The Audacity of Hope and Change… Lost?

Before I begin tonight’s article, let me just say that I really enjoyed watching the Super Bowl this evening. I was rooting for the Saints (Baltimore Raven fans do not root for the Colts… ever). I was impressed with how they played. The best compliment that I can give them is that from about the middle of the second quarter on, it was easy to completely forget that Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of our generation. And the onside kick to start the second half was a brilliant call. So congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and to the city of New Orleans. That city deserved something good happening for it. For tonight’s article, I want to throw out there the question of what has gone wrong with the Obama administration’s plans for America. I think that it is a fair statement to say that, thus far, the Obama Presidency has been a complete failure. It’s been over a year. No longer can we blame Bush or claim that we need to give him time. We can see that the first year has been a complete failure. The question is why?

What spawned this article for me was a piece that I was reading from the Financial Times written by Edward Luce. The article talks about the very small inner core of the administration: Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, David Axlerod, and Robert Gibbs. Luce describes them as the Chicago group (even though Gibbs is from Alabama). The article discusses how this inner group treats the rest of the administration like peons, has the bulk of the President’s ear, and cannot get out of campaign mode. Luce’s conclusion seems to be that these four are the root of the problem for the Obama administration. It is an interesting article that I highly suggest that everyone read. As well, there is a good piece from Steve Clemons on the Huffington Post that I read that discusses the same issue and talks about Clemon’s own personal observations on the four, including a recalling of Valerie Jarrett blowing off a scheduled speaking engagement claiming White House emergency then being found shortly after at Cafe Milano in DC. You can find these two articles here:

FT.com / Comment / Analysis – America: A fearsome foursome

Steve Clemons: Core Chicago Team Sinking Obama Presidency

I am not going to lay all the blame on this group. I will say that I imagine that they are a big part of the problem. If they are treating people wrong, they will make it difficult to get anything done in Washington DC. But further, if they are the core that provides the bulk of Obama’s advice, then they get a good part of the blame because it is the actions of the administration that I feel are a major contributor to its failure.

So let’s start with why I feel that the administration is thus far a failure. I will start with the fact the despite whatever actions the administration has taken, they have been unable to stop the bloodflow on key issues that they campaigned on. Those issues would be the economy, the runaway corruption in the financial sector, health care, transparency, partisan bickering (a new change in the way DC works if you remember), foreign relations, environmental concerns, and

I think he has been a failure in almost all of those areas. The economy has gotten worse and worse, far surpassing the numbers that they promised the stimulus would prevent. Of course, as I pointed out when it was passed, the stimulus bill was nothing but a left leaning agenda bill, and that it would do nothing to stimulate the economy. So no surprise that it didn’t work, and given that it is the only action he has really taken, no surprise that the economy has continued in its freefall, despite the ridiculous claims every other month that things are “turning around.” The financial sector madness has continued to follow suit. The “too big to fail” banks have gotten bigger. The financial groups that do what the administration wants get free passes and give away massive bonuses while those that don’t get publicly scorned and attacked by Congress. The Federal Reserve, at the heart of our economic troubles, continues unabated and does whatever it likes, including lending tons of money that it refuses to identify who got it or why.

Health care has been a joke. The back room deals, lobbyist influence, partisan games and exclusion, the “I won” mentality, and the focus on burying the insurance companies all played into this. Although the Tea Party movement, an unexpected twist, has heavily contributed to his failure here. Foreign relations haven’t improved, mainly because nothing has changed except the number of apologies and token gifts that show little thought or respect. We continue our assault on the world. And countries such as China, Russia, and Venezuela actually think less of us now than they did a year ago.

As for changing the way that Washington works, it has become far more of the same instead of a change we can believe in. Transparency was a gigantic part of the campaign message. Instead we have had perhaps the least transparent administration that I can recall in my lifetime. Follow that with a very NOT transparent Congress. Partisanship has increased dramatically over the last three years, and the year following the promise to curb it has seen nothing but an escalation of it. This is perhaps the most divided political America in a very long time.

Environmental concerns I cannot blame on the President. He just happened to be the guy in charge as the man-made global warming train has jumped the tracks. You can’t blame him for the fact that the major players in the hoax have been exposed manipulating and hiding data. But it is worth noting that even before this happened, he was unable to get the Cap and Trade bill passed (Fortunately for all of us).

So in my opinion the Obama administration has thus far been a massive failure in accomplishing the things promised on the campaign trail. The question is why?

I will offer a few of my thoughts on the things that I have seen and then allow everyone else to weigh in. Allow me to first say that the major reason that this administration has failed is that they have either failed to follow through or outright changed course on many of the campaign promises that got him elected. He has thus given a massive amount of ammunition to the very people intent on destroying him. It only took a couple of months to see that many of the campaign promises he made, he had absolutely no intention of actually doing. Operating in a bi-partisan fashion and transparency are a great example. A better one is the promise, and continued claim, that taxes would not be increased on most Americans. Cap and Trade would have been a major tax. Things such as the raising of the cigarette tax play in as well. Folks can spin it any way they want, and the administration attempts to. But Americans are not really that stupid. They know better. And they see the increases despite the spin.

The constant spin and constant dishonesty that is coming from both the Obama administration and the Democratically controlled Congress is another major problem. As I said, many Americans are now accustomed to the spin and thus don’t fall for it. You can’t tell us that things are better when we can see that they aren’t. You can’t continue to throw the climate change spin out there when the public has seen for themselves that it was all wrong. You can’t tell us you are on our side against the financial industry and the big business in America when we can see that both are heavy contributors and have full access and complete power over your administration. When you do you simply lose credibility. And therein is the biggest problem for the administration. Despite an eloquent speaker, they have lost all credibility with the American people. That is a big problem when your entire campaign was run on the vague concept of “hope and change” and a promise that you would be different, more open and honest.

Arrogance has been another issue. The President simply has an “I Won” mentality. Because of this, he believes that he has a mandate, and therefore doesn’t need to work at getting things done. He simply believed he could step in and change Washington. The charm works on the average voter, but it doesn’t work on the hardened hearts in Washington DC. I believe that the President really thought he would waltz in and simply dictate that things would be different and it would happen. Unfortunately, that is a pipe dream.

I think one of the biggest issues for this administration is that Americans simply do not share the President’s vision for what America is or what it should be. For example, the past year has seen a MASSIVE increase in the size and scope of the federal government. Bailouts and government intrusion into the private market have happened at an unprecedented rate, and despite the fact that Americans want to be taken care of, they are not so keen on the idea of government getting bigger. The number of federal employees is larger than any time in history. Government has over and over used populist appeal to intrude into Private industry on the guise of protecting the people. This has happened so often and so fast over the last year that the American people have become concerned. We don’t want a bigger government. We don’t want to end capitalism. We don’t want government “solutions” to every problem, whether real or invented. yet, this administration has pressed forward in doing so.

And the biggest mistake of all has been that the President has done an extremely poor job of explaining what is happening to the American people. Whether it is health care, financial sector control, foreign relations, or national defense, the President has not taken the time to sell us on the ideas and why the steps that he is taking are the right ones to take. Now my own personal belief is that this happens because the President and his administration are not really all that interested in really helping the American people. You will never get a fisherman to buy into why purchasing a car for his next fishing trip is the right move. These bills and actions will not help the American people, and that is why he doesn’t try to explain them. Even HE can’t convince us that the current health care reforms are good for the people.

Those are some of my thoughts. I will save the rest for the discussions here today and tomorrow. I have some other big ones, but I am not interested in simply convincing you that I am right. I would rather hear what you think the reasons are, and then we can weigh them together.

But let me say up front, because I saw the discussion the other day about this, that I don’t think that the President is an “evil” man, at least not any more evil than the rest of the politicians in DC. I do think he knows exactly what he is doing and he knows what he is trying to accomplish. And while the outcome is intentional, I really do believe that he thinks he is doing the right things. He wants to move us to a more socialist/fascist state. That is his intention. But I don’t think it is because he wants to “destroy America.” I think it is because he really does buy into the crazy notion that socialism/fascism is better than the Republic that we have. He thinks it will be more fair and better for everyone. I believe he is batshit crazy for thinking so. But it doesn’t, at least in my opinion, come from a belief in his heart that he wants to do something bad.

So what do you think are the reasons that this administration has thus far been a failure.

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Comments

  1. Ray Hawkins says:

    “A complete failure” – after what – 1/4 of the administration?

    History usually judges success/failure

    Glad the Saints didn’t mail it in after their first quarter last night – you wouldn’t be congratulating them on a ‘win’. Hopefully even the casual fan didn’t shut the game off after the first quarter – they’d have missed a helluva game by the Saints (sorry – this hit piece just begs the sports analogy you set it up for).

    Anyway – cheers as you go on. One can only read yet another angle on why we suck so bad w/o so much as a viable alternative before you wonder why the hell start your day off this way.

    • Ray,

      USW said “thus far a massive failure”

      “So in my opinion the Obama administration has thus far been a massive failure in accomplishing the things promised on the campaign trail”

      Where do you get complete failure? Having an ESP moment? LOL

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Nah,

        That is one of those things we learned in Psych 101. It is called a Freudian slip.

        Ray, the truth will set you free!!!

    • USW saying “Failure” count: 8
      Not once does the text make it sound like it referred to anything that could be done in the next three years.

      At the end of the first paragraph “I think that it is a fair statement to say that, thus far, the Obama Presidency has been a complete failure. It’s been over a year. No longer can we blame Bush or claim that we need to give him time. We can see that the first year has been a complete failure.”

      USW also says “thus far a failure” three times.

      USW uses the word failure an additional three times.

      “they get a good part of the blame because it is the actions of the administration that I feel are a major contributor to its failure.”

      “Those issues would be the economy, the runaway corruption in the financial sector, health care, transparency, partisan bickering (a new change in the way DC works if you remember), foreign relations, environmental concerns, and I think he has been a failure in almost all of those areas.”

      “Although the Tea Party movement, an unexpected twist, has heavily contributed to his failure here.”

      • I should have went back and checked, my bad.

      • Thank you for doing a count, and for noting that I consistently said thus far a failure rather than the entire Presidency is a failure. That is an important distinction. What will the next three years bring? Who knows. But year one has been a failure.

        USW

    • Ray,

      I expected that this would be your angle. I knew the “its only been a year” statement would be made. I didn’t say the administration couldn’t turn it around. I said they have failed to follow through on any of the lofty campaign promises. His first year has been a complete failure, much like the Saints first quarter was a complete failure, since you like the football analogy.

      What you didn’t do, as usual, is address the questions asked in the article. WHY has this first year been such a failure? Because it has been, no matter how you try to spin it as meaningless. One can only read that each morning you attack the messenger or ignore the substance provided before one wonders why he is bothering to include the reasons for his opinion. I spent four or 5 paragraphs explaining why I think this first year is a failure. You refuted none of that and ignored the purpose of the article, answering the question of why. Instead you simply took one more opportunity to cast a jaded eye on whatever opinion I might have. Your choice, but not productive.

      USW

    • Ray,

      Since I have a moment now, allow me to compound on my earlier response. It is interesting that in taking issue with my article you copy and paste only a small part of a very thought out statement. You say “a complete failure” while ignoring what was actually said:

      I think that it is a fair statement to say that, thus far, the Obama Presidency has been a complete failure. It’s been over a year. No longer can we blame Bush or claim that we need to give him time. We can see that the first year has been a complete failure. The question is why?

      See how that changes completely the meaning of what is said, a reality that I am sure is not lost on someone as smart as you. So then you focus on your narrow interpretation by saying “after 1/4 of his administration”, ignoring all the rest of what I said. So I respond, no after 100% of his first year, which is what I claimed was the failure part.

      This leaves me with one of two scenarios: you either failed to accurately read the article or you intentionally cherry picked your statement as a way to avoid discussing the fact that the administration has thus far failed at doing the things they promised to do. I tend to lean towards #2 here, because that is becoming a regular thing for you when it comes to my articles. You tend to attempt to destroy the messenger rather than discuss the topic, for reasons unknown to me, because I tend to see you as a reasonable person willing to address the facts.

      So I will offer you the chance to recant and try again. I listed several areas where I feel the first year has been a complete failure (and I over and over say “thus far”, for the record). Do you wish to dispute that he is a failure for his first year based on those items I presented or based on other successes you might wish to point out? If not, do you wish to offer some alternative ideas about why he has been a failure in his first year? You are welcome to blame an obstructionist GOP or idiot Tea party protestors. You can even blame it on SUFA if you like.

      What I offered was a piece meant to open discussion on what has caused what seemed to be an unstoppable train to derail. I even ended by clearly stating that I don’t support the notion that he is evil. If comprehending what I am saying is difficult when starting out your day, perhaps you should wait until after lunch 😉

      Hope your today is starting of better than yesterday!

      USW

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        USW – first off, I must consider myself privileged that you’d reach out not once but twice – I suppose I have struck a nerve. Understand that I do not tend to distinguish between message and messenger – to me they are largely one in the same. Its like calling Keith Olbermann a liar because he lies. A liar lies no? Or, when a politician says something ‘racially insensitive’ or ‘charged’ is caught and called out on it and then dismisses it as if ‘those are just some dumb words I said, that really isn’t me’. When you post something that is factually incorrect then you are factually incorrect – you are writing your own thoughts, not reporting the thoughts of others absent commentary or interpretation. With respect to your Olbermann rant last week I took great pains to debate you on the merits of your argument (your argument actually had no merit so it was pretty easy – I suppose that is why you never responded or even bothered with the dismissive ‘you’re being argumentative’)

        So on we go…..

        Addressing the ‘core’ of your arguments

        USW Said: “I think that it is a fair statement to say that, thus far, the Obama Presidency has been a complete failure. It’s been over a year. No longer can we blame Bush or claim that we need to give him time. We can see that the first year has been a complete failure. The question is why?”

        Ray Says ~ Okay, good – so we’re on same page – you are assessing the Obama Presidency, to date, as a complete failure. And – just to check my math, 1/4 of his administration and his first year and ‘to date’ are really the same thing no?

        You point to the following as, I suppose, key indicators that Obama has been a complete failure in this time: economy, runaway corruption in the financial sector, health care, transparency, partisan bickering, foreign relations environmental concerns.

        So lets take these one by one shall we?

        The Economy – there are several points you generally offer here – none of which add up to debatable points. I have and will continue to lean on Politifact as they offer the best site I have seen thus far on assessing Obama’s promises and performance to date. In terms of key ‘promises’ with respect to the economy they track twenty different initiatives. Of those twenty he is rated as breaking one promise while being successful, in the works, or compromise achieved on the remaining 19. That feels pretty successful to me. On the ARRA – time and time again I hear the grousing, bitching and complaining about what the ARRA has and has not done. One thing I try to keep in mind is that the plan was not sold as changing everything/anything overnight. So I am baffled when I hear people such as your self, who profess to at least have functional understanding of macro- and micro-economics, scream that it has been a bloody failure. Moving to a more ‘what do I see’ – yes I still some fluctuations – my dollar doesn’t feel to go as far as it used to, but I do not feel or see things worsening. I hear less and less about folks being let go from work. I see more and more people re-tooling and re-educating to get back into the workforce. I hear people optimistic that we have turned a corner – even with nothing necessarily tangible to point to.

        Runaway Corruption in the Financial Sector – It isn’t clear what you meant here because your words don’t match up to this particular “failure”. POTUS has supported and advocated more aggressive legislation to bring about better safeguards and consume protections. The SEC is continually being pushed to self-examine as well as pursue the whys and what fors in the recent calamity. What is astonishing is that as someone who so vehemently opposes government intrusion and intervention you know gripe and whine that he has failed in not doing enough to control this. GIMMEE A BREAK!

        Health Care (Reform) – I also do not see why this is such a failure? Many of his promises are in the works. Is the failure that nothing is in place yet? Even I know that would be a dangerous thing – to implement such potential pervasive change overnight would likely be disastrous. This is no where near a done deal – which means it is neither a success (yet) or a failure (yet).

        Transparency – I think you are flat out wrong here sir – in fact, I could use your Olbermann Assessment Method and state that since you are intentionally leaving things out of this aspect of the debate you are therefore lying about Obama’s transparency. But I wouldn’t call you a liar USW. Let’s head back to Politifact for a moment. There are a total of thirty five transparency-related promises. Of these, 25 were assessed as kept/compromise/in-the-works, four as broken and six as stalled. Again – not a perfect success rate, but not even close to failed. I encourage you sir to rethink and recant.

        Partisan Bickering – I don’t disagree that partisan bickering is at an all time high perhaps – but to lay this solely and the feet of Obama is a failure in simple observation USW. When you have a Senator such as the esteemed Mister Shelby, intentionally holding up nominees so he get more pork for his State; when you have an opposing party whose leadership has a stated position of opposition no matter the cost, then partisanship will go up. Oddly, many people on the same board were just advocating Obama to use the bully pulpit even more.

        Foreign Relations – a big WOW here USW – maybe you should win the Ed Schultz Psycho-Talk award. The easy knee-jerk reaction by folks like yourself is to buy into the right wing media attacks that Obama is some sort of Apologist-in-Chief. There are many aspects to Foreign Relations and I am utterly dismayed that you’ve shown such a gross ineptness in this arena given your work history. SoS Clinton has been one of the most active SoS’ in history (I suggest you peruse State.gov a little before you gripe about us doing nothing in foreign relations – if they have failed at anything they do not market what they do enough – but remember – you don’t like chest thumping or campaigning). The actions we have taken in Haiti have been remarkable and something we should take at least a little pride in (the easy swipe here would be comparison to Katrina but I’ll leave that out). For S&G’s – on foreign relations promises – total count is 82, 59 were kept/compromise/in-the-works, 2 were broken and 21 are currently stalled. Not the grand slam numbers but most certainly not a failure.

        Environmental Concerns – you backtracked (I guess) and don’t call this a failure. I would go further and say there has been some marked success here, especially with the EPA and the yeoman work they are doing under the Clean Water Act.

        Addressing the underlying elements of your arguments…

        One thing I have pointed out to you numerous times, which you take great offense to and call me cherrypicker, is to identify the elements in your writing where you pass things off as fact in helping bolster your story and try to give it more credibility. I am not sure that is as intentional as the images you select for each story that help underscore or inflame depending on one’s perspective.

        For example, you state that: “The number of federal employees is larger than any time in history” – I would be really interested in the data points you use to make such a claim. Most sources I have checked either do not contain full 2009 data or the measurements are different based on job classification. In either event, I think you are making a claim that you cannot back up. But this is an easy way to build a picture that is not entirely accurate but helps support the erroneous statements littered throughout your post – or lies if I describe them the way you would.

        So thanks again for the pulpit – I look forward to your response although I consider it unlikely I will receive one.

        v/r

        Ray Hawkins

  2. Good morning all: have a couple days off from the oil field and going to get those taxes done today.

    Still wearing my Saints shirt, I guess the cold day in hell has finally arrived. What a great performance and I’m glad it wasn’t a 4-hour rememberance of Katrina.

    On the topic: The man came in promising all kinds of things, and IMO he hasn’t accomplished shit. Well, he did say he was going to Fundamentally Change America, so one of his 100 promises is being kept so far.

    We the People aren’t as stupid as the 535 think we are. We will throw the bums out, and hope we don’t just replace them with more bums. Sometimes the choice between the candidates is like whether you want your shit sandwich on white or wheat.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      “He hasn’t accomplished shit” and yet he has “fundamentally change[d] America”

      Not exactly sure how those two sentences go together Wasabi: As Ray said, its been 1 year, 1/4 of his presidency (possible 1/8 even). I agree that Obama hasn’t accomplished very much at all in the past year. So how is it that he has also succeeded in fundamentally changing America?

      • Buck

        I would put it this way.

        He hasn’t accomlished any of the lofty promises he made.

        He has fundamentally changed America through the budget (bailouts, stimulus,etc) and continued support of the FED’s actions. These changes are not as apparent today but will become very obvious soon.

        I think most people feel that change instinctively and thus you get the comments without obvious evidence today. But the gut feelings are deep and real, thus the comments.

        I do not expect him to stop his quest of “fundamental change”. So it will be very interesting to see how the cards are played this next year or two.

        As for the “its only been a year” let me remind you and Ray that the talking heads had declared Bush a failure by July of his first year because nothing had been done other than a tax refund.

        There is no one to blame for these judgments than the chattering class and that includes the politico’s of both sides.

        Happy Monday to You
        JAC

        • Buck The Wala says:

          How specifically has he fundamentally changed America?

          I’m trying to understand where you and others are coming from but just cannot see it. I don’t see how we are ‘marching towards socialism or fascism’. I don’t see how America has been fundamentally changed by Obama’s presidency (especially given the fact that he hasn’t accomplished that much at all).

          • Buck;

            It is not so much what Obama and his administration have done so far as much as it has to do with the foundation that was laid since FDR. It is a progressive movement to inact more and more government influence and control. Liberties and Freedoms have been continually eroded and/or removed by a group of elitists who have grown in numbers since FDR’s time.

            As their numbers and influnence have increased the people have continued to lose liberties.

            Obama and his followers/supporters were seated at a time in history when they, as a group, could accelerate the Progressive movement. It is just a numbers game.

            If this current regiem is allowed to continue as they initially planned then the repercussions will be historically devistating.

            The good news is that Obama has not accomplished as much as he set out to do, however his actions only demonstrate his relentless desire to do so.

            CM

          • Buck

            Re read my post please. Note, I said it hasn’t manifested itself yet. The changes will occur but it is not completely clear what they will be.

            Do you think our nation is going to remain unchanged considering the magnitude of our debt load?

            Or by the fact that govt has now established its ability to intervene in any business it deems fit, without interference by the courts?

            These changes have occured during this Admin and in some cases because of this Admin.

            What is not known is What the actual effect of those changes are yet. They might be able to push their fasciolist system the last mile needed to destroy the last remnants of a free nation. Or, this could all blow up in their face (progressive/socialis/fascist/statists) and be the catalysts for a new American revival. That would also be a fundamental change from where we have been for the past 100 or more years.

            Regardless, the Fundamental economic vitality of this nation has been altered significantly. Most don’t realize that the long term future does not look bright. Such a change will fundamentally change the nation. It is now hardwired. What we DON’T KNOW is just how it will manifest itself.

            Does that help any?

            JAC

            • Buck The Wala says:

              I took another look at your post and you were very careful to say that we do not know the magnitude of the changes or exactly what will transpire in the future.

              But you also said “He has fundamentally changed America through the budget (bailouts, stimulus,etc) and continued support of the FED’s actions.” This implies that we have crossed some line, that America has been changed, perhaps irrevocably so. Again, not seeing that as the case in the least.

              Will there be some changes given the economic climate? Of course, especially in the short term. But in the long term, its not so clear. Will these economic issues fundamentally change America as a whole? Very doubtful to me.

              • Buck

                Then I would say you have not grasped the magnitude of what has happened in the past 24 months. Yes, I said 24 not 12.

                As I said, some happened during and other things happened because of this Admin.

                So apparently you don’t see any major paradigm shift in the fact that our courts have now supported the notion that the federal govt can take over any business it determines a “problem”, impose its own managment team, control its finances and dictate its product lines?

                And that is not a fundamental change in your view?

              • Buck

                I forgot, and the feds can negate all contractual obligations, such as debt owed to bond holders.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                I never said I don’t see any problems. However, I don’t see these fundamental changes being spoken of.

              • Buck

                Lets try this.

                Would you agree that the USA was fundamentally changed after the Great Depression and WWII?

                If so, wouldn’t you think that it will occur again as a result of the disaster headed our way?

                For your assumption to be true we would have to somehow avoid the disaster. I do not think it possible, because of the inaction and action taken by this administration through the budgetary and monetary policy processes.

                Just because we can not predict the specific changes that will occur does not mean we can not reasonably predict “fundamental change” will occur. We have history on our side to show that it happens all the time.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Fundamental change may occur, fine. But to keep arguing that America has been fundamentally changed is just not true.

                Was America fundamentally changed in the years after the Depression and WWII? Yes (for the better in my opinion, though I wasn’t around in the years prior or in the immediate years after so can’t speak from personal experience here, just based on my own knowledge and what America is today)

                I don’t think there was any singular moment of change though. Its all very gradual, incremental steps.

                So I’ll ask again – how has this country been fundamentally changed in the past year? Two years?

              • Buck

                I gave you two examples of fundamental changes already made regarding govt take over of businesses and the power being excerted there.

                The Federal Reserve exceeded its statutory authority without any penalty or even a good ass chewing. It has still not figured out how to undo the mess it has created.

                All of these are visible changes to the system that existed prior to these events. Once out of the bottle these genies can not be put back. Hence, fundamental change.

                Just like the Govt’s bail out of Chrysler or the S&L Crisis caused a fundamental change in how Americans viewed govt invovlment in business. It meant that bigger intervention could be considered in the future. And it was.

                You keep asking for physical evidence. I have given you some pretty big ones. But the biggest is that our understanding and acceptance about what was acceptable has been crushed forever. The next time will be even bigger and better.

                The fundamental change has occured. What is missing is all the possible physical manifestations. That will take time to identify. Just like the poison injected in the housing market decades ago. Now we know how that changed the fundamentals of the market and how Americans conducted their financial affairs.

                If you don’t like my answers then perhaps you can tell me what you think is a “fundamental” change.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Its not that I don’t like your answers. They are actually very good instances of changes that have occurred.

                The jury is out as to whether or not the changes in law or authority (or however you wish to define what had occurred) will result in a fundamental change to this country.

                It seems though that the biggest change (for you) comes in the perception of others. I would agree that this shift in perception can be a fundamental change, and quite a scary one since (as I posted earlier) perception is not necessarily reality.

              • Buck

                It is not just change in “perception” but a change in our culture.

                It changes what is “acceptable” behavior by the govt and in turn changes what we believe is “appropriate” and “desirable” action by federal govt.

                These changes have occured incrementally but in steps not a slow continuum. This is the latest step, whether the last I do not know.

                So far each has been towards greater centralized federal control and less freedom.

                What I can’t tell yet is whether this latest change will awaken the people and create a backlash that sets us on a new course all together.

                Or if the financial crisis headed our way will result in the same thing or just push us farther down the tracks of totalitarianism.

      • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

        Buck,

        JAC and Common Man are on target., but I would like to add my 2 cents to the fray.

        Understand that unlike a lot of others, I have been there and walked the walk in low income, poverty stricken and crime wave America.

        In my opinion, the two best things that happened over the past 25 year were welfare reform and no child left behind. We have discussed welfare reform before and in a nutshell, it was and is my position that people need motivation to get off the dole. If it is free they,(and for that matter, I) will take it. It saps their energy and their humanity. despite the myriad warnings that we would have people starving in the streets, it never happened. tenants of mine got off their asses, got jobs and most importantly got self respect.

        Re: No child left behind. The moan and groan here from the left was we were teaching to the test. Yeah, so? At least we are teaching something which was one hell of a lot better than before. I and most folks my age were taught to the test. we learned basic math, spelling, grammar. geography, history etc. We learned it. Those times tables still rattle in my head as do the state capitols. I learned something and more importantly, I learned how to learn, repetition, repetition, repetition. There is that old joke which we all know to be true. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice. Well everyone accepts that joke as being wisdom in disguise, but, when it comes to making it analogous with education, the left balks.

        In his first year the SOBama Administration did away with both of these things cursing generations yet unborn to ignorance and poverty. What do ignorance and poverty in the population give you? Control.

        It is hard to believe that this is a black man. I have seen the damage done to the black community by soft headed liberalism or better yet, paternalistic liberalism and he does not give a crap. He got his, just like Al and Jesse, screw the rest.

        I think that you are a big enough boy to take what I am now going to say in the proper sense that it’s meant. Like their predecessors in the ante bellum South, these puppets have it good in the big house and have no desire to either share it nor rock the boat. I remember once reading a book about how freedom was received in the South post Emancipation Proclamation. The field slaves welcomed it, the house servants did not. They now were equal to the field workers. I remember this being angrily debated in History class but I agree with the author’s premise now as much as did then. Only difference is that now I have a whole bunch of life experience to back it up.

        You have demonstrated the remarkable ability to keep an open mind when challenged, keep it up.

        PS, the Gun show was pretty good, not a lot of neo-nazi skin head types. So I guess that means the BATF guys were digging out down in DC.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          There were two problem with NCLB: 1) we were teaching to the test (Now, I agree, better than nothing, but we can also agree that more needs to be done) and 2) we failed to properly fund the program.

          Education reform is something high on my priorty list, but its got to be done right. We need clear standards. We need to get rid of bad teachers. We need to not shortchange any programs we put in place.

          Glad to hear the gun show was a good one. Something I’ll have to take a look into one day. Wound up not going skiing after all given the extreme cold – also unfortunately no fresh snow around here. Missed it by about 30 miles (nearly 2 feet fell 30 miles south of me; I got 1 inch). Hopefully we’ll get some this week with the coming storm.

          • Buck

            Teachers are part of the problem – but are not the cause.

            The school system is the problem. It is a feature of government – and as such, will always cater to supporting government control.

            There is little hope for the future as long as government controls the school. Control the school, control the kids – control the kids, control the adult that grows out of the kid.

          • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

            The official motto at the Infantry School at Ft. Benning is “Follow Me”. The unofficial motto, or so I am told is “Don’t just stand there, do something, even if its wrong, do something!” That’s how you lead. So with as many flaws as NCLB had, it had the benefits of “doing something”, finally. It also gave both Bush II and Kennedy the opportunity to lead and say follow me. There was way too little follow-up and, rather than jump on board and try to use it as a base to grow from the Teachers Unions have spent the last seven years trying to destroy it.

            The wife is an ex-NYC Title 1 teacher from Red Hook in Brooklyn and still is a Parochial School teacher here in NJ. We get all the newsletters from the AFT and UFT. Those people are the most obstructionist bastards I have ever seen. Reading their stuff, for a non kool-aid drinker is frightening.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Pretty accurate if you ask me — NCLB was good in the sense it attempted to do something. The funding problem (lack thereof) was a major problem in my opinion.

              The teachers union is another major problem — understandably the teacher’s union represents teachers. But given the nature of the job, the union must also take a step back at times and try to help what matters most – the students.

          • Truth Seeker says:

            I really don’t like it when I hear anybody say that we need to put more money into education. Consider that many years ago (before government takeover and teacher unions), schools were actually doing a great job. Look at all the brilliant people in the last 20-30 years. They didn’t get all the stuff that is offered today and yet they are smarter than the kids we are pumping out today. The biggest factor is all about personal responsibility. Back in the day, people were held accountable. Today, there is always an excuse and the change to blame someone else. Even if the taxpayer fully funds eductation at ALL levels, how does that motivate people to truly drive themselves to excellence? How much harder will you try to get a good education if its free vs you paying it out of your own pocket?

            I can tell you that if you pay for something out of your own pocket, you tend to care about what you are doing.

  3. USW

    Before you can say this: “But I don’t think it is because he wants to “destroy America.” , you have to tell me what is America?

    If it is nothing but a line and name on the map then you are correct. Otherwise you’ve got some splainin to do my friend.

    Top o’ the mornin to ya,
    JAC

    • Good question JAC. I believe O and his wrecking crew are trying to destroy America. Yes, the lines on the map will be the same for a little if he gets his way. How can anyone fundamentally transform anything without destroying what was first? If you’re going to replace a thing with a new thing don’t you have to remove the old thing? O didn’t promise to improve America, he promised to fundamentally transform it. To me, that means out with the old and in with the new. Its like like demolishing an old building so you can erect a new one in the same location.

    • Great question JAC and I do owe you an explanation. I will do so during open mic on Tuesday night. I am doing better this week. I hope things are good in your neck of the woods as well. Sending you an email shortly.

      USW

  4. Ellen Spalding says:

    Good Morning All

    I watched the Super Bowl, which I normally dont do unless the Packers are in it. I am glad I did, great game for both teams. Congrats Saints!

    I agree that Obama is not trying to destroy America,as other people say he is. I think he truly believes this is the best path for America. He has bought the stock in this movement, so that is the direction he will continue to go.
    I see that America bought the hope of change as being the hope of being able to know excatly what was going on in not only the White House but Congress also. Now that has not happen, people are very upset.
    I do not blame the clean energy stuff on him completely. Sure glad the cap and trade didnt pass. But no way anyone knew that the phony science would be exposed on his watch. What he does from here concerning this will be what he will be judged on.
    The governement has gotten bigger, the banks who were out of control have only gotten bigger. Meanwhile everyone else in the middle is getting squeezed.
    I think the worse is yet to come, and if we as a nation just get rid of these people in 2010 or 2012 and just put in another group of crazy people that carry a different title. The anger will grow in ten folds at that point.

    Did anyone see Palin speak this weekend? What did you think?

    Ellen

    • Good Morning Ellen,

      First, I can tell you that Ray did not watch Sarah Palin, right Ray?

      I think she did a fine job rally-ing the crowd. Not too folksy but folksy enough and matter-of-fact.
      She put the R’s on warning to absorb the movement’s intent or risk the consequences and also invited the D’s to jump onboard. If I remember correctly she even said she would endorse the D’s who had the right intent. I think the Tea Party will catch a needed second wind in the months to come. Sure can’t hurt anything.

      • Anita

        I was going to pass on this one but felt compelled to comment after giving more thought.

        I did watch a rerun of her speech. I was very disappointed. She had some good lines and did have a good message to the tea party, namely don’t worry about minor differences. Stay focused on big issues.

        But as for her and my overall impression, she is looking more and more like a typical Republican candidate every day. Just another one of the establishment.

        She may not fall completely into the cess pool but I would say she’s currently up to her knees. And she is reportedly going to Arizona to campaign for McCain and Texas for ???what’s his name?

        If she were true to her stated values I would think she would be supporting the radicals in both races.

        Don’t despair Anita. I am not a Palin basher or hater. I think she is sold short by most. But I was disappointed in what I heard.

        Glad to see you survived the weekend in good form.
        Best to you and the family.
        JAC

    • I will also be covering Palin’s speech during open mic Ellen. I watched and in my opinion….. ha, you thought I was going to give away my thoughts early, dintcha!

      USW

  5. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    The Saints played a better game than my Colts, for which I congratulate them! Always have liked Drew Brees, he was a monster in College at Purdue. Still wish my Colts would have won, but hey, you can’t have everything (even if Obama SAYS you can!) As an aside, I thought the officials did a pretty good job for the game as a whole, but could someone PLEASE define holding for me? The 2nd play of the game, Freeney was rushing Brees, and one of the O-Linemen for the Saints had his forearm wrapped around Freeney’s neck from BEHIND, and no flag was thrown… apparently that is now a “legal” form of blocking a pass-rusher?

    On a different topic entirely, I saw this post over at wattsupwiththat.com and laughed out loud for real… from a guy posting as TH:

    “TH (22:10:41) :

    It was so cold today that I saw Democratic senator with his hands in his own pockets.”

    • The offensive pass interference call in the end zone was questionable in my opinion. The defender had an arm bar going and was moved when the receiver muscled to the ball. If you call one of them you need to call both…

      Also I didn’t like the 2 pt conversion call, but I’m biased ;).

      I’m happy for the Saints and I really like Drew Brees. It would have been nice to see Peyton get his second (would have been more fodder for the Manning > Brady argument).

  6. Obama was elected by people who believed he would be different. Most have seen his actions and his words are always going to be two very different things. I think most people are indifferent to big or small government. They are not indifferent to incompetent government. When they see taxes going up, and the economy going down, all the words explaining it mean nothing. He has been caught lying, and even his agenda driven media supporters are starting to jump ship. For them, its coming down to survival, as they loose viewers by blatant partisan reporting.

    It was a mistake to allow Pelosi and Reed to use their majority to try to force as much of their agenda thru as quickly as possible. It was a mistake to lie for them on what was being done. He promised transparency and bi-partisan efforts in addressing our problems. He never attempted to keep those promises until after Browns election.

    What will happen now?

    Will the Democrats stay split into factions, with the ultra-left leading and refusing any compromise?

    Will the Republicans use their new power for paybacks and continued partisan games?

    Will the President actually follow thru on his words and force an open and honest discussion on the issues? Bear in mind, he could have met with Republican leaders at any time and at least had the appearance of attempting to consider both sides.

    Myself, I think Obama now finds himself in the position of trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to the same person for the third time. I don’t think we’re buying anything, anymore.

    • LOI,

      I think you may make an excellent point that most Americans are indifferent to big or small government, but not to incompetent government. That may be an article all to itself!

      USW

  7. Buck The Wala says:

    Somewhat touches on the topic today — interesting article I came across this morning ‘blaming’ a lot of the current problems on the American people.

    I tend to agree with much that is written in this article. Whenever I see these poll numbers it drives me crazy. The public doesn’t know what they want, or at the very least doesn’t understand how to get what they want. Thoughts?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2243797/

    • Buck

      WE THE PEOPLE are the problem. But his article doesn’t do the issue justice. It is a shallow anlaysis of what is going on, in my opinion.

      This; “the childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large.” for example, reflects an arrogance of the elite towards the people. I happen to think more and more people are waking up to recognize that arrogance. That in turn causes them to re-evaluate prior assumptions. Then they change their mind.

      Notice the examples in the article have no context in terms of time and information. The assumption is the people are conflicted. While they are to some degree the changes in public opinion can be accounted for by their faith in the electeds telling them the truth and then discovering upon closer look that it was BS. Then they turn against what they said they were for. The Stimulus was just such an example.

      I also think that because of how this has unfolded there are more and more Americans starting to question their own value systems and beliefs. I know many who are now recognizing that the idea of govt intervention in the economy is doomed to fail in the long run. Up until now most of us have been taught this was absolutely necessary to prevent disaster. Now we can see that it has in fact contributed to that disaster.

      We are, in my view, at a cross roads. If the We The People continue to wake up we may find ourselves travelling a new path. If the politicos are successful and muddling, confusing, and controlling the situation then we will continue down the same path and this all will be just a little bump in the road.

      I see both parties scambling right now to maintain the status quo. It is going to be a very interesting year.

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Take the article for what it is meant to be – a blurb. The article of course does not do the issue justice, but it does lay out a few good points. It is very true that the American people as a whole do not know what is going on and do not know what they want or how to get there.

        Looking at the stimulus as one issue: I don’t believe that it can be explained merely by the ‘fact’ that the people supported the stimulus because they trusted their elected officials and then turned against the stimulus once they found out it was BS. I just don’t see that playing out. I think the author is a bit more on point – people don’t know how to get to what they want.

        NJ politics provides a prime example. Not sure how familiar you are with NJ politics, but it is completely screwed up. NJ is broken down into hundreds of municipalities, each with its own school district, fire department, etc. Largely as a result, NJ suffers from extremely high property taxes (gotta pay for these services somehow). Every election the NJ public screams over their high property taxes and the need to reduce those taxes. Those same people then scream out against consolidating services with neighboring towns – really the only proven way of reducing these costs.

        The public at large suffers from a disconnect. They want one thing but do not want to give up anything for it. That is childish, ignorant, and incoherent.

        • Oh but Buck there are two classes of screamers. The one receiving the benefits scream don’t cut anything, the ones paying for the benefits scream cut it. The property owners (payers) want relief, the renters and folks (receivers) who will lose their jobs if consolidation occurs, scream don’t change anything. What the receivers don’t understand is that all cost of the taxation is passed on to them, not just the payers.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            You would think that there are two classes of screamers, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case. Bogus numbers here but as an example: if 75% say cut property taxes and 75% say don’t consolidate services or take away benefits, etc., there must be a pretty sizeable overlap.

            The fact of the matter is that people in general want lower taxes but they also want the same benefits and other services they are accustomed to.

            • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

              Buck, don’t forget about pecking order here in NJ. Fair Lawn is better then Elmwood Park, Glen Rock is better than Fair Lawn, Ridgewood is better than Glen Rock and Ho Ho Kus is better than Ridgewood.

              My bitchy little Bergen County neighbors would never deign to sniff!, share services with a lesser town.

              The only thing we have in Fair Lawn better than anywhere else is our Library and surprisingly the surrounding townsmen are more than willing to share our library. No doubt they feel they improve our town by their presence when they visit. But of course, in all other ways, we are still far beneath them. Way too many Cape Cods in this town.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Thanks for pointing that out!

                But I take it you agree with the general point I was making? Everyone complains about the property taxes, no one wants to share services.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Yup, share the services, end duplication. If Nassau and Suffolk can do it (even though their taxes are worse than ours) then we can too and perhaps improve it.

        • Buck

          I disagree that the public doesn’t know how to get what they want. They have been sending elected officials to office for years to get it for them. That is not really the issue.

          I do agree that generally they don’t know what they want. That was my point.

          It is fundamentally about education. The intitial reaction to the proposed stimulus was not unexpected by me. It is the result of decades of indoctrination that “only the govt can deal with this” or that “we need to stimulate the economy by govt spending to keep from having a depression”. The whole concept that the govt “should” take action to reduce our pain.

          Also, remember that initially the electeds were pretty good at hiding all the BS hidden in the bill. As those little piggies were exposed and the public began to see how it all unfolded and the massive impact to the debt, they had “buyers remorse”.

          I wonder if the bill had been given 30 days for full public review and debate if the support would have been as high? It may not have even passed in its current form.

          You said “The public at large suffers from a disconnect. They want one thing but do not want to give up anything for it. That is childish, ignorant, and incoherent.”

          Be carefule here. Do not confuse lack of knowledge or understanding for childish behavior. I see these types of examples all the time as well, and schools is a classic study. I have found in my experiecne that conflicts in public demands are usually the resulut of past indoctrination and lack of information. Given better information most people can make rational decisions. What I have seen over the years is a deliberate attempt by the electeds and bureaucrats to keep most people in the dark. That is because they have their own agenda.

          Take your example. Consolidation is not always the ONLY way to reduce costs and many people know that. It is the politico and the administrators who are unwilling to truly listen that will then try to confuse the matter. In fact I can point to many more examples of where consolidation has increased costs rather than decreased them.

          I agree the article identifies some good examples that need to be explored. But I still think the article is presented from the standard elitist’s view of the world. You know, those STUPID citizens don’t know what the hell they want. They are childish and spoiled and ignorant. Guess what the next conclusion is that evolves from such a viewpoint? “Well, we intellectuals need to make the decisions for them”.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Refer to Mathius’ Law: Individuals are Smart; People are Dumb.

            Yes, I oversimplified – consolidation is not the only way to reduce costs. But study after study in NJ demonstrates that this would be the single most effective way of reducing costs to a more manageable level. There are other options, but they don’t go far enough in reducing costs. Sure there are instances in which consolidation increases costs due to a larger bureaucracy, etc., but there are steps that can be taken to avoid this from happening.

            • Buck

              But alas my dear friend, those measures are never taken. As I said, every consolidation I have ever studied resulted in higher costs.

              Many people know they can do certain things for less money. It is the govt structure they do not understand or accept. That is part of the disconnect.

              “It shouldn’t cost X to plow the streets and pick up garbage”. Well that is true. But not if you pile on admin and union wages and other govt requirements. People relate what they want to their life experience as to how it should be done and what it should cost.

              Now this is where education comes in but can also be used as a condescending tool by bureaucrats. It is also where the different factions can hardwire things. If the pro union folks can keep the high wages for example, then the folks wanting property taxes to drop AND to protect local control are screwed. Because studies will show consolidation is needed to save. This of course will eliminate any local control and give all the factions even more power.

              As I said, this is a much more complicated matter.

              I still think most of this is tied to lack of knowledge. But there is truth in that many folks will not seek out the knowledge required to form and “informed” opinion. That is the problem with running the govt by Polls. They are opinions. They are not “informed positons”.

              But I gotta tell ya Buck. Never in my lifetime have I seen so many “general publics” discussing larger economic issues and theories as I do today. I see a real debate building over the benefits/costs of capitalism/socialism and all the hybrids.

              I don’t know if it will continue to grow or if the power structure will subdue it. If it continues things are going to get very interesting. We may finally have a national debate about the philosophical path this country is going to accept, instead of having it slipped to us in the dark.

              You might notice, I am feeling a little optimistic this morining.

              JAC

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Never a bad thing to be optimistic on a Monday morning.

                Me – I was optimistic that the coffee would be ready even though I arrived at work a bit early. Lucky for me, it was.

            • Buck

              By the way, I thought is was a good reference piece to post. Good job.

              The subject matter needs to be part of our national discussion.

              It is time for the American people’s “come to Jesus” meeting regarding our political and economic systems.

              WE the PEOPLE need to take time for some serious introspection and soul searching. We have for to long been chasing the rabbits of the day. It is time to consider the bigger picture and what it all means for us and our children.

              Thanks for the link.
              JAC

              • Buck The Wala says:

                There’s something I can agree with – it has long been time for the public to take a greater interest in politics and what is going on around them.

        • LOL – NJ politics – Maybe 2nd or third to Chicago or Boston dem machine is the Hudson County Dem machine. When they were ignored by the state dems – they proved their muscle by electing a Republican Governor !! So watch your step !

          Reminds me that they (Dem insiders) called – now Senator Menandez that little snotty spic from UC !!

          But they included and supported him all along. Another politician who has ONLY been a community organizer / politician ALL his life.

          Oh well.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            No need to refer to Menendez like that.

            NJ politics is not run by the Hudson County Dem machine, though that does get a lot of play in the media. NJ politics is much too corrupt though, that is true. Not just the Dems but the Repubs too. Goes both ways.

            • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

              Hold it, Frank is merely pointing out and actually saying what we have all seen and many of us have heard in private conversations. Used to see the same thing in Bronx politics before Hispanics became the majority and knocked out the Jewish/Irish crew that controlled it since the 1920’s

              Re: Hudson County, point is, if they don’t get the control that they are used to in the party, they have no problem sitting out a statewide election. Moderate Republicans are famous for that in this state.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                My apologies to Frank – misread the quote.

                But yes, Hudson County Dem machine can and will sit out a statewide election if it suits them. Not so sure if this is different from any other party anywhere else.

        • I’ll give you one specific suggestion on how to reduce taxes in NJ. Eliminate the homestead rebate. The state over taxes you so they can refund the money to homeowners to offset real estate taxes. The renters complained and got into this act as well. This is an example of make work for bureaucrats. There is no value added in this rebate but it does cost money to collect the tax and then mail it back to the rightful owners. I cashed those stupid checks for 12 years. What a waste but it allowed the politicians to claim they helped. More like they helped themselves.

          I will give NJ one thing. Their schools were better than CA schools. My daughter skipped 7th grade when we moved here. Keep your local control of the schools.

          • Yep, was a pretty stupid Idea. First they rob you then they give you some back then you thank them for that. But it’s catching on elsewhere too. Bloomberg raised NYC property tax by 17% and then started rebating it.

            The homestead rebate was a sop thrown to politicians back when they inaugurated the state personal income tax. It got the local assemblymen/state senators off the hook.

            Last year there was none, no money and frankly, nary a peep from the huddled masses. In effect, I had a $ 1,000 tax increase last year which translates into an equivilent 12% property tax increase.

    • Buck, this is a partisan hit piece, not an article.

      “In trying to explain why our political paralysis seems to have gotten so much worse over the past year, analysts have rounded up a plausible collection of reasons including: President Obama’s tactical missteps,

      the obstinacy of congressional Republicans,
      (what about the obstinacy of the Democrats? They had a super majority and could have passed ANYTHING without Republican support. Not to defend the Rep’s, but to single them out as the only resistance is bulldookey!)

      rising partisanship in Washington,

      the blustering idiocracy of the cable-news stations,
      (Does ignoring ACORN, Van Jones and the Tea Party make the networks intellectual?)

      and the Senate filibuster, which has devolved into a super-majority threshold for any important legislation. These are all large factors, to be sure, but that list neglects what may be the biggest culprit in our current predicament: the childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large.

      Anybody who says you can’t have it both ways clearly hasn’t been spending much time reading opinion polls lately. One year ago, 59 percent of the American public liked the stimulus plan, according to Gallup. A few months later, with the economy still deeply mired in recession, a majority of the same size said Obama was spending too much money on it. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind, of course, but opinion polls over the last year reflect something altogether more troubling: a country that simultaneously demands and rejects action on unemployment, deficits, health care, climate change, and a whole host of other major problems. Sixty percent of Americans want stricter regulations of financial institutions. But nearly the same proportion says we’re suffering from too much regulation on business. That kind of illogic—or, if you prefer, susceptibility to rhetorical manipulation—is what locks the status quo in place.

      “the childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large.”
      (Wrong words, should have said gullible public. They believed what they were told about the stimulus. When it turned out they had been lied to, why is it wrong or surprising the public had a change of heart? They were told they were getting economic, shovel ready, job stimulus, they were given a long list of agenda driven pork, written behind closed doors by one party, passed without allowing public review. The real question is why would the public believe anything these people tell them ever again.)

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Of course its a partisan piece, I never meant to indicate otherwise. I agree the article should have also mentioned obstinate Democrats and other issues.

        But I still maintain that his basic premise is largely correct. As I posted above in response to JAC, I just don’t see this as being explained away simply by “people trusted what they were told and on closer inspection found something else”. That may well hold true for some people, but not for the American public at large.

        • Buck,

          In simplest terms, they were lied to, and when they figured that out, there was a response. And to be accurate, Pelosi was the main culprit, Obama then acted as spokesman for the deception.

          Three questions, yes or no.

          Did Pelosi miss-represent what was in the stimulus?

          Did Obama miss-represent what was in the stimulus?

          Did Reed miss-represent what was in the stimulus?

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Was everything about the stimulus known at the time it was passed? No. I’ll give you that.

            Regardless, I still don’t see the storyline you tell playing out. I see it more along the lines of this article – not just over the past years, but throughout history.

            • Buck, what happens when you think a reporter or media figure has led you astray? You change the channel! What happens when a politician does the same, you vote for someone else.

              Vanishing Viewers: Feb. 4 CNN, MSNBC Down Over 50% in 25-54 Demo From a Year Ago

              By Tom Blumer

              Ordinarily, one wouldn’t take much notice of a gallon jug losing only a drop or two of water a day. But if you came back a year later and saw it half-empty, that would get your attention.

              Such is the case with the steep ratings declines at CNN and MSNBC. A year ago, they already trailed Fox News badly — so badly that Fox’s audience in a given hour of prime time was sometimes greater than CNN, MSNBC, and Headline News (HLN) combined.

              Revise “sometimes” to “virtually always.” A comparison of Media Bistro’s scoreboard for Thursday, February 4, 2010 to the same report for Thursday, February 5, 2009 shows stunning leakage from CNN and MSNBC. The jug is less than half full:

              CNN and MSNBC both declined over 50% in the 25-54 demographic, while both networks also suffered seriously in total audience.

              Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2010/02/07/vanishing-viewers-feb-4-cnn-msnbc-down-over-50-25-54-demo-year-ago#ixzz0exns3HSR

            • Buck, “Was everything about the stimulus known at the time it was passed?”

              Why not? Why the big rush to pass it when much of the money was not going to spent for months to years? Why not post the bill and let people read it for a few days? The answer is they had something to hide. We now know. Hence anger and loss of trust.

              The same goes for healthcare. Why the big rush? Why the secrecy? Why such a massive bill? What are they hiding again? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

  8. I think he is in fact evil, and so are the majority he surrounds himself with. I say that because you really can’t be a true scholar of “ism’s” and not understand that they oppress freedom and the people that rule them (The key word here is “rule”). Add to the fact that these representatives are all self-centered, self-proclaimed elitists that truely do believe the majority are just plain stupid, and you get a group of revolutionary evolusionists bent on re-engineering the country to support their specific agenda. That particular agenda is one that requires ultimate control and influence so they can set the foundation of their ideology; complete government rule.

    I believe the majority of those elected to represent us, both past and present, have evolved into individuals and groups bent on only acquiring as much power and wealth as they possibly can. They continue to disregard the voice of the people casting us as stupid racists that just don’t understand what they know is best. Their arrogance is repulsive!!

    Obama is a figure head and spokesperson for an organized bent on elliminating those standards that contributed to a once great nation. I don’t think the majority of them feel the Constitution is anything but a document to be interpreted as they see fit in order to carry out their overall objectives. They use the words and wisdom of our Founding Fathers to promote their actions when applicable and quickly ignore them when they get in the way.

    It is interesting that as they gain additional power and influence they further shun the ideals of those that promoted them to rise to a position of power.

    The American public is waking up to the lies and misrepresentation of the government, but I am sure that the majority currently seated today will continue to act from a position of distain and arrogance; at least until they are removed.

    When these individuals act from a position of superiority and the result is tyranny, one can only conclude that their hearts are blackened. Just because they initially believed their cause to be just, regardless of the suffering, does not make them righteous.

    No, their souls are hardened to their specific efforts and claiming it is best for all does not justify or rationalize their objective.

    If righteous men conduct tyrannical acts in the name of freedom and fairness then only evil and suffering will prevail.

    America must send a message by removing all those that continue to repress and then work to return this country to the Republic as it was designed.

    CM

  9. Since we can’t all agree on a particular agenda can we agree on NO PORK. Vote on one thing at a time and be ready to completely justify the reason for the bill to begin with. I’m no Black Flag but seems we could save billions doing just that

    • I’m amenable to that.

      But it’s worth noting that pork is a drop in the bucket. The real fat is in the defense budget.

      • Mathius

        Defense is only one of many big ticket items. You could eliminate the entire defense budget and we would still be up shit creek without a paddle.

        The whole issue of fat and pork is a syptom of a larger problem. The Federal govt shouldn’t be spending money on most of the things it does.

        As long as you all want your cookies then others can get their cookies. One man’s pork is another man’s sustenance.

        • Sure, sure… but I think we can both agree that there’s a lot more ‘sustenance’ in the defense budget than in pet projects.

          You can argue what the government should and should not be doing, but if you want to scale back waste (and I know you do), we have to look at the defense budge too. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, too. Maybe you don’t think it should be doing any of these things, but we can certainly get together and agree that, insofar as it is going to do it, it can do it better/more efficiently and has plenty of fat to cut.

          All I’m saying is that going after discretionary spending while ignoring defense and entitlements is like swatting mosquitoes when you’re about to get hit by a train.

          • Mathius

            I guess the only place we differ is that all of these programs are discretionary in my view.

            That is why I caution folks against focusing on “ear marks”. They are just one “form” of discretionary spending. Most of which could be eliminated.

            Let me restate that, most of which MUST be eliminated.

            Matt, we have passed the point where simple improvmenenst in efficiency will address our long term financial problems. Govt should be efficient, and with the correct incentives and leadership it can improve. But it will not save us.

            Hope you had a good weekend.
            JAC

            • Was sick all weekend but the missus still made me do housework. Yourself?

              I’m not suggesting that we improve our budgetary issues with efficiency alone (although it can’t hurt) but rather will a full-scale drawdown in the scope of what social security, medicare, medicaid, and the defense department do. I want these programs. I want them to do their jobs and fullfill their functions. But I think they’ve expanded past where they need to be in many cases, and in a few don’t go far enough.

              If we can stop invading foreign countries. If we can stop giving money to those who don’t need it. If we can eliminate some of the massive fraud in our system, the no bid contracts, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. If the defense department can concern itself solely with defense, I think we’re in a better place.

              Again, this is not about efficiency, but rather scope. Capice?

              • Mathius

                “but rather will a full-scale drawdown in the scope of what social security, medicare, medicaid, and the defense department do. I want these programs.”

                Nothing else WILL do. You can no longer have these programs. At least not in any of their current forms.

                And the changes that are required will be devastating to millions of people. That is the REALITY.

                I think your “scope” is still to narrow.

                My caution is this. If the debates start focusing on efficiency and fraud, then we will not face TRUTH. And unless we face TRUTH we are lost. I am not opposed to what you say at the small scale but fear it could blind us to what is really needed.

      • From Bucks “article”

        Republicans are more indulgent of the public’s unrealism in general, but Democrats have spent years fostering their own forms of denial. Where Republicans encourage popular myths about taxes, spending, and climate change, Democrats tend to stoke our fantasies about the sustainability of entitlement spending as well as about the cost of new programs.

        “sustainability of entitlement spending”

        (Remember, after Obama gets us out of these wars, we will still be left with SS & Medicare. Or will that still be Bushes fault?)

        • Buck The Wala says:

          That’s a very good point made — yes, the sustainability of entitlement spending needs to be addressed. Most Dems in Congress choose to disregard this issue, which is a huge mistake.

          See, the article is fair and balanced! 🙂

          • The thing about the entitlements where I have trouble is this – they were supposed to be safety nets. They were supposed to help only the needy and only in certain situations. That there are dozens of members congress receiving social security is absurd. It is a sham. Social Security is sustainable as a safety net to keep bankrupt elderly from having to work into their 90’s or beg for change on the street. It is not sustainable as a supplementary income for a broad swath of the population.

            • Mathius

              I don’t think it ever was or will ever be sustainable if constructed in the manner it was. Even if constrained as you propose.

              It was, from day one, completely dependent on “future generations” paying the bill and on each generation being larger than the last. It was and always has been a pyramid scheme. Ever more are needed at the bottom to feed the top.

              Changing the qualifying age or number qualified only changes the required base but it does not change the inevitable failure of such a system.

              The only way such a system can come close is for the entire federal budget to balance and for tax burden to be low enough to not impede the efficiency of the market place. These economic constraints then dictate the number covered, not political demands.

              It has to be viewed in the entirety, not just the one program.

              What is truly absurd in congress is that they get full federal retirement benefits after serving one term. These are “elected” officials, not federal employees. Their retirement and long term medical benefits MUST be eliminated.

              Now there is something we can join forces on, I hope.

              JAC

            • Mathius, SS was never intended to be a welfare program nor was it a retirement plan, at least that is how FDR sold it. This is why all those who contribute can receive benefits roughly in proportion to the taxes paid (figured over the last 5 years). It is also why there is a salary cap on the tax (currently about $100K). It is/was a Ponzi scheme. Over the years, as D13 posted the other day, the funds were moved to the general fund (broke the lock on the lockbox) and spent, benefits were taxed, etc. Under Reagan, the tax rate was increased to cover the boomers but all the money has been spent. Under Bush, privatization was shouted down not even properly discussed. Now SS is broke, payments exceed reciepts. It is being ignored.

              Unfortunately, the only way now to “save” SS is to make it a welfare system based upon need. Those that saved for retirement will forfeit their benefits. The ceiling on earnings will disappear and taxes will be paid on all income maybe even unearned income. My guess is they will either start taxing IRAs and 401ks or outright confiscate them to shore up SS. I pity my kids.

        • […]f you want to scale back waste (and I know you do), we have to look at the defense budge too. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, too.

          See? I agreed 12 minutes before you posted that.

          • Matt,

            Sorry I missed that, but it made Buck feel good to see me quoting him to others. Glad to see you in an agreeable mood. Just FYI, US budget.

            33% Medicare/caid
            21% Social Security
            20% Defense
            18% Discretionary
            8% Interest

            • And what would Social Security look like if it were *GASP* means-tested?

              What would the defense department look like if it only functioned to *GASP* defend up?

              What would the interest look like if we *GASP* refused to go into debt in the first place?

              • Means tested SS would never had been a pyramid scheme, so would be interesting to see.

                DoD that only defends up would be conquered by some Mole Man wantabe.
                Interesting thought, no Korea, Nam, Iraq, etc… Anybody pisses us off bad enough, they get some explosive remodeling.
                No invasions.

                “What would the interest look like if we *GASP* refused to go into debt in the first place?”
                I thought you didn’t like the Tea Parties? And you ask what the country would look like if they were running it?

              • I think you’ll find that, though I’m a bleeding heart liberal, I’m still (somehow) a fiscal hawk.

              • I am very pleased to read you post that. It appears Flags efforts at re- programing you are starting to have some effect.
                LOL I think this site is helping us all, making us question everything, not just I think this about an issue, but the why behind our thoughts…..

                I think?

              • It has nothing to do with Flag.. I was born this way.

            • There is a lot of pork hidden in the the defense budget. McCain has been railing about that for years. Our “reps” like it when a defense contract is issued in their district. Start with elimiating pork, foreign grants, UN funding, bring troops home from as many bases as possible, then start eliminating complete programs.

      • Mathius,

        Defense budget is the big one???

        You jest. Go back and do your math.

        The deficit increase between year one and year two is as large as the entire military budget.

        In other words, as I pointed out before, if you drop the entire US military into the Marius trench, by next year, the savings would wholly consumed.

        It would be merely a blip in the budget deficit.

        This points to something larger, more systemic, and more dangerous – dangerous because it appears completely intractable.

        • I wasn’t talking about expense overall, just amounts of fat. There’s a lot the military could be cut back and still have it do what it needs you (you of all people*, I think would agree with that).

          Gazing into my crystal ball, I see what you are thinking: government shouldn’t be doing anything so the entire thing is fat.

          But for those of us who think the government should do things, I’d say that’s a good source of fat to trim without losing much value.

          *I’m not entirely sure you are human, but we’ll include you in this group anyway.

          • Mathius,

            Sure, I’d like to see the whole standing army thing scraped.

            But the point is, it wouldn’t make a blip in the financial problems.

            Eliminating the standing army is reasoned by the need of global peace and security – not economics (anymore, at least).

            If that fact doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, I can’t imagine would will.

            If dropping $600 billion from a budget makes about the same dent as dropping a rock in a lake – a small splash and then ‘disappear’ –

            there is a serious, systemic and catastrophic problem

            It needs to be found – it needs to be ended.

            It has been found, and it will never be ended – therefore, it will never be given any discussion, hence, it will be ‘lost’ and never seen.

            • so what is it, specifically? Social security? Pork? Medicare/caid? Debt financing? Vice President Biden’s salary?

              What, in your no-so-humble opinion is the single largest culprit?

              (bear in mind, this is a question about what program operates most beyond its intended scope or least efficiently or most wastefully etc. It is not a question about what the role of government should be in your view. So, for reference, the intent of the stimulus was to give a lot of money away and it’s doing that, so that would not be a correct answer. However, social security was intended as a safety net, and it is now just a second into to millions – that would be an acceptable answer.)

  10. The POTUS is a communist…pure and simple. He has surrounded himself with communists his entire life. IMO, he knows just what he is attempting and knows that once exposed, there will be no chance of his dream coming true. Now that there is no super majority in the Senate, he is making a feeble effort to show bipartisanship. Does anyone remember the “we won” comment?

    He is quickly being exposed as the radical he is and I for one am glad. He will go down in history as the worst president to ever occupy that office.

    For all the ill intents, he has succeeded in one thing though. His radical adgenda has awaken the sleeping giant in the American People…for that I owe him thanks…

    • Terry

      While I have not love, or even postitive feeling, towards this President and his Admin we must be honest in our name calling.

      HE IS NOT A COMMUNIST. I have seen no evidence to this effect. You should present your case to support your conclusion.

      Best wishes
      JAC

      • OK JAC…let me put it another way…birds of a feather flock together. Several of President Obama’s known associates…Anita Dunn…Maoist, Frank Marshall Davis…communist, Rahsid Khalidi…PLO Spokesman, Reverend Write…Black Marxist, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn…terrorists and communists, Sam Graham Felson…Socialist/communist, Gregory Galluzzo…Socialist/Communist student of Alinsky, Patrick Gaspard…Socialist/Communist, Jeff Jones….Terrorist and co-author of Obama’s stimulus bill, Van Jones…Communist, Mike Klonsky…Communist, Mike Kruglik…Socialist/Communist student of Alinsky, Linda Rae Murray…Communist, Alice Palmer…Communist, Zach Pollet and Wade Rathke…Weatherman associates, Quentin Young…Communist.

        I believe you should get the picture from there. Let’s not forget the “spread the wealth around” comment to Joe the plumber. A purely communist/socialist stance. You are the product of your environment…he has chosen the environment of the socialist/communist. Let us not also forget a direct quote from Mr. President from his own book “I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists.” — Barack Obama

        • Terry

          My point is that socialists and communists are not the same, techinically. Many of his buddies who claim to be communists aren’t really communists. But they all fit the progressive fascist model quite well and many fit the socialist model. They are hybrids. Just as the fascists and communists and socialists of the early 1900’s shared certain values and ideas. That is what I believe we are dealing with.

          Maybe I am wrong, but it seems he is surrounded more by “a third way” idealogues than true communists. I will grant you he has some very heavy socialist leaning tendencies.

          He was the Progressive’s candidate, after all. They claimed him and the Dem party in their name early in the primary process.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi Terry…

      Yes…I too, feel that BO has awakened the sleeping giant that is America.

      My daughter (19) was in Ireland a few weeks ago. She called me almost every day, saying that she couldn’t wait to get home — that she “missed” America. What she really meant is that she missed her way of life – her standard of living, that is among the best in the world.

      The District of Corruption has been there along time, but something about BO has helped the “normal” American see clearly. There’s some transparency for you right there.

      Hello to all,
      RS

      • Buck The Wala says:

        Bit surprised to hear that — my sister studied abroad in Ireland (Dublin) and absolutely loved it. Felt the standard of living was better there than here. Wound up returning home as unable to find a job there, but she would love to move there eventually.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          My Brother adores Ireland (has been twice). He loved the socialized aspect of medicine. Then again, he doesn’t work.

          • Buck The Wala says:

            Great country – went over to Dublin for an extended weekend to visit my sister while there. Wish I had the chance to travel around some more, but had to get back for school.

            Not a very attractive city, but somehow it finds a way to really draw you in.

      • Hello, hello,

        Hope all is well! Having another snowday here.

        • Richmond Spitfire says:

          Hello LOI,

          Yes…having yet ANOTHER snowday here also…Calling for more tomorrow…The kids have been off school for a week. Did go to school on 2-hour delay last Thursday. I sure do love snow…but jeez!

          Hope all is well with you!

          RS

          • Spitfire,

            Well, its damn hard to buy a sled in Arkansas, but I have managed. Problem now is we don’t have any hills around here. All things considered, things are pretty good if my biggest complaint is not having any hills. I have 15 gal. of gas for the generator, freezer full, new gloves for the kids,
            so am as ready for a long winter as I can be.

            Very good to hear from you again, we need help trying to get through to Matt. I think he’s on the verge of a breakthrough!!

  11. Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) — Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the U.S. is in no danger of losing its Aaa debt rating even though the Obama administration has predicted a $1.6 trillion budget deficit in 2010.

    “Absolutely not,” Geithner said, when asked in an ABC News interview broadcast yesterday whether a downgrade is a concern. “That will never happen to this country.”

    Why do I get the feeling these words will rank right up there with “We will win at Waterloo”? And some folks wonder why Americans are distrustful of their government……;)

    • Memo to Mr. Geithner

      Just wanted to point out that the nature of your comment ” “That will never happen to this country.” ”

      sound vaguely familiar to that of another famous political figure;

      “The Americans have not invaded Bagdad. We have them pinned down at the airport where they will be foreced to surrender”

      Enjoy your days of luxury, they are numbered.
      I hope you look good in pinstripes.

      JAC

    • One has to dissect his entire comment.

      He went on to say, that since the US$ underpins the entire world economy, that he believes such a downgrade would be impossible.

      If the US debt is downgraded, the US$ will go under threat. That will cause all other economies that use the US$ – which is everyone – will suffer a greater downgrade.

      The rush out of other currencies will be toward the reserve currency – the US$. Which will make US debt securities more attractive. The most attractive security will get the highest rating – AAA.

      • Will that still be the case should the economy collapse? Is Geithner saying that he knows the US has the world by the economic short and curlies? Do you think the US’s rating is secure? I thought that economically, we are going to hell in the proverbial handbasket. I don’t understand.

        • Is Geithner saying that he knows the US has the world by the economic short and curlies?

          Yep, but he put it more academically then you did 🙂

          Do you think the US’s rating is secure?

          Compared to what?

          It is a secure as the rudder wheel was on the Titanic.

          I thought that economically, we are going to hell in the proverbial handbasket

          We are.

          It’s like in a school test where the marks are graded on a bell curve – and not by absolute.

          You can fail the test but still get an “A”.

          • Okay, that makes sense.

            I’m not the least bit academic before my first cup coffee. Its still early here….glad to see I got a smiley face for it tho’!
            🙂

    • Cyndi,

      There are some things you can always count on, even in today’s economy. Like Warren Buffet. Uh oh.

      OMAHA, Neb. — Standard & Poor’s has followed through on its warning and lowered Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s long-term credit rating Thursday as the Omaha firm readies to acquire Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

      The ratings agency lowered Berkshire’s rating one notch to “AA+” from “AAA,” its highest designation.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/04/warren-buffetts-berkshire_n_450020.html

      • “not expected to return to extremely strong levels in the near term”

        Buffet never plays for the near-term.

        This rating will have little effect on him, as his cash position is very strong.

        He is buying low. His expectation is that fuel prices in terms of dollars will rise – driving the trucking industry into insolvency.

        The most efficient mode of bulk transport over land is trains.

        These companies are at historical lows in value.

        He expects high oil prices, lower trucking, higher train freight.

        Wanna bet against him? 🙂

        • Just thought him loosing his rating was noteworthy, and tied into Cyndi’s post as well.

          No bet.

        • Kristian Stout says:

          BF you said that the trucking industry is one to keep an eye on and you’re right. My company just signed 4 new contracts and we’re in the process of hiring about 40 new drivers. Sounds good doesn’t it? Here’s the catch though, there are at least 2 companies that do the same thing we do in the same town that we do it, they are going out of business. I think in this industry it’s going to be survival of the fittest, and the kicker? I live in a port city and CSX has a base here.

          • Kristain,

            How soon will it be before the new EPA standards impact you? A new truck should be around $22K more expensive. I have been told California will not allow refrigerated trailers in unless their power units are also compliant.

            Add to this, Tier 4 is being mandated to the Agri
            industry, so all farm equipment costs are going up substantially. Wonder how much this will drive food costs up?

              • LOI

                I can’t begin to describe to you how that advertisement gave me the creeps yesterday.

                Some folks don’t realize how close this is to becoming true. It seems ridiculous to some but I guarantee you there were hundreds if not a few thousand households in my town yelling “its about time”.

                The one I loved the most was the short with Tebow and his mom. Looked to me like the Anti groups got PUNKED. They saved Focus on the Family millions in adv money last couple of weeks as the longer ad was run on news and internet so everyone could argue about it. When I saw the actual short I was OTFLMAO.

                Best to you
                JAC

              • Buck The Wala says:

                And yet Focus on the Family still spent millions to run that ad.

                I have a suspicion that Focus was really hoping the controversy would cause the spot to be bumped entirely – now that would have saved some money!

              • I was talking about the millions they didn’t have to spend to get the longer piece aired on news and internet for several days.

                Brilliant, simply brilliant.

            • Kristian Stout says:

              Actually we’re a bit ahead of the curve on that. Our trucks are kept up to date. They are all EPA compliant right up to and including our new reefer’s. As a matter of fact we’ve just started trading in some of our older models on the 2010 models. They are beautiful trucks too. You may have seen one out on the highway, white volvo with a big black raven on the side, that’s us.

              • Friend of a friend bought new refers two years ago. The do a lot of ag hauling from CA. With their new, outdated trailers, they are SOL.

                Made me wonder if there would be a shift, put transfer depo’s just across the border, short haul compliant in state and across, transfer to fleets after?

                I think its a sure thing food prices are going up, question is when and how much?

  12. Good Morning, all. I was not going to watch the game but then I got interested in the second quarter and the rest is history. Great game….was rooting for the Saints primarily because it was their first time and Brees, although he played for Purdue, is a Texas boy.

    One thing that I think you have not said, USW, that seems to be overlooked at lot here. Why is it that everyone thinks that Obama has been in control for only ONE year? The Democrats had control from 2006 of BOTH the Senate and the House of Reps. why is it that everyone says this is a Bush inherited problem when the spending and the blocking of the investigations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae was a product of the the democratically controlled House and Senate. Why is it when, the Republicans, tried to set an early alarm on the housing bubble and it was blocked…that this is a Bush problem. The first spending bill, albeit signed by Bush, was sent forth from the Democrats. Bush, like Obama, failed to use the Veto but it was still a Democratic controlled fiasco. I will the first to say that Obama is not the author of the now debunked global warming scheme and the fact that it is on his watch does not make it his and the fact that the last two fiscal policy years of the Bush Administration, engineered by the Dems does not make it entirely Bush’s.

    Now, having brought that up….Obama is not in control. I do not think that any President is anymore. The House and the Senate run the country. Obama has surrounded himself with a bunch of “yes men/women”. Everyone should know that Obama is a puppet with the strings being pulled primarily by Soros, etal. The main issue is that this is the highest spending and the highest deficit and the highest selling of our future that has ever been perpetrated by man or beast. This is the liberal chance to get passed everything that they could not get passed in the earlier administrations including the Clinton administration. There are no statesmen/women in Washington any longer and Washington is full of politicians that could not earn a living elsewhere…otherwise, they would be in the private sector.

    I do not see anyone from the left complaining that the House and Senate have defiled their positions. Since 1990 Congressional Pay raises have gone from $98,400 to $174,000, an increase of 88.7%, with guaranteed increases that match the government COLA figures. No one has complained about the retirement system that is guaranteed. No one on the left has complained about the non payment of government employees into the social security system. No one on the left has complained about the taxes that are charged because the government is getting so big that robbing from the social security is fiscally irresponsible. No one from the left has complained that the Majority and Minority Party Leaders get $193,400 and the Speaker of the House gets $223,500. All I hear from the left is more government and more taxes and more greater good allotments, social programs that do not bring in revenue, Robin Hood approaches, tax the rich, increase and take the inheritance taxes because a son or daughter did not earn the money…..more….more…..more. Always more and no accountability. Bush did not wield the Veto….neither has Obama….Bush did not raise the deficit and the debt threefold in any year much less one year…. but the left has. Bush did not create the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fiasco that started MOST, not all , of this….the democratic Congress blocked reform. The Democratic Congress has sunset the tax breaks and have repealed the welfare reform. So…get off the “it’s inherited from Bush” theme. It is old and tiresome and simply a ploy and puts off more methane gas than the entire Washington crowd alone.

    We have the biggest liar in the Presidency since Wilson. Hell., he even beats Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter and I thought no one could beat those two. But what makes him the consummate liar? Congress. Congress has not helped Obama at all and he is a slave to Congress and I thought slavery was dead. Hell, we have a black President that is still in chains and under the whip…the chains are the rules that Congress puts out and the whip is the Congressional delegation lead by Pelosi and Reid. The only way to get out from these chains is to use the Veto and have some guts…….UNLESS he is in agreement. (And if some of you are offended by the analogy of the chains and whips…tough it out…but that is how I see it.) I do not think that this Tea Party movement is something to sneeze at but we will see. I am not prepared to just throw any loyalty behind it just yet but it is becoming vastly popular. I do know that over 75% of my friends that actually voted for Obama are greatly disappointed and admitting they made a mistake and will vote conservative and will become more interested in the voting records of both Republicans and Democrats alike. They are very afraid of this “progressive movement” and most of the people I know are becoming educated in the political process now and this is great.

    Obama is a political neophyte on the world stage. His approach to the world is not working and he is a rookie in a professional league. We are selling out to China faster than Australia is and China owns a vast chunk of Australian debt. Obama is minor league compared to the rest of the world, right now, and since he IS my President, I hope that he learns how to dodge political world landmines pretty quickly because he is getting fleeced right now and we are quickly on our way to third world status… Especially if our investment and economic rating gets torpedoed.

    So, there is no “give him a chance” dialogue that will impress me. I dislike the man’s politics but he is the President. However, that does not mean he gets blind loyalty. He must earn it and so far his integrity grade is “F”, his geopolitics is an “F”, his economics is an “F”….BUT…his ego is an “A”. If he really has the country at heart…..he will use the Veto and quit his “kow tow” to this “Progressive movement” and stand up for what is right for US…the United States…. and who gives a “flying flibbertygidget” (g rated version) of what the rest of the world thinks? The European Model does not work. Get off it. Go back to individual freedom…less government (far less)….free and open trade….drop the entitlement mentality and get a grip….quit meddling in other countries and quit supporting the world.

    Sigh…..Dr Pepper time.

    D13

    • Excellent Post, D13.

      You’ve just about got me convinced to start drinking Dr. Pepper. Look what its done for you!! 🙂

    • Ditto – glad that I didn’t reply at the top with my measly statement regarding the fact that Pelosi has been in control for 3 years now ! Now that is scary. I had expected that the dems would have gotten rid of her after the 1st year and definitely by last year !

    • Displaced Okie says:

      D13 says “Great game….was rooting for the Saints primarily because it was their first time and Brees, although he played for Purdue, is a Texas boy.”

      Colonel,
      Don’t forget the the 2 Soulthlake Carroll Dragons on the Saints–Garrett Hartley, the Kicker, had 11 points and Chase Daniel, well he didn’t play-but hey, he still gets a ring 🙂

      Go Dragons,
      Displaced Okie

      • Whoa……did not realize that. Thank you. In Texas, football is a religion. Don’t mess with Texas Blue Chip Football.

  13. USWep

    The issue with your post is that it points to Obama as the problem.

    However, you can put any politician – including Ron Paul – into his position, and we’d be precisely here at the same point, in fact, I would suggest it would have been worse under Ron Paul.

    So, let’s put Paul as President. He would have let the banks fail. The economy in the US would be facing the largest liquidity contraction in history.

    Entire segments of the economy would stop. The Dow-Jones would tumble down to 1,000. Imports from China would essentially end. China would be tossed into internal economic turmoil.

    Oil prices would tumble downwards to sub-$45, tossing Saudi and Venezuela into wholesale economic turmoil and default.

    Russia would be staggering with the drop in oil price, but Europe and Japan would see some growth.

    This would last about a year but one hell of a year.

    But this would never happen. If Ron Paul tried this, his own party – the Republicans – would have prevented this! They would have joined the Democrats and bailed out the banks.

    So if Ron Paul could not do it neither could Obama.

    I urge that everyone stop pointing fingers at Obama. He is an ideologue, economically infantile, and wholly politically corrupt as anyone there.

    But believing it is his fault infers that someone else could do better! But this is not true.

    No one could do better. A few could do worse.

    There is no policy or person in entirety of politics that can solve this nation’s problems. They simply do not exist.

    The only policy – liberty – has been off the table since 1865.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      http://www.homelandstupidity.us/2009/12/14/the-feds-money-monopoly/

      Ron Paul doesn’t have a PERFECT understanding of what money and currency actually are, but his understanding is better than most!

      Of course, BF is correct, even if he were President, it is highly unlikely he could pull this off…

      • Not sure I agree. Ron Paul would have vetoed the stimulus. He would have then made it public. What triggered the town hall meetings? Outrage, Paul could have used that to keep his veto from being overridden. I would have given him at least a 60% chance.

        • LOI,

          Then follow through….

          ….. Paul wins. The banks go under.

          The greatest monetary contraction in history – 20% drop over night – unemployment hits 30% in 30 days – imports drop to zero – oil goes up to $200/bl.

          Millions march on Washington demanding jobs – riots break out – Congress burns to the ground (ok, wishful thinking I admit).

          No government could have sustained the calamity. Paul would have been strung up – figuratively but possibly literally.

          • Not yet persuaded. Closest comparison would be the depression. I think a comparison of Bush/Obama vs Hoover/FDR works well here. The country and presidency survived then, its speculation to say they would not again.

            http://www.amatecon.com/gd/gdoverview.html

            Herbert Hoover

            Herbert Hoover has been accused of being a do-nothing president who allowed the country to continue to slide into its worst depression ever. Some will grudgingly admit that Hoover did take some action, but that it was too little, too late. But the truth is far more complex. Hoover did intervene after the Stock Market crash, but the acts passed by Congress and signed by Hoover were the worst kind of intervention: they actually exacerbated the problem. The most famous of these interventions was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Raising tariffs was one of the worst things that could be done. Remember, both free market advocates and Keynesians agree that lowering prices would cure a depression, it’s just that the Keynesians believe government intervention is necessary. A tariff does exactly the wrong thing by raising prices. Thus Smoot-Hawley was guaranteed to worsen any depression, not improve it. Other acts passed during Hoover’s administration had similar effects of either raising prices or keeping them artificially high when they should have been dropping. Thus, it’s not that Hoover was a do-nothing president, it’s that he intervened in exactly the wrong way.

            FDR

            Ironically, FDR, the president who implemented so many government programs himself, was elected on a platform of a balanced budget and economic non-intervention. So what did he do upon getting into office? He promptly expanded on Hoover’s programs. Some of these programs, the ones that increased spending, would get approval from Keynesians. Others, however, like the minimum wage and the Davis-Bacon Act, suffered from the same problems that Hoover’s programs did: they reduced price flexibility, often setting a minimum and thus continued to exacerbate the Great Depression.

            FDR’s policies seemed to work at first. The economy began to expand again in 1933 and continued to do so until May of 1937. At that point, a second depression began and lasted until June of 1938.

            • Closest comparison would be the depression. I think a comparison of Bush/Obama vs Hoover/FDR works well here. The country and presidency survived then, its speculation to say they would not again..

              First, understand why the Depression happened.

              Second, note the solution and the consequences.

              Third, understand that in 1930, the government was less than 10% of the economy – it is approaching 40% today.

              Apply the understanding from yesterday to the circumstance of today – what do you see as the probable outcomes?

              Thus, it’s not that Hoover was a do-nothing president, it’s that he intervened in exactly the wrong way.

              The only intervention is government removal out of the economy.

              See Harding in 1920.

              The problem with this description of Hoover is the words “intervened in exactly the wrong way” infers there is a ‘right way to intervene’.

              But the opposite of intervene is remove – not a different intervention.

              Hence the problem today. It is a discourse between which why to intervene – with all answers wrong.

              There is no conversation about removing the government out of the economy.

              So, start with this thinking – what will happen if the government cut back its budget by 20%?

              • I think, if you run into a briar patch, running back out will be very painful, and not recommended.
                A slow, but painful extraction is the best way to handle such situations.

              • LOI,

                Make a step, and I will help define the consequences.

                What ‘small’ step backwards do you would do first?

                Keep in mind, time moves forward, the world does not stop, and for all purposes, time is up.

                On your mark, get set, oopss, the race started 50 years ago….

                Good luck!

                …but I do want you to offer your first step – if for anything to example the hopelessness.

              • Poor, innocent Illusion is out strolling through the woods, stops suddenly. “Is that a trip-wire
                strung across the path? I don’t recall those leaves and branches being placed on the path the last time I came this way.” Shaking his head at his foolish imagination, he continues on,…snap, crash, ouch!

                First step, a systematic dismantling of Freddie/Fannie.

              • LOI,

                Good first step – loss of limbs -….

                Dismantling means what to you?

                The two companie combined account for $7 trillion U.S. mortgage market.

                Unwinding them will collapse the housing market completely – the #1 financial consideration of the majority of Americans.

                All except those that own outright would be underwater – no ability to sell their property and no ability to remortgage.

                75% of American families would declare bankruptcy.

                The shock to the financial system would undermine the global economy

                Quote from Bloomberg:
                `Beyond Imagination’

                “The seriousness of such failures could be beyond the stretch of people’s imagination,” said Yu, a professor at the Institute of World Economics & Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. He didn’t explain why he held that view.

                Now that you have blown off your legs, where are you crawling to now?

  14. Mathius,

    You are what I love about Socialists.

    All touchy-feely with about as much economic sense of a fish. (No direct insult intended 🙂 )

    Socialist claim they are humanitarians ‘and care’ but do not understand at all human action (economics).

    They will all end up frustrated and reach for their guns to force the issue because they always end up with this basic mantra:

    “We care about people, but the people are too stupid to think for themselves, so we’ll force them to do it ‘our way’ until it kills them”

    I want these programs. I want them to do their jobs and fullfill their functions. But I think they’ve expanded past where they need to be in many cases, and in a few don’t go far enough.

    These programs are made to give money to people who did not earn it. They are fulfilling their function – perfectly.

    You believe there is a place where it is needed. There are an infinite number of places where money unearned is needed – my pocket among them.

    Since the places for unearned money to go is infinite, it is no surprise (except to Socialists) that the ‘need’ expands indefinitely.

    If we can stop invading foreign countries.

    Most certainly it would help. However, all that happens is that the politicians would turn inward, and invade the Citizens.

    If we can stop giving money to those who don’t need it.

    Socialists are so confused by need. They have no way to measure need because they refuse the free market system of pricing.

    Without an ability to price, they have no measure of need other than who ‘yells the loudest’.

    With no surprise, one can barely think in this economy because the noise level is beyond deafening.

    If we can eliminate some of the massive fraud in our system, the no bid contracts,

    Trying to put discipline upon programs that believe people who do not earn money can get it is impossible.

    Corruption is merely a man receiving what he does not deserve.

    No bid contracts is merely a business receiving what it does not deserve.

    Fraud is merely receiving something that one does not deserve.

    Corruption, fraud, etc. are all the basics of Socialist redistribution of wealth. One persons ‘need’ is another persons ‘fraud’.

    but rather scope. Capice?

    I agree.

    Collapse the entire belief that goods can be delivered to those that do not earn, and taken from those that do earn by force.

    It is the only option for economic sanity.

  15. Mathius

    so what is it, specifically? Social security? Pork? Medicare/caid? Debt financing? Vice President Biden’s salary?

    What, in your no-so-humble opinion is the single largest culprit?

    All of the above.

    # $695 billion (+4.9%) – Social Security
    # $453 billion (+6.6%) – Medicare
    # $290 billion (+12.0%) – Medicaid
    # $571 billion (−15.2%) – Other mandatory programs

    • Mathius,

      I mean – just think about it.

      The budget is $3.552 trillion. Deficit $1.171 trillion

      What do you want to assume? Fraud and fat = 10% of the budget?

      $355 billion – new deficit = $866 billion

      20%

      $800 bilion – new deficit = $370 billion

      30%? 40%?

      Are you claiming that 30% to 50% of the budget is fat and fraud????

      Do you know the implication on your belief system regarding government action????

      • I think fraud and fat are probably close to that 10% mark.

        But I’m suggesting redefining scope. Social security goes back to being a safety net for the very few. Defense department going back to defending us. ETC. That’s not a change in efficience, but rather one of scale. You would kill 90% of social security off the bat. Defense would probably get a comparable cut. Am I being clear? The idea is just on the drawing board for now, but I think it could make us both happy (even if you would want more, you’d probably agree its a step in the right direction, no?)

        • You would kill 90% of social security off the bat

          Would have been a great idea 60 years ago.

          Impossible idea today.

          Entire cities would be – literally – in flames if you tried.

          • So?

            Let it burn.

            It’s not sustainable. Period. End of story. So it burns now (bad) or it burns later (even worse).

            Maybe we could do it in stages, but I think that, given time, The People will just vote in new representatives who would undo any plans in this direction.

            • From my blog:
              http://freedomfliesblackflag.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/an-economy-without-a-parachute/

              The choice for Obama is simple, and analogized by a typical war-time situation. “Either you order the attack or I’ll find someone to replace you who will order the attack”.

              The situation will always conclude with an attack.
              It cannot be otherwise.

              The person who would not attack is removed, and will continue to be removed until someone is found to order the attack. It is a simple flowchart loop:

              “(1)Ordered attack -> no ->new person > goto (1) :
              : if a yes, then (2) attack. Stop.”

              The only way the ‘program ends’ is with an attack.

              This is the same situation with Obama – and each and every other politician who would come after him – it makes no difference who sits in The Great Big Chair. Therefore, we can say – with complete certainty – the conclusion of destruction, even if it comes sometime in the future.

              Of course it would be undone.

              The next guy wanting to sit in the Big Chair would pander to the masses.

              The fateful and fatal attack always happens no matter who stands in the way.

              Don’t you watch the movies?

        • Mathius

          Try a new approach to the problem. Tackling programs one at a time doesn’t work.

          Think about GDP and tax burdens as an unproductive overhead expense to the economy. Like a family, who earns X can afford to give Y to charity and still protect them in the long run against failure. Including their retirement.

          I would bet that if you apply this to govt you would get an answer that Y is about 10%. Because most would still want to give up to 10% to church/charity, and the states are going to want another 5 to 10% (guess which ones are 5 and which are 10).

          So, start with 10% of gross GDP (I don’t like this metric but it makes a good example). Today that means your tax revenue is around 1.0 trillion (1.3 trillion 3 years ago).

          That’s it, that is all you have. Now defense, just defense will take somewhere around 500 to 600 billion (approx 5% of GDP).

          You have whatever is left over to pay off the debt and cover those “programs” you want. Allocate away. But don’t forget to cover the federal highway system (heh, heh, heh).

          I do not subscribe to the actual numbers but you get the idea. An entirely new approach is needed. One that starts with “what is needed for our economic vitality” (this means us, the people, not the govt) and then the govt lives off whatever we can trim from the leftovers, if any.

    • You’re missing the question.

      Let’s accept the premise that these are socialist and economically infeasible and use force on innocents and give to those who didn’t earn, et cetera ad nausium.

      OK. Now. Which is the worst? That is, in light of its intended goal when the program was started, which could give up the most money and still operate in a comparable capacity to that which it was originally intended?

      A. Defense
      B. Medicare/caid
      C. Social Security
      D. Other discretionary spending
      E. Joe Biden

      Why?

      • A. Could be dropped by 80% and still overpower everyone on the planet.

        B. Impossible to drop. Too many people. Any attempt would cause riots and cities burning to the ground.

        C. Impossible to drop. Too many people. Any attempt would cause riots and cities burning to the ground.

        D. 100%. No agencies is necessary.

        E. No one in politics requires a salary. There are all socialist millionaires.

        Doing everything Ron Paul would do, the government would still expand to infinity and collapse albeit much slower.

        • So multiply the percentages you gave me above by their size and the answer is….?

          • Mathius,

            Multiply the WHOLE budget by the factors above – won’t make a dent.

            Thus, a subset of the whole times the factors above – makes less than a dent that makes no difference.

      • Mathius

        Defense! Because of the constraints you placed upon the question.

        This is the only program who’s current goals are substantially different from the goals at the time the program was established. Defense of the USA from agression as opposed to Worlds police force.

        All the other programs have evoleed into exactly what their creators envisioned when they were created. It simply took longer than they had hoped for at the time. That includes Joe Biden, LOL.

        So now what do we do?

        • Great question.

          Let it burn.

          Wanna let it burn.

          Wanna let it burn.

          Wanna wanna let it bu-urn!

          (great, great song by the way, 10 points to whoever names it)

          It’s not sustainable. Period. We have to redefine the scope of the big ticket items. We can’t kill them, and I don’t know that we should even if we could. But we need to narrow them down. Or else the world is eventually going to stop buying our debt and make us narrow them down. And that would be even more painful.

          So what choice do we have?

          • Buck The Wala says:

            April 29, 1992 – Sublime

            I’ll take my points now please.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Sorry, April 26th. Still want those points though.

            • Buck The Wala says:

              One or the other, can never remember the exact date…

              • Displaced Okie says:

                Buck,
                it’s April 29, 1992. Although in the version on “secondhand smoke” I think he says April 26–I’ll have to go through the old CD collection when I get home…

                Hey Mathius,
                Can I get atleast some partial credit for my answer? They weird thing is that I(the cop)was in court and unable to answer, but Buck(the attorney) was not in court and was able to 🙂

                Stay safe and Live Free,
                Displaced Okie

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Ah so the song has two titles then!? Very interesting…and confusing.

                How was your day in court? Last time I was in court was about 2 years ago on a part-time clerkship.

              • I divide the points between the two of you – five points each!

          • Mathius,

            Let’s be clear.

            Changing them, even a bit, will burn cities.

            Eliminating them will burn cities.

            Changing them, but not eliminating them, will burn cities, cities rebuilt, and then burned down again, over and over.

            Eliminating them forever will burn cities once.

            Burning cities, no matter the cause, will overthrow the regime of government that is exists today.

            What rises from the ashes will not be the United States of America, so there will be no programs – even a shadow – that exist today.

            • Funny.. I remember watching my city burn. (more than a few times). Odd that the US still seems to be around..

              • Mathius,

                The riots were local and race based.

                Imagine riots across the entire spectrum of the population everywhere.

              • There were a few that were also based on dry brush and idiots with matches..

                Fire is the rejuvenator. Embrace it, my friend.

          • Mathius

            We have but one choice in my opinion. That is to accept the pain internally.
            This means we will have severe pain and maybe rioting. But we, the American people need to come together and accept the ass whoopin we deserve.

            Then we need to pull together to help our family, friends and neighbors as best we can.

            Matt, I see no easy or painless way out of this mess. One thing for sure. We need to remove all govt impediments to business, both nationally and internationally. We need our economy to expand as fast and as big as it can organically (without govt interference). We must let the ingenuity of the individual determine the most efficient use of our money, and not some govt central planners.

            If we absolutely need certain protections to prevent the bad guys from poisoning our water and air and food then keep those laws that will allow us to put the SOB’s in jail and make them pay the damages.

            By the way, I asked the question first. So what are your ideas.

            Remember, our national debt including 50 year obligations for SS/medicaid/medicare and all current bank promises is somewhere north of 80 trillion. I have heard it could be close to 100 trillion if we knew all the promises made by the Fed/FDIC, etc. Hopefully some of those promises won’t convert to actual debt but I am not optimistic. Remember, we have assumed the obligations of large union and govt employee retirement funds over the past 12 months. These were not in the debt figures from two years ago.

            I would like to hear some of your ideas.

            • My ideas.. my ideas….

              Cut the fat, yada yada yada..

              But the real thing is this, and I’ve been talking about it all day: narrow the scope of the big programs to what their original intent was. Defense department defends. Social security is a means-tested safety net. Et cetera.

              Then, balance the budget – constitution amendment (possible exemption for a defensive, declared, “hot” war on American soil). Violation shall result in ineligibility of the entire congress to run for new term.

              How am I doing so far?

              Not really for budgetary reasons, but just on principle: cap all gov salaries at 100k, indexed for inflation.

              You’re going to like this one. As part of the aforementioned Amendment, all future bills passed by congress must have an explanation of how they are justified under the Constitution.

              END FARM SUBSIDIES!

              End most subsidies.

              And this one you aren’t going to like: increase taxes on top earners. Increase the top tax bracket (75%?)

              I could go on, but I won’t, so I’ll leave it there. Your thoughts?

              • Mathius,

                Pipe dreams unless you measure human action in response.

                Do you think anyone will be elected on such a platform?

                If they lie, and try to implement such a platform, what do you think the people will do?

                This is the problem – it isn’t merely a budget problem, Mathius, it is all human problems.

                The first variable cannot stand alone without addressing the second.

                Look back in history to see what the regime did to solve the second when the instituted the first.

              • That’s just what I would do.. he asked for my ideas, and those are it.

                But I think things are fine as they are. I think they’ll be even better after Obama’s second term. I would like to do something about debt, but I’m not sure it’ll happen until we run into a brick wall, suffer for a decade and emerge a new nation on the other side – but that could be 50 years away. Or it might be never.

                I’ll put my faith in the dollar until then.

  16. Bottom Line says:

    I seriously considered not pressing “Submit Comment”. But what the hell, I may as well take advantage of my freedom of speech while I still have it….

    Dear Faux-bama,

    We all know how bad “W” wrecked our country and we needn’t be reminded. You went into it with a clear understanding of the mess you were inheriting. You willingly accepted this responsibility.

    The “W” excuse is getting old.

    It’s like ordering a turd sandwich on wheat and then complaining that it tastes like shit. (great metaphor Wasabi!)

    Bush’s fault? Yeah we grant you that…so shut your lie factory and fix it already.

    And you can start by reversing the damage, not exponentiating it.

    You’ve managed to reverse your position on almost every promise that you made during your campaign.

    Which makes you a big fat liar. Hence the nickname “Faux-bama”.

    We’re sick of the lies.
    We’re sick of the games.
    We’re sick of arrogance.
    We’re sick of hearing “I” and “me” come out of your mouth.
    We’re sick of not being represented.
    We’re sick of not having a choice.
    We’re sick of BOTH parties.
    We’re sick of worrying about our financial future and whether we will be able to pay our mortgages.
    We’re sick of losing our homes.
    We’re sick of losing our jobs.
    We’re sick of the FED.
    We’re sick of watching the value of the dollar shrink.
    We’re sick of borrowing money from China.
    We’re sick of fiscal irresponsibility.
    We’re sick of having our tax money being spent on fat rich assholes for no other reason than to
    keep them rich and fat.
    We’re sick of being told what is good for us.
    We’re sick of the condescension.
    We’re sick of having legislation rammed down our throats.
    We’re sick of not knowing what’s being rammed down our throats.
    We’re sick of illegals.
    We’re sick of watching our constitution get raped.
    We’re sick of being spied on by our paranoid government.
    We’re sick of paying for pointless wars.
    We’re sick of watching our troops die in vain.
    We’re sick of watching you pander to the world.
    We’re sick of hearing about socialism.
    We’re sick of watching our presidents dismiss their oath as if it had no meaning.
    We’re sick of investing our hopes in YOUR change.

    We’re sick of everything I’ve mentioned, …and then some.

    We’re just plain sick and tired of it all, and we expect you to at least do your best to try and fix it.

    And you obviously have no intention of doing so.

    So, ….I respectfully ask that you resign.

    …Or to put it a little more bluntly…

    !!!GET OUT!!!

    !GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE!

    Go back to wherever it is that you came from, and take your progressive friends with you.

    Oh, and I almost forgot to thank you for the one single thing you’ve done that I agree with…

    Thanks for telling the Attorney General to chill with the marijuana busts.

    Thanks, and have a nice day.

    B.L.

    • BL.. meant to replay here.. put it below (#17).. sorry, cognitive skills aren’t up to snuff today..

  17. We’re sick of being spied on by our paranoid government.

    Is it really paranoia if you’re really out to get them?

    Oh, and I award you 15 points for your 3rd to last line, but unfortunately something seems to be messing with my short term memory so I can’t problem to remember this..

    • Bottom Line says:

      Thanx Matt!

      I’m moving up in the world.

      Can I get 15 more for repeating it?

      lol.

    • Hi Mathius!

      Hope today finds you and the misses very well and warm. Hope your feeling better, after a few more years of these winters, you’ll adjust 🙂

      I did notice in your posts above, that you would like to do away with SS and Medicade/Care. Oddly, as I was reading, I don’t recall you mentioning WELFARE. What I found equally strange, is that Seniors on SS and Medicare, in fact paid into those programs for most or all of their working lives. Welfare Rats have paid NOTHING!

      Maybe I’m seeing a coincidence, or maybe the left’s true goals are just not being made public, but these ideas reek of those “death panels” that were so quickly slammed, but yet you espouse the equivilent.

      Just wondering!?!

      Peace!

      G!

      • Forgot to hit the email button! Long 3 days!

        • No, no, G.. not quite.

          I do not wish to get rid of social security. I just wish to return them to their original purpose. I only want people who need social security to be eligible for social security.

          John McCain* is on Social Security. Do you see anything wrong with this? The man owns seven houses. He is worth millions. And yet he’s getting a weekly (bi-weekly?) check for the purpose of providing him a basic standard of living. Humbug!

          Essentially, I think social security should be more like welfare. So, of course I don’t oppose welfare. (Though I do think it could afford some improvements too). I think it should keep people who are too old to work from having to work anyway, or beg for change, or live on the streets. I think 65 now is not the same as 65 then – it should probably not be indexed to age, but rather health – some people are quite capable of work at 65, while others are at retirement age at 50.

          Does that clarify things?

          And so what if they paid into it? They pay into a lot of things, but they’re not building up money for themselves, they’re paying for current retirees. They’re paying for the needy. If they become needy, they’ll receive. Otherwise, it’s just like any other tax.

          *Not to pick on McCain specifically, I’m sure we could come up with dozens of other examples without difficulty.

          • Thanks Matt, You did clarify quite well.

            You said: And so what if they paid into it? They pay into a lot of things, but they’re not building up money for themselves, they’re paying for current retirees. They’re paying for the needy. If they become needy, they’ll receive. Otherwise, it’s just like any other tax.

            If, you look at the history of SS, it began as a volunteer program and has progressed what it is today, a fine example as to why GOVT shouldn’t control anything, because they manage to screw it up.

            No, McCain should not be getting SS with his current wealth, if he is fact getting it. Seniors can work while receiving SS, but only allowed to make so much. I would think that that would disqualify McCain, unless, it’s has something to do with war wounds (not sure on that).

            I say stop welfare and let’s have a corn roast!

            G!

  18. Buck,

    The fundamental change has been the perception.

    Previously, though the government has been Socialist/Fascist for decades, the cover is now blown.

    For those that are paying moderate attention, this awareness hit last year with the nationalization of Freddie and Fannie and the auto and banking industry writ large.

    For those still sleeping, nothing has changed.

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Perception has changed for some, sure. But that doesn’t mean the perception is reality.

      The government has not been a socialist/fascist government for decades. Some policies can be characterized as socialist in nature, but we are a long way from having a socialist or fascist government.

      You may want to characterize our current government as socialist/fascist. Others are likewise free to perceive our government as socialist/fascist. But that doesn’t just make it so.

      • Buck,

        I believe your definitions need a review.

        We have been Socialist/Fascist for at least 40 years.

        Please read USWep’s very first guest post by “you know who’

        https://standupforamerica.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/guest-commentator-you-wont-believe-it/

        The American political system has been soft-core fascist for almost a century. Liberals love to call conservatives fascists.

        The problem is, the liberals are right.

        Of course, well-informed conservatives like to call liberals fascists, and they are correct, too.

        Everyone who believes in the efficiency of the so-called government-business alliance is a fascist.

        Most people do not understand the difference between fascism and Communism. Fascism: State-run capitalism.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Let’s take the traditional right-left approach to politics. Fascism would lie on the far right. Socialism would be on the far left.

          Yes, this is overly simplistic, and perhaps even a bit misleading, but you get the gist.

          Are there some elements of ‘fascism’ to be found in our politics? Sure. Are there some elements of ‘socialism’ to be found in our politics? Sure.

          But this does not make us a fascist nor a socialist nation.

          • Buck,

            Your definition is faulty (and/or non-existent).

            What do you think fascism is?

            (BF: Fascism = State-run capitalism)

            • Buck The Wala says:

              We have state-regulated capitalism (to an extent). And regulation is a good thing, now if we could only get some more of it! Or at the very least actually enforce the regulations we have.

              Fascism: A political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government; A political regime, usually totalitarian, ideologically based on centralized government, government control of business, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights.

              Again, some elements of fascism can be found, but that does not make us fascist.

              • Buck,

                What percentage is the pass grade for you?

                100%, 50%, 75%?

                When is it fascist for you?

                I’ll take your definition – and let’s grade it.

                A political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government;

                The Federal government – via the Commerce Act – involves itself as the superior governmental body. With the exercise of the Patriot Act, and the declared (and yet to refuted claim) of the Attorney General that the President has the authority to act in any way he sees fit under those provisions – including summary arrest, indefinite imprisonment and refusal of Habeus Corpus.

                Mark: 100%

                A political regime, usually totalitarian, ideologically based on centralized government,

                See above comment:

                Mark: 100%

                government control of business,

                Grade: 100%


                repression of criticism or opposition,

                MSM – Grade: 50%

                With internet censorship – 100% – but its not quite here yet…


                a leader cult

                100%

                and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights.

                100%

                What do you see?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Centralized government? Yes and no – we do have state governments and local governments. Not everything is centralized. Maybe 50%. Probably even less.

                Government control of business? Not even close. Some regulations does not equate to control over business. I’ll give this a 20%

                Repression of criticism? I’ll assign another arbitrary number of 20% and I think that is being ‘generous’ for a pro-fascism stance.

                A leader cult? Yeah, Obama has his ardent followers who perhaps worship him. But the majority of the country does not see it this way. Let’s give that a 33% given the large play this got during the last election.

                Exalting the state above individual rights? Need yet another arbitrary number – lets go with 45% here; again I’m being generous.

                As I’ve continuously argued today – yes, there are some elements of fascism that can be found. The Patriot Act is a prime example. But just because some want to characterize and even caricature-ize certain programs and policies as fascist in nature does not mean that we are living in a fascist country.

                If I’m being forced to use your arbitrary percentage scale, I would say once all elements are well over 50% we would be living in a fascist country. Again, that’s just not the case.

              • Buck,

                Centralized government? Yes and no – we do have state governments and local governments. Not everything is centralized. Maybe 50%. Probably even less.

                It is hierarchical, and the Federal government is primary.

                Government control of business? Not even close.

                Over 40% of the economy is under the direct control of the government NOT including the following:

                Freddie/Fanny nationalized.

                Auto nationalized.

                Banks nationalized.

                Your ‘not even close’ needs to be refined a bit.

                As I’ve continuously argued today – yes, there are some elements of fascism that can be found. The Patriot Act is a prime example. But just because some want to characterize and even caricature-ize certain programs and policies as fascist in nature does not mean that we are living in a fascist country.

                I think you are muddling the jack-boots marching down the street to be fascist. Though the US is slipping into that as well, that is not necessarily required.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Yes there’s a hierarchy but to argue that we have a 100% centralized government is just plain false.

                Ok, so the government has its fingers in much of the economy, but direct control? Even giving you that 40% number (which I again say is generous) it is not sufficient to render this fascism.

              • Buck,

                Well – let’s test.

                You cannot travel without Central Government authority (no-fly list, passports, search, interstate commerce).

                You cannot access the air waves with central government license.

                You cannot supply food without Central government license.

                You cannot supply medical service without Central government license.

                Transportation, Energy – all Central controlled.

                You cannot build without Central government license.

                100% of all law is confirmed or denied by Central authority.

                Do not confuse mere delegation to local authority to enforce Central government law.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Buck…

                Black Flag is correct.

                A few months ago, I decided to see if there was anything in my own personal life that I did that didn’t have some method of central government involved. Honestly, I couldn’t find anything.

                From the time that my alarm clock awoke me in the morning, EVERYTHING I touched or did had government involvement in one way or another.

                If you are able to think of something that you do in your life that doesn’t have central government involvement, then please do let me know.

                Best Regards,
                RS

          • Buck

            This: “Let’s take the traditional right-left approach to politics. Fascism would lie on the far right. Socialism would be on the far left.”

            IS NOT the tradition approach at all. It was a false scale presented as part of the propoganda campaign by the socialist and communists to make the socialist/fascists appear to be “reactionary” or “right wingers”. In those days that meant folks supporting the traditional monarchy or oligarchy forms of govt.

            The scale you use is FALSE and if you notice places freedom between two forms of Statism. Now that doesn’t make sense does it?

            • Buck The Wala says:

              Not a false scale, just not the scale you would choose to employ.

              Freedom to you is, at least largely, no government. Take that out of the equation and you have a scale for differing types of government. On the right is fascism and on the left is socialism.

              Not a perfect scale in the least, but you get the picture.

              • But fascism and socialism are the same thing – National Socialist Party has a nice right to it, not?

                Both insist on government control of the economy – you are merely dithering around velocity and spelling.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Fascism and Socialism in theory are not the same thing.

                They may have certain common elements, but the terms are not synonymous.

              • Buck

                They are both forms of Statism. So how can you put them on opposite ends of a scale?

                What the hell goes in between them in your mind?

              • Buck The Wala says:

                You’re working with a very different scale than I am.

                I admit it may not be the best scale, but don’t pretend to not get the gist of what I was saying. 🙂

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Let me add to that — what would be your scale?

              • I repeat JAC’s post above ..(ibid)..

                Specifically, Fascism is a subset of Socialism.

  19. Buck,

    What’s your definition of change?

    • Buck The Wala says:

      Change: to make different, to transform.

      How has this country been made different, how has this country been transformed, in the past year? Two years? Three?

      Change very very rarely comes overnight. Rather there are gradual steps that occur and, when you look back, things are different. Has this country experienced change over the past 235 years? Of course it has, as has every country. Has this country been fundamentally changed by the Obama administrated over the course of the past year? Not seeing it, sorry.

      • I do see it, Buck. People are apprehensive. You didn’t see that under Bush. More people are out of work than under Bush and the pre Dem controlled congress. People are starting to believe America’s best days are behind her. The economy is much worse than when O took office. If he isn’t at least partially responsible for what’s going on, then why is he in office? We should remove him and save about 400k per year.

        • Buck The Wala says:

          Yes there are many problems we are facing right now, that’s a given. Yes Obama shares some of the blame. But Obama cannot and should not be the central focus as to what is wrong and how to fix it.

          Also, Cyndi, you didn’t answer my questions:

          How has this country been made different, how has this country been transformed, in the past year? Two years? Three?

          • Higher unemployment, apprehension, fear of the government, higher gov. debt, higher homelessness, higher forclosures, more people on food stamps, ‘czars’, more lobbiests, devalued dollar, more soldiers sent over seas, terrorists being read Miranda rights. I’d go on but I’m at work and don’t have all day to recap the Change…..

            • Buck The Wala says:

              These aren’t ‘fundamental changes’ to our country. These are problems we are facing and attempting to deal with given the current state of the economy.

              I think we need your definition of ‘change’ to continue this discussion because we are obviously approaching it from two very different sides.

              I will speak to one issue though – ‘terrorists being read Miranda rights’: That is exactly what should be happening. This is not a departure from our legal tradition, but a continuation of it. Under Bush, we read the shoebomber his Miranda rights in 2002 and tried him in our courts – do you believe that was the wrong course of action? In 1993 the WTC bombers were arrested and tried in court. Same with Timothy McVeigh.

              • I’d say its VERY fundamental to the people involved. Also, when can all those involved expect to return to properity since this is temporary?

                McVeigh should have had his Mirnada rights read because he was a legal resident as well as citizen. The rest of the non resident terrorists should have been treated as war criminals.

              • Buck The Wala says:

                Yes of course its ‘fundamental’ to those currently unemployed. But this does not represent a fundamental change in the country. It is a blip (hopefully a short one) on the radar.

                JAC made the argument that how the administrations (Bush and Obama) have reacted represents a major change that may result in a fundamental change to the country going forward. That’s a fair argument to make. But simply the fact that we are experiencing high unemployment is not an example of a fundamental change.

                As for terrorism, I’ve gotta disagree — terrorism is a crime launched against citizens and should be dealt with as such. There is a long history of trying terrorists in our courts so this doesn’t seem to be a change at all.

              • Okay Buck,

                I’ll be sure to tell all my friends who work the space programs, that thanks to Obama, just found out that their are loosing their jobs in the next couple of months; that this is just a blip and not a fundamental change of any kind. I’m sure that’s exactly what they’ll think when they lose their homes, life savings and very probably their livelyhoods. No fundamental change there, nope, none at all. I’m sure they’ll agree with you.

              • Do you see this as being true?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                A bit dramatic, don’t you think!?

                To a minority of the population I do believe its true. For the majority, no, I don’t. Polls (and yes, I always take such polls with a grain of salt considering how easy it is to miscontrue them and load the questions/answers to make a point) but nonetheless, polls continually show the majority of the country wants reform in many of these areas. A lot of the so-called backlash against Obama comes from liberal groups that are angry that he has not gone far enough, that he has made miscalculations in his policies. On health care, for instance, liberals are pissed that he didn’t take a more front-and-center approach and instead caved to a minority. The result: a bad bill that doesn’t do nearly enough.

                Another sizeable percentage of the populace disapproving of and angry with the Obama administration comes from people that would never approve of him no matter what he does since he has a (D) after his name. Same is true of Bush or any other political figure in today’s increasingly polarized society.

                So in a nutshell, to answer you question – No.

              • Cool, just asking. It is dramatic and well done, as far as media goes.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Fair enough. Now let me ask you a question – do you believe it is true?

              • below, too squishy

  20. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    For once, BF and Mathius are both right about something. (Strange, no?)

    If we take the actions necessary to TRULY solve our problems, it is likely that many cities will burn. However; many types of trees require fire in order to spread and reproduce. Many forests use fire as a way of culling the dead wood and unhealthy trees and becoming better and stronger forests.

    So BF is right, cities will burn, but Mathius is right, fire is a cleansing agent and should not necessarily be feared and avoided.

    • Peter,

      Review your recommendation.

      The burning of cities will mean thousand, maybe hundreds of thousands of people will die.

      You and your family may die in the conflagration.

      Everyone will be dealt significant, potentially fatal, harm, physically and financially.

      Collapse of social order. Roving bands of marauders seeking victims.

      Collapse of law and order. Roving bands of highly trained police and army – warlords we’d call them in other countries – exercising fiat control

      Collapse of social services and health. No hospitals. You get injured, even lightly, may mean death.

      I am in a cheery mood today.

      • Hey BF!

        Isn’t this the direction we’re heading for now? If so, I’d like to get on with while I’m still a young vibrant warrior type, instead of an old feeble fart with a walker with a beer can holder. 🙂

        G!

        • G-Man,

          Sooner is better than later.

          I, too, would rather have my daughter growing up and raising her family in the rebirth, than suffer the near-death.

          I’ll take the duty on protecting the family through the near-death and leave the “Happy Days” to inherit.

          Where’s a match? 🙂

          • I left the matches under the couch in the living room. You know, the silo room with the ICBM in the corner?

          • I agree 100%

            Would you prefer an old fashioned corn roast, or smores? My guess would be smores for the daughter, and that’s OK, we can have hotdogs and beer, 🙂

      • BF

        And the alternative will result in …………………..

        I get the same answer.

        So exactly what is your point?

        Never mind, I know where this is going.

        • JAC,

          However, there is an alternative – and its worse (if you can believe it).

          I failed to account for what my friend highlighted. Global War on somebody.

          For the war effort:

          – Massive rationing. Same effect as a massive recession – contraction of the money supply plus massive shortages. However, to the people it will be an honorable sacrifice to the ’cause’.

          – Massive forced labor. The unemployed applied to government demanded needs, primarily military.

          – Massive blocks on migration. People forced to stay put. Relocation by government decree not economic need or desire.

          – Spy on your neighbor. Secret police. Massive overt marital law self-enforced by the people on the people. Mass arrests and private execution of dissidents.

          The victory in the war is immaterial (as long a loss is not fatal to the ruling elite), as long as large causalities are borne – military deaths measured in hundreds a day, not tens a month. Even better, large American civilian losses to galvanize the mentality of sacrifice for a ‘better’ tomorrow.

          One need only look to the German and Japanese revival after a devastating war – that will be the goal – while avoiding the postwar Weimar and Czarist Russian experience – a tight rope to be true – however….

          • You have a way of painting such a rosey picture of the future! Almost like revisiting the Land of OZ!

  21. from American Thinker

    America, the ungovernable?
    Clarice Feldman
    Taking issue with those bien pensants who look at Obama’s failed agenda and pronounce America “ungovernable,” analyst Jay Cost says the president is not up to the hard job to which he was elected, that he has turned over too much power to the leftist Pelosi and failed to build a consensus for his far too ambitious endeavors

    Both of these failures get back to the idea that this country can only be led effectively when there is a broad coalition supporting her leaders. That requires those leaders to have a breadth of vision that this President has so far lacked. He has allowed a very liberal Speaker to lead the House too far to the left, and he has demanded comprehensive reforms that were destined to alienate a significant portion of the country.
    He has been narrow, not broad. He has been partial, not post-partisan. He has been ideological, not pragmatic. No number of “eloquent” speeches can alter these facts. This is why his major initiatives have failed, why his net job approval has dropped 50 points in 12 months, and why he is substantially weaker now than he was a year ago.

    This strategy might have made sense if the country was really in the midst of a “liberal moment.” But it is not. While the President won a decisive victory in 2008, his congressional majority in both chambers depends entirely upon members whose constituents voted for John McCain. In fact, the President’s election 16 months ago was one of the most polarizing in recent history. This remains a divided country, which creates complications in a system such as ours. The President should have recognized this, and governed with a view to building a broad coalition. But he has not.

    I think Cost’s right and I think Obama will not change course nor wise up..

    Clarice Feldman

  22. Judy Sabatini says:

    Hey All

    Just saw on face book American Majority said that John Murtha died. Didn’t give any details, just that. Thought I’d pass that along to all.

    Hope all is doing good for a Monday.

    Judy

  23. From David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States.
    What the Past Tells Us
    David Walker
    New York, New York

    Perhaps because we are a young country, Americans tend not to pay much attention to the lessons of history.

    Well, we should start, because those lessons are brutal.

    Power, even great power, if not well tended, erodes over time.

    Nations, like corporations and people, can lose discipline and morale. Economic and political vulnerability go hand in hand.

    Remember, without a strong economy, a nation’s international standing, standard of living, national security, and even its domestic tranquility will suffer over time.

    Many of us think that a superpowerful, prosperous nation like America will be a permanent fixture dominating the world scene. We are too big to fail. But you don’t have to delve far into the history books to see what has happened to other once-dominant powers.

    Most of us have witnessed seismic political shifts in our lifetime. In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev settled into his job as the Soviet Union’s young and charismatic new leader and began acting on his mandate to reenergize the socialist empire. Seven years later that empire collapsed and disappeared from the face of the Earth. Gorbachev runs a think tank in Moscow now.

    In a sense, the larger world is starting to resemble the nasty and brutish life that long has characterized the corporate world.

    Just ask Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric. Of the twelve giants that made up the first Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896 – all of them once considered too big to fail – only GE remains. The other towering names of the era – the American Cotton Oil Company, the US Leather Company, the Chicago Gas Company, and the like – all have faded away. And as GE stands against the winds of today’s financial challenges, ask Immelt whether there is such thing as a company that is too big to fail.

    I love to read history books for the lessons they offer. After all, as the homily goes, if you don’t learn from history, you may be doomed to repeat it.

    Great powers rise and fall. None has a covenant to perpetuate itself without cost. The millennium of the Roman Empire – which included five hundred years as a republic – came to an end in the fifth century after scores of years of gradual decay.

    We Americans often study that Roman endgame with trepidation.

    We ask, as Cullen Murphy put it in the title of his provocative 2007 book, are we Rome?

    The trouble is not that we see ourselves as an empire with global swagger. But we do see ourselves as a superpower with global responsibilities – guardians if not enforcers of a Pax Americana.

    And as a global power, America presents unsettling parallels with the disintegration of Rome – a decline of moral values, a loss of political civility, an overextended military, an inability to control national borders, and a growth of fiscal irresponsibility by the central government. Do these sound familiar?

    Finally, there is what Murphy calls the “complexity parallel”: Mighty powers like America and Rome grow so big and sprawling that they become impossible to manage. In comparing the two, he writes, one should “think less about the ability of a superpower to influence everything on earth, and more about how everything on earth affects a superpower.”

    A superpower that is financially reliant on others can be vulnerable to foreign influence. The British Empire learned this in 1956, when Britain and France were contesting control of the Suez Canal with Egypt. The Soviet Union was threatening to intervene on Egypt’s side, turning the regional dispute into a global showdown between Moscow and Washington. The Eisenhower administration wanted to avoid that, and the United States also happened to control the bulk of Britain’s foreign debt. President Eisenhower demanded that the British and French withdraw. When they refused, the United States quietly threatened to sell off a significant amount of its holdings in the British pound, which would have effectively destroyed Britain’s currency.

    The British and French backed down and withdrew from Suez within weeks. The US dollar has never come under a direct foreign attack (though its vulnerability is growing). A direct foreign attack would result in a dramatic move away from the dollar. That would lead to a significant decline in its value, as well as higher interest rates. This is often referred to by economists as a “hard landing.” In lay terms, it’s more like a crash landing.

    Still, Americans have become intimately acquainted with the shocks of financial instability. Americans of a certain age still vividly recall the depths of the Depression in the 1930s and the chaos of inflation and long gasoline lines during the oil shock of the 1970s. We will also remember the financial collapse that began in 2008, and we pray for nothing worse. Some of our smartest financial thinkers are praying right along with us. “I do think that piling up more and more and more external debt and having the rest of the world own more and more of the United States may create real political instability down the line,” investor Warren Buffett has said, “and increases the possibility that demagogues [will] come along and do some very foolish things.”

  24. Mathius,

    Things are not fine – they are not even close to fine – they are in a decaying orbit around “utter, total disaster”.

    This weekend, in a conversation with an smart old friend over beer – where I outlined the options of a man without a parachute – suicide in flight or death by contact with earth – he offered an ‘out’.

    In fact, it is the same out all other Empires exercise when in this position of certain death…..

    …Global War…

  25. o.o

  26. Judy Sabatini says:

    I guess this is another part of the spending spree he’s doing. This just as bad as what they’re doing here in Ponds, they’re going to kill off all the pike fish, because of the trout. They do this every year, but every year, those pike keep coming back. Sorry, but I find this to be another wasye of money.

    U.S. to Commit $78.5M to Fight Asian Carp

    AP

    The Obama administration says it will spend $78.5 million to halt the giant Asian carp, which officials fear could spread and possibly endanger the Great Lakes region’s $7 billion fishing industry.

    Fox News Channel

    Michigan and other Great Lakes states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to order shipping locks separating the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River basin closed immediately to prevent the Carp from entering the Great Lakes.

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it will spend $78.5 million to halt the giant Asian carp, which officials fear could spread and possibly endanger the Great Lakes region’s $7 billion fishing industry.

    Federal officials say they’ll consider opening navigational locks on Chicago-area waterways less frequently to prevent the carp from overrunning the Great Lakes.

    Top officials of the Obama administration were meeting Monday with governors from several Great Lakes states. Michigan has asked the Supreme Court to order navigational locks closed to block the carp from reaching Lake Michigan, but has so far been denied.

    Officials announced last month that genetic material from the carp had been discovered in Lake Michigan for the first time.

    Asian carp are not indigenous to the Midwest but have proved exceptionally capable in moving their way upstream. They’ve been spotted a few miles from the Great Lake. Michigan officials call the animal a “public nuisance” and fear that “irreparable injury” will occur if the fish is able to swim into Lake Michigan. That’s why they asked for the Supreme Court to intervene and close two locks that have served as a conduit for the fish.

    The invasive Asian carp species is considered dangerous because of the fish’s size, rapid rate of reproduction and voracious eating habits, according to the Environmental Protection Agency EPA). The species was introduced by U.S. catfish farmers to control algae, but spread quickly during floods and risk choking out other species.

  27. Einstein was born March 14, 1879. He would be 130 if he were alive today.

    Few people remember that the Nobel Prize winner married his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal, after his first marriage dissolved in 1919. At the tim e he stated that he was attracted to Elsa because she was so well endowed.

    He postulated that if you are attracted to women with large breasts, the attraction is even stronger if there is a DNA Connection.

    This came to be known as….

    Einstein’s Theory of “Relative Titty.”

    Oh, quit groaning! I don’t write this shit, I receive it from my warped friends and then send it on to you. It beats the political crap.

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi G

      That was funny, and I especially liked what you said at the end.

      Hope you’re doing good today in spite of all that snow you’re getting or going to get.

      • Hi Judy,

        I guess Botton Line wants me to E him, but want to verify first. SNOW, argghh! After 19 inches Friday night, we are under a winter storm warning for an additional 6 to 10 by Wednesday afternoon.

        Interestingly, if this storm equals the weather guessers prediction for Friday night of 3 to 6, then it could be safe to say we could get, if my math works today, 23 inches or so! Lot’s of overtime and body aches. Noway to plow the sidewalks now, the edges 8 inches above the top of the plow. That means it’s the big snowblowers for the sidewalks. I’m really glad I had all the outdoor equipment fixed and in working order prior to last winter, as it is paying off now!

        G!

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          I don’t envy you one bit with all that snow. Just do me a favor, don’t send it here, even though we need it, just don’t want it. I really don’t or can’t imagine how everybody back there copes, but I guess you do, don’t you.

          • We cope, in many different ways. Some just call off and stay home, me, I go in and help the yardcrew deal with it. They can’t just work forever, and need support so they can get some rest after 20 plus hours. With one of three now hurt and off work, I turn into #3, due to my experience. No problem here, They have earned the help.

            • Judy Sabatini says:

              And I applaud you G for helping any way you can. WOW! 20 plus hours without rest. Sorry to hear about the 3 that are hurt, hope they get better soon.

              You’re a very nice guy to do that, ya know, even if you don’t have to. I bet they really appreciated it too.

  28. Bottom Line says:

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Hi BL

      Well, that certainly was different, but was waiting to see a bunch of dancers come out on stage.

      • Bottom Line says:

        It’s intended as a dedication to my violin playing friend in a blue dress.

        I thought she might appreciate it.

        Apparently, she agrees with my last post from yesterday.

        • Judy Sabatini says:

          Well, you can tell your friend BL, I thought she was very good, in fact they both are. I was just saying, that when I hear music like that, I expected to see dancers coming out to dance to it. I love watching people dance to that music.

          • Bottom Line says:

            I wasn’t speaking of the lady in the video.

            I was trying to be vague, as to not draw TOO much attention.

            Perhaps I’ll have Mr.Yerfmeen explain it to you.

        • BL,

          Good video! Having seen hundreds of live concerts, my favorites are the one’s where the musicians are having fun in what they are doing. These violinists certainly appear to be having fun, that makes it much more of a show!

          G!

  29. Judy Sabatini says:

    I don’t care who you are, military or not, you don’t treat any child this way, ever. There is something severely wrong when you punish a child because she doesn’t know her A B C’s. I hope he will get punished to the highest degree for this. His girlfriend is just as guilty for letting this happen or even taking part in this. There is no excuse ever to treat any child the way these people did.

    It just breaks my heart to read about any child getting hurt by anybody, especially their own parents. I hope they take that little girl away from them before it’s too late and something more severe happens to her.

    Soldier Charged With Assaulting Daughter, 4, Over ABCs

    Monday, February 08, 2010

    A U.S. soldier has been accused of holding his 4-year-old daughter’s head underwater because she would not recite her ABCs.

    Joshua Tabor, 27, of Yelm, Wash., allegedly beat the child before holding her head under water Sunday night in the family’s kitchen sink, The News Tribune reported.

    Tabor reportedly told a police officer that he and his girlfriend “held her down on the counter and submerged her head into the water three or four times until the water came around her forehead and jawline,” according to the newspaper.

    The suspect said he punished the girl for “refusing to say her letters.”

    Tabor, a soldier at the Lewis-McChord base in Tacoma, Wash., has been charged with second-degree assault of a child and is set to appear in court Feb. 16.

    The suspect reportedly told police that his daughter was afraid of water “and was squirming around trying to get away from the water.”

    “Joshua did not act as though he felt there was anything wrong with this form of punishment,” the police report said.

    Tabor’s girlfriend also told authorities that the girl had “severe bruising on her entire back” and had locked herself in a closet to hide from her father, the newspaper reported.

  30. Buck,

    I found the music and presentaion to be well thought out and overall, for it’s message, very effective.

    To answer your question, I thought there was some truth to it, and you verified that to me by your reply. You mentioned polls, that clearly undermine your majority/minority position. I didn’t mention any polls, but they have been well documented that a Majority are conservative.

    I only asked to research a theory on the left wing side of things, as I am still trying to learn. Your reply fits quite well with what I have read from numerous articles. While it wouldn’t be fair to apply a complete correctness to those articles based on just one comment, I was surprised at how you answered. You do fit with the left wing, although you may not be sure of it.

    Thanks!

    Hope you and your family are well, warm, and don’t wish for snow anymore, it hurts my back 😆 19 inches Friday night, 6 to 10 coming tomorrow night!

    Peace my Friend!

    G!

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Nah, I’m sure of it — I’m left wing! 🙂

      Polls may show a majority as ‘conservative’ but polls also show a majority want health care reform and a majority agree with much of the ‘left wing’ agenda to varying degrees. I personally don’t believe that video to be true, but I do believe a minority of the country does believe it to be true to them, if that clarifies things any.

      Sorry but I am wishing for snow — weather reports got my hopes up this past weekend and I woke up Saturday morning to find a whopping 1 INCH of snow on the ground. Very disappointing. They’re calling for up to a foot on Tuesday night and I for one am hopeful we get it here – could mean a day off from work! Gotta love snow days.

      • You can have our snow, we have nowhere to put it now. We still aren’t cleaned up well from Friday, and here it comes again! But that’s the weather around here, no such thing as an easy winter, it’s either butthole deep in snow or downright frigid, like this morning, 4 below to 4 above, depending on where you lived. Cold like that just stinks!

  31. Judy Sabatini says:

    I know I didn’t say anything about today’s article, but the the only change I have seen in this past year, is, it has gone from bad to worse. This is not the change I think the people were looking for.

    I didn’t see people losing their jobs, or their homes when Bush was in office. Yea, I know, he wasn’t the greatest, but at least he didn’t interfere with the way people lived their lives like with this pres either. He was an arrogant person like with this one is. The ” I WON, GET OVER IT” attitude like this one. Shops weren’t closing like with this one, Businesses wasn’t going out of business like with this one.

    You get the picture, things have gone down hill ever since he stepped foot into the oval office, and his henchmen are no better either. I’m sure glad I DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM.

    That’s it, that’s all I wanted to say.

    Good night to all and sleep well.

    Judy

  32. Todd,

    Re: 9/11

    I wonder what the odds would be…

    …for the US government….

    …to have an exercise….

    … that has an airplane hitting a US government building….

    … 4 miles from the Pentagon….

    … at 9:32 AM… (according to the script)

    …on…
    …wait for it…

    Sept. 11 /2001.

    Just for the record, the Flight 77 hit the Pentagon @ 9:37 –
    ….

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-08-22-sept-11-plane-drill-_x.htm

    …but, hey, the laws of physics went on a holiday in New York – I guess the laws of probability took the same vacation in D.C.

    • Because of this exercise, the emergency action team was already deployed and ready… when the call came in, fire and rescue was less than 5 minutes away – all prep’d and ready for airplane crash into a building – AMAZING!

      This “pre-planned accident by forced probability” saved many lives.

  33. So BF…I haven’t seen this part talked about yet. Assuming it was an inside job – the buildings were a problem that needed to go – how did the terrorists become involved and for what? Was it a kill two birds with one stone thing? Was there some plan that our guys had with the terrorists where the result was win/win. We get a reason to start a war* and lose some bad buildings – you get a reason for jihad? Did everyone think that 9 years later this would still be an issue? And what’s the point of hitting the Pentagon? And the Shanksville plane?….What’s the point? It just seems to be an awful big plan to construct….the Hatfields and the McCoys had to agree on the whole thing to begin with. Just curious about your thoughts.

    * (I mean finish the Gulf War)

    • Anita,

      Assuming it was an inside job – the buildings were a problem that needed to go – how did the terrorists become involved and for what?

      Speculation – and probably pointless at this time. Until the truth of “what happened” can be resolved more clearly, “who did it” will remain in a fog.

      HOWEVER, not being one to shy away from speculation…. 🙂

      I take WW2 for an example.

      Japan was not provoked by the USA to invade China. However, the USA saw the invasion as a valuable prospect to get the USA into the European war.

      When Japan and Germany signed their treaty, I’m confident some big brain in the FDR administration, feet up on a desk, planned a strategic chain of events that would conclude with American boots in Europe.

      With a push and a prod, Japan filled in the gaps, and viola!

      Less than a year later, US troops were in North Africa.

      I believe this is the probable strategical tactic on 9/11.

      There was a plan by some radical group to somehow attack America itself.

      The plan was floated by Bin Laden, who shot it down. He is smart enough to know not to work out of his region, and further, his goal is US disengagement not deepening.

      There was a spy, who informed some security agency – my guess either Mossad (Israel) or ISI (Pakistan) – and a hawk in that agency saw an opportunity to force American interests in the region to expand.

      Through the spy, they provided the money, passports and training for the operation. The operation met the goals of hawks in the US, who contributed operational ‘shut downs’ where necessary. They did not need to lift a finger – just like with Japan 1941 – to have the deed done. All they needed to do is blind certain military and withhold knowledge. No overt action required.

      The buildings coming down was already a plan to avoid massive loss of life due to a ‘toppling’ of the towers. This was an independent decision made due to the first bombing attack. However, as the towers were a financial and health problem, it may have been an opportunity to ‘clear the way’ and another agenda was placed on top of the entire plan.

      (It is completely probable that multiple and independent agendas were in play all at the same time – each using the same event to forward diverse unrelated plans.

      This is probable because of the immense complexity of pulling apart the day by scenario.

      It’s like trying to fix a burnt out light bulb – the light is burnt out AND the wiring is frayed and broken AND the light switch doesn’t work – you can figure out any one of these things – but the whole thing still doesn’t seem to work. Finding all three at the same time answers all the questions, but that is nearly impossible with a deductive tactic that takes each issue singly – the test and replace theory doesn’t work – which is why working on the ‘what happened’ first is key – it will expose the diverse chain of events which then will expose the diverse agendas)

      All that was required in the US government side of the operation was blindness and misdirection – easy to accomplish by placing “training operations”. It solves many problems, such as conspiracy secret.

      Since the training is wholly planned in advanced, out in the open, everyone knows about it. It’s ability to obscure the day is hidden by its openness of operation. The main actors doing the training can all do their jobs as planned – essentially shutting down US military response – without being involved at all in the secret agenda. It’s like using the regular pizza delivery boy to unknowingly deliver the bomb inside a pizza to your enemy.

      Was it a kill two birds with one stone thing? Was there some plan that our guys had with the terrorists where the result was win/win. We get a reason to start a war* and lose some bad buildings – you get a reason for jihad?

      Yes.

      If we simply assume there was a single agenda – then USWep is completely correct – why risk it?

      One plane, one building, one dead civilian is more than enough for the US to ‘nuke’ an enemy. The US response is, and always has been, maximum response to any incursion.

      But if we assume MULTIPLE agendas, then it does make sense.

      They all use the same trigger and bullet – but the agendas are diverse and independent. The Government needs a war – Silverstein wants a new building – Israel wants US troops – Pakistan wants to overthrow the Taliban.

      Everyone wins except the People.

      Did everyone think that 9 years later this would still be an issue?

      They completely underestimated the power of the Internet.

      The elite still do.

      They continue to ignore the Revolution of the Net – and focus their message wholly through the continually discredited MSM.

      The Internet is their greatest mistake. They cannot stop it. And it will be their undoing.

      And what’s the point of hitting the Pentagon?

      WTC was hitting “America’s money”
      Pentagon was hitting “America’s military”

      And the Shanksville plane?….What’s the point?

      The White House – hitting “America’s Government” ….

      …but that darn FAA Chief – wasn’t part of the plan – and he was a man who knew his duty was to save American lives. He screwed “them” up with the order to land all planes.

      It was audacious.
      Never been done before.
      Never even been planned, thought about, nor tested nor even contemplated as a possibility. Land 3,000 aircraft in 45 minutes.

      Thus, it was wholly unexpected and caught “them” by total surprise.

      But the FAA did it, he trusted his own air controllers to do a brilliant, safe, quick job as the key professionals they are. And he screwed “them” up. The day had to end immediately or risk exposing the extent of the perverse ‘shut down’ of military response.

      So they shot it down.

      Their plan – hide the fact they shot it down – deny the obvious. Make a big deal about it. Make it the magnet for the conspiracy theory nut cases to hunt around it, pick at it and expose it – and distract this group from hunting around the real conspiracy. Give them one so to hide the real one ….

      …and then, eventually, come clean.
      Yes, we shot it down to save lives on the ground. “We” didn’t come clean because it is a terrible day that Americans need to kill Americans to save Americans – but we did it. Snuff out the conspiracy theorists in one blow.

      But they did not expect the “nuts” to essentially ignore Shanksville.

      It just seems to be an awful big plan to construct….the Hatfields and the McCoys had to agree on the whole thing to begin with. Just curious about your thoughts.

      It is a great deal smaller than FDR planning World War Two.

      • Cool BF. See? See why I want to PRETEND? Look out…I hear SK & Todd behind me

        • Anita….


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          • Oh, that didn’t work out so well! It was suppose to be a big BOO, but all the spaces were removed… 😉

            So much for creativity…

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