Transparency I Can’t See Through

democrat_and_republican_symbols1When I was a kid, I used to have the habit of walking or standing in the way of whatever my parents would be watching on the television. Inevitably, I would get the comment from my father that I “make a better door than a window,” letting me know that he cannot see through me. I have never forgotten that phrase and I continue to use it on my son and Mrs. Weapon. But I think that it is quite safe to say that, despite campaign promises to “bring transparency to Washington,” this administration, like all those before it, has no interest in being transparent. In fact I think that this administration is far less transparent than any administration in my lifetime. So I have to say that government really makes a better lead lined concrete wall than a window these days.

Transparent ObamaLet me say up front that in no way would I claim that the previous administration was transparent in their dealings. They certainly were not, as we are seeing. Unfortunately we are seeing how much out of sight crap went on only because the current Democrats in Congress are attempting to play a political “gotcha” game in an misguided ploy to show that the Republicans were “bad” and Democrats are “good”. The Bush administration could have played this childish game with Clinton, Clinton could have with Bush Sr., etc… But this particular highly partisan Congress is doing their level best to convince the American citizens that their party isn’t nearly as bad as that other group of people. And the Bush administration was the worst on this, just as Clinton was worse than Bush Sr. and Bush Sr. was worse than Reagan. Every administration has gotten subsequently worse in terms of transparency and honesty with the citizens. Candidate Obama promised to change all that.

The problem is that they are worse. I know Ray and Todd will now have the hackles go up on the back of their necks. But let’s face it boys, This might be the most non-transparent, hypocritical group of people that we have seen since, well, Bush. We all remember the campaign promises of transparency. They persist today (not a surprise given that Obama is still in “campaign mode”). On the official White House website, we are treated to the following: President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and WhiteHouse.gov will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President’s executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.

No Time for Questions ObamaOn his first day in office he issued a memorandum on transparency and open government. From that day forward the administration has been an official hypocritical group, failing to foster transparency and honesty in ANY of their dealing with the American citizens. No matter the issue, they have hidden facts, allowed for acts that further the lack of transparency within the administration and furthermore, within the entire Washington scope of government. I want to start with the ways that this White House has allowed Congress to manipulate bills and legislation with zero accountability being held. If Obama were serious about transparency, he would have vetoed the economic stimulus bill. He would have said, “the lack of transparency in passing this legislation undermines the promise of this administration to have more transparency in the dealings of government.” But he didn’t, because he never intended to be transparent in the first place.

At what point will Americans get off the partisan train and start calling a spade a spade? Democrats should be outraged by the conduct of both this Congress and this White House. But they aren’t, because it is OK for “our side” to use any means necessary to “win”. That is the American principle in place these days. Whatever it takes to win. Who cares if the tactic is immoral, unfair, un-Constitutional, dirty, or even against the teachings of the God we worship. Do what it takes to win. If it takes removing individual rights to spread god’s word, that’s cool. If it takes hiding the truth about a bill by inserting 300 page amendments at 4:00 am and passing it within 12 hours, that’s OK. If it means shutting down Congress so that opposition points are not allowed to be expressed on the House floor, that is OK too. So long as our side “wins”. We have accepted this type of behavior for too long. It is time we get back to our moral principles and values in this country. But that is another article for another day.

Obama Campaign Change We NeedThe point is that there is no transparency in today’s government. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. And the only reason I call out the Obama administration on this is because they made it a staple of their platform, reciting in each of their 10 speeches a day on the campaign trail. They promised transparency. And stupid Americans bought it. People thought they might actually get transparency. Suckers.

The most obvious place to point out is in the legislation being passed in Congress and pushed by the White House. Over and over bills are being passed without the American public being given time to read them or review them, to comment or offer thoughts. Bills over a thousand pages long, full of the pork Obama promised to eliminate. Writen in back rooms, added to in the middle of the night, and passed in a matter of hours before a news cycle can even pass. Bills that spend Trillions of dollars that this government does not have. Bills that usurp the right of Americans more and more. Bills that give the government more power and more ability to do even more damage in the future.

All of this done under the guise of a “crisis”. The economy was a crisis and that was why the bill was passed in 11 hours. Forget that it then sat for 4 days before being signed. Forget that here we are 6 months later and only 7% of it has been implemented. It was a crisis! Gobal Warming is a crisis and that was why the bill had amendments added at 4:00 am and then passed less than 10 hours later. Forget that the actions of the bill may do nothing to affect change in the environment. Forget that the bill might completely destroy the economic viability of the US for decades. Health care is a crisis and that is why we need to adopt plans and actions that have failed elsewhere. Forget that we haven’t taken the time to study the impacts of this plan. Forget that Americans still don’t understand at all what is in this plan. It is a crisis!

All's Well Says GovtAnd you know why this one is a crisis? Because the more Americans learn about this plan the more they are not approving. Yesterday marked the first time that more than 50% of those polled opposed Obama’s health care plan. That number continues to creep up every day. If the Republicans want a strategy to defeat the stuff Democrats are doing, they need look no further than this. All they have to do is delay voting on the bill long enough for the people to see what is in the bill. It seems that once Americans see what kind of bullshit is in there, they miraculously don’t approve of the bill. But in most cases this is happening too late. The bill is passed. At least there is still hope that Cap and Trade and the Health Care Plan don’t get passed and signed into law.

Transparency in this administration is a joke. By transparent, Obama meant that they want to move the control of the census into the White House where they can manipulate and transform it to ensure that they quietly use it to maintain control. It meant ensuring that new legislation that would force unions to disclose where money goes and how union leaders get paid, never saw the light of day. Transparency meant refusing to release documents that would show something as simple as who has been to the White House to have the President’s ear since he took office. I think something as simple as a White House visitors log should be easy to release, yet they refuse to do it. This is transparency?

Obama's Idea of Transparency

Obama's Idea of Transparency

This is a President that absolutely refuses to discuss his citizenship or his birth certificate in any way, shape, or form. I know this hits close to the conspiracy theory level, but come on. It would be supremely easy to end this debate by coming out and openly discussing it, releasing all documents related to it. Yet that doesn’t happen. Now the question comes up about which country issued the passport he traveled on when young and we cannot get an answer on that. What is he hiding here. All of the position papers and things he wrote while in college are sealed. We are not allowed to read the things written by the man elected to the Presidency prior to his calculated rise to power. There seems to be a lot that we aren’t allowed to see when it comes to Obama. And while I am not a conspiracy theorist, it certainly makes me wonder why a man claiming such innocence is acting so guilty. What is he hiding? Is this the transparency that we can believe in? This is the change? This is a reduction in transparency on a level we have never seen. Remember the hoopla surrounding Bush’s military records and his school stuff all over the MSM? Why can we get NO information on Obama prior to his political career?

Top all of this off with a President and a Congress who are clearly afraid that some opposition to their plans and agendas will find a way to be aired. Last week when Republicans planned to use the time at the end of the day to discuss openly the problems with the health care and Cap and Trade bills so that at least the C-Span viewers would see this stuff, Pelosi quickly shut down the House and refused to allow them to do so. She broke 200 years of courtesy in doing so, 200 years of tradition that this was their time to do so. What is she so afraid that people will hear? (Anti-Pelosi statement… check! Article now ready for publishing) The President made sure that there was no opposing viewpoints aired during his Billy Mays style health Care informercial on ABC a couple of weeks ago.

Congress StimulusThere is zero transparency on the TARP bill or the economic spendulus that was passed shortly after. We have no idea what money is being sent to where, how banks are using money given by the government, or anything else. The Treasury Department was given a harsh reprimand from Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) this week for their lack of transparency around TARP.

There is zero transparency on cap and trade, as there were the 300+ pages added to the bill in the middle of the night before passage. There is zero transparency on the nation health care debate. There is zero transparency in this entire set of Democrats in Congress and the White House, just like there was zero transparency in the previous Republican administration.

So the point of my commentary here is this…. What can we do about it? I don’t have the answers to this. But we need to figure it out. What steps can we take that will force Congress and the White House to be truly transparent in their dealings both now and in future administrations and Congress sessions? Are there ANY step or steps that we can take to get honesty out of Washington?

More important in the short term, what can we do to slow down this utter and complete farce of a Congress? They certainly are not interested in any form of “bi-partisan” solutions or processes. They are using their complete control to ram through bills at an amazing rate. Does any one remember ever in history having a Congress behave the way that this one has in terms of speed of legislation, etc.? I ask that honestly because I certainly don’t remember it ever happening before. How can we stop them? The Constitution was intended to give control of the government to the people. This is a good test of that. Is there anything built into it that gives us the ability, in between election cycles, to stop an out of control group of spendaholics hell bent on ruining what’s left of America? If not I would say we have exposed a massive flaw in the Constitution, which will not make all of those claiming that all we have to do is return to that and everything will be fine, have we not?

To put it another way….. This Congress and this administration makes a far better door than a window. Is there anything Americans can do to kick in that door and see the truth?

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Comments

  1. I know Ray and Todd will now have the hackles go up on the back of their necks.

    Nothing new here – every one of your posts does that!!

    (Anti-Pelosi statement… check! Article now ready for publishing)

    Hackles go HIGHER

    A lot of your examples are short on details, but they seem to relate more to Congress than the White House. Can Obama control the process or transparency in Congress?

    citizenship or his birth certificate…

    This would not end by discussing it. Discussing it would only fan the flames.

    passport he traveled on when young

    I haven’t heard about this. Do you have more information?

    All of the position papers and things he wrote while in college are sealed.

    What’s the reason given for this?

    I don’t think these where the things he was referring to when talking about transparency.

    There is zero transparency on the TARP bill or the economic spendulus that was passed shortly after. We have no idea what money is being sent to where, how banks are using money given by the government, or anything else. The Treasury Department was given a harsh reprimand from Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) this week for their lack of transparency around TARP.

    Just remember TARP was rushed thru pre-Obama and there were a lot of issues/details that were missed. I’m not happy with the way Geithner has handled some things. What pisses me off the most is that Wall Street and the Banks are going right back to the practices that got us in trouble in the first place…

    I’ve seen reports and lists of “spendulus” projects, but I haven’t looked for an entire list.

    In general, I’ve been disappointed by the lack of transparency too. As I was reading the article, the one thought I had was “how to you make it more transparent”? Which is also you’re final question.

    Every bill posted on a website, with Congressional debate, administration comments, and amendments added as they occur? Like an online CSPAN, or a Twitter for government (except the 140 characters would have to be expanded alittle bit…).

    But who’s gonna read that??

    The Huffington Post has quite a few articles about the administration, bills in Congress, etc. But who’s gonna read that – except G-Man?? 🙂

    It could be that they’re just so busy with all the crisis’s that they haven’t had time to be transparent… 😉

    • Todd, despite the fact that I did not vote for him, or that I really did not believe all of the rhetoric, I was HOPING that President Obama would in fact CHANGE the face of Washington politics. Unfortunately it appears as though my initial fears are proving correct. I know in your heart you see that as well.

      I fully admit that our choices this past fall were thin to say the least. It is a crying shame when you cast your vote against somebody rather than for someone. I was sadly in that situation while in the voting booth. In retrospect, I should have voted for Ron Paul even though that vote would have been paramount to wizzing in the wind…it wound up that way anyhow.

      I wish I had some answers to how to apply the brakes to this runaway train, I can only say that we as citizens of the US need to be involved with politics no matter how slimly they are…I can see no other way. But voter apathy will be the death nell of this great country, I can only say that it will not be my apathy.

    • USWeapon says:

      A lot of your examples are short on details, but they seem to relate more to Congress than the White House. Can Obama control the process or transparency in Congress?

      It relates to Washington. He claimed he would bring transparency to Washington politics. Beyond that, he is the leader of the Democratic party. He can control Congress if he chooses. He could veto any legislation rushed through the way stuff has. He could enforce the promise he made that all bills will be up for public viewing for 5 days before voting on them. Overall, let’s not forget that he is the one PUSHING this speed. Everything is a crisis and everything has a deadline for getting done. Instead of saying this is important so let’s get it right, he is saying this is important so let’s get it fast.

      This would not end by discussing it. Discussing it would only fan the flames.

      Cop out answer. You and I both know that this has NEVER been discussed and I want to know why. You want to be the President of the USA, you prove you are eligible. This has never been an issue for any other President. I think he was too good to be true as far as what the left was looking for as a leader. So they were willing to ignore the rules. And now they are covering it up. It is high time that we investigate this completely and openly. His citizenship is in question. I want answers from the man who claimed this would be the most transparent administration ever.

      I haven’t heard about this. Do you have more information?

      Someone sent this to me. I will look it up when I have a minute and post further information on it. I recall that when I read what I was sent it made perfect sense to me.

      I don’t think these where the things he was referring to when talking about transparency.

      Unfortunately, it isn’t up to you to decide what he meant. He claimed transparency and I want it. I think they are sealed because he wrote some very critical things about this country at a time when he was self admittedly being tutored by a marxist. I think they are sealed because they will show his outline for the march towards socialism/fascism that we are seeing today.

      Just remember TARP was rushed thru pre-Obama and there were a lot of issues/details that were missed. I’m not happy with the way Geithner has handled some things. What pisses me off the most is that Wall Street and the Banks are going right back to the practices that got us in trouble in the first place…

      It pisses me off too. I am not happy with how little G has handled anything. Can you recall a single time in the past where a Secretary of the Treasury has been less transparent than this one has. Is there ANYTHING that he has handled well?

      I’ve seen reports and lists of “spendulus” projects, but I haven’t looked for an entire list.

      A large part of my issue was the way the bill was pushed through without public visibility. Bills written and added to in the back rooms. And isn’t it odd that there ISN’T a complete list of projects out there for the largest spending bill in history that will take generations to pay off?

      A good start to discussing a solution. I hope others expand on it throughout the day.

      I will be driving literally all day today. I am off to Pennsylvania and then back again immediately. 12 hours of driving total for the day. Picking up my teenage son. So I won’t be able to answer much during the day but will answer a lot when I get home around 10 or so.

        • USW has stayed away from the birth certificate issue up to this point and I won’t get into it here unless he specifically wants to go down that path, however, I will point out that this factcheck site is an Annenburg/Ayers/Obama site and while they occasionally will point out some of BO’s missteps, for the most part, is very protective of him.

          Also, the certificate they reference is something called, “Certificate of Live Birth” COLB, not an actual long form birth certificate showing the hospital and signed by the doctor. I won’t get into this any further, but just wanted to point out that this site doesn’t verify anything.

          • Black Flag says:

            Correct Kathy.

            The COLB does not determine birth location – merely registration of a birth.

            The point, however, is moot.

            The System will pervert what ever law necessary to make the System work.

            We already see that with the Income Tax Admend. which was not legally ratified. It doesn’t matter. Government will not prosecute itself nor enforce itself upon itself.

            What the People need to take away from this – there exists no power of the People over government.

            Government makes up its own rules, and only applies those rules upon itself that makes itself stronger.

            It is irrational to believe different.

            • You know BF, I do believe you on this……finally. I still haven’t accepted that change isn’t possible so in that sense, call me irrational.

              • Kathy:

                It is not irrational to hold out hope. Although the more evidence weighs against us the more accurate your statment becomes.

                We will be OK, as long as we don’t hold on so long that BF can eventually accuse us of being insane.

                The best o’ mornins to ya
                JAC

            • anoninnc says:

              Black Flag,

              I think I mentioned this the other day, but . . .

              I really would like to see a glimpse of what your “ideal” would look like for America . . . reading your posts makes me think of the time of the Judges in biblical literature, a time when “every man did what was right in his own eyes” and therefore chaos and anarchy was the treacherous winner . . . so, instead of pointing out why particular thinking is “irrational,” could you instead lay out your alternative to representative democracy?

              • Black Flag says:

                anoninnc

                Sorry if I missed a previous inquiry.

                Heck of a question – there are many question of the universe made in a few sentences that take 10,000 pages to answer!

                If I may, can I suggest you break down your ‘thoughts’ to smaller pieces.

                The challenge always falls on the reasoned.

                Irrationality can puke anything and run away – it never has to defend, because it is irrational.

                The rational – 1000 pages later – the answer to a deep question is resolved – with proof, example, and demonstration.

                That is why Mark Twain said “A lie is twice around the world before the truth has tied its shoes”.

                So other than flooding you with 10,000 words – let’s walk together on a path – and learn from each other.

                Let’s start with achieving a common reference –

                “every man did what was right…”

                So, what is a Right that every man can claim…and…

                …how can I tell my Right is right?

        • Bob:

          You have identified both the positive and negative power of the internet. The net is just that, a network communication device. The power is in the network, but it is also the weakness when the information is flawed.

          Using this example, soon after the initial information is found to be false the true information is posted. But the False is already moving through the system. The True is in a race and can not catch up. The False will always be moving ahead and reaching some people before the Truth. That is the nature of loose network communication systems.

          The power is that they are harder to control. But their weakness makes them vulnerable to bad people with bad intentions.

          I also get a kick out of people who say they don’t trust the mainstream media but accept virtually anything on the internet as truth. Once a sheople always a sheople.

          Thanks for the connection there Bob. I hadn’t seen it either.
          JAC

      • Murphy's Law says:

        As usual, very well thought out and well written. Couldn’t agree with you more.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        USW – so what in your mind satisfies the entire citizenship issue? I think you are making a lot out of nothing and quite frankly – making yourself look ridiculous in the process. Do you not think there were certain points throughout his life that he would have to prove citizenship? You’ve done an SF-86 before no?

        • Ray. Sometimes you just make me tired. 😉

          USW stated plainly that Obama, bless his lying ass, could stop ALL the bullcrap and rumors with one simple gesture. SHOW THE DAMN BIRTH CERTIFICATE!

          Why is it that he doesn’t? Could it be because he has something to hide? If USW won’t advocate this theory, I don’t have a problem doing so.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Esom – thanks buddy – that tactic is a fairly common conservative authoritarian attribute – you assume, with no evidence, that since the supposed original has not been shown to you then he must be hiding something. False.

            • Ray, I’m not assuming anything. He’s already President. It’s not like they’re going to throw him out now.

              I just say he could stop all the controversy by putting the damn thing out for all to see. WHY DOESN”T HE?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                To do so gives credibility to utter craziness that is not deserved – it will not make anything go away – it will only legitimize the batshit consp. theory crowd that is looking for the publicity. What a shame if you bought into this.

              • Obama has been alleged to be the anti Christ, why does he not discuss and refute that he is not the anti Christ?

                Obama has been alleged to be a secret muslim terrorist, why does he not discuss and refure that he is not a secret muslim terrorist?

                Obama has been alleged by me to be a spaghetti monster, why does he not discuss and refute that he is not a spaghetti monster?

                Do you see where I am going with this?

              • Bob,

                There is no evidence in human history for spagetti monsters, and the anti christ still hasn’t officiallyarrived. However, there is plenty of evidence of human muslim terrorists, dictators who destroy democracys, and corrupt politicians. Do you see where I’m going with this? 😉

          • Essom:

            Perhaps they want the controversy to continue so that more critics pile on, then they can pull the rug out from under by showing the original, thus discrediting all those critics as Loons.

            • That’s a good point JAC. There has to be some reason he doesn’t simply release it.

              • My thoughts exactly. But even if he does release something, by now he’s had all the time he needs to forge the document. I’d be hard pressed to believe anything this guy puts out. Then there’s his Kenyan grandmother. She was bragging about being present at his Kenyan birth, at least until they told her to shut up. His village put on a huge celebration. If he’s not so dear to them, why’d they do that?

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                You see Cindy – problem with a conspiravy theorist is that irrespective of any evidence they will always cling to the conspiracy. Pure craziness.

              • CyndiP,

                But even if he does release something, by now he’s had all the time he needs to forge the document. I’d be hard pressed to believe anything this guy puts out.

                This is why they do not respond to these conspiracy theories. When presented with proof, you will discredit it with some other conspiracy theory and the whole process starts again.

                No ‘proof’ can satify you, so why try?

              • Kristian Stout says:

                Had he produced the darn thing when this question first arose he would not have to worry about anything that he puts out now being disputed.

        • USWeapon says:

          Oh… so anything that I ask that you disagree with is my making myself look ridiculous? Then I am sure I am ridiculous every day to you.

          I did not advocate the theory as true. I will not rely on a site like factcheck.org to provide me with the truth. They were 8:1 positive in reviewing Obama last year. Still think they are unbiased? I am sure you do.

          All I said was he could end the controversy by showing the facts, which he hasn’t done. Asking for him to prove his detractors wrong must be too much to ask of the Messiah in your eyes. It sure is going to be tough given your disapproval of anyone asking questions or requesting answers with documents. I am glad you are willing to trust him at his every word. I am not.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        “It relates to Washington. He claimed he would bring transparency to Washington politics. Beyond that, he is the leader of the Democratic party. He can control Congress if he chooses. He could veto any legislation rushed through the way stuff has. He could enforce the promise he made that all bills will be up for public viewing for 5 days before voting on them. Overall, let’s not forget that he is the one PUSHING this speed. Everything is a crisis and everything has a deadline for getting done. Instead of saying this is important so let’s get it right, he is saying this is important so let’s get it fast.”

        – You should exercise more discernment as to who owns transparency and where. Either you want Obama to ‘own’ and be ‘accountable’ for everything or you don’t. Which is it?

    • Alan F. says:

      “What pisses me off the most is that Wall Street and the Banks are going right back to the practices that got us in trouble in the first place…” huh? You must have meant BARNEY FRANK is pushing hard for banks to go back to the “soft loans” which were the very building blocks of that collapsing house of cards. The banks tightened up their lending the day things started going south and save for those who are directly subject to government’s wants and desires are still acting in such a manner. No investment house that I’m aware of is picking up overvalued mortgages and packaging them to pitch for investment potential also. I’m interested in hearing of whomever you know to be doing such.

      • Hate to burst the bubble, Alan….but they are doing it under camouflage. They will take a loan in the “main bank”, refuse it, document it,and then send it to a subsidiary bank that specializes in “sub standard” loans at higher interest rates. The bank doing it? Wells Fargo and they have done it as recently as last week. Not to me but I know to whom and the reason for it.

        • And it is my understanding that Freddie and Fannie are still buying these substandard loans, which is what makes them possible in the first place.

          • Todd says: A lot of your examples are short on details, but they seem to relate more to Congress than the White House. Can Obama control the process or transparency in Congress?

            D13 responds: Yes. It is called a Presidential Veto.

            • Sorry JAC….wrong post in wrong place. Hate it when that happens…this belongs up under Todd’s post.

          • Alan F. says:

            Barney’s hands were all over Fan/Fred before and I’d bet certainly the fires of love are still a burn`in there.

    • Todd says: A lot of your examples are short on details, but they seem to relate more to Congress than the White House. Can Obama control the process or transparency in Congress?

      D13 responds: Yes, it is called a Presidential Veto.

    • As an outsider, I wish to convey my impressions, if only to assist in defining the real problem, and hopefully sparking an appropriate resolution to this problem.
      I see two issues going on in this thread. First off, there’s the usual criticism and attacks on Obama and his party. It’s a common theme, and usually runs through most posts. Second, and this is important, totally isolated from partisan politics is the lack of accountability from politicians in Washington. Both sides, for very many years, are doing this. It isn’t about parties, but the process, and how Washington works.
      BF made a very relevant comment…
      “What the People need to take away from this – there exists no power of the People over government.”
      and this goes back to my theme of accountability.
      I would like to talk about the Canadian system of law creation. Not that I expect anyone to adopt our system, but instead to prove that other methods can be made to work. Some people believe that the US system is as good as it gets, and it’s futile to attempt to change how laws are made. But in Canada, we do have a working government, a relatively prosperous economy, so it can be done.
      In Canada, a law can be introduced by any member of Parliament. This bill stands alone, and it is accepted or rejected only on it’s merit, and no other leglislation is attached or has any influence on it. Once a bill is introduced, it goes through a method where it is studied three times. It can’t be rushed, and hopefully in the end, responsible politicians adjust this bill so that it is appropriate to the needs. Here’s a better overview if you wish to look deeper.
      http://www.bccls.bc.ca/cms/index.cfm?Group_ID=2646

      • Kristian Stout says:

        Dave,

        That sounds like what should be happening here. Maybe I should just say to hell with it and move to Canada!

      • Dave:

        I meant to leave this yesterday and forgot.

        There was a time, not long ago by my clock, when your govt was having alot of trouble as well. It happens when major changes/shifts in power and agenda happen.

        In the early to mid 80’s the economy was a mess, just like everywhere. The Unions answer to the downturn was to go on strike. One union after the other, creating a long continuous strike of one kind or another. The govt seemed to me to be unresponsive and people across western Canada were pretty much fed up with the entire govt. Talk of secession was everywhere, and then Quebec tried one of its attempts to pull out, which seemed to happen almost every twenty years or so.

        Not sure what changed but you are correct that it seems to be working much better these days. Perhaps the point is that the exact organizational structure is not the primary problem.

        Hope your day is full of good things
        JAC

  2. Here is another issue to watch, but only for those that eat food. If that is not you, disregard 🙂

    I got this from a homestead list I am on:

    “This week on Truth Farmer, with Doreen Hannes, we’ll try to get through what I was hoping to get through last week, that being the facts versus fiction and the real truth on HR 2749, which is the Food Safety Enhancement Act offered up (truly) by the same Congressman who brought you the Cap and Trade Act, Congressman Henry Waxman of California.

    Our guest for the trip through this legislation is going to be Marti Oakley, who has gone through the bill and all the statutes that it proposes to amend so that she has a true understanding of the ramifications and points of concern about this bill. Marti has been a very active and vocal opponent of all things Big Brother and has a website just loaded with information and her articles. You can go to and spend a month or so there!

    Please do join us and feel free to call in to (646) 727-2652 after the first half hour as we welcome all input and discussion about the destruction of this nation and how we can go about reclaiming and standing for our Freedom.

    Click on the links below to hear Truth farmer on Tuesday from 12pm CST to 2pm CST”:

    http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Sentinel_Radio/2009/07/21/Truth-Farmer-with-Doreen

  3. Cyndi P says:

    USW,

    Why are you so adverse to being a conspiracy theorist? Political scheming has been with us through all of human history. Why should it suddenly disappear now? You (and I) have much reason to believe in some kind of conspiracy. We all do if we stop worrying about what the Obamatrons think. I mean, really, why are they so important? They are willfully blind.

    The political battle field has been well prepared by the Left. Do you really think all this is just a result of massive incompetence? How could so many nincompoops manage to attain such wealth and high office? These legislators know full well what they are doing. Sadly, too many Americans don’t know what the legislators are doing, or WANT to know. That’s what our alleged leaders are counting on. How do we stop them? I don’t know. I’m pretty sure they’re not about to let the great unwashed interfere with their grand plan for us. I’m afraid it may come to violence when the Obamatrons, well, at least some of them, feel Obama’s boot on their throat.

    • USWeapon says:

      I will answer this in the open mic tonight. I will make it a topic for conversation that everyone can weigh in on.

    • This is exactly what they want us to think. That all these theories are from wackos and all of them are just crazies. Meanwhile some of this crap is breezing through under the radar.

  4. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Good Morning All,

    When Helen Thomas with the White House Press Corp complains about the administration’s lack of transparency, you know that it is pretty bad…

    Best Regards,
    RS

    • RS, when I saw that press conference I was quite shocked. If Helen Thomas is saying this, what defense do the Obama supporters offer?

      • Alan F. says:

        That she was drugged by the Republican party and water boarded into that particular effort to undermine the administration of the single greatest human being to ever grace the earth with the impression of his foot or a handkerchief with his nasal secretions(which are then whisked off to the Smithsonian for preservation).

    • Murphy's Law says:

      I watched that- thanks for the link. Amazing how he tried (unsuccessfully) so many times to dismiss her complaints….she had him squirming and it was laughable to see him maintain that smile the whole time he knew she was in fact telling the truth.

  5. Black Flag says:

    Expecting transparency in government is like expecting a pig to give birth to a cow.

    It can’t be done.

    Government must work behind the curtain and away from the citizens eyes – for the people saw government as it is, they would rebel.

    • JayDickB says:

      Correct!!! Moreover, government is now so complicated, the average citizen couldn’t tell what’s going on even if it was all out in the open. Of course, the politicians are taking no chances in this regard. Someone might figure it out if everything were in the open.

    • Politician = Liar

      You mean to tell me that someone actually believed Obama was different from every other Politician ever born?

      Obama is a lying, deceitful, thief. Just like every President and Congressman before him.

  6. USW:

    “Are there ANY step or steps that we can take to get honesty out of Washington?”

    We got all the honesty out of Washington along time ago. What more do you want?

    That should take the edge off the drive.
    JAC

    • Amazed1 says:

      Jac….I was thinking on this problem and I think maybe if the good people of the US forced congress to adhere themselves to all legislation they enact the brakes maybe put on rather quickly. Think about this they do not even have to obey the traffic laws. All of Congress thinks they are better then their people, they believe themselves above the law. They should be forced to live on SS and our healthcare. Bet they would do a lot etter job enacting legislation if they had to live under their own stupidity.

      • They actually passed a law some years back stating just that. Guess they didn’t have to follow that one either.

        I do have one suggestion for those who love the existing system and only want to make it more efficient.

        At least eliminate the Federal Retirement and Insurance benefits for congress and the appointed members of the Admin. Including the President. And do not count their income during time in office towards their SS/Medicaid/Medicare benefits if that is the program you want them to live with, like the rest of us.

        I do not begrudge the regular Federal Employees their benefits as that was the promise made by their employer upon hire. But there is absolutely no reason any such benefits should extend to “elected” or “appointed” officials.

        Good Morning there Amazed. Nice to see you back in the saddle.
        JAC

        • JayDickB says:

          JAC – An extra special good morning to you in view of the fact that you do not advocate taking away earned benefits from us retired federal employees.

          • Jay D:

            Or those currently working under the system they signed onto.

            In my world a man’s word is his bond. A promise is just that and should be followed if at all humanly possible.

            Other garbage must go before those promises are broken. And I am guessing if other garbage goes then those promises can be easily kept. I prefer to start with cleaning the garbage out of the Capitol first. The rest will be easy after that.

            • JayDickB says:

              I agree.

              I find it interesting that, years ago, the Federal Government changed its retirement system from a defined benefits plan to a defined contributions plan, with older employees (including me) grandfathered in to the old plan. Over time, the defined benefits plan will fade away, probably saving the taxpayers a lot of money. Of course, the people under the new plan also pay and are covered by Social Security.

              Its not often that the Feds get something right.

              • Yes, and due to recent stock market crashes some of them will be working much longer than they had planned.

                I worked for Govt when the change was made. We got to choose whether to stay with the old nor new. The new looked really good given all the materials the agency was giving us.

                I chose to stay with the old. Why? Because they were trying to hard to sell us on how good the new plan was. Kind of like a horse seller going on and on about how gentle the horse is. Not mentioning that he is so gentle he likes to lay down when it comes time to work.

                I am guessing you stayed with CSRS and are very happy.

              • JayDickB says:

                I did. But I also contributed to the Thrift Savings Plan that was the key part of the new (FERS) system. If you stayed with the “G” fund (US Government Bonds), the current downturn probably didn’t bother you much.

        • Amazed1 says:

          Still in the remodeling mode……took a couple of days off to see if I could get a little more order to the confusion

  7. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Good Morning All,

    Tort Reform on Medical Malpractice Suits. In my opinion, reforming the laws on the amounts that a person can receive on these lawsuits would be one of the quickest ways to reduce medical-related costs.

    President Obama does not agree with Tort Reform. I would like to see some “transparency” on why he doesn’t agree with this.

    Does anyone have an opinion on this?

    Best regards,
    RS

    • Bama dad says:

      He and Congress are bought and paid for by attorneys. In fact most are attorneys. They ate not going to limit their gravey train.

      • Bama dad says:

        Should say “they are not”

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hi Bama,

        This is exactly what my husband says. So…they are all for health care/cost reform EXCEPT for when it doesn’t meet their self-serving interests.

        Are there any other opinions that differ from this?

        Thanks and best regards,
        RS

        • Spitfire, Bama,

          Differ, no. Totally agree, yes. It would be the simplest and have the quickest impact, so, of course, those in power will not allow or discuss.

        • JayDickB says:

          Agree completely, but it’s worse than that. How many other groups are in similar situations?

          • Amazed1 says:

            To all….
            I think the reason Obama is pushing so hard to get health care done quickly is that he knows that if the people get their way when congress ajourns and goes home the represenatives will vote what the people want instead of what he wants. The reaso our reps will change???? because the people will bombard them and the reps want to get re-elected.

    • We had a similar issue in Texas, some time ago…called. Worker’s Compensation. In Texas, each employer paid into this “insurance” fund on a basis of percent of payroll. The plan allowed for lump sum settlement if a worker was injured on the job. Lawyers lined up and lawsuits abounded and fraud was rampant. ambulance chasers were everywhere…until the Texas Legislature changed the law. Lump sum awards were eliminated. The lawyers vanished as soon as their 33% gravy train was wrecked. Now, the Workers Compensation system works pretty good. Fraud was reduced by over 78% and the lawsuits are negligible. If a worker is injured now, he/she is paid on a monthly basis. Lawyers did not want to wait for their money. In addition, the amounts of awards were also reduced and lawyer fees regulated. Interesting but it works well.

      Also changed, was that employers can opt out of the Workers Compensation system and buy coverage privately. However, in doing so, they were not afforded the protections of the State system. Under the State system, there can be no further lawsuits once the Commission has ruled.

      Very effective.

    • My Lawyer and every other one I have talked to are Democrats because the Republicans support tort reform. I was told this plain out.

    • Having known several folks during my life that have been harmed by incompetent medical care / medications up to and including death, I just don’t buy all this “tort” stuff. I only know of 1 that actually sued and collected anything, and it was a small amount, less than $5000. This person suffered greatly and nearly died, and to this day lives with the after effects.

      I myself have permanent damage from a medication, and found many lawyers that said I had a case, but they would not go up against the huge pockets of the Big Pharma companies.

      I think the insurance companies providing the malpractice insurance are a huge factor in driving up costs of medical care.

      It would be a better plan to drop the lawsuit aspect and develop a fund for medical harm, understanding that it IS going to happen, and just pay people according to a scale of damage. For every office call, every prescription filled, etc. so much in the fund, end of litigation.

      Yep, the lawyers would never go for that, I know.

      • USWeapon says:

        I am not sure what you mean by “I just don’t buy all this “tort” stuff”.

        Frivolous lawsuits are a massive problem in the health care industry. Are you claiming that they are not?

        • I am not at all sure. If a person can’t get a pretty darn rock solid case filed, where are all these “frivolous” cases coming from?

          Take a look at this, it demonstrates the issue better than I can:

          “ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) — When Christine had a hysterectomy in September, her doctor told her it would take about a week to recover from the laparoscopic procedure.
          Medical complications are not always the result of negligence. Nearly every procedure involves some risk.

          Four months — and three additional surgeries later — she’s still recovering, and out thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages.

          Christine has become caught in the cracks of America’s health care system, where there are no easy answers for patients who suffer a complication.

          Many assume a lawsuit would be the obvious path.

          Christine says she’s spent about $5,000 out of pocket to fix the complication, plus she lost thousands of dollars when she was too sick to work.

          “The first question everyone I know asks is, ‘Are you suing?'” says Christine. “My mother, my sister-law-law, my husband. My husband is on a rampage — he’s on the lawsuit bandwagon.”

          Christine, who’s a physician herself and didn’t want her last name used, was reluctant to sue. She didn’t want a black mark against her doctor. “He’s such a nice guy. He delivered my children,” she says.
          Her friends and family weren’t moved. “They said, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with you,'” she says.

          So after weeks of pressure, Christine visited a malpractice attorney recommended by a friend. But he wouldn’t take the case. A different lawyer contact by CNN said he wouldn’t have either, partly because he wouldn’t make much money off it.

          “What are her losses — maybe $50,000? I can’t afford to take a case that recovers $50,000,” says Wayne Grant, an Atlanta malpractice attorney. “My expenses would likely be more than the recovery. She’s out of luck.”

          Plus, he said, it would be a very difficult case to win, because it would be tough to show the injury was the result of the doctor’s negligence.

          Exactly one week after the hysterectomy, Christine awoke in horrible pain and immediately went to her doctor’s office. When she passed out in his waiting room, an ambulance took her to a hospital.

          A CT scan revealed urine was accumulating in her abdomen. Christine says her doctor explained what he thought went wrong: When he was using a cauterizing tool, he must have nicked the ureter, the duct that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder. “He really owned up to it,” Christine says.

          The next day, her doctor implanted a nephrostomy tube, so Christine’s urine could accumulate in a bag outside her body. A week later, she had a third procedure to insert an internal stent to replace the tube and the bag. When that stent caused her pain, doctors removed it in a fourth surgery. Today, Christine is scheduled to have a fifth procedure to fix her ureter, which has become almost completely blocked by scar tissue.

          Grant says the complication that caused all these problems — the nicking of a ureter — would most likely be considered a regular complication of the surgery, and not negligence. This means that even though Christine has clearly suffered, she wouldn’t have a case. “Just because you have a bad outcome doesn’t mean you can sue,” he says.

          If Christine lived in New Zealand or Sweden, she would be able to recover her money, according to Lucian Leape, adjunct professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health. He says that in those countries, the national health system pays damages even if the doctor didn’t do anything wrong.

          But Christine lives in the United States.
          Several legal experts consulted by CNN said Christine should just eat her costs and move on. But others said there was hope.

          Christine could sit down with her doctor and the hospital’s risk management officer, suggested Dr. Michael Woods, a surgeon and the CEO of Civility Mutual, a group that tries to reduce misunderstandings between doctors and patients.

          “You can slice this any way you want, but something obviously did go wrong. Who caused it is irrelevant,” Woods says. “The hospital could say, ‘We as an organization are going to step up to the plate and give you the care you need to get through this.'”

          • In one case, a family member died, because a doctor screwed up. Now, USW, what would you do? Maybe consider a lawsuit?

            I can tell you that after visiting 3 different lawyers, the family just gave up. The process is a nightmare, often takes years to get anything, IF they get anything at all after the lawyer gets his share, the victim or survivors, say, “Ah, the hell with it.”

  8. Ray Hawkins says:

    Please re-title from “Transparency I Can’t See Through” to “J’aime sembler fou !”

    Ready, Aim & Fire 😡

    “Democrats should be outraged by the conduct of both this Congress and this White House”

    So what is your issue? With Congress? With President Obama? With Both? You don’t care – you attack them as one in the same. Are you pointing to ARRA or something different?

    “Who cares if the tactic is immoral, unfair, un-Constitutional, dirty, or even against the teachings of the God we worship.”

    – Huh? …..against the teachings of the God we worship? What the hell are you talking about?

    “If it takes removing individual rights to spread god’s word, that’s cool.”

    – Huh?

    “The point is that there is no transparency in today’s government.”

    – Again – there are three branches last I checked – I guess you hold Obama responsible for all of them eh?

    “They promised transparency. And stupid Americans bought it. People thought they might actually get transparency. Suckers.”

    – Ok – so clue us all in – what is your definition of transparency? I think this is important here and I am surprised you don’t at least define what you were expecting or looking for. There is no opportunity to debate you when you present your point so subjectively – unsupported, illogical, and disconnected. S where do I stand relative to transparency? Here goes:

    The notion of transparency was one I latched onto during the campaign. I believe in effective government (and yes – efficient and economical – EEE) – effective does not equal big but neither does it equal blind. Transparency is an attribute of an effective government. But what does that mean? To that I lean to Wiki:

    “Transparency, as used in the humanities and Pilatian theories, when used in a social context, implies openness, communication, and accountability. It is a metaphorical extension of the meaning a “transparent” object is one that can be seen through. Transparent procedures include open meetings, financial disclosure statements, the freedom of information legislation, budgetary review, audits, etc.”

    AND

    “In politics transparency is introduced as a means of holding public officials accountable and fighting corruption. When government meetings are open to the press and the public, when budgets and financial statements may be reviewed by anyone, when laws, rules and decisions are open to discussion, they are seen as transparent and there is less opportunity for the authorities to abuse the system in their own interest. In government, politics, ethics, business, management, law, economics, sociology, etc., transparency is the opposite of privacy; an activity is transparent if all information about it is open and freely available. Thus when courts of law admit the public, when fluctuating prices in financial markets are published in newspapers, those processes are transparent. Open government is the political doctrine which holds that the business of government and state administration should be opened at all levels to effective public scrutiny and oversight. When military authorities classify their plans as secret, transparency is absent. This can be seen as either positive or negative; positive, because it can increase national security, negative, because it can lead to secrecy, corruption and even a military dictatorship.”

    Now – my understanding of this is that a government, by definition, can never be 100% transparent (partial props to BH here). 100% transparency eliminates certain aspects of strategic thought process and decision making. So what would I look for? Well, since I cannot ever know what the universe of available government actions, meetings and so forth are, my impression or opinion of transparency will rely upon what I can see and read and get access to. In the end, I may just part of a ‘Matrix’, but that is a risk I will take. So – from a President Obama perspective, I would expect that there be tangible specific actions taken to show and evidence transparency. I think Recovery.Gov was a start – read that again – a start. I think frequent and pervasive meetings, public presentations, and face time is a start. Are they as a tranparent as they could or should be? IMHO – no. I’d give them a “C+” at this point as I also now that it can be extremely difficult to change what was ‘business as usual’. I would think to give them a “F” this early into things is extraordinarily short-sighted.

    I challenge you USW to define as to what you were expecting in the way of transparency – and use you logical centers here, not your emotional ones. You claim to have at least some knowledge of how things work inside of the beltway – so do tell – what would have been reasonable and appropriate transparency at this point in the administration? (Not Congress)

    More deconstructing USW……

    “The most obvious place to point out is in the legislation being passed in Congress and pushed by the White House. Over and over bills are being passed without the American public being given time to read them or review them, to comment or offer thoughts. Bills over a thousand pages long, full of the pork Obama promised to eliminate. Written in back rooms, added to in the middle of the night, and passed in a matter of hours before a news cycle can even pass. Bills that spend Trillions of dollars that this government does not have. Bills that usurp the right of Americans more and more. Bills that give the government more power and more ability to do even more damage in the future.”

    – Oh – ok – I get it. You’re blaming Obama rather than Congress. Now it makes sense. See what happens when you hate someone? You blame them for things they are not responsible for. Maybe you should blame Obama for C Street as well.

    “By transparent, Obama meant that they want to move the control of the census into the White House where they can manipulate and transform it to ensure that they quietly use it to maintain control.”

    – Huh? Have you gone Jerry Fletcher on us? Who’d you get this ‘lack-of-factoid’ from? Michelle Malkin? Glenn Beck? Last I checked the Census Director was reporting to Commerce, not Rahm Emmanuel – http://www.rollcall.com/issues/54_100/news/33051-1.html?type=printer_friendly – maybe I’m wrong here?

    Obama’s citizenship – holy schnike – I think you have gone over the deep end. Is there a line you across where if you continually post about a ‘supposed’ conspiracy theory then you likely believe in that conspiracy theory? This has been put to bed many times over – only to be re-hashed time and time again by the Right Wing Extremists such as Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and now, drumroll please, US Weapon. I’m disappointed in you USW. To harangue a week ago about frivolous charges being waged against a popular politician and then turn weak-kneed to this idiocy? I thought you were better than that? No? well okay then. Maybe I will write a guest column detailing the conspiracy theory that suggests Bush I and Bush II supported the successful assassination of JKF Jr. (whom they feared would ruin little Georgie’s ‘I wanna be like Daddy’ plans) – would you publish it or dismiss me as a crackpot?

    I should have followed Todd and not give this an ounce of thought.

    • Murphy's Law says:

      Perhaps you didn’t.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Sufficient evidence has been offered to substantiate he is a citizen. Quit your whining and crying.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ray,

          The phrase, “Perhaps you didn’t” does not evoke any sense of whining and crying in any way, shape or form.

          However, you sitting there and saying, “Sufficient evidence has been offered to substantiate he is a citizen.” Has me picturing you sitting at your computer with tears streaming down your face.

          Ok.. so sufficient evidence has been OFFERED (key word there). Has any of this offered evidence actually BEEN SUBSTANTIATED? The way you worded it, submitting a pile of so-called evidence at a trial makes the evidence sufficient to substantiate itself if the pile offered is large enough, regardless of the QUALITY of the evidence.

          So, since someone has offered a large enough pile of evidence on Obama’s birth that the pile obtained critical mass and magically substantiated itself, we should take the topic off the table now… the miracle of self-substantiation has occurred! 🙂

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Peter – Factcheck has already gutted this.

            My only tears are for you (and I) to waste any more cycles on this.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            😥

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Ray,

              As already stated by previous posters, “factcheck” is dubiously named at best 🙂

              However, I personally don’t care one way or the other if Obama meets the citizenship requirements to be President or not. He is the natural outcome of what our system has become, he just came before the system was truly ready for him in my opinion.

              It is possible that he is simply a “trial balloon” to see how much government control the people will tolerate. I think the people really running the system are finding out that the people will tolerate a lot by and large, but if Obama goes too far, they will install another “right-wing” bumbling idiot so that the next “left-wing” Messiah looks even better than Obama did.

              There… how’s THAT for a conspiracy theory for ya? 🙂

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I hate pendulum swinging

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Relative to Factcheck.org

                http://www.factcheck.org is registered to the Annenberg Public Policy Center

                From Factcheck regarding the so called lies:

                http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/he_lied_about_bill_ayers.html

                Profile of Walter A. – he was hardly a left winger: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Annenberg

                Stop the lies and false accusations – its getting old.

              • Dig deeper:

                When Obama made his first run for political office, articles in both the Chicago Defender and the Hyde Park Herald featured among his qualifications his position as chairman of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a foundation where Ayers was a founder and guiding force. Obama assumed the Annenberg board chairmanship only months before his first run for office, and almost certainly received the job at the behest of Bill Ayers. During Obama’s time as Annenberg board chairman, Ayers’s own education projects received substantial funding. Indeed, during its first year, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge struggled with significant concerns about possible conflicts of interest. With a writ to aid Chicago’s public schools, the Annenberg challenge played a deeply political role in Chicago’s education wars, and as Annenberg board chairman, Obama clearly aligned himself with Ayers’s radical views on education issues. With Obama heading up the board and Ayers heading up the other key operating body of the Annenberg Challenge, the two would necessarily have had a close working relationship for years (therefore “exchanging ideas on a regular basis”).

                http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTgwZTVmN2QyNzk2MmUxMzA5OTg0ODZlM2Y2OGI0NDM=

                This is just one source; many others out there to verify this relationship.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                And what is the relationship b/n the Chicago organization and Factcheck.org? Ask the guy on the grassy knoll – maybe he knows.

    • Given your definition of transparency I have a hard time understanding how you could defend the Obama administration.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Its not hard at all – I am not giving the guy a 100% mark nor I am saying he failed. He has made some progress but needs to do more.

        How do you define transparency?

        • I actually think your definition was excellent and don’t see any transparency in government at all. Not this admin or the last or the one before that and on and on . . .

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            There is some – needs to be more, much more and that needs to extend to Congress.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ray,

      Ultimately Obama is to blame. He promised transparency. He promised that all legislation would have a minimum of a 5-day viewing/public commentary period before being voted on/enacted. He promised to go through EVERY BILL line by line to eliminate wasteful spending before he signed it.

      Haven’t seen a SINGLE example of any bill that meets the criteria that HE laid out above prior to passage…

      If Obama is SIGNING legislation that does not meet the above criteria which he himself said that he would adhere to, he is simply lying.

      • JayDickB says:

        Why do you expect any politician to pay any attention to campaign promises once elected? Promises play no role in my voting decisions.

        • Black Flag says:

          Now you’ve got my interest.

          You vote.

          You vote for someone.

          But you do not use what the say to determine who to vote for.

          Pray, tell me what means you do use to make your decision?

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            BF,

            If I voted, since we only have 2 parties large enough to win elections, I would flip a coin. The outcome would be substantially the same regardless of which side the coin fell on anyway.

          • JayDickB says:

            I consider mainly previous voting record, if there is one. If there is no voting record, I look at previous actions of any kind. I will look at statements, especially those made before the campaign began. I will also look at statements of belief.

            But, I will not consider any promise made during the campaign and I am very skeptical of any promise made ever by a politician.

            As I have said before, I usually end up voting for least of the available evils, but that’s getting harder and harder to do.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Peter – you are playing with the facts again – nice try and poor taste.

        I think it is appropriate to stand firm that within at least a year – the manner in which you appear to be looking for transparency be in place. To suggest it is day one may work on “Politifact” but is imho asinine. I would also insist that a clear definition be put forth on ’emergency legislation’.

        http://www.barackobama.com/issues/ethics/index_campaign.php

        http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/TakingBackOurGovernmentBackFinalFactSheet.pdf

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        My full comment is awaiting moderation – but summarize to say you are being dishonest (again) on the facts.

    • Ray:

      You are always saying you don’t repeat the talking points of the left, you are an original thinker.

      Yet you often use the following: “only to be re-hashed time and time again by the Right Wing Extremists such as Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh,”. Sometimes you change the names in the list, substituting Hannity for Coulter but almost always you have Beck and Limbaugh listed.

      Now, first of all what makes any of these folks “right wing” and what exactly makes them “extremists”?

      Furthermore, of the four I have mentioned here none are exactly alike in their positions and/or presentations or style. Three of them are very similar but not exactly the same. The Fourth, Beck, is very different in both his message and style. Yet you constantly put him with the rest. Why is that Ray?

      Have you actually listened to Beck much these past few years?

      In fact have you listened to any of these folks much in the past two to three years?

      Please enlighten me
      JAC

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        JAC – please pay attention this time as I have covered this before:

        I listen to Rush 3-5 times per week – I have read “See I told you so”, “The way things ought to be”, and “Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat, idiot”

        I listen to Sean Hannity daily and catch his TV show 3-4 times a week. I have not read his books.

        I listen to Glenn Beck 3-4 times per week and watch him 1-2 times per week. I just bought “Common Sense” but have not yet read it.

        I listen to Coultergeist when she is on one of the aforementioned shows. I have read “Treason”, “Godless” and “Brainless: the Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter”.

        They make themselves right wing as they are certainly not moderate nor are they to the left of center. They are extremists in that they are anti-big tent with respect to the conservative movement and their place in the Republican Party.

        And specific to Glenn Beck? He is a clown, pure and simple. A colossal jackass who thinks he is funny, plays loose with the facts and bullies anyone who disagrees with him.

        • Ray,

          Knowing you are a doubter of AGW, and other issues. It is interesting to me just how often you think like a clown, that is, you agree with Beck on several things. I am about to finish Common Sense, hope to here your thoughts on it.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Not so fast – there may be issues wherein I agree with him on a potential resolution – how we get there tends to be markedly different.

    • Actually Ray, there is transparency going on in your state of PA, so maybe that is why you are reluctant to agree with USW:

      http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a1_5signs.6961476jul17,0,342599.story

      Road signs at $2000 a crack and a stimulus PR person at $9900/month to let PA residents know where the money is going. Transparency at its finest.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Huh? So you all whine and cry that the stimulus money is not being spent, or is not being spent fast enough, or you don’t know where it is being spent – then you whine and cry about 60K being spent to communicate to you regarding close to a billion in expenditures on road and bridge repairs? Which is it? Did you read your own link before or after you decided to be hypocritical?

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          $ 3,000,000.00 Road Signs per State (x57 – oops 50)
          $ 5,940,000.00 Bulldookey Propagandist per state (x57 – oops 50)
          ————–
          $ 8,940,000.00 Total

          Pulling the wool over the plebs eyes: PRICELESS

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Okay Karyn – you work for a bank so I know you’re a genius when it comes to numbers – how much do you suppose it would cost to purchase prime time network TV airtime to publicize each update of the stimulus bill? How about ads in newspapers? Maybe a mailing campaign? Email campaign? Internet ads? Need I go on?

            I am sure the bank you work for has a plan on how it markets information to current and prospective customers no? Would you suggest it may be wise for the government to do the same so they (a) can be more transparent and (b) answer the rightful demand of voters to know how the money is being spent? Or do you want to throw another empty insult my way?

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Well Ray,

              It wasn’t an insult directed towards you…Thought I was being funny, but guess I wasn’t – darn.

              Sorry…numbers aren’t my game…may work at a bank, but I’m in the technology area.

              I’m going to take a wild guess here. A “private” corporation determines it’s advertising budget based upon the need to invest so that it can realize additional income from potential new customers or new products to existing customers. I’m sure it takes a great deal of money to put on an ad campaign.

              Now, on the other hand, why does a government need to put on an ad campaign? They already have captive prisoners (oops, mean citizens).

              Now, what is not known here is whether or not each and every state would be advertising their stimulus projects.

              But, if each and every state should do the same as PA, don’t you think that almost 9 Million dollars of our taxpayer monies used as an indicator of stimulus money is a bit much…?????

              $9,000,000 can go a long way towards other much, much needed services. It might even pay this hour’s interest payment on the trillion dollar stimulus! Or, perhaps it could go towards creating some jobs…or maybe helps some old folks buy much needed medicine…Need I go on?

              Best Regards,
              RS

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Sorry – my ‘that was a joke’ radar was broken.

                Transparency and communication costs $$$ – I cannot fathom how one insists upon the knowledge being shared but fails to recognize there is a cost in doing so. I guess I just do not get it.

              • Ray you are spreading nothing but pure bulldookey on this one pard. I spent 12 years working for Uncle doing tons of projects spending millions of dollars.

                It cost hardly a dime to let folks know what we were doing, who wanted to know.

                Is it so hard to admit this Administration and Congress has gone off the deep end. You create hypocrisy where it doesn’t exist trying to force your rationalizations down our throats.

                I am a tax paying citizen of this country and they are wasting millions of dollars for nothing but paying back political supporters and blowing their own horns. And for you to sit there and try and rationalize that as some needed marketing expenditure for “transparency” is CRAP.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Thank you JAC! That was what I was trying to get across…

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Fair enough JAC – how about you clue me in on how that “dime” is spent. You want transparency? What does that look like? How does it actually happen? You don’t trust the MSM – so what – you need your own personal little JACPhone so “Barry” can check in with you each day and let you know how he spent your money?

                “Paying back political supporters”

                – When you throw around unsupported garbage like that I will shove it right back down your piehole.

              • Murphy's Law says:

                You nailed it, JAC!

              • JAC,
                Could you explain this?

                It cost hardly a dime to let folks know what we were doing, who wanted to know.

                How were you letting people know? Were they requesting information?

                I never knew government was so efficient it could disseminate information at almost no cost.

              • Todd:

                See at bottom for answer

              • Ray:

                If you were involved with govt when EEE was used then you know full well each agency has its own system of tracking and reporting. Anyone who wants to know progress could use existing systems at no additional cost.

                “You don’t trust the MSM – so what – you need your own personal little JACPhone so “Barry” can check in with you each day and let you know how he spent your money?”

                Not sure what the heck this commentary is supposed to be about. I have not complained about any of this, because I already knew how it was going to work and thus it would be pretty much a cluster. My complaint here is with your rationalizing BS behavior by our govt just because folks on this site are complaining about it, and perhaps because you are vested in the administration. Or perhaps because your values actually align with all of this. I don’t know which, but I do recognize rationalization of bad behavior and stupid spending when I see it.

                “Paying back political supporters” “- When you throw around unsupported garbage like that I will shove it right back down your piehole.”

                Now Ray, we have had enough discussions for you to know I don’t make statements like that without some basis. And in this case it is more than a little. I am sorry but I can not share the details right now.

                I am sure it will come to light soon and then we will chase the rabbit with vim and vigor. In the meantime I will give you this little bit. Projects selected by certain agencies, based on ability to start ASAP and unemployment where the project occured were pulled by the White House. Agencies were told they didn’t use “congressional districts” as a data layer in assigning projects. Some have now been approved by the white house and many approved by the agency in high unemployed red districts were dropped and replaced with projects in less unemployed blue districts. Agencies ability to discuss and do normal communications with the public regarding project status is now been moved to the Secretary and white house level.

                The same is being done over release of information regarding spendulous projects. Thus no one can get straight answers about such progress because normal lines of communication have been superceded.

                And by the way, all you had to do was read the list of projects congress included in the bill to know what the money was being used for. It was as plain as the nose on your face.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                “If you were involved with govt when EEE was used then you know full well each agency has its own system of tracking and reporting. Anyone who wants to know progress could use existing systems at no additional cost.”

                JAC – you are uttering complete bullshit here pal. So how transparent is it if Joe Citizen needs an FOI to to get info on progress? You assume everyone is as you and has access as you. I have an older brother who works blue collar in TN. He owns a radio, no TV and no Internet. What are you going to tell him in re: access to how the $$$ is spent? Tough shit is not a good answer here.

                To the rest of your post – reeks largely of a Sean Hannity accusation from 1-2 weeks that was quickly debunked by Media Matters. If you mean something else then ‘trust me – I know stuff you don’t so I’m right and you’re wrong’ is also bullshit. No one knows who you are right (you are the faceless, nameless entity named “JAC” – so what is to hide?)

              • Ray:

                Up to your old tricks again I see. Creating a ridiculus set of assumptions around a hypothetical to prove nothing but an insult.

                If your poor brother only has a radio then it doesn’t matter what the transparency reporting looks like does it? He is depending on someone to report it to him on the radio or in the newspaper.

                Which by golly, jimminy, that is just how its been done for ages.

                Don’t have a clue what Hannity reported as I don’t listen much and never watch. You see I don’t have a TV either.

                If my word, and thus my honor, is not enough for you then that is your choice to reject it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given that you stand in oppostion to freedom and liberty. I suppose if I were to share the principles of those who would use force to take from others, I might find it hard to take some one’s word on a matter as well.

                In some ways I feel sorry for you. I actually know people who’s word or handshake is as binding as any stack of papers. It is trully refreshing and I hope you get a chance to experience that as well someday.

                Your right, no one knows my name or who I really am………YET. My reasons for using JAC are my own and of no concern to you……….YET. However, I did reveal more about myself in commenting on this than I had before. I did so in order to establish at least some plausible credibility. If you wish to doubt my sincerety or the content of my comments because of an assumed name then, as I said, that is your choice.

                By the way, the authors of many of the papers and essays debating the ratification of the constitution used fictitious names (Plubius, Cato, etc.). I don’t recall seeing any major criticism of this practice or questioning of the actual content of those letters. I guess the word of even an adversary was enough back in the day when honor was something all men aspired to.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                Am moving this down……

        • So is that your view of EEE?

          If not why are you rationalizing it? Just to fight with everyone today?

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Relative to using road signs? Is it EEE? Yes, absolutely. The entirety could be made more effective by more detail on recovery.gov.

            • Not road signs Ray, signs to brag about their accomplishment and wages for somebody to spread the propoganda. My money used for advertising.

              And for the most part, false advertising. One just went up in my town for a city street repaving. A job already scheduled and funded for this year, before spendulous. Switched the funding with an outyear project so they could claim quick action. Such integrity, its overwhelming.

              If that is your view of EEE then thanks for the evidence we need to dump the whole thing and start over.

        • Naten53 says:

          Ray the biggest complaint is the cost per sign. $2000? come on. It took me minutes on the internet to find this website.

          http://www.buildasign.com/SignReview.aspx?T=446249743545714D38556F3D

          30 signs that are 4×8 plywood and customized cost $250.87 each (if you type in 30 as the quantity). I just saved the state at least $161,553.90

          $52,473.90 in the cost of the 30 signs, and…
          $109,080.00 at least (don’t know all the payroll taxes) in salary of “political strategist and media consultant Ken Snyder $9,090 a month to help with publicity relating to the stimulus package.”

          With that much savings don’t you think you can stimulate something else?

          I find it amazing I can save that much money in minutes and Ed Rendell can not get his state budget by on time for several years in a row.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            You know what Naten – that is a good find – the argument diverged from cost to purpose. I’d venture a guess some law is on the books regulating road signs (for good reason). As long as they are consistent then why not save a few bucks and get a small biz owner to make them.

            • Naten53 says:

              I agree with the small biz owner. Let’s face it like it or not the stimulus is here. Lets use as much of the stimulus as possible on people that need it.

              FYI. I tried to see what I could find about standard signs for PA. I found this in the PA Code. I just scanned it quick, and it made no reference about site specific or advertizing signs for a project. I also looked up referenced PennDOT publication 236M (not posted can be found by searching), it also said nothing. So why not let these temporary signs be cheap?

              http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/067/chapter212/subchapBtoc.html

      • Amazed1 says:

        A PR person at nearly 120000.00 per year????? Man I want that job

      • OK, OK, so road signs and PR agents are “good” for keeping us informed. Another option is a website, which must be state of the art, and full of bells and whistles and goodness knows what else for this price tag to “update”:

        http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/07/18m-being-spent-to-redesign-recoverygov-web-site.html

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          I’d bet that $$$ covers more than the simple website you see in your browser – there is a lot more to it than that.

    • Ray:

      I would suggest a ‘guest commentary’ detailing what you believe in relative to government, government accountablility, the current regime, Cap & Trade, Health Care Reform, and your thoughts on Barry and others like Pelosi. That way those of us out here who do read your every word understand your base ideals. I ask with genuine honesty. You are an intelligent and thoughtful person, and although I do not agree with a lot you pander, I do read with interest and thought.

      I have had the fortune to write one commentary “My Mantra Going Forward”, which basically proposed that the current regime (legislative, executive and judicial(partly)) are executing a plan that has been in the works for some 50+ years; turn the country and it’s people into a Socialist / Fascist like entitiy. I believe that plan is driven by pure greed and the desire for power.

      The Demo’s have successfully managed a majority in two of the three entities of government and are executing a plan. They have little to no opposition, and are choosing to ignore the public opinion. Granted there are still a large number of citizens out there supporting, in some way, the actions of Congress and Barry. But, we are seeing a change aroused by a kind of ‘wakening’ stimulated by some form of repression (unemployment, lost investments, indignant representatives, excessive government spending, unfair labor laws, unchecked boarders, unfair taxes, etc, etc). The nation is starting to wake up.

      Barry is no better than Bush, who was no better than Clinton…it’s a polititions mindset; get what you can and run with it for as long as you can swindle the public. As I have claimed in past pages…there are far too many bad apples in the barrel to worry about sorting out those last few good ones. Toss the barrel and start over.

      USW is making a point that the current regime, which includes the Congress and Executive Office is far worse than former regimes relative to transparency. I am not sure that is factual; I believe they were all non-transparent and have been so since at least FDR. It is a political smoke and mirror stage act equiped with lots of sparkel and shine. It has just gotten more eloquant. This is greatly due to the general publics increasing level of apathy. Let’s face it for a number of years now most Americans have turned a blurred eye to any and all governmental transgressions that did not have a direct effect on them as individuals.

      That is the biggest problem this country faces today, and it is one that ALL polititions have taken advantage of.

      That mindset is our biggest obsticle and one that will not be easily changed. I believe that unless it changes quickly (at least to a majority level) we may not be able to turn the fishes head.

      How do we change things?

      The Declaration says:

      “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

      The abuses and usurpations that this and former regimes have inacted warrant the people of this Republic to throw off such Government and provide for a new Guard. It is our duty and our right.

      You cannot believe that the actions of this government are truefully actions supported by moral and righteous character…that righteous character was lost to greed and power decades past.

      If those that represent us believe that part of, or any of us as a people, lack the intelligence and moral fortitude to guide and direct our country, and because of that, they (government) should set policy and national direction according to their percieved ideals, then they (government) themselves are hypocrites.

      This regime and the many prior have either lost track of how Americans feel, or are indignant to it, and cannot and should not be allowed to continue. They do not represent us in any way.

      As BF would say ‘any support of government is buying into that government’.

      Any support for what the current regime is doing is a vote to continue that regime. We must choose no support.

      • JayDickB says:

        Common Man: “USW is making a point that the current regime, which includes the Congress and Executive Office is far worse than former regimes relative to transparency. I am not sure that is factual; I believe they were all non-transparent and have been so since at least FDR. It is a political smoke and mirror stage act equiped with lots of sparkel and shine. It has just gotten more eloquant. This is greatly due to the general publics increasing level of apathy. Let’s face it for a number of years now most Americans have turned a blurred eye to any and all governmental transgressions that did not have a direct effect on them as individuals.”

        That may be true as far as it goes, I’m not sure. But the current administration is doing so much more stuff and is taking over so many additional things that it is now worse than it was. Much larger parts of our lives are affected by the lack of transparency.

        • Jay

          It is irrelevant whether you steal a mans horse or a mans entire herd, you are still stealing. D13 can validate this for me, but I believe they use to hang horse thieves in Texas regardless of the number of horses stolen.

          My point was that we the people are responsible for allowing the Government to do as they are doing. Just because this regime seems to be violating more principals doesn’t make them any worse, they are just better at it.

          No one in government today is going to stop this fast moving train, only the population can do that.

          Until a majority of Americans unit and demand the madness stops it will continue, and the longer it takes for that majority to form, the quicker the train will gain speed.

          The more I read in these pages the more I realize two things:

          1) With each additional transgression sustained by Government we fall further from our freedom, and the harder it will be to win it back
          2) We, as a nstion, may first need to hit ‘rock bottom’ and we still have a long way to fall

          CM

        • JayDickB,
          Do you have anything to support your claim that “the current administration is doing so much more stuff and is taking over so many additional things”?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        CM – when was your guest commentary?

    • Bama dad says:

      Ray said:

      “Oh – ok – I get it. You’re blaming Obama rather than Congress. Now it makes sense. See what happens when you hate someone? You blame them for things they are not responsible for.”

      USW said:

      “I want to start with the ways that this White House has allowed Congress to manipulate bills and legislation with zero accountability being held. If Obama were serious about transparency, he would have vetoed the economic stimulus bill. He would have said, “the lack of transparency in passing this legislation undermines the promise of this administration to have more transparency in the dealings of government.”

      Ray not trying to speak for USW, but he plainly made his case about Obama’s lack of control over the Dem Congress. When you inject hate (which USW never said) into your debate it provokes an emotional response not a logical response.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        C’mon Bama – are you seriously asking me to advocate the Executive Branch taking control over the legislative branch? That is muddier than Lake Weiss!

        • If he is not saying it…I will. The power of Veto is mighty…and Congress can always over ride the Veto.

          • Side note….is Lake Weiss THAT muddy?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              In my youth I fished in Lake Weiss (mostly catfish & crappie) – it is muddy lake on the edge of Alabama and Georgia. Was taking a stab on which part of ‘Bama ‘Bama is from.

              • Bama dad says:

                Originally from deep southwest Alabama, now employment has me residing 35 miles southeast of Birmingham. Have not been on Lake Weiss but have made numerous trips to Little River Canyon. Little River is a tributary to Lake Weiss.

              • I live VERY close to Weiss. No it is not that muddy. Except around the edges of some of it where it is VERY shallow. As a matter of fact the whole lake is relatively shallow.

          • Bama dad says:

            I was saying such. He is all part of the checks and balances of the system. Can he spell VETO? I don’t know. If he wanted to be a leader, then he needs to lead.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            You’re suggesting veto as a manner of cajoling Congress into getting on the path to transparency? That could work.

          • Isn’t there something called a ‘pocket veto” ?

            Anyway, the threat of a pocket or full veto would make congress make sure they published the bills and opened up the dialogue.

        • Amazed1 says:

          He didn’t have to veto….all he had to do was refuse to sign….until everyone got to read it……veto would have been alot better.

        • USWeapon says:

          C’mon Ray….. he advocated no such thing. He simply repeated what I said. And if you want the answer from me then YES I advocate him using the veto power given to him by the title he holds. He promised 5 days to review a bill. He doesn’t have to say make this bill exactly what I want it to be. He can say exactly what I said: I promised the public 5 days to review this before you voted. They were given 11 hours. Therefore I veto it. That is not “controlling congress” or writing a bill for them. It is keeping his word, something he apparently knows nothing about.

          To be honest you sure seem to be awful confrontational and lacking in substantive argument today Ray. Not like you, You large response to me, which I will move to the open mic was pure emotion, no fact, and filled with false connections and assumptions.

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Emotion v. Fact? Measuring how transparent someone has been is an exercise in subjectivity is it not? You’re asking me to respond to a completely subjective statement that has little fact to support it then get mad when I do not try and prove the counter with a litany of facts? I play the game based on how you define the rules – don’t ask me to play by a different set.

    • Hey RAY….whassup????

      Transparency….I will NOT get into definitions and the semantic breaking down of same. However, according to the gospel of D13, please read the following:

      1.) The posting of all bills and allowing the public the option of reading the entire bill and responding to it. ( This is congressional, however, Obama can control this by Veto. Simply say, post the bill, allow one week for everyone to read it and question it, then vote on it and send it to me. Otherwise I will Veto it and send it back. If he Veto’s it and Congress overrides, then and only then, is he, Obama, exonerated.)

      2.) Czars. Post and publish exactly who they are, the salary they are making, the chain of command, the funding they are each responsible for, and the powers they have. Make available to the public, their entire background and qualifications for such a post. That would be transparency.

      3.) National Health Care. Quit putting the pressure on Congress to get any bill out and saying that HE will reform it after it is passed. Put the proposal out there for one week and let the public read and digest it to allow feedback to their elected representative. Show the funding and be truthful up front in writing just who is getting taxed and how much. Post all sides of the funding issues publicly…including the Congressional Budget Office numbers. That would be transparency.

      4.) Immigration reform. Post his desires and the desires of Congress publicly. Let the public read and understand the mechanics of the reform and have the time to respond to their reps. Post the estimated numbers and cost of the illegal immigration now, and how it will reduce or increase in the future. That would be a form of transparency.

      5.) Make public all list of contributors, both sides of the aisle, and the amounts. Make public the list of donors of foreign governments and foreign contributors and the amounts. That would be transparency.

      6.) Veto all earmarks and make public ALL the earmarks in all bills and who sponsored them. That would be transparency.

      7.) How about opening up all writings and dissertations from his college days? After all, he is my President and the public has a right to know this information. This would be transparency.

      8.) How about publishing the ACORN list of donors and the who sponsored the early morning earmarks to ACORN. That would be transparency as that is now considered “privileged” information.

      9.) Providing a list of recipients of TARP and Earmark monies linked to their contributions to his campaign? This would be transparency.

      10.) How about providing a list of counties and precincts that received a lion’s share of the free money, who sponsored same, and how they voted in the past election? That would be transparency since that is also “privileged” information at this writing.

      There are 10 examples of transparency according to the gospel of D13. There are plenty more.

      ———-

      On a lighter subject…we had another blue norther here. Temps have plummeted to 93 degrees. Long john weather.

      Have a great day Ray.

      D13.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        D13 – my drive by response as I am b/n meetings – I actually agree with most all what you said w/ the exception of #7 – but that is only because I am not aware of what the issue is and what the sides are really saying (and on my lighter note, I would think that had we known more about Dick Cheney’s kindergarten finger paintings or bed wetting habits we may have had greater insight into his methods of madness – but I digress).

        BTW – what of the website you mentioned a few days ago?

      • D13,
        In general, I agree with your 10 points, but I don’t think vetoing is a workable path to transparency. Besides leading to even more chaos in Congress and possible shutting down the federal government, if it worked it would be another big step up in presidential power – the president being able to control congress by veto or threat of veto.

        Many of you have said that Obama already has Congress in his pocket – if that were true, he wouldn’t need to use the veto.

        I also see this as a way for the right to stop Obama and Congress from doing anything – by tying the legislative process in even bigger knots.

        • Bama dad says:

          Veto = way for executive branch to counter Congress
          Veto override (60 votes) = legislative branch to counter president

          Nothing new there. BTW Dems & independants have a 60 vote margin in the senate, so how will the right gum up the works?

        • I can’t think of a happier thing than shutting down the fed govt (for awhile anyway).

          • Michelle,
            That’s my point. And then a year from now during the next election cycle, the Rep’s will point out how this was another do-nothing congress lead by the Dem’s.

        • USWeapon says:

          Many of you have said that Obama already has Congress in his pocket – if that were true, he wouldn’t need to use the veto.

          You miss the point but make mine for me. He demands they send him a bill quickly. They do, in 11 hours. He signs it. Seems to me they did exactly what he wanted them to do, and he got out of it exactly what he wanted to get out of it. And folks like you use the fact that two bodies acted together but separately to subvert the American people as a way to claim neither can be blamed for screwing us.

          I also see this as a way for the right to stop Obama and Congress from doing anything – by tying the legislative process in even bigger knots.

          How exactly can the right tie the process in knots? They control….. NOTHING.

          • USWeapon,

            How exactly can the right tie the process in knots? They control….. NOTHING.

            If Obama were to take your advise and veto all these bills, it would tie the legislative process in even bigger knots.

            • I wish that were true but it is doubtful.

              Vetoes do not tie up the legislative process. They are part of it. Unfortunately the last president never understood that.

              You seem to be justifying the need to pass bad legislation or pass whatever without reading it, because to veto it would “tie the legislative process in even bigger knots.”

              Is this not the pragmatist belief that we need to do SOMETHING QUICK, right or wrong doesn’t matter as long as WE ACT and WE ACT QUICKLY.

              Not sure that is what you meant but it sure is what your word mean.

              • JAC,
                The theory here is to veto legislation because the president disagrees with the process, not the legislation it’s self. I think that is wrong and it would tie up the legislative process.

          • USWeapons,
            They were working on the stimulus before Obama took office. Many/Most/All Dems wanted the stimulus, so it passed quickly. That still doesn’t mean Obama has congress in his back pocket.

            I never said they weren’t screwing us. Just not always in unison…sometimes they take turns…;)

    • Alan F. says:

      “Again – there are three branches last I checked – I guess you hold Obama responsible for all of them eh?”

      Am missing something here? The Democrats hold all three correct? The president being the leader of the party holding all three holds sway over but one? The executive branch sits oblivious to the machinations of the house and senate? Seriously? No wonder things are screwed up in America.

      • Alan,

        What three branches are you talking about? It’s president, congress, and supreme court.

        If you’ve followed the news lately, Obama does not have “control” of congress.

        And despite what many here seem to think, the Supreme Court still leans right.

        • USWeapon says:

          I don’t know about that “despite what many here seem to think” comment. I personally believe that the court is fairly balanced at the moment, with a slight edge to the right. Sotomayor will not change that a bit. Where have you seen comments suggesting otherwise. I must have missed them, or I would have refuted them.

          • USWeapons,
            There have been a few times when posters said the Supreme Court was in the Dems control. The “My Mantra” guest article was one that I remember.

  9. It’s so easy to moan and whine about the secret doings of Washington, but you ask for solutions? Blast it all! That’s so much tougher!

    Good post, USW.

    Perhaps term limits would help? I don’t like the idea of not trusting the people to pick their own reps, but then again, the politicians manipulate the system to stay in power, so it’s not really the people deciding anyway.

    I’m not sure it’s the Constitution that has failed, but the People who have failed. The Constitution is a framework, the people are the government . . . or we were supposed to be, but too many became apathetic.

    I do think that public opinion has a huge effect on Washington, but we don’t know enough to form an opinion in many cases, we’re forced to just say, “nope, the Democrats came out with that so it can’t be good”, or vice versa.

    Part of the problem is that we rely on the media to do their investigative bit and they’re not doing that obviously. They could probably dig up enough dirt in some areas to cause the people to take notice, but, well . . .

    Right now, at this point I’m not sure there’s anything we can do until 2010 elections, but even then probably not much will change. We might elect a bunch of dishonest self-serving Republicans instead of self-serving dishonest Democrats, but that’s about it.

    • Michelle…the solution is easy… Just not practical and against the law. We can’t kill them. But a clean slate of ALL of them would be a great start…kind of like a ship of lawyers at the bottom of the ocean…a good start.

    • Instead of term limits, think outside the box a bit. How about we make all Congressional positions lifetime appointments, subject to recall at any time via petition signed by at least X% of their constituency?

      – No absenteeism to get re-elected
      – Have to always satisfy their constituents or get recalled (no lame ducks)
      – Congressional seats are practically lifetime appointments these days anyway; waste less money on campaigning

      I kind of wonder whatever happened to Senators being appointed by state legislatures rather than being elected, too.

      • USWeapon says:

        Interesting thought DKII. I will have to put some thought into that one. Nice out of the box work.

  10. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Speaking of transparency and the Cap & Tax bill:

    Under the Waxman Markey legislation that has already passed the House, you cannot sell your home unless it passes a new Federal Energy Audit inspection.

    All homes must have the required energy efficient doors and windows (windows which are not even available at the big-box stores and can only be ordered through certain companies), and it must also have the required amount of insulation. The types of heating and cooling units used must also meet new standards.

    So, what happens if your home does not pass the new inspection? You CANNOT sell it until you make the required “upgrades”. The estimated cost for the average 1500 square foot home with 12 windows is between $10,000-$20,000 depending on whether or not ANYTHING that you currently have meets the new standards (chances are none of what you have meets the new standards!)

    This is further limiting to our freedom, because it effectively locks people in to their current homes. Most people do not have an extra $20,000 laying around to make these required “upgrades”, and thanks to the collapse of the housing market, no one has any equity in their homes that they could tap in order to finance these upgrades.

    Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

  11. The Fourth Estate is supposed to be the external check to an out of control government. If they were doing their job, asking about transparency, about five days for public review on every one of these measures they have passed. They would ask every member of congress if they had read the complete bill before voting for it. Did Obama read the bill before signing? Is that what the four day delay was for?

    • Black Flag says:

      It never was.

      The flow of information is controlled at both ends – and always has been.

      The government set the barriers of communication so high so that the elite could control the means and the process (laws against speech, FCC, etc.)

      Up until the Internet – it was impossible to get a broad grasp of events.

      • the elite could control the means and the process??? That could never
        happen in America.

        http://newsbusters.org/blogs/rich-noyes/2009/07/20/networks-ignore-chappaquiddick-anniversary-npr-s-rudin-gets-ugly-mail-ev

        • How convenient for Teddy and family that the moon landing happened the day after he murdered this woman.

      • Crap…..now I have to agree with BF.

        Walking to back forty, loading gun…again, taking better aim, Bang!!!

        • Yep, killin gophers is as relaxing as killin weeds, but way more fun.

          Lingering clouds of pink mist.

          • Actually..road runners. They are more fun and you have to lead them more…we kill the road runners to protect the quail population. For some strange reason, and I cannot find any references to it anywhere, we have seen these pesky birds run up behind a string of baby quail (back to front) and hit each one of them in the head with their beak so quick, they do not have time to scatter. They kill them and do not eat them. Just kill them. Vets do not know why…No one seems to know, but it is fact.

            • It’s common in nature for competitors for the same food source to attempt to kill each other. Quail are seed eaters but will also take insects and similar small prey. Roadrunners mainly feeds on insects, small reptiles, rodents, tarantulas, scorpions and small birds, as well as fruit and seeds.

              • Yep, we got all them critters…..interesting to put tarantulas and scorpions together…what a fight. Sigh…the entertainment one seeks when the military is no longer an option.

            • Damn D13 – I thought you were going to learn to shoot better from 1″ away.

              You can’t have much self-esteem from these simple failures.

              Road Runners are Altruistic.

              This is their Health Care system.

              Can’t have anything eating their possible food.

              A bright Texas mornin to ya’ll

              GarthD
              Slavery is Alive in America, We are the SLAVES – Say No to Obamacare

              • Well, when put to my head, I am afraid that said projectile will go all the way through and not hit anything…so I stick with road runners. They are faster and more challenging and the Mexicans love the feathers for some sort of healing powers.

                Why did I not think of the Altruistic approach. Damn, I feel much better now. What a great analogy for the health care system. Let me get this straight. The strong survive and kill the weak, therefore, the national road runner health care system is intact with no drag….interesting concept.

              • Garth, now that was fuuuu—nnnnny.

        • Here’s a little help for those rainy days.

          http://www.fieldandstream.com/rifleman/rifleman.php

          Don’t let the boss catch ya playing.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Which bill? And mind you – the point was never made to ‘every’ bill – one must occasionally be practical.

      • “The economy was a crisis and that was why the bill was passed in 11 hours. Forget that it then sat for 4 days before being signed.”

        Let me think here, Stimulus Bill for a trillion? Nancy’s Salt Marsh Mouse studies ($17 million) must have been in the fine print.

        Come on Ray, man up here. You don’t like how all this has been done any more than we do. You could write him a letter, expressing how you feel about all this. Here’s an outline.

        Honesty is such a lonely word.
        Everyone is so untrue.
        Honesty is hardly ever heard.
        And mostly what I need from you.

        I can find a lover.
        I can find a friend.
        I can have security until the bitter end.
        Anyone can comfort me
        with promises again.
        I know, I know.

        When I’m deep inside of me
        don’t be too concerned.
        I won’t as for nothin’ while I’m gone.
        But when I want sincerity
        tell me where else can I turn.
        Because you’re the one I depend upon.

        Billy Joel

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Don’t chew my face off – just want to make sure we’re talking the same thing.

          • Alan F. says:

            Your “every bill” bit was the spark. I’d ask has there been this transparency to “any” bill of merit?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              In considering Congress? Nope – and the primary reason I oppose Cap N Trade and the current Health Bill.

          • Don’t
            Honesty is such a lonely word.
            chew
            Everyone is so untrue.
            my
            Honesty is hardly ever heard.
            face
            And mostly what I need from you.
            off

            Anyone can comfort me
            with promises again.
            I know, I know.

  12. Is factcheck .org the difinitive source were using to prove obama is a American. Isnt fact check owned by Soros,the anti American billionaire who many say attached 2200.00 dollars to every false address and name that ACORN provided during the election. And an Annenbeg affiliate, isnt this the group that started out legit and then was highjacked by marxist and had bill ayres and b hussein and the rashid khalidis on their board today. Yeah these 3 groups factcheck, soros foundations and annanberg foundation are going to tell the truth about the guy their spending all their money on through the 270 ACORN affilaites and shadow groups.

    They didnt even notice his birth certificate didnt even have a seal on it or the time date stamp (like film has enbedded) was new.

    People need to use more reliable and unbiased sources if they want to be fair and balanced.

    • Ty,
      Do you have any sources to back up your statements?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      More stupid lies that folks like Peter latch onto then reference as fact.

      • USWeapon says:

        No different than you latching on to factcheck.org as fact Ray. They are as biased as any other.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Odd that a staunch Republican (Annennberg) would have as his progeny a supposed biased fact checking site (to the left of course). I have read most of which is on Factcheck – samples I have looked at with respect truth can easily be independently verified thus they are not biased. If you’re pissed because the picture that the right ends up more dirty than the left – that is a different issue. What they present appears solidly researched and factual.

        • Give me break, Ray. Fallacious argument. You’re too smart not to be aware that his foundation was taken over by a bunch of lefties.

          Next you attempt to convince us that Snopes.com leans to the right! LOL

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Nice try Frank – just to recap – I live in the Philadelphia area, I know many of the people that work in and around several of the endeavors sponsored by and worked by the foundation (wiki Annennberg to see the Philly connection) as well as UPenn (many of whom I have gotten to know through business and socially). Are there lefties? Sure. Are there righties? You bet. To suggest one dominates the other is uninformed.

    • USWeapon says:

      Ty,

      Thanks for weighing in. Factcheck.org is NOT owned by Soros. As far as I know he has absolutely nothing to do with .org, but DOES own factcheck.com. Two entirely different sites.

  13. PeterB, it sounds like the Waxman Markey legislation is more legislation in a whole string of property grabs, as even more home owners are going to have to just walk away and lose their homes if a second wave or shoe drops in this recession cycle.

    What can we do to stop this boulder from rolling over us.

    Govt mandated math: Taxation + inflation = confiscation

  14. Obama doesn’t always spew rhetoric; sometimes he actually tells the truth…..

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/07/20/obama_gaffe_health_care_reform_would_bring_inefficiencies_to_system.html

  15. USW says: Inevitably, I would get the comment from my father that I “make a better door than a window,” letting me know that he cannot see through me.

    D13 responds: I got the “can’t see through muddy water”…Made the mistake of telling him to open his eyes more… I never did like that leather belt he wore….

    • Kristian Stout says:

      We were always told that daddy was an ass maker not a glass maker. I laughed everytime momma said that. Still do. Damn I miss my daddy!

    • Murphy's Law says:

      I got the “better door than a window” myself…….I never knew that just about everyone’s dad said that or something similar….

      Now I am going to call it a night!

  16. Bama dad says:

    Important stuff, maybe we have a speed bump to slow things down.

    Key House Panel Cancels Health Care Session as Moderate Democrats Voice Concerns
    The House Energy and Commerce Committee is stacked with fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, who have voiced serious concerns about the details of the House package.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/07/21/key-house-panel-cancels-health-care-session-blue-dogs-voice-concerns/

    • I am hearing some rumbles of the calls going to Washington. I have called 14 senators so far. Especially the “blue Dogs”…maybe something is working to slow things down.

  17. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi all,

    Okay…with the Health Care Reforms and now this, I really feel as though soon I’ll be living in a Logan’s Run kind of world…

    Best Regards,
    RS

  18. Hey all.

    I’m sorry to admit that the conspiracy theories are beginning to look more and more plausible every day.

    I am going to say this although it’s probably going to disappoint everyone but possibly BF.

    I would rather see NO Government at all than what we have now. SO! For now and until I begin to see significant changes in Washington and serious reduction in size and scope of Government, I am going to go the Anarchist route.

    Yes BF and USW. I know what this means. I have lost faith that ANY changes will EVER be made. This nation will become Socialist because the people don’t give a shit what happens in government as long as no one bothers their little fairy tale world. They will pay no attention until it’s too late to do so.

    I will no longer support this. When I see morons continuously arguing FOR Obama and the Democrats. AND arguing FOR the Republicans. AND this damn worthless pile of shit we call our federal government, it makes me sick to my stomach. So I’m with you now BF. Let’s stand back, not support the assholes at all, and see if it collapses on it’s big fat ass.

    • Black Flag says:

      You were always a Black Flag – it just takes a while for it to sink in.

      🙂

    • Bama dad says:

      Hey Esom did you get arrested Friday for unlawful assembly?

      • No I didn’t. The organizer of the event went over the head of the one who was denying us a permit.

        Nice to have friends in high places.

        All I heard from the folks on the internet afterwards though was that we were radicals who already HAD insurance trying to keep the rest of them from getting free insurance voted in. So me and a couple of others got on the site and explained to them why it was NOT going to be FREE.

        Seems most folks don’t even know what’s being voted on. They seemed to think that the health care was really going to be “FREE”.

    • I think you’re giving up too soon. People only just started to wake up less than six months ago. Give it a little time.

  19. And a timely example of transparency might be him meeting with blue dog Dem’s behind closed doors.

    During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said several times that he intended to negotiate health care reform publicly. In fact, he said, he’d televise the negotiations on C-SPAN, with all the parties sitting at a big table. That way, Americans would be more engaged in the process and insist on real change.

    “That’s what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are, because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process,” Obama said at a debate in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2008

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/517/health-care-reform-public-sessions-C-SPAN/

  20. Hi Ya’ll! As I write this we are having a pretty good thunder boomer. With all this loud thunder it seems that Elvis has finally caught Jacko and giving him a good thrashing for marrying his daughter LOL. Thanks for the props this morning Todd, I got a good laugh out of it!

    I can be transparent, and today I feel like it’s time to unite alot more. I read everthing and got the feeling we’re all just talking about a problem that would take all of us to fix. Let’s face it, Big Brother don’t listen to any of us, don’t care about any of us and anyone who thinks otherwise is deaf and blind. We, after reading for months here, have problems with this useless group of thieves in Government, all of them! Yes, I can prove that the Liberal leadership have been failing it’s citizens for decades and decades, and it needs to stop.

    I am not an organizer of people, but that will have to change, and I’m starting with the Vets in this country who give a damn about real freedom. Then I’m going to get the MadMoms of this country involved, and the Senior citizens (who have the most to lose very soon) and unite for one single cause, to remove this pathetic group of jackasses called politicians from our society.

    Now, as soon as I can figure out how to do all this, get started, and probably get arrested, I’ll write all this down and see what ya’ll think.

    Thanks for letting me rant a bit!

    G!

    • Based on the local news reports, Elvis must of been really angry!!! LOL

    • Judy S. says:

      Hi G-Man

      Your post sounded pretty good to me. BTW, you can rant all you want, I’m with you. Would I be considered a senior since I’m 57? Or would that have to be 65 and older?

      Regards

      Judy

    • I’m a mad Mom, I’ll join! Give me someone else to vote FOR and I’ll be glad to get rid of the garbage, Rep, and Dem!

    • Ladies, I’d have you on my team anyday! It will take all kinds, from all walks of life, with one determined goal. We all have a special gift that can be quilted together (for lack of a better analogy, LOL).

      G!

    • When does the VDLG get a web site and post their platform? 😉

      • Web site has been acquired but not built yet.

        Platform has been building a little as everyone throws up a new idea now and then.

        Will be done when everyone who wants to contribute weighs in.

        BUT FIRST, we need to make sure we have the foundation built. I sense many more are finding clarity and becoming singular in their purpose. We need to do some checkng soon and then maybe we can start tackling the platform stuff.

        How have you been Michelle?
        Its been awhile since I said howdy, so there ya go.
        JAC

  21. Judy S. says:

    Hi All
    This is the first chance I had today to get on here.

    My son sent me this via email, thought I’d pass it along to all here.

    Hope every ones day is going smoothly so far.

    Judy

    _________________________________________________________________
    “You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

    -Adrian Rogers

  22. Judy S. says:

    Hey USW

    I tried to post something my son sent me via email, and it didn’t show up. Did it by any chance go into the spam box? Would appreciate it if it could be posted.

    Thanks a bunch

    Judy

  23. FYI:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/01/_in_a_move_that.html

    THE WHITE HOUSE

    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release January 21, 2009

    MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

    SUBJECT: Freedom of Information Act

    A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency. As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” In our democracy, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which encourages accountability through transparency, is the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open Government. At the heart of that commitment is the idea that accountability is in the interest of the Government and the citizenry alike.

    The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears. Nondisclosure should never be based on an effort to protect the personal interests of Government officials at the expense of those they are supposed to serve. In responding to requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies (agencies) should act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are servants of the public.

    All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.

    The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for specific requests from the public. All agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government. Disclosure should be timely.

    I direct the Attorney General to issue new guidelines governing the FOIA to the heads of executive departments and agencies, reaffirming the commitment to accountability and transparency, and to publish such guidelines in the Federal Register. In doing so, the Attorney General should review FOIA reports produced by the agencies under Executive Order 13392 of December 14, 2005. I also direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to update guidance to the agencies to increase and improve information dissemination to the public, including through the use of new technologies, and to publish such guidance in the Federal Register.

    This memorandum does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

    The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

    BARACK OBAMA

    THE WHITE HOUSE

    Office of the Press Secretary

    For Immediate Release January 21, 2009

    MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

    SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government

    My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

    Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.

    Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.

    Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of

    Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.

    I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development by appropriate executive departments and agencies, within 120 days, of recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum. The independent agencies should comply with the Open Government Directive.

    This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

    This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.

    BARACK OBAMA

    • Yea, sure, you say one thing, then do the other. I will never understand why all these bills that are suppose to be made public like you say so the people has that chance to see what they are, then you backtrack and keep all doors closed.

      You don’t even let the republicans in the room to get in on the discussion,so they can give their views on either neigh or yeah.

      Don’t know if you’re aware of it or not Mr. Obama, but your approval ratings are dipping down pretty fast and pretty low. That should tell you something on what and how the people think of your agendas and all the bills that are being passed and signed even before they are being read.

      You are cramming way too much way too fast on us, and we’re getting pretty angry and fed up with you and congress, at least I am. You do not belong in the health insurance business or the medical field. It’s is not your decision on who gets what care, what medication, who shall live or who should die. You do not have a medical license to practice, neither does your congress. It’s not up to you or congress who a doctor should see or not see.

      Are you going to be doing surgery as well, or will that be the job of your congress. Who are you to decide on whose lives are more important than others? Who are you to decide on what the salaries these doctors are going to make.

      You are going to drive the medical field to leave their practice and find another line of work, just so they don’t have to decide who lives are worth saving , and whose aren’t.

      You already have the ownership of the auto industry, banks, insurance companies, our lives, what’s left for you to destroy? I don’t know, but I’m sure you and congress will think of something.

      I am one of many very angry Americans who are not happy with the job you are performing, as well as with you congress. You and congress are dragging this country under and into ruins with the way you’re handling this countries affairs. While we’re at it here, quit going to all these other countries and apologizing for America. WE DID NOTHING WRONG. Apparently you don’t realize how these other countries are laughing behind your back. Really too bad they think that way about you.

      There I feel a little better now, but if I should think of anything else, I’ll be sure and let you know. I’m sure I will also get some flack about what I have said here, but this is only my thinking on how I feel this president is shredding us to pieces, and I really don’t need any arguments from anybody. I was just letting off steam, and this was the only way I could do that without screaming it off the highest peak.

      Thank you.

      Judy

      • Me too, Judy. Those in government think there is no limit to the lying and conniving that the citizens will tolerate. They may just find out how wrong they are, and soon I hope.

  24. Hey if you think the idea of government in health care is bad just wait till you read the bill…..this is just what I want, an idiot for a Dr. great….just great. I wonder what else this congress has in store. The longer this goes on the more ill I become. I cannot believe anyone in their right mind would aprove this bill….like I said all of DC needs to have to go on this health plan. Everyone of our reps need to be run out on a rail.
    http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=107639483186&h=pm-B8&u=gah0C&ref=nf

    • USW…can you fix this I posted the wrong link….sorry
      http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/racial_preferences_in_the_demo_1.html

    • Amazed1,
      On the American Thinker page, there’s a link to the Health Care Bill:

      http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

      So there’s some transparency for you!!

      Anyone want to talk about transparency? What it is, what it would take to satisfied you?

      D13 had a list of 10 items. Is that it?

      Transparency is also an issue in business. In my company, an employee survey showed that people felt they didn’t know what was going on, etc. For the next year, we worked on a project to create websites for every department listing a message from the department head, goals, objects, decisions made, etc.

      Guess what the employee survey showed the next year? A split – 45% still felt there wasn’t enough info, while 50% said there was too much to discern…can’t please anyone…follow ups showed that those who felted there wasn’t enough info had never really looked for anything…

      So what do you want for transparency? Just like the philosophy and government you want to create, you have to define what you want first.

      • You are correct Todd it is there all 1080 something pages of it full of all kinds of garbage that has little or nothing to do with health care. Like I said sit down and open that book…get you a highlighter and mark all the junk that had little to do with getting people health insurance. Our health care will be a shamble…..our government can’t even write a simple bill without adding all the BS. This is the part of government that turns my stomach I don’t care who does it…..it is WRONG!

        • Amazed1,
          So you’re not so upset about a lack of transparency, but more upset by what you see because of the transparency?

          • Amazed1 says:

            No Todd I have no problem with transparency because I can read, I am not blind or deaf and I understand alot of legal jargon. But there are people out there who do not have access to the net. Our government is only transparent to a few. It should be transparent to ALL. I would venture to say there are millions of people that have no idea what is in this health care bill. I do not consider that transparent unless we are suppose to be able to see through muddy water.

  25. Ray, (from #1)

    If you have a spouse that you’ve caught lying, over and over, and over again, are you REALLY going to believe that person this time? How many people would give the benefit of the doubt? Our politicians have lied over and over again. If you doubt that then defend the Bush lied, people died mantra of the Left. Obama has lied and deliberately ommitted, which in my opinion is equal to lying, about so many things. I can’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth. Most people are not that foolish.

  26. For the birth certificate issue:

    Are birth certificates not available to the public in Hawaii? They used to be here, at least to view. You could pay $10-$15 and get a certified copy. Maybe that has changed due to identity theft, but you would think a private investigator could come up with it….IF IT EXISTS.

  27. Todd,

    My question to you, is the same for Ray. Did you see it before you made your last comment to me?

    • CyndiP,
      I did not see your question until now. Kind of chasing my tail around…here and trying to do some work…

      Answer:
      I do not hold spouses and politicians to the same standard. Whether or not I would trust a spouse after repeated lies would depend on the situation – the actual lies, remorse, counseling, opportunities for relapse, etc.

      All politicians lie, or stretch the truth, or omit things – yes. We covered that pretty heavy in the Sarah Palin discussions. But it seems most of us were on the opposite side of the argument in that case…

      Seems like we’re all just a little hypocritical at times…

      So, do you have specific examples of Obama lying? Are they out-right lies, stretches, omits, campaign pledges not kept because Congress did not pass what he requested?

      • Cyndi P says:

        Hey There Todd,

        I understand about chasing the tail. These discussions can be hard to keep up with.

        I hold EVERYONE to the same standard, including MYSELF. Maybe that’s my problem with many people. That’s not to say I treat them all the same. I treat them according to their behavior towards me and others. I take rumors with a grain of salt and make my own decisions about an individual. The ‘Seems like we’re all just a little hypocritical at times’ is not my statement. I think you got me confused with someone else. But I’ll have a stab at some examples. Obama’s claim to not know what Rev. Wright was preaching after sitting in the man’s church for 20 YEARS is a whopper. His denying his affiliation with Bill Ayers is another. His writings while in supposed leadership positions have been sealed. Much of his past has been omitted. Most of his readings, as opposed to actual memorized speeches, have been very vague and filled with flowery warm-fuzzies language. I believe this to be deliberate. That way the masses will hear what they want to hear. I find that extremely dishonest. There’s the transparency issue. There’s the rushing everything through. There’s the blame Bush tactic. When is Obama gonna man-up and take responsibility? He wanted the damn job, so he should quit making excuses and stop trying to BS us. I also feel Obama is anti white, in addition to being an anti semite. His comment about his grandmother being ‘your typical white ‘person’, and his comments in his books, assuming he actually wrote them without help from Ayers and his child speech writer, make comments about whites that leads me to believe that he has a lot of resentment toward whites. Every bone in my body tells me not to trust this man. Its been that way since I first saw him on TV with his telepromter just out of camera frame. Nothing he’s said or done since has eased my gut feeling about him. He’s turned out as expected. The worst part is I have a feeling it’ll get much before he’s done with us.

        • CyndiP,
          Seems like we’re all just a little hypocritical at times… was my comment. Last week I pointed out Palin’s lies, and this week I downplay Obama’s…and vis-versa for some other’s here…

          On a personal level, I hold everyone to the same standard. But when politicians make campaign ‘promises’ I view them as “what they want to do or what they’ll try to do.” If you expect or require a politician to fulfill every campaign promise, you’ll always be disappointed.

          We have different political leanings, and that causes us to view events differently. I understand the issues you listed, but view them differently.

          Most of his readings, as opposed to actual memorized speeches, have been very vague and filled with flowery warm-fuzzies language. I believe this to be deliberate. That way the masses will hear what they want to hear. I find that extremely dishonest.

          All politicians do this. Or just the opposite when they want to paint a dire picture that requires action.

          There’s the transparency issue.

          I believe they’re working on this. I’d like to see more, sooner. But I work in IT, and I know how hard it can be to design and implement websites that are meaningful, user-friendly, kept up-to-date.

          There’s the blame Bush tactic. When is Obama gonna man-up and take responsibility? He wanted the damn job, so he should quit making excuses and stop trying to BS us.

          Well, he did inherit quite a mess. Remember this when the Rep’s retake the White House – don’t blame Obama for the situation! 😉

          This past week he did read a speech from his tele-prompter and take “ownership” of the economy. I’m not sure who slipped that into the tele-prompter…where were you this past week??? 😉

          I don’t agree with your comments at the end – difference of opinion.

          • Todd,

            you, like my boyfriend, believe I support the Republicans. I do not. IMO the Republicans are only slightly worse than the Dems. As for all expecting pols to make good on their campaign promises, what’s wrong with that? When someone gives me their word, I expect them to keep it. I understand that unforseen circumstances affect one’s ability to make good on a promise, but in most cases, that’s not what stops the pols from making good on their word. Dishonesty in politicians is like porn. I know it when I see it.

            • CyndiP,
              I make no assumptions about you – I learned my lesson in the past about that!

              Hey, at one time didn’t you say you were done with me? I’m still enjoying my serfdom… 🙂

              IMO the Republicans are only slightly worse than the Dems.

              Well, I agree with that!!!

              I expect politicians to work at keeping their promises, but like you said obstacles can get in the way.

  28. Todd:

    I’m not sure you questions are real given the way you ended your post. Seems you want to pile on the sarcasm with Ray. You know as well as I do that the dime statement is an old phrase expressing not very expensive. And this is why.

    All of the agencies I have experience with have data bases tracking projects from inseption to completion. This has long been needed to address accountability issues with Congress. This began in a very serious way during Reagan. That is that the systems were expanded as they were not considered accurate or fast enough. They have been revised from time to time to address Congress’ tendency to micromanage in term of project selection and promised output/completion dates. Bottom line data under existing systems is available, if the agencies were allowed to use their existing systems.

    And this data is available to anyone who asks for it. And contrary to Ray’s tirade, a Freedom of Information Act Request is not required. Oh, and Mr. Obama could have eliminated that requirement by Exectutive Order if it was a problem.

    Now, various special interest groups including trade associations, environmentalists, you name it have been collecting and collating this type of data for years. They then disseminate to their interested parties. The media has been one of these groups on occassion and could easily get the info from the agencies or the other special interests if they wanted.

    So any citizen could find out on their own, or if they were interested they would just have to check out reports from a few special interest groups who track information. They did not need a FOIA request and they didn’t need some elaborate time consuming process to find out what they wanted. The reality was that only those folks directly affected by such govt projects cared much. With the exception of your few govt watchdog groups.

    That was how it all worked up until January. This administration is micromanaging the agencies, just as the Clinton administration did, with the help of the Algorians. If you remember I posted a comment on this many months ago regarding how Gore and his staff manipulated scientific reports and agency staff. Well you have some of the same staff people back in the white house. When ever the White House or Congress tries to micromange agencies you get a breakdown in normal communications and reporting systems. And to be fair, some of this happened under Bush Sr’s administration as well.

    Now as for the dime comment. At this time, the Stimulus Projects have not significantly added to agency projects, if at all. This is because the projects have not been added as they were promised. Some are existing projects with funding source changed. Some are different projects that were almost ready but on schedule for later this year or early next. So, if the normal project tracking and reporting systems were working they would include information on these projects at no additional cost. The administrative costs are fixed and are allocated to the basket of work produced. If the total work is the same the unit cost does not change. Even if the projects are not what were planned. Thus is cost less than a dime (at least using normal government accounting procedures).

    Later in the year this may change IF new and additional projects actually come on line. Everyone is howling about the delay in getting this money to work. The agencies I work with warned the administration last fall that a huge increase in work could not occur immediately. They were ignored.

    The reason they don’t have a bunch of projects on the shelf waiting for funding is NEPA. The shelf life of an EA or EIS is not long enough to justify producing the final report and record of decision unless the project is a for sure go within 12 months. When the transparency finally kicks in you will find much of the stimulus money has directly, or indirectly through substitution, payed for environmental analysis, EIS/EA preparation, engineering, and other project design work. All of which was NOT supposed to be part of the stimulus expenditures, at least as it was presented to the public.

    And, just to give you something to look for as all this unfolds. At least two agencies suggested back in Dec or Jan, don’t have exact date, that in reporting this type of projects they could track the actual jobs or Full Time Equivalents (FTE’s) for each job funded by any stimulus package. Not hard to do since they have payroll reports and access to contractor payroll and subcontractor billing sheets. They were told NO by the white house in late Jan that the white house would be calculating the jobs produced based on the dollars expended by project category. They were going to use economic expansion factors to determine total job impact for each dollar spent. You know, the ones that say every 1000 dollars spent creates 7 direct and indirect jobs.

    By the way, have you seen the Green Jobs report issued in Oregon? Turns out the big green state has only about 3% of their existing work force working in “Green Jobs”. And, the average wage of those jobs is not significantly higher than the non-green jobs. Furthermore,most of the existing “green jobs” do not require a college education and pay at or below the median income. Makes one wonder where the administration and congress were getting their numbers doesn’t it?

    Well this was probably much longer than you wanted but I hoped you actually were looking for some insight into what I know about the goings on, so I rambled a bit.

    Until later
    JAC

    • JAC,
      So you’re saying the information is there and all people have to do is request it? So there is transparency if people know who/how to ask?

      • Yes, in part. There should be information available on project status and they should be able to identify those projects funded by stimulus. I am saying that if the white house had not interfered with the agencies normal process then it would be available right now.

        It still might be available but now it might be harder to get, for at least awhile.

        Some agencies, I say some because they are the ones I am most familiar, are basically under a gag order regarding this stuff. All calls go to the Secretary level, and then you get the run around. All press releases and public announcements regarding stimulus projects must be cleared at the Secretary level. Thus slowing to a crawl the release of information that the public is looking for NOW and they know should exist.

        There is about to be a flurry of FOIA requests regarding the project selection methodology for stimulus money. Perhaps that will shed some light on the whole thing.

        I agree that part of this issue Todd is not a definition of transparency, but the question you raised. What is the information that is desired?

        As I see it, the Obama administration and Congress were making all kinds of claims about projects and jobs and increased economic growth etc etc. The problem is that they were creating expectations based on measurable criteria that most agencies don’t monitor. For example, most don’t or can’t tell you the exact costs tied to Project A vs. Project B. They can tell you the cost of Phase I of all projects for the year, or all costs for all projects in group 1 vs. group 2. But even here we are talking about a later step in the process.

        The first step is to get the money to the agencies. I think the big stink right now is about the question: Where did all the money go? This should be easy to answer yet no one is getting the answers. All Departments and Agencies know where the money goes. If they don’t, that is one of those no no’s that gets you canned. And yes I do mean canned.

        Here’s the truth Todd. The reason it is hard to find out where the money went is that all the money hasn’t been allocated. The White House is still working over priorities for some of the proposals made by agencies. Aside from my personal dislike for any White House micromanaging the agencies, this is not totaly a bad thing.

        Except for all the promises and claims about speed and effectiveness, and of course the justification for passing the bill so quickly, we need this money on the ground now or we will lose XXXXXX jobs. Obviously if they admitted they still hadn’t figured out where to put all the money they would be subject to ridicule. So they are doing the old political two step. Something every administration has done when they get their mouths ahead of their brains and reality.

        Here is the crux of the issue as it stands today, in my opinion. They told us they would spend $x to produce at least Y jobs and it would provide the tax payers with Z return in improvements or economic growth. OK, then produce the data that will allow us to determine if your claims were accurate and honest.

        But you see they can’t in this case. Because I doubt that particular data set is collected by any agency. My personal bitch here is that everyone, and I mean everyone in Congress, and everyone in the Administration who has ever been in federal service knew damn well they wouldn’t be able to “prove” any of this.

        Thus their need to pull everything to the top so they can apply what ever magic they need to on the numbers. Thus the feeling we all get that they are not being open. You know the analogy about people’s love of hot dogs and what happens if they see them made? Well the same comparison holds true for our government.

        So in summary, some information should be available today. Those projects funded and the status of those projects. The rest will be revealed at a place and time yet to be determined.

        Does this help in any way? Or am I just putting you to sleep?
        JAC

        • JAC,
          Ok, take a breath now…maybe you should write Obama’s speeches…well, make that Palin’s…

          Asleep? No, your posts are never boring! I agree I’d like to see more transparency, but someone has to define what that means, how to present it, and then do it. I work in IT, and each of those steps can be challenging and time consuming.

          I agree Obama may have promised too much. Time will tell if they ever catch-up.

      • Amazed1 says:

        Todd…only the literate can read and only the welleducated rummage thru that whole bill and understand what is going on in that bill. A person would take 10 naps while reading that mess. Transparent would be someone telling everyone in the paper and on TV exactly what is in the bill, the exact cost to the taxpayer and how much redtape it was adding to getting something done.

        • Amazed1,
          So now you don’t want transparency for the general public, but you want the MSM to explain it to you?

          But you don’t seem to like the MSM, so maybe you should talk to Fox News about giving you the highlights?

          I agree there’s a lot to read if you want complete transparency. That was one of my questions – exactly what do you want, how to you want it ‘delivered’, and who do you trust to deliver it?

  29. Ray Hawkins says:

    Posted by JAC:

    Ray:

    “Up to your old tricks again I see. Creating a ridiculus set of assumptions around a hypothetical to prove nothing but an insult.” – What are my ridiculous assumptions?

    “If your poor brother only has a radio then it doesn’t matter what the transparency reporting looks like does it? He is depending on someone to report it to him on the radio or in the newspaper.” – It absolutely matters. People acquire information in a number of different ways. I say kudos on the road signs – then the truckers that otherwise are shut out can at least see where some of their tax money. To date you’ve not offered a single solution or idea on how else that happens.

    Which by golly, jimminy, that is just how its been done for ages.

    Don’t have a clue what Hannity reported as I don’t listen much and never watch. You see I don’t have a TV either.

    “If my word, and thus my honor, is not enough for you then that is your choice to reject it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given that you stand in oppostion to freedom and liberty. I suppose if I were to share the principles of those who would use force to take from others, I might find it hard to take some one’s word on a matter as well. In some ways I feel sorry for you. I actually know people who’s word or handshake is as binding as any stack of papers. It is trully refreshing and I hope you get a chance to experience that as well someday.” – AHA – I get in now JAC – that is your idea of transparency eh? Just take my word for it? I think you just stepped in your own feces pal.

    “Your right, no one knows my name or who I really am………YET. My reasons for using JAC are my own and of no concern to you……….YET. However, I did reveal more about myself in commenting on this than I had before. I did so in order to establish at least some plausible credibility. If you wish to doubt my sincerity or the content of my comments because of an assumed name then, as I said, that is your choice.” – funny – others such as D13 (sorry – calling you out as well) emphasize how knowing one’s name is key to credibility and transparency – yet not one of you aspire to this. What are you afraid of? Do I have to wait for the grand opening of the VDLG I suppose eh?

    “By the way, the authors of many of the papers and essays debating the ratification of the constitution used fictitious names (Plubius, Cato, etc.). I don’t recall seeing any major criticism of this practice or questioning of the actual content of those letters. I guess the word of even an adversary was enough back in the day when honor was something all men aspired to.” – Hiding behind the proverbial mask only works in war, fiction and professional wrestling.

  30. USWep: Excellent article. I notice that Obama does the opposite of what he says, doublespeak or whatever you want to call it. Newt had an excellent statement on Fox news on Friday. Newt said that Reagan used rhetoric as a way to reveal or uncover reality. Obama uses rhetoric to deny or obfuscate reality. All of his talk of savings for his health care plan is an example and there are many others.

    I know this is under a conspiracy theory but I also want to know more about his birth certificate and passport. What he has posted is not an official birth certificate. In June, I visited a defense facility for an interview and was required to have my birth certificate to get in. I brought my original and a photocopy which was carefully examined. It wasn’t a big deal for me. Why is it such a big deal for the TOTUS? Here is a site regarding some of Obama’s issues: http://www.theobamafile.com/

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