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Week in the News: Navy Yard Shooting, Congressional Infighting, Syria

The Navy Yard massacre.  Brazil and NSA spying. Chemical weapons negotiation and Syria. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center right, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, center left, lead a delegation at the Navy Memorial in Washington to remember the victims of Monday's deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. (AP)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, center right, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, center left, lead a delegation at the Navy Memorial in Washington to remember the victims of Monday’s deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. (AP)

Life to news of gunfire again this week.  At the Washington Navy Yard.  An angry, disturbed man hunting humans.  Killing twelve.  An American story.  Down the street, on Capitol Hill, the GOP throws down hard on Obamacare.  Defund it, comes the threat from House Republicans, or we will shut the US government down.  The President calls that extortion.  We’ve got conciliatory words from Iran.  A Syria deal. A Brazilian cancellation over US spying. A still-open Fed spigot.  And a new kind of Pope.  Up next On Point:  our weekly news round table goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

John McCormack, staff writer at The Weekly Standard. (@McCormackJohn)

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of the Nation Magazine, author of “The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in the Age of Obama.” (@KatrinaNation)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Weekly Standard: Never Surrender – “Republicans shouldn’t give up the fight. With the weight of Obamacare set to crash down on the country in the coming year, now is a perfect time for members of Congress to try again to protect the American people from all or some the law’s harmful effects. Republicans may lack control of the Senate and the White House, but they should continue to fight for whatever they might be able to achieve, such as attaching anti-fraud measures to Obamacare or delaying the individual mandate so long as the business mandate is delayed.”

National Journal: A September to Surrender: Syria and Summers Spell Second-Term Slump — “There are no ‘obstructionist’ Republican fingerprints on the conspicuous and power-depleting defeats for Obama. He never sought a vote on Syria and therefore was not humiliated. The same is true for Summers. But Obama lost ground on both fronts and ultimately surrendered to political realities that, for the first time in his presidency, were determined by his own obdurate party.”

Washington Post: GOP Madness On Display — “This is simple madness. President Obama once again laid out out a common sense, modest agenda on the budget. Make investments in education and infrastructure vital to our competitiveness. Don’t let immediate cuts sabotage our faltering recovery. Get our books in order with a balanced plan that combines asking corporations and the rich to pay their fair share with cutting wasteful programs and bloat.”

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  • fun bobby

    “President (?) and his associates do not believe in these values. They don’t respect your dignity or accept your authority over them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media. They harass, threaten, and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance.”

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Don’t forget they ( Current and recent President(s)) also usurp your Fourth Amendment Right to unreasonable search and seizure and seek judges to help them!

      (Probably with actual threats by some very dangerous people. I mean, after all, what could be more unreasonable than intercepting EVERY communication you make and analyzing it and storing it ! I hope there isn‘t someone on this site that believes that they are doing this to protect Americans! If you do, would you please explain to me why America has such a drug problem and why there are MILLIONS of people roaming our streets that aren‘t citizens and why there are so many gangs armed with some very powerful weapons ? )

      They also give themselves special healthcare perks and plans but will fine you if you don’t purchase “rigged” plans from oligopoly styled multi-billion dollar insurance companies ! They also make sure they have secure and hefty pension plans but allow your private sector pension plans to run deficits and in some cases renege entirely. Now, now, I want to be fair, so let’s not forget how millions of American’s 401ks are underperforming, while the people that run those plans continue to rack up all of those fees and charges.

      Fun Bobby, this really was fun, let’s do it again sometime. Capisci?

    • Don_B1

      Who is the creator of your quote?

      • fun bobby

        I removed one word from a John McCain quote. feel free to fill in the blank as you see fit

        • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

          I wish I had a government that believed in me, listened to me, and responded to me.

          • Wm_James_from_Missouri

            Barry, that government will exist when you are able to purchase your own super-intelligent robot, that develops rules, procedures, and methods based on extensive solution searches, in the “field” of what is possible.

            All humans (save one) are self-serving, politicians are humans, therefore, politicians are self-serving.

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

            One doesn’t search for solutions. Research requires the construction of functional solutionsout of whole cloth.

      • 1Brett1

        I suspect that is probably some sort of trick thought to be clever and designed to hook liberalzzz into some later-revealed punch line.

        • fun bobby

          no tricks brett, just treats. you know who said that and about who right? it was news yesterday I just thought it was funnier to make it a fill in the blank.

    • hennorama

      Putin.

      [PS] McCain via pravda.ru, which very few people in Russia read.

      See:
      http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/19-09-2013/125705-McCain_for_pravda_ru-0/

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    This was the most fascinating story I read this week.

    Man loses part of index finger, doctor uses pig bladder tissue to regrow the finger ! The procedure is called a xenograft.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/-doctor-%E2%80%98re-grows%E2%80%99-man%E2%80%99s-missing-finger-using-pig-bladder-215643552.html

    • fun bobby

      I saw a story on that a while back. was it the pig scaffold powder and then the scientist sent it to his brother to regrow the finger tip?

  • Ed75

    The results of Pope Francis’ worldwide Adoration for peace is still producing results: the strike on Syria has been put off, and now there is dialogue with Iran.

    In his lengthy interview Pope Francis isn’t denying Church teaching at all, but why should someone follow the Church’s moral teaching if they aren’t aware of the big picture: God’s love, and his desire and will to save each person? This is the Good News (Gospel) that the Church is commissioned to preach.
    The Church is a big tent in that it’s concern extends to all persons, as the parable of the Good Samaritan shows. But it’s a small Church in that not everyone accepts the invitation.
    Some will read things into his remarks.

    • 1Brett1

      God whipped Satan’s butt in the proverbial arm-wrestling contest this week, aye?

      • Ed75

        You bet, always. Defeated him definitively at Golgotha. Now the battle is over each one of us.

        • 1Brett1

          When something bad happens, how do you determine whether it was Satan’s handiwork or God’s wrath?

          • Ed75

            Interesting. In Jesus’ reply about the tower in Luke it’s clear that there are three types of disasters: natural ones (allowed by God), evil inflicted by other people (allowed by God), and ones that are in either category but are punishments for sin. It would take the gift of mystical insight to sense the nature of any specific disaster.

          • Ray in VT

            Upon what criteria or foundation do you base your positions on when you have made statements regarding particular disasters being a divine act or punishment?

          • 1Brett1

            To add to Ray’s question below (and considering your reply above), you then must consider your insights to be mystical gifts? Do the answers come to you in voices telling you which disasters are which, or is it some abstract feeling distinguishing them for you?

            I’ve noticed that in your initial reply, Satan is defeated “ALWAYS,” and in your subsequent reply there is no mention of any of the three disasters being Satan’s doing…so all three are God’s doing, then?

            More interesting would be the two that aren’t punishments for sin, as it seems God just allows innocent people to die in disasters and evil to exist for no reason whatsoever. Also, if one category of disaster is designed for a punishment, how are we mortals supposed to tell the difference from those and the ones that He allows for no reason? It seems not a very sound approach for a “father” to teach a lesson in this way, to make the consequence unclear to the punished. “I’ll punish them, but they won’t know the punishment is for ____ or that it is directed toward them.” Between that and disasters (and evil) existing for no reason, God seems sort of willy-nilly in his discipline. A mortal father might be considered a sinner for the very same behaviors against his own children.

          • Ray in VT

            Religion and religious faith creates some very interesting questions, does it not?

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort
          • fun bobby

            you think evil exists for no reason?

          • Ed75

            The short answer would be that you’re leaving out the reality of Original Sin. In original sin, man was won by Satan, and the order of the universe was damaged. It was still very good, but damaged. So now there are natural disasters, etc. And man is born a sinner and retains tendencies to sin which he sometimes gives in to, causing suffering.
            So God allows this out of respect for creation and out of respect for man’s free choice and free will. At the same time, God brings good out of evil, and ‘makes it so evil is not the worst (St. Augustine)’. One of God’s attributes is infinite goodness.
            Disasters also have to be seen in the context of eternal life as well, death in this world is not the end. As Jesus said, do not fear the first death, but the second death, the death of the soul.
            Sorry for the long reply.

          • Don_B1

            So when Man collectively decides to do evil, which part of the Man collective will God hold culpable and wreck disaster upon? Or will all of Mankind suffer as well as all the creatures of the Earth over which Man was given responsibility for?

          • J__o__h__n

            Fear the first death. This is all you get.

    • Yar

      “Some will read things into his remarks”
      “But it’s a small Church in that not everyone accepts the invitation.”
      Does that include you Ed?
      We can’t judge God, grace is a gift, we should serve community rejoicing in that gift. Just because some don’t doesn’t mean they haven’t received grace. Just because some think they are part of a small church doesn’t mean they know the will of God. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, it was the ‘un-churched’ who showed love, members of the institutional church of the day passed on the other side of the road. They didn’t want to get dirty. The ‘small church’ is a selective institution that builds walls of hate. Gods church, is an inclusive world built on love. Pope Francis may just get it, do you? I pray you will.

      • Ed75

        I agree, God’s grace extends outside the boundaries of the Catholic Church. Or, it might be better said, other communities, to the extent that they embrace the truth, are in some mystical way associated with the Catholic Church. God in his mercy works through other religions. Good point about the Samaritan, who was half-Jewish.
        On the other hand, Pope Benedict spoke of a smaller church, not because he wanted a smaller church, but to encourage the faithful who might feel discouraged at so many trends in the world moving away from the Church and peace.

        • Yar

          Are you saying Benedict, was trying to tell the faithful “God loves you best”? This is the oldest question among siblings. Any attempt to claim God as our own only distances us from God.

        • Don_B1

          When Jesus told his Good Samaritan parable, he was a member of the Jewish faith and attended synagogues.

          • Ed75

            That’s right, and the Samaritans were regarded as people one didn’t speak to. After the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom in 722 BC that kingdom came to an end, it’s capital had been Samaria. The Assyrians brought people in and took people to Assyria, and the northern kingdom became a half-Jewish race, so they were shunned and not accepted as Jews by the Jewish people of Judah, which makes this parable and the story of the woman by the well more poignant.

    • J__o__h__n

      Ed, the Pope addressed your two favorite topics this week. I hope you will follow his lead on them.

    • hennorama

      Gotta say — I’ve paid more attention to Pope Francis’ actions and words than to all of the prior Popes in my lifetime, combined.

      By FAR.

      “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel,”

      “Who am I to judge?”

      “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” he said. “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ ”

      “If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good,” he said. “If one has all the answers to all the questions — that is the proof that God is not with him.”

      See:
      http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/09/19/pope-francis-says-catholic-church-has-become-unduly-obsessed-with-contemningcondemning-abortion-and-gay-marriage/ScNThu3kgpwdUx3wu8CPDI/story.html

  • StilllHere

    Where’s the red line this week?

    • anamaria23

      Without the red line Assad would still be gassing people in their sleep and others so inclined would feel free.
      “Evil flourishes when good men do nothing” Edmund Burke

      • StilllHere

        Wrong, we had three red lines before he supposedly gassed his people in August. Putin apparently brokered the current peace. Where’s his Peace Prize?

        • Ray in VT

          I do recall his red line comments from August of 2012. Were there two others, and if so, then what were they and how would they have been crossed?

          I think that Putin put his Peace Prize onto one of the bombs that he dropped on Georgia back in 2008.

          • StilllHere

            If dropping bombs disqualifies you, then Obama should sent his back long ago.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not going to argue with that, although he’s been a real peacenick compared to his predecessor.

          • StilllHere

            Well he should send his Peace Prize back then too.

          • Ray in VT

            He can’t. I think that he re-cast it and gave it to Tenet for the bangup job that the CIA did with the Iraqi intelligence.

            You also didn’t answer my question about changing red lines. I recall the August 2012 one, but what were the others?

        • anamaria23

          President Obama approached Mr. Putin on three occasions to persuade Assad to give up his chemical weapons and was ignored. Only with the threat would Putin have agreed. He has too much to lose.
          If in your blind contempt for this President you want to make a hero out of Mr. Putin, you diminish yourself and your country.
          I would rather err on the side of confronting a psychopathic leader with a red line comment that just let it go at that.
          Overpaid pundits sitting all dressed up in glitzy studios do not have to face the rigors of actual governing.

    • hennorama

      Not through each of your words, sadly.

      • StilllHere

        Pathetic, even for you.

        • hennorama

          StilllHere – Thank you for being an exemplar for action on improving mental health care.

          One observes that your sharing your negative mirrored affirmation with the world is perhaps a cry for help.

          As I am not a health care professional, I really cannot offer medical advice. However, if you intend to be StilllHere for much longer, you may wish to get checked out, as this negative self-image seems worrisome to a casual observer.

          Congratulations on your brave first step.

          [Insert usual disclaimer here]

          • StilllHere

            Really? An even lamer attempt at humor.
            Non-h/c pro, heal thyself!

  • Jim

    For the House republicans who think they can get away with proposing for a $4Billion food stamp cut, I say the public should demand their salaries and political contributions be cut first to save our budget than to have our struggling brothers and sisters suffer with finding food every night.

    • jefe68

      Meanwhile Rep. Sean Duffy Complains About His $174,000 Salary as not being enough.

      • Ray in VT

        Well, some poor bankers struggle to make ends meet on $350k, so just imagine what it must be like to only get paid $174k, plus the various perks of the office. Appalling really. Poor guy.

      • MrNutso

        Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas receives a daily meal allowance of $127.41.

        • Ray in VT

          Is that for real?

          • MrNutso

            I’m citing Jonathan Chait’s piece from this morning, but I don’t doubt it.

        • TFRX

          And all the HFCS he can drink!

          But seriously, if this figure can be shown as normative over 30 years, not really jumping up w.r.t inflation, I don’t have a partisan problem with it.

          However, it does sorta remind me of how Newt “Suuuuuuper Geeeeeenius” Gingrich was going to get rid of the excess privileges in the Capitol Bldg and did squat.

        • Don_B1

          Compared to the extravagant cost of SNAP for a family of four which averages less than $16 per day, Mr. Lucas must have a hard time spending that much on food.

        • fun bobby

          same name as a notorious gangster. ironic

    • Don_B1

      It was the Senate that proposed a $4 billion cut in SNAP, the House Republicans just passed a bill that made a $39 billion cut in SNAP.

      Since Republicans always claim the Democrats never reached out to them on the PPACA, which is patently false, where is their “reaching out” to Democrats to pass their atrocity? Oh, “It’s OK When You Are a Republican.”

  • alsordi

    Bernanke Surprise ?? Who really believed that the private bank “The Fed” was going to cut off their gravy train to Wall Street ? Bernanke is Wall Street and he is the host of the Party thats been going on since the compromised Bill Clinton was coerced to end Glass Steagall.

    Less than one forth of US adults know anything about Quantitative Easing, nor basic economics. And congress is a two-party charade. There is nothing to stop Wall Street greed.

    • Don_B1

      I agree with your last paragraph, but I reluctantly place you in the majority. You are terribly misinterpreting the reason for the Federal Reserve implementing QE, which is to help lower unemployment through helping homeowners get out from underwater mortgages through refinancing and higher inflation which will raise the value of homes.

      As homeowners have more money to spend on other things than their mortgage, they will help create the higher level of aggregate demand which will lead businesses to buy capital goods and hire new employees.

      That does not mean that QE is the most effective way to do this; fiscal policy of increased governmental spending would be much more effective. However, due to the electorate’s ignorance of economics and their consequent election of like ignoramuses of Tea Republicans, the Congress is unable to pursue this policy, leaving the Federal Reserve to attempt to help lower unemployment with its hands tied behind its back.

      • alsordi

        Don, I respect your comments but I would have to place you in the majority as well. I do understand the inflation effect of pumping up home values, but this has more to do with pumping up the balance sheets and reserves of the banks – particularly all the bad loans they call “Assets”.
        As for “homeowner spending and capital investment” much of the QE is invested overseas with companies that outsource. ANd the mitigating effects of inflation will effect the goods that Americans would buy with devalued money.

        • Don_B1

          Source for your claim that “much of the QE is invested overseas with companies that outsource”?

          Following the financial crisis triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the banks did need their balance sheets and reserves increased.

          What was missing was a way to force the banks to refinance the mortgages that they had improperly sold to mortgagees, putting homeowners who qualified for normal loans into subprime, etc. mortgages. Then the deleveraging of the homeowners could have proceeded much faster and allowed the recovery from the Great Recession to have also proceeded quicker and without the enormous damage that has occurred.

          From what I have seen, one of the major players in that decision was Tim Geithner, although others also participated in and acquiesced to the decisions that created the slower than necessary recovery.

          Certainly inflation would make imported goods more expensive, but it would also make exports relatively cheaper and therefore grow jobs here. I would submit that lowering the current unemployment rate would do more for the country than making some imported goods slightly cheaper.

          And by making mortgages easier to pay off because wages will grow to counter that inflation would be a great benefit for the economy as homeowners would feel richer and begin purchasing goods and services at a higher rate, creating the missing aggregate demand needed to get businesses to increase hiring and purchasing capital goods.

  • Don_B1

    The effects of the current TeaRepublican blackmail required sequester should be a weekly feature; see Jared Bernstein’s blog, On the Economy:

    http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/sequester-watch-22/

    for the latest (#22) summary of links to articles where this damage is described. Unfortunately using the blog’s search box does not search the blog’s archives, just those posts open in the active window. Send requests to Jared to have that changed. It will be appreciated, and not just for this issue.

    • fun bobby

      someone will have to tell us how bad the sequester is otherwise we would never notice

      • Don_B1

        If you read Jared Bernstein’s posts on the sequester, you will find things that do affect you though in your ignorance you have missed them so far.

        • fun bobby

          if I have not noticed it then it has not had an effect. let’s cut more. are you a defense contractor or something?

          • Don_B1

            I wish I had your all-knowing mind capacity.

            Your skills must be in great demand in the job marketplace.

          • fun bobby

            its a gift and a curse. I had my dinner out disturbed by someone offering me work just last night.

      • toc1234

        same w income inequality.. if the komrade krugmans of the world weren’t around, who would remind us to covet our neighbor’s stuff?

        • fun bobby

          Robin Leach?

      • StilllHere

        Public tours of the WH are apparently off, but if you pay enough you can get a private one. AFLCIO has apparently put up several times.

  • 1Brett1

    It would behoove congressional Republicans to not only spend their time more wisely but the taxpayers’ money, as well.

    • Ray in VT

      Well, if they don’t defund an organization that doesn’t exist (again), then who will?

      • 1Brett1

        Interestingly, if their stunt works, and the government gets “shut down,” the ACA won’t be affected; however, other services will be affected.

        It is definietly a ‘cut-off-nose-to-spite-face’ maneuver.

        • Don_B1

          They have so whipped up their “base” with this false trope that I can see they well might fear the retribution that is coming their way when that “base’ finds that their “campaign against Obamacare’ has been totally false and has taken them for the fools that they have been.

          • fun bobby

            if obomacare is so great why have so many exemptions been granted?

          • anamaria23

            Because it is a work in progress. There will be other adjustments just as there were to Medicare and Social Security. Without these programs more of us would be sending part of our paychecks home to support our aging parents just as generations before us did.

          • TFRX

            It’s your day to answer the trolls and try to pull the thread back to planet Earth, I see.

            A dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

          • fun bobby

            that would be great. people should take care of their ageing parents if they need it.
            instead I am sending a part of my paycheck to the government every week to support people who did not plan for themselves and some number of bureaucrats to administer the whole mess

          • StilllHere

            and waivers
            and the pricing software doesn’t work

    • Yar

      A sign to post at the House Cafeteria:
      Because you don’t want to pay for my healthcare when you buy a sandwich, I spit so you will use your healthcare.
      Call it equal pay for equal work.
      Enjoy the sandwich.
      Your server.

    • StilllHere

      That’s cheaper than Obama’s latest “tour where I say nothing new and nobody listens anyway.”

  • Guest

    It is encouraging to see the possibility of a thaw in relations between Iran and the US. I have been critical of President Obama for his policy on drones and his shortcomings with respect to social justice and sustainability.

    • Ray in VT

      I’m not terribly optimistic regarding a potential thaw in relations. Obama did make some overtures early on and got nothing positive back. On the other hand, maybe with a face in Iran and several years of biting sanctions, then maybe they are ready now for things to change.

      • fun bobby

        Obama and the new Iranian president have become pen pals

        • Don_B1

          That is probably a good thing as it could lead to some good exchanges of what each side needs to avoid a military action.

          While military action is sometimes necessary, it is rarely a good thing and usually leads to more problems in the future than are resolved by the action.

          • fun bobby

            personally I would welcome a change from “our shoot first, nation build later” policy. I think it is insane that there are countries that we do not talk to, like petulant children

      • SteveTheTeacher

        No doubt the economic sanctions have helped motivate the Iranian leadership to push for a change.

        Now, the Iranians have a new president. Several progressive Iranian friends of mine took great personal risk to help get him elected. Despite the fact that he is still too anti-democratic, the feeling was that his election could help move the country in a better direction.

        While the US and Israel are concerned with the potential threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, let’s keep things in perspective. The US took a leading role in overthrowing the democratically elected Iranian President, Mossadegh. CIA director Dulles then provided the Shah’s secret police with information which enabled the Shah’s forces to imprison, torture, and kill numerous progressive/leftest Iranians and their family members. The US military shot down civilian passanger flight 655 killing all 290 aboard including 66 children. And, the US provide Saddam Hussein with information that enabled him to use chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers during the Iran/Iraq war.

        • Ray in VT

          But aren’t the clerics the real power in Iran? The thought, or at least the perception, has been that on major things the President doesn’t act without the support of the Ayatollah. If that is true, and if the President is actually taking some productive steps, then that might signal that the clerics have changed positions.

          I’m somewhat familiar with some of the actions that we have taken against the Iranians historically, and it is not as though some of their anger against us is unjustified.

          • SteveTheTeacher

            “We are against nuclear weapons not
            because of the US or others, but because of our beliefs. And when we say no one should have nuclear weapons, we
            definitely do not pursue it ourselves either.” Ayatollah Khamenei.

            Also for perspective, the below table from the bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. As has been mentioned by many before, why not push for a nuclear weapons free world?

          • Don_B1

            The Ayatollah seems to be supporting the new President, Rouhani, which would indicate that he is overriding the hardline clerics, at least at the present time.

            But if there is no movement in the negotiations, that might not last.

            See my post below.

      • Don_B1

        The economic crisis was definitely a significant factor in the election of Hassan Rouhani as its President. From the speeches made by the new president and the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were nearly identical, indicating that, at least until the hardline forces find a way to gum things up, all the active power centers are working toward a political settlement on weapons of mass destruction.

        But the neocons here are wringing their hair (if they have any) in hysterics because they might not get their war with Iran. Watch them try to help the hardliners in Iran block an accommodation.

    • northeaster17

      The thaw in the relations is because the Iranian economy is tanking from the sanctions. Hopefully this a good sign

      • fun bobby

        40-50 years from now we should have brought them to their knees

  • HonestDebate1

    Tom Delay was acquitted of all charges. That’s good.

    • Ray in VT

      Really? That’s not what I read.

      • HonestDebate1

        Did you read it was a bad thing?

        • Ray in VT

          No, although I’m sure that many would say that, and I would agree. I did read, however, that his conviction was overturned, but that prosecutors are planning to appeal it to the Circuit Court. That is not an acquittal.

          • Don_B1

            MisHonestDebate always misinterprets the news.

          • HonestDebate1

            He was acquitted.

          • StilllHere

            That’ll quiet him.

          • HonestDebate1

            “Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain
            DeLay’s convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal.”

            http://electionlawblog.org/wp-content/uploads/CR11-087.pdf

          • Ray in VT

            Well, if overturning a conviction is an acquittal, then I guess. I’m hoping for better results upon appeal.

          • HonestDebate1

            No, it’s the acquittal that’s an acquittal.

          • Ray in VT

            So how do you treat someone who’s conviction is being appealed? Are all overturned convictions with appeals pending acquittals? If so, then I’m fine with that. I do think, though, that your statement is misleading if you are portraying Delay as being in the free and clear, which he clearly is not.

          • HonestDebate1

            “So how do you treat someone who’s conviction is being appealed?”

            As a free and innocent man, This has been a witch hunt from day one, It took something like 8 grand juries to indict the hammer sandwich.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Double jeopardy?

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. Just still an ongoing case.

          • TFRX

            You’re seriously asking if the state appealing a decision constitutes double jeopardy?

          • Ray in VT

            I assumed that he was joking.

          • TFRX

            And I assumed he was watching Fox and Friends.

            (Potayto, potahto.)

  • SteveTheTeacher

    It is encouraging to see the possibility of a thaw in relations between Iran and the US. Hopefully diplomats from both countries will continue to work out differences. Given the way the lineup of potential candidates for the next election is developing, President Obama is a window of opportunity on this front. Too bad there are not similar efforts to thaw relations with Cuba.

    It is also encouraging to hear a desire for a ceasefire from the Assad’s Deputy Prime Minister, Qadri Jamil. Rather than his continued focus on military attacks, it would be good to hear Secretary of State Kerry following through with this clear desire to draw the war to an end.

  • Coastghost

    Comrade Katrina writes “progress” (or her editor or her publisher writes “progress”) in her subtitle while intending or meaning “teleology”.
    Which on the face of it looks intellectually incoherent if not intellectually dishonest: “prescriptive (or deontological) futurism”, is what it sounds like. But “progress” itself is as much an invisible and insubstantive illusion as “the future”, which also does not exist.
    Comrade Katrina’s “progress” is HER preferred outcome: it corresponds to no objective reality of attainment, however. (I thought fellow travelers purported to be devoted to history: whence comes utopian dabbling in futurism? Futurism is thoroughly non-scientific, when not anti-scientific.)

    • Ray in VT

      Well, it would explain a lot of opposition to any sort of progress if those working against it just didn’t believe that it exists.

      • Coastghost

        Exactly: why waste precious time pursuing the non-existent?

        • Ray in VT

          Like the pie in the sky dreams of the proponents of laissez-faire?

          Progress is real. It just depends upon how one defines it.

          • Coastghost

            No, history is real: it just depends on how you extrapolate from it.

          • Ray in VT

            Then nothing that is at all based upon judgements is real?

            Millions of people in this country were once held in slavery. That is no more. That is progress towards the ideal that all people should be free. Is that something that is not worth pursuing?

          • TFRX

            If only we held a poll on slavery in the South 160 years ago and didn’t let the government get ahead of the people.

          • Coastghost

            See? It’s just as I said: “progress” can only be assessed or asserted when “looking backwards”: as teleological aim of history, it is utterly null and void. It owes far too much to outdated positivist sentiment. (Think of it in Darwinian terms, if you care to: evolution has no discernible aim, either, in its success as a theory of biological extinction.)

          • Don_B1

            @rayinvt:disqus @TFRX:disqus

            But I think your point was (or certainly could be) that if people don’t imagine a better world, they won’t be able to work to achieve it, and so there would be no progress to look back on and applaud.

            Observing and recognizing injustices and unfairness in life is necessary to see what needs to be changed to create a better world for everyone.

          • Coastghost

            Let me attempt clarity once more: the future cannot be perfected–it has not occurred. The future can only be imagined: which is why utopian fantasies can be so politically dangerous, since their conjuration is ideologically untethered from human experience.
            ONLY the past is capable of “being perfected”.
            Our powers of observation and recognition, our justice and injustice, even our sense of imagination itself, all are derived from past exemplars, past models, past mistakes. Without a working sense of the tangible past, we are ill-equipped to assert any schemes, political or otherwise. (We import NOTHING from the future: Fermi’s paradox confirms this.)

  • hellokitty0580

    Frankly, I’m absolutely disgusted with the House of Representatives. Their behavior in regards to the budget is abhorrent. Defund Obamacare or we’re doing to defund the government? It’s absolutely juvenile and irresponsible. They should all be fired. Healthcare is not the only issue for which they were elected to deal with. I can’t even believe that those constituents who voted for these representatives are totally satisfied with the job their Reps are doing because they’re basically achieving NOTHING. There are a myriad of other serious issues going on in this country, yet they choose to obsessively focus on a law where the case has been CLOSED. The law was voted constitutional by the Supreme Court. Obama was re-elected for a second term. And I believe there are plenty of Americans who actually want easier access to healthcare. Anti-Obamacare proponents lost. Now move the F on.

  • MrNutso

    Republicans continue to try the Sheriff Bart from Blazing Saddles treatment on the ACA.

  • fun bobby

    this was, in my opinion, my most eloquent post of the week.

    fun bobby

    • a day ago • 4

    they may have Bloomberg’s billions but we have millions of Americans who know that the violence problem in America is not caused by guns. We know that guns are useful tools. we know that guns are used in self defense hundreds of thousands or even millions of times a year. . We know that the way to solve the gang problem has nothing to do with gun control we need to end prohibition of drugs. we know that more unenforced gun laws will not prevent a mass shooting but that we need to look at mental illness and these mind altering drugs that all the mass shooters seem to be on need to be examined despite the fact the drug companies make billions off them. we can tell the emperor is nude

    • MrNutso

      Millions of times per year?

      • fun bobby

        yes, depending on which researcher you ask. the anti liberty researchers have a number of 100,000+. others put it in the millions. that’s why I referred to the range of opinions. its hard to get a good estimate because there is a lot of disagreement on what actually counts as a defensive use and what sources of data to use.

  • Coastghost

    NPR is presently heralding new EPA pronouncements concerning “global warming”. Yet this week we were alerted to the fresh IPCC assessment that the rate of posited anthropogenic global warming has been vastly overstated. Why can’t the EPA stay current with contemporary scientific assessment?

    • HonestDebate1

      The EPA is anti-science.

      • Ray in VT

        Only in the backwards world where civil rights groups are the real racists.

        • jefe68

          It’s amazing, this guy lives in Bizarro world.

      • StilllHere

        Maybe these losers can explain the science of corn-based ethanol mandates. I’m not expecting much, and they never let me down.

  • Duras

    Did anybody catch PBS News Hour last evening and see how the green party is going after the banks with “immanent domain” in Richmond?

    Of course, the neo-feudal brigade was out to protect the lords while giving off the appearance of trying to protect their fellow serfs.

    I think it is time to never vote for the democrat party again. The Roosevelts are in the green party, while the democrat party is a moderate party for the rich.

    The green party represents working people. I say vote Green. Hopefully, the green party can scare democrats into being arses like their republican counterparts. Or we let these Reagan era republicans continue to destroy our country until conditions are so bad that people wake up and we fight the same fight as the Greatest Generation from the 1930s.

  • hellokitty0580

    Can someone give me an example of a time in this country when less government actually gave way to more equality?

    • Duras

      I think that getting rid of our surveillance state wouldn’t hurt.

      • hellokitty0580

        I agree with that for sure. But without the involvement of the Federal government, I’d probably be a slave – either on a plantation or by way of some patriarchal structure or both.

        • fun bobby

          are you an African American? how can you be sure you would not have been one of the free black women who owned slaves?
          is it the secret police that have made America a land of freedom and equality? how exactly has the NSA benefitted the struggle for civil rights?

    • StilllHere

      We’ve only had more and more government and that doesn’t seem to be working; it’s insane to keep trying something that doesn’t work.

      • Duras

        The pre-Reagan era had high taxes, high spending, lots of balanced budgets and a thriving Middle Class. Yes, regulations blew up in the 1970s. But unlike then, there is so much corruption today (brought on by republicans mostly) that industry is regulating the government.

      • AC

        o it works. travel the world if you don’t believe me. it’s pretty sweet here. and the fact that you even get to belittle the effort says a lot. take a cab in singapore and try and guess if they’re being curious about your opinions or they’re secret police. please.

        • fun bobby

          yes the secret police here are much more subtle. its soooo great

    • fun bobby

      when government prohibited certain natural drugs for racist/political reasons the complete lack of regulation has created a free market where anyone regardless of class race or creed may participate.

  • toc1234

    komrade Katrina.. when W was in office it was ‘speaking truth to power’… now its anarchy… zzzzzzz

    • StilllHere

      zzzzzzz

      • jefe68

        Troll.

  • AC

    when’s the next round of elections?
    i think it’s time for me to get the normal people to vote – none of these far left or far right nincompoops are worthy of anything………..

    • Duras

      What do you consider to be “far left”?

      • AC

        the kind of person who immediately decides they are against anything coming out of the far right’s voice, not even giving 1 minute, let alone a few days of consideration for what was actually said. kind of like far right people do the far left.
        all impulsive reaction, no reflection…..you know. angry people.

        • Coastghost

          AC: see the link I posted above, which attests to the inherent anti-social character of our beloved internet.

          • AC

            that link is blocked to me

        • J__o__h__n

          The far right just say the same things over and over again with a few exceptions like when they change their mind when Obama is the one advocating Romneycare or military action in the Middle East or that the deficit is a problem when there is a Democratic president. There are only so many times you need to consider tax cuts, eliminating regulations, and treating women and gays as inferiors. They have been dressing up the same tired ideas for decades.

        • TFRX

          I’d like to agree with you, but there’s so much in the spectrum of “right of center” which is getting airplay, I daresay we haven’t scratched the surface of it.

          See any number of polls wherein Republicans* blame President Obama for Katrina, or still don’t believe he’s a citizen. All this crap is kept alive not on its own, but by a RW advocacy media that is unhinged.

          When that wingnut media does something, the mainstream press follows along. See Upchuck Todd’s “Wah, it’s not the press’ job to disseminate about Obamacare” embarrassment this week.

          (*Yes, I know there are NoRepublicansHere and this board only has TruePrincipledConservatives( sic ). But pollers don’t differentiate.)

          • AC

            but you know, there’s something to be said about the cliche of giving them enough rope to hang themselves with (? not sure that’s it). i think the crazier the reactionary, the quicker they wash away – look at that ‘glen beck’ & ‘sarah palin’ attempts at legitimacy. crazy angry people are inherently disorganized. why take them seriously?

          • TFRX

            I don’t. But as long as Joe Lunchbucket and Sally Housecoat listen to a press corps which can’t call a racist or misogynistic hack what they are, and at the same time lauds their “enthusiasm” and “base appeal”, we’re stuck with it.

            And I love giving iditos enough rope. But if they hang themselves while nobody is there to call it a hanging, what’s gained?

            The press corps–you know, from “Communist News Network” and other untrustable places– “disappears” nothing so fast as a failed RW politician or pundit. Then after a stultifyingly short time the image rehab campaign begins.

            It’s like going through Soviet history and seeing figures in photos whited out or restored, depending on who is in power.

          • AC

            i don’t think we’ve evolved enough to get rid of people who want to be powerful, and their ability to over-ride any ethical/moral concerns and use whatever manipulation they think will aid them. on that, we agree – something about ego, but i don’t really quite understand how that works. also, i’m not myself ambitious. but i did mean ‘hang themselves’ (that includes the ‘press’, which you must admit also suffers from it’s share of ego issues). but i’m just ‘battle weary’ too, so i could be showing my own exasperation with ‘far this or that’….

          • AC

            i love those nicknames! but, why don’t you give them some credit? i’m a sort of combo of mr lunchbucket and ms housecoat and i’m not dumb. well, in some things, i am a little dumb. i don’t understand how people can enjoy cheesey soft jazz. also, i have no idea (maybe because i’m not american) what the point or how the rules of rock paper scissors works…i’ll wiki it someday…

          • TFRX

            (I accept that compliment on behalf of the very old Simpsons where Mr. Burns ran for Governor because he wanted to dereg his nuke plant. In the intervening 20 years, some people have taken that satire as an instructional film.)

            Simply grazing your posts shows that you’re not dumb.

        • Duras

          Of course I disagree with the party cheer-leading that goes on in today’s society.

          I call myself a Roosevelt liberal, and during the 1950s, Ronald Reagan and Berry Goldwater were the far right wackos–and if you compare them to the republicans who occupy congress, they now look like moderates. If you position my ideology within America’s most thriving period, I would be a moderate liberal; today, I am much more liberal than the democrat party.

          If people look through the narrow scope of today’s world, I’m am “far left.” If people look through the lens of history, I’m a moderate.

      • AC

        you know what? i forgot to mention self-righteous people. darn. that summerizes both extremes too

    • keltcrusader

      It only works if normal people actually do go out and vote. Unfortunately, most elections are decided by a very small group of people. It is hard to vote when you don’t think your voice is being heard, but that is the BEST time to vote!

      • AC

        i cant believe someone disliked this comment – i like it, it’s balanced out now

        • keltcrusader

          thanks :)

  • Coastghost

    Obama has acquired a spine? THAT indeed amounts to news.

  • J__o__h__n

    I wouldn’t overestimate Obama’s getting a spine.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Oh no. It’s Hurricane Katrina! What about the 17 TRILLION dollars of debt that we have? When will we ever deal with the madness of that?

    • StilllHere

      How about unfunded liabilities?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        You’re right. That actually increases the $17 trillion to around $50 trillion. The epitome of fiscal irresponsibility.

        • StilllHere

          Liberals don’t do math.

          • hellokitty0580

            Liberals do math, but they also consider unquantifiable social costs. Conservatives are heartless. In the black above all else.

          • StilllHere

            What does that even mean?

          • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

            Whatever the Congresscritters do, we all have to live in the aftermath.

          • Don_B1

            The real reason that “conservatives” are stressing the deficit at the moment is that they see an opportunity to drastically cut the social safety net. The other reason is that the mainline Republicans who have mostly wanted tax reduction and special favors for their rent-seeking activities (see Joseph Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality).

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve been reading up on Republican math. It mostly boils down to 2+2=Obama’s bad.

          • TFRX

            If you don’t like Republican math, you’ll hate Politifact math. They’re really screwing the pooch, and doing it on behalf of Cooch in VA.

          • Ray in VT

            Ah, the Cooch. It does make me wonder how a guy with a history of statements and actions such as he has had can still maybe win the governorship in a state.

    • TFRX

      You Libertarians are the darlings of the day, aren’t you? Why not have all your Republican friends take care of it when they’re back in power?

      Because there’s no chance they’ll kick you to the curb and you’ll come back and complain about it when the next Dem president after that gets into the Oval Office, during which time the GOP will have spent your enthusiasm into retrograde laws about women’s healthcare and hating brown people.

    • Kathy

      When we grow up and understand we live in a modern civilization, we have certain requirements to maintain that society and we need to pay for it and stop handing out tax cuts to the ultra wealthy.

      • StilllHere

        Please name 12 tax cuts handed out solely to the ultra-wealthy in the last 12 years. First, define ultra-wealthy. Thanks, I await your reply.

  • TFRX

    “President Obama has compromise, a little bit” per McCormack.

    Where’s a mainstream person here so On Point’s liberal guest doesn’t need to spend their alotted airtime to rebuke this?

  • toc1234

    Putin would get a good chuckle from komrade Katrina’s ‘Obama found a spine’ line….

  • AC

    whatever happened to united we stand, divided we fall?
    if i didnt know better, the internet has allowed a voice to the enemies of this concept by allowing the angriest to force us into chaos…or a master strategist. congrats to all the loud mouthed ninnies with too much time on their hands…

  • Coastghost

    But of course clamoring about the possibility of a “government shutdown”–however likely or however remote–simply does not rise to the august level of “political theatre”, oh no no no.

  • 65noname

    Once again government radio decides that there are only two opinions worth hearing; an inarticulate democrat party camp follower and a professional right wing spin artist.
    And, to make it worse, as the so-called lib, they use someone who cann’t even speak in complete sentence fragments.

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      “government radio”?

  • Guest

    The Republican Party is deeply unpatriotic. They will do anything to get their way, even if it hurts the country. It’s time to elect politicians that operate within the rules of the game, instead of upending the playing board every time they don’t get their way.

    • StilllHere

      Don’t blame Republicans for Democrats inability to govern. They either don’t know how or apparently don’t have the spines for it.

      • TFRX

        Your comment has been put on anonymous hold and will not go for a floor vote until 2/3ds of the panel approves, after which you need to pass a StriaghtUpOrDownVote.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Actually, the Democrats’ push for unaffordable social programs over the past 50 years which have put us $17 trillion in debt ($50 trillion if you include unfunded pension/health care liabilities) is as unpatriotic an act as has ever been committed.

      • hellokitty0580

        Um, what about the two wars W lead us into? I think you conveniently forgot to tabulate those costs.

        • StilllHere

          Those were expensed, not accrued.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Isn’t Schumer and Obama taking the my way or the highway approach? It seems they are the ones who are unwilling to compromise.

    It is clear that Obamacare is deeply flawed. Why is Obama unwilling to go back to Congress to fix it. The response from Dems — it is his landmark achievement.

    So they want Obama to save face at the expense of the people?
    Great!

    • hellokitty0580

      But they’re also the ones who won the game! Their law got passed! They’re allowed to say “It’s my way.”

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        The People have a say through their representatives.

        • hellokitty0580

          “Wah, wah, wah. I didn’t get my. Wah, Wah, wah.” Does baby need a bottle?

          • StilllHere

            I’m thinking of a number, it represents the unquantifiable social costs of your poor attitude.

    • Duras

      I think we should shut done the government for a long time; at least long enough for people to realize how necessary government really is.

      • StilllHere

        If it’s anything like the sequester, let’s do it!

    • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

      When you are being dragged into the pit of hell, you fight the Devil, not appease him by selling your soul.

  • Casey Culver

    I love the idea of healthcare as infrastructure – in order to have a prosperous country, we need healthy citizens.

  • hellokitty0580

    There already was a huge debate on this law! When it was being written and voted on. Republicans had their chance. The time has passed. MOVE ON.

    • HonestDebate1

      Are you talking about Obamacare? Republicans had no chance, not a single one in either house voted for it. There was nothing they could do.

      • hellokitty0580

        I read most of what you say and it seems like your thoughts come from another reality.

        • jefe68

          That’s because he lives on this planet…

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I hear echo’s of those who called people to MOVE ON after the Dred Scott decision.

      • StilllHere

        Yes, where would we be if we never overturned any laws?

        • Ray in VT

          Back in the good ole days before big government started telling the states that they had to give equal rights to all of their citizens.

      • TFRX

        Wow.

        Who’s gonna step up and be the anti-Obamacare’s Harriet Beecher Stowe? Its Rosa Parks?

      • hellokitty0580

        And chances are most of the people who worked against decisions like Dred Scott would be pro-Obamacare.

  • toc1234

    Ha Tom… obamacare “went thru congress in proper order”. you’re a fraud Tom.

    • StilllHere

      Selective memory.

    • hellokitty0580

      The law did go through proper order. How does that make Tom a fraud? Why even listen if you dislike what he has to say?

  • rogger2

    Katrina is quite obnoxious but if I hear “shoved down our throat” one more time I’m going to throw up.

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

      What the “shoved down our throats” crowd are referring to is that the Senate Democrats were able to thwart a Republican filibuster by using the “reconciliation” procedure to pass Obamacare by majority vote rather than 60 votes.

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

    John McCormack is wrong in claiming “Republicans won an election in 2012.” The GOP captured 234 of 201 U.S. House seats, but Democrats received one million more votes nationwide than GOP House candidates. The GOP took 54% of House seats only because they were able to gerrymander more congressional districts. By the votes of the American people, the Democrats won all three elections (House, Senate, President) in 2012.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-16/republicans-can-t-declare-mandate-with-more-democrat-house-votes.html

    • StilllHere

      Like most Democrats, you do not appear to understand how representative government works.

      • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

        Our government is neither representative nor working.

        • StilllHere

          Uggh, just because it doesn’t serve your every whim?

          • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

            That’s right—– attack the messenger of facts you can’t face, blinded as you are by stubborn ideology.

          • StilllHere

            Your fact is “our gov is representative.”
            Try again, it seems you’re all ideology and not much else.

          • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

            Well if you’re going to stoop to that level,then “I’m rubber and you’re glue”.

          • StilllHere

            Got it, you got no facts. Just don’t pretend you do. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, even if the facts don’t support it.

          • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

            All right. Explain to all of us how how gun control legislation went down in flames when most of the populace is for it. You are right, we have a representative government— representing the NRA et al.

          • StilllHere

            Show me a statistically significant poll where the question was posed exactly as the legislative language was written. Just so we know we’re comparing apples-to-apples.

          • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

            Fail. bye bye!!!!

          • StilllHere

            Gotcha, again no facts.
            Come back when you do.

          • fun bobby

            hmm maybe the meme that “most of the public was for it” was inaccurate. I bet a couple of former lawmakers in Colorado could attest to that. the nra has millions of members should we not have at least as much sway as Bloomberg?

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

        I’m actually registered unaffiliated.

        • StilllHere

          Then you’ve got something in common with Democrats.

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

            I like to think I have something in common with anyone who looks at the facts and comes to rational conclusions from those facts.

          • StilllHere

            Hope that makes you feel good. Back to reality for the rest of us.

          • jefe68

            Troll.

          • Ray in VT

            Please don’t allow one of this site’s resident cranks to dissuade you from participating.

          • TFRX

            Crank?

            A crank is a step up from troll.

            “Crank – n – an unbalanced person who is overzealous in the advocacy of a private cause.”

            I may be a crank for the old Vermont Expos, whom I thought kept the Expos name in 2005 (after the parent club moved to DC) because it was a perfectly stubborn we-do-it-our-way Vermont kind of gesture. I later learned that there was no time to change things that spring.

            StillHere is simply a troll.

          • jefe68

            You’re to polite. He’s a troll and a vile one at that.

          • StilllHere

            I think you like to pick and choose your facts that agree with your static world view. Am I wrong?
            Elections are facts, the only ones that matter in this case. Feel free to whine about facts that don’t.

          • Potter

            Elections are facts? Is this why the Republicans are doing everything they can to undermine Democrats, majority laws and this President???

      • jimino

        I expect he just doesn’t like the way it has been manipulated for purely partisan gain by gerrymandered redistricting that allows the minority to gain control of Congress. The fact that it is the heart of your ilk’s political playbook doesn’t necessarily make it right or an essential component of representative government.

        • StilllHere

          I don’t think you get it either.
          Gerrymander is just a big excuse for losing. I live in a Democrat state that’s gerrymandered like nobody’s business. That’s how it works. I’m not whining, but there’s a lot of whining going on here.

    • TFRX

      True enough.

      However, I wish to add is that “divided government” or “we won too!” wasn’t much of a meme when the Dems held one branch of Congress, at times during the last decade.

      Funny, that.

      • Potter

        I believe Democrats never endeavored to spend so much energy to not accept settled congressional law ( including the Supreme Court ruling) as Republicans have in trying to destroy Obamacare. This is literally an attempt at destruction of our system to get their way.

        And while I am at it, remember the 2000 election and all the maneuvers to win at all costs… which they did with a shameful Supreme Court ruling. Democrats have never tried to delegitimize a President ( as Bush) so forcefully as Republicans have tried to delegitimize Obama.

        • StilllHere

          I think you’re memory is short, or selective.

          • Potter

            Okay… cite particulars!!!

  • Coastghost

    What? Comrade Katrina is not even willing to impute common humanity to her ideological adversaries? How illustrative. (If her adversaries are human, they’re “mad” or “insane”. How convenient.)

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Why should she start now? She is a classic rich elitist lefty.

      • Coastghost

        Yeh, what a group of philanthropists: Jaguar socialists, Porsche progressives, Lexus liberals.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    You are right, Hurricane Katrina. New social programs get accepted because they start giving out tons of money that we don’t have. Then the entitlement-dependent citizens become addicted to this drug and just worry about getting their next fix without regard to the consequences of the unsustainable debt that is required to pay for that fix.

    • StilllHere

      That’s how the votes get paid for.

      • Carla

        I think I’m moving to France. At least they eat well over there. Although they have absolutely no money for retirement or much else. I know Europe well, the good and the bad; my husband is French and I’ve lived in France, Germany, Belgium. My friends, we should not want to be like Europe when it comes to socialized medicine and other entitlement programs. Instead let us emulate their food culture, but please Obama don’t create a government plan for that!

  • OnPointComments

    The Republicans don’t want Obamacare, and neither does the majority of the country according to polling data.

    • Melissa Mangino

      That’s because the majority of Americans don’t understand the law or believe the misinformation that the Republicans have been spreading since it’s passage. Some polls show that 17% of Americans believe the President is Muslim. Really???

      • OnPointComments

        We have to pass the law to find out what’s in it.

        Most Americans have found out what’s in it, and we don’t like it.

        • Melissa Mangino

          1. It’s already been passed so get over it. 2. These same arguments were made against social security when it was first passed. People are afraid of change – it’s human nature.

          • TFRX

            Republicans have learned that SocSec was a success and Medicare was a success, and they’re damned if they’re going to have another Dem president’s big program become anything like the policy and political success those were.

            Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some “Get Government out of My Medicare” signs to o write.

            (Yeah, there are NoSelf-AdmittedRepublicansHere. Too bad.)

      • Guest

        Well, we just have to pass it to figure out what’s in it.

      • TFRX

        Thank Upchuck Todd, for one.

        He basically admitted that “on the one hand on the other” means that it’s not his or the press’ job to accurately depict what Obamacare means.

        (Contrast that to the invasion of Iraq.)

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      And when you actually dig into the polling data you discover that at least a third of those that don’t “like” ObamaCare don’t like it because they wanted single payer (i.e. – government) insurance. So that group thinks that ObamaCare doesn’t go FAR ENOUGH. Others are so confused by the outright lies that are being broadcast about the ACA. When you break down what is actually in the ACA, according to polls (sorry I don’t have the links handy) the majority of people actually like what is in there.

      • TFRX

        Hey, “leftwards of Obama” doesn’t exist for some people here. Except when the subject is the Muslim brotherhood or the New New Black Panthers (sic).

        An assist goes to our press corpse (no sic) on this.

    • hennorama

      OPC – There are some real-world votes to consider:

      “There’s an Obamacare program that Republicans use more than Democrats”
      By Sarah Kliff, Published: August 21. 2013

      FTA:

      “…since 2011, young Republicans have had a higher rate of enrollment in their parents’ health insurance plans than young Democrats

      “Right now, 45 percent of young Democrats receive coverage through their parents’ plan, compared to 63 percent of young Republicans.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/21/theres-an-obamacare-program-that-republicans-use-more-than-democrats/

      ======

      “Republican parents vote for Obamacare with their wallets”
      WED AUG 21, 2013

      FTA:

      “Over the last few weeks, Republicans have been waging a very determined—and even more deceptive—campaign to scare the bejesus out of uninsured young adults so important to the success of the Affordable Care Act. But while the conservative commentariat has been issuing dire warnings about the so-called “Young Invincibles,” their parents have quietly added millions of them to their family insurance plans, all thanks to Obamacare. And as it turns out, Republican parents are signing up in greater numbers than Democrats.”

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/08/21/1232849/-Republican-parents-vote-for-Obamacare-with-their-wallets#

      ======

      “Why Republicans Are Starting to Love Health Reform”
      by Daniel Gross Aug 28, 2013

      FTA:

      “In the old days, they used to say that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. When it comes to health insurance, it seems a liberal is a conservative who has been mugged by an illness.”

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/28/why-republicans-are-starting-to-love-health-reform.html

      • OnPointComments

        I have no doubt that there are parts of Obamacare that people like (e.g., keeping children on the parent’s insurance until age 26, preexisting conditions), but the thing is that nobody can choose the parts they like and opt out of the other parts, or wish that it went further (well, they can wish it, but it won’t make it so), they’re stuck with the whole thing. And the polls show that the majority don’t like it.

        • hennorama

          OPC – TY for taking the time to reply.

          First, as to your last point – it is a bad idea to run government via polls, as I’m sure you would agree.

          Please allow a bit of turnabout fair play:

          I have no doubt that there are parts of the U.S. Constitution that people like (e.g., the Bill of Rights, “promot[ing] the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” etc.) but the thing is that nobody can choose the parts they like and opt out of the other parts, or wish that it went further (well, they can wish it, but it won’t make it so), they’re stuck with the whole thing.

          Polling shows that “…the government does receive high marks…on its handling of responsibilities as spelled out in the Preamble of the Constitution. With a 69% “excellent” or “good” rating, Americans give the government its best marks on making sure that our nation is safe from foreign and domestic threats. Additionally, 52% say the government is doing a good job making sure that Americans are free to pursue happiness now and in the future.”

          See:
          http://constitutioncenter.org/media/files/appoll2012.pdf

  • Rick Evans

    @John McCormack There’s Medicaid? Stop spreading myths. Medicaid does not cover low wage single adults. That’s why business paradises like Texas have the highest percentage of uninsured workers. And, Texas like other red states oppose the ObamaCare medicaid expansion. Stop spreading myths.

  • Melissa Mangino

    These tea party Republicans are so out of touch with the daily lives of Americans. I am 44 with a Master’s Degree and have been unemployed on and off for three years. I had to resort to food stamps and am on the brink of bankruptcy. I have $100,000 in student loans and feel like I will never be able to live the modest middle class life of my parents. Everyday I live in fear of getting sick and falling even more in debt. I am the face of the Great Recession.

    • hellokitty0580

      I feel your pain! Stay hopeful and just keep moving forward!

    • J__o__h__n

      Won’t cutting off your food stamps inspire you to get a job? Obviously your luxurious food stamps are keeping you from working and not the fact that there aren’t enough jobs.

      • fun bobby

        there are not enough jobs? why so many openings?

        • hennorama

          Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

          • The unemployed persons per job opening ratio has trended downward since the end of the recession and was 3.1 in July 2013.

          • When the most recent recession began (December 2007), the number of unemployed persons per job opening was 1.8. When the recession ended (June 2009), there were 6.2 unemployed persons per job opening.

          See:
          http://www.bls.gov/web/jolts/jlt_labstatgraphs.pdf

          • fun bobby

            and how do they determine the # of job openings?

          • TFRX

            Quit while you’re behind, bub.

          • fun bobby

            its a valid question. with the internet there are many places to list jobs, many other job openings are never listed in any public forum. for example the plumber may want an assistant but he does not want to put the job in the paper and would rather hire someone through networking or headhunting. do they include every online or print job listing and how do they account for jobs that are unlisted? it seems like a tough problem to solve from a logistic point of view. thanks for your enlightened insight and thoughtful, topical commentary

          • hennorama

            fun bobby — again, from the BLS:

            “What is JOLTS?

            The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) produces monthly estimates of job openings, hires, quits, layoffs and discharges, and other separations. JOLTS data help measure the demand for labor (employers’ need for employees) and track the health of the economy.”

            The survey questionnaire is a very simple one page form.

            See:
            http://www.bls.gov/jlt/jltprovq.htm#what
            http://www.bls.gov/jlt/jltc1.pdf (the JOLTS survey form)

          • fun bobby

            they only survey 16,000 employers, seems like that number is a vague estimate

          • hennorama

            fun bobby — please provide any other relevant non-anecdotal data that you believe is less vague.

            Surveys are indeed imperfect, as I have stated on numerous occasions.

          • fun bobby

            like I was saying, I think its a very difficult logistical problem to get an accurate number of job openings. perhaps they could require that all job openings be reported to the federal govt on a daily basis. better yet this might be a good problem for the NSA to solve with illegal mass wiretaps and data mining. our numbers of how many are unemployed are fairly subjective so i don’t know how one could manage to get an accurate ratio that could not be massaged to fudge the number to whatever supports ones argument.

          • hennorama

            fun bobby — allow me to translate your comment:

            “[i, fun bobby, cannot] provide any other relevant non-anecdotal data that [i, fun bobby] believe is less vague.”

            Your argument seems to be “It’s too hard to figure it out (“a very difficult logistical problem to get an accurate number”), and any attempts to do so ‘could…be massaged to fudge the number to whatever supports ones argument.’ ”

            AKA – “I, fun bobby, don’t like the numbers BJS provided.”

            If no alternate data are available, how do you support your argument? With anecdotal information only? With reference to a completely unrelated topic, such as “the NSA…illegal mass wiretaps and data mining”?

            Care to try again?

          • fun bobby

            I don’t know if there is another or better source for this data. it may or may not be correct. as I said 16,000 businesses is a small sample size. to get the ratio you need both the number of openings and the number of unemployed seeking work. how to calculate the number of unemployed is constantly being debated. given the uncertainty in both these numbers the ratio of the two of them is clearly debatable. on the anecdotal side click on craigslist jobs board in your area and you will see there are many jobs posted and I can’t seem to recruit anyone to the openings I would like to fill for the life of me. are we limited to viewing he world through the lens of suspect governmental data analysis?

          • Steve__T

            Most people looking for work become very skeptical after a while, as in lost time on bogus jobs that turn out to be MLM scams and the like. You may want to change the wording around to attract the people you want to hire.

          • fun bobby

            I know all the struggles of searching for work. its pretty disgusting how nowadays there are so many scams targeted at employment seekers.
            I just try to recruit people in person who may be interested or do a good job.

          • hennorama

            fun bobby – TY for responding.

            All of your questions were answered.

            You have offered either zero evidence or merely anecdotal evidence for your position. That’s the point. You offer no alternate data. That’s the point. Not only do you offer no other data, you describe BLS data and their work as “suspect governmental data analysis” while offering NO BASIS for your description.

            Your entire rebuttal consists of “16,000 businesses is a small sample size.”

            That’s not a small sample size as these things go, but you offer no contradictory data, nor any surveys with larger sample sizes that might meet your idea of “not vague.” Nor do you offer any basis whatsoever for your statement “16,000 businesses is a small sample size.”

            Your words:

            “there is an opening for meat cutters down at the Stop and Shop for $15.50 an hour.” Anecdotal.

            “…if you quit your lousy $10 an hour job there are plenty more you can get.” Zero evidence.

            “people would rather collect than to do some dirty or unpleasant work or what they feel is below them. we have allowed beggars to be choosers.” Zero evidence.

            “I have jobs available where I work that also start at around $15 but you can make more and no experience of any sort is required.” Anecdotal.

            Look past your nose, sir.

          • fun bobby

            your argument reminds me of the old tobacco companies arguments about how there was not any scientific evidence that tobacco was harmful. I conceded that I did not have any alternate study to compare it to. I cannot create an alternate study if one does not exist. the fact that I am not aware of an alternative does not lend credibility to your study. there are well over 25 million businesses in America. their 16,000 survey only samples .00064%. do you see how there could be a potential error there? I noticed you have completely ignored the issue of the ratio taking two numbers and even if the numbers you have quoted about the openings are infallible I noticed you have not acknowledged that the other number needed for the ratio, the number of unemployed, is debatable at best.

            as far as this

            “…if you quit your lousy $10 an hour job there are plenty more you can get.” Zero evidence.

            I did not know I needed “evidence” for a simple statement of fact but here you go
            http://boston.craigslist.org/jjj/
            hundreds of jobs many of which pay $10 or better an hour. I stopped after the first 1000 listings, just for today, just in this area, just on one site. oh its anecdotal evidence which you dismiss but anecdotal evidence is in fact evidence so there is some evidence for you which is more than zero evidence.
            its kind of silly to have a discussion where someone must produce an indisputable scientific or government research to make any statement or observation and those making such a demand seem unfamiliar with statistical analysis. maybe you should pull your nose out of your spreadsheets and look around.

          • hennorama

            fun bobby – TY again for responding.

            You might want to re-check you arithmetic, as the result is NOT “ 00064% “ You’re just a wee tad low. “Keep you day job” is the usual advice here.

            As stated (again), surveys are indeed imperfect. While you may not have read all of my prior relevant posts, rest assured that I possess significant knowledge of and practice in statistical analysis. My phrase “ surveys are indeed imperfect” was meant to convey and acknowledge the limitations of surveys, and their resultant statistical outputs.

            However, you appear to accept some surveys and reject others, seemingly based on whether or not you like the resultant data.

            You wrote “there are well over 25 million businesses in America.” How do you know? Did you count all of them today? Even if you did count them all, how many of them have ANY employees?

            As you did not cite a source for your guess, allow me to speculate – the source of your “vague estimate” is either IRS or Census Bureau data. The Internal Revenue Service compiles data on tax returns that are filed, all of which are backward-looking and therefore not current. They also miss any businesses that, for myriad possible reasons, did not file a tax return. The U.S. Census Bureau also compiles and publishes statistical data based on a variety of SURVEYS, all of them with their own limitations.

            According to the Census Bureau, “About three quarters of all U.S. business firms have no payroll. Most are self-employed persons operating unincorporated businesses…” This makes your “vague estimate” irrelevant even if accurate.

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

            So, unless you have some other non-governmental source, you seem to accept some “governmental data analysis” while you describe and reject other data as “vague” and “suspect.”

            Your evidence is based on a sample size of ONE – you, sir.

            Your “vague estimate” is based on “a small sample size,” wouldn’t you agree?

            You are of course entitled to your opinion.

            On the other hand, I simply presented the data according to the BLS, none of which you have cogently refuted.

            For more on JOLTS methodology, see:
            http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch18.pdf

            Thanks again for your response.

        • TFRX

          I’m with henno.

          Have you not read a single story about “three hundred people applied for eight jobs” anywhere?

      • hellokitty0580

        Oh, the luxury of never having to struggle. I wish someone would take away your job. Then you might develop some empathy.

        • J__o__h__n

          I was being sarcastic. I would have thought that describing food stamps as being luxurious would have made that obvious. How does wishing someone joblessness demonstrate empathy?

          • hellokitty0580

            Sorry! I thought you were being serious. Understanding sarcasm on a message board can be difficult sometimes. Especially when there are so many on there who actually believe that!

          • J__o__h__n

            no problem

          • TFRX

            (Yeah, John’s got an ace deadpan.)

          • fun bobby

            while long ago lobster was considered poor people food today its considered a luxury item

          • J__o__h__n

            Actually it is cheap again. It was $4.99 lb most of the summer. I was almost getting tired of eating it.

          • northeaster17

            Your point is?

          • TFRX

            I’m guessing FB’s point is, apparently, the Reaganesque “welfare queens driving their Cadillacs to the lobster store” isn’t gonig to play any longer. Perhaps if we changed it to “food stamp moochers buying Kobe beef”.

          • Ray in VT

            Kobe Bryant has his own line of beef now?

          • TFRX

            I don’t know if I spelled it properly. I guess I’ll let that stay, because if I look it up, I might be called a “taker”.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that you did spell it right, but I was just looking to make a joke. Don’t be a taker, dude. Just choose to have a higher income or something.

          • TFRX

            Dang. I wasted my time choosing between Swiss and provolone on a sandwich, and I shoulda been choosing a higher income!

          • Ray in VT

            Go with Swiss if it was ham. Provelone for Turkey. Roast beef is for commies.

          • northeaster17

            You need to get to the Village Pantry in South Londonderry. Real Baguets, ham swiss, butter or mustard. Oh yeah

          • Steve__T

            Who you callin a commie!

          • fun bobby

            got to keep your eye on the prize

          • keltcrusader

            It is Japanese beef from a specific cow raised under certain conditions – very expensive and highly prized by people who have money to burn.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m generally aware of Kobe beef and how the animals get treated, which I understand is pretty cushy. We always just used to slaughter a heifer that wouldn’t breed. I think that we also ate the heifer that gored me.

          • keltcrusader

            sorry, thought you really hadn’t heard of it.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s okay. I heard about it years ago, but from whom or where I don’t recall. Creme fraiche was one that threw me. My wife put that on the list one week, and I asked what the heck that was.

          • fun bobby

            there is a southpark episode called crème fraiche if you have not seen it its a funny one

          • Ray in VT

            Oh yeah. I caught part of it again last week. It had the shakeweight that gave you cab fare home. They do some nice work, even if they are immature and crass at times.

          • fun bobby

            its hard not to like. they do great at mixing juvenile humor with very sophisticated social commentary.

          • Ray in VT

            I felt required to upvote your comment, given that someone downvoted it.

          • keltcrusader

            thanks, I think there maybe someone who will down vote any and all comments just to be funny

      • fun bobby

        now that I am hooked on lobster it might

    • StilllHere

      Their constituents don’t appear to agree.

    • fun bobby

      yes someone who feels that their education means they deserve a high paying job and they would rather collect benefits than take a lesser position does seem typical for the “great recession”.
      there is an opening for meat cutters down at the Stop and Shop for $15.50 an hour. have you applied yet?

      • hellokitty0580

        Or MAYBE it’s that a job that only pays 15.50 and hour barely support living let alone paying off that higher degree. Liberals don’t do math?

        • StilllHere

          Better to take unemployment/food stamps …?

        • fun bobby

          according to Mcemployees its .50 above a living wage

      • Melissa Mangino

        I am not saying I deserve a high paying job. I have been applying to entry level positions. I was making 56K and I have been applying to jobs that pay less than half of that In the meantime, I substitute teach and work at a wine shop for $10/hour. This is the new reality.

        • fun bobby

          the meat cutter job would put you at 32k per year. it would be a 50% raise above your wine shop job

          • TFRX

            I don’t know how to say this, but stop pretending to help this person. Your simplistic advice is bordering on the stupid.

          • fun bobby

            if this person actually wants help I can and will help them.
            suggesting getting a better job is soo stupid. much smarter to keep your lousy job and complain that it does not pay you better when there are other options

          • fun bobby

            were the down votes because people don’t like that I offered to help a fellow person or were people upset by the idea that people should take action to get better wages?

          • TFRX

            You’re assuming and/or projecting more than a bit.

            I’m saying “one job is one job” and I’m not calling you a liar about the one job you have in one supermarket, and I’m not saying “Person X should complain about their job”. Stop making an ass out of you and you.

            Exactly how many hundreds of miles should someone move to take a $15/hr job, huh? Is it 40 hours guaranteed? For how long?

            I’m looking at you like historians looked at Ronald Reagan who liked waving newspaper want-ads saying “There are plenty of jobs out there”, or Herbert Hoover who suggested that people in neighborhoods pool their pin money and pay people to do odd jobs and pick up trash: Little, incidental anecdotes are not a systemic solution and indicate nothing for the mass of people who find themselves less middle class than their parents and grandparents after doing everything properly and having a goddamn work ethic.

            PS Didn’t you also say “I don’t see any evidence of the sequester, so it’s not hurting anybody”? If so: Pick one.

          • fun bobby

            I am simply describing what I have observed. you are the one reading into it. I think you even called me a righty at one point. now you are comparing me to Reagan. that’s called projection.

            besides the job I have seen empty at the stop and shop for months now I have been trying to recruit people into a position that requires no experience, offers on the job training and plenty of flexible hours. It pays better than the meat cutter job. You don’t need to move at all for it we need people all over. It has been really difficult to find people. Do you find yourself less than middle class and have you done everything properly and do you possess a work ethic? if so I have a great job for you too. I looked at the boston jobs craigslist the other day and I stopped counting after I got to 1000 postings on that day alone. I don’t have influence over the problems in the country as a whole but if can help one person, I will . for some reason you accused me of “pretending” to help. that’s offensive. Who have you helped with your negativity?
            Furthermore you have revealed yourself to be a liar by making up a fake quote and attributing it to me. How can I have a discussion with someone who would lie like that? Its really counterproductive to an intellectual debate when you lie

          • anamaria23

            Could you provide the name of the meat cutter ( a fine job) job? All the ones in my neck of the woods are taken and I know someone who would relocate even to cut meat all day and actually has no skills in that area and cannot stand the sight of blood.

          • fun bobby

            it isn’t rocket science. apply at the stop in shop down on west Boylston st in Worcester. you have identified one of the issues, people would rather collect than to do some dirty or unpleasant work or what they feel is below them. we have allowed beggars to be choosers. If you are serious about needing work I have another job that requires no experience pays about the same or a little better but involves dealing in something much more unpleasant than meat (the public) let me know and I can contact you privately.

      • adks12020

        You are leaving out the fact that many employers won’t hire over qualified people because they assume they will leave as soon as another opportunity comes up. They are probably right about that but it does leave many job seekers in a very bad position. Even if they are ready and willing to take a lower wage job, or two, they can be hard to get when employers can find other people to do the work that don’t have as many prospects for higher earnings.

        • fun bobby

          that’s an interesting theory. there is quite a bit of turnover these days because if you quit your lousy $10 an hour job there are plenty more you can get. we cant keep people where I work in a position that pays $15 or better for fairly easy work

      • keltcrusader

        Meat-cutting is not a step-into-it type of job. You have to know what you are doing when butchering animals or the end result may make you disabled.

        She also said she has been unemployed off and on for the past 3 years which means she has been employed for some of this period. She said absolutely nothing about only being willing to take high paying jobs.

        In addition, that is a PT job and you must have at least 1 yr of experience to apply.

        • fun bobby

          actually being a meat cutter and being a butcher are different. it is certainly a skilled position none the less and can be dangerous as knives and saws are used. its just one job I keep seeing, there are many others.3 years seems like plenty of time to get one year of experience doing something. I have jobs available where I work that also start at around $15 but you can make more and no experience of any sort is required.

          • keltcrusader

            what is your business?

          • fun bobby

            marketing and promotions

          • jefe68

            They wont hire someone who is 44 with a masters. Use your head.

    • hennorama

      Melissa Mangino — thank you for sharing your story.

      Is relocation and/or retraining feasible?

      http://www.careerinfonet.org/oview2.asp?Level=Overall&id=1&nodeid=4

  • Gordon Green

    The Republicans’ reversal on the policies behind the ACA are yet another example of putting posture over substance. The ACA is based on Republican ideas and was originally a Republican policy. They are opposing it now only because Obama and the democrats have adopted it. This proves that their opposition is a political tactic, and not based on any honest notion of the public good. If they wanted to make life better for people, they would suggest revisions through the normal legislative process, instead of holding the country hostage to get their way. This brings in donations from their base at the expense of the rest of us.

    • fun bobby

      on the flip side you are supporting a republican program just because they named it after Obama

      • adks12020

        Republicans named it Obamacare. The actual name is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

        • fun bobby

          ok, call it what you will, you are supporting a heritage foundation/ Romney plan

          • adks12020

            I don’t fully support the Affordable Care act. I think parts of it are good but it should’ve gone further. It is better than nothing though and I’ll take baby steps in the right direction since that’s all we can hope to get from such a dysfunctional government. The real point here is that Republicans are NOT supporting it despite the fact that is essentially based on their ideas just because of the person that presented it…and that is plain ridiculous.

          • fun bobby

            that may be true. it may also be true that ACA is a terrible giveaway to the insurance companies and it has already caused a massive shift from full time to part time workers

      • Gordon Green

        I support universal government-financed single payer healthcare, without any insurance company involvement at all. But I also support imperfect attempts to improve the current system, which is untenable in its current state.

        • fun bobby

          I cant get behind doing something just to do something especially when this was written by the heritage foundation and seems to enrich the insurance companies and has caused the cost of my insurance to go up and the quality to go down. I have also witnessed a shift from full time job offerings to mostly part time job openings and the obvious reason for this is so the do not have to pay benefits

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      False equivalence.
      No republican or right wing think tank ever supported a 2,700 page big government law that spawned 10s of thousands (and growing) pages of regulations.

      Romneycare was only 60 pages.

      • Gordon Green

        Since when does the length of a bill determine whether or not you hold the country hostage to reverse it? The republican’s medicare part D was 426 pages; the affordable care act is 906 pages. Why not work to improve it instead of threatening the credit of the country and the operation of the government to circumvent the will of the people as expressed through the normal legislative process?

        http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-108publ173/pdf/PLAW-108publ173.pdf

        http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590enr.pdf

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Exactly. Why doesn’t Obama work with Congress to improve it and scale it back?

          Instead Obama threatens to shut down the government if he doesn’t get his way.

          • northeaster17

            Currently and historicaly the ones threatening to shut down government have to the right. Repub.’s and Teapeople

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            That is pure spin.

            The GOP have clearly stated they have no desire to shut down the government.
            Obama has said he WILL shutdown the government IF Obamacare isn’t completely funded.

            The Dems don’t get to define the narrative for lemming consumption any longer.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Historically?
            Like the numerous shutdowns in the 1980s?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      It is a laffer all right, to say nothing of being the basis of Romneycare. That’s why I’m not crazy abt it. Obamacare still has the corporations running the show. It’s very GoP-ish. I want Medicare for All!

      You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    Is the US government, both parties and all branches, irreparably destined to be only a tool for a small minority of its people?

    If so, should those of goodwill not fear but hasten its demise?

    What are alternative systems that can implemented that insure community, individuality, and liberty?

    • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

      A small number of people are becoming increasingly adept at gaming the system.

      • hennorama

        Interesting link. Thanks.

      • Steve_the_Repoman

        Thank you for the link.

        Even in my younger days the math would have been beyond me.

        Does game theory and mechanism design imply that there is only one game or can one choose not to play?

    • fun bobby

      although I do not subscribe to or endorse -isms or schisms, you may want to look into Voluntaryism

  • OnPointComments

    Jay Leno: US improv diplomacy. Who would have thought that when Secretary of State John Kerry pulled something out of his a$$ that it wouldn’t be a stick?

  • DeJay79

    on Syria “I don’t have the reports I’d need to make the right policy decision” -John McCormack

    However he has no problem, with out all the facts, to criticize the policies that have been enacted.

  • jimino

    It is time to clearly put on the table a plan to stop all federal spending in those Congressional districts who vote to refuse to honor already-incurred obligations, (which refusing to raise the debt ceiling does). Those voters need to be given what they want. To paraphrase your underwriter, “Taking personal responsibility for who you vote for. Its the policy.”

    • fun bobby

      so for example all of MA should be cut off because we do not comply with the NICS reporting?

      • jimino

        what’s that got to do with the debt limit issue?

        • fun bobby

          i was wondering if it applied to states who are not in compliance with any federal law

  • Rick Evans

    On the topic of mental health and guns, the fact that the NRA keeps talking it up is a reason to see it as a red herring. Health records are private unless the patient says something specific that triggers mandated reporting.

    Beyond that depression is probably a better epidemiological predictor of gun violence, i.e. suicide, than schizophrenia. Wanna bet the NRA would fiercely oppose any scientifically based policy such as a psychiatrist asking a depressed patient if they have guns in the home?

    Personally, have known several bipolar afflicted guys who periodically went off their meds and acted out violently as a consequence.

    • TFRX

      I loved the Colbert collage of conservatives who obsessed over the need for more complete, revocable background checks. Not for firearms, but for IDs to access military bases.

      • fun bobby

        that was funny.

    • fun bobby

      suicide is “gun violence”? is a gun the only means to commit suicide? which country has the highest suicide rate? what is the gun control policy there?
      do you think the states should comply with a law that would require them to provide court records about mental health legal rulings if one existed?
      you have correctly identified what is the cause of these tragedies and it is not guns. all these recent cases involved people on or who had gone off psychiatric drugs. That’s the real issue, the guns are the red herring. None of the recent gun control proposals would have altered this latest shooting one bit.

      • Rick Evans

        “suicide is “gun violence’?”

        No suicide is when one kills one’s self.

        However, if you shoot yourself you suffer a violent death.

        • fun bobby

          as opposed to hanging oneself or cutting ones wrists or the perennial favorite of jumping off a tall thing? are those non-violent? also I have heard that killing oneself with pills is not always as fun as people might imagine.
          I noticed you did not want to discuss what the gun control policies of the country with the highest suicide rate is. personally since this was prompted by a mass shooting I don’t know what suicide has to do with this discussion in the first place

          • Rick Evans

            “I don’t know what suicide has to do with this discussion in the first place.”

            It’s the NRA which has raised and harped on mental illness/ gun death connection. That most common connection is suicide and not running mass shootings. I merely pointed out why they’re bringing this up is a red herring.
            IAC you get the last word if you chose to reply.

          • fun bobby

            calling things “gun deaths” in the first place seems misleading at best. where you are fouling up is by actually thinking logically. gun control is not about logic. what is IAC?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      It’s a no brainer to see the NRA strategy: make it anything but guns. Got another mass shooting? Oooh, those dam video games! Oooh, we must do something abt mental health (while cutting budgets for it)!

      Perfect worldwide correlation of gun availability and gun violence. Get rid of the guns, please.

      And I am so sick of their going on abt the 2′nd amendment. They can’t even see the first clause. The 2′nd amendment is “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state….”. It’s about the militia, dammit. Any native english speaker can tell that the “right to bear arms” is contingent on the GOVERNMENT’S (state) need for a militia. If your guns don’t factor into your service in the militia, the amendment is irrelevant.

      • fun bobby

        shame on you Tom, just because Scalia’s last name ends with a vowel does not mean he is not as American as you or I. He was born in new jersey and is a native speaker.

        • StilllHere

          sad commentary

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I don’t need any unelected DC bureaucrat to tell me how to read a 2-clause sentence, and my grandparents came from Salerno, pisan. You gotta problem wit dat?

          • fun bobby

            did you register with selective services?
            if so then welcome to the militia, prepare yourself should you be needed by practicing marksmanship and/or other useful martial skills, there used to be some good government programs to help with your training but they have been privatized.
            “The constitutions of most of our States
            assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may
            exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think
            themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive
            and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all
            judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by
            representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right
            and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom
            of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of
            the press.”
            T Jefferson
            be armed, it’s your right and duty.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Read the holy Constitution. “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…” does not = a personal unlimited right to be armed.

          • Bluejay2fly

            Did you see what the police wheeled out in Boston after the marathon? Our law enforcement looks, acts, trains, and is armed like an army. Having soldiers occupying the streets instead of fellow citizens who are their to serve you is a problem. In fact having to quarter troops was one of our grievances against our mother country Great Britain. We did not see the red coats as a friendly force here to maintain law and order. If you scoff at this idea look at how large our court and prison system is? If we ever needed a lack of regulation of firearms it would be now to act as a check an an ever expanding occupying army.

          • fun bobby

            i have been thinking of filing suit to not pay half my taxes because that money goes to quartering troops. taking money from my pocket to quarter troops elsewhere seems very equivalent to the old timey practice of quartering troops in the home

          • Bluejay2fly

            Sounds like a great facebook meme.

          • fun bobby

            now you are thinking! I will need a pithy concise version of my argument and a clever picture

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Then who will build schools and clinics in Afghanistan? We can’t win hearts and minds without providing health care, y’know, so long as it’s not in USA.

          • fun bobby

            and who will accidentally launch cruise missiles at those same buildings? don’t get me started on their sending billions in weapons abroad when millions of American children are completely unarmed

          • fun bobby

            who do you think wrote the blessed thing?
            “it is their right
            and duty to be at all times armed”
            don’t you see how we are now subject to “terror” because so few observe their duty to be armed at all times? its worse than people not voting

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Of course, the safest thing is for everyone to be armed, especially when they get drunk and annoyed at friends and family.

            But seriously, some updates. 1. There is no more SS. 2. The gvt employees who fight our wars have arms provided for them at taxpayer expense. They don’t report for duty with ol’ betsy from over the fireplace anymore.

            The way wars are going, the 2′nd amendment probably makes more sense as “the right to bear video games”

          • fun bobby

            of course that’s the best because how many of their friends and family can they harm if those people are all armed? alcohol is one of the worst drugs. its illegal and unsafe to operate firearms when you are drunk and I agree with that law. do you often try to kill friends and family members when they annoy you or only if they annoy you while drinking? would you if you had a gun? I would think a reckless violent person like you might be headed for trouble and hurt a lot of people with or without a legally acquired firearm.
            could and/or would men be able to beat their wives if those wives had guns?

            there is defiantly still selective services. if you don’t sign up at 18 you can go to jail. govt employees fighting our wars that’s exactly what the founders were trying to achieve! if you get called to serve your community in the militia I hope you show up with a much better weapon than a brown bess for your own sake. but if you do don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.
            that’s funny about the cyber war. it does make one think the trillion we spend on defense is foolish when any clever enough person with a laptop could basically shut the whole thing down. what’s to stop them from hacking our drones or other things and turning them to their own ends or just trashing the power grid?

          • HonestDebate1

            It sure as hell doesn’t mean one has to form militia to have a gun. Glenn beck is getting the schoolbooks changed.

          • fun bobby

            clearly one could not possibly form a militia without having guns already

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    More evidence of peer review process corruption and skeptic gate keeping?

    By Dr. Judith Curry

    “My blog post on the Fyfe et al. paper triggered an email from Pat Michaels, who sent me a paper that he submitted in 2010 to Geophysical Research Letters, that did essentially the same analysis as Fyfe et al., albeit with the CMIP3 models.”

    “Drum roll . . . the paper was rejected. I read the paper (read it
    yourself), and I couldn’t see why it was rejected, particularly since it seems to be a pretty straightforward analysis that has been corroborated in subsequent published papers.

    The rejection of this paper raised my watchdog hackles, and I asked to see the reviews. I suspected gatekeeping by the editor and bias against the skeptical authors by the editor and reviewers.”

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/19/peer-review-the-skeptic-filter/

    • OnPointComments

      From one of my favorite columnists, Cal Thomas:

      CLIMATE CHANGE ICE-CAPPED
      http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/thomas091913.php3#.UjyaYabD_hc

      Excerpt:

      There is a tradition in politics that is similar to one in the legal profession: When evidence supports your position, make your argument based on the evidence, but when it argues against your position, ignore the evidence and appeal to emotion.

      The evidence is piling up that “climate change,” formerly known as “global warming,” is losing evidentiary support…“eminent scientists” have observed a record return of the Arctic ice cap as it grows by 60 percent in a year, covering with ice almost 1 million more square miles of ocean than in 2012…

      “…2013 may be the year in which man-made global warming fears enter the dustbin of history.” I doubt it. Too many people have too much invested in perpetuating this fiction. Billions of dollars and other currencies have been diverted into “green” projects in a Chicken Little attempt to stop the sky from falling. Former Vice President Al Gore has made a personal fortune promoting the cult of global warming, a cult being partially defined as a belief system that ignores proof contrary to its beliefs.

      • hennorama

        OPC — seriously — jewishworldreview.com is your best source? Talk about obscure. They practically beg their readers to cite them, and one is surprised that they don’t have a Visitors or Page Views counter prominently displayed on every page.

        Do they have ANY original content?

        Using that site is almost as good as a U.S. Senator using pravda.ru as a forum for his op-ed, or using the New York Post as an arbiter of good taste.

        As the ESPN Monday Night Countdown hosts say — C’MON MAN!

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Cal Thomas
          Cal Thomas
          Cal Thomas
          Syndicated columnist.
          Many newspapers.

          Why do so many people here complain about the medium when it is irrelevant? This is akin to me complaining about something written on the NYTimes site simply because that is where the author posted it. Yes, Putin wrote the op-ed. The NYtimes decided to publish it.

          • buddhaclown

            Putin wrote an opinion piece, you are talking about science. See, that is the problem, people like you don’t understand the difference. You have absolutely no clue what science even is, yet you are so convinced that somehow you are smarter than the entire scientific community.

          • HonestDebate1

            The current science says the 2007 IPCC report was bogus.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Oh my.

            Sorry pal but I happen to have a background in science. I also follow the climate change industry fairly closely. Even without that background it isn’t too difficult to tell the difference between good science and propaganda.

            However, I wasn’t commenting on the merits of Cal Thomas piece but Hennorama’s dismissal simply because of the website that was linked. Please try and pay attention if you are going to bother to respond.

        • OnPointComments

          There is a tradition in commenting that is similar to one in the legal profession: When evidence supports your position, make your argument based on the evidence, but when it argues against your position, ignore the evidence, appeal to emotion, and disparage the messenger. Cal Thomas has been a journalist for nearly 40 years, and is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. 540 newspapers in the United States and abroad carry his column.

          • hennorama

            WftC & OPC – I understand your point. I have little interest in arguing against the opinion of Mr. Thomas, as that is indeed merely his opinion.

            What I find surprising is that those who seem supportive of the ideas of capitalism might support a website that appears to simply aggregate content from elsewhere.

          • OnPointComments

            Uh huh. If you’re surprised (really?) that those who seem supportive of the ideas of capitalism might support a website that appears to simply aggregate content from elsewhere, you must be shocked — SHOCKED — to the point of delirium when you use Google.

          • hennorama

            OPC — certainly if that was ALL that Google did, their services and products would be far less interesting. I’m not a user of GoogleNews or any other news aggregator, except for grabbing the occasional quotation from sites (which would be far better examples for you) such as dailykos.com and thedailybeast.com.

            I do use news alert services for specific topics and individuals, but otherwise do not subscribe to news aggregation, most especially not from obscure websites.

        • HonestDebate1

          It’s only obscure to you as you ignore the substance. Many highly respected journalist syndicate their columns there, Cal Thomas included. These heavyweights have a different view than you or they would not contract with JWR and sing their praises as they often do.

          • hennorama

            Debates Not, Eh? – Wrong, as usual.

            That website is demonstrably and measurably obscure. It appeals only to a very narrow audience, and is laughably poorly designed. IOW, it’s a joke. More than 40% of visitors bounce after a single page view. It’s 2nd best search term is “which poptarts burst into flames,” leading to an article from 2001!

            See:
            http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/jewishworldreview.com#trafficstats

            So much for “honest debate.”

          • OnPointComments

            Your argument is convoluted. Would the content of Cal Thomas’ column have been any different if the link had been to one of the 540 newspapers that publish his column, or to his own website, or to any of the other news websites that have his column?

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ve always liked the design. I can scroll through 14 years of Cal Thomas’ columns week by week in a list. It’s simple.

            When Walter Williams substitutes for Rush he will often times have his good friend Thomas Sowell on. They hawk their wares by telling the universe’s largest radio audience to go to Jewish World Review.

            On those occasions Rush’s long time engineer Bo Snerdley with authentic slave blood is working the phones. The white people listening like it when Rush turns his massive, historically huge, to kill for if you’re a liberal, mouthpiece over to the black folks. The high brow intellectual discussions are great.

          • hennorama

            From the Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic:

            [That's sick]

          • HonestDebate1

            What about my comment can possibly be construed as sick?

          • Steve__T

            “Authentic slave blood” Your white sheet is showing again. I’m sure you also think that this response from the Police was OK. Unarmed Black man shot 10 times after seeking help.

            http://www.wral.com/unarmed-man-shot-by-nc-police-after-apparent-wreck/12887484/

          • HonestDebate1

            I saw that, it’s awful. Are you saying the cop was a racist? The officer was arrested. His response was anything but OK. What in the world are you thinking?

      • nj_v2

        Cal Thomas?!

        Hahahahahaha!!

        • TFRX

          “If this is anybody but Steve Allen, you’re stealing my bit!”

          (h/t Krusty)

      • jimino

        In a study of various pundits’ projections Thomas was the worst and Will close behind. But a lot of people thrive on being lied to and misled. We see a lot of them on this site

  • TomK_in_Boston

    We aren’t allowed to look at the rest of the world. The fact that they have lower costs and better outcomes would cause the righty brain to spontaneously combust. We really know in our hearts that the euros are dying in the gutters because they don’t have forms to fill out for WellPoint.

    • Carla

      The euros think we are dying in the gutters without socialized medicine. They pay 40% income tax and 20% value added tax. Then the euro middle class purchase supplemental health insurance because the socialized system doesn’t give them good enough care.

      • Politheatrics

        What about Belgium? I hear people are going there for surgery they can’t afford here in the US at far lower cost with far better outcomes.

        • Carla

          Perhaps lower cost for Americans because we don’t pay Belgian income and value added taxes. Our healthcare system needs fixing, yes, it is far too expensive, but Obamacare will make it more so.

          • Politheatrics

            How so? Everyone is saying Obamacare will be so expensive but they’re not providing facts or figures. I worked in the healthcare industry running a multi-million dollar clinic. I saw excess cost and inefficiency everywhere. If at the very least, Obamacare makes the insurance and medical industries drive down our very high cost of healthcare, won’t that be beneficial for millions of Americans?

          • Carla

            Facts and figures please.

          • Politheatrics

            I’m happy to share as I lived it and had to manage providers, services and materials. I can’t mention my employer, other than to say they were a highly visible, large corporate giant in the healthcare industry. What I can tell you is that like any large corporation they have a monthly budget my clinic (and 400 others just like it) have to meet to include a hefty profit. If we didn’t have enough patient visits to meet our budget, we had creative ways to drive up visits and costs to meet our budgeted plan. And I had to tightly control costs by not hiring the number of people I needed, and keeping them at low wages to meet corporate profit goals. Frankly it was a business based on top line sales and profits – not a place that was first and foremost concerned about patient well-being and care. That is what is the primary problem with our healthcare system – it’s not about healthcare.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        They live longer than us and they have lower infant mortality. All that tax doesn’t seem to hurt. In USA the best years for the middle class were high tax years. Taxes are good.

        It must be so horrible to not wonder what tricks WellPoint will pull on your coverage next in europe. That must be why they die so young – except they don’t.

  • fun bobby

    my costs have gone up steadily since romneycare was passed

  • buddhaclown

    Whenever Obama gets what he wants, it always appears as if someone else deserves the credit, or the result was one of pure luck, or often it appears as if he lost when really he won. No one really understands Obama. Even now the media is still convinced the Syria deal was just Putin saving Obama from near disaster. That is so funny to me. The idea that he would have seriously put this thing to a congressional vote if he had genuinely wanted to win is silly. He even admitted that his internal polling showed that they would lose a congressional vote before he even put it up for a vote. The guy is just ten steps ahead of everyone else and even now the pundits are scratching their heads.

    Obama is a political master.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Yeah, Obama plays the fool so well he probably deserves an Academy Award for acting. Or maybe he deserves the Chauncey Gardner memorial prize.

      • fun bobby

        today I was hearing someone compare politics to professional wrestling, there are quite a few parallels

  • William

    Obama care was a flawed idea that nobody got a chance to read and only rewarded big medical insurance companies and Washington elites. We need a few years to study this bill and make the necessary changes to ensure minorities, women, children, seniors, illegals, LBGT’s, Dreamers, insurance companies, unions, all get their inputs and exemptions in place.

    • Politheatrics

      How does Obama care reward big insurance companies? Be specific please. I would think that increased competition in the new insurance marketplace offering folks the ability to choose from a variety of lower cost insurance plans wouldn’t reward any of the insurance companies as they will compete with eachother for the business.

      • nj_v2

        Are you serious?

        “How does Obama care reward big insurance companies?”

        Passing a law that requires people to purchase a product from private businesses and caving in on a public option doesn’t reward big insurance companies?

      • jefe68

        Why do you think the lobby that represents them went along with the ACA, it was due to the mandate and the prospect of making that much more profit from premiums.

  • Bluejay2fly

    I was reading about how people are befuddled about the NRA’s often stubborn stance and it reminded me of what a member once told me. The theory is that gun opponents always want to restrict gun rights and never offer either an end to their objective of continued assault on gun ownership or any expansion of gun privileges. In this sense the many gun rights enthusiasts (like those in the NRA) feel like Chamberlain negotiating with NAZI Germany. Why agree to move the border if the other side is going to continue to push until you are in the sea? Unless people realize the bad ideas on both sides and work to forge a more reasonable and permanent accommodation the stalemate will continue. I for one would rather see no laws than abominations like The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, The NYS SAFE Act, and The Lautenberg Amendment.

    • OnPointComments

      Who truly believes that if a bill was passed banning assault weapons and requiring enhanced background checks, that the anti-gun lobby wouldn’t be back the next day asking for more. I bet they would.

      • fun bobby

        look no further than devil patricks appearance on beacon hill the other day for proof that is the truth

      • Bluejay2fly

        Therein lies the problem. I have no problem with regulation but banning something is the complete revocation of one’s rights.

        • fun bobby

          and a complete abdication of regulation

      • TFRX

        Slipperyslopery by any other name…

        I mean yours, not the imagined “Dems are coming for yer guns” variety.

        • fun bobby

          while they occasionally throw out platitudes about not coming after hunters does anyone really believe they are ok with guns in principle?

          • TFRX

            Stop JAQing it, FB. You need to get out more.

            All the righties here have this projection and belief on gun stuff. “I bet they would”. “Does anyone believe they are okay with guns?”

            Take that wide, and we get outsized inpupt from the low-information people watching the right wing media’s blather about gun confiscation. That makes the simple “I was jes asking” stuff meaningless.

          • fun bobby

            thank you for your inpupt.

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

            New York restricted magazines to seven bullets and gave owners of higher-capacity magazines a year to sell them elsewhere.
            mass already has some of the strictest laws in the country, yet devil Patrick is up asking for more and more. a few of the things constitute blanket bans on the right to keep and bear arms while others would only preclude the non wealthy from keeping and bearing arms. many of the things are so absurd at this point they cant even explain what they are. devil wants to ban “high powered rounds” what does that mean? can you tell me what more can the gun control people want and when will they be happy if not when all guns are banned?

          • TFRX

            Anytime you gun sorts are OK with enforcing the laws on the books, let us know. The only time I hear the piffle about “enforcing laws already on the books” is when new laws are suggested. When the spit hits the fan, it’s “That’s not the one we meant”.

          • fun bobby

            a “gun sort”? what should I mischaracterize you as? I can’t speak for anyone else but I am constantly calling for the laws to be enforced. probably dozens of times on this forum alone. the police in MA constantly defy the firearms laws on the books. there are 20,000+ laws on the federal level and the summery of mass law is 500 pages long. it seems like at least we should enforce those before passing more. none of the suggested laws even have anything to do with the tragedies that supposedly inspire them. what exactly is the point of passing another unenforced or unenforceable law that has nothing to do with whatever event supposedly inspired the need for it?

          • fun bobby

            “McDonnell belongs to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but he’s not convinced that even ridding the country entirely of guns would end this kind of violence.”
            must be something that they have considered at their meetings

    • fun bobby

      yes I often am often perplexed why we are not asked what types of laws would actually help. instead people who know nothing about guns make laws that are nonsense, then they act surprised when they do not achieve their goals.

      • Bluejay2fly

        When I was mobilized I watched dozens of soldiers who should have joined us in Iraq go home because of the Lautenberg Amendment. I appreciated being understrength and working 70 hour work weeks ,and that law is touted as an achievement.

  • gslouch

    Somebody please flush the House toilet! The Affordable Care Act is a law! It’s already helped me keep my 20 something son on my health care. What buffoonery! As legislators the Republicans just seem to want to sink to increasingly lower levels of despicability. So, so tiresome. Cutting food stamps, maintaining the sequester, voting to defund the health care law. Good grief!!!

    • HonestDebate1

      I agree Obamacare is the law of the land but evidently Obama does not because he is delaying much of it by decree. He has no authority to to so. It seems to me Congress should vote to delay it all or implement it all. You know, the legislative process. I know it sounds silly. The last thing Obama wants is to do is stick to the implementation schedule which is now law. It will kill yet more jobs and cripple the economy even further. He can’t have the unpopular law affect the midterms.

    • jefe68

      Funny how the GOP voted to raise the debt limit 19 times when Bush was president.

      • jefe68

        The truth hurts, you right wingers live in la, la land.

        • pete18

          “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit
          is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government
          can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on
          ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our
          Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s
          debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that
          ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad
          choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

          Guess who?

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

    Today’s guest were horrid. Heuvel manages to be obnoxious while parroting the democrat talking points of the day. McCormack who was supposed to represent the republican point of view was incapable of doing so.

    • jefe68

      Don’t listen. It’s really that simple. From your comments it’s clear that you are not interested in what anyone who is not a right wing regressive has to say anyway.

    • buddhaclown

      I don’t think it is really possible to represent the republican point of view these days without looking like a complete idiot. All things considered, I think he did a decent job.

      • TFRX

        Actually, and this is becoming a thing with me, there is No Republican Party remaining.

        Anyone going on for them is doing damage control, trying to paper over the hidden money hacks (Americans for Prosperity, Crossroads, Kochs), valuistas, military chickenhawks chest-beater neocons, and the two hundred of them who really want a small-govt (and are only heard of when the Dems are in power).

        It’s like watching a TV sitcom where a guy has to pretend to be two women’s boyfriend at the same time and place without anyone catching on: Can be mighty entertaining to watch.

  • Carla

    Yes, the woman from the Nation is horrid. she can’t talk about the news without calling Republicans “wusses” carrying on “madness”. Exaggerated talk like that shows lack of reasonable reflection. And once again we see a supposedly balanced table with Tom Leftbrook’s Off Center.

    • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

      Tom manages to be pretty centered. In fact, his devil’s advocate schtick is wearing pretty thin with me. To hear a valuable discussion, you have to listen to Diane Rehm’s Friday roundtable at 10 pm. Same format, but what a difference in eliciting useful viewpoints without On Point’s tired theatrics. And yes, like a powerful anti cancer drug, Katrina is a necessary evil. The other schmuck was in Re-bubbleCant
      la la land. Beatty is always dignified and reliable.

      • Carla

        He was a bit of a schmuck, cherry-picked by Tom Leftbrook and his team to weakly represent the right viewpoint.

    • nj_v2

      You want to try to make an argument that the current Republican party isn’t totally useless? Go ahead, that should be entertaining.

    • TFRX

      I would like you to read up on the “b—- slap theory” of politics. Let’s just say if you call Vanden Heuvel unreasonable and name-calling, you need to get out more.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      LOL, by all means let’s hear more from Heritage and Cato.

      Hope you also turn of the radio when the hate filled Rush/Beck talk pollutes the air.

  • Carla

    Ah! What a pleasure to turn off the radio while Katrina stormed on.

  • Politheatrics

    Why won’t everyone that keeps touting that Obamacare is too expensive and won’t help the majority of the people in this country back up their claims with real facts and figures? I’m so sick of personal opinion vs. educated, researched and thoughtful opinions. And when you ask for facts and figures, you don’t get it. Where are the verified facts? Where are the well-researched figures? And why does general Republican position not take into consideration that so many Americans don’t have access to our healthcare system because they can’t afford it? And those that do have to pay so much for it that their disposable income has been significantly reduced, affecting general spending in the U.S.?

    • William

      We have to live in the real economy…we are broke…Medicaid is bankrupting the states…Medicare is bankrupting the nation…nice programs…but unaffordable…now toss in a new one….which does not cover everyone…so why bring it out?….

      • spiral007

        It is not just medicare and medicaid, they are just a reflection of the overall out of control healthcare system. Medicare and medicaid have better cost trends than the overall healthcare system.

        you ask why bring it out?; well this is an interim step, because Obama did not have the political guts to go for some sort of a single payer system. Single Payer is going to happen here as well, just as it is the case in most western countries where their cost is half ours as a % of GDP.

      • TFRX

        When your lot gets in power, fix it.

        Like every conservative Prez since my childhood has balanced the budgsadlkj;ffepr8tgewrrrpht.

        (Sorry, couldn’t finish typing that without a fit of coughing laughter.)

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

    The biggest disconnect is between Katrina vanden Heuvel and reality.

    • brettearle

      vanden Heuvel makes more sense then 90% of all journalists who show up on the program.

      You’re simply personally threatened by her ideology. It violates your misguided precepts about what YOU think America is all about or what you think America should be all about.

      We’re very lucky to have her around.

      • nj_v2

        Nah. The Nation used to be worth something. Now, KvH is just another Democratic apologist/enabler.

        She talks a good game, but never really criticizes or calls out the corporo-Dems on their impotence and kowtowing to the corporate agenda.

        OnPoint once again skews the panel right-ish by never or rarely having anyone further left that these pretend progressives like KvH.

        • brettearle

          KvH does not churn out the same denigrating propaganda, such as her counterparts on the Right.

          What reasoned Republican makes sense?

          Lowry? Maybe
          Brooks? Qualified Yes

          Brooks is closer to the Center than KvH–so I might look to him as a higher level of commentary.

          I think KvH’s publication is likely more extreme than she comes across–although I haven’t read it in a while.

          KvH accurately depicts, i think, the obdurate nature of the Destructive Republicans.

          • pete18

            “What reasoned Republican makes sense?”

            George Will
            Thomas Sowell
            Byron York
            Victor Davis Hanson
            Mark Steyn
            Peggy Noonan
            Star Parker
            John Podhoretz
            Rachel Alexander
            Ross Douthat
            Roger Simon
            Rich Lowry
            Ben Shapiro
            Michael Barone
            Jeff Jacoby
            Robert Samuelson
            Rachel Marsden
            Charles Krauthammer
            Jonah Goldberg
            James Pethokoukis
            Dennis Prager
            John Stossel
            Frank J. Fleming
            Walter Williams

            To name a few.

          • jefe68

            George Will? Please, that tired old pontificator of BS. The rest of your list brings the same response. Oh please spare us the regressive memes.

          • pete18

            Snappy critique, sure puts ol’ George in his place.

          • StilllHere

            It’s all that guy’s got. Useless.

          • TFRX

            Richard “Starbursts” Lowry?

            He needs to publically mea culpa. He needs to whip himself (proverbially) in public and explain, as a child would, how he was wrong and how he’ll never do it again.

            Until that happens, there are plenty more gullible places to Reasonable(Sic)Republican, for my money, than public radio.

  • StilllHere

    Drop in the bucket.

  • hennorama

    This is a re-re-recommendation of the video series EARTHFLIGHT, from PBS.

    Here’s the Introduction to this truly amazing, jaw-dropping, and breathtaking series:

    “What would it be like to see the world from a bird’s perspective? To experience riding on the backs of bald eagles and snow geese or flying alongside a flock of brown pelicans as they scan and dive for fish in the ocean below. State-of-the-art technology and sophisticated camera techniques have now made it possible to do just that and more as EARTHFLIGHT, A Nature Special Presentation takes viewers on a breathtaking aerial adventure over six continents.

    “It took EARTHFLIGHT series producer John Downer and his team four years to film more than 100 bird species in 40 different countries. Using strategically placed cameras, including tiny HD cameras placed on the backs of trained birds, this six-part series captures amazing viewpoints that have never been seen before.”

    Three episodes have aired thus far – Episode One: North America, and Episode Two: Africa, and Episode Three: Europe. All are currently available for viewing on the PBS website (link below).

    One caveat – if you watch with children present, be aware that there are a number of predator/prey interactions depicted.

    A few highlights from Episode Three: Europe:

    * White horses of the Camargue delta in southern France (see photo below).
    * Starlings flocking into Rome (see video clip below)
    * Swallows capturing feathers in midair, to line their nests.
    * Storks nesting in chimneys reuniting with their mates.

    You’ll have to watch the episode for the last two.

    See: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/earthflight/introduction/8388/

    Here’s a video clip of one predator/prey interaction, between some of the “5 million starlings [that] stream into Rome…each winter evening,” and a peregrine falcon (the clip is 1:30 in length):

    http://video.pbs.org/widget/partnerplayer/2365072926/?allowfullscreen=true

    Enjoy!

  • ExcellentNews

    When Obamacare finally passed, I thought “what a piece of garbage, what a piece of corporate welfare”…

    But now, seeing how livid the Republicans are against it, I am starting to think “Maybe there is something in it that will be good for the 99%”.

    I mean, seriously – if you need a litmus test for whether a piece of legislation will benefit the majority of Americans, just look whether the Republicans oppose it. If they support it, chances are it benefits only hedge fund managers, bankers, CEOs, Chinese exporters, oil sheikhs, mega-church “preachers”, and assorted global oligarchs.

    • pete18

      What a sharp piece of analytical thinking.

      • jefe68

        What a dull piece of rhetorical discourse.

    • fun bobby

      too bad they made us miss that great Syria war I bet that would have been awesome

  • jefe68

    Is it me or does the tea party faction of the GOP seem like a cadre of fanatical nihilist know-nothings.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Not just you.

      • pete18

        Well, OK it’s you and Tom.

        • jefe68

          What is it with you regressive right winger tea party wankers.

          • pete18

            You’re so erudite tonight, Jeff.

          • jefe68

            Well it beats being ignorant.

    • pete18

      It’s just you.

      Name something they are promoting that is either fanatical or nihilist?

      • jefe68

        Using the threat to shut down the government to get their way is a nihilistic approach to governing.
        No it’s anyone with enough sense to see these rubes are not fit to govern. Even Bob Dole thinks this current crop of nihilistic extremist are destroying the GOP. That you are OK with this tells me you’re a tea party fanatic, or at least you support this BS.

        • William

          Bob Dole?…one of those old get along to go along worthless career elite insiders..yes…he is someone the GOP needs to listen too…

          • jefe68

            Really, so Bob Dole means nothing to you.
            That says a lot and really lends to the idea that the right is a vacant lot of ideas.

            What about Eisenhower. How about William F. Buckley….

            Who had Noam Chomsky on his show.
            Noam Chomsky can’t even get on TV anymore.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYlMEVTa-PI

          • fun bobby

            is it always the same pen or does he have different ones?

        • pete18

          Oh heavens, the world will most definitely end if the government temporarily shuts down. Quick, everyone, run for your lives!!

          • jefe68

            That’s your answer? Really?
            What a joke. You’re a joke not to be taken seriously.

          • pete18

            Here’s some more of the nihilist point of view:

            “But the government will only shut down if Obama vetoes the budget that
            comes to his desk. The House budget funds everything except for
            implementation of the Affordable Care Act better known as ObamaCare.”

            “Indeed, one reason, I suspect, that he’s set down a red line on ObamaCare is that it’s pretty much the only legislative accomplishment he can claim as his legacy. The problem with that is that ObamaCare was unpopular in 2010 (that’s why Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who crammed it through, is no longer
            speaker, but a minority figure in a GOP-controlled House). ObamaCare has
            become, if anything, even more unpopular now as costs have risen way
            beyond projections even as the number of people covered has shrunk to
            less than half of what was advertised. People are losing their insurance — or their jobs — as policies are canceled and employers shift to part-time hiring
            in order to escape ObamaCare’s onerous restrictions. It’s no wonder
            that an NBC poll a week ago found that 45% of U.S. adults say that the Affordable Care Act will make the health
            care situation in the U.S. worse, while only 23% say the law will make
            it better. And as ABC notes, currently 52% oppose the law, and, even more striking: “In 16 ABC-Post polls since August 2009, it has never received majority support.”

            And this is the best: “Now, in spite of these sentiments, Obama will negotiate with Iran or Syria, but not with the House Republicans. And if the Senate passes
            the House bill and sends it to him, Obama will presumably enforce this red line and veto the budget, plunging the nation into a government shutdown.”

            http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/09/23/obamacare-gop-debt-ceiling-column/2850061/

          • StilllHere

            A shut down would be like the sequester, difficult to notice.

          • fun bobby

            but the roots of the fragile redwoods will be trampled without government workers to protect them from the public!

        • fun bobby

          if what they want is to shut down the government they are anarchists not nihilists

  • TomK_in_Boston

    It’s funny that some people think NPR has a left wing bias. Maybe it did once, but it is now standard DC echo chamber corporate media, as I’ve said over and over. So I was interested to come upon this info about the new boss at NPR. Anyone think we’ll be hearing hard-hitting investigative reporting about the corrupt financial sector with Mr Haaga in charge? Anyone think there can be a lefty voice with this kind of board? ROTFL

    “On September 13, NPR named a new acting president and CEO: board member Paul G. Haaga.The NPR press release (9/13/13) states that Haaga’s “accomplished career” included a stint as “chairman of the Investment Company Institute”–the powerful lobbying group of the mutual fund industry. As the Los Angeles Times (11/29/03) once reported, “Mutual funds have been mostly shielded from the reforms forced on the financial world–thanks in large part to the efforts of the Investment Company Institute.”

    NPR also adds that Haaga has ties to right-wing think tanks–he is “a member of the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute” and he sits on “the Board of Overseers of Hoover Institution at Stanford University.”

    Haaga is also a fairly regular contributor to Republican politicians. According to OpenSecrets.org, this year he made a $32,400 donation to the Republican National Committee; in the previous two years, he made contributions of around $30,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. He’s also given four-figure checks to a large number of mostly Republican candidates, including Rep. Paul Ryan, George Allen and Mitch McConnell.

    So the new boss–for now–at NPR is a former financial industry lobbyist who is a regular donor to Republican politicians, with ties to two prominent conservative think tanks. When NPR finds a new boss, he’ll continue to be a member of NPR’s board.”

    • spiral007

      I agree, NPR started the trend more than 2 to 3 years ago..it is now indistinguishable from MSM, except for a few specific programs.

      • TFRX

        Oh, would that it were recognized as indistinguishable.

        I’ve grown hoarse at laughing at anyone who tries to win a discussion with some claptrap “EvenTheLiberalNPR says…”.

      • fun bobby

        did you know that you can buy forever stamps at walmart?

    • tbphkm33

      I have mainly listened to foreign news podcasts for years now – many from the BBC and ABC (Australia). Not only for more balanced reporting, but to get the full story. I find journalism standards have fallen spectacularly in the U.S. – even in former pillars like the New York Times. Often U.S. “journalists” fail to get to the point or skirt right around the point. Its all that dance with big business/big money who are pulling the strings.

      I find OnPoint to be one of the few U.S. originating news programs that actually manages to really look into topics and retain integrity. When I look at my podcast list, its OnPoint and Car Talk, then the rest are foreign. Used to listen to Science Friday, but they started 3 to 5 minute commercials, so I unsubscribed to them – can download a better BBC science program without commercials.

  • OnPointComments

    From Dr. Richard Lindzen, atmospherics physicist and the Alford P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fall 2013:

    “Global climate alarmism has been costly to society, and it has the potential to be vastly more costly. It has also been damaging to science, as scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions.

    “Global Warming has become a religion. A surprisingly large number of people seem to have concluded that all that gives meaning to their lives is the belief that they are saving the planet by paying attention to their carbon footprint.

    “…the cracks in the scientific claims for catastrophic warming are, I think, becoming much harder for the supporters to defend…one can only hope that some path will emerge that will end the present irrational obsession with climate and carbon footprints.”

    http://www.jpands.org/vol18no3/lindzen.pdf

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Except the pols are bought by the fossil fuel industry and listen to them and to the righty blogs, not the real scientists, and are cutting R&D funding, not increasing it. But other than the facts you’re doing fine.

  • pete18
  • HonestDebate1

    No one talks about who actually deserves blame if the government shuts down. It’s all about who will be blamed. That says a lot about Obama’s tactics and the media. After 1995 the Republicans lost some House seats but gained 2 in the Senate. The shutdown set the stage for real progress on welfare reform and other weighty issues. In the end it was a good thing.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      It is amazing how they manipulate the narrative.

    • fun bobby

      they should bring all of our troops home so they can be furloughed here

  • hennorama

    Republicans and pundits admit Obamacare is neither “government-run healthcare” nor “a government takeover of health care.** ”

    House Republicans, in voting to “Fund the Government, Defund Obamacare” have stepped on their own arguments. Their tactic indicates that Obamacare is not part of “the Government,” thereby disproving their own prior nonsensical arguments.

    Desperation breeds mistakes.

    ** PolitiFact’s 2010 Lie of the Year: ‘A government takeover of health care’

    See:
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/dec/16/lie-year-government-takeover-health-care/

    • pete18

      Thank you Poli-Fact for an irrelevant distinction.

    • fun bobby

      I have always characterized it as a government giveaway to insurance companies and big pharma at the expense of the American taxpayer

  • fun bobby

    how has anyone determined that no one was following this guy around and using mind control devices on him?

  • HonestDebate1

    I contacted my Senators today to support the efforts of Ted Cruz. It’s a bit convoluted, I know. There is not a prayer with Hagan and Burr is sticking with the establishment to this point. We’ll see.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 31, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin heads the Cabinet meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.  (AP)

The US and Europe face off against Russia. Are we looking at Cold War II? Something hotter?

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Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

 
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