Rather than insight, Jack offers noise. We come to On Point for critical analysis- not cheer leading. Do better, Jack.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

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Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

 
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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