Using Populist Appeal to Change the Rules

Mr. Smith Filibusters

This article actually began as an open mic night topic last week (as you will be able to tell by the format I offer it in), when I initially read the story. As I began thinking about it, I realized that it was something that was going to take a little bit more time to cover than was usual for an open mic topic. That is mostly because I want to expand the discussion into a broader one, focused on more than just this one instance. The article that I am linking to below is written by Senator Tom Udall from New Mexico. This freshman Senator is setting his sights on eliminating the the ability for the Republicans to block legislation through the use of the filibuster in the Senate. And his rationale for doing so is the Constitution. Now I am not a Constitutional scholar, but I understand it pretty well and I have studied it extensively, both as a supporter and a detractor. And what I see from the Senator is yet another attempt by members of government to find a “loophole” to accomplish whatever they want to accomplish, our freedom be damned…

Before I get any further into my thoughts on this, I will let you read some of what Senator Udall had to say in a article he wrote for the Huffington Post:

The Need for the Constitutional Option

…But in the past year I have witnessed an assembly that seems more dysfunctional than deliberative — where partisan rancor and the Senate’s own incapacitating rules often prevent us from conducting our business. Many of my colleagues and I were elected to the sound of a call for change. The American people sent us to Washington to put partisanship aside and take the country in a new direction. Unfortunately, the self-imposed rules that govern the Senate have stood in the way.

Given that fact, I commend Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for all that he has been able to accomplish in an atmosphere of obstruction and inefficiency. But the system in its current form leads to legislation that is diluted and vulnerable to being held hostage by a single senator. At worst, the Senate has become a graveyard for good ideas. It is for that reason that I stood before the Senate yesterday to reflect upon our constitutional obligations to this institution and to the American people for whom we serve. (pdf)

We need to take a good look at the rules that govern the Senate and get the business of the American people back on track.

While I am convinced that our inability to function is our own fault, we have the authority within our Constitution to act.

Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution states, “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings…” Yet, at the beginning of the 111th Congress, unlike in the House of Representatives, there was no vote on a package of rules that would govern the body for the two years that comprises a term of Congress. As a result, 96 of my colleagues and I (three senators had an opportunity to vote on the last change to the rules in 1975) are bound by rules put in place decades ago and make conducting the business of the Senate nearly impossible.

Specifically, under the “filibuster rule” (Rule XXII), it is not possible to limit debate, or end a filibuster, without three-fifths, or 60, of all Senators voting to do so. In the past several years, the use — and abuse — of filibusters by both parties to obstruct the Senate from functioning has become the norm. But it hasn’t always been this way. Such cloture votes used to occur perhaps seven or eight times during a congressional session, but last Congress there were 112 – most occasioned simply by the threat of a filibuster. The use of the filibuster today dominates the Senate’s business at an irresponsible level, threatening our ability to operate.

Read the rest of this appeal from Senator Tom Udall at the Huffington Post:  Sen. Tom Udall: The Need for the Constitutional Option

I have to say that at its very heart, it sickens me to even read this drivel. I am so tired of these Senators and Congressmen living in a fantasy world of what they are sent there to do. Allow me for a moment to pick apart his twisted reasoning. He claims that they were sent to Congress to “put partisanship aside and take the country in a new direction”. OK, I will accept that perhaps the country sent you there because they would like to put partisanship aside, but the only direction that they wanted you to “change” was to veer away from George Bush. In any direction. They didn’t care. Just away from Bush. They did not send you there with a mandate to institute a far left progressive agenda, as you found out two weeks ago in Massachusetts. He then follows that up with “Unfortunately, the self-imposed rules that govern the Senate have stood in the way.” Here is where I say complete and utter bullshit.

What got in the way was that the members of the majority party in the Senate had zero interest in actually putting aside partisan politics. They point to party line votes, but forget that the entire process leading up to that vote excluded members of the GOP. There was more legislation in this Congress last year than in any other in history. So it doesn’t appear to me that rules stood in the way of “doing the people’s business.” There were very few instances where a filibuster stood in the way of passing a bill. Let’s not forget that the Democrats have had complete control, including the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster (I know Ray tries to dispute this by pointing to the Independents, but they caucused with the Democrats, voted with the Democrats, and for all intensive purposes are Democrats). If a filibuster could have stood in the way, they wouldn’t have passed the stimulus or the Health Care Bill. And of course the GOP all voted against both bills, they were never included in the formulation of them. What the Democrats wanted was for the GOP to keep their ideas to themselves and vote yes when told to. That isn’t rules getting in the way. That is extremely poor leadership by Harry Reid and the other leading Dems in the Senate. Another article that I read on this said, “One Senator is trying to change that insistence, and put the focus back on governing rather than the crippling rules which have led, in a pretty direct way, to American decline.” (this article is linked to at the bottom) So the filibuster is the reason for the American decline? Damnit, if only we had known we could have solved the economy troubles, and everything else with a simple Senate rule change. Then what the hell did we spend the $2 Trillion for you dumbasses?

But the point is that both the President in his State of the Union lecture and the Democrats like Udall are attempting to paint a very different picture of what is happening in the Senate than what is really happening. It is a blatant attempt to twist reality, to twist the truth into something that it is not. And the only purpose of doing this is to sway public opinion using false pretenses. Because swaying the public means using populist appeal to transform the government in a way that benefits the twisters. If they can get enough people to believe that the GOP is the obstacle to fixing America’s ills, then they can make horrible changes to the rules with public acceptance that they are doing so in order to “better serve the people.” Again, complete and utter bullshit.

So the answer to Democrats not having the votes to shove their agenda down our throats is to change the rules so that they can continue to shove the agenda down our throats. This is nothing more or less than using popular appeal to rig the game in their favor. And you know what will happen after they are done? They will pass all their bullshit agenda items. And you know what comes next? The will get voted out of power. And then is the big finale. They will use populist appeal to change the rules BACK to using the filibuster as soon as they see it to their advantage to do so. Because we have seen this game played before.

Don’t forget that whole mess in Massachusetts I told you about a couple of weeks ago. When Mitt Romney was Governor, the Democrats in the State government were worried that he might appoint a Republican to the Senate if Ted Kennedy were to pass. So they immediately got together and voted to change the rules so that the Governor would not have the power to appoint a new Senator. That was in 2004. In 2009, Ted Kennedy dies. But wait, the Democrat Governor, Duval Patrick, cannot appoint a Democrat to fill the seat and maintain the 60 vote majority in the US Senate! What to do!?!?!?!? They got together and changed the rule back, allowing Patrick to appoint Paul Kirk. The liberal agenda is saved! You see, rules don’t work in your favor? simply convince the voters that you need to change the rules. It is easy to use populist appeal.

Add to this the current climate around the health care bill. Now that Scott Brown has won, they know that they cannot stop a Republican filibuster on the bullshit health bill they came up with. So what answers are they looking at? Any answer but the ethical one. The number one option being looked at is a round-about reconciliation vote, using a loophole in Senate rules in order to usurp the spirit of what they are supposed to do. Second best option? Have the House pass the Senate version so that it doesn’t have to go through the Senate again and then pass another bill or two to amend that signed into law one. Similarities between these options? They are both a peek into the mind of a US Senator. The rules are made to be worked around however needed in order to do what we want to do.

So where does all of this lead me to? It leads me to Black Flag’s door. Because all of this makes a great point for him and those who believe as he does. He consistently tells us that our vote is a waste. He consistently tells us that we are doing nothing more than legitimizing government’s crooked actions. And this sure does bolster his argument doesn’t it?

No matter what we do or who we vote for, the result is the same. We get a federal government that is not interested in serving us. They are serving themselves. And to prove it, they give us all these examples where rules are not really rules. Whatever rule you think is in place to limit the power of government, it is but a quick populist appeal away from being removed as an obstacle for them.

This is not just an argument that bolsters Black Flag’s position on voting. It is an argument that bolsters both JAC and my arguments for a strong foundation for a new form of leadership. This is why, no matter what we come up with, it must be built upon a strong moral platform based on the concept of individual liberty and non-initiation of violence FIRST, and allowing everything else to spin out from that foundation. As much as the founders spoke about liberty and believed in it, they did not make it the true foundation of our Constitution. And they certainly didn’t make a non-initiation of violence on non-violent people a founding principle.

If we don’t start with a solid foundation, we are destined to go down the same path. A weak foundation is what has eventually led the American decline, dear readers, not crippling rules in the US Senate.

FDL News Desk » Tom Udall On Fixing The Senate: “We’ve Gotten Ourselves Into A Box”

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Comments

  1. Good Morning!

    Posting for comments. Maybe it would be a good idea to consider that laywers make bad representatives, and should not be voted for. It’s early and cold out, BRRRR!

    Peace and Live Free!

    G!

  2. The senator is whining himself right out of a job. He is thinking things through from the point where he started his campaign a couple years back. Uh, Oh! What he didn’t think was that he would run right into the American people who have wisened up to the tricks. Instead of pointing his finger at the R’s he should look at the legislation and realize its junk. He was sent to represent us. We dont like the bills, we are organizing against them, and he’s trying to pass the blame to the R’s. Forget it. Times have changed and all of them need to face that reality. We’ll probably hear more of the same until November.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @ Anita – remove the partisan hacking here for a moment – do you consider it a good thing that a minority should have such control/influence over a majority – how is that representative of the people?

      • But Ray poll after poll shows that on most of the bills that the dems are trying to ram through Congress are issues that the people do not want. The correct question is how does party line voting represent the people?

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Bama – but please also recognize/realize that polling is capable of and is frequently used to bolster opinion on either side of an issue. I am not suggesting dismiss it entirely, but realize its place. Polling should be matched with, among other things, process transparency, better communications and getting out to talk to people. If you take Healthcare reform as it is today for example (or health insurance reform – or whatever the hell they call it now) – I, as I think many Americans agree, would vote against it because I simply do not understand it. Now – many may vote against it because some partisan hack read a passage in it and coined the phrase ‘death panels’ to scare the crap out of everyone. Conversely, I support healthcare reform conceptually – there my friend is the huge difference!

      • Nothing partisan at all Ray. We’re awake to the whole game. They are all the same just different names. As soon as they figure us out maybe we’ll get somewhere.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Short answer to your question Ray is “yes”. There is not supposed to be a tyranny of the majority, and the fillabuster rule is one thing that helps prevent a tyrrany of the majority.

        We are not a democracy, we are a constitutional republic.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Absolutely,

        “The government that governs least governs best”.

        T. Jefferson

  3. Ray Hawkins says:

    But a few reactions….

    (a) The Democrats have not had complete control from a cloture perspective – that is a false notion put forward to suggest they’ve always had Indies in their pocket and didn’t have to get creative in getting them there on select issues;

    (b) I’d challenge folks here to tell me/others why the filibuster is a good thing – why should it be required as part of parliamentary procedure? For those that do not think it necessary or needed then it is just a matter of making the change – the rub is – there will never be a good time to do ti that will appease everyone – but remember – the goal is not and cannot be to appease everyone as it relates to matters as such;

    (c) I find it fascinating how Brown’s win is interpreted and re-interpreted as essentially a rejection of the “far left progressive agenda” – the pundits have gone mad with this – there are a multitude of reasons he won, but lets put this fulcrum aside – its as asinine as saying the earlier election in NY was a national/global/solar system-wide rejection of Sarah Palin – much as I’d love it to be – it was not. 😉

    (d) I do agree with USW that we can stop the pretense of bi-partisanship. For once, lets just be honest, you’re the winning team – you get the better locker room, you get to kiss the cheerleader – you get to run the score up on the opposition (“if you don’t like them scoring more points then stop them”). So be it far left, far right or right-sider/left-sider who is more centrist – do your thing, don’t hide behind smoke and mirrors – that way perhaps more who are disinterested will take interest and get involved.

    • Ray said:

      “I find it fascinating how Brown’s win is interpreted and re-interpreted as essentially a rejection of the “far left progressive agenda” – the pundits have gone mad with this – there are a multitude of reasons he won, but let’s put this fulcrum aside”

      Ray it is hard to put aside when he ran completely opposite of the “far left progressive agenda”. Granted the Dems ran a very poor campaign, took it for granted we got this one and realized too late that there were voters out there that wanted to be heard. His two best lines on the campaign trail were this is the people’s seat and I will be the 41st vote against the current health care reform bill. His own official web site list his stand on issues bullet by bullet and they are opposite of the “far left progressive agenda”. It does not take any spin or interpretation to see he did run against the “far left progressive agenda”. Now where the spin comes in is trying to make the American people believe that his election meant nothing for the rest of the nation. Sure made a bunch of Blue Dog Dems nervous.

      View the issues here.

      http://brownforussenate.com/issues

      How is fatherhood going these days, getting enough sleep yet? As good as being a father is being a grandfather is better, you get to spoil them and then hand them back when you are tired.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Bama

        (a) – the issue of the Dems campaign is that they did not run one – they did not deserve to win regardless of the opponent;

        (b) – I’m not convinced that the preponderance of voters that voted for Brown did so out of alignment to his planks – he captured a rode a wave and, like or not, earned the seat. Folks latched onto one or two aspects of his campaigning and he got their vote – I am as aggravated by that as I am with people that voted for POTUS only because he is black. A while back Cyndi and I (and others) wrestled on this – what gave me pause was a forum event I overhead on the TV one night that Chris Mathews was leading (I was in another room with the baby) – a pro-Obama journalist was on this panel (I do not remember her name) challenging the other panelists to explain away the multitude of folks that reported to her that they voted for Obama only because he was black.

        Fatherhood is going well – and thanks much for asking. This phase of life always challenges one to rethink a lot of things and prioritize. My boy just started crawling and I am tickled to death to watch him progress. He tires me out – but its that good sort of tired!

        • Mobility is such a good thing to experience with a child but beware it creates numerous new problems for parents. It is amazing all the places in your home where you can “lose” a child. My wife and I have lost several only to find them in the strangest places. The best story was with our daughter. She became “lost” and we hunted and hunted all over the house to no avail, panic was setting in. We finally found her in the laundry room in the cloths dryer (yes it was off). She had climbed in with a load of bath towels and had dosed off to sleep, which is why she never answered when we called her. Children are muchfun so slow down and enjoy them because the time with them goes go fast.

        • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

          If you are right Ray, then Udall is wrong…for exactly the same reasons. People then did not vote for him because of his plank to bring change.

          As USW said Obama and this crew won because they happened to be anyone but Bush, no more, no less.

          Unfortunately the average American pays less attention to politics than he does Baseball, The dem party was captured with McGovern in ’72. After the ’68 riots in Chicago, the traditional “my father’s Democratic Party” was swept away.

          When push came to shove Lieberman, Lincoln and Nelson all went home to the hive. There ain’t no such thing as a Democratic independent.

    • Ray,

      “(b) I’d challenge folks here to tell me/others why the filibuster is a good thing ”

      Do you think Hoover and FDR’s actions helped end the depression? Most historians and economist don’t think that way. Bush/Obama have taken a similar approach, with the same results. Government cannot spend us out of debt, yet that is what the liberals are pitching to push their agenda. You, yourself have spoken out for fiscal responsibility.

      Does the filibuster not help insure the laws they pass are more representative of the people, requiring bi-partisan support?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @LOI – or does the filibuster encourage even more back room wheeling and dealing that turns the sometimes criminal behavior of Congress into a way of life?

        • Ray:

          The filibuster is not needed for that end. They do just fine without it.

          The Senate rules are far less restrictive than normal parlimentary procedures by the way. So Mr. Udhall is just being a normal manipulative progressive.

          Normal procedures would require a 2/3 majority to change a rule for example. Hence the Const. requirement of 2/3 to pass an amendment and 75% of states to ratify.

          Yet you think that >50% of 100 people elected by less than 50% of the population somehow “represents” the will of the people?

          Here is the bottom line Ray. Legislation that is deemed GOOD by a large majority of the people usually gets passed. Remember the authorization to go into Iraq? Wouldn’t have passed if the Dems thought the population was split. They could have filibustered that legislation.

          We all forget the purpose of the Senate is to temper the ambitions of the House. It is in fact to cause delay and more thoughtful debate and evaluation. To that end it is working just fine. Unfortunately, the two sides will work together to pass “something” they can all call “bipartisan”. Because the mission in Congress is no longer to do good things only but to just do something.

          Hope your weekend was good.
          JAC

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @JAC – weekends are always good (‘cept this past one with a sick child – least I am with him which is still good).

            I do see the ‘will of the people’ as a result of ‘their’ willingness to have their will represented and heard. That will will not always dot he right thing per se (voting for a guy only because of skin color), but in theory it is right more than it is wrong.

            The Iraq authorization is perhaps not the best example JAC – there was significant fervor at the time that most all played into or took out of it – from the will of the people, to the media to our government – I guess your important point is remembering that it was ‘deemed good” and not necessarily good.

      • Dale A Albrecht says:

        And don’t forget TAXES

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Ray,

      There are no “independents” in the Senate. > 90% of the time the “indies” vote dem, so that is not the issue. The issue is the legislation is such pure garbage, many of the actual “dems” won’t vote for cloture.

      I told you above why a fillabuster is a good thing, it prevents a tyranny of the majority. This is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. Jefferson and others recognized that democracies do not work, and are, in fact, often disasterous. Majority rule is mob rule, and that is not what the founders of this country wanted.

      As far as point c goes, there are a lot of reasons why he won. Coakley was weak and felt entitled to the seat, which is ONE of the reasons she was rejected by the voters. Rejection of Obama was another reason she was rejected. Certainly it was not just one thing that got Brown elected, but it would be naive to say rejection of Obama and his agenda played no part whatsoever.

      Point d, yes, the winning side is the winning side, and really has no particular obligation to work with the losing side. We see this a lot. How’s it working out currently?

      • Peter,

        Some good posts! I wonder about the ethics involve here as well. If Exxon were to try to change the terms of a contract to their advantage, the media/liberals would be shouting out on their immoral behavior. When Democrats do this, they cheer.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @LOI – in a completely free market wouldn’t Exxon have the ability to do so and that would be considered by those advocates as a proper execution of the free market concept? Just curious! 🙂

          • Ray

            In a completely free market Exxon could not unilaterally change a contract, whether to their advantage or not.

            Remember, free market simply means the party’s make the deal without coersion of govt in the mix.

            That means govt can come in later and tell one party their contract is no longer valid because the govt has decided that protection of the other party is in the national interest. Just for example.

            I thought we had this concept well in hand? How could you come to think it would allow a unilateral action by anyone?

            JAC

          • Ray,

            Only a body that can make its own rules can change them whenever it suits them. Its kinda fun watching
            my kids play Nerf war and other games, invariably, one of them will come up with a reason why that shot did not count, due to a “rule” they make up on the spot. I think MY kids will grow out of this. I don’t think that about our senators and congressmen.

            I noticed you omitted the ethics part of my comment. Was it not relevant?

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @LOI – I presume in ethics you refer to the body making/changing its own rules? Isn’t that constitutionally defined?

              • Ray,

                Ethics is one thing, legal another.
                Are their actions legal? Probably so. That does not make them ethical. For ex.

                http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=30143

                Pelosi Erases Gingrich’s Long-Standing Fairness Rules
                by Connie Hair
                01/05/2009

                House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to re-write House rules today to ensure that the Republican minority is unable to have any influence on legislation. Pelosi’s proposals are so draconian, and will so polarize the Capitol, that any thought President-elect Obama has of bipartisan cooperation will be rendered impossible before he even takes office.

                Pelosi’s rule changes — which may be voted on today — will reverse the fairness rules that were written around Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.”

                In reaction, the House Republican leadership is sending a letter today to Pelosi to object to changes to House Rules this week that would bar Republicans from offering alternative bills, amendments to Democrat bills or even the guarantee of open debate accessible by motions to recommit for any piece of legislation during the entire 111th Congress. These procedural abuses, as outlined in the below letter obtained by HUMAN EVENTS, would also include the repeal of six-year limit for committee chairmen and other House Rules reform measures enacted in 1995 as part of the Contract with America.

                After decades of Democrat control of the House of Representatives, gross abuses to the legislative process and several high-profile scandals contributed to an overwhelming Republican House Congressional landslide victory in 1994. Reforms to the House Rules as part of the Contract with America were designed to open up to public scrutiny what had become under this decades-long Democrat majority a dangerously secretive House legislative process. The Republican reform of the way the House did business included

                opening committee meetings to the public and media,

                making Congress actually subject to federal law, term limits for committee chairmen ending decades-long committee fiefdoms,

                truth in budgeting,

                elimination of the committee proxy vote,

                authorization of a House audit, specific requirements for blanket rules waivers,

                and guarantees to the then-Democrat minority party to offer amendments to pieces of legislation.

                Pelosi’s proposed repeal of decades-long House accountability reforms exposes a tyrannical Democrat leadership poised to assemble legislation in secret, then goose-step it through Congress by the elimination of debate and amendment procedures as part of America’s governing legislative process.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Peter – if an “independent” is perhaps more representative of the people versus tied to a party then maybe there is something to be said that agenda-wise they vote more Democrat than Republican. Sorry – you left your mouth open and I helped you put your foot in it. 🙂

        A filibuster is a tool gone wrong – used in the wrong way – used as a way to curry or force favor, perks and backroom deals. Used a tool of obstruction it has been used by both sides as a tyranny by the minority versus protecting the interests of the people or some check and balance. That you have to acknowledge. The prevention of tyranny is more so centered in the design of the three branches, not legislative procedures that can be used to hold a gun to someone’s head.

        Majorities are not mobs Peter – by your definition a VDLG government would necessarily be a mob mentality – this is where the absolutist fails (use my Amish schoolkids / Webster Dictionary example from last week or many others).

        • v. Holland says:

          Our government has become a tool gone wrong-used in the wrong way-the filibuster is a rule that slows down the government, makes them actually have to debate issues instead of just pass them in a hurry. Getting rid of the filibuster won’t stop backroom deals but having it helps bring them to light. If the filibuster brings about corruption so does balanced power but both of these things brings about a need for compromise and helps to keep the extremist in both parties from taking over. If we want to cure corruption than we need to pass rules that make earmarks have to stand on their on, or maybe putting some people in jail and whatever else will help not take away one of the few controls that are in place that promote discussion and compromise.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Ray,

          I don’t normally resort to disparagement, but there are so many things wrong with your post I am not sure where to begin….

          First of all, one of the independents in the senate WAS a Democrat, and expressed his displeasure with the democrats by changing his label to “independent”. He never did say that changing his label would cause him to change how he voted, so your point about him voting with the democrats has nothing to do with anything. He was a democrat, and still is, just with a different label. Therefore, my foot never approached my mouth in any way whatsoever.

          Secondly Ray, VDLG is the ABSOLUTE OPPOSITE of a mob mentality. We point this out on a daily basis, and we explain why VERY THOROUGHLY. If you RUN YOUR OWN LIFE, YOU CANNOT BE SIMULTANEOUSLY CONTROLLED BY A MOB. Or, to put it even more accurately, if you are free, you have the choice to let the mob control you if you wish, it is not my problem if you choose to do so, but that would certainly not be MY choice in a free society.

          Now, if you have any other salient points which are that easy to argue against, let me know, I love it when you throw two pitches into my wheelhouse in one at bat, that way if I foul the first one off I still can hit t home run on the second 🙂

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            You forget that after his party rejected Liberman because God help us, he was too “conservative” he had no option but to run as an independent.

            I believe the other is a self admitted Socialist. Ergo, if he votes with the democrats the bulk of the time then he must find something in their thinking he likes.

            The argument is similar to whether Joseph Stalin was more representative of Communism than Mao was.

            I’ve always felt that the only reason these guys are not 100% is because they need wiggle room to keep up the charade. Sort of like Pelosi telling house members in trouble they don;t have to vote with her on this one just so they can keep their “independent” status.

            Ray should know better and probably does.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              @SK – easy there – I totally get the whys and what-fors of our current Indies – each is there for their own reasons – try having a joke with your seriousness from time to time. I find it utterly laughable that Lieby was once the Veep candidate – and looks where he claims to be now!

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            @Peter

            (a) On the Indies – it was a joke my friend – as much of a joke as calling those guys true Indies – it just means they are formally ack they are up for sales if the price is right.

            (b) Any party, by definition, requires organization – an organization is such by definition because it must exclude others.

    • Ray,

      You make some good points. I will do my best to answer as I see things:

      a. It isn’t a false notion that the dems have the indies in their corner. Lieberman was a Dem and only became an indie out of circumstance, meaning that philosophically he is in their corner. The other indies have been along on the Dem agenda, so while there have been 3 indies to statistically eliminate the cloture majority, it still exists despite your claim otherwise.

      b. I think JAC offered the best response here. The filibuster is a good thing because it slows Congress down, if nothing else. Government was not supposed to be this big, this intrusive, or this powerful. The founders could not have dreamed of the sheer amount of legislation that gets passed today. And as I mentioned, this 111th Congress has passed more legislation than any in history in its first year. The filibuster, as it stands, helps slow one party down from being able to steamroll the other party and pass things that maybe shouldn’t be passed.

      c. I offered my thought on what the Brown win meant. I don’t know if we will ever have anything more than each of our own individual opinion on what it REALLY meant. I guess we will have to wait for the mid-term elections in 9 months to find out.

      d. I agree 100%

      • Coming in late due to work. After thinking about this off and on in between work issues I thought it might be interesting to offer up this tid-bit relative to Filibuster.

        As it was initially intended it has value. As USW points out it helps one side of the floor from ‘steamrolling’ the other, but it, along with many other rules and tactics used in politics today, has been corrupted. The filibuster in itself is not corrupt, but the individuals using it are, hence the tactic only serves those who deploy it as a means to an end. And since pretty much everything coming from those seated in either hall are corrupt, so are the tools and tactics they deploy.

        Kind of goes along the lines of firearms. Firearms themselves are not evil, but when used to meliciously harm another then the firearm becomes evil. Remove the firearm and the evil will stop…right?

        Changing the rules/tactics used by evil men will only result in new rules/tactics being adopted warranting the same results. Remove the evil and those rules/tactics that were once deamed good will once again be just that…good.

        CM

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @USW

        I don’t think you need to wait nine months – that is an eternity in election cycles – what Brown means will manifest (or not) much sooner.

        The filibuster is used to force extortion nowadays – pretty sure that is not what our founders had in mind. Separation of powers still carries the day.

    • Good morning, Ray. Hope this day finds you well.

      To the filibuster: I have two schools of thought on this. Both very short.

      1. Do I think it is necessary? Unfortunately…yes. The ONLY reason that I think it is necessary is that it is another check and balance for a runaway Congress or group. Nancy Pelosi was quite correct in saying…”we won”. Our turn. What does this breed? This type of attitude that is pervasive in politics is precisely the reason it is the way it is. I will be quite quick in saying, that it is pervasive on BOTH – BOTH – BOTH sides….. and not one side is any less than the other. Notice, also, how I have used the terminology of “sides” when there should be NO sides in the direction of our country. Was the election of Obama a mandate? I do not think it was a mandate to govern “left”. I think it was only a mandate of…enough of this. Time to throw the bums out. So, the filibuster is necessary, albeit it I hate it, to use as a check and balance. I have two very good friends that have been in politics from day one. I grew up with them. Pete and Charlie Geren. Both were Congressmen and one was Secretary of the Army. I have heard them say…thank God for the filibuster. I can blame that instead of having to explain my vote. Several times they admitted to having voted “party” line KNOWING that it was going to end in a filibuster and therefore, not pass. It is a tactic. But, in today’s politics, the filibuster has kept several very bad bills from being passed or at least held up until the public gained more knowledge.

      2. Do I like it? No. I am for making the Congress vote their conscience and having to stand up to their vote. In reading the history of the filibuster, I found it quite interesting that most of it (over 90%) is a result of democratic wrangling which I was surprised to learn. I thought it primarily a Republican issue but not so. But, to answer your question as to whether I think it should be used…answer one explained that…but answer two is…in the world of D13…it should be eliminated and each Congress member be required to vote and explain their vote. If it turns out bad, then the next congress changes it.

  4. A Puritan Descendant says:

    I think we could prevent many of our problems if we had a constitutional amendment requiring a 3/5 or even a 2/3 vote in both the house and senate to pass anything.

    Another amendment forcing the President to spend all his time playing golf or vetoing bills would be ok with me.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Consisder these quotes by Benjamin Franklin >

      Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

      When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.

    • I’m with you, the harder it is for them to screw things up, the safer and more prosperous we will all be.

  5. v. Holland says:

    Your first question A in my mind answers question B-the fact that the dem party had to bribe it’s own party members to get them to vote for the health bill shows that Some of the dems know they aren’t doing what their constituency wants so they need something to justify their going against the will of their state=something to hopefully lessen the anger. 2. the fact that our reps will happily go against their states wishes in order to satisfy their party-shows the need for the filibuster. Please tell we why efficiency, when we are taking about laws that we are all going to have to live with should be based on party loyalty- I personally think having to have a 60% agreement on important bills is much more likely to be a true representation of what the people want.

    • v. Holland says:

      This is in response to Ray # 3- Sorry

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @V. Holland – or, optionally, those Senators you refer to were merely using the process to better effect what their constituents wanted or needed and thus helping secure their own re-elections? I do not live in Nebraska or Louisiana so I’m not certain those folks did or did not want the Healthcare bill.

      • v. Holland says:

        Just taking one example-if he felt his constituents wanted or needed to be completely exempted from part of the bill forever-in my mind shows that he knew and his constituents knew that the bill shouldn’t be passed. So if he was willing to vote for the bill based on his constituents not being effected-What was the reason he would do this? I’ll answer that party loyalty.

        • v. Holland says:

          Or perhaps party loyalty isn’t the correct word, maybe it’s more accurate to say the fear of party power.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Ray,

        Should “using the process” involve forcing changes to the bill which award large sums of money to your particular State as a Senator while not awarding the same benefits to the people of the other States? Would that not violate “equal protection”? Why should people in California have to pay medicare/medicaid for people from Nebraska and Louisiana while people from Nebraska and Louisiana pay nothing?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Also,

        “I am not gonna vote the way you want me to unless you grease the wheels” smacks a bit of extortion to me personally. I know that is the way that “politics works”, but as I like to point out, just becase something “works” that way does not make it desireable or correct in the least.

      • I think we can judge that by the reaction of the citizens of Nebraska who were very outspoken that they did NOT want this bribe! Their response was so great that Nelson has talked of wanting to “turn in” his bribe.

  6. One of the things that I think is interesting is the number of “Bills/Acts” introduced in Congress that have not been ones initially requested/developed by the citizens of America. That is to say legislation originating from an individual citizen or group of citizens acting on behalf of the majority, with the intent to better the whole as a Republic.

    In fact the majority of those “Acts/Bills” debated these past several years are ones initiated by elected Representives for the purpose of furthering Government influence/control over the citizenry. Now some out there will make the argument that some of those Bills/Acts were developed to assist, help, support or regulate actions that protect, promote or benefit particular groups or the citizens as a whole. However, those that argue that point will have a hard time demonstrating how those Acts/Bills don’t further government influence and/or control.

    The point to all of this is that those elected to represent the people have long stopped doing so, and are only representing their party wishes and their individual objectives; none of which are generally in the best interest of the citizenry.

    When you look at the word Representative you get the following Synonyms: Envoy, Delegate, Agent, Spokesperson, Diplomat, Commissioner, Ambassador and Courier. All of these words, which are pro-nouns, translate into a person acting on behalf of a person or persons with a common objective.

    Interestingly enough those currently seated are NOT functioning as they were Constitutionaly mandated. As such we, the Citizens of the United States are obligated to act according to the Declaration of Independence

    “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 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.”

    Since Congress is no longer functioning as Constitutionally mandated they need to be sent a message that the people no longer require their form of government or services.

    November cannot happen soon enough.

    CM

    • CM,

      Good post and I agree. Washington is not paying attention to what the people want, and there is going to be a backlash. Come November, they are likely to see how a snowball becomes an avalanche.

      from FOX,

      Lawmakers in 34 states now have filed or proposed amendments to their state constitutions or statutes rejecting health insurance mandates, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit group that promotes limited government that is helping coordinate the efforts. Many of those proposals are targeted for the November ballot, assuring that health care remains a hot topic as hundreds of federal and state lawmakers face reelection.

      Legislative committees in Idaho and Virginia endorsed their measures this past week. Supporters held a rally at the Pennsylvania Capitol. And hearings on the proposed constitutional amendments were held in Georgia and Missouri. The Missouri hearing drew overflow crowds the day after Obama urged federal lawmakers during his State of the Union address to keep pressing to pass a health care bill. The Nebraska Legislature plans a hearing on a measure this coming week.

      The legal effect of any state measures may be questionable, because courts generally have held that federal laws trump those in states.

      Yet supporters of the state measures portray them as a way of defending individual rights and state sovereignty, asserting that the federal government has no authority to tell states and their citizens to buy health insurance.

      “I think the alarm bell has been rung,” said Clint Bolick, the constitutional litigation director at the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix, which helped craft an Arizona amendment on this November’s ballot that has been used as a model in other states.

      “These amendments are a way to manifest grassroots opposition” to federal health insurance mandates, Bolick said. “They kind of have a life of their own at this point. So while some of the pressure may be off, I think that this movement has legs.”

    • CM, Birdman, Willo, any others in Mich,

      Tea Party @ the capitol this week in honor of the state of the state address. Should be interesting.

  7. Hello LOI,

    Well, it looks like you win. I’m now puckering up, and bending over………(insert kissing sounds here)

    😆

  8. Economist Gustave de Molinari: noted,

    “Just as war is the natural consequence of monopoly, peace is the natural consequence of liberty.”

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      If America had stuck to Jefferson’s principle of “commerce with all, alliance with none” we could have avoided 98.4% (roughly) of all of the problems which have built up in 235 years.

      Unfortunately, his principle NEVER WAS put into practice.

    • Bottom Line says:

      BLACK FLAG,

      My cousin and I are having a conversation/debate about the value of the dollar. I stated that it’s fiat as it is based on nothing but loans and a printing press instead of gold.

      He replied by explaining that the gold standard is irrelevant because regardless, it’s value is still based on the idea of the value of goods and services.

      I suggested we ask your expert opinion to clarify that which is beyond us.

      If you please…What say you Mr. Flag?

      • Bottom Line,

        I stated that it’s fiat as it is based on nothing but loans and a printing press instead of gold.

        You are correct.

        He replied by explaining that the gold standard is irrelevant because regardless, it’s value is still based on the idea of the value of goods and services.

        He is correct in his theory (but, no fault to him, his articulation of that theory is a bit flawed).

        Gold standard, however is VERY relevant.

        So, both of you are orbiting the “Theory of Money”

        I made a post on my blog here – both of you should read it (or re-read it).

        http://freedomfliesblackflag.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/what-is-money/

        Money is just a commodity like any good/service in an economy.

        Value is in the eye of the human looking at the commodity. So your cousin is correct – if no one thought gold was valuable, it wouldn’t be.

        But that can be said for absolutely every commodity on earth.

        We do not value air – hence, it has no price.

        We value oil, hence it has a price.

        The thing we value the most becomes money – all that means is that all other goods in the economy are referenced in their price to that highly valued commodity.

        In prison, it’s cigarettes that becomes money – so goods, like soda pop and chocolate bars are measured in the number of cigarettes they cost.

        In the US economy, the commodity most favored is called “Federal Reserve Notes”.

        Americans place the highest value on these notes because they are the legal way you can pay for your legal or illegal debts.

        Your debtor MUST accept payment in these notes by law – he cannot refuse.

        If he refuses, you are still freed of that debt – your debtor has no legal recourse on you to enforce his debt.

        If he took you to court, the Court will say “Did he attempt to pay with these FRN?” – and the debt holder would say yes, the court would say “Debt paid, case closed”.

        So FRN are valued by Americans for this reason, which is why they became money.

        (Your biggest debt is taxes, so you need FRN to pay tax because the government will not accept anything else – even gold. It would require you to sell the gold, buy FRN, and pay your tax in FRN)

        So, you are correct. FRN’s are printed and represent government debt.

        But it is still money.

        He is right, gold isn’t money – it is a commodity. It was money, but it isn’t today.

        But he is incorrect – gold is very relevant

        Gold is money between Central Banks. They use gold to pay each other.

        Gold holds relevance because it cannot be created out of thin air. It is hard to inflate whereas FRN are easy to inflate.

        But being able (or not) inflate money does not make or unmake money. It only changes the demand for money.

        If money is rare as gold, it will increase in value.

        If money is as common as paper, it will decrease in value.

        Money increasing in value means less money needs to be traded for the same goods – the price of other goods goes down in terms of money – deflation.

        Money decreasing in value means more money needs to be traded for the same goods – the price of other goods goes up in terms of money – inflation.

        Think money=commodity of high value to people.

        Do NOT confuse USE with VALUE. We use air, but it has no value to anyone (unless you need it, like underwater – then you pay for it to be stored in a scuba tank).

        Value is wholly subjective to human beings. If a human does not value something, it has no value.

        There is no such thing as intrinsic value – that is, an object valued because it simply exists. This includes other people.

        All value is in the human eye.

        So, discuss that a bit and see what other questions boil up….

        Good thinking!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Your friend was saying that the value of GOLD is still based on the idea of the value of goods and services?

        He seems confused. Gold is a hard asset. It is not valued in terms of other goods and services, goods and services are valued in terms of gold.

        There has been a logical disconnect on this for several reasons. One reason was that in the past, countries (including the US) who were supposedly on the “gold standard” routinely would set an arbitrary exchange rate for gold rather than allowing the market to set the exchange rate. When a government sets an arbitrary exchange rate, then it is not really on a true “gold standard”, because it is manipulating the price of gold by fiat, which makes the currency “gold backed fiat currency” rather than a true “gold standard”. Another reason for the confusion is that he is TECHNICALLY correct about the gold standard being irrelevant, but the reason for his correctness is completely accidental.

        The reason that the gold standard is currently irrelevant is that at current value, the US only posesses enough gold to be worth about 1/2 trillion dollars, yet if you total up our debts and unfunded mandates, we have phantom money/debt floating around that totals at least 100 times that amount. Because of this, we could only fully back dollars with gold if we de-valued the dollar by a factor of 100, or gold shot up to about $115,000.00 per ounce.

        Further complicating the issue is the advent of trading little pieces of paper around (or digits in computers) which supposedly represent physical gold. The amount of phantom gold being traded around amounts to well over 1000x the amount of actual physical (mined, processed) gold in existence in THE ENTIRE WORLD. Because we have now created phantom gold out of thin air, we run the risk of an even bigger collapse, because if everyone called in their markers at once and demanded physical gold, there would be no way that would be able to happen, and people would really get a bit uppity if their claims had to be settled on a 1/1000th oz for every ounce promised basis.

        So, for several reasons, going to a “gold standard” cannot really work at this time, but it would still be better than FRNs backed by IOUs for more FRNs which represented more IOUs for more FRNs… etc.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          I need to correct my own post a bit, so I will 🙂

          Gold is a hard asset, but as BF points out, if people did not assign it value, it would have none. Therefore, I should not be attempting to show it has intrinsic value, because it does not.

          It has a LONG HISTORY of fairly constant value (in terms of other goods) in almost every society from 10,000 years ago (or more) through the present, which is about as close to “intrinsic value” as you will ever see, but it indeed does not have “intrinsic value”.

          Hopefully that clears up my post… it still isn’t as good as BF’s post though, although mine hopefully includes some more good information 🙂

        • Peter,

          Just a question,

          Why are the Rai Stones considered money?

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

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            BF,

            I would assume that they are considered money because even though you or I would probably hold them to be of no value, by tradition or some other factor, the people of that society do hold them to be of more value than anything else in that society, hence, they are money.

            I doubt that they could be exchanged for money outside of that society, but if they are valued above all else in that society (for whatever reason), then they are most certainly money in that society.

      • B.L.

        What makes our money “fiat” is that it is created by “government fiat” or “government decree”.

        It is not because it is made of paper or anything else. It is “govt created” money.

        So, as BF said, our Fed Reserve Notes are money because the govt has decreed (by fiat) that only those notes are legal tender and only those notes may be used to pay TAXES.

        Remember, a gold standard is not required to give money real value. It really is just a mechanism that prevents govt from making more money with a printing press, or computer key board.
        Self control on the supply of paper money would do the same thing.

        But that would be asking an awful lot of our educated elites I am afraid.

        Best to ya today B.L.
        JAC

        • JAC,

          However, the root of the problem is the monopoly on money.

          FRN wouldn’t be money – even if the printing of it was ‘controlled’ – in a free market. No one would give it value.

          They only way FRN have become valuable is by use of force – everything else has been ‘outlawed’.

          Since force creates its value, there is no way the consumer can control the value – it is not free.

          Thus, no matter what is done, money will be manipulated to the benefit of those that control it. To expect otherwise is folly.

          Therefore, there is no surprise that money is destroyed.

          • BF

            I humbly disagree “However, the root of the problem is the monopoly on money.”

            I would say the root is more about those who seek power over others, for what ever their dellusional schemes are.

            FRN would be money for the same reason they are now. They would be used to pay debt. You can call declarations force is you wish but it doesn’t matter to the cause effect.

            Once established the consumer can establish value, but that requires no furhter use of “force” or in my terms “manipulation”.

            I think that money has been and always will be manipulated to the benefit of those that control it, and that is irrespective of govt. Where govt comes in is that it eliminates the correction to such manipulation when it occurs. I can not choose to abandon your money and use Peter’s money, for example.

            As I said, believing that those who think themselves smarter and more enlightened that the rest of us will NOT manipulate money is a huge stretch.

            But alas dear Flag, what if that restriction were codified into law that only 75% of the people could change? Perhaps all temptation would not be removed but it certainly would be very hard to fan the flames of populism against stable money, since the money couldn’t be manipulated to create the crisis to fan the populist flame in the first place.

            • JAC

              I humbly disagree “However, the root of the problem is the monopoly on money.”
              I would say the root is more about those who seek power over others, for what ever their dellusional schemes are.

              Essentially the same thing. One can only have a monopoly by use of force.

              FRN would be money for the same reason they are now

              I believe it is important to understand why FRN is money – it is because everything else has been outlawed.
              The cause/effect is the same – it acts as money because nothing else will do.

              Once established the consumer can establish value, but that requires no further use of “force” or in my terms “manipulation”.

              The consumer only establishes the value of other goods and services in a manipulated economy within the terms of the manipulated money – as nothing else can do.

              In the US, the consumer actually depends on foreigners to establish the real value of American money! It is because foreigners are not wholly required to use it. The creation of US money to be the global reserve was, again, by application of force – oil could only be bought or sold in terms of US$.

              However, that hegemony is under challenge – and with it, the US$ is undermined.

              I think that money has been and always will be manipulated to the benefit of those that control it, and that is irrespective of govt.

              But only government can create a monopoly.
              “Free market” Money can be manipulated and controlled about as well as any commodity in the world – approximately, zero.

              I can not choose to abandon your money and use Peter’s money, for example.

              Why not?
              If you go to Canada, you can easily use US$ or CAD$ – you can abandon one for the other at pretty much any cash register. Why would the “free market” monies be any different?

              As I said, believing that those who think themselves smarter and more enlightened that the rest of us will NOT manipulate money is a huge stretch.

              Of course, as in all things, those that know and have deeper understanding will benefit over those who are ignorant. But in a free market, knowledge is cannot be owned. Everyone can learn about money.

              … stable money….

              What is this concept “stable money”?
              There is no commodity in the human experience, nor will there ever be, a commodity that is ‘stable’. The only stable commodity is one of zero price, and thus, is not valued, thus is not a commodity.
              “Stable” money is not a goal. “Free Market” money is the goal. Let the market chose its own form, price and value of what it calls “money”.

              • You completely ignored the primary premise.

                If the people establish the money by law then it can not be manipulated by elitests.

                Thus the people will establish its value wihtin the framework they select for its issuance.

                No different than your free market money except a larger population decides instead of some guy who decides he will make a new money.

                Stable was used to denote NO MANIPULAION. Seemed pretty obviouse that was the context.

              • JAC,

                That makes about as much sense to me as establishing the price of carrots by law.

                That IS an manipulation.

                So what if some “guy” creates money? It happens all the time.

                Guys make tokens for machines – you don’t go bonkers over it.

                Other guys make coins – put designs on them – and sells them. So what?

                If you don’t accept it, then it ain’t money.

                Why would a bunch of people around a table decide “this is money”?

                The market figures it out automatically with no pushing required.

                It is, simply, what everyone wants. Do you know what everyone wants right now (minus FRN)? Neither do I – but I’d guess it creep toward gold or something like that, or oil … but it doesn’t matter.

                It will happen – naturally – and that becomes money.

                If someone tries to manipulate it – everyone dumps it and chooses something else.

      • Bottom Line says:

        WOW!

        Thanks guys! I appreciate all the good answers.

        This will be great food for thought/debate.

        • Bottom Line says:

          Further…

          I explained it using the whole “coconuts on an island” metaphor that we had discussed a few months ago.

          I tried looking for “What Is Money”, but for whatever reason, didn’t find it.(maybe I’m just retarded today)

          We started going in circles, so I said..”I know who to ask”.

          His internet is down right now, so I’ll have to read these great replies by phone, or wait ’till he stops by and just let him read ’em.

          Anyway, thanks again.

      • Bottom Line says:

        I Found some relevant and interesting youtube videos.

        “Fiat Currency vs The Liberty Dollar”

        • Bottom Line says:

          Federal raid on “The Liberty Dollar Headquarters”

          • LoL.

            I guess I should have read this clip.

            I see the SS did visit Mr. Liberty.

            I do not think the Mint has a case. There is no copyright on the word “dollar”, nor the symbol.

            However, if the Mint can make a point that it is purposely confusing the people that their coins are legal tender, they’ll have a problem

            They could have avoided all of this by using a different name – not dollar but…denario, or something like that.

        • (1) We work our whole lives for it.

          No we don’t. We buy money with our effort and sell money for the things we need to live or want.

          We work our whole lives for the things we want for our lives.

          What makes paper money worth more than the paper it is printed on

          Nothing, except the desires of men. Men value paper with ink. Nothing mysterious here. Why they desire that paper is another question.

          Money backed by gold or silver

          No, money was gold or silver. The piece of paper simply was a right to that ore.

          Today, money is backed by the government’s promise

          What promise?

          “I promise to pay 2 x $5 for every $10 bill you wish to redeem”?

          Everyone talks about a promise – but never say what that promise is….

          Liberty dollar
          …is only used where someone will accept it.

          …as with any money. The US$, by law, must be accepted to pay for debt, but you don’t have to accept it as payment if you sell something. You can say “no, thanks, I want Mexican Peso please (or 1 oz of gold, or 1/4 barrel of oil)”

          That is the whole concept of the theory of money – money is simply something someone accepts as payment that requires no discount for acceptance – no discount, because the buyer of money wants it a lot more than the goods he is trading.

          There is no difference between a shop accept a liberty dollar or another accepting a US FRN. Both act as money. As the woman from the FED said – “We won’t accept it as a deposit” – which is true – but why would they? You can put it in a safety deposit box and accomplish the same thing.

          Mr. “Liberty Dollar” is cutting it close…he is creating the appearance that his coins are legal tender, playing on the ignorance of the people. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Secret Service paid him a visit.

          When you have money backed by a commodity…it has intrinsic value

          Monetarist theory – and wholly dangerous.

          There is no intrinsic value of anything. Yes, gold and silver has historically been valued by people, but that is no proof it will be in the future. It is a good bet, but a bet none the same.

          Money IS a commodity. It doesn’t need to be backed up by another commodity to make it valuable.

          These guys misunderstand the theory of money badly. What they really are trying is to make silver and gold money.

          • Bottom Line says:

            Yeah, I thought you might find the vids interesting.

            I think the key/deciding factor in this concept is that dollars have value because it’s the law. …not because they have any real value.

            My cuz was making the argument that people still negotiate for dollars(even though they’re fiat), therefore dollars and the idea of their worth is equal to that of gold. He was basically saying that dollars have replaced gold as the valued commodity.

            What I realize is that if everyone understood fiat currency, …and if it weren’t backed by law,…they would adopt something like “Liberty Dollars” instead.

            Dollars have value because of ignorance and coercion.

  9. To me, the D’s are a split party but won’t acknowledge this but instead will blame R’s. They had the votes but couldn’t get their bills through even with bribes and closed-door deals. Now with Brown there, they will resort to changing the rules; we can only hope the moderate D’s will not let the progressives continue to ram through their agenda.

    Thank goodness it’s an election year as the tone has changed dramatically already and with regular citizens continuing to speak up and show up, ideas like this guys will get shot down.

    Also, I believe Mass originally changed their law as they believed Kerry would win the Presidency and it was his seat they didn’t want Romney filling.

    • You could be right about the original changing of the law in Massachusetts Kathy. Somewhere in my head I have that it was about Kennedy getting ill but it very well could have been that they were concerned about Kerry’s seat. Either way, the point is that they change the law whenever they feel like it.

  10. More backlash?

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/can_illinois_go_red_and_give_t.html

    In a state where Obama won by 25% in 2008, carrying sixteen of Illinois’s nineteen congressional districts, the open Senate race looks very competitive.

    The likely winner of the GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat on Tuesday is 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk (ahead by 53% to 18% in the most recent survey of the primary race). Kirk is either slightly ahead or slightly behind against the leading Democratic nominees he might face in November, according to a few recent polls. In the last two U.S. Senate races in Illinois, the GOP candidates against Obama in 2004 (Alan Keyes) and Dick Durbin in 2008 (Dr. Steve Sauerberg) averaged only 30% of the vote, suggesting that 2010 is a rare opportunity for a Republican to win in Illinois.

    Some conservatives think Kirk is too moderate for their tastes. But assuming Kirk wins Tuesday, he has a real shot at winning a Democratic seat — and not just any seat, but Obama’s former seat, in a very blue state, against a Democrat who is on the far left side of the political spectrum.

  11. http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4297

    Obama will have a difficult time because of the loss of his hither “super majority”. Surprisingly, even if this is generally shared wisdom, the analysis holds water. Embedded in the agreed upon estimate is an implication. It is a virtual admission that Obama needs a Supreme Soviet-style and programmed majority to govern. This in the system of American federalism that, by the design of its creators, likes to split the control of the legislature and the presidency between parties. The “super majority” is a multiple of the usual majority the system can produce. It is required now because behind the scene created by the Chief Fog Maker’s clever phrases, there is a hidden reality. The administration is uninterested in the opposition’s advice, in consulting skeptics and is not inclined to cooperate with the “other side”. This condition tells a lot about the pursued programs. Also about the weakness of their executors who do not trust their ability to create a consensus.

  12. USW, JAC and Black Flag:

    I think we are all reaching the same conclusion that government is evil and isn’t about to change in any way, shape or form. I have reached my own conclusions on government and I am closer to Black Flag’s belief than in trying to change anything in government through the vote. I agree the Constitution is very flawed or we would not be at this point today and I don’t see us ever going back to it. It’s a useless document and has been for a very long time.

    What do we need to do to get back to developing VDLG? I understand in liberty and the zero aggression principle as the basis. What more is needed? Do we have to define liberty and freedom? The progressives redefined the word to suit their own needs so do we need to clearly define it?

    Should our system collapse in the next 2 to 5 years, do we need something to replace it like VDLG? I think that there is a fear that strong tyranny will develop when the system fails. I know we need education, education and then more education but we have no plan to do that.

    • I’m not sure which is more flawed: the Constitution or the People. How can flawed people create a flawless document/system????

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Cyndi,

        The goal should never be a flawless document/system.

        Why?

        Because the goal is unobtainable.

        The real question is, should we have big government (in which the flaws of any document or system are greatly magnified), small government (which tends to eventually become big government), or should we find a new way to organize society entirely?

        The problem that I think a lot of people have with Black Flag’s ideas is that they see what he is proposing as having no structure, no organization, and no rules. I assure you that this is an incorrect assumption; however the “rules” would be quite different than what we have now.

        Another problem that people perceive with Black Flag’s ideas is that there would be no protections against “bad people”. This is again a falsehood. In Black Flag’s world, you are responsible for protecting yourself against “bad people”, which is as it should be (and if you think about it, not materially different from how things are now).

        No matter what system/document/societal structure you choose or impose, there are always going to be “bad people” attempting to take advantage of whatever situations that they can. Nothing will ever change that. It is up to us to take responsibility for protecting ourselves against such people regardless of the society which we choose (or which we have imposed upon us).

        To me, it is better to be free and to choose, rather than have something imposed upon me that is not of my choosing. The biggest reasons that people fear the world of Black Flag are because they THINK that it is so far outside of their experience that they do not understand it (even though the majority of us live our daily lives mostly as free people), and they also fear the personal responsibility that would be required in order to live in that world.

        • I agree with you. Having only yourself to blame for your short comings and failures is really scary to some people.

    • Birdman

      For VDLG to become possible we need to find private sector alternatives for most of what the FEDERAL government does today.

      Peter and I spent a couple of days way back knocking around one of the biggest opsticals, in my view. That is the Environmental Protection standards and enforcement.

      I think the enforcement is easy. But how do we privatize the standard setting portion and how do we make everyone carry their own cost without creating a corrupt situation.

      The more we leave in the Federal hands the greater the propensity to corruption.

      Perhaps these responsibilities go to the states.

      The question you are really grappling with is whether we need a “platform” of some type as part of our education of the public. How do we educate the public to what is Reality today and what is possible in the future?

      Most folks still think they are free. They have not realization just how enslaved they are to the powers that are bleeding them dry. Just look to the blog comments on many sites. They are still blaming Reagan or NAFTA or some other populist boogey man.

      If the whole thing came apart in the next few years I don’t think a VDLG would float anyway, not unless the public is ready. What would happen is an organic conversion at more local or state levels. The Fed would try to take absolute control while the locals would be solving their own immediate problems as best they could. Some wouldn’t need the Fed and others will perish without them (New Orleans comes to mind).

      How about you. Got any more ideas?

      JAC

      • JAC,

        I do not see your dilemma.

        In all conflicts between people, this rule is always applied:

        “No harm, no foul”.

        It is in the demonstration of harm that foul is proven.

        Why can’t that rule support your environment questions?

        • BF

          The dilemna is in setting the standards for “harm”.

          Direct effects are conducive to private solutions and use of courts/hearings.

          Experts testify that pollution from the plant caused harm.

          But now move to “cumulative” effects. Who did the harm? Each by itself is not enough but added together does harm. The classic air and water pollution problem is non point and cumulative effects.

          Standards are one. Then comes monitoring. Who checks the checkers to make sure they are honest. Who pays for the checkers when the pollutants travel across great distances.

          So there are issues of efficiency, cost/benefit and not just corruption that must be addressed.

          Who is harmed if I start killing all the wolves I can find? Are we to let the wolf go extinct because I am trigger happy? How about the elk and deer?

          • The dilemna is in setting the standards for “harm”.

            Direct effects are conducive to private solutions and use of courts/hearings.

            Experts testify that pollution from the plant caused harm.

            But now move to “cumulative” effects. Who did the harm? Each by itself is not enough but added together does harm. The classic air and water pollution problem is non point and cumulative effects.

            However, we are -already- seeing the solutions to this. Even courts today are being educated in cumulative effect – and time displacement between exposure and it manifestations (such as radiation poisoning).

            The standard is the same – “No harm, no foul”. By establishing harm – using scientific methods – can be done even if the cause/effect is displaced over a long period of time.

            It may be complex, but that does not change the principle standard – indeed, it enhances it.

            Standards are one. Then comes monitoring. Who checks the checkers to make sure they are honest. Who pays for the checkers when the pollutants travel across great distances.

            The people who pay are the ones who want to know.

            So there are issues of efficiency, cost/benefit and not just corruption that must be addressed.

            And, with all commodities and services, the free market is the best way to address these issues.

            There will be those that are skilled and will offer their services to those that want to know.

            Who is harmed if I start killing all the wolves I can find?

            If you do it on your property, no one.

            Are we to let he wolf go extinct because I am trigger happy? How about the elk and deer?

            I doubt you will cause the extinction.

            Equally, there will be those that spend their money saving the wolves – if the wolves are valuable to them – instead of spending money shooting them

            In the end, it will all work out just fine.

          • Jac!

            I’ve been trying to wipe out the deer herd since I was ten! Last Wednesday morn I came less than two feet from hittin one with the truck. I’ve given up on my desire to cause the extinction of the Whitetail, rather except them as a long term food source, and good picture takin critters in the offseason!

            Peace!

            G!

      • Do we really need to find private sector alternatives for most of what the government does today? There are probably a number of federal agencies that can be done away with. Do we really need a Department of Energy, HUD, FBI, etc.?

        Educating the public is a problem. It’s taken a long time for me to educate myself and I have a long way to go to understand the system that we are in. I don’t have the answer on how to do this. Perhaps it is futile to even try.

        • Birdman:

          “Perhaps it is futile to even try.”

          I would have thought this one year ago. But just think of where many here started and where they are today.

          It is not futile. The only question is whether there is enough time.

          We need the Cram Course, Cliff Notes, Liberty for Dummies versions.

          LOL
          JAC

          • JAC:

            It’s just those that visit this site that have learned about liberty. I hope you are correct that it is not futile. I agree we need a crash course for the public. I hope there is time but it doesn’t look good. Keep your eyes open for a place for me to move to out your way, assuming it is better out west than here.

            • Birdman,

              It is not just those that visit the site. Each of us come into contact with people every day. We talk about things. I do not attempt to convert everyone to my way of thinking each day, but when opportunities present themselves, I take them. Perhaps I am in a barber shop and the good old boys talk about outlawing rap music. I kindly lay out for them that giving the government the power to do so means you have also given them the power to outlaw country music. It might “click” with 4 guys out of the 10 in there. But those four are a step closer to living free. Maybe they each tell a friend, now we are at 8.

              This site is just a simple launching point for liberty, and is one of many on the net. People are waking up, slowly and grumpily. Some still are not. But we must not stop trying.

              For in the end, if I accomplish nothing more than attempting to live my life more free each day and doing what I can to help others do the same, I will have lived a better life than those that accepted the slavery without question.

              USW

              • USW:

                All good points. I also talk to people about government and I also refer them to this site. I have not given up and I live my life as free as I can. The liberal progressives had over 100 years to get the country to this point. We don’t have the same period of time to re-educate people on liberty and freedom.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Birdman,

                The idea that we somehow do not have 100 years to educate the population on the benefits of living in a society based on freedom and liberty is a strawman. Sure, it may SEEM like the collapse of society as we know it is imminent, and will occur in less than 100 years, but we do not actually know that. Even if society were to collapse, it is highly unlikely that humanity would become extinct. In the grand scheme of things, however long it takes to convince people to live free is fine.

                Now, in the narrow, selfish scheme of things, I would certainly prefer if it happened sooner rather than later, and I would prefer if it happened prior to any major societal collapse, but saying that it MUST be done within X time period is not necessarily correct.

                Certainly many of us would PREFER it to happen as soon as possible, and we realize everyone would be a lot better off if it did happen sooner 🙂

          • Hi JAC…..ummmmm….do Cliff Notes still exist?

  13. I found this article. I think it is a good summary of where we are and how we got here. However, I don’t have faith that the recent conservative sentiment will change or reverse much of anything in the federal government. I’m not convinced we can go back to republican self government.

    A Republic, If You Want It
    The Left’s overreach invites the Founders’ return

    MATTHEW SPALDING

    Our federal government, once limited to certain core functions, now dominates virtually every area of American life. Its authority is all but unquestioned, seemingly restricted only by expediency and the occasional budget constraint.

    Congress passes massive pieces of legislation with little serious deliberation, bills that are written in secret and generally unread before the vote. The national legislature is increasingly a supervisory body overseeing a vast array of administrative policymakers and rulemaking agencies. Although the Constitution vests legislative powers in Congress, the majority of “laws” are promulgated in the guise of “regulations” by bureaucrats who are mostly unaccountable and invisible to the public.

    Americans are wrapped in an intricate web of government policies and procedures. States, localities, and private institutions are submerged by national programs. The states, which increasingly administer policies emanating from Washington, act like supplicants seeking relief from the federal government. Growing streams of money flow from Washington to every congressional district and municipality, as well as to businesses, organizations, and individuals that are subject to escalating federal regulations.

    This bureaucracy has become so overwhelming that it’s not clear how modern presidents can fulfill their constitutional obligation to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” President Obama, like his recent predecessors, has appointed a swarm of policy “czars” — über-bureaucrats operating outside the cabinet structure and perhaps the Constitution — to promote political objectives in an administration supposedly under executive control.

    Is this the outcome of the greatest experiment in self-government mankind ever has attempted?

    We can trace the concept of the modern state back to the theories of Thomas Hobbes, who wanted to replace the old order with an all-powerful “Leviathan” that would impose a new order, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who, to achieve absolute equality, favored an absolute state that would rule over the people through a vaguely defined concept called the “general will.” It was Alexis de Tocqueville who first pointed out the potential for a new form of despotism in such a centralized, egalitarian state: It might not tyrannize, but it would enervate and extinguish liberty by reducing self-governing people “to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.”

    The Americanized version of the modern state was born in the early 20th century. American “progressives,” under the spell of German thinkers, decided that advances in science and history had opened the possibility of a new, more efficient form of democratic government, which they called the “administrative state.” Thus began the most revolutionary change of the last hundred years: the massive shift of power from institutions of constitutional government to a labyrinthine network of unelected, unaccountable experts who would rule in the name of the people.

    The great challenge of democracy, as the Founders understood it, was to restrict and structure the government to secure the rights articulated in the Declaration of Independence — preventing tyranny while preserving liberty. The solution was to create a strong, energetic government of limited authority. Its powers were enumerated in a written constitution, separated into functions and responsibilities and further divided between national and state governments in a system of federalism. The result was a framework of limited government and a vast sphere of freedom, leaving ample room for republican self-government.

    Progressives viewed the Constitution as a dusty 18th-century plan unsuited for the modern day. Its basic mechanisms were obsolete and inefficient; it was a reactionary document, designed to stifle change. They believed that just as science and reason had brought technological changes and new methods of study to the physical world, they would also bring great improvements to politics and society. For this to be possible, however, government could not be restricted to securing a few natural rights or exercising certain limited powers. Instead, government must become dynamic, constantly changing and growing to pursue the ceaseless objective of progress.

    The progressive movement — under a Republican president, Theodore Roosevelt, and then a Democratic one, Woodrow Wilson — set forth a platform for modern liberalism to refound America according to ideas that were alien to the original Founders. “Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence,” Wilson wrote in 1912. “All that progressives ask or desire is permission — in an era when ‘development,’ ‘evolution,’ is the scientific word — to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.”

    While the Founders went to great lengths to moderate democracy and limit government, the progressives believed that barriers to change had to be removed or circumvented, and government expanded. To encourage democratic change while directing and controlling it, the progressives posited a sharp distinction between politics and what they called “administration.” Politics would remain the realm of expressing opinions, but the real decisions and details of governing would be handled by administrators, separate and immune from the influence of politics.

    This permanent class of bureaucrats would address the particulars of accomplishing the broad objectives of reform, making decisions, most of them unseen and beyond public scrutiny, on the basis of scientific facts and statistical data rather than political opinions. The ruling class would reside in the recesses of a host of alphabet agencies such as the FTC (the Federal Trade Commission, created in 1914) and the SEC (the Securities and Exchange Commission, created in 1934). As “objective” and “neutral” experts, the theory went, these administrators would act above petty partisanship and faction.

    The progressives emphasized not a separation of powers, which divided and checked the government, but rather a combination of powers, which would concentrate its authority and direct its actions. While seeming to advocate more democracy, the progressives of a century ago, like their descendants today, actually wanted the opposite: more centralized government control.

    So it is that today, many policy decisions that were previously the constitutional responsibility of elected legislators are delegated to faceless bureaucrats whose “rules” have the full force and effect of laws passed by Congress. In writing legislation, Congress uses broad language that essentially hands legislative power over to agencies, along with the authority to execute rules and adjudicate violations.

    The objective of progressive thinking, which remains a major force in modern-day liberalism, was to transform America from a decentralized, self-governing society into a centralized, progressive society focused on national ideals and the achievement of “social justice.” Sociological conditions would be changed through government regulation of society and the economy; socioeconomic problems would be solved by redistributing wealth and benefits.

    Liberty no longer would be a condition based on human nature and the exercise of God-given natural rights, but a changing concept whose evolution was guided by government. And since the progressives could not get rid of the “old” Constitution — this was seen as neither desirable nor possible, given its elevated status and historic significance in American political life — they invented the idea of a “living” Constitution that would be flexible and pliable, capable of “growth” and adaptation in changing times.

    In this view, government must be ever more actively involved in day-to-day American life. Given the goal of boundless social progress, government by definition must itself be boundless. “It is denied that any limit can be set to governmental activity,” prominent scholar (and later FDR adviser) Charles Merriam wrote, summarizing the views of his fellow progressive theorists. “The modern idea as to what is the purpose of the state has radically changed since the days of the ‘Fathers,’” he continued, because

    the exigencies of modern industrial and urban life have forced the state to intervene at so many points where an immediate individual interest is difficult to show, that the old doctrine has been given up for the theory that the state acts for the general welfare. It is not admitted that there are no limits to the action of the state, but on the other hand it is fully conceded that there are no ‘natural rights’ which bar the way. The question is now one of expediency rather than of principle.
    This intellectual construct began to attain political expression with targeted legislation, such as the Pure Food and Drug Act under TR and the Clayton Anti-Trust Act under President Wilson. These efforts were augmented by constitutional amendments that allowed the collection of a federal income tax to fund the national government and required the direct election of senators (thus undermining the federal character of the national legislature).

    The trend continued under the New Deal. “The day of the great promoter or the financial Titan, to whom we granted everything if only he would build, or develop, is over,” Franklin D. Roosevelt pronounced in 1932. “The day of enlightened administration has come.” Although most of FDR’s programs were temporary and experimental, they represented an expansion of government unprecedented in American society — as did the Supreme Court’s late-1930s endorsement of the new “living” Constitution.

    It was FDR who called for a “Second Bill of Rights” that would “assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.” Roosevelt held that the primary task of modern government is to alleviate citizens’ want by guaranteeing their economic security. The implications of this redefinition are incalculable, since the list of economic “rights” is unlimited. It requires more and more government programs and regulation of the economy — hence the welfare state — to achieve higher and higher levels of happiness and well-being.

    The administrative state took off in the mid-1960s with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. By creating a truly national bureaucracy of open-ended social programs in housing, education, the environment, and urban renewal (most of which, such as the “War on Poverty,” failed to achieve their goals), the Great Society and its progeny effected the greatest expansion of the administrative state in American history.

    The Great Society also took the progressive argument one step farther, by asserting that the purpose of government no longer was “to secure these rights,” as the Declaration of Independence says, but “to fulfill these rights.” That was the title of Johnson’s 1965 commencement address at Howard University, in which he laid out the shift from securing equality of opportunity to guaranteeing equality of outcome.

    “It is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates,” Johnson proclaimed. “We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.”

    And now progressive reformism is back. We’re witnessing huge increases in government spending, regulations, and programs. And as the national government becomes more centralized and bureaucratic, it will also become less democratic, and more despotic, than ever.

    The tangled legislation supposedly intended to “reform” health care is a perfect example. It would regulate a significant segment of society that has been in progressives’ crosshairs for over a hundred years. Nationalized health care was first proposed in 1904, modeled on German social insurance. It was in the Progressive party’s platform of 1912. It came back under FDR and Truman, then Johnson, then Clinton, and now Obama. And the goal all along has had little to do with the quality of health care. The objective is rather to remove about a sixth of the economy from private control and bring it under the thumb of the state, whose “experts” will choose and ration its goods and services.

    President Obama and the Democratic leadership prescribe a government-run health plan, burdensome mandates on employers, and massive new regulatory authority over health-care markets. Their requirement for individuals to buy insurance is unprecedented and unconstitutional: If the Commerce Clause can be used to regulate inactivity, then the government is truly without limit. They would transfer most decision-making to a collection of federal agencies, bureaus, and commissions such as the ominous-sounding “Health Choices Administration.” And their legislation is packed with enough pork projects and corrupt deals to make even the hardest Tammany Hall operative blush.

    It would be easier, of course, just to skip the legislative process, and when it comes to climate change that’s exactly what the progressives are doing. In declaring carbon dioxide to be a dangerous pollutant, the Environmental Protection Agency essentially granted itself authority to regulate every aspect of American life — without any accountability to those pesky voters.

    The Left has long maintained that the administrative state is inevitable, permanent, and ever-expanding — the final form of “democratic” governance. The rise of progressive liberalism, they say, has finally gotten us over our love affair with the Founding and its archaic canons of natural rights and limited constitutionalism. The New Deal and the fruits of centralized authority brought most Democrats around to this view, and over time, many Republicans came to accept the progressive argument as well. Seeing responsible stewardship of the modern state and incremental reforms around its edges as the only viable option, these Republicans tried to make government more efficient, more frugal, and more compassionate — but never questioned its direction.

    As a result, politics came to be seen as the ebb and flow between periods of “progress” and “change,” on one hand, and brief interregnums to defend and consolidate the status quo, on the other. Other than the aberration of Ronald Reagan and a few unruly conservatives, there seemed to be no real challenge to the liberal project itself, so all the Democrats thought they had to do was wait for the bursting forth of the next great era of reformism. Was it to be launched by Jimmy Carter? Bill Clinton? At long last came the watershed election of Barack Obama.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the next revolution.

    The Left’s over-reading of the 2008 election gave rise to a vastly overreaching agenda that is deeply unpopular. Large numbers of citizens, many never before engaged in politics, are protesting in the streets and challenging their elected officials in town-hall meetings and on talk-radio shows. Forty percent of Americans now self-identify as conservatives — double the amount of liberals — largely because independents are beginning to take sides. Almost 60 percent believe the nation is on the wrong track.

    Voters are deeply impassioned about a new cluster of issues — spending, debt, the role of government, the loss of liberty — that heretofore lacked a focal point to concentrate the public’s anger. The Washington Post reports that “by 58 percent to 38 percent, Americans prefer smaller government and fewer services to larger government with more services. In the last year and a half, the margin between those favoring smaller over larger government has moved from five points to 20 points.” Is it possible that Americans are waking up to the modern state’s long train of abuses and usurpations?

    There is something about a nation founded on principles, something unique in its politics that often gets shoved to the background but never disappears. Most of the time, American politics is about local issues and the small handful of policy questions that top the national agenda. But once in a while, it is instead about voters’ stepping back and taking a longer view as they evaluate the present in the light of our founding principles. That is why all the great turning-point elections in U.S. history ultimately came down to a debate about the meaning and trajectory of America.

    In our era of big government and the administrative state, the conventional wisdom has been that serious political realignment — bringing politics and government back into harmony with the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution — is no longer possible. Yet we are seeing early indications that we may be entering a period of just such realignment. Perhaps the progressive transformation is incomplete, and the form of the modern state not yet settled — at least not by the American people.

    This creates a historic opening for conservatives.

    Growing opposition to runaway spending and debt, and to a looming government takeover of health care, doesn’t necessarily mean that voters want to scrap Social Security or close down the Department of Education. But it may mean that they are ready to reembrace clear, enforceable limits on the state. The opportunity and the challenge for those who seek to conserve America’s liberating principles is to turn the healthy public sentiment of the moment, which stands against a partisan agenda to revive an activist state, into a settled and enduring political opinion about the nature and purpose of constitutional government.

    To do that, conservatives must make a compelling argument that shifts the narrative of American politics and defines a new direction for the country. We must present a clear choice: stay the course of progressive liberalism, which moves away from popular consent, the rule of law, and constitutional government, and toward a failed, undemocratic, and illiberal form of statism; or correct course in an effort to restore the conditions of liberty and renew the bedrock principles and constitutional wisdom that are the roots of America’s continuing greatness.

    The American people are poised to make the right decision. The strength and clarity of the Founders’ argument, if given contemporary expression and brought to a decision, might well establish a governing conservative consensus and undermine the very foundation of the unlimited administrative state. It would be a monumental step on the long path back to republican self-government.

    • Interesting story Birdman.

      I am sad to say that those on the left that want equality, under the Democrat/Progressive movement have been lied to, and they haven’t been able to see it yet. There will never be equality, ever inour lifetime. There are too many variables that make it impossible. People simply aren’t robots that can be controlled. The lie is that the progressives don’t want equality for the people, they want to control the people equally.

      Although it’s highly unlikely that I will vote in the next election, I may consider a candidate that is NOT a lawyer (sorry Buck). We’ll see how that goes, because I don’t think anyone locally can fit my candidates requirements that have hvae in mind.

      On a side note, I’ve been getting lots of e-mails from different investment sites and such, and the talk is almost quadrupled concerning the dollars collapse in the next few years. This, just over the last few weeks. I have many concerns about this, but don’t want to scare the ladies with them! 🙂

      G!

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Ah, what’s with all this backlash against us lawyers!? We’re just like anyone else. We have feelings too! 🙂

        • Buck,

          A buddy has on his wall a poster with a clown hitting on a cute lady.

          Caption:

          “Evil clowns need love too!”

        • Hi Buck! 🙂

          Lawyers and politics, to me don’t mix very well. I’m not saying there all bad, but with the exception of one or two, the rest are unscrupulous thieves. I’ll say that so far your one of the two 😆 .

          G!

          • Buck The Wala says:

            I’ll ignore the insult to my profession and take the compliment. Thanks G. 🙂

            I happen to think politics and law mixes very well – but then again I’d be biased on that.

        • Cyndi P said
          January 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm

          This came from a friend. Interesting take….

          This is really an eye opener…didn’t realize the scope!

          This is very interesting! I never thought about it this way. Perhaps this is why so many physicians are conservatives or Republicans.

          The Lawyers’ Party
          By Bruce Walker
          The Democratic Party has become the Lawyers’ Party .
          Barack Obama is a lawyer.
          Michelle Obama is a lawyer.
          Hillary Clinton is a lawyer.
          Bill Clinton is a lawyer.
          John Edwards is a lawyer.
          Elizabeth Edwards is a lawyer.
          Every Democrat nominee since 1984 went to law school (although Gore did not graduate).
          Every Democrat vice presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school.
          Look at leaders of the Democrat Party in Congress:
          Harry Reid is a lawyer.
          Nancy Pelosi is a lawyer.

          The Republican Party is different.
          President Bush is a businessman.
          Vice President Cheney is a businessman.
          The leaders of the Republican Revolution:
          Newt Gingrich was a history professor.
          Tom Delay was an exterminator. Dick Armey was an economist.
          House Minority Leader Boehner was a plastic manufacturer.
          The former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon.
          Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer? Gerald Ford, who left office 31 years ago and who barely won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, running against Ronald Reagan in 1976..

          The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work, who are often the targets of lawyers.
          The Democrat Party is made up of lawyers. Democrats mock and scorn men who create wealth, like Bush and Cheney, or who heal the sick, like Frist, or who immerse themselves in history, like Gingrich.

          The Lawyers’ Party sees these sorts of people, who provide goods and services that people want, as the enemies of America . And, so we have seen the procession of official enemies, in the eyes of the Lawyers’ Party, grow.

          Against whom do Hillary and Obama rail? Pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, hospitals, manufacturers, fast food restaurant chains, large retail businesses, bankers, and anyone producing anything of value in our nation.

          This is the natural consequence of viewing everything through the eyes of lawyers.
          Lawyers solve problems by successfully representing their clients, in this case the American people.
          Lawyers seek to have new laws passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to overturn precedent, and lawyers always parse language to favor their side.

          Confined to the narrow practice of law, that is fine. But it is an awful way to govern a great nation.
          When politicians as lawyers begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes all-consuming.. Some Americans become “adverse parties” of our very government. We are not all litigants in some vast social class-action suit. We are citizens of a republic that promises us a great deal of freedom from laws, from courts, and from lawyers.

          Today, we are drowning in laws; we are contorted by judicial decisions; we are driven to distraction by omnipresent lawyers in all parts of our once private lives. America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked. When the most important decision for our next president is whom he will appoint to the Supreme Court, the role of lawyers and the law in America is too big. When lawyers use criminal prosecution as a continuation of politics by other means, as happened in the lynching of Scooter Libby and Tom Delay, then the power of lawyers in America is too great. When House Democrats sue America in order to hamstring our efforts to learn what our enemies are planning to do to us, then the role of litigation in America has become crushing.

          We cannot expect the Lawyers’ Party to provide real change, real reform or real hope in America Most Americans know that a republic in which every major government action must be blessed by nine unelected judges is not what Washington intended in 1789. Most Americans grasp that we cannot fight a war when ACLU lawsuits snap at the heels of our defenders. Most Americans intuit that more lawyers and judges will not restore declining moral values or spark the spirit of enterprise in our economy.

          Perhaps Americans will understand that change cannot be brought to our nation by those lawyers who already largely dictate American society and business. Perhaps Americans will see that hope does not come from the mouths of lawyers but from personal dreams nourished by hard work. Perhaps Americans will embrace the truth that more lawyers with more power will only make our problems worse.

          The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 66% of the world’s lawyers! Tort (Legal) reform legislation has been introduced in congress several times in the last several years to limit punitive damages in ridiculous lawsuits such as “spilling hot coffee on yourself and suing the establishment that sold it to you” and also to limit punitive damages in huge medical malpractice lawsuits. This legislation has continually been blocked from even being voted on by the Democrat Party. When you see that 97% of the political contributions from the American Trial Lawyers Association goes to the Democrat Party, then you realize who is responsible for our medical and product costs being so high!

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Noticed this yesterday.

            As for the Dems being the ‘lawyer’s party’, I know plenty of lawyers who are Repubs and plenty of Dems who are not lawyers. Interesting statistics, but pretty meaningless without something more.

            As for tort reform, its suprising that so many who argue against the intrusion of federal government into their everyday lives and who advocate for a return to states rights want the federal government to step in to this arena. The fact of the matter is that the media sensationalizes certain stories that do sound ridiculous at first blush without an understanding of the precise facts or legal issues presented. Also, almost every state has some form of torm reform already in place.

            Take the ‘hot coffee’ case — I thought that was ridiculous, until I read the case. The facts of that case, which often get glossed over, is that McDonalds had in place a set temperature for their coffee. This particular McDonalds routinely ignored that set temperature despite constant customer complaints. Yes, coffee is hot. But have you ever been served coffee that was literally boiling? Sure, the ‘victim’ wasn’t the brightest either, but there was a legal case there.

            • This backlash against lawyers might be because of 2,000 plus page bills/laws, that
              refer you to tax codes when mandating how your health insurance is to work. How much pork was hidden in the stimulus? How many other things are hidden in there? The stimulus created a medical advisory board (death panel)before the health care reform was passed.

              Sorry Buck, but today’s lawyer lawmakers
              have shown less ethics than a rattle snake. Shame how that reflects on your profession.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                We’ve had massive bills before, not always drafted by lawyers.

                Sure it would be nice to make everything short and concise, but its just not always possible.

              • Buck

                You know better than that.

                All bills at the federal level are drafted or at least reviewed and finalized by lawyers.

                Congressional staff are full of them for just that purpose.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Fair enough, but let’s not pretend that there are no attorneys on the GOP side.

                When in power if the Repubs wanted short and concise bills, they could have had aides draft short, concise bills. So while it may be a problem depending on how you look at it, its not a problem on one side of the aisle.

                I don’t see it as a problem at all — these bills address major issues. They are not written in a vacuum and need to touch upon other issues and prior bills as well. The problem to me is that time isn’t taken to read through and debate the bills.

      • G-Man,

        I’ve been reading many articles on the collapse of the economy and dollar. I am also watching very closely any efforts by government to tap into 401(k) or IRA plans. Right now it is only talk but government will eventually want to get their hands on this money, slowly at first but then expand it over time.

        • If it happens the collapse will be first, followed by the madatory investment of retirement account dollars in to U.S Treasuries. That’s what I’ve read on several sites. It wouldn’t make much sense to use the worthless dollar, to buy useless treasuries, not quite sure how they came up with this scenario.

          Oh, the other lawyer I know, lost his license awhile back for ethics violations, apparently he told the truth in court 🙂

          G!

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Wonder what happened there – breach of privilege perhaps?

            • I heard, that at the conclusion of a divorce hearing the judge basically raped his client (husband) financially. He proceded to call the judge a long list of names that I can’t repeat here. Like I said, he told the truth! 🙂

          • G-Man,

            Don’t measure the worth – review the tactic.

            T-bills is the tool to fund government debt.

            The T-bill needs a buyer.

            If China does not buy, there has to be a buyer in the USA.

            There is the buyer of last resort- the FED – but that causes inflation as the FED needs to print the money to buy the T-bill.

            BUT there is untold billions trapped in tax-deferred retirement accounts.

            By changing the law, the government can cause those tax deferments to be invested in T-bills – which will fund the government and not cause inflation.

            • Therefore, if this were to occur, it would be a sure sign that other countries are not buying our dept, and we are in deep s%&t.

              I think I’ll grow a few pot plants this summer, I’m going to need to relax alittle when all this crap happens, LOL! 🙂

              G!

              • G-Man,

                I agree with that observation.

                Thus, my suggestion – close out tax deferred investments today.

                (1) tax rates are going up – therefore, those that have tax deferred investments are going to be hit – big time.

                (2) government will take your tax deferments in the manner described. Further, to prevent wholesale withdrawal, it is likely the will also place a short-term, super penalty to prevent such withdrawal.

                I would say “Don’t be a a day late”

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Pretty steap penalty to close out certain tax-deferred investments prior to hitting a certain age.

                I’ll withhold on the ‘geezer’ jokes!

              • Buck,

                So measure it with:

                – decreaing (and accelerating) purchase power of money trapped

                (2) high potential to be ‘locked’ into government T-Bills

                (3) increasing tax levels in the future.

                (3) diminishing investment opportunities right now.

                If one takes that money and starts a small business, self-funded, they will avoid all of the above liabilities.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                IF one starts a small business with the money (reduced from the mentioned tax liabilities) and IF that small business is successful. Two big IFs in my book.

                Also its all speculative – yes, likelihood is that there will be higher tax levels (depends on age though – the younger you are the more uncertain this is in the long term). I wouldn’t characterize the potential to be locked into government T-Bills as ‘high’, and even if the govt does go that route, even less likely that anyone would be forced to switch their current investments over.

              • Buck,

                You are young.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Nah, I’m an old man. 28 is just around the corner…

              • Gasp.

                You’re close to diapers than you are to my age!

              • Black Flag:

                I still have my IRA. I will take it out this year, perhaps within the next month or so. The question is where do I put the money? Any suggestions? I don’t have any ideas for a small business.

      • We can take it! We’re tough!

  14. A little funny!

    CARDIOLOGIST’S FUNERAL

    A very prestigious cardiologist died, and was given a very elaborate
    funeral by the hospital he worked for most of his life… A huge
    heart… covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the service
    as all the doctors from the hospital sat in awe. Following the eulogy,
    the heart opened, and the casket rolled inside. The heart then closed,
    sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart forever.

    At that point, one of the mourners just -burst- into laughter. When all
    eyes stared at him, he said, ‘I am so sorry, I was just thinking of my
    own funeral… I’m a gynecologist.

    The proctologist fainted

    Have a wonderful Monday…

    G!

  15. Why the Government cannot change:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-j-panzner/a-growing-share-of-americ_b_442308.html

    …the relationship between personal income and GDP has not changed all that much over the course of the past six decades, the share of income accounted for by transfer payments has jumped more than 200 percent.

    The latest data also confirms that the financial crisis has played a major role in boosting Americans’ dependence — for lack of a better word — on government largesse, with the run-up over the past two years accounting for around a quarter of the relative increase since 1947.

    With an ever-greater share of Americans receiving some sort of financial assistance from the government, the obvious question is how — or whether — this shift will affect the political landscape, especially when it comes to making tough choices about social programs, in particular, and public finances, in general.

    • From above.

      Could this money be transferred to gold or silver purchases with penalty? Or, are the penalties worth going this route?

      I’ll tell ya, when it comes to economics and investing, I think I failed that class 😆 .

      • I don’t know what the penalty would be.

        It depends on what ‘gold’ or silver you wish to hold, ETF’s or coin or bar.

        • The real point is,

          Don’t go into the future blind.

          If you make the call that this risk is not worth avoiding, that’s good. At least you considered it, and made a decision that’s right for you.

          If you make the call that this risk is worth avoiding and you do something, that’s good. You made a decision and acted on it.

          If you make the call that this risk is worth avoiding, but do nothing, that’s really bad. All regret comes from ‘knowing’ but ‘not doing’.

        • I was thinking coin (gold) or bar (silver). I don’t think ETF’s would be a good idea.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          The penalty I was talking about is a 10% tax (on top of income tax) on withdrawals (subject to some exceptions) from an IRA prior to reaching age 59 1/2.

  16. Well worth the giggle! Gun control? OK you decide.

    Subject: “Australian Shooter” Magazine

    An interesting letter in the “Australian Shooter” Magazine this week, which I quote:

    “If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the past 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers per month.
    The firearm death rate in Washington, DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. That means you are about 25 percent more likely to be shot and killed in the US capital, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the US, than you are in Iraq.

    Conclusion: The US should pull out of Washington

    😆

    • Let’s everyone set aside the seriousness for a few minutes a laugh alittle, curtesy of our good from friends across the big pond. Note: If you don’t laugh, you need help, seek it now! 😆

      Note #2: This video contains some foul language, so don’t watch with the little ones around. Adults only! From BBC TV!

      • I absolutely loved this G! I was literally laughing out loud. I think I am going to order the DVD set.

  17. Since the subject of money has been brought up, I received this article this morning. Is the VAT next?

    Government is Stealing Your Wealth and Planning For More
    February 1, 2010 by Bob Livingston

    If you watched the State of the Union speech last week you saw the hypocrisy of Barack Obama laid out in plain view.

    He chided those who are already campaigning while having run a perpetual campaign for the last year. He called on Republicans to participate in the process while having locked them out for a full year. He played the American people for fools, saying they were against Obamacare because he had not talked about it enough and therefore the poor, unwashed masses just didn’t understand it. And he vowed to freeze spending while proposing more boondoggle projects that’ll require the Federal Government to print more money to pay for them. And then he did what he does best: He blamed George W. Bush.

    After that, he vowed to go full steam ahead with what he’s done for the past year. That’s a prescription for disaster for the American people.

    You would think that the political system would do everything possible to protect, above all, the producers and savers of wealth. Yet they are attacked from all sides. Obama and company are sharpening their knives now for a big roundup on the cattle farm.

    Like Bush and presidents before him—and Congresses before this one—they steal the world with paper money that costs them nothing, yet they transfer guilt and heap ever more taxes on the people. They love the words “tax cheats” and “illegal foreign bank accounts.”

    Yes, the foxes are in charge of the hen house. The people are pacified with propaganda, bread and circus. Why swallow all this hypocrisy and insult? The answer is that the people don’t know, and they don’t know that they don’t know. They are fed pacifism in their churches and pablum in their schools and they never ask questions.

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now wants 1,000 new agents to enforce more tax collections.

    How can a minority criminal element make perpetual war on the majority? The answer is that they have propaganda and they have the guns. And don’t forget they have the printing presses to spew out fiat.

    Do you know that it is a crime to try to keep what you earn and save? Just try to hold onto what “Uncle Sam” claims you owe.

    I cannot believe the downright ignorance of even the most “educated” people about the nature of fiat paper money and how governments enslave the whole world with their hoax.

    Think now! The American people strive to get education, they work their entire lives as professionals or non-professionals and they never so much as ask a question about paper money and how it transfers their labor and wealth to the government.

    They don’t know that when they go to a commercial bank to get a loan that the bank doesn’t loan them money that it has in its vaults. It just writes you a check. The bank “makes a loan” with non-substance that costs it nothing, requiring you to use real collateral.

    You have to give up or risk something for nothing. This is slavery, even though it has a pretty face. Bankers don’t look and act like crooks in the community. In fact they don’t even know what they are doing. They never question the system.

    Is Obama forcing an exodus? Yes, companies and individuals will go elsewhere. Watch!

    Well known tax attorney Marshall Langer says Obama plans a value added tax (VAT) like Europe has. Once started it will get higher and higher. These humanoids never tire of hypocrisy. Can you believe it? Yes, I believe they will implement the VAT. This will be a tax on everybody.

    When you read nonsense like the government has new debt of $1.7 trillion, just consider it default. Fiat implies default the day it is created. What is wrong with us?

    Regardless of what we want to think there is no such thing as government debt. He who prints the money has no debt. Yes, everybody else owes debt, except the Federal Government with the printing presses.

    They call it a financial crisis, but what it is is a new war on savers who have found that they are now too poor to retire. They may have decided that their pension-fund managers deserved to be jailed.

    Already many people have come to realize that they will have to work until they are 75 to 80. Governments are going to tax the living hell out of Americans as they inflate their own “liabilities” away.

    There is no way to win in a rigged regime of paper money. It’s a perpetual treadmill.

    Did you think that you would see this? General Electric and Berkshire Hathaway have lost their triple-A credit ratings. Is this the world that we live in?

    Yes, expect anything but prepare for inflation (a crashing dollar and serious depreciation of purchasing power). Prepare for more taxes and more bureaucratic oppression. You may see troops and armored cars in more places. You will hear the words “hoarders” and “speculators.”

    But you know the meaning of the whole thing. It will be the rumblings and death rattle of a terminal regime trying to hold on.

    Still, you should be buying gold coins and pre-1964 U.S. silver coins. You should be storing food. You should still get some money out of the U.S. while it is still legal.

    Exchange your paper money now for much more paper money later, plus survival. Depreciation of the currency is going on now!

    Have a freat day everyone!

    G!

    • G-Man:

      I liked the article. What site was this in? If it’s a good site, I’ll bookmark it.

    • Hi G-Man

      I’ve received several of BLs newsletters. I’ve heard him say this before but I got angry when I read this. He’s so right about how we’re being screwed and don’t even know it. When I try to talk to to people about it, they don’t want to hear it. They totally dismiss it. They believe Dear Reader really wants to help them and is doing the best he can. I’m amazed at how many people still don’t get it. Scary.

      Birdman,

      Independent Living by Lee Bellinger is another good newsletter. I think I’ve sent to you in the past?

  18. New topic, its the economy, stupid. And does that explain Scott Browns win, and where voters are focused?

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/02/obama-budget-jobs-plan-early-tests-hill/

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s proposed budget, stuffed with initiatives to spark jobs and the economy, is getting an early test with lawmakers weary of record deficits, wary of his tax ideas and nervous about winning re-election in November.

    Obama’s proposed $5,000-per-job tax credit for companies that hire more workers could come up for a vote in the Senate as early as the end of the week — if senators can work out the details.

    Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Obama’s budget director, Peter Orszag, were to push it during appearances Tuesday before congressional committees to explain the president’s $3.8 trillion budget plan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen also were to be on Capitol Hill to discuss war spending.

    Congress rejected the idea of a jobs credit for businesses last year, questioning whether it would work and how to prevent unscrupulous employers from defrauding the government.

    Obama also wants to renew some expiring goodies from his stimulus plan last year:

    –Another round of $250 bonus payments to Social Security recipients and other retirees.

    –Extended jobless benefits and health insurance subsidies for the long-term unemployed.

    –Another year of middle-class tax credits of up to $400 for individuals and $800 for couples filing jointly.

    But the budget also would impose nearly $1 trillion in higher taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 by not renewing tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush. Obama would extend Bush-era tax cuts for families and individuals making less.

    All told, Obama’s tax and spending plan raises more taxes than it cuts, while still posting a record-breaking $1.56 trillion deficit — an amount equal to about 42 cents for every dollar the government is spending.

    “It’s a budget that reflects the serious challenges facing the country,” Obama said. “We’re at war. Our economy has lost 7 million jobs over the last two years. And our government is deeply in debt.”

  19. Obama Budget Seeks $1.1 Trillion in Tax Hikes

    AP/FOX

    President would increase taxes on some businesses and wealthy individuals by a total of about $1.4 trillion over the next decade, while cutting taxes for workers and other businesses by about $330 billion.

    WASHINGTON — While President Barack Obama is proposing to cut some taxes for companies that hire workers, his budget would raise a host of other taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals.

    The budget proposal released Monday would extend Obama’s signature Making Work Pay tax credit — $400 for individuals, $800 for a couple filing jointly — through 2011. But it would also impose nearly $1 trillion in higher taxes on couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000 by not renewing tax cuts enacted under former President George W. Bush. Obama would extend Bush-era tax cuts for families and individuals making less.

    Obama revived numerous proposals for business tax increases that didn’t fare well in Congress last year, including a scaled-down plan to increase taxes on U.S. companies with major overseas operations, and plans to increase taxes on oil and gas companies.

    In all, Obama would increase taxes on some businesses and wealthy individuals by a total of about $1.4 trillion over the next decade, while cutting taxes for middle-class workers and other businesses by about $330 billion. The bottom line: Tax receipts would increase by about $1.1 trillion over the next decade.

    Congressional Democrats praised most of Obama’s initiatives, but their lukewarm response to some of the tax increases suggests a tough fight for the administration. Obama’s proposal to increase taxes on international businesses would be better addressed as part of a package overhauling the entire tax system, said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the tax-writing Finance Committee.

    Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said, “This budget features too many new taxes, too much new spending and too much new debt.”

    The budget accounts for a $33 billion tax cut that Obama wants Congress to include in a new jobs bill. It would give companies a $5,000 tax credit for each new worker they hire in 2010. Businesses that increase wages or hours for their current workers in 2010 would be reimbursed for the extra Social Security payroll taxes they would pay.

    The tax increases on wealthy families would fulfill a campaign pledge by Obama, who has blamed Bush’s tax cuts and Medicare prescription drug program for swelling the government’s debt by $7.5 trillion.

    “While we extend middle-class tax cuts in this budget, we will not continue costly tax cuts for oil companies, investment fund managers and those making over $250,000 a year,” Obama said. “We just can’t afford it.”

    Obama would permanently expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, a popular anti-poverty program, for low-income families with three or more children, at a cost of $15 billion over the next decade. However, he would save $760 million by eliminating advanced payments of the credit, a little-used aspect of the program in which families receive payments throughout the year instead of a lump sum at tax time.

    “I am a big supporter of the Earned Income Tax Credit,” Obama said. “The problem is 80 percent of the people who got this advance didn’t comply with one or more of the program’s requirements.”

    The Making Work Pay tax credit provides families with up to $800 a year and individuals up to $400 a year through small increases in their weekly pay. Extending the tax credit through 2011 would save them $61 billion.

    Some of Obama’s other tax proposals would:

    –Raise the top two income tax rates for individuals, from 33 percent and 35 percent, to 36 percent and 39.6 percent, respectively. Unless Congress intervenes, those rates will rise next Jan. 1 when Bush’s tax cuts expire. That government would reap $365 billion over the next decade.

    –Limit the itemized tax deductions high earners can claim for charitable donations, mortgage interest and state and local taxes, raising about $210 billion for the next decade.

    –Increase the top capital gains tax rate from 15 percent to 20 percent for families making more than $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $200,000. The proposal would raise about $105 billion.

    –Make the research and experimentation tax credit permanent, saving businesses about $83 billion over the next decade.

    –Extend a provision allowing businesses buying equipment such as computers to speed up depreciation through 2010, saving them $20 billion over the next decade.

    –Eliminate capital gains taxes on the sale of some small business stocks, as long as they are held for at least five years, saving taxpayers $8 billion over the next decade.

    –Impose a “financial crisis responsibility fee” on large financial institutions, raising $90 billion over the next decade.

    –Repeal a widely ignored law that taxes the personal use of company-issued cell phones like other fringe benefits, saving taxpayers $2.8 billion over 10 years.

    –Restrict the ability of international companies to defer taxes on profits made overseas, raising about $26 billion over the next decade.

    –Impose a total of about $39 billion in tax increases on oil, gas and coal companies over the next decade.

    –Change the way profits made by investment fund managers are taxed, raising an additional $24 billion over the next decade.

  20. One of the first things I read this morning, one of our Democratic senators plans to oppose Obama’s budget, never mind what the Rep’s will do, if he cannot get his 59 tame senators to back him, how can he get anything passed? He has just become a “lame duck” president!

    President Obama’s FY2011 Budget Proposal

    Earlier today, President Obama released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011. As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, I am opposed to cuts to programs important to agriculture and rural communities.

    Throughout my Senate career, I have been a strong, independent voice for Arkansas’s agricultural producers. Now, as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I am standing up for farmers and ranchers and all of rural America once again by opposing cuts that will harm the hard-working men and women who are the backbone of our rural economy.

    Put simply, the President’s proposal picks winners and losers. By targeting policies that rural America relies upon, this proposal places a disproportionate burden on the backs of farmers and rural communities. While I too believe we must reduce the federal deficit, we must all share in this responsibility.

    In 2008, I worked hard to pass a five-year farm bill that was fiscally responsible. This bill contained over $4 billion worth of cuts to farm programs, was completely paid for and did not contribute to the deficit. The Farm Bill is a contract with our farmers that they depend on to make business decisions. Changing the rules in the middle of the game would be detrimental to their operations and would cost us even more jobs in rural America.

    I thank the President for his recommendations, but Congress writes the budget. I intend to support measures to reduce the deficit but fight many of the President’s proposed cuts that will harm farmers, ranchers and rural communities.

    With Arkansas Pride,

    Blanch Lincoln

  21. February 02, 2010
    Budget Fun with Fannie and Freddie
    By Christopher Chantrill
    Remember when your liberal friends used to writhe on the floor in a foaming rage? They were outraged because the Iraq War never got into the federal budget, but got slipped in through the back door with “supplemental appropriations.”

    Now there’s a new game in town. Advanced conservatives are going to class to learn how to throw themselves on the floor about the losses at the government’s mortgage giants, Fannie and Freddie: $400 billion and counting. Now that these GSEs are flat broke, why doesn’t the president add the $5 trillion in Fannie/Freddie mortgage-backed debt in the National Debt, they ask?

    Yesterday, the president published the federal budget for the fiscal year 2011, starting October 1. In that budget, the feds will account for the bailout of Fannie and Freddie. But the cost will not appear in the headline number of $3.8 trillion in spending. Instead, Obama’s guys will sneak it into the outlays for the recently concluded FY 2009.

    The only place you will be able to see what really happened will be usgovernmentspending.com, which is not a government website.

    • Budgets Speak Louder Than Words

      Monday, February 01, 2010
      By Neil Cavuto, FOX NEWS

      They say actions speak louder than words. I think budgets speak even louder. Because with a budget, words don’t matter, numbers do. And the numbers in the president’s budget sound a lot different than the president’s words.

      The president says he’s tired of business as usual, yet his budget is very much business as usual. Because you can’t say, Mr. President, that you’re really serious about cutting the deficit, when your budget shows you’re not remotely serious about cutting the spending: That is business as usual.

      Saying you’re cutting the deficit by over 1.3 trillion bucks over 10 years, but leaving out the little detail $1.1 trillion of that comes from taxing and not trimming: That is business as usual.

      Bragging about $250 billion in actual spending cuts over the same period and leaving out the little detail that’s barely $25 billion in multi-trillion dollar budgets each year: That is business as usual.

      Saying you’ll get even those laughable cuts when your own party-dominated Congress can’t even agree on trimming a mere $20 billion by consolidating 640 government programs: That is business as usual.

      Saying you’re serious about reining in Congress, but apparently Congress is not: That is business as usual.
      Column Archive

      Killing an amendment to take back the $245 million increase Congress budgeted itself earlier this year: That is business as usual.

      Because you can’t say you’re better than the predecessor you can’t stop blaming if you’re playing the same games you vowed you’d be stopping.

      Assuming robust growth we’ll likely never see; omitting barely a whiff of inflation we’ll likely very much see: That is business as usual.

      Because it’s one thing to nix NASA going back to the moon and think you’re being brave and quite another to push a budget that takes us to “The Twilight Zone” and think you’re anything but a joke.

  22. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey All.

    I wonder if this quote will ever work.

    Hope you are all doing good today.

    Judy

    “When the people fear their government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” -Thomas Jefferson

  23. Off topic,

    Looks like Dear Reader has killed the Shuttle and Constellation programs that many of my friends are working on. This is really going to hurt them. On the other hand, there’s this:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100202/ap_on_re_us/us_nuclear_lab_budgets_1

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – President Barack Obama is seeking increased funding for nuclear weapons research and security programs next year, even as his administration promotes nonproliferation and has pledged to reduce the world’s stockpile of nuclear arms.

    Actaully, this is a broken campaign promise I can live with. 😉

    • Topics, treat this as an open mic,

      I saw an article saying our missiles needed their fuse mechanisms updated to
      take them to their 2030 retirement date. Kinda funny, how he keeps doing things just like Bush would have, militarily.

      • He does seem to very selective about it. If it harms the American people to not do it, he doesn’t do it. If it helps him maintain his power, he does it. The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the article is: He has Nuke Envy. All dictators do! 😆

        I’m not going to complain about this one. It makes my job prospects somewhat more secure for a little while longer. I didn’t vote for him, I’d like to see him removed from office and tried for treason, but since that isn’t gonna happen, I may as well make the best of a bad situation.

        I’m very concerend about my friends in the space programs. Most of them didn’t think it would come to this. I saw the writing on the wall when they announced the end of the program several years ago. Also, I knew things would only get worse when the Dems took over congress in 2006. I look a lot smarter now to those who thought I was making a HUGE mistake. I’ve been silently gloating since the word came out because my boyfriend has been telling me for several years that the space program we worked on would never be ended, that everyone would just be rolled into the new program. I sent him the article from Space.com and asked how many jobs this totally unexpected decision will produce in Brevard County. He hasn’t said a word…….

        • Didn’t someone post that the DoD had added over 1,000 high salary jobs? Made me wonder about the increases in the Predator program, “kill terrorist while sipping your latte”!

          • I missed that one. Was that “kill terrorists while sipping your lette” really in the article? It sounds very flippant to me. Most of the military types I know wouldn’t be caught dead ‘sipping a latte’, so they must be referring to the Purple shirts hunting American right wing extremists! 😆

    • Space is too important to let government get involved.

      Virgin Airlines will take over. Book your trip to the moon early for great discounts….

  24. Bottom Line

    I think the key/deciding factor in this concept is that dollars have value because it’s the law. …not because they have any real value.

    My cuz was making the argument that people still negotiate for dollars(even though they’re fiat), therefore dollars and the idea of their worth is equal to that of gold. He was basically saying that dollars have replaced gold as the valued commodity.

    What I realize is that if everyone understood fiat currency, …and if it weren’t backed by law,…they would adopt something like “Liberty Dollars” instead.

    Dollars have value because of ignorance and coercion.

    I have found that when bad theory becomes entrenched, no matter what discipline in human affairs, is incredibly difficult to displace.

    Money theory is one of these entrenchments – after decades of wrong teaching, the bad theory pops up in all sort of strange ways.

    Bottom Line, let me rip apart your statement above.

    …is that dollars have value … not because they have any real value.

    They have value because they do not have any real value??

    Opps 🙂

    So let’s go over this again.

    Value is created by humans. (Take breath here (TBH))

    Whatever humans believe is valuable, is valuable.
    Nothing has value unless a human values it.(TBH)

    People value Federal Reserve Notes. (TBH)

    Therefore FRN are valuable. (TBH)

    Because FRN are valuable, they could be money (TBH)

    People value Gold. (TBH)

    Therefore Gold is valuable. (TBH)

    Because Gold is valuable, it could be money (TBH)

    Money is the commodity that is valued the most in an economy (TBH)

    People in this economy value FRN the most. (TBH)

    People in this economy value Gold ‘not’ the most. (TBH)

    FRN, therefore, is money. and not Gold. (TBH) STOP.

    The “why” FRN are valued by people has no bearing on whether or not it is money.

    Simply the fact that people desire FRN the most in this economy makes it money – regardless for the reason for its desire. The “why” plays absolutely no part in the determination of money.

    The “why” is because it is legal tender to discharge debts. The most important debt is tax debt. (PS: This is another argument against the social contract theory – taxation is not contractual, it is a debt by writ. Contracts are dealt with in civil court, tax debt is dealt with in criminal court. Tax debt is the most important debt a person has because it is the only debt you can be put in jail due to non-payment – you cannot be put in jail for contractual failure).

    Because of this feature, people value FRN a lot. So much so, it became money.

    FRN are fiat – which simply means “created out of thin air”. Generally, ‘air’ has no value, so generally fiat has no value.

    However, people make things valuable by their desire. If you really needed air, it would be valuable. If your really need FRN, it will be valuable. You really need FRN to pay your tax and debt. Thus, it is really valuable.

    Most fiat has no value (see Weimer Deutschmark, or the Continental). But that does not mean FRN fiat has no value.

    Your cousin has the theory almost right, but badly articulated.

    therefore dollars and the idea of their worth is equal to that of gold.

    Gold is valued by people.

    FRN are valued by people.

    They are not equally valued.

    FRN’s are valued more, because they are money.

    Gold is valued less, and therefore, it’s price is quoted in…..dollars – $1200 per 1 oz.

    FRN’s are not quoted in ounces of gold. FRN is money, Gold is not.

    Gold has NOT been replaced as a commodity. It is still there and very valuable. It has been replaced as MONEY.

    True, as you said, if FRN was not required to pay your tax (such as, if there was no tax), then FRN may not be considered valuable by people, and something else could become money.

    True, all governments love fiat currency because they can print it to pay for their wars (whether it is a war on terror or a war on poverty)

    True, as you’ve said before, all fiat currencies are driven to zero value by the government.

    True, all governments hate gold because it cannot be created by fiat.

    True, FRN are valued by people because of coercion of law. But the “why” does not take away the reason it is money.

    Grab hold this concept firmly.

    The most desired commodity in an economy is MONEY.

    Do not attach the reason to that desire to make such a determination.

    Simply understand this formula: “biggest desire=money.”

    • v. Holland says:

      Confederate States of America dollar
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      The Confederate States of America dollar was first issued into circulation in April 1861, when the Confederacy was only two months old, and on the eve of the outbreak of the Civil War.

      At first, Confederate currency was accepted throughout the South as a medium of exchange with high purchasing power. As the war progressed, however, confidence in the ultimate success waned, the amount of paper money increased, and their dates of redemption were extended further into the future. The inevitable result was depreciation of the currency, and soaring prices characteristic of inflation. For example, by the end of the war, a cake of soap could sell for as much as $50 and an ordinary suit of clothes was $2,700. Near the end of the war, the currency became practically worthless as a medium of exchange. When the Confederacy ceased to exist as a political entity at the end of the war, the money lost all value as fiat currency.

    • Just more FYI:

      We say Gold has been de-montized.

      FDR started the process by seizing gold from citizens, and Nixon put the nail in the coffin by closing the gold window in 1971.

      After that, currencies were measured as a ratio between each other and not in the terms of gold.

      Gold became just a commodity – though the most traded commodity on Earth. The daily trade in gold exceeds the entire human supply – and over twice the dollar value of the trade in oil.

      Gold is very valuable. It just isn’t money.

    • Bottom Line says:

      I’ve only had about 3 hours sleep, so forgive me if I’m a little slow/off today.

      I’m a little confused.

      BF – “The most desired commodity in an economy is MONEY.”

      Money is most desired BECAUSE it’s the medium in which to exchange goods and services.

      Goods and services are what is really desired. And it is arguable as to which are most valued.

      I.E. – In a barter system, everything is negotiable with no set standard of value.

      So, the value of goods and services needs to be represented by something universal. That something is “money”.

      …be it ten ton rocks, sea shells, paper and ink, gold, etc…

      And since FRN’s are the lawfully prescribed medium, it has value…otherwise it would have little value.

      I.E. – anyone with paper, ink, and a press can make FRN’s out of thin air just like the FED does.

      It’s as abundant as air. It’s based on nothing but debt.

      Gold is not. Gold is in limited supply and cannot be counterfeited or inflated/deflated.

      Hence the word “standard”.

      From where I sit, FRN’s are no different than bartering thin air or notebook paper for goods and services.

      What gives FRN’s value is the fact that the law states you have to use them, and cannot reproduce them. They MAKE it so.

      Law = coercion.

      How far off am I?

      lol.

      BTW, my cousin was having a hard time articulating to me. I had to verify my interpretation as to what he meant. He said “Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say.”

      So, his articulation is really a second hand articulation/interpretation of mine.

      Just sayin’

      • BF – “The most desired commodity in an economy is MONEY.”

        Money is most desired BECAUSE it’s the medium in which to exchange goods and services.

        You have the cause/effect reversed. Yes, money becomes even more desired when it becomes money, but it starts off with desire FIRST.

        You can exchange goods and services with anything – you can trade, etc. So it is NOT required to be the medium of exchange – it is merely convenient.

        What is convenient? You don’t have to discount the trade.

        For example, I want to trade a case of beer for a silver coin. The silver coin is roughly $20 FRN and the beer is $18 FRN. How I am going to trade? Without FRN – which has no discount – I have to give a 10% discount to the owner of the beer because all I have is a coin. People give change in money, they do not give change in exchange of other non-money. This is one way you know something is money is that no discount, that is “Change is given” exists.

        Another way to analysis your statement is with a question: “If it is money because it is the medium of exchange, why then is not the Continental money now? It is a medium of exchange…

        It is not money – even though it is medium of exchange – because no one wants it.

        The human desire creates money.

        Goods and services are what is really desired. And it is arguable as to which are most valued.

        Money is a good and service – not different at all with any other economic good and service.

        Money is the MOST desired because with money, you can get nearly everything else. If you had wheat, you might not. If you had gold, you might not. But with money, you most probably will – because everyone wants money.

        I.E. – In a barter system, everything is negotiable with no set standard of value.

        There is no absolute standard of value for anything!

        Water is very valuable if I am dying of thirst.

        Water is worthless if I am drowning.

        It is humans that determine value.

        When we trade, we actually do this:
        “Is what I am trading worth less than what I am receiving to me

        The other fellow is thinking the same thing.

        When both see the value GREATER in what the other guy has vs. what they have, a trade occurs. Both end up with more value than they started – because the released what they did not value (but what the other guy did value) for something they wanted MORE

        So what you are trying to merge together is price and value. Price is merely a measure of a human’s value of a good or service.

        I price my time @ $250/hr because that price that I offer my time. Someone buys my time for that because they see more value in my effort than my price – so my ‘value’ is not ‘my price’ to my customer – it is something higher, or he wouldn’t hire me.

        So in this simple example, you can see that my time has a pricebut wholly different value, depending on who is doing the valuing.

        So, the value of goods and services needs to be represented by something universal. That something is “money”.

        There is no mechanism to measure value absolute, because it is completely subjective to individual human beings.

        The closest we come is to apply a price to our goods for what we value them at, in terms of money.

        We can only guess what someone else may value that good of ours, but we know – if we sell it they held a higher value then we did.

        But over and above all goods, we value money. There is no hesitation to exchange goods, at our price, for money, where there may be hesitation to exchange goods with other non-money goods – like buckets of wheat. We hesitate because we are unsure we can re trade our wheat – but we are very assured that someone will trade for our money.

        …be it ten ton rocks, sea shells, paper and ink, gold, etc…

        If you bring rocks, I will ask you to sell your rocks to someone who knows rocks. I do not. But I know money. Bring back money, and we can trade.

        A pawnshop operates by trading goods for money. They are a great example to show how huge a discount they demand for goods over money.

        If you went to them with $100 FRN, and asked for money – they would look at you as a bit strange perhaps, but he would give you 5 x $20 for it – no discount.

        But if you when to them with a diamond ring and asked for money – he would demand a massive discount for your goods to money, right?

        And since FRN’s are the lawfully prescribed medium, it has value…otherwise it would have little value.

        This may be true – its value is because you can use to dispose of your debt, by law.

        But the “why” it is valuable is incidental. It is because everyone wants FRN is because it is money.

        I.E. – anyone with paper, ink, and a press can make FRN’s out of thin air just like the FED does.

        No, they can’t.

        FRN are used to pay off your debt – primarily your tax debt.

        For example, some people are paid in gold coin. They still need to pay their income tax. Gold coin, to them, is money. However, the government demands payment of tax in FRN. They will not accept gold coin. The gold coin is NOT money to the tax man.

        The government will not accept YOUR FRN to pay your taxes. It will ONLY accept THEIR FRN to pay your tax.

        Whether the FED produces lots of FRN (or not) does not (necessarily) change that FRN is money. Their is $1 trillion more FRN then 18 months ago – but they are still money.

        It’s as abundant as air. It’s based on nothing but debt.

        Again, what it may be based on (or not) is irrelevant.

        Your gold certificate is backed by gold – but it is not money. People will demand a discount to accept it.

        The FRN may represent a debt of government – but it is money. People will trade that debt for goods without demanding a discount.

        Gold is not. Gold is in limited supply and cannot be counterfeited or inflated/deflated.

        It can be counterfeited – do you know why coins have little grooves and edges – to prevent “clipping”. It doesn’t happen anymore, but with gold coin, people would shave a very little bit off – nearly immeasurable – from a coin, and make a new coin from the clipping.

        Grooves are an observable way to see that a coin was not clipped.

        Gold can be inflated. California 1849 has huge inflation due to the gold rush – where a bath and a shave in New York was about $0.25, it was $2 in San Fransisco.

        Gold can be deflated. It can be removed from the economy and turned into jewelery.

        What gold can’t be is created by fiat. But remember, Great Britain – on the gold standard – did! The used gold certificates and then printed a bunch of them – more than they had gold. But every cert could be exchanged for gold. The certs – representing real gold – depreciated.

        Money is just another commodity. Like gold, it obeys exactly the same laws of economics as all goods and services.

        Hence the word “standard”.

        Standard for what? Why does a dollar in 1919 represent 1/32 of a oz., and in 1933 represent 1/42? Whose standard? Why was it this and not that amount?

        From where I sit, FRN’s are no different than bartering thin air or notebook paper for goods and services.

        Really? How did you buy your food today, if FRN was simply air? Did the grocer trade air for your food, or did he take MONEY?

        What gives FRN’s value is the fact that the law states you have to use them, and cannot reproduce them. They MAKE it so.

        How money becomes valued by the people is wholly irrelevant.

        It could be because people like how shiny it is! I mean, how stupid is that!! Or is sparkles! Dumb!… right??

        You want to judge the choice of other people in the valuation of the desires. Economics, however, doesn’t care at all to judge such things. It simply says “A human values this, therefore it has value.” No judgment.

  25. GOOOH update

    It’s Time

    I wish you could see all that I see as I travel the country. I hope you are feeling the early tremors that I feel. I met with a reporter from Time Magazine in Rochester, NY at midnight yesterday after she drove hours through the snow to catch me before my 5 a.m. flight to California. The reporter is working with a team of journalists trying to explain the unrest in America. They grasp there is a problem, but I do not think they understand that a political earthquake of epic proportions is pending, that a paradigm shift in how our leaders are selected and our country is governed is in progress.

    It is encouraging that one of the world’s premier news magazines knows all about us, that GOOOH is officially and unquestionably on the map. On Monday, I’ll be speaking in the historical Manor Tavern in Maryland, with a camera crew from one of the world’s most viewed television stations on location filming. I will be in their Washington D.C. studio recording a segment tomorrow morning. We continue to correspond with some of the largest television shows in the nation, though they all seem to be waiting on something. There is no promise that even one word will ever be presented, but it is with absolute certainty I can report that every news outlet in the nation that is paying attention is aware of our rapidly growing movement.

    We continue to make tremendous progress in states all across the nation. Over 450 attended our event in Pittsburgh last Tuesday. The seed has been planted and already sprouted in western New York.

  26. Anything that prevents any “governing” from occurring is a good thing. I like filibusters and budget-battle government “shut downs”. I notice I have never been harmed by those things like I have when government “accomplishes” anything.

  27. Judy Sabatini says:

    Nope, can’t find anything for a new topic discussion, just the usual is out there.

  28. Judy Sabatini says:

    My son sent me this, see how well you all do.

    A Short Neurological Test

    1- Find the C below.. Please do not use any cursor help.

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    2- If you already found the C, now find the 6 below.

    99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
    99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
    99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
    69999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
    99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
    99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999

    3 – Now find the N below.. It’s a little more difficult.

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMNMM
    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    This is NOT a joke. If you were able to pass these 3 tests, you can cancel
    your annual visit to your neurologist. Your brain is great and you’re far from
    having a close relationship with Alzheimer.

    Congratulations!
    Oh. One more test….
    Find the 44th USAPresident.

    Well, congratulations, you’re not colour blind either!

    SENIOR CITIZENS
    ARE THE NATION’S LEADING CARRIERS OF AIDS!

    HEARING AIDS

    BAND AIDS

    ROLL AIDS

    WALKING AIDS

    MEDICAL AIDS

    GOVERNMENT AIDS

    MOST OF ALL,

    MONETARY AID TO THEIR KIDS!

    Give me the grace to see a joke,
    To get some humor out of life,
    And pass it on to other folk.

    I’m only sending this to my ‘old’ friends.

    I love to see you smile.
    Not forgetting HIV (Hair is Vanishing)
    —————————————————

    eonvrye that can raed this rsaie your hnad.

    To my ‘selected’ strange-minded friends:
    If you can read the following paragraph, forward it on to your friends and the
    person that sent it to you with ‘yes’ in the subject line.

    ________________________________

    Only great minds can read this
    This is weird, but interesting!

    If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid too

    Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

    I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The
    phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde
    Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the
    olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae.
    The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This
    is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word
    as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If
    you can raed this forwrad it

    FORWARD ONLY IF YOU CAN READ IT
    Forward it & put ‘YES’ in the Subject Line

    • http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/02/obamas_unusual_antecedents.html

      February 02, 2010
      Obama’s unusual antecedents
      Phil Boehmke
      The Los Angeles Times reports that The New England Historic Genealogical Society has revealed that future former President Obama and Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown share a common ancestry.

      The New England genealogy experts report that Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and Brown’s mother, Judith Ann Rugg, both descended from Richard Singletary of Haverhill, Mass. He died in 1687 at 102.

      Obama descends from Singletary’s eldest son Jonathan, who later changed his last name to Dunham. Brown descends from Singletary’s other son Nathaniel.

      The New England Genealogical Society had previously discovered that the future former president shares ancestry with former presidents James Madison, Harry Truman, LBJ, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

      Meanwhile, researchers with the Hartland Township Genealogical Lab and Billiards Emporium in Obama’s home state of Illinois have uncovered an unprecedented number of historic figures which share common ancestry with the future former president. The list of noted historical figures includes; Genghis Kahn, Ivan The Terrible, Attila The Hun, Vladimir Ulianov (Lenin), Iosif Djugashvili (Stalin), Alolph Hitler, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Nancy Pelosi, Osama Bin Laden and Barack H. Obama Sr.

      The lab has come under intense criticism from humorless Obama supporters who contend that by tracing the future former president’s family tree back to Noah, Hartland is free to claim common ancestry with all persons dating from the great flood. The anger among Obama’s most ardent comrades is concentrated on the fact that the lab listed only infamous persons instead of connecting Mr. Obama with great historical figures such as Karl Marx, Mao Tse-tung, Jane Fonda or Stokley Carmichael.

      Community organizers and agitators from nearby Obamagrad (Chicago) stormed the Hartland facility in an early morning raid. Much to their surprise they found the building to be empty which the exception of an old black card table, two folding chairs, a copy of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals” and a trash can full of green synthetic fibers which looked suspiciously like grass roots.

      No attempt was made to reach David Axelrod for comment.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        One thing I learned researching my family’s genealogy is that most of us who descend from old New England are related by some of the pioneers or founders of this country. My wife descends from Richard Singletary too. From a secondary source, Scott Brown also descends from Rose (Stoughton) Otis, a common ancestor of mine who is recorded in England to be a descendant of several Kings of Europe.

        People such as Presidents Bush(s) who have had their genealogy researched and have a large proven tree will show several common ancestors with most people who have researched their old New England genealogy.

        Massachusetts has very good Vital record keeping going back to the 1600’s

  29. Judy Sabatini says:

    Politicians in Wonderland
    Thomas Sowell – Syndicated Columnist – 2/2/2010 9:50:00

    Thomas SowellThere was a recent flap because three different members of the Obama administration, on three different Sunday television talk shows, gave three widely differing estimates of how many jobs the president has created.

    That should not have been surprising, except as a sign of political sloppiness in not getting their stories together beforehand. They were simply doing what Barack Obama himself does — namely, just pulling numbers out of thin air. However, being more skilled at creating illusions, the president does it with more of an air of certainty, as if he has gone around and counted the new jobs himself.

    The big question that seldom — if ever — gets asked in the mainstream media is whether these are a net increase in jobs. Since the only resources that the government has are the resources it takes from the private sector, using those resources to create jobs means reducing the resources available to create jobs in the private sector.

    So long as most people do not look beyond superficial appearances, politicians can get away with playing Santa Claus on all sorts of issues, while leaving havoc in their wake — such as growing unemployment, despite all the jobs being “created.”

    Whatever position people take on healthcare reform, there seems to be a bipartisan consensus — usually a sign of mushy thinking — that it is a good idea for the government to force insurance companies to insure people whom politicians want them to insure, and to insure them for things that politicians think should be insured.

    Contrary to what politicians expect us to do, let’s stop and think.

    Why aren’t insurance companies already insuring the people and the conditions that they are now going to be forced to cover? Because that means additional costs — and because the insurance companies don’t think their customers are willing to pay those particular costs for those particular coverages.

    It costs politicians nothing to mandate more insurance coverage for more people. But that doesn’t mean that the costs vanish into thin air. It simply means that both buyers and sellers of insurance are forced to pay costs that neither of them wants to pay. But, because soaring political rhetoric leaves out such grubby things as costs, it sounds like a great deal.

    It is not just costs that are left out. It is consequences in general.

    With all the laments in the media about skyrocketing unemployment among young people, and especially minority young people, few media pundits even try to connect the dots to explain why unemployment hits some groups much harder than others.

    Yet unusually high unemployment rates among young people is not something new or even something peculiar to the United States. Even before the current worldwide recession, unemployment rates were 20 percent or more among workers under 25 years of age in a number of Western European countries.

    The young have less experience to offer and are therefore less in demand. Before politicians stepped in, that just meant that younger workers were paid less. But this is not a permanent situation because youth itself is not permanent, and pay rises with experience.

    Enter politicians. By mandating a minimum wage that sounds reasonable for most workers, they put a price on inexperienced and unskilled labor that often exceeds what it is worth.

    Mandated pay rates, like mandated insurance coverage, impose on buyers and sellers alike things that they would not choose to do otherwise.

    Workers of course prefer higher wage rates. But the very fact that the government has to impose those wage rates means that workers were unwilling to risk not having a job by refusing to work for less than the wage rate that has been mandated. Now that choice has been taken out of their hands, with the hidden cost in this case being higher unemployment rates.

    It is of course no secret that there is no free lunch. It is just an inconvenient distraction that gets left out of political rhetoric.

  30. While on Live TV, do not start looking at nude picture

    Look in the background PC screen at about 1:05 into the clip….

    …too funny!

  31. v. Holland says:

    Is he just trying to give the impression that he just bows to everybody -so it’s not a big deal or what.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/02/tampa-mayor-dismisses-flap-obama-bow-calls-president-gracious/?test=latestnews

  32. Judy Sabatini says:

    Clyburn: ‘We’ve got to spend our way out of this recession’
    By Michael O’Brien – 02/01/10 12:56 PM ET

    The U.S. government must spend its way out of the recession, the Democrats’ third-ranking House leader stressed Monday.

    Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the House majority whip, said that trying to find greater savings in the budget, which was released by President Barack Obama this morning, wouldn’t help alleviate the recession.

    “We’ve got to make some decisions here as to what’s in the best interests of our country going forward,” Clyburn said during an appearance on Fox News. “And I think the best interest is to invest in education, control these deficits, while at the same time trying to get people back to work.”

    “We’re not going to save our way out of this recession,” the majority whip added. “We’ve got to spend our way out of this recession, and I think most economists know that.”

    Obama’s budget, which was unveiled Monday morning, calls for $3.8 trillion in spending for 2010, but is projected to cause a $1.27 deficit.

    A number of key Democrats in Congress have responded to the proposal, including House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), who said lawmakers would seek to abide by spending freezes within the budget, but seek to extend caps to defense and national security spending, too.

    Some other Democrats have worried that without expanded spending on social programs and other elements of the budget, some people hit hardest by the recession would be disadvantaged by the budget.

    Clyburn suggested that talk of reducing the deficit was moot as long as the economy remained sluggish in the foreseeable future.

    “You’re not going to bring down the deficits, you’re not going to eliminate these problems without growing this economy,” he said. “And you’re not going to grow the economy by wishing it; you’ve got to invest in it. And that’s what we’re doing with this budget.”

    • Judy,

      He is correct. To end the recession, government has a tool called “spend like a drunk sailor”.

      It will work.

      The consequence will be high inflation (maybe hyper inflation).

      To reel in that monster, the FED will have to tighten the money supply.

      The consequence will be a recession/depression far worse than the one we have now.

      To fix that problem, the government will spend “like a really drunk, stupid sailor”.

      The consequence will be hyperinflation.

      To save the economy and the Western civilization, the FED will slash the money supply.

      The consequence will be a recession so deep and long, the ’30s great Depression will look like Disneyland.

      This is your future.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Hi Flag

        And what a scary future it is. As of now, I don’t have a clue as to what the future holds for me and my husband. With me out of work, but looking for one, a part time if I can, he is only working on a part time basis right now, and he’s looking for a second job, but hasn’t had any luck either.

        Jobs here in Reno are really slim pickens, and unless you know somebody, or have a special skill of some kind, you’re out of luck. Places that were once big here like IGT, have laid off a lot of people. Hawthorne Army depot, one of the labs biggest clients had laid off over 200 people, and there is talk of a contract bidding war coming up in the next 5 or 6 months, and if the lab where my husband works at doesn’t get the bid, well you can kiss the lab goodbye too. I understand too, that they will be laying off even more in the coming months.

        Reid claims to have created over 45,000 new jobs here in Nevada, but yet, there are so many out of work, and still losing their homes here, it’s sickening. What are these jobs that Obama and Reid claimed to have created anyway?

        If the recession is going to be worse than in the 30’s all I can say is, God help us all, because we’re going to need a miracle to get out of it.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        We could be saved if >

        Next Monday we deregulate our economy.

        Tuesday we all create Real Wealth.

        Wednesday we sell our newly created wealth around the world.

        Thursday we spend like mad, and repeat the process.

    • from the Bobo Files

      http://my-wealth-builder.blogspot.com/2010/01/personal-finance-perspective-on-us.html

      A Personal Finance Perspective on the U.S. Budget
      It’s challenging for me to get a good feel of what changes to the U.S budget means, because I don’t normally work in billions and trillions of dollars. To get a better understanding, I decided to loosely translate the 2010 U.S. Budget, deficit and proposed spending freeze by President Obama into a hypothetical person Ima Spending. Scaling to U.S. budget to an individual level, here is my estimate of Ima’s financial position:

      Annual Income: $23,000

      Annual Spending: $35,000

      Annual increase in Debt: $12,000

      Annual savings from Spending Freeze: $250

      From my perspective, Ima needs more revenue, less spending or both. Since increased revenue is not easy in today’s economy, I would work on reducing spending. Unfortunately, a spending freeze does not offer a noticeable reduction.

      I’m glad I did the calculations to reduce the numbers to an individual level. Thinking in terms of thousands, instead of billions and trillions, have helped me understand the U.S. budget issues a little better 😉

      For more on The Practice of Personal Finance, check back every Wednesday for a new segment.

    • February 2, 2010 12:46 PM EST by John Stossel
      Obama’s “Jobs” Plan

      At the State of the Union, Obama said the federal government “should tighten its belt,” but today’s Wall Street Journal points out how unlikely that is, given that the number of federal employees has surged:

      “Civilian full-time equivalent employees,” as they’re known in budgetese, held relatively constant before Mr. Obama came to Washington, but they surged to 1.978 million in 2009 from 1.875 million in 2008. In fiscal 2010, the Administration expects to add another 170,000 workers—a 14.5% leap in two years.

      After eight years of war, it’s natural to assume the growing federal job count is a result of the military. But the real boom is in the federal agencies:

      … [Up to] 1.428 million in 2010, from 1.204 million in 2008 and 1.09 million in 2001 … [T]he Agriculture Department will jump to 101,000 in 2010 from 94,000 in 2008, Justice will surge to 119,000 from 106,000, and Treasury to 114,000 from 107,000. We could go on.

      Mr. Obama blames the government’s all-time high deficits and other budget predicaments on his predecessor, but no one forced him to hire all these new public employees.

      Wait, didn’t he need to hire more people to deal with the food crisis?! No, I guess there wasn’t one. He needs all these new employees to hand out stimulus money, police private businesses, and take care of all the new federal programs. Once federal workers are hired, it’s almost impossible to get rid of them. Worse, with promises of more Big Government on the way, these numbers will continue to grow.

      No wonder more college graduates are saying they want to head to Washington, and that the Beltway metropolis has been spared the brunt of the recession. That’s where all the new jobs are.

      Read more: http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2010/02/02/obamas-jobs-plan/#ixzz0ePYiS6ku

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Gee, maybe we should move there, and see if we can get a job, if that’s where all the jobs are.

  33. Judy Sabatini says:
  34. v. Holland says:

    My first impression-it brings to mind Gladiators. What do you guys think?

    “Turning abortion into an online game show

    By Kathleen Parker
    Sunday, January 31, 2010

    At first glance, bump-the-show sounds like a reasonable response to “Bump,” the show — a new, faux-reality Web-based docudrama featuring actors trying to decide whether to have an abortion.

    Think Jerry Springer meets Oprah meets “American Idol” meets Dr. Oz meets . . . America’s conscience. For the decision to abort or not to abort is up to you, dear audience.

    Has the shark just jumped the shark?

    The idea for the “show,” which launches Monday, was inspired, of all things, by Barack Obama’s commencement address at Notre Dame University last year. When the president said he wanted “to find ways to communicate about a workable solution to the problem of unintended pregnancies,” executive producer Dominic Iocco conceived “Bump.”

    He and co-executive producer Christopher Riley want to see whether stories can succeed where four decades of rhetoric and politics have failed. They fashioned their experiment in a way that would be most appealing to the wired, reality-show generation.

    Beginning Feb. 1, episodes will appear each week on Mondays and Thursdays, both on the Web site (BumptheShow.com) and on YouTube, and spectators are invited to comment. A pilot, which appeared on the eve of the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, already had drawn 147 comments by Friday, ranging from criticism of the acting and the doctor’s make-up to heartfelt accounts of personal experiences with abortion.

    Comments are being carefully monitored to ensure civility, Iocco told me in a telephone interview. The fear is that the conversation could devolve into the usual rants. He worries that once foot soldiers on each side of the debate get wind of “Bump,” they’ll mobilize their troops and try to firebomb the theater, as it were. A few of the most vitriolic posts already have been removed.
    ad_icon

    There are so many unappealing facets wrapped into this one package, it’s difficult to identify the core offense. That’s not so much the fault of the producers — who get some credit for seeking creative ways to advance rational debate — as it is a function of the culture. Media critic Marshall McLuhan was surely right when he declared that the medium is the message and that our media eventually form us. Thus, we find ourselves sitting before computers, inputting opinions about whether fictional characters should terminate a developing human life.

    Although the idea is to humanize the debate, none of the characters is especially sympathetic. Each of the three women ostensibly selected from a “pool” of 300 is pregnant under varying circumstances with which viewers are expected to relate. To be clear, no one is really pregnant. The actors are all young and white, despite the fact that blacks have abortions at five times the rate of whites. The doctor, however, is African American — a man who combines the reassuring manner of Marcus Welby with the ethereal wisdom of Bagger Vance.

    Katie, who is married, is the most appealing by virtue of what seems to be a genuine moral conflict. “Once I make it, I can’t go back,” she says. Her dilemma is further complicated by the fact that her pregnancy is more recent than her husband’s departure for Iraq.

    Denise is a ditzy child-woman who loves red candies and picks all the red Starbursts from the bowl at the doctor’s office. Already the mother of two, she is also a victim of domestic violence. A “whatever” kind of gal, she’s mostly interested in the financial help promised by the show.

    Finally, the loathsome Hailey and her icky boyfriend, Jason, just want to get on the reality show. They’re the party crashers at the abortion clinic. Yippee.

    We’re not supposed to judge anyone, of course, but to feel their pain and offer thoughts. Regardless of one’s position on abortion, one thought is inescapable: The babies deserve better. Perhaps there will be an adoption sequel?

    At this point, the stories are only partly sketched and will be fleshed out based on what Internet denizens proffer. In the end, self-selecting strangers will become as a thousand Caesars, offering a thumbs up or down on the unborn. That some might struggle with their decision on behalf of the voiceless is some consolation. Otherwise, even in the faux world of a not-quite reality show, presenting such a profoundly personal and literally life-altering conflict as interactive entertainment is disturbing and slightly creepy.

    Perhaps, ultimately, this is the moral of the story. You can’t get there from here.

    kathleenparker@washpost.com

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/29/AR2010012903836.html

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi V

      Fiction or not, I don’t they they need to come up with this fake reality online based show, and I don’t think it necessary to have one just to have discussions on abortions.

      Personally, I think it’s sick and demented if you ask me. But, that just my opinion.

  35. Judy Sabatini says:

    I wrote Reid a couple months ago about the health care bill, I just now got this reply a few minutes ago in my Email box, and thought I’d share with all here.

    Dear Mrs. Sabatini:

    Thank you for your recent letter regarding health care reform. I appreciate hearing from you regarding this landmark legislation.

    I am very proud of the work that the Senate has done passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We have taken the next step to ensure that all Nevadans and Americans get the quality, affordable, effective health care they deserve. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues in Congress and the President as we move forward with health care reform. With 518,000 Nevadans without health insurance we cannot afford the cost of inaction.

    The Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act ensures that all Americans have access to health care while transforming our current health care system in order to contain costs and expand coverage. This legislation will provide coverage for more than 94 percent of Americans, reduce the deficit over the next ten years, and stay under the $900 billion limit that was set by President Obama. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not only lower costs, but improve choices, competition and offer more assistance to ensure that all Nevadans and Americans can afford health insurance.

    The legislation passed in the Senate includes immediate changes to the way health insurance companies do business in order to protect consumers and provide Nevadans with better coverage and information they need in order to make informed decisions about health insurance. This legislation will also ensure that uninsured Nevadans with a pre-existing condition will have access to an immediate insurance program to help them avoid medical bankruptcy. New health insurance exchanges will also make coverage affordable and accessible for individuals and small business, providing premium tax credits and cost sharing assistance to those who need it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the next step to reforming our broken system and proving health care to all Americans.

    Achieving health insurance reform will take time and patience. This legislation is the first step towards providing millions of Americans with affordable and effective health insurance. Please know that as we move forward, I will keep your ideas and concerns in mind. It is my hope that we can make affordable, comprehensive health coverage a reality for so many Americans who are currently struggling to pay their medical bills, and make ends meet. In the meantime, you can track this and other legislation at http://www.thomas.gov.

    My best wishes to you.

    Sincerely,
    A
    HARRY REID
    United States Senator
    Nevada

    HR:gd

    • I wonder if this is Reid’s daughter?

      A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and
      > > one night he’s doing his show. With his dummy on his
      > > knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blonde
      > > jokes when a blond woman in the 4th row stands on her
      > > chair and starts shouting:
      > >
      > > > I’ve heard enough of your stupid blonde
      > > jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype women
      > > that way? What does the colour of a person’s hair
      > > have to do with her worth as a human being? Its men
      > > like you who keep women like me from being respected
      > > at work and in the community, and from reaching our
      > > full potential as people. You and your kind continue
      > > to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes,
      > > but women in general…and all in the name of
      > > humour!’
      > > >
      > >
      > > > The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to
      > > personally apologize, and the blonde yells,
      > > ‘You stay out of this! I’m talking to that
      > > little bastard on your lap!’
      >
      G!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Damn G, I just put that down at the bottom of the page. You beat me to it. Should have looked up higher.

        Hope you’re doing good today.

        • Doing well for the most part. Been reading along today, it don’t look good in the future. I wonder what’s going to happen when welfare checks become worthless? Are they going to eat their drugs? Each other? There will only be so much to steal, it just won’t last. They don’t even want to go into the country, they’d be buried there.

          Oh well, guess we might find out soon enough.

          G!

          • Judy Sabatini says:

            I think we may see riots and looting coming if things get as bad as they say it will. I think there will be nothing but utter chaos in the future.

            If it gets like it did in the 30’s, then I wonder!

  36. I’ll tell you what is crazy about Brown’s victory in MA … that any group of voters would turn out for someone who is a proponent of further bank deregulation … WTF?

    The Dems today couldn’t act more in tune with “deregulation” … they haven’t passed a single oversight bill since the so-called “crisis” (which we all bailed the banks out of and promptly had the spigots turned off in our faces).

    You whacky righties 🙂 …

    Seriously, it was a rejection of Obama and I could care less about the fillibuster nonsense … the bottom line, like always, is the Dems had more than enough power to get SOMETHING done and they’ve managed to do NOTHING. President Fredo’s first term looks a lot more like President Moron’s (Bush) third term …

    I’m liking the Colts this week but will be rooting for the Aints (unless they can’t play defense, then I don’t care if they get blown out).

    • Charlie Stella”

      “I’ll tell you what is crazy about Brown’s victory in MA … that any group of voters would turn out for someone who is a proponent of further bank deregulation … WTF?”

      That is exactly what is needed. But NOT by itself. It has to be coupled with KILLING THE FED.

      You can regulate the banks all you want but if you don’t fix the monetary policy problems, and debt along with it, you will have no effect. Massive financial failures will continue.

      Speculation is largly driven by those who need to beat the Fed’s game in order to get ahead. Work and savings no longer pay, thanks to inflation rot and taxation. So find new games to make more money.

      You guys hung up on bankers greed need to start looking deeper.

      Remember, righties are right and lefties by logic must therefore be wrong.

      Colts by 17
      JAC

      • “Remember, righties are right and lefties by logic must therefore be wrong.”

        Not if you use a mirror.

        They (banks) had their casino moment and lost … we refueld them … now what? We’re letting them back in the casino.

        More deregulation means the table limits come off …

        We should’ve hung those responsible … hung as in by the neck, then moved off to the courtyard and assembled Congress (both sides of the aisle) and shot them for letting it all happen.

        There were no stipulations tied to that money (our money) … it was given away … then they got a $38 billion tax break (the bailed out companies did).

        What a joke.

        Colts by 13

  37. Judy Sabatini says:

    > A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and
    > > one night he’s doing his show. With his dummy on his
    > > knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blonde
    > > jokes when a blond woman in the 4th row stands on her
    > > chair and starts shouting:
    > >
    > > > I’ve heard enough of your stupid blonde
    > > jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype women
    > > that way? What does the colour of a person’s hair
    > > have to do with her worth as a human being? Its men
    > > like you who keep women like me from being respected
    > > at work and in the community, and from reaching our
    > > full potential as people. You and your kind continue
    > > to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes,
    > > but women in general…and all in the name of
    > > humour!’
    > > >
    > >
    > > > The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to
    > > personally apologize, and the blonde yells,
    > > ‘You stay out of this! I’m talking to that
    > > little bastard on your lap!’
    >

  38. v. Holland says:

    The Geezers’ Crusade

    By DAVID BROOKS
    Published: February 1, 2010

    We like to think that in days gone by, the young venerated the elderly. But that wasn’t always so. In “As You Like It,” Shakespeare’s morose character, Jaques, calls old age “second childishness and mere oblivion.” Walt Whitman hoped that the tedium and pettiness of his senior years would not infect his poetry.

    Developmental psychologists, when they treated old age at all, often regarded it as a period of withdrawal. The elderly slowly separate themselves from the world. They cannot be expected to achieve new transformations. “About the age of fifty,” Freud wrote, “the elasticity of the mental processes on which treatment depends is, as a rule, lacking. Old people are no longer educable.”

    Well, that was wrong. Over the past few years, researchers have found that the brain is capable of creating new connections and even new neurons all through life. While some mental processes — like working memory and the ability to quickly solve math problems — clearly deteriorate, others do not. Older people retain their ability to remember emotionally nuanced events. They are able to integrate memories from their left and right hemispheres. Their brains reorganize to help compensate for the effects of aging.

    A series of longitudinal studies, begun decades ago, are producing a rosier portrait of life after retirement. These studies don’t portray old age as surrender or even serenity. They portray it as a period of development — and they’re not even talking about über-oldsters jumping out of airplanes.

    People are most unhappy in middle age and report being happier as they get older. This could be because as people age they pay less attention to negative emotional stimuli, according to a study by the psychologists Mara Mather, Turhan Canli and others.

    Gender roles begin to merge. Many women get more assertive while many men get more emotionally attuned. Personalities often become more vivid as people become more of what they already are. Norma Haan of the University of California, Berkeley, and others conducted a 50-year follow-up of people who had been studied while young and concluded that the subjects had become more outgoing, self-confident and warm with age.

    The research paints a comforting picture. And the nicest part is that virtue is rewarded. One of the keys to healthy aging is what George Vaillant of Harvard calls “generativity” — providing for future generations. Seniors who perform service for the young have more positive lives and better marriages than those who don’t. As Vaillant writes in his book “Aging Well,” “Biology flows downhill.” We are naturally inclined to serve those who come after and thrive when performing that role.

    The odd thing is that when you turn to political life, we are living in an age of reverse-generativity. Far from serving the young, the old are now taking from them. First, they are taking money. According to Julia Isaacs of the Brookings Institution, the federal government now spends $7 on the elderly for each $1 it spends on children.

    Second, they are taking freedom. In 2009, for the first time in American history, every single penny of federal tax revenue went to pay for mandatory spending programs, according to Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute. As more money goes to pay off promises made mostly to the old, the young have less control.

    Third, they are taking opportunity. For decades, federal spending has hovered around 20 percent of G.D.P. By 2019, it is forecast to be at 25 percent and rising. The higher tax rates implied by that spending will mean less growth and fewer opportunities. Already, pension costs in many states are squeezing education spending.

    In the private sphere, in other words, seniors provide wonderful gifts to their grandchildren, loving attention that will linger in young minds, providing support for decades to come. In the public sphere, they take it away.

    I used to think that political leaders could avert fiscal suicide. But it’s now clear change will not be led from Washington. On the other hand, over the past couple of years we’ve seen the power of spontaneous social movements: first the movement that formed behind Barack Obama, and now, equally large, the Tea Party movement.

    Spontaneous social movements can make the unthinkable thinkable, and they can do it quickly. It now seems clear that the only way the U.S. is going to avoid an economic crisis is if the oldsters take it upon themselves to arise and force change. The young lack the political power. Only the old can lead a generativity revolution — millions of people demanding changes in health care spending and the retirement age to make life better for their grandchildren.

    It may seem unrealistic — to expect a generation to organize around the cause of nonselfishness. But in the private sphere, you see it every day. Old people now have the time, the energy and, with the Internet, the tools to organize.

  39. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hit Middle Class’ Story Linked By Drudge Report
    Gillian Reagan | Feb. 2, 2010, 12:00 PM | 6,439 | comment 24
    Print
    Tags: News, Money Media, Economy, Barack Obama, Regulation, Federal Reserve, Media

    stock broker chart down market arrow loss fail bear crash panic stocks traderThe lead story at DrudgeReport.com as of 11:30 a.m. this morning was “**REUTERS: Backdoor taxes to hit middle class.” But Reuters withdrew the article last night. Drudge noted the change and wrote: “**REUTERS pulls tax story…” then added another link to the top left margin: “Largest-ever federal payroll to hit 2.15 million employees…”

    So what happened?

    According to a Reuters rep, the was withdrawn “due to significant errors of fact.”

    “The story was wrong on multiple points and should not have gone out,” she emailed us. A formal withdrawal will issued will address specific points that were incorrect later today.

    UPDATE: A White House offical told Talking Points Memo that administration aides appealed to Reuters to take it down.

    The original link lead clickers to an article posted on Monday, Feb. 1 at 4:09 p.m. which reads, in part:

    While the administration is focusing its proposal on eliminating tax breaks for individuals who earn $250,000 a year or more, middle-class families will face a slew of these backdoor increases.

    Millions of middle-class households already may be facing higher taxes in 2010 because Congress has failed to extend tax breaks that expired on January 1, most notably a “patch” that limited the impact of the alternative minimum tax. The AMT, initially designed to prevent the very rich from avoiding income taxes, was never indexed for inflation. Now the tax is affecting millions of middle-income households, but lawmakers have been reluctant to repeal it because it has become a key source of revenue.

    At 8:07 p.m. last night, Reuters posted another article: “The story Backdoor taxes to hit middle class has been withdrawn. A replacement story will run later in the week.”

  40. v. Holland says:

    I hate to be judgemental 🙂 but some of these people need to go to jail.

    Steve Janke: More unsettling science in the global warming camp
    Posted: January 29, 2010, 2:15 PM by NP Editor
    Remember how I said that we would be witness to scientists abandoning global warming orthodoxy in an attempt to regain lost credibility?

    That the global warming dogma — that the question of global warming was “settled science” and that carbon dioxide emissions from human activity was dramatically warming the planet — would be challenged with new research, research that would not be suppressed?

    Turns out I was right.

    NASA and NOAA are organizations from which many of true believers in the global warming religion have come, and they’ve played a critical role in providing the scientific-sounding justification for the worst of the alarmist predictions. But now scientists from NOAA have published research in Science that challenges the core assumptions of the global warming camp:

    An increase in atmospheric water vapor is responsible for at least a third of the average temperature increase since the early 1990s, say scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Susan Soloman, the respected climate scientist who lead the research, says that this finding does not undermine man-made global warming theories. “Not to my mind it doesn’t,” she said. Soloman did point out thatthe research does allude to human emissions having a much smaller role in climate change than previously thought, and serves as a warning to climate modelers who “over-interpret the results from a few years one way or another.” Despite Soloman’s personally held belief, the NOAA study is expected to give further ammunition to climate skeptics working to draw public attention to perceived flaws in man-made global warming theories.

    Soloman is careful to be polite to the global warming believers, but a few months ago, this research would not had even seen the light of day. We know from the Climategate emails that climatologists had conspired to suppress research that challenged the orthodoxy. Apparently they’re not able to do that any longer.

    Soloman has opened the door by saying in no uncertain terms that the fundamental assumption in global warming dogma, that carbon dioxide is the most important factor in global warming, is simply not true:

    Soloman did point out that the research does allude to human emissions having a much smaller role in climate change than previously thought…

    Well, isn’t that we’ve been saying all along? Isn’t that a statement that guaranteed you the label of “denier”?

    Soloman is also making reference to my prediction — that scientists are now running, not walking, away from the global warming camp:

    Soloman did mention that many scientists are now accepting, testing, and sometimes embracing skeptic research, and that the NOAA report is proof of that. “What I will say, is that this shows there are climate scientists round the world who are trying very hard to understand and to explain to people openly and honestly what has happened over the last decade.” Soloman co-chaired the last climate change assessment report prepared by the United Nations IPCC, but did not personally oversee the controversial Himalayan section.

    Openly and honestly? Is she suggesting in a backhand way that this is a change from previous behaviour?

    If she thought things had been open and honest until now, she wouldn’t have had to make a point of mentioning it.

    Susan Soloman is just one scientist, and this is just one paper. But it’s like the first pebble skipping down a hillside ahead of an avalanche. The avalanche will follow very, very quickly.

    The science itself is curious. Soloman suggests that there is a negative feedback loop that keeps carbon dioxide from altering temperature all too much:

    Soloman said it was not clear if the drier atmosphere, which the NOAA report says is the reason global warming fell flat over the last decade, is a natural process or came to be due to human emissions. If the latter is true, carbon dioxide emissions would actually be responsible for a negative feedback that cancels at least some of the warming it causes by pushing water vapor back to the surface of the earth and out of the stratosphere, where it acts as a potent greenhouse gas. According to the report, a 10% decrease in atmospheric water vapor alone was responsible for a 25% drop in predicted temperature increase.

    This would explain what the global warming alarmists refuse to even mention, and that is that there is evidence that carbon dioxide levels have been much higher in the far past, even during times of global glaciation.

    But the best part is the not-so-subtle hint that these scientists are not counting themselves among the warmists any longer:

    The research, facilitated by a state-of-the-art NASA satellite codenamed AIRS, suggests that water vapor is responsible for twice the global warming effect of carbon dioxide, both man-made and naturally occurring. While this theory was has been carried by climate change skeptics for some time, global warming advocates dismissed them, saying that water vapor in the atmosphere was only a feedback effect caused by human emissions. NASA scientist Eric Fetzer say that the new study created models much more accurate to past events than those previously used byclimate change advocates, and proves that “water vapor is the big player in the atmosphere as far as climate is concerned.”

    I thought the previous models were used by scientists. But no, according to Eric Fetzer, those models were used by climate change advocates.

    It’s us versus them. This is a new dynamic. It is a clear indication of the split.

    The scientists’ models are better than the warmists’ models. Our model says correctly that water vapor is the big player, while your model says (incorrectly) that carbon dioxide is the sole driver.

    Wow.

    The split has come. The real scientists are no longer counting themselves among the global warming alarmists and are saying so out loud. And they are challenging the warmists with new research.

    The avalanche is coming.

    What’s next? Hey, let’s go with another prediction. If the scientists start to shift dramatically away from the global warming orthodoxy, I expect we’ll be seeing the editorialists next. I expect that in some short time frame, columnists and pundits who have been cheerleaders for the warmist camp will start issuing semi-apologies. They’ll admit to having been perhaps a smidge too keen on believing everything the IPCC had been saying, and a touch too cavalier when it came to mocking the skeptics. They’ll take cover behind research like this, saying that it’s only now that it can be said that maybe the skeptics were on to something. Whatever. In any case, we’ll see if that happens. If and when it does, I’ll issue my next prediction.

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/01/29/steve-janke-more-unsettling-science-in-the-global-warming-camp.aspx

    • I won’t hold back here at all! 🙂

      These AGW scientists adn Al (I’m a real asshole) Gore should join Congress on Charlies firing line. They attempted probably the biggest worldwide fraud in the history of mankind and should be held totally accountable.

      I won’t jump on those who believed this BS called AGW, I will ask them politely to look at the real scientific evidence, not the media hyped, progressive pushed, environmentalist propaganda. They lied to everyone!

      G!

      • v. Holland says:

        I really wonder if a case could be brought against them. They have certainly been unethical and have lied or exaggerated(which I assume would be the word their attorneys would use) but is that enough to prosecute them.

  41. Judy Sabatini says:

    Man is not free unless government is limited.
    Ronald Reagan

  42. I found this article on 20 reasons why the U.S. economy is dying and is not going to recover.

    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/economic-black-hole-20-reasons-why-the-us-economy-is-dying-and-is-simply-not-going-to-recover_01242010

    • Good find! 🙂

      I wonder if there are any articles that have something to say that is GOOD for our future economy? Maybe Matt, Buck, Ray or Charlie can find them. Todd and Chris as well. Hope I didn’t miss anyone 😆

      G!

  43. Judy Sabatini says:

    Intelligence Officials Warn Attempted Al Qaeda Attack Months Away

    FOXNews.com

    The terrorist organization is deploying operatives to the United States to carry out new attacks from inside the country, CIA Director Leon Panetta told Congress

    WASHINGTON — Al Qaeda can be expected to attempt an attack on the United States in the next three to six months, senior U.S. intelligence officials told Congress Tuesday.

    The terrorist organization is deploying operatives to the United States to carry out new attacks from inside the country, including “clean” recruits with a negligible trail of terrorist contacts, CIA Director Leon Panetta said. Al Qaeda is also inspiring homegrown extremists to trigger violence on their own, Panetta added.

    The annual assessment of the nation’s terror threats provided no startling new terror trends, but amplified growing concerns since the Christmas Day airline attack in Detroit that militants are growing harder to detect and moving more quickly in their plots.

    “The biggest threat is not so much that we face an attack like 9/11. It is that Al Qaeda is adapting its methods in ways that oftentimes make it difficult to detect,” Panetta told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    Al Qaeda is increasingly relying on new recruits with minimal training and simple devices to carry out attacks, the CIA chief said as part of the annual assessment of national threats provided to Congress by the top five U.S. intelligence officials.

    Panetta also warned of the danger of extremists acting alone: “It’s the lone-wolf strategy that I think we have to pay attention to as the main threat to this country,” he said.

    The hearing comes just over a month since a failed attempt to bring down an airliner in Detroit by a Nigerian suspect. And the assessment follows only a few months since U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hassan is accused of single-handedly attacking his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13.

    Director of National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair described Hassan as homegrown extremist. He also said that Al Qaeda can be expected to continue and try to attack the United States until Osama bin Laden and his No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, are dead.

    The U.S. still does not know the intended targets of suspected terrorist Najibullah Zazi, who was arrested in September and charged with plotting to attack New York City with homemade bombs, Blair said.

    Blair warned as well of a growing cyber threat, saying computer-related attacks have become dynamic and malicious.

    Obama has promised to make cyber security a priority in his administration, but the president’s new budget asks for a decrease in funds for the Homeland Security Department’s cybersecurity division.

    The government’s first quadrennial homeland security review states high consequence and large-scale cyberattacks could massively disable or hurt international financial, commercial and physical infrastructure.

    The report, obtained by The Associated Press, said these types of cyberattacks could cripple the movement of people and goods around the world and bring vital social and economic programs to a halt.

  44. Judy Sabatini says:

    Watchdog Groups Slam Capitol Architect for $690 Million Budget Request

    FOXNews.com

    The Architect of the Capitol, which oversees maintenance of the sprawling Capitol complex buildings and grounds, has requested a 15 percent increase over last year in the fiscal 2011 federal budget — at a time when President Obama and Congress are calling for government-wide spending restraint.

    The nation’s Capitol is falling apart. That’s what it looks like in the budget, anyway.

    The office of Architect of the Capitol, which oversees maintenance of the sprawling Capitol complex buildings and grounds, has requested a 15 percent increase over last year in the fiscal 2011 federal budget — at a time when President Obama and Congress are calling for government-wide spending restraint.

    The ambitious $690 million request has some government watchdogs shaking their heads, especially after the Capitol Visitor Center, which falls under that office, opened at the end of 2008 — four years late and $356 million over budget.

    “They’re unrepentant in terms of what they keep looking for, and now they don’t even have the Capitol Visitor Center to build,” said Thomas Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste. “Clearly the architect has not gotten the message about a spending freeze.”

    Obama called for a three-year freeze on certain non-security spending in his State of the Union address last week. Many departments, including Commerce, Labor and State, are seeing a decrease in the president’s proposed budget, though the budget as a whole represents an increase over last year.

    But the Architect of the Capitol is requesting exceptionally high increases in certain areas. The budget requests $80 million for “maintenance, care and operation” of the U.S. Capitol building, more than double the $33 million for last year. The budget requests $101 million for “maintenance, care and operation” of the Library of Congress buildings and grounds, more than double the $46 million for last year.

    The office is also asking for $30 million over last year’s budget to work on Senate office buildings, though the request is $10 billion less than last year’s for the House side.

    Schatz said the architect’s office is “notorious” for asking for big increases — though the office typically doesn’t get all that it asks for.

    The office requested $645 million in the last budget and was approved for $602 million.

    Repeated attempts to reach a representative for Acting Architect Stephen Ayers for comment were unsuccessful.

    One representative told Roll Call that the office is trying to get out from under a “backlog of deferred” repairs.

    Sandra Fabry, government affairs manager with Americans for Tax Reform, said that despite the need for repairs, “now is certainly not the time” for big-ticket budget requests.

    “There is just no way that an increase of such proportions can be considered reasonable given the dire straits we’re in fiscally,” she said. “They’ve seen massive increases in funding in the past.”

    The $602 million the office was budgeted for in 2010 marked a 14 percent increase over its $530 million amount from the year before.

    The office has faced the ire of lawmakers over the years for blowing through money on the Capitol Visitor Center, a project that started in 2000. The project was delayed and bloated due to post-Sept. 11 security changes as well as other adjustments.

  45. Judy Sabatini says:

    The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight?

    By KT McFarland

    – FOXNews.com

    Are the folks running President Obama’s homeland security team just goof-ups in a new administration finding its balance? Or are they clueless about the War on Terror?

    When President Obama took office I had high hopes for his national security team – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. James Jones. But on the Homeland Security front it’s been Ready, Fire……Oops……. Aim.

    Remember when the president promised to shut Guantanamo within his first year in office? it’s been a lot more difficult than he thought and one year later Gitmo’s still open for business.

    When the Christmas Day bomber got off the plane in Detroit, he was bragging and “babbling like a brook,” according to former Attorney General Mukasey. But after a mere 50 minutes, the Justice Department stepped in and read him his Miranda rights, including the “right to remain silent.” So he got lawyered up, and then he clammed up. We never got to interrogate him adequately about those Yemeni terrorist training camps he spent months at, or about he about what other terrorists might be headed our way. We didn’t even find out who sewed the explosives into his underwear!

    The Obama administration claims Umar Abdulmutallab was thoroughly interrogated and all the relevant agencies were part of the process. Yet the heads of homeland security, national intelligence, and the FBI all swore under oath that they hadn’t been consulted in advance.

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced his decision to try the mastermind of the Sept 11 terror attacks in lower Manhattan without consulting NYPD Chief Kelly or Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who heard about it from the press. Now they’ve asked the Attorney General to move the trial out of New York, rather than put whole section of the city under virtual lockdown for the better part of a year to protect the courthouse and jail — all to the tune of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

    Are these folks goof-ups and just a new administration finding its balance? Or are they indicative of a White House that sees terrorists as isolated extremists who belong in civilian courts rather than enemy combatants?

  46. When I look for some hope for our future, I turn to music. Her’s a nice song to think about as we head towards a new day!

  47. Judy Sabatini says:
  48. Judy Sabatini says:

    Unemployment Rises in Most Metro Areas

    AP

    The metro employment numbers aren’t seasonally adjusted and can be volatile. Many of the increases were due to seasonal factors.

    WASHINGTON — Unemployment rose in most cities and counties in December, signaling that companies remain reluctant to hire even as the economy recovers.

    The unemployment rate rose in 306 of 372 metro areas, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The rate fell in 41 and was unchanged in 25. That’s worse than November, when the rate fell in 170 areas, rose in only 154 and was unchanged in 48.

    The metro employment numbers aren’t seasonally adjusted and can be volatile. Many of the increases were due to seasonal factors.

    For example, Ocean City, N.J., which bills itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” saw its unemployment rate jump to 16.4 percent in December from 14.8 percent the previous month.
    That’s double the 8 percent it reported in July, even though the nation’s economy was in worse shape then.

    Ocean City is one of the 19 metro areas that reported unemployment rates of at least 15 percent. Twelve of those are in California and three are in Michigan, the department said.

    Joblessness topped 10 percent in 138 metro areas, up from 125 in November but below last year’s peak of 144 areas in June.

    Improvement in the auto industry, meanwhile, saw unemployment rates drop in the metro areas around Detroit and Warren, Mich. Automakers and auto parts companies have recalled workers in recent months as they seek to replenish inventories depleted by the “Cash for Clunkers” program, which caused a jump in car sales in August.

    The Detroit area saw unemployment fall to 15.7 percent from 16.4 percent, while the Warren area reported a drop to 14.3 percent from 14.8 percent. While still high, the rates are down about 2 percentage points from last fall.

    Steve Cochrane, a regional economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said it isn’t clear if the gains are sustainable once the auto companies have rebuilt their inventories.

    “There are no guarantees the unemployment rates won’t go up again,” he said.

    The U.S. economy benefited heavily in the fourth quarter from inventory changes. Companies ramped up production and reduced inventories less in the October to December period, which accounted for about two-thirds of the 5.7 percent growth in the economy during that period.

    Nationwide, the unemployment rate was 10 percent in December, unchanged from the previous month, as employers shed 85,000 jobs. The Labor Department will report January figures on Friday, and economists expect a gain of 5,000 jobs and a slight increase in the unemployment rate to 10.1 percent.

    In the past year, unemployment rose in almost all of the 372 metro areas tracked by the report, except one: Troubled Elkhart, Ind., saw its jobless rate fall to 14.8 percent in December 2009 from 16 percent a year earlier.

    Unemployment in Elkhart and the surrounding region in northern Indiana soared during the recession after many recreational vehicle manufacturers laid off workers and in some cases closed their doors. President Barack Obama visited Elkhart twice last year.

    Recently, the area has attracted several electric car manufacturers, including Think North America, a subsidiary of Norwegian-based Think Global. The company plans to sell electric cars in the United States later this year.

    Think North America said last month it will open a factory in Elkhart in a former RV plant, potentially creating 415 full-time jobs by 2013.

    The lowest unemployment rates are in the upper plains states, with Fargo, N.D. reporting the nation’s lowest rate, at 4 percent, followed by Grand Forks, N.D., and Lincoln, Neb., at 4.1 percent each.

    The highest rate is in El Centro, Calif., with 27.7 percent, followed by Merced, Calif., at 19.8 percent. El Centro is heavily agricultural and has many seasonal farm workers that are frequently unemployed. Its jobless rate is down from 33.1 percent in August.

  49. Judy Sabatini says:

  50. Judy Sabatini says:

    This is the plane my dad flew in during WWII, I have pictures of him standing in front of this same plane.

  51. Judy Sabatini says:

    Here is another picture of the plane my dad flew in during WWII Called the Fuddy Duddy

    http://www.usaf.com/airshowphotos-fuddyduddy.htm

  52. Judy Sabatini says:
  53. Ron Paul warns of Coming Social and Political Chaos

    http://eclipptv.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=9810

    • Well said!

      Just wonder if the line of no return has already been crossed, which I think it has. What’s left?

      G!

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        What he says makes sense, it’s simple, but then, that’s not the way Washington runs though is it?

  54. Judy Sabatini says:

    I heard on the news tonight, they said they were going to raise interest rates on credit cards, and if you’re 21 and younger, you have to have your parents co-sign for you. Anybody else hear that?

  55. Judy Sabatini says:

    Good night all and pleasant dreams

    Judy

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